Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SPC - 'With Someone' - #5

With My Family of Origin

This is me with my Dad, my Mom and my Sister.

I'm cheating a little bit with this one because it's not actually a self portrait. Christy took this one for me (it's week five, so give me a break!). :-)

We were together on this particular day, near Father's Day last year touring family cemeteries. It was a good day.

We were so near to my Granddaddy's farmhouse that I asked if we could stop as it had been several years since I'd been there.

While there, we took these family shots under the basketball hoop mounted on my Granddaddy's barn (yes, the very same one mentioned here).

I love these people and I know that they love me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Home Grown Hoops Legends

OK -- so, back in 2006, one of my Flickr groups was having a themed contest and the theme was "Your Hometown our Country." Instead of my "Hometown" or my "Country," I interpreted the theme and set out to represent my Home State, Indiana. I was on the lookout for a barn with a basketball hoop mounted on the side of it.

Now, besides the well-known nostalgia of rural Indiana farming combined (no pun intended) with a long-time love of the game of basketball, Indiana basketball has some significance in our family. My Granddaddy and my Dad and his Brother were important parts of successful basketball teams at the High School level and have many fond memories of those days.

Me? I never had any success as a basketball player on an organized team, but I often ended up using spare time to ride down to the town park where there was usually a pick up basketball game going on. Similar to many other Hoosiers, I grew up with a basketball goal mounted to the apex of our barn, um...shed at home.

More notably, I remember my Granddaddy coming out of the fields, or finishing up tending to the livestock, headed for the farmhouse, but stopping long enough to receive a basketball pass from whichever grandchild had the ball and then, from well beyond what we would now consider "three point range," "tossing" it (the only word I can think of to describe his own unique way of shooting a basketball) at a rusty hoop on the side of his own barn and then casually walking away as the ball sailed from his weathered hands and through the humid Indiana atmosphere before falling -- "chink" -- through the goal and its chain net, always to the astonishment and wonder of all of his grandchildren.

At the time I was looking for such a barn, though, Granddaddy's farm was too far away, so I began keeping an eye out for other barns here in Madison County with basketball hoop on or near them. I found several, none of which I was entirely happy. Finally, taking a back route from Muncie to Alexandria one day I found this location:

Indiana Basketball

Not perfect, but it would suffice for the theme contest.

Fast forward almost 4 years.

So, a few weeks ago, I got a call from NCAA photos. They had found my photo "Indiana Basketball" (above) on Flickr and wanted to know if I would allow the image to be used for a poster for the NCAA Final Four which is happening in Indianapolis next weekend. They told me what they would be able to pay for the use and I told them that I thought it sounded fair and that I would allow the use.

Then -- they asked for the full size jpeg. GULP! I knew right away that photo had been taken using my old Canon point and shoot. I further discovered that the image I posted on Flickr had been additionally cropped for aesthetic reasons. It would be fine for a 4"x6" print. Even an 8"x10" would probably be fine, but if they were wanting poster size, well, I didn't think it would work.

Then it occurred to me that the barn in the photo was just a tick down the road from where I work in Alexandria and that I could possibly go by that evening and snap a few shots that might work and which would be taken at a larger file size.

I picked my favorites from both the 2006 and 2009 shoots and e-mailed them all to NCAA photos. They indicated that they thought they had what they needed.

As most of you probably know, then NCAA Tournament began last weekend with 65 teams and the Sweet Sixteen round is being played this weekend, yet I hadn't heard anything from NCAA Photos in the meantime.

I figured they had decided to go another direction and just hadn't informed me yet. Finally, on Thursday of this week I did get a call saying they were finishing up the design and wanted me to send in an invoice for the photo use. They're mailing me a few copies of the finished poster, but they also sent me a small jpeg of the design.

Needless to say, I was curious to see how it turned out and after reading this far, you probably are too!

Here it is:


In the end, they did use one of the newer images instead of the one they originally found on Flickr, so my effort to provide them with a better image with which to begin paid off.

Here's the image they used (straight out of the camera):


And here's their poster, laid on top of the original shot:


It's hard to tell from this small size, but I believe each player who is featured has his name in small white lettering near his photo.

You may also notice that they did a bit of additional snow-removal. I didn't even know that Photoshop had a Shovel-tool. :-)

I'll still have to wait for the full size to see all the details, but I thought I'd go ahead and share this much with you, now.

Photo Friday - 'Pleasure'

Favorite Frame

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SPC - 'With Someone' - #4

Well, I've used all my obvious targets.

Maybe I'm cheating here, but I figure since I featured each of them individually, that maybe I could get away with using them one more time, collectively.

Plus -- as I'm sure many of you know, yesterday was an important day -- a historic day -- a day not without controversy nor long delay, but the task has been accomplished:

Polaroid Film Reappears

What? What did you think I was talking about??

Beyond the introduction to new Polaroid film, I also managed to score two (2) Polaroid cameras at Goodwill on Saturday (50% off day!)!

One is a Spectra camera. I have no film for that camera -- still crossing my fingers for The Impossible Project to come through on Spectra film.

The other is a OneStep, very similar to the one I've been using, only this one has a flash and appears to have the ability to focus closer. The OneStep uses 600 film which I have one pack remaining.

It was in a package stating "Buy 4 packs of 600 film and get a OneStep Camera FREE!" Only all the film was gone. I hesitated about the purchase because I already had the Spectra camera in my cart, but the camera was new in the box -- never opened, and the half off sale made it a buck fifty, so I went ahead. To my surprise, when I got home and opened it up, the flash charged and lights came on. They shipped it with a pack of film already inside! The pack in the camera only has (had) six shots on it instead of ten, and the film expired in 2001! I'm happy to have 16 shots now instead of 10 (until I can get some of the new stuff!), but it definitely made the purchase worthwhile.

So, in honor of the historic day for Polaroid and a lucky find at Goodwill, my contribution for Self Portrait Challenge - 'With Someone' is this photo of each of us in all of our 9-years-expired Polaroid glory:

Polaroid Lives!

As you can see, Polaroid film doesn't age particularly well. Though, the inability to predict what any single image is going to produce is a fun little mystery in itself.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photo Friday - 'Children'

African Children's Choir 03

African Children's Choir -- from a few years ago (August, 2006)

Photo Use

Some Gospel songwriter's management company wanted to use one of my photos for their website:

I allowed the use without charging them. I understand they're from somewhere in Indiana. Gotta support my fellow Hoosiers, eh?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SPC - 'With Someone' - #3

Harrison is all boy and as sweet as can be.

He reminds me of myself in many ways -- he is:
Cautious about some things, impulsive about others

He makes friends slowly, but once that friendship is established, he is unwaveringly loyal.

As long as it lasts, I will cherish every moment that he will still let me hold his hand.

With Harrison

For my SPC shot With Hannah last week, I put up some alternate shots, one of which was a diptych of images taken just seconds apart that show two distinct sides of her personality. I thought I'd do the same for The Boy:

The Two Harrisons
Those are from August of 2009.

Here are two more recent shots:
DashingPee Wee Basketball

The one on the left was from earlier tonight. Mommy was having him try on some potential Easter clothing. He wasn't entirely happy about it. :-)

The one on the right was from a couple of weeks ago when Harrison completed his Pee Wee Basketball camp at our church.

Friday, March 12, 2010



Nikon D90

Honestly, I wasn't looking to upgrade. It was a combination of several factors that pushed me over the edge:

1.) My trusty D40 is still trucking along just fine, but I recently noticed that I had pushed it over 50,000 clicks (Nikon's rating for that shutter) in the almost exactly three years that I've had it. I will still use it for carrying around with me. I'll try to reserve D90 for special occasions.

2.) Two Words: Tax Refund

3.) I've got some $ coming in from a photography-related project that actually put a dent in the cost. More on that later.

4.) Never hurts to have a backup body that works with the same lenses I already have. I may even have an event coming up where that may be vital.

I have a whole new appreciation for the simple effectiveness of D40. The learning curve on D90 is a bit steeper than I had expected, but I'm working through it and I'll get comfortable with it soon.

Photo Friday - 'Nightlife'

birds with moon

Some of you have probably seen this one before...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

SPC - 'With Someone' - #2

With Hannah
This was a quick snap I took as the school bus was approaching Monday morning.

Here are some other photos I took back in February for the celebration of the 8th anniversary of the day on which she was born:

The Two Hannahs
I kid you not -- these two photos were taken mere seconds apart from one another.

They are quite representative, though. Though "Attitude Hannah" (left) is certainly a part of her personality, to her credit, she is most often kept at bay by "Sweet Hannah" (right). We realize that it can't last forever, but we still try to protect her from exposure to many forms of media influence and steer her toward wholesome books, which, to be honest, is pretty easy because our girl loves to read.

She is like her mother in so many ways: Godly, sweet and pretty. She sees the best in others. She prays for her "enemies" -- God bless her -- with a sincerity of which I'm not sure I'm capable.

She is (generally) obedient. She willingly helps with her little brother, though in her desire to be "mothering" to him, she occasionally drifts into "smothering" territory. :-)

She is a bright and diligent student.

I just couldn't be more proud.

Funny Girl

Friday, March 05, 2010

Photo Friday - 'Cleanliness'

Last week's Photo Friday was 'Self Portrait - 2010'

I couldn't participate because I don't do 'self portraits.' Those people are so vain!


Actually, I submitted this one, one of my recent favorites.

The theme this week is 'Cleanliness."

Automatic Instructions

One question: If it's Automatic, why are Instructions necessary?

That is all.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


@ Pugly Pixel

...and honored by the kind comments over there.

SPC - 'With Someone' - #1

So, it's March and a new month means a new challenge theme for participants at Self Portrait Challenge.

The challenge theme is With Someone

This is another repeat challenge theme. We did this theme back in September of 2006 on the old site, which, alas, appears to be -- no more. :-(

It is important, I believe, to realize that self portraiture is not entirely about one's self, as counterintuitive as that may seem. I have heard many people who make self portraiture a regular part of their lives say that it has at least as much to do with their family -- especially their children -- as it has to do with themselves. I imagine that many of us who do this also find themselves as the designated photographer for their family. This often results in the phenomenon of the "missing photographer" (i.e. the person taking the photos rarely appears in said photos). Self portraiture is a means by which this phenomenon can be balanced, at least partially.

Certainly, I, and many others, also find that it is an effective way of expressing one's self in an artistic and often uncharacteristically emotional way. It is also a practical method of finding a willing and available subject, but still, I think it is unfair to consider self portraiture as an entirely selfish pursuit.

....and so, for the month of March, we will make obvious that which we already know by including "someone" in our self portraits.


These photos were taken yesterday, March 1st; the 13th anniversary of the day on which Christy and I were married.

Some recent events involving close friends struggling with marriage and relationships have caused us to realize how lucky and blessed we truly are.

I'm thankful everyday for this woman I married. Thirteen years later, I would do it all over again.

13 Years