Day 215 – Fire Escape

The Opera House fire escape, Lexington, Kentucky

We drove down to Lexington, Kentucky today. Vicki is scheduled to take the practical exam to complete her Certification in Partial Dentures, giving her certification in two specialties, Dentures and Partials. Vicki is co-owner of the Schmitt Dental Lab. As we were driving through downtown Lexington, we noticed the Opera House, and I especially liked the way the fire escape looked, the black steel against the red brick. I hope to have a little more time tomorrow, after Vicki completes the practical exam. Good luck Vicki, I know you will do well.

Day 206 – The Little Church in the Woods

The Little Church in the Woods, Ogemaw County Fairgrounds

One thing I really enjoy when visiting the Ogemaw County Fairgrounds, is the Historic Villiage. This is The Little Church in the Woods located in the villiage, right as you enter it. I was able to go inside the church and shot a couple photos of things that caught my eye. I arranged them into a montage in Lightroom 4. I really like this effect, as you can tell with some of my other posts. This church is constructed from logs, and really is a nice place to worship our Lord. Nothin fancy, just a few pews, an organ, a pulpit/podium, a piano, and the presence of The Lord. That’s all we need right?

Day 204 – Vintage Revisited

I posted a Vintage shot featuring a 57 Harley titled Vintage. I printed an 8×10 and framed it and put it on display. Well, a gentleman stopped by and was commenting me on the photo and asked if I was willing to sell it. It was his bike and he thought the photo was really cool. He said if I had any more photos he would probably want to buy them too. He stopped by later and we looked at the shots I had taken of the vintage bikes. When we passed by a couple of shots of a gold Harley, he said, “hang on that’s my bike too”. So I worked with him to arrange the shots in similar fashion to go along with the other 8×10. It was a really good feeling for me to know that the owner of the motorcycles appreciated the work I had done and was willing to buy it. In fact, he sent his wife down to have her photo taken on the black Harley, and his brother also came down and asked me to photograph his 75 Harley. I am not a biker and do not know very much about motorcycles, but I had a great time shooting the bikes and bikers during the Ogemaw Hills Bike Week 2012. I shot over 3,800 pictures during the week including the Hill Climb, Flat Track Racing, the Ives Brothers Stunt team, Super Moto, and the bands including Jedi Mind Trip, Big Gun, and Ernest Entertainment. If your interested visit my website, www.richlewphoto.com, and check out some of the Bike Week 2012 photos. I have a lot more to upload. I’ll be editing the gallery this week.

Day 89 Black Coffee

We love coffee in this house. We like our coffee black, and we like it bold. We drink a lot of coffee in our house. Each morning is a routine, I’m sure like many others out there, we start the coffee before anything else gets started. We have a grind and brew coffee maker, that grinds the whole beans and then brews the coffee into a thermal carafe. Our coffee of choice is Starbucks. We are drinking “Tribute” this week and loving it. We have become hooked on Starbucks and really enjoy the bold flavors. Our favorites include; Italian Roast, Espresso Roast, and Sumatra. Coffee gets us going, that little jolt from the caffeine, the smell of the fresh ground beans, and the aroma of the coffee as it brews. Black coffee… I remember when I was a young boy, my dad would order coffee, “coffee, black please”; and I would watch him sip it, and savor the taste. My dad was and still is a coffee lover. It must be in the genes. Like father, like son.

Day 81 Fruit of the Spirit

The assignment this week on Digitalphotographyschool.com is to take a photo using available window light. I set up this still life, fruit in our “fruits of the spirit” bowl. The verse is from Galatians 5:22-23…

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

Day 66 Thank Him for the Sunset

When we think about praying to our Lord, it is often to ask Him for something. We are like little children in a toy store, “mommy can I have that truck, that doll, that iPhone?” How often do we stop to thank God for the good things He does for us; thank you Lord for the blessings you’ve given me; a loving wife, two wonderful children, great health, and a job so I can provide for my family. Thank you God for the beauty of the sunset and a beautiful blue sky. Thank you Lord for giving me a day filled with your presence.

Day 65 Awesome Archways

One of the features I love about the National Cathedral are the many archways, and the detail the stone carvers placed into them.
This monochrome photo looks almost like a drawing. I liked the color version, but this black and white image with the detail bumped up a bit really highlights the craftsmanship of the stone carvers. The National Cathedral suffered substantial damage from the earth quake and is still undergoing repairs. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I could spend an entire day in the cathedral taking photos and I still wouldn’t be able to capture all of the views or angles. It is a spectacular place, and to be able to listen to Amanda and the Cardinal Singers was icing on the cake! For more information on the National Cathedral, you can visit the website. Here is another view of more awesome archways in layers.

Day 64 Cardinal Singers at the National Cathederal

Today the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinal Singers performed at the National Cathedral in Washington DC.  Wow, what a beautiful Cathedral, I could spend the whole day there, and we have before.  The Cathedral suffered damages from the earthquake and some of the repairs are not totally completed.  There are protective screens just below the top layer of stained glass windows, to protect everyone from possible debris falling.  That was the only drawback, it limited the reflection from the stained glass windows.  You can just imagine the colorful reflection without the screens in place.  Everything else was awesome, including the Cardinal Singers, who all sang beautifully.

 

 

Day 63 Capital City

We spent the day running around our nation’s capital city today. We visited a yarn shop, and Vicki oohed and ahhhed and then asked us to leave so she could be on her own in the store; she just loves fiber. Our next stop was the Holocaust Museum where we had our hearts broken. It is very disturbing to understand that man is capable of causing such tremendous pain to his own kind. We went out to dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy for a fabulous Italian meal. We are all zonked today from so much walking and navigating through the traffic. I went out tonight and took a night shot of the Washington Monument as viewed from the Jefferson Memorial.

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 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, richlewphoto.com, 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, richlewphoto.com.

 

 

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.