Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 142 of 365, Textured

Today's challenge subject was:  Textured.  I titled this one Fluffy vs. Parched. 
We had a wind storm while we were gone yesterday and some dead branches from a tree on the other side of our fence fell into our yard.  Terry picked them up and started a small fire today.  I used it for my Texture image as well.  I called it Fire and Ashes.  What else? 
Is this a Gecko?
                                  Is this called a gecko? Finally, I caught a picture of these illusive little night creatures.   These little pink, rubbery clear looking creatures come out of every nook, crack and cranny after dark.  When my daughters were little, they would kinda freak them out because they look so strange.  I have no idea where they live because they never come out during the day.  Every night, I see them on my screen room windows.  I have never been able to catch a pic of them because A)  there is not enough light.  B) they are fast as lightning and extremely illusive.
Tonight, I was walking to my backdoor and happened to have my camera in my hand.  Terry's headlights were shining on the gecko so I thought I might get a picture.  I saw this one with something in its mouth.  I could see wings sticking out on each side.  I picked up my camera to get the shot.  Immediately and before I could press the trigger, it scurried off, and either gulped the winged bug or dropped it.  Quick as a wink, it had  run off and tried to hide behind the door hinge that you see in this picture.  Then, it froze in its tracks for a couple seconds for me to snap this pic. 

I think it is a gecko.  That is what I always called them anyway.  I know one thing for sure.  When we built our house, we used to see black widow spiders.  The girls were little at the time and I was so fearful that a poisonous spider would bite one of them.  Some years later, the geckos moved in and set up residence at the entrances to our house.  They have lived here for many, many years now.  I have no idea how they came here but I am thankful that they did.  I think the geckos took care of the dangerous spider problem around here. I am not going to say that we will never see another spider because I don't want to jinx myself.   But, every time I see the geckos suctioned upside down to the ceiling of my front porch and back screen room, I say a little thank you.  I love my geckos!  If we move, I want to take some with me.  Truly, I think of them as our family guardians who work for us while we sleep. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Old Fashioned is the Subject

Todays's Photo Challenge Subject:  Something Old Fashioned.  I took the picture of the dining room in one of the buildings located at the Historic Plantation Farm located in Baton Rouge, LA.  It is now on display as part of the LSU Rural Life Museum.  Anyway, notice the ceiling fan.  You see the string that is attatched?  That is used to manually swing the ceiling fan over the table of food to keep the flies away.  ewww...I think every generation deals with their own difficulties.  Life was simple but hard back then.  In our generation, life is simple but hard. We just have different challenges.

Day 141 of 365, Yesterday, I did a Bridal Shoot for an upcoming wedding.

Photo by Betty Slaton
Photo by Betty Slaton

The above two pics were taken by my mom.  She rode with me to help with the Bridal Shoot that I had scheduled for yesterday.  The location is the Audubon Historic State Park and Oakley Plantation in St. Francisville, LA.  It is an absolutely perfect photography site.  The first pic above is the old Plantation Home.  Featured also is the Chief of Hospitality.  His name is Gus the Turkey.  He greets everyone who drives up.  The parking lot and front porch is his territory.  While Mama was talking to Gus, she was snapping a few pics.  When she walked into the museum where I was paying the entry fee, she told me about what Gus did.  She said that the whole time she was taking his picture, his tail feathers were up and proud and he was wobbling around in a strut.  As soon as she started to walk off, pppphhhhhhh, down his feathers went in a big dejected sigh.
Here, I was trying to make Gus look glamourous.  How about it?


I sent my bride and her mom to the password protected gallery of images that we captured.  After she viewed them, she sent me a text message that made me soooo happy.  She wrote, "I love them!...We are at our honeydo shower.  But I completely love every single one them!"

Goodie, goodie!  She loves them!  I knew she would.  I told Kristin that I am itchin' and can't wait to post the Bridal Session images but I have to wait until after the wedding, of course.  Kristin (bride-to-be) and her mom, Norma were phenomenal to work with.  Norma came up with some really great poses.  Combining mine and Norma's ideas and Granny's (my mom) assistance with the lighting, we made a great team.  I sure am happy with every one of our shots.  Kristin was willing to try anything we threw out for her to try.  It is a big effort to do a Bridal Photo Session.  For the bride, it is early morning hairdo and make-up, then meeting up at the location with her dress in tow.  But, I will tell you is all worth it in the end!  After the wedding cake is long gone and honeymoon is over, what will remain?  The amazing images of the hopes and dreams of new couple starting a new life together.  Then, for my efforts in the Wedding Day Photography, I hope to capture special and memorable moments to hold forever in the hearts of the bride/groom and their families.  It is so important to capture today's images of our Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, Family and Friends.  All moments captured are priceless treasures for future generations.  

Is it all worth it?  You betcha!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 139 of 365, Crooked (or with a crook in it or opposed to straight) I'm reaching on.

Today's Photo Challenge Subject is Crooked.  Here are a few quick grab pics that I came up with.  This is my kitchen table backlit by my eastern facing window light.  Then, below I propped up the umbrella with a crooked handle.  Would this qualify for crooked or curved?  For my purposes today, I will call them crooked.  For me to move on with my day, I had to get something nailed down because....

I really,really need to get some work done around here.  It is Friday and I have a few errands to run also.  I hear Terry outside working hard on the yard so I need to get myself into gear.  But, you know what?  If I know what my challenge is, I can hardly think about anything else until I get that 'in the can'.  'In the can' is old photography lingo from the film days when the job was complete and the roll of film was in the canister to be developed.  Like do I think of this as my job or something?  I don't know...~!  

You know what I actually WANT to do?  I want to go to our Old State Capital Building and get a pic of the interior Spiral Staircase.  It is so beautiful because it is capped off by a gorgeous huge stained glass dome roof.  I just might be able to do that if I can manage to de-clutter this house, mop the floors and finish with the general housework.  So, now I have a goal.  I will definitely get motivated and speed ball around here so that I can go on my Artist Date today!  Ok, let me set my timer to give me a time limit incentive to just 'get'er done'!  Also, I will crank up the music to boom all over the house so that I can do the Lindy Hop to IT!!!!
Please, don't rain on my parade!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Draw a Straight Line...

Draw a Straight Line..., originally uploaded by michelle*sibley.
Uploaded for Daily Photo Challenge, Subject: Straight, May 27, 2010

I thought of doing this from the moment I heard that today's challenge subject was "Straight". I never got around to setting this up until after 10 pm because I didn't know where a ruler was. Just before turning the lights out to go to bed, (actually to go watch a re-run of Andy Roddick's match today at the French Open) I saw a yard stick standing beside the wall and the refrigerator. Ah Hah! There it is! So, I went ahead and grabbed the straight edge to capture this picture. Hey, better late than never. Don't cha think?

Day 138 of 365, Cool Can Am & Starbucks

Today's Photo Challenge Subject was "Straight".  While me, Terry and Karmyn were out and about, we stopped at Starbucks.  I saw these mugs on the shelf and decided to get a quick pic.  The handles are all straight in a row right?  Actually, I straightened them just a little.  The Starbucks baristas were most likely wondering why I was straightening their shelf.  :) 
My daughter will not let me take her pic for anything.  I have to be a photo sniper.  Then when she sees that she is the target....she is outa Dodge!
Oh, well...her legs look good.

How about this?  We stopped at Big Mike's to grab a bite of lunch.  We parked next to this 3 wheeled motorcycle as seen above.  I saw the name Can Am on the side.  I'm diggin' this!  Back, when the gas prices sky rocketed for the first time, I purchase a couple of hwy legal scooters.  I never put them on the highway though because I felt that they would be way too dangerous.  The scooters are more suited for city streets and not the rural highways of my hometown.  But, this 3 wheeler peaked my interest today.

When we walked into Big Mike's there were 3 guys already seated in the booth in front of ours.  One of the guys was bald with a goatee and tatoos.  With him was a guy with dreadlocks in a ponytail.  The third guy looked more like a golfer type compared to them.  At any rate, I figured one of those guys were driving the Can Am because the rest of the people in the restaurant were women.  Then, a huge table of ladies got up to leave.  They marched out in a single file of middle aged ladies with their shoulder bags...except one.  Terry said,  "There's the Can Am driver right there...the one with the yellow and black lightning bolt helmet."  I had to get a picture. 


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 137 of 365, Night Walk in the Downtown Baton Rouge Area

Today's Photo Challenge was "On the Road".  Here are a few Night Scenes that I captured.  These were captured in downtown Baton Rouge, LA. 
  I took this picture as I was standing on the tracks that run along the levee of the Mississippi River.  Do the tracks look twisted?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 136 of 365, By George, I think she's got IT!

Today, I found this gorgeous little girl's images in my archived files. I remember the day that I captured them. I met her last March, as I was taking Portraits of a beautiful High School Senior girl. My Senior wanted to capture images with her horse that she had purchased with her own earnings. The location was the horse farm that she used to stable her horse. The owner gave us permission to use the entire pasture, barn, pond, etc. as our backdrop. We did get some amazing images that day. We were winding up our session when we noticed this little girl inching her way toward us. I could tell that she wanted me to take her picture. Before doing so, I called to her mom to get permission.  When given the ok, I told the sweet little one where I wanted her to stand or sit.  The posing?..My goodness, the posing was all her! She is a natural I believe. By George, I think she's got IT! I am sure you know what I mean by IT.  IT is that little something special that makes her unique...spaghetti sauce chin and all. :) I love these images. I think the combination of low setting sun filtering through her fine blond hair to her little pose techniques that were completely natural, down to the pensive half smile expression on her face. Again, By George, I think she's got IT, I'd say! I wish I knew her name.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 135 of 365, Begins With B-Boardgame, Begin, Bank, Boardwalk

Today's Photo Challenge was "Starts with a B".  Monopoly is a classic Boardgame.  Choose a game piece and  Begin.  Someone is in charge of the Bank.  Usually, the person who owns Boardwalk and Parkplace wins.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kids at North Park

Kids at North Park, originally uploaded by michelle*sibley.
    *Pause Playlist.   Then press Play
I met these kids at the park today. One of the kids stood up and said, "Take my picture!" So, I did and then she laughed. I had been walking around the park looking for stuff to photograph. Dang, it is hot already. These Louisiana summers are killer. I went and sat with the kids under the pavillion and chatted for a bit. I asked them if they wanted to be on my blog and they said, "YEAH!" They were fun. So, here is their debut...

Day 132 of 365, Self Defense Tip for up to 25 feet!

Yesterday, Mom and I went to the State Capital Area of Downtown Baton Rouge. We didn't leave home until after 5pm. So, we knew we would be there well after dark. As we were driving, Mama questioned our safety. She was feeling vulnerable because we were going to be two women alone. I reached into my bag and came out with the Real Kill. That is a Wasp and Hornet Spray that I picked up at Walmart for 3 or 4 bucks.  It was the cheapest one probably.  I figure all brands work the same. 

Here is the tip:  A while back, I heard that Wasp & Hornet Killer is a great self defense tool. Some people keep it close to their backdoor in case they ever get a dangerous caller. It blasts a powerful stream of poison 25 feet. I know that if you bombed someone directly into the eyes and nose with this, it would surely knock them for a loop.

Trust me, I had my "Real Kill" in my shoulder bag. I sure hoped I would not have to use it. Feel free to share this tip with your friends and family. I think it is a good one to remember for self-defense. Don't get Paranoid, but, Be Alert and Stay Safe!

Baton Rouge Capital Area

Baton Rouge Capital Area, originally uploaded by michelle*sibley.
90 sec clip (with sound file, pause playlist) of photos that I had taken on the evening of May 20, 2010. The lady photographer that you see in the slideshow is my mom with her new camera. It arrived this day so she and I went to the State Captial area for practice.

Most of the images are different views of the state capital grounds as the light changed from day to night. We had a great time and enjoyed the adventure.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 131 of 365, Fire Hydrant

Today's Photo Challenge was Fire Hydrant.  I picked up my camera and scouted around my town for fire hydrants.  The first one that I came to was opposite the Fire Station.  Can you see the fire trucks across the street? 
I traveled on the same road and notice this fire hydrant behind all the weeds.  I pulled off the road.  This was at a corner of two highways.  When I bent down to get the image that I wanted in the viewfinder, I noticed the water tower way off in the distance behind the trees.From the same fire hydrant, I turned to capture a sign that is obscured by the weeds.  To me, this speaks to me in a picture metaphor ...."The signs can be read if you are open to SEE." 

What does the fire hydrant and the church have in common? 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 130 of 365, Five Foot Two

Our Photo Challenge Subject was "Something As Tall As You Are".   I was not getting any ideas and even thought about skipping this one.  When I mentioned it to Mom, she said to just find something you can see eye to eye.  We hung up the phone and I started cooking supper.  (By the way, Mama had called to talk about a review that she had read about her new camera.  She is anxiously waiting for her new Nikon just like mine.  I know she is gonna love it.)  Anyway, I was in the middle of cooking and realized I needed a few things from the grocery store.  I picked up my keys and shot out on that quick errand.  When I returned home, I saw the caution sign above and wondered about it's height.  I parked my car and walked down to the sign and Yep...we are the same height. It stands all of 5'2 just like me!  

I didn't have my camera at the time of the measure up.  Plus, I needed to hurry up and finish supper.  I got the meal almost prepared when I heard the rumblings.  Thunder was rolling in and the clouds started moving pretty fast.  I knew we were going to get a much needed rain shower.  So, I picked up the point and shoot and ran down the little street to try to take a picture for the challenge.

As I was taking the pic, I saw a couple of little guys wheelin' around. They were probably trying to hustle home before they got rained on.  I know they have to be soooo happy because this was the last day of school for them I think.  I remember that last day of school when I was a kid.  FREEDOM!  All I wanted to do was...everything that I wanted to do!  Do you know what I am talking about?  I wanted to jump on my bike and peddle like crazy, then go to the next fun thing I could think of and do that.  I remember that last day of school feeling alright.  So, enjoy the summer kids.  Be safe and play, play, play to your hearts content!  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 129 of 365, Karmyn got her golden scissors, Yay!

Yay! Here is Karmyn on her last day of Beauty School.  She is waiting for her last minutes to tick off.  She has officially put in the amount of hours necessary to graduate with a Cosmetology Degree.  She tried traditional college but decided that she wanted to pursue a more creative career path.  Karmyn has an eye for fashion, beauty, and design.  So, it makes good sense to me now that she chose a career in the beauty industry.  I know that she really enjoyed her experience in Beauty School.  She has always been a 'people' person.  Her genuinely warm personality draws you in.   I remember one of her old coaches would often call her the Golden Child.  He called her that, not necessarily because she had long golden blonde hair, (now Kardashian black!) but, because she was good at everything she tried.  If something did not come naturally, Karmyn never gave up.  She commits with her whole heart and will not stop practicing until she accomplishes her goals.  

With her drive and determination, I am confident that she will soon be an up and coming cutting edge sensation!  You have become my Golden Child with Golden Scissors! 
Live Karmyn! Live Life to the Fullest! Grow and Become Your Best You! Go and Make a Wonderful Life for Yourself! I love you with all of my heart.

Love, Mom

Monday, May 17, 2010

Life is Fragile, Handle with Care

Recently, I heard about a girl (now forever 18) who was killed in a car wreck.  Her name was Jessica and she played on Karmyn's softball team.  They played together when she and Karmyn were in the u-14 class.  That would be the age group of 13-14 year olds.  When Jessica passed away, she was attending college on a softball scholarship I think.  I have to admit that Karmyn played with so many wonderful girls but after we all moved on, I lost touch.  So, I do not know what is going in their lives anymore.  I wanted to share with you something that, perhaps, only 3 people in the world ever knew about until now. 

I remember during Softball Nationals in Owensboro, KY, the girls wanted to hold a bible study.  The leader of this idea was a wonderful, well rounded girl named Brittany G.  She had asked permission from the Drury Inn help desk if they could occupy the conference room.  The hotel did, indeed, have a conference room available and Brittany led the bible study for the night.  I sat in the room as strictly an observer without a peep.  My heart could not have been prouder of these girls.  On their own, they took such a mature and outstanding initiative. 

After the study, they went along their way.  I remember that somehow Jessica had wanted to talk to me about 'spiritual' things.   She thought it was curious that numerous times people were talking to her about the subject recently.  Also, there were some doubts and questions that she had swirling in her mind.  I really do not know how she and I came together to talk about it.  But, somehow,  as it happened, I found myself, Jessica and Karmyn sitting in the empty stairwell of the hotel discussing faith and religion.  To date, I am not sure how the rest of Jessica's spiritual life unfolded.  What I am sure of though is this, Jessica's heart and soul were open to communicating with God that night as we prayed.  Just the three of us were physically praying together on the bottom metal step of the hotel stairwell.   But, I do have faith to believe that we were not only 3 in attendance.  I know that God was with us there as our tears and prayers were lifted up.  I hope that Jessica is with Him today in heaven.