Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chalmette Ferry

Here are some shots of the Chalmette Ferry which is what we took to get from Algiers on the Westbank of the Mississippi to get to the east bank. I guess they don't get too many people taking pictures. This nice lady gave me a real hard time about it! Besides me Teresa and her brother Tom were taking pictures. I am sure the drivers sitting in their cars were having a good time talking about the nuts with the cameras.

In the end we talked for a while and enjoyed the warm weather and the wind as we finished our crossing of the Mississippi on the return trip.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Orleans Skyline

A barge moves downstream and passes both the sunset and the New Orleans skyline. The highway 90 twin span bridge to the left and about 1/2 of the downtown to the right. New Orleans is alive again!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

St. John, Port of New Orleans

A tugboat, the St. John, races up the Mississippi River. In this visit to New Orleans, I was impressed with the way the city has recovered three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. We took the Chalmette ferry over to Saint Bernard Parrish which was one of the most devastated portions of New Orleans.

Two years ago we made this same trip and the community was still pretty much boarded up and there was still a lot of debris around. Today the debris is gone and the homes are rebuilt and occupied. It was great to see.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I learned this framing technique in the October/November issue of Photoshop User Magazine. It is designed to be a template so once you set it up it should be good. I would assume you should set up a template for each of your normal sizes of pictures. This particular one is for an 8X10 inch format.

The subject of this post is frost that was on the window of our back porch Sunday morning. There were many examples of this on our windows as the temperature was near 4 to 5 above on this morning. The picture was taken with a macro lens.

Let me know what you think of the frame and the picture if you get a chance.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Christmas Story

A few years back Teresa found some material which had printed on it a manger scene you could cut out, sew together and stuff to make a soft manger scene kids can play with. Teresa loves manger scenes and this one was added to her collection and proudly put out year after year.

This year the "soft" manger scene was placed under our Christmas tree for all to enjoy.

Sunday arrived and Katy and Chewie came for their weekly visit. It wasn't 20 seconds after Chewie got his normal greetings out of the way we noticed he was playing with something (you know where this is going don't you?).

Katy hollers, "Chewie, put baby Jesus down!" He took off relishing the attention he was getting and having a grand time with everyone after him. Around and around the house he went with the three of us trying to trap him and rescue the infant from the clutches of this monster dog. Left, right and around the house again, boy was he having a good time and we were laughing so hard which was just encouraging the little rascal.

Finally he dropped the little Jesus and Katy dove in rescuing him. Chewie, recognizing his error ran back to the manger and tried to make off with a camel but Teresa cut him off and we pick up the now scattered manger and move it to the coffee table on the back porch.

The next week he spots the manger again and have a picture of him in the act of trying to kidnap baby Jesus again!

I hope you take some time to remember what Christmas is really all about and stop and think about that young mother that bravely gave birth to the Son of God in a manger so long ago.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Harvest is Over

Two large combines sit in a barren soybean field near El Dorado Springs. These things were huge and this was 2 of 4 of them! Talk about a lot of money in one spot.

Not much new here. I have not been getting out too much lately to take pictures. We did have a photo shoot over the weekend that was really fun and I have been absorbed in that. The shoot was a family of six delightful individuals. I will be sharing more of that on Ozark Faces when I am able.

I finished my portrait class the other night and unfortunately had to miss the last class. I wish everyone in the class great success. I admire their work and enjoyed taking the class with them.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Lights 3

This is the finale on my Christmas light special! These two shots were taken in between the other two and I am happiest with these. The top picture was a house where I had to shoot east away from the setting sun and the bottom one was taken west into the setting sun. I am particularly fond of the bottom one with the aura of light around it. But then I couldn't not take a picture of the house across the street with the nice front porch.

Hope you all are enjoying your lights. Get out and take a few pictures and share your results. Is this a challenge? Why not?

Take care until next time.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Lights 2

This is the opposite extreme of my trials of shooting Christmas lights with ambient light. This is the first home I photographed Sunday evening. Let me know which you prefer. I wanted to get some of the sunset into this shot.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Front Porches Are For Christmas

There are several spectacularly decorated homes in or near our neighborhood. Of course I just had to put one with a really great front porch as my first shot.

I read someplace that the best way to photograph Christmas lights is to do it when there is still some light. That way there is still some ambient light to work with and he makes the Christmas lights stand out. This is actually the last one I took tonight trying this out. I will share some later this week that were taken earlier in the evening.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

December 7th, 1941

Franklin D. Roosevelt called it "a date that will live in infamy." Early on a Sunday morning in beautiful Hawaii, hundreds of Japanese planes from six aircraft carriers flew in low over the lush green mountains. The red circles gleamed in the sun on thier sides and wings. The planes split; dive bombers climbing high, torpedo bombers going in low and the fighters in the middle looking for American resistance. There would be none and it quickly became obvious the attackers had achieved total surprise. The code words Tora, Tora, Tora crackled back to the ships the planes had come from.

Within minutes the United States Pacific Fleet was in ruins. Thousands of Americans would be dead and America would be drawn into the war which had engulfed Europe for years.

The Japanese were cautious; perhaps too much so. They retreated from thier attack leaving the US Pacific Fleet's oil tank farms intact. They retreated north back to Japan instead of taking a southern route home thus missing thier primary target, the American aircraft carriers. The United States aircraft carrier fleet was safe. In fact the carrier Enterprise entered Pearl Harbor just hours after the attack, refueled and left to search for the Japanese fleet.

In the meantime the battleships of the Pacific fleet were burning, men were dying. The great battleships California, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arizona were sitting in the mud of Pearl Harbor. Maryland, Nevada and Pensylvania were damaged. All except Arizona and Oklahoma would return to the fleet and would play crucial parts in the struggle.

America would rise to the occasion. In fact the Admiral of the Japanese Navy Yamamoto would later be qouted as saying " I am afraid all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant."

I hope that giant still rests in us...

God bless America.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Visitor

Encountering nature in our neighborhood is not unusual, but it usually doesn't get quite this close. Tonight as Amy walked out of the house this small purple finch flew in. Apparently he had decided our small front porch was a good place to roost for the night and Amy startled it. It took about 20 minutes to coax it out of the house. We finally had to turn all the lights off in the house so it would fly toward the only light available the front porch light.

The little guy's favorite resting spot was the star on top of our Christmas Tree. So of course I had to grab a camera to capture the event. I am sure he was glad to get back outside and away from the two crazy humans chasing him around the house.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

El Dorado Springs, Missouri - The Bandstand

The bandstand in the park in Downtown El Dorado Springs sits empty now in the cold breezes of Autumn but during the Summer it is alive with bands playing and people listening. Thinking about those summer afternoons brings back deep and fond memories.

Most of you know I love eccentric music. I found a Barry Manilow album once called "The Summer of 78" where he goes back and sings the popular love songs of that Summer. I still listen to this album and it like this picture above takes me home for a while.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Celestial Meeting

I wonder just how many pictures of this event were taken? This is a not so hot shot of the crescent Moon, bright Venus and just slightly dimmer Jupiter taken tonight. If I remember my facts right this will be the only time in the next 40 years this close of a line up of these three heavenly bodies will occur.