Day 60 Tiffany

Today is a bonus day!  Pretty cool that on my 60th post, it’s leap day.  This is a shot of our favorite lamp.  The Tiffany lamp has been in Vicki’s family for years.  The story is that her great grandfather traveled to New York and while there, purchased the lamp from Tiffany’s and then carried the lamp on his lap the whole way back.  Each time we move, we take the lamp down and carefully package it.  Believe me, it is heavy after holding it for a while.  It makes me think back to Vicki’s great grandpa riding that whole way with that thing sitting on his lap; then I feel a little foolish for having to hold the lamp for maybe 5 minutes, while we disconnect it.  We do have it easy these days compared to our grandfathers and great grandfathers.  Boy, those were the days!

I really like the colors on this lamp.  After all these years, they are still vivid.


I have put together a slide show of the first 60 days of my posts.  The background music is composed and performed by my daughter, Amanda Lewis.  You can visit her youtube page, letsdomusic22.  Enjoy the music, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Day 59 Reflections on the Cass

A cold gray day this February 28th, normally the last day of the month.  This year we get a bonus day in February, because it’s a leap year.  The Cass River was very reflective this evening, even though it was gloomy out, I was able to catch some nice reflections.  This is a photo of the Marv Herzog Hotel, in Frankenmuth, MI.  Located on Main Street, you are right in the heart of the action when you stay here.  I like the reflections of the hotel in the river.

Day 58 Countdown to Spring

The days are getting longer, I’ve seen two robins, and we are at the end of February. All signs point to Spring in the near future, 22 days if my counting is correct. Pitching horse shoes, hearing the clang of steel against steel, scoring a ringer; these are Spring and Summer sounds for sure. I know March comes in like a lion, but I’m hoping this lion will be like the Detroit Lions of a couple years back, meek and mild. I am ready for Spring, and the sound of all those ringers!

Day 57 Amelia’s Winter Photo Shoot

Today we scheduled Amelia’s Winter photo shoot.  We figured we better make it happen since we had snow on the ground.  After all in Michigan, you never know how long the present conditions will remain.  We could have 50 degrees and sunny tomorrow, which would put an end to any winter snow shots.  So off we trekked to the Gugel Bridge, a Frankenmuth favorite.  We were blessed with another beautiful sunny day, although it was very cold and windy.  We had to act fast so we wouldn’t freeze.  Amelia was a real trooper braving the cold.  So we shot some photos on the bridge.  Amealia’s friends decided to join in the fun.  So we had everyone pose for a group shot.  


A few more photos and then I suggested that we go to the Hart One Room School house and take a few more at that location.  I really like that setting with the snow, and the rustic feel, with the split rail fence and the weathered wood.  So we jumped in our vehicles, cranked the heat up, and headed over to the One Room Schoolhouse for a few more shots, and then we called it a day.  We were just too cold to continue.  It was worth braving the cold though, we ended up with some very nice photos.  Thanks Amelia.

Day 56 Cass River – Frankenmuth, MI

Today was another beautiful day.  I just love it when the sun shines on the freshly fallen snow.  Because of the snowstorm yesterday, the schools were all closed.  It came down very quickly during the early morning, but when it was all said and done, we only had about 4 inches here in Frankenmuth.  The weatherman on the news said it was only 2 inches, but I measured in my yard, and it was 4 inches.  Today, the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful blue with white puffy clouds.  I spent the morning cleaning off the driveway and used the snow blower for the first time this year.  Afterwards, I journeyed down to the Gugel Bridge, yes the same bridge from Day 14.  This time I focused on the Cass River, as it shimmered in the sun.  This is another HDR photo, I set my camera for 7 shots, you can tell by looking at the clouds, they are a little fuzzy, due to the wind.  There aren’t too many days of winter, but in Michigan, we usually will have one or two big snows in March.  It has been a mild winter with less than average snow fall.  I don’t really mind this year, our heating bills have been a lot lower.  Now I’m ready for spring, the Tigers players reported for Spring Training this week, so we know Spring is on the way.  I also saw a Robin yesterday; another sign that Spring is near.  I’m ready!

If you like the photos I’ve been posting, you may want to visit my website,, and go to the Portfolio page where you can view galleries of photos.  I also publish this Blog on my website.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Day 55 New Lens

I am excited, my new lens arrived yesterday.  I purchased the Tokina ATX116PRODXN wide angle lens from B & H Photo.  The lens arrived yesterday, after I missed the UPS delivery on Wednesday, by about 20 minutes.  I was unable to do anything with the lens, other than to open the box and ooh and aah over it, chomping at the bit to get out and shoot with it.  We had Bible study after work and then had to run home and help Vicki get packed for her weekend in Chicago.  Needless to say, there was no time for photography last night.  I was glad I was able to get a few shots in the morning yesterday, see my depth of field post.    Now today, I drove Vicki and her coworkers to the train station early this morning, through the snow storm, and then worked all day, with the Tokina calling me.  Finally, the work day was done.  I ventured out into the snow once more to rustle up some grub for Justin and me, a trip to the Dead Creek Saloon for one of their awesome Dead Creek burgers.  You guessed it, I took my camera with the new lens mounted on it.  I knew I wouldn’t have much time, maybe just a few quick shots.

There is a little old one room school house, The Hart One Room School House, right across the street from the Dead Creek Saloon.  The day light was fading fast, so I ran in the saloon, paid for the burgers then jumped in the car and drove over to get a couple of photos.  I love the old weathered rail fence, so I wanted to focus on it and show the school house in the background.  I shot with a wide aperture down the fence line and kept the school house in the right side of the frame, between the fence rails.  You can see the grain and moss growing on the rails.  The white snow adds a nice contrast.  The photo below is a shot of the school house zoomed out so you can view the other elements on the property.  I really like the the way the old schoolhouse looks with the wood fence in the foreground, the fresh snow all around, all framed by the leafless trees.  The open gate invites us to, “come on in”.

I am very pleased with the Tokina so far.  I have had very limited experience with it, but I love the way it feels on the camera.  I had read many reviews, all of them giving the lens high grades.  The only negative comment I’ve seen, was that it was very heavy.  I don’t think it feels heavy at all.  It does feel solid and it’s not plasticky (is that a word?).  I am looking forward to shooting more pictures with this lens.  I will be sure to share them here and also on my other site,



Day 54 Shallow Depth of Field

I was experimenting with depth of field this morning.  We had a light dusting of snow and it looked as though it came down when the temperature was above freezing, started to melt and then froze again.  The small branches on the trees had ice crystals, mixed with a thin layer of icy snow.  Over on the clothes line there were clothes pins which also had the snow and ice coating.  I liked the way the snow and ice crystals looked on these weather worn clothes pins.  I shot this at f5.6 at 1/50th.  The resulting depth of field was shallower than I expected and I really like the effect.

Day 53 Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season.  In Biblical times people would wear sackcloth and ashes as they repented, amended their ways to seek God’s forgiveness.  During our Ash Wednesday Worship service we have ashes applied to our foreheads as we begin our Lenten journey.  The Bible study and our Mid week Lenten sermons are centered around the theme of, “Our Suffering Savior” from the Book of Isaiah.  Isaiah prophesies the life and suffering or our Lord and Savior, Jesus 700 years before His birth.  Read the poetic prophecy from Isaiah, in the American Standard Version downloaded from Youversion.  “13 Behold, my servant shall deal wisely, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.14 Like as many were astonished at thee (his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men),15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they understand.

Isaiah 53

1 Who hath believed our message? and to whom hath the arm of Jehovah been revealed?2 For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.3 He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not.4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.7 He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who among them considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due?9 And they made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.10 Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand.11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and he shall bear their iniquities.12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”  Such poetic words from long ago, so beautiful to read and realize the love our Lord has for us.  Thank you Jesus for giving your life for me, so that I have forgiveness.

Day 52 Apple Puzzle

My Fifty second consecutive photo posted on my Project 365 Blog!  I was PUZZLED (I know, that’s pretty weak), as to what photo to take today.  Vicki and I love Honey Crisp apples and I just bought some yesterday.  They are so sweet and tasty, you don’t mind eating an apple a day, or maybe two or three.  So I decided my subject today would be the Honey Crisp apples.  They are so shiny and red with some yellow, green accents.  As I uploaded the pictures, I started playing around with some of the settings in Photoshop.  The apples looked great without adjustments, but I found a layer style called Puzzle, that I have never used.  I tried it and I think it looks great!  This would be a very difficult, but fun puzzle to put together.

Day 51 On the Bank of the Cass

Today was a beautiful sunny day.  I enjoyed my day off for Presidents Day, along with the banks and the post office.  This evening I went into Frankenmuth, in anticipation of a nice sunset.  I decided to go down by the Cass River and take a few shots of the water.  Right infront of the Lager Mill, there is a small dam.  The first picture is of the Lager Mill on the top of the river bank and the second photo is a closer look at the winter water rushing over the dam.

Day 50 Piano Teacher

My Daughter, Amanda is a pianist.  I just love to hear her play this piano; in fact I could listen to her play for hours on end.  Amanda plays all types of music and no matter if it’s Classical, Christian, Pop, or Rock, she knows how to make her music reach the depths of your heart.  When she plays, she becomes the piano and the music.  She has begun teaching others her art, on this same instrument she learned on.  I took this photo just before her lesson tonight.  This is a monochrome with a sepia tone effect.  I like the mood it creates, somewhat dreamy, with a little bit of a retro look.  The ice cream chair adds to that retro look and of course the piano is timeless.

Day 49 Silent Auction

We attended the Silent Auction for Faith Lutheran Youth Group in Bridgeport , MI. Members donate items and baked goods to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. There is also a potluck dinner served. It makes for a fun family evening. I liked the glass spruce trees pictured below. They look like ice sculptures. The winning bid on these trees… $5, a real bargain!


Day 48 Here Comes the Sun

Yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that it was gray and dull and the sun didn’t shine, oh what a whiner I was.  Well today was gorgeous!  The sun was out early and what a beautiful blue sky we had, with nice puffy white clouds.  I quickly grabbed the Nikon and set it up for another HDR shot.  I shot this one handheld.  I was reading Dimitrii’s blog on how to shoot HDR in 3 easy steps recently and he mentioned that a sky with clouds is desirable for HDR photos.  Well today the sky was cooperative.  Thank you Lord for providing us with such a beautiful day today, making the everyday scenery sparkle with the light you shine down on us all.

Day 47 Tree x Three

Today was another “Gray” day.  The temperature got high enough to melt the remaining snow and the sun stayed away all day.  I met Vicki for lunch and decided to take my camera to try and get a couple of nice photo opportunities.  It was so bland out that I was losing my inspiration, when I saw the tree standing out in the field.  I really like the way the branches feather out into little tiny strands at the end.  The grayness of the sky made it possible to show the detail of these branches.  In my mind, my picture would be a black and white photo emphasizing the contrast between the sky and the fine branches.  As I sat down at the computer and uploaded my images I started to tinker around in Photoshop.  Now, I can get carried away in Photoshop, I lose all track of time.  So reduced the saturation level all the way until I had the monochrome image you see to the left.  Then I played with HDR Toning, something new to me.  The result is the surreal colorful photo in the middle.  I really like the detail and the saturated colors; what a great way to brighten up a gray day.   The photo at the right is the original color shot.  I decided I like all three together.


Day 46 Sock Yarn

My wife, Vicki, loves to knit.  She is affectionately called by her nickname, Vicknitti.  Vicki finds it very hard to pass by a yarn shop, so when we go on vacation, we also plan a few visits to local yarn shops.  Vicki says this yarn is called, “Birds of Paradise”.  It’s a natural fiber, made from Alpaca, Merino Wool, Silk, and Nylon. This is a current project, a sock in the making.  I like the texture of the yarn with the detail of the fiber strands, and the wooden knitting needles, not to mention the different colors.  These socks when finished, are very warm and comfortable, and they look nice too.

Day 45 Panorama Skyline Pitt

Today’s upload is actually an edit of some of the photos I took last night.  After I returned from Pittsburgh today, I edited 3 of the night scene photos I took last night edited in Photoshop to create this panorama.  Photoshop does a nice job of lining up the images, I am impressed by the outcome.  This panorama helps to recreate the feeling that I had when I was taking the photos.  I continue to be amazed at the quality of photos my iPhone 4S produces.  It is so convenient to pull out my phone and grab a picture.

Day 44 Pittsburgh Night Skyline

Sometimes you have to take the road less traveled to see something extraordinary. I’m sure Grandview Ave. isn’t rare to those who live in Pittsburgh, but it’s a new site for me. I shot this night scene with my iPhone 4 in HDR mode. I love the way the lights reflect in the water. This is where three rivers come together, known as the Confluence.

I turned around and there was another night scene photo opportunity, St. Mary of the Mount.


Day 42 Windmill

I’ve driven past this field many times without thinking twice about it. The other day when I drove past, I thought, “that would look great with snow in the field, too bad there isn’t any snow. Well this morning when I drove past, I pulled out my iPhone to capture the scene. I love the vines and the old windmill standing by itself in the field.