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Monday, May 21, 2007

Breakin' the law...

Seems my internal police radar has been a bit on the fritz lately. After going 6 years without so much as a hint of a parking ticket on my driving record, I've been pulled over and ticketed twice in the last 6 months for - ahem - "traveling at excessive rates of speed." Some might call this bad luck. Others might call it reaping what I've sewn after years of practicing "shortened drive times." Well, since I don't believe in luck and I live in a metropolitan city where anything less than 10 miles an hour over the speed limit is practicly begging for someone to commit road rage against you, I call it a shame.

Did I deserve the tickets? Depends on your perspective... mine tells me no. "C'mon, you were going 73 in a 40!" you say. True, but I was on my way to serve at church on a Sunday morning, and doesn't that negate any incidental infraction I may have committed? I know what your thinking. "Okay, fair enough, but what about the 2nd ticket for 82 in a 60?" Touché. I wasn't going to church when that one occured. BUT... I did just drive 3 hours from College Station to Dallas where the speed limit was 70 the whole way, and it wasn't until I just crossed inside the Dallas county line where apparently the speed limit changes to 60 (even though you're still on a highway in the middle of nowhere) when I was zapped by radar from a deputy who couldn't have been parked more than 100 feet inside said county line. That's just wrong in my book, and it should be in yours, too. To add insult to, well, insult, the officer that pulled me over warned me that there were 5 more of our city's finest just up the road pulling people over left and right, but - and I quote - "As long as you keep it at about 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, you should be fine."

Maybe she meant, " should be fined."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Legacy Series Prints

I love creating these Legacy Series images. These prints allow me to be a little more creative in developing a finished image that is layered with rich textural elements that really create an elegant art piece, (Click on the images of my friends Paige & Colin and the Kacines family to see a larger, more detailed view) and it's a ton of fun to create a vision and see it come to life. You can click here to see a few more samples on the opening slideshow on the website home page.

One of the cool things about this is that it allows me to offer my clients something more than typical photographic images. It's critical to differentiate yourself in such a competitive market for photography - or in any business - and hopefully this is one of many ways to do that.

BTW, these two images will be on display at Bright Lights Big City charity auction benefiting the Alzheimer's Junior Women's Association of Dallas. Alzheimer's Disease affects 5 million Americans, so I encourage you to visit the Alzheimer's website to see how you can help.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Image of the Week [bonus contest!]

Ok, gang, here's the deal. I captured this image (click on it to see a bigger version) when we were all up at my brother's earlier today for Mother's Day, and I thought it would be fun to try a little experiment. I think this scene just looks hilarious for some reason, but it's in desperate need of an appropriate title or caption. This is where you come in.

Have a little fun with this and submit a suggestion by clicking here or on the blue "comments" text at the bottom of this post and then type in your proposal and select the "other" or "anonymous" option to post it as a comment on this blog entry. You don't have to sign in or have any special account to enjoy the fun, and you can leave as many comments/ideas/gems as you want. The only rule is that any suggestion(s) should be appropriate for this PG-13 rated show. Just use a little common sense here. Okay, actually one more rule;

All entries must be submitted by 5pm on Sunday, May 20th.

As a little added bonus (seems I've always heard if you want people to participate, you've gotta give 'em some incentive), the winner will receive a personal "atta boy/girl" from me. Enticing, isn't it? Okay, okay, I'll figure out a fun little prize for the winner, but in the meantime, have fun and start submitting!!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, those are potatoes resting on the shoulders of those little birds.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mom's Day

Mom, I wanted to take this opportunity on this day - your day - to tell you 'thank you' for so many things.

Remember the time you let me borrow your car in HS on a Saturday night with zero visibility in the worst fog I'd ever seen? Yes, of course you do. By the time you got it back it had two flat tires, a missing front bumper, and a moon roof that was stuck open. Well, thank you for not holding that one against me by never letting me borrow the car again. BTW, I'm still sticking to the story that it was just a little rock that I hit. And remember that summer when I was in college and you were out of town for the week and I asked if I could "have a few people over" and it turned out to be 40+ 'friends' (not sure I even knew some of them) and a party that got a little outta hand? Thanks for being cool about it once you realized the house was still in one piece, the dog was fine (terrified, but otherwise alive and well), and your (repaired) car was still parked in the garage safe and sound.

Oh, yeah, and I hesitate to mention this one publicly as it's not one of my finest moments, but neither of us will forget the American History paper you 'assisted' me with the last two weeks of my senior year at OSU while I was swamped finishing my senior thesis project. Thanks for the help on that one... as much as I enjoyed my time in college, I didn't wanna have to stick around another quarter just to re-take that class if I didn't get the paper turned in. I'm sure it was a bittersweet moment for you as well. I mean, on one hand, only 8 A's in a class of 220 students... how proud you must've been. But on the other hand... well, you know. Let me just say thanks again.

Seriously, though, thank you for making so many sacrifices as Jas and I were growing up to make sure we had every opportunity to successfully find our paths in this crazy world. Thanks for being so supportive in everything we did even when we made mistakes. Thanks for being there to help me pick up the pieces and get back on my feet when I was going through periods of darkness and uncertainty. Most importantly, thank you for loving me unconditionally as your son.

Today I honor you and celebrate you as a courageous, dedicated mom. My mom. You have given me much and taught me more, many things you may never know. Thank you, and I love you.


To all the mom's out there who have selflessly given to their children and husbands, you're the best. Thanks for all you do.

And to those whose mother's may have already passed from this world to be reunited with Christ, I pray that God would comfort you and smile upon you on this day as you remember the wonderful mothers you were blessed to have for a season.

What ever happened...

... to Tickle-Me Elmo?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Dream On

I'm not a huge reader which is to say more often than not I have the attention span of a 3 year old when it comes to reading books. I'm trying to get better about it, though, and one book that even I really enjoy reading and highly recommend is Leadership Promises For Every Day by John C Maxwell. It's perfect for quick, easy reads each day (ideal for limited attention spans like mine) with great insights, suggestions and motivation based in biblical principles for becoming a better leader.

Here's a little excerpt from May 5th's reading titled "Dream On":
"Many people discover their dream in a flash of insight after working in an area for years. Some receive it in a time of prayer. Others are motivated by an event from their past. If you haven't already discovered your dream, read the following five steps that will help clear away the clutter and discover your dream:

1. Believe in your ability to succeed. You must believe in your ability to succeed if you are to succeed.

2. Get rid of your pride. People full of themselves usually don't have much room left over for a life-changing dream.

3. Cultivate constructive discontent. Discontent is the driving force that makes people search for their dreams. Complacency never brings success.

4. Escape the habit. Don't accept what is without considering what could be.

5. Balance creativity with character. When it comes to their dreams, truly successful people have enough creativity to think it out, and enough character to try it out."

Now go start dreaming.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Image(s) of the Week [edition #2]

Here's a couple images I captured care long forgotten in a field just off the side of O.S.R. (Old San Antonio Rd) on my way back from College Station last week. I love to photograph things like this that have such a raw sense of nostalgia and Americana about them.

My 1st White House Gig

So I was recently invited as part of a group of about 500 photographers to visit the White House and photograph as much as I wanted. Okay, so it was actually at the George Bush Sr. Presidential Library in College Station, and I wasn't technically invited as much as simply given free entry to the museum that was housing this travelling exhibit during a vist with a bunch of other photographers as part of a class at Texas A&M, but, hey, I still got to photograph the White House.

The exhibit's called The White House In Miniature, but there's nothing miniature about the size of this incredibly detailed model of the most famous house in the country. It's 55 feet long by 20 feet wide with the rooms inside being exact replicas of the real thing complete with tiny working TVs in several places.

What was intresting to me is how big the White House actually is. When you see it on TV or in photographs, sure it looks like a good size building, but it doesn't look huge. Lemme tell ya, it's huge.

I also felt very patriotic as I stood for 84 minutes watching a video documentary on the history of the white house and all that's been added to it/changed over the years. I know what your thinking... 'you stood for 84 minutes to watch a documentary? On the White House??" I'm here to tell ya, yes, I did. And even scarier I'd probably do it again if I had it all to do over. It really was fascinating, and I highly recommend the exhibit if your in the College Station neighborhood.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Don't Be the Box

I read an article by D. Keith Robinson today titled "Don't Be the Box", and it was right on cue for the way I've kinda felt today.

Here's a little excerpt that I really relate to:
"It can be horribly stifling to define yourself by those rules, guidelines, prejudices and constraints that surround you. When you become the box you lock yourself into a way of thinking that doesn’t allow you to adapt at all.

Have you ever worked with someone who questions everything, or someone who sees everything though one very narrow point of view? What about someone who has to have everything around them defined for them? These kind of people have become the box, and it’s not a healthy way to work. For them, or for their coworkers. Especially when creativity is involved."

We have all known and likely worked with these type of people, and I really encourage you not to let them be road blocks to your goals and ultimate success. Also, don't be the box that constrains other people's passions either. I love some of the quotes from George Bernard Shaw, and a couple of them that come to mind here are:

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him... The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself... All progress depends on the unreasonable man."

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Photo of the Year... or Month.. or at least this Week

Now, some of you may be thinking, 'Photo of the Year?? Seriously? I mean, it's a nice little image and all, but Photo of the Year??"

Let me explain. A few days ago I had this grand idea that I should start doing a 'Photo of the Day' series and put it on the blog just as a fun, creative activity. I thought about it for awhile (almost 10 seconds) before reality walked through the door and stared me in the face, and I realized that my schedule's a bit crazy right now, and making time to go out and capture one worthy image each day might be a little much currently. Now, I could crank out unworthy images all day, but who who wants to see images of bananas on the kitchen counter, me working on the computer, or random textured walls? Who knows, I may squeeze a few of those in any way if I'm running a little low on quality images some week.

In any case, I've decided to scale it back a bit and do a Photo of the Week. For the inaugural edition, here are a few images I captured during my return road trip from Texas School in College Station last week.

Hope you enjoy. And check back for updates each week.