Day 182 – Celebrations

Today’s post is all about celebrations. You see, it’s the time of year when we celebrate high school graduations by attending parties. We celebrate, not so much because the students made it through high school, as if we had doubts they would; we celebrate the culmination of 13 years, counting kindergarten, of waking up and getting showered, dressed, eating breakfast, and either waiting for the bus, a ride, or walking to school. We celebrate the milestones achieved along the way. But, most of all we celebrate the beginning of the journey of life in the “real world”. Whether the student is going off to college, serving in the military, or beginning their career, it’s all new and challenging for them. This is the part we are celebrating. Congratulations to Kyle, my nephew in the photo, with his girlfriend Taylor. We had a great time visiting with family and eating terrific food.  Thanks Dennis and Betty for being such gracious hosts.  Kyle, we wish you the very best on the next leg of your journey.

We also attended Chelsey’s graduation party this evening and visited and ate great food with good friends. Mark and Chris Klein were also gracious hosts and we really enjoyed the ice cold beer on this 90 degree afternoon.  Thanks for the invitation to join in the celebration.  Chelsey, congrats to you and we also wish you the very best as you begin your journey.

The other celebration was last night.
My wife Vicki, and her business partner, Mary Ann, celebrated their 2nd year of being in business together.  Together they have worked to successfully build a profitable Dental Lab, which they purchased from Vicki’s father.  Schmitt Dental Lab, Inc. is a Legacy Lab, Vicki is a third generation owner.  I am very proud of Vicki and Mary Ann, and what they have been able to accomplish in the face of a really slow economy.  Both have worked hard and made great sacrifices to achieve this success, so it was nice to see them relax and enjoy the moment.  We celebrated at The King Fish restaurant in Bay City, Michigan with Mary Ann and her husband, Mike.  The picture above is a reflection in the water of the Tikki Bar. Now after all this celebrating, I believe it’s time to kick back, grab a cool drink, and watch a movie with my family. Enjoy the weekend. 🙂

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Day 181 – Lunch Time

Hickory Smoked Beef-stick with Romaine Lettuce

Today’s photo is a food picture. When it comes to food photography, I am a rookie. I do enjoy looking at pictures of food, almost as much as I enjoy eating it. The only problem is, some of the photos look so great, they make me hungry. While I was thinking about what to have for lunch, I decided to shoot my lunch before I prepared it. Pictured above are the ingredients of my lunch, a Hickory Smoked Beef-stick sandwich with Romaine lettuce on whole wheat bread (bread not included in photo). To set up this photo, I placed all of the elements on a wooden cutting board near the window. Natural window light is the only light I used. Camera settings were manual mode, 1/125 @ f/5.6, RAW format, then processed in Lightroom 4. After looking at the picture, I wondered what it would look like as a sepia toned photo. The picture below is the same photo, but processed as sepia tone.
Hickory Smoked Beef-stick with Romaine Lettuce – sepia

In the case of food, at least in this case, I think the color version is more appealing, although the texture of the romaine lettuce seems to stand out more in the sepia. What are your thoughts? If you have any food photography tips, please share them. All comments are welcome.

Backyard Weeds Black and White

These weeds are in the field behind my back yard. I wanted to use a shallow depth of field to draw attention to the taller wheaty looking weed, the soft focus on the other weeds provides a nice background. Vicki doesn’t like this photo, because there is too much soft focus, most of the photo is out of focus in her words. What do you think?

Day 179 – Weekly Photo Challenge: Create


I have been racking my brain trying to come up with a photo for this week’s challenge, the WordPress Postaday Weekly Challenge. This week’s challenge theme is “Create”. All it took was a quick walk into the back yard. I spotted the this nest the hornets created in my clothes line pole. It appears to be a vacant nest. A spider has built a nest in hope of a return visit from one of the hornets.

Day 177 – Fence Line

I love split rail fences and the texture of the weathered wood. This is the fence line that runs along the West end of the Fortress golf course in Frankenmuth. I shot this at about 8:00pm, as the sun was sinking low in the West, creating a golden glow.

Day 175 – Day Lilly Dew

We had a heavy dew this morning in Frankenmuth, Michigan. I took an early Saturday morning stroll to the Frankenmuth Visitor’s Center and captured the day lillies covered with morning dew.

If you’ve never been to Frankenmuth before, you owe it to yourself to visit. Frankenmuth is also known as “Little Bavaria” and is a Sister city to Gunzenhausen, Germany.

Day 173 – Shoot the Shadow Man

The Shadow Man, where ever I go, he is there too. Especially on sunny mornings, like the one we had today. I decided to shoot the shadow man, as it looked like he was about to shoot me. He was right there standing on the grass, next to me. I wonder how his photo of me looks…

Day 166 Family Road Trip

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We jumped in the Commander and took a family road trip (well partial family, Amanda was unable to join us) to Chicago. We will be attending Jump Start at Concordia University, where Justin will begin his freshman year this fall. This is a photo I shot with the iPhone 4S and gave it a grungy look with Dynamic Light and Snapseed.

Day 165 – S.O.O.C. Straight Out Of Camera

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The assignment for Digital-Photography-School is, SOCC (Straight Out of Camera). No post processing, no altering colors or light, just shoot and post. This is different for me, I’ve been shooting in RAW this year. I have made a concerted effort to shoot in RAW and I’ve also changed my camera setting to manual. So, for this shot, I changed to jpeg fine, and posted right out of the camera.

It’s hard to believe this is day 165. I’ve learned a lot with this challenge and I look at my surroundings in a different way. Always looking for a photo opportunity. I may not always have my Nikon D300S with me, but I do have the iPhone 4S camera with me at all times. Thank you for checking in and viewing my photos, and thanks for the “likes”, this helps keep me motivated to keep on posting. Enjoy 🙂