Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Josh and Emily Pregnancy Photos

These are some photos I took of Josh and Emily.  Their baby girl is getting pretty big now, so they wanted some photos while she was still pregnant.

Went out after work yesterday afternoon to the Pueblo Riverwalk (I love that place, plus Mrs. Emily thought it would look good, too).  It would have been nice to wait until we were a little closer to sunset, but we had been working that day and were ready to go home as soon as possible.

We only took a few minutes and walked around just a little, but I think we got some pretty good ones.  I used the flash in a lot of situations (even though I usually try to avoid flash--just a personal preference).  The lighting was pretty harsh, so I needed the extra light in the deep shadows.

I still wasn't quite happy with the photos when I got home.  They were okay, but not as good as I thought they could be.  So I ran them through Adobe Lightroom (I'm still just on a trial version, but I'm planning on purchasing it before my 30 days are up).  I went through them with Emily, choosing which ones were good and which ones didn't make the cut.  After that, I cleaned them up, cropped a few of them in, adjusted the levels and made some other edits.  I also added a vignette on a few of them.

Everything was done in that one Lightroom application, from import to...well, export, I suppose!  That made things pretty quick and painless.  The same evening, the photos were on Facebook and being admired by family members.  Pretty smooth workflow, I think!  Here's the slideshow...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Homecoming Portraits Job

These are some photos I recently did at a Homecoming for a paying client.  Nice to do a professional job every now and then!  Took the photos at the Pueblo Riverwalk--great place for portraits, in my opinion!

General Update

The last week has been pretty big for me.  Although I don't have my motorcycle, things keep moving along.

First of all, I have finally enrolled with New York Institute of Photography!  The package was waiting for me by the time I got home from the trip, so now I have been studying a couple lessons.  So far, I think it's great! The lessons are pretty simple for now as it is designed for anyone from professionals to beginners, but it looks like it will pick up in complexity in another few lessons.

Also, I have started my new job at Barnes and Noble.  I think I am doing okay, but I am still just beginning and so am kind of clueless for now, but my boss says I'll learn things soon and get better and faster.  The first day was actually kind of fun--I had been afraid that my first day of work would be hard and I'd have to get to know everybody, but it was actually pretty enjoyable.

I'm also looking forward (now that I'm an NYIP student) to purchasing Adobe CS6 Production Premium with an educational discount.  Dianne Butts, who I worked with on the 168 Project in February, asked the team and she raised some money to help with the cost, as well.  Very excited for what lies ahead!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Trip Home

The last few days of the trip we spent getting home just about any way we could.  The day after we arrived back at the Pastor's house, Dad had another friend in Utah who was able to come pick us up from there.  With some difficulty, we got the bike loaded and hit the road.

He was able to take us all the way through Utah and into Colorado.  We stopped for lunch on the way and we met up with another HonorBound Member.  We talked about our situation, and when he learned that we hadn't been able to get my bike, he said he'd get it!  We told him he didn't have to, that it was a long way to Pueblo, but he insisted!  So, hopefully, I will have my bike after all in a couple weeks.

From there we went to my Uncle's house; he lives in Grand Junction, which was a perfect midpoint.  It was dark by the time we got there, so we all stayed there that night.  Dad's friend who took us there went back home the following morning (after we talked with him for a good while).  We stayed at that house all that day so Dad could figure out how to get home.  We ended up renting a U-Haul truck for a few days.  The next morning we got a ride from another friend Dad knows in Grand Junction (this guy he had known for years and years--he took us to lunch, and they spent some time catching up).  After that he dropped us off at the U-Haul rental place, and we left there in a big truck with an octopus on the side.

We had a hard time loading up the bike; it was a long way up to the back and the ramp wasn't as long as we would have liked, so it was very steep.  But once it was on, we got it secured and finally headed home.

We drove home all that day.  Since we already had the big truck, we stopped by to pick up some furniture we bought in Pueblo, too.  We drove home without any problems, and now I'm at Bikerchurch blogging.  So glad to be home!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Note:  this post is supposed to be after the first day, but for some reason it keeps going out of order.

When I woke up today, I was glad to see that the sky was completely clear. We had some breakfast at the motel, then packed everything up and got back on the road.

It was colder than Dad or I had expected. It wasn't really that windy, but the sun had only been out for a couple hours and things were still warning up. We took a little extra time to thaw when we stopped.

Were rode as far as the fuel tank would let us for the next few legs (and on a couple, we used most of the reserve tank, too).

As we got through Wyoming the wind kicked up a little. It had finally warmed up, and the riding was great. The mountains had pretty well disappeared, replaced by huge hills and cliffs that reminded me of New Mexico or Nevada.

We headed a little more toward the south and crossed into Utah. We had also crossed the Continental Divide and I noticed that we were headed downhill pretty quick.

We finally got to the town we were looking for, but then we were looking for the right house. After we found the house, we knocked on the door, called because no one was home, then, when Dad's friend came, he let us in, showed us or room, and gave us some time to relax after the day's ride. I was happy to unpack so soon after getting in.

It's been a big day of riding--500 miles, dad said.  We had hoped to do most of it yesterday, but, of course, after the rain and hail, we had to catch up today. Glad that we did it and that that part of the trip is completed!

Idaho...So Close!

Today we got up a little earlier than the day before. Dad was preaching at the church that morning, but church there didn't start until after 9, so we weren't rushed much.
When we got to the church (early, so Dad could make preparations for the sermon) Sunday School was about to start, as well as the morning youth group. I was invited, but I was hesitant to go. I've never really been comfortable with the youth group crowd, and as I get closer and closer to becoming a man, I feel less and less inclined to attend things catering to youth. I mean, I've worked at the "kids zone" my whole life! I'm used to entertaining kids rather than being the kid. But the pastor invited me too and Dad said I should go, do I did. It was alright, I may even have learned a thing or two.
The church service went well. Dad went up and did his thing; got people laughing, got people thinking. There were a lot of people that talked with him afterward. At the end, the congregation prayed for Dad and I.
After church the pastor took us out to lunch at a big buffet. Had a great time, eating and talking.
From the parking lot of that buffet Dad and I headed out for Jackson to get my bike. We had already packed everything into the bike in the morning, we were good to go and I was excited!
That leg was going good. I had been a little tired from the food, but it didn't last very long and soon I was just looking at the red mountains. We got into Idaho in a few minutes.  Things were going great...until I heard a big thunk and the motorcycle felt like it downshifted without the clutch! I also heard something fall off and go clinking down the road.
Dad pulled it over and we assessed the damage. The problem? A great big hole in the bottom of the motor. We still aren't sure exactly what happened, but the bike is definitely out of commission for a while!
Well, we called the pastor back (since he was not only close by but is almost the only person we really know in Utah) and he brought his trick with a trailer on the back. Couldn't help feeling I had been in this same basic situation before...
Now we're back at his house. Dad is trying to figure out a plan to get it tailored so we can get it and ourselves home. This is the closest I've gotten to my motorcycle!...but its just not going to happen this time.

Kids Festival

Today we took the morning easy. We didn't have to do any riding and we weren't really needed at the Fall Festival event until after 8am. When we did get on the bike to head over, we didn't even bring our chaps just because the ride was only a few blocks.
Usually at an event involving kids, bounce houses, candy and a show, I am busy taking photos for the ministry, setting things up or controlling the sound system. But today I found myself doing not much at all. Everyone already had their own jobs; this wasn't an event put on by us, we were just there to help. Kind of different for me.
Since I didn't have to do anything, I just had some fun.  There were hotdogs for everyone, and lots of them, so I was able to have a few throughout the day. Also, there were several programs including a juggler/magician that kept things going. The event was held in the parking lot of the church, which was a slot in a shopping center. Dad and I took some time to explore a little on the inside, and it turned out to be a lot larger on the inside than it looked.
The event went for about four hours. Dad closed it out with a short message to the kids and adults, also mentioning he would be preaching at the church the next morning.
We helped people close down a little at the end, then Dad got talking with the juggler, who as it turned out, Dad already knew.  After that, we went back to the house, had dinner with the pastor, and went to bed. It's been a pretty busy day, even if we weren't necessarily on the motorcycle. I can't wait to go get my bike tomorrow!