Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Focus 52 2012 (Week 22) - Right Now

I'm going to try & post a few more images throughout the week for the prompt of "right now" through Flickr, but this is my first.  I've been waiting for this sunflower to open - a lot of stalk for a small flower (the birds planted it from the blackoil sunflower seeds in their feeder), but a beautiful yellow perfect flower.  I love sunflowers (& daisies) - they speak of spring/summer to me.  I know there are tons of sunflower images out there, but this one I took & is more towards artistic (for me) than my usual - all lined up nice & neat.  So in response to the prompt of "right now" -- guess right now I'm outside admiring the beautiful flowers on a very warm, clear Texas day.

This is slightly cropped even though I used a 60mm macro lens (used one hand to hold a branch out of the way while steadying the flower from the slight wind),  and I couldn't resist a little messing with some HDR stuff - just to get the layers of yellow I saw.  The sky is really that clear blue today (yeah for Texas).   I may try to find a nice quote/verse to put on the side - or not.  I think I'll order a large print of this for a friend who needs happy stuff in her room this summer. 

Linking up with Two Scoopz Focus 52 this week (I've missed a few weeks).  Click here to see other "right now" images.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You

Hope everyone has a good memorial day.  Thank you to all the service men and women for the important job they do to keep us free and safe.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Fences

Nothing exceptional about this fence - other than:
  -  it is a section of fence from my yard
   - it is one of the areas of the fence that we replaced in the last several years (thank you hurricane)
  -  the variations in color are due to overnight thunderstorms (and for a region coming out of a historical drought - we are thankful)
  -  while some people dislike these types of privacy fences, we like that it creates our own special space in the backyard... our front yard is where we meet up with neighbors
  - this image is SOOC & back to basics, in that I dug out my first digital SLR (D60), put my kit lens on (18-55 f3.5), just to test out the old saying about no matter what kind of camera/lens you use - you should be able to capture a good image if you truly "see" as a photographer.  (I also plan to use that old camera to take pics at my son enjoying field day at school next week - going for light weight lately.) 

Linking up with Friday Fences & Fenced Fridays.  Look for other fence images:
Fenced Fridays - Flickr
Friday Fences - Life According to Jan and Jer

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I realize I'm way behind the times with the Instagram thing, but it is partly because I have a droid (an older one too).  Trying to catch up & not finding  a lot of info on the phone about it (maybe I'm just not totally "getting it" either).  I've managed to post a few pics that I actually took with my phone:

rotten cat

country & state pride

working on school project (yes the science one)
If anyone has some insight/helpful hints about Instagram - I'd love to hear them.  I've also managed to "follow" a friend of mine's photos on there as well - so 2 steps forward for me!

My username (is that the correct term?) on Instagram is:  sherrycb
Come follow me (although if you are reading this - you've already seen the pics I have out there).

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Rewind (5-7-12)

Not much excitement around our house this weekend.  Personally I'm still recovering from the change in my sleeping schedule for 2 nights in a row because of my daughter's 24 hour school trip (see post about Morning for more on that).   Part of the weekend was spent at the barn (as usual).  My son is working on his science fair project, which we are conveniently using the barn for, so school work was also on the list of things to do this weekend.  Here's a peak into his project.

horse manure - fresh
Yep - horse poop -- it is a boy's project afterall.  He is testing fly spray - store bought vs homemade vs nothing - counting flies on poop (which attracts flies naturally - its where they lay their eggs) is easier than using horses (have to get vet approval & several additional forms - did that last year - trying to make it easier/simpler this time).  Even if he doesn't place - he got to play with/use poop...

My personal to-do list this week is extensive.  Still trying to get back into my routine of taking at least 1 day to get out & take pictures - somewhere.  Paperwork type things (which are no fun) must be attended to this week as well.  Hope everyone has a fun week - we need a little bit of rain, which may happen... out of the drought, but could easily fall back into it. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Focus 52 2012 (Week 18) - Morning

Just a quick post today for the Focus 52 prompt - morning, because this image represents the morning(s) that will affect me the most in the coming days.  Ever wonder what your town looks like at 3:30am?  I was curious, but not enough to really go out & look, however thanks to school trips that are only 24 hours long I got that opportunity this weekend. 

I grabbed my camera on the way to the school and while stopped - quickly took this image. There is another car far down the road - probably another parent returning from the school, in a hurry to get back to that comfy bed. 

Some of the "effects" - shooting through a (relatively) clean front windshield (star effect), stopped at a red-light (reason for the red tint/glow at the top).  My tripod for a night shot with no flash - my steering wheel.  Also helped that I used a f1.4 lens.  Image is SOOC - not even cropped - love that 50mm lens! 

Hoping I don't see my town in this kind of morning light again anytime soon.  Linking up with others for Two Scoopz Focus 52.  Click here to see other morning images. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Photo-Heart Connection, April 2012

For me April was a month that I didn't take as many pictures as I usually (or like to) do.  However, my daughter & I attended a large horse show (CDI/CPEDI) the last weekend of April that was very moving and inspirational.  Part of this show was the CPEDI for para equestrians hoping to get the scores to try out for the 2012 olympic games - like I said - a big/important show.  We wanted to see one equestrian in particular - Courtney King-Dye.  I won't go into her full story here, but essentially a former olympic team member who fell from her horse in 2010, suffered a traumatic brain injury (was not wearing a helmet) and competed for the first time since the accident at this show - hoping to move forward as a para rider on the 2012 olymic team.  The photo was taken from far away, heavily cropped, but she stands proud & at this moment seems to be in her own thoughts (I wonder what she was thinking). 

Courtney King-Dye, far right - looking forward - para equestrian rider
We don't personally know her, but got a chance to meet and hear her encouraging words, along with her trainer/mentor/friend - former olympian Lendon Gray, speak to junior riders.  You know meeting someone like her, cheerful, helpful, etc - even after her injury puts things in our lives into perspective.  Here's the link to her own website:  CKD Dressage which includes a lot of information including her personal blog.  Along with Lendon Gray, they have created a website encouraging junior rider participation including the use of helmets (some helmet rules were changed in the equestrian (English) world because of her accident) which you can find here.  Thank goodness my daughter has never ever given anyone grief over wearing her helmet - meeting Courtney & watching some of the para riders just reinforced helmet use for her - not sure if you will ever see her in a top hat - just not worth it - only takes one fall. 

Here's my big gripe for this post:  I will never understand riders who chose to go without a helmet - I see people (especially Western riders) who ride out without a helmet - it only takes one fall & why risk it?  Are you not that important to the people in your life to protect yourself?  I really have a hard time seeing young kids - some riding trail rides or parades without a helmet - riding on concrete.. why?  I've heard all the reasons - it is hot, doesn't look good, doesn't stay within the tradition of the sport, etc.... even bull riders are now protecting themselves ... I just don't get it & think it is one of the most poor choices a rider (or parent of those young riders) can make when in the saddle.  During this weekend there were several shows going on at the same as the CPEDI - also a 3 start CDI - a stepping stone for able-bodied riders.  Interestingly during one event (dressage derby FEI prix st goerges 2nd ride) where the riders all switch horses so you end up riding each other's horses, the 2 women wore hard helmets - the 2 men wore top hats.  Even more amazing, one male rider was warming up a horse (not his own) and we saw that horse rear at least 3 times prior to going in the test arena - yet he still wore that top hat.  I don't get it..  Gripe over.

I had never watched a para equestrian event before & at the awards ceremony the announcer talked about each rider & how they obtained their injury or what their own challenge was - it was extremely emotional for everyone in the arena.  I'm really glad we drove there to see them.  My daughter videoed the entire awards ceremony for the para riders which you can find here on youtube (keep in mind it was a hand-held video camera taken by a 12 year old).  Here are a few other inspirational para equestrians - congratulations to them all for even attempting what they do on those horses... no matter if they are walking or have the ability to perform canter half-passes (hey not even my daughter is up to that level yet).

Jonathon Wentz, rode Grade 1B FS on Sunday (2 horses)
Barbara Adside, rode Grade 2 FS on Sunday
We were only able to attend the show on Sunday, but these riders (and others) also rode tests on Friday and Saturday.  Jonathon Wentz has cerebral palsy and his website can be found here.  Barbara Adside was born with spina bifida and here's a wonderful article about her here (she's also been an actress and stuntwoman). 

Linking up with Kat Sloma's Photo Heart Connection for April.  Visit her website here to see other photo-heart connections.

Sorry for the lengthy post (and the many links) - I had a lot to say this time!!