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Showing posts from 2014

Sometimes, you don't see the picture until much later...

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Almost a year ago, I had a great experience at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.  The Fall Photo Workshop pumped and refreshed my love of both the mountains and photography.  Over three days, the 20+ attendees hiked over ridge lines to waterfalls, awoke before dawn to drive to sunrise vistas, stumbled in the brush among old abandoned cabins, and setup tripods in the middle of ice-cold streams while taking hundreds of pictures.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from the Institute inviting me to attend again, but due to work commitments, it just isn't doable.  But they also added that Will Clay, the instructor for the past couple of decades was retiring from teaching the class after this fall.  As part of the celebration, they asked prior attendees to each send one or two pictures from their time at the workshop.

So, I began looking through my pictures for two to send.  I went through the ones we self-selected as our best at the workshop, and picked one of a seed …

Fall has arrived!

Its down to 80 at 7pm with only 52% humidity and a nice wind out of the north!  It may not seem like much, but it's enough of a change to make walking in the evening a pleasure.   We might see 90 once or twice more, but the cooler weather is a very nice change.

Swamp Hibiscus

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We first discovered swamp hibiscus in Dan Gill's Louisiana Gardeners Guide while looking for perinnial flowering plants for our house off East Broussard in 2003.  Hibiscus moscheutos are prolific, low maintenance, moisture loving plants that regularly grow back more profusely each year. We planted a few at our Elmhurst Park home after we moved in a few years ago. The five, 1-gallon nursery plants have become a ten foot wall of blooms. Here is one of this morning's blooms: The blooms are one-dayers, so we always try to enjoy them before we leave for work, as they'll be droopy by late afternoon. 
You may have to hunt for them, we found ours at a locally-owned nursery. When cold weather arrives just let them die off. Cut off the dead stalks before spring. Straight green shoots will start appearing in late march to late April. As they grow, you may decide a lattice would be helpful to keep the stems upright. 
Give it a try! FWIW, we live in Lafayette, LA, USDA Hardiness Zone 9b. #…

The Hiatus is Over

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After almost two months, I received my Olympus E-M5 back from shutter repair at Olympus Service, and all seems well, so far.  I have a six month warranty n the repair, so I need to shoot a bunch of pictures!

After receiving the E-M5 back a couple of weeks ago, I didn't have much chance to use it due to work, but this past weekend I put it to use.

We went up to watch daughter-in-law Amanda's graduation from Graduate school, and other than a couple of shots, kept the m.zuiko 45/1.8 on the camera the entire time.

The 45mm lens -- particularly at wide apertures like f1.8, produces a wonderful out-of-focus background, providing great separation for the subject.  And the wide 1.8 means that available light photos are the norm.

The E-M5 has a focus setting that detects eyes -- you can select preferences for the nearest eye, the right ey, the left eye, or let the camera select an eye to focus on.  In eye-focus
mode it does a good job of not getting confused by foreground objects such …

Olympus OM-D reliability? If its broken, its not reliable for the individual....

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There is a known shutter problem with the Olympus E-M5 mirrorless four-thirds cameras.  At higher speeds (like 1/1250 & above) when you turn the camera on, the first picture taken is blank ( black).  As you start to get into lower shutter speeds, the image begins to show, but is terribly underexposed -- but only for the first picture.  I first experienced the problem in December, just days before the  1-year warranty on my camera expired.  My camera was returned to me in under two weeks -- pretty impressive! But, a little over a month later, the problem was back. Fortunately, Olympus provides a 6 month warranty on repairs.

The camera has been at Olympus service since March 19th.  They have a status page on which you can track the status of your camera repair.  On March 20th, it went into Repair.  Within a day or so, the status indicated that it was delayed --- waiting for parts.  Within a week, the waiting for parts message went away, and the camera was just in repair.  And there …

Finally getting back to more healthy meals

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This winter has been a challenge keeping my weight down.  Our old house is very cold in cold weather. I put my instant read thermometer on my counter Tuesday afternoon and it read 72f.  Then I put it on the floor: 47. 

Needless to say, when you're cold, you want hearty meals. Gumbo. Chili. Stewed chicken. Chicken paprikash. All with rice and thick gravy, with Albertsons fresh French bread.  Oh, can't forget good old Chicken Mac. The last thing you want is a cold salad.

So the pounds pile on. 

But starting yesterday, temps have been rising, and we may have broken the long, cold winter. So today, I started back trying to eat smarter.  I had a wonderful boiled shrimp salad with fat-free Ranch dressing -- it was filling and wonderful. Maybe I'm back on the right track...

The Old Mill

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Despite being to North Little Rock many times to visit my wife's parents, I never knew about The Old Mill until last weekend. We happened to be driving around North Little Rock and wound up in a delightful area known as Lakewood, and at one point came upon The Old Mill.  

My in-laws said the mill was used in Gone With The Wind.  I had an opportunity to return to The Old Mill and took a number of pictures that I will include in my next post.
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