Category Archives: Celebration

What has changed and what hasn’t?

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Filed under Celebration, History, Just Plain Fun

Smile, Santa!

Holiday photo tips from a “been-there-done-that” photographer.

These days, everyone has a digital camera, whether it is a camera phone, point and shoot or a DSLR. Unfortunately for my wallet, I am a hard-core SLR photographer with a large quantity of expensive equipment. Fortunately for me, I have learned how to use it to my advantage. During the Holidays, an invitation to me is usually accompanied by the words “and don’t forget to bring your camera.”

There are millions of rules for photography, but only a few really make a difference to the casual photographer. Note:

Make a list! Before you head off to Grandma’s House, make sure you have all the gear you will need. If you are going “point and shoot” it’s pretty simple – a spare charged battery, and a spare memory card, in addition (!) to the camera. If you are shooting DSLR, make sure you have your lenses, flash unit and other accessories, in addition to the items mentioned. Before you leave home, make sure your gear is cleaned and functional.

KISS! No, don’t hang out under the mistletoe, but “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”  The typical “snap shot” photographer tries to get too much into too little space. Limit your subject matter to just two or three people, a shot of the Christmas Tree or a child opening a present – don’t try to cram all of it into one shot.

Don’t pose your shots, people tend to look goofy when trying to pose for the camera. Think casual, and your pictures will look more natural. One trick is to set up and be ready and only then let your subject know that you are going to take their picture, just don’t sneak up on the elderly.

Naturally, Aunt Jane will yell out something like “everybody get together for a picture!” Now, you are stuck and all you can do is make the most of it. Pick a background that is as uncluttered and plain as possible. Have your subjects/victims line up as best you can. What I do to get around “posing” is to tell the group that I am “going to take a few test shots.” Your subjects will still be relaxed and usually those turn out to be the best pictures.

Don’t have whine with your cheese.  Never have your subjects say “cheese!” Pronouncing the word pulls the lips into an unnatural looking position – have them say “me!” instead. Saying that gives a much more relaxed and natural look. If your camera does not have a “red-eye” elimination function, have your subjects look towards a bright light for a second before shooting the picture. Red eye is a reflection off  of the  fundus at the back of the eye – looking into a light will cause pupils to contract, eliminating the sinister “glowing eye” effect.

If you absolutely, positively have to take formal pictures, do it right. That means studio lights, backdrops, scrims, tripod, remote shutter release, stands, reflectors, portrait lens. Shooting portraits is not easy in a non-studio setting, especially if you seldom take that kind of picture.

Fire away! You are shooting digitally, so you don’t have to worry about running out of film, processing costs, etc. Check your “work” periodically on your LCD screen, deleting really bad shots as you go. Adjust your settings as necessary. When you get home, you can process your haul with Photo Shop or another computer software program. Even the most basic program can crop, light and color correct and touch up. I regularly remove zits, stains and mud from photos. Recently, I put my granddaughter’s missing tooth back in using PS.

If you are at the office Christmas Party, try to get a shot of your Boss hitting on the lady from Accounting – it may come in handy during your next performance review.

If you are interested, I will be “hanging out” today and tomorrow if you have a specific question. I’ll try to answer promptly to the best of my ability .

 

 

William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under Celebration

So? Who’s up for a picnic?

As all of you should know, our “Celebration of Life for Steven” will be this Saturday. To make the party a success, we need to know who is planning to attend. To my knowledge, this is what we have so far.

Fnord

Griffin

Wicked

Wicked’s BFF

Too Smart

Ms. Pond

6176

Indy

Free

Clark

We haven’t heard from Thunderchild, DavidB or Annie Moose, and Sekan and Monkyhawk have yet to give us a definitive  answer.

Lisa is new to our party, but we would like her to attend (take a hint Lisa!) so that we can all meet her.

My apologies if I missed anyone.

So? Who’s in and who is going to be a party pooper?

Let us know!


Will Clark

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Filed under Celebration

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the traditional kick off for Summertime, even though the official first day of summer is not until later in June. For many, Memorial Day means picnics, trips to the lake,  baseball games, horseshoes, pool parties, kids out of school, barbecues and the Indy 500.

And, yes, it means all those things, but there is a greater meaning.

The loss of a loved one in war must be a horrible burden to bear, one that I have not personally felt, but one that I can empathize with completely.

Our great nation, however imperfect she may be, has stood the test of time and our brightest and best have stood up for her and defended her throughout history, some with the forfeiture of their lives.

The shot heard ’round the world. The Battle of New Orleans. Gettysburg. The Hundred Day Offensive. Pearl Harbor, Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and Iwo Jima.  The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. The Tet Offensive.  The Mother of All Battles. Kabul. Baghdad.

No matter your thoughts on these wars, you have to respect those that fought them for us, and those that made the ultimate sacrifice. They deserve no less.

Today, when you sit down with your family, friends or even alone, take a moment to reflect on those that stood tall to protect our freedom and liberty.

But I would also suggest that you remember those that lost their lives, but not in uniform, but for a cause greater than themselves.

Medgar Evers. Dr. King. Rachel Corrie. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Matthew Shepard. Harvey Milk. Rachel Corrie. Tom Hurndall. The Kennedy’s. And many, many more.

Today is the day we set aside to honor those that have come before us, blazing a trail so we all may have a better life. As you celebrate the day, stop to remember and honor those that have made this day possible.

It’s the least we can do.


William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under Celebration, History, President Barack Obama, Tributes, WAR

A Celebration of Life for Steven

Stock Photo of  Outdoor Picnic

Okay, it’s a bit more than a month, but Fnord has to attend some wedding thingie in Boston (lame excuse) and there are other commitments I have in the weeks proceeding.

So, mark your calendars:

June 12th – a Celebration of Life for Steven. Two PM.

Griffin and Fnord have graciously volunteered (?) to host this event at their home.  It is going to be a hella party to honor Steven.

Be prepared!

I will be bringing a couple of slabs of my world-famous ribs and a pot of my even more famous Smoked Scrapyard Baked Beans.

Attendance is mandatory – that means you, Roxie and Pondy! If you fail to show up, we will hunt you down and drag you to the celebration. You cannot hide from the “evil liberals!” Liberals are very violent, don’t cha’  know!

Please contact me at WSClark52@gmail.com with questions, directions, comments or whatever.

Also, please note on this thread what you will be bringing. If you can’t bring anything, that’s cool, too. Everyone knows that liberals are socialists and we SHARE.

Be prepared to laugh, cry and sing.

And stuff your face!

We all will.


William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under Celebration

OPEN THREAD DAAA DA! Saturday 01-23 and the first day of the rest of your life!

Went on a job interview yesterday, looks like I maybe getting back into security.

Law enforcement seems to think I am older then I think I am.

And no one else seems interested in a 52 y.o. who piddle his younger year away and had not decided what he wanted to be when he grew up….. I really need to decided that one of these days!

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Filed under Celebration, Populists, You know you're getting old when . . .

Let’s Make Plans

p_BKS058493We won’t be able to firm up everything until tomorrow since Iggy is at work today and 6176 won’t have computer access until tomorrow, but we can make most of the plans!

Let’s make sure we have the necessary supplies.  We can get free paint at the place David told us about, so let’s talk about that and see whether that is the route to go, at least for the primer.  Ladders?  Brushes?  Sprayer?  Drop cloths?  Caulk?  Sanding equipment?  What else?  Who will the crew consist of?

So much to discuss!  I’m getting excited!  Anytime I can get together with the bunch of you and help someone we all love is a good time!  Let’s do it!

paint2

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Filed under Celebration, Community Organizing, Life Lessons, This humble little blog...