Pictures & Words
Last weekend Jen and I tackled a long-standing project: making a nice 'landing' area off of our front porch. We've talked about this on and off for the last decade; but now we had some extra gravel and an idea. A couple trips to Menards for supplies (Belgian cobbles, brick chisel), and we were off and running. A little excavation work with the Kubota, throw some landscape fabric down, cover with gravel, and add bluestone.
Of course, now that we did that, we figure we'd extend it and build a walk to the driveway! So here are some before shots (and some shots of the house for family).
Front gardens, after the Halloween fire of 2010. Jen's no longer allowed to use candles in luminaries...
Hostas courtesy of Al's Auto Body and Arboretum
We took a medium sized hickory tree down over by the pond.
And a shot of the new pool.
Just a few photos and commentary from yesterday's show. As mentioned, Grace took Best Junior with Tyson on Saturday (she won best junior on Friday and Sunday with Darcy, so that's a 3-show sweep!). On Friday she took breed with Darcy and went into the sporting group ring and got a group 4! Saturday she again won breed with Darcy and went into sporting group. She got a pull in a very tough group, but no placement today (I should have been singing 'Happy Birthday' to her as she took the dog around the ring for the last time).
And for the fun of it, our friend Barb with one of her bassetts
And finally, Diane with a Ridgeback:
Well, it's only fair if the seniors get their portraits taken, that I do the same for the dogs. These were taken in Belvedere, IL. Grace and Diane have been showing the last couple days (Grace has taken back-to-back best Junior). Jen and I decided that we'd go and visit our dear daughter on her 17th birthday. We did bring cake (last photo).
But these are some of the dogs that I met at the show. I like this style much better than stacked dog photos...
Rowan the Collie
Budda the Bassett
The same Bassett
I have no idea what the hell this is, but it's tiny and fast!
Grace's Birthday Cake!
Happy birthday, Grace! She got her 17th win on her 17th birthday!!!
It's hard to believe that our middle child will be a senior in high school this year! Grace wanted to try some senior pictures with one of 'her' dogs, Tyson, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Thanks to Diane for loaning him to us for the afternoon. We did this Wednesday in a local wheat field (thanks Tom and Doris!), on a nice low humidity day. One issue we had was too much wind! There was no way that I was going to set up umbrellas on lighting stands. And it wouldn't have mattered, because I had checked batteries on all my flash gear EXCEPT my sync transmitter (which takes a watch battery), and that was dead (and no spare). So no flash gear at all! I did have a reflector and a voice-activated reflector stand (my wife).
This was interesting for me. I find it's tough enough to concentrate on dealing with the model, the posing, and the lighting. I've never thrown a dog into the mix. Especially a big one who doesn't really care for sitting on wheat (yes, I'm sure it's scratchy)! It made for a challenging afternoon, but we did pretty well for just having one reflector out there... And the nice thing is that the model's not too picky and we can always go out again.
These are all 'first drafts' with no cropping or work done outside of the raw processing. 85 mm f1.4 lens for those who are wondering, most shot between f 3.2 and 5.6.