My webpage (inc. awards, upcoming events, etc.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Real Break

I'll be taking a little break from blogging for a while (I have too much on my "real life" plate these days.) Thanks for your patience!

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Friend's Site

If you want to be inspired by some fantastic giclee art prints of nature check out Art Prints America. Owner Vitaly Geyman has been traveling all over the world collecting some amazing floral, botanical and ocean images. The image shown here is bark of eucalyptus tree from an ancient Australian gum tree forest.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Win

I recently rec'd news that my "Sun through Live Oaks" photo took Honorable Mention in Photographer's Forum magazine's "Best of Photography 2011" contest and will appear in the book of the same name. The book will be orderable via the magazine, if anyone's interested. Prints are also available at a reasonable price (as always.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Blarg! (Updated)

FYI, our home internet access died completely on Aug. 10th and Wildblue (sucks) has no idea when someone can come to fix it. My only access right now is during my very brief breaks at work (so long as there's a computer available.) Bear with me!

(Update, Aug. 13, 2011; Despite Wildblue's statement that they had no service providers in our area--thus their willingness to leave us hanging indefinitely--I found one the next town over. They couldn't understand why Wildblue wasn't sending them the work order. When I spoke to Wildblue about it, they told me to go ahead and schedule with the local company, call back when it was fixed and they'd apply a $95 credit to our account for the service call. The company had us up and running by 7pm, bless them! When I called Wildblue back again, however, the new CSR said I'd been given "bad information." Basically they refuse to honor their agreement to credit our account. We'll be going on the AT&T waiting list at the very least.
Kudos to A Perfect Satellite in Covington, LA! Boos & hisses to Wildblue, not only for lying about the credit, but for leaving us without internet for days with no resolution and for being willing to leave us in that state indefinitely when one of their authorized companies is a mere 20 minute drive away. A Google search of "Wildblue sucks" provides about a half a million pages. The proof is in the pudding!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Your Votes Needed + TNC Photo Contest

I recently entered some photo contests with great prizes for the top winners.

Please vote for my images here. You can vote for as many as you like, but only one vote per image.

Please vote for my entry here and pass on my plea to your friends and/or family. Everyone can vote once a day.

In other news, The Nature Conservancy's annual photo contest is also open for submissions.

Thanks in advance!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hot Art in a Cool Space

Tomorrow I'll be at the reception for the 9th annual Hot Art in a Cool Space show. Many of my photos will be on display/for sale.

Saturday & Sunday, August 6 & 7, 2011, noon-6 pm both days.
Meet the Artists Reception on Saturday evening from 6–9 pm.
Purchase Original Art by over 30 Award-Winning Artists. The St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs is pleased to present a Purchase Award at this event. The selected artwork will be installed in a government building as part of the St. Tammany Parish Public Art Collection.

Location: North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 28662 Krentel Road, Lacombe, LA 70445.

For more info, contact Barbara Shaw 985-882-7169 or 985-630-7685.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Road Trip, Day 10 and 11; A Change of Plans, the Voyage Home

After dinner on Wed., May 16th, we decided that we were both pretty tired. Despite our plans to stop at Caverns of Sonora and a Japanese Tea Garden and the Zoo in San Antonio, TX, talk turned to going home. Looking over maps & recalculating things, I figured that San Antonio was about halfway home from where we were now, a 10 1/2 hour drive. We could get a hotel in San Antonio and drive the remaining 10 1/2 hours the next day. So we woke on Thurs., May 17th, had our complimentary, hot breakfast and hit the road.
Heading east through the Sierra Blancas in New Mexico, signs said the Lincoln Nat'l Forest was closed and extreme fire restrictions were in effect. Around Cloudcroft, NM we saw signs warning drivers about smoke and fire. Soon after we passed a large encampment of fire fighters on the side of the road. In and around Mayhill, we were saddened to see charred trees and earth all around. It wasn't until at least a week after our ret'n home that I found any news about it--the final update regarding the fire, which was still under investigation.

Outside of the New Mexico mountains and all through West Texas is a fairly flat, boring drive. We didn't pass much on the way back to the Interstate, bathrooms included. Charles asked me to pull over in one of the very few driveways along the road. I sat in the car, deciphering this message, at which I had to laugh. When Charles got back I deciphered it for him, pointing out the irony of his chosen stop; "If you use our road to pee, please take your T.P. with you."

Breaking up the monotony in Texas we saw some huge dust devils. This one's already dissipating. They were hard to capture with the camera.

We also saw lots of wind turbines in West Texas. These are much larger than they seem. During our drive we passed a transport truck with a single blade on the bed, extending well beyond the end of the truck. There's a shot of one on the page linked, above.

We stopped for lunch at some greasy spoon where Charles had a country-fried steak that was so huge you couldn't see the plate it was on. He said it was really good. It was super cheap, too.

By sunset we'd made it to San Antonio--halfway home. Charles had taken over at this point and said he was good to continue on, so we did.

I took over outside of San Antonio somewhere and got us past Houston (there were tons of cops all over the road!) Throughout the return trip, while one of us drove, the other slept. Charles took over somewhere around the Louisiana border and took us all the way home. So much for splitting that 21 hour drive home in half! We got in around 5:15am on Fri., May 18th. After living in hotel rooms for so long, our simple house seemed so huge! Our trip was very interesting and a lot of fun, but it sure was nice to be home.

Thanks to my friends and supporters for bearing with 2 months of posts regarding our road trip. I hope you enjoyed it!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Road Trip, Day 9; White Sands Nat'l Monument & More

I'd pre-planned our stop at White Sands Nat'l Monument for a day (May 16th) and time when the nearly-full moon and the sun would both be up low over the horizon, so I could get sunset and moonrise shots. A lot of factors could have destroyed the idea. I was ready to deal with that if anything happened, but it seems the universe blessed our trip.

On our way to Alamogordo, NM, we passed what looked like a sleeping stegosaurus (click to see more detail. The head is to the right.) We also passed the world's largest pistachio nut statue. What a country, this America!

We got into Alamogordo hours before sunset, so we caught up on laundry, swam in the pool and lounged in the hot tub for a while first (both were right across from our room.) It was another good time of doing very little. By this time, we were sold on the value and amenities of the Holiday Inn Express. A full, hot breakfast beats the continental job any day.

Once at White Sands, eagle-eyed Charles immediately picked out the only, little black dot in the landscape (and promptly named him "Beetly.")

There were people up on the dunes all around, but we found one in a deserted enough area that I could get my shots without human interference. Regardless, this lone figure walking in the distance across the vastness of the landscape inspired me to take a shot.

White Sands is tucked between a couple of mountain ranges; the San Andres (seen here,) and the Sierra Blancas (which we'd been through on the way in, stopping at the Hubbard Museum of the American West.)

Charles and I at White Sands.

I liked the gradations of the sky vs. those of the dunes here.

As the sun started setting I started snapping like a fiend. It was difficult to catch the effects of sunset accurately, despite my multiple, rapid-fire changes to my camera's white balance settings.

It was cool the way the gypsum granules sparkled. Click on this shot to see what I mean.

Charles at White Sands. This photo took 1st place, journeyman and journalism category, in a recent Slidell Photography Club contest.

Focused as I was on the sunset, soon Charles pointed out the moon, rising on the other side of the sky.

Shooting the moonrise was much easier. I was glad for the slight clouds, and for the way the sunset painted them pink. "Daily Nature Photo" on The Nature Conservancy's website, Jun. 24, 2011.

On our way out Charles spotted Beetly again. He was nestled into the sand, snuggling in for the night.

White Sands Nat'l Monument was immensely cool and it would've been nice to have been able to spend more time exploring. Despite Charles offering to stay longer, to get up in the morning to come back, we had other stops planned on our route home, until...

Next post; A change of plans.

In more recent art news, yesterday I found out that my Horseshoe Bend photo won Momentum magazine's freshwater photography contest. It will appear in the magazine (of which I'll get a few copies,) and I also get a hardcover book of aerial photos. Yay! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Road Trip, Day 8 (Pt. 2); Grand Canyon National Park

We rode around on the free shuttles at Grand Canyon National Park, pausing at one point for breakfast at the restaurant in Bright Angel Lodge. Walking in I smelled maple syrup, and the order for pancakes became destiny. They were delicious.

We watched a cool, informative movie about the Grand Canyon at the visitor's center. This was actually our last stop before deciding to go home, but it seemed a good photo to start this post with.

At one stop along the eastern route of the shuttle, I saw this tree stump, which looked like an owl face.

The colors were beautiful.

Yet another lizard, tucked away at another one of our stops.

This shot was taken shortly after dawn along the shuttle's western route. I liked the shadows, which add depth and drama not seen later in the day.

Tree sap near an old uranium mine.

I often tease Charles about his book addiction, so I had to get this shot of him leaving with a purchase. I'm reflected in the glass, too (wearing a symbol of my own addiction, my Pink Floyd t-shirt. In a similar, more recent vein, Thurs., Jul. 28th is Rick Wright's birthday, may he rest in peace.)

Another shot relatively early in the morning. Having gone with too little sleep, by 9am we were practically falling asleep on the shuttles around the rim. We managed to stick it out 'til around 1:30pm. It was a good time to leave--the park, virtually ours, alone at sunrise, was now packed with tourists.

We had a couple of long drives ahead of us. We went through the area of Humphrey's Peak (remember my photo from our day at Meteor Crater?) Here we reached our highest elevation on the trip, about 8,000 feet. We overnighted in Show Low, AZ, then went on to Alamagordo, NM.

Next stop; White Sands Nat'l Monument

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Road Trip, Day 8 (Pt. 1); Grand Canyon National Park

We woke extra early on Sun., May 15th and made our way to Grand Canyon National Park. I'd been here 15 years ago, but then I wasn't able to stay long (not to mention that the camera I was using wasn't working right.) This was Charles' first visit.

Arriving around 5am, we got in for free (the entry booths were not yet open for business.)

It was c-c-cold! About 42F with a pretty steady, 15mph wind. We parked near El Tovar to put on extra layers of clothing. They say that "all things happen for a reason." In this case, we ran into a gentleman who told us about something to see just outside the restaurant at Bright Angel Lodge, nearby.

He wasn't kidding! As mentioned in a blog entry wayyy back in Carlsbad, NM, here's the better shots of elk taken at the more interesting location. They were really very patient and calm. Surrounded by eager shutterbugs, the elk just grazed to their hearts' content.

Charles also spotted this common desert centipede, desperately trying to warm up for the day.

I loved the way the canyon peeked out of the mist as the sun rose.

One of our few sightings of the Colorado River, the same waterway that comprised Horseshoe Bend.

Despite how tired we were, the Grand Canyon at sunrise was an awesome sight.

Next post; The Grand Canyon, con't.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Road Trip, Day 7 (Pt. 4); Cameron Trading Post

I was glad to have booked a room at the Cameron Trading Post in advance--they were down to only 2 rooms when I did! Why, you may ask, would I feature a hotel stop as it's own entry here on the blog rendition of our road trip?

For starters, this was the view from our room.

Just outside was a wonderful, shaded, flower-filled courtyard, complete with fountains and a huge fireplace.

After driving for hours through badlands, it was definitely a welcome sight!

We both loved it.

There were all kinds of birds here, too. We saw doves, grackles, sparrows and even a hummingbird!

Besides a massive gift shop on the premises (at which we bought oodles of things,) they also had a beautifully decorated restaurant, and we'd arrived right around dinnertime. Charles had a huge Navajo taco and I had a hot, open-faced turkey sandwich.

Our room was also quite charming, decorated with a Native American theme from the tiling in the bathroom to the lamps on the end tables.

I was too taken with the gardens to get photos of anything else, however.

I mean...look at it! It's just wonderful.

We had to hit the hay early. We were scheduled to get up at 4am to drive an hour to the Grand Canyon.

I wanted to be there before sunrise.

The only downside to this wonderful oasis was that the walls were paper-thin.

Our sleep was interrupted by people in neighboring rooms showering, thumping suitcases around, etc.

We even had a lovely sunset before hitting the hay, though. All in all, this was a great stop, full of beauty and at least some respite from our hours on the road.

Next stop; Grand Canyon Nat'l Park

In recent art news, my Foggy Morning photo took 1st Place (photography) in Slidell Art League's "Cirque du Sol Art" show. It also rec'd a Purchase Award from Slidell Memorial Hospital.
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