Jun 142012

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

 Posted by at 11:19 PM
Jun 122012

Lately I have been reminiscing a lot about life in general.  And my life.

Whenever I do so my thoughts end up with the person I spent most of my early and mid-life with.  My Dad.  He taught me how to work.  He taught me to respect my elders.  And he taught me that debt was evil!  To avoid it at all costs.  As I have aged I realize the most important thing he taught me was personal status in the neighborhood/community and self respect where not connected.  Dad was wealthy.  I can say that now that he has been gone for over 10 years.  With never having any debt and working more than most men he had a good sum of cash.  He earned every penny through incredible physical and emotional stress.  A project at a time.    We put in the infrastructure for developments all over the county.  He was the best at his trade.  A very humble, modest and shy man.  His best traits.  Today as I usually do I drove home looking up our beautiful mountains.  As time as passed there has been a “king of the hill” contest on these mountains.  It has been a “who can build the biggest and be highest on the mountain” contest.  I don’t get it.  Really I don’t get it.  I drove up today and was reminded what these hilltop mansions look out to everyday.

They, in their multi-million dollar homes look out to the refineries, freeways, and us little people.  I say that with a little sarcasm.   At one event hosted by a wealthy (or very much in debt) family I overheard a person not of the area say while looking out the 2 story glass windows to the valley “look at all the little people”.  It made me chuckle.  I know a lot of people that live “up” on the hill.  There are a many good people there.  You would never catch my dad with that lifestyle.  In fact very late in life he bought his first new car.  Paid cash.  Then hid it in the garage.  He was to embarrassed to drive it.  He started driving it a little at night.  Mom took it out mostly.   The point is that dad could afford any house on the hill.  In fact when he was growing up and until his mid life he and his brothers owned most the land that now has huge mansions on it.  Used to be pasture.  Beautiful land.  Back then the rich lived near main street in classics like this one…

But you know what?  My Dad was the King of the Hill!  His life was spent saving, working like a madman, doing tons for all sorts of people.  Most of which any good deed he did anonymously.  He and I would go out often on Saturdays and do little side projects.  Mostly replacing old service laterals to homes that had failed.  He had created a way that we could take out the old galvanized pipe and replace it with copper without digging up the yard.  In most cases when we left you could barely tell we had been there.  He shared the proceeds with me from these odd jobs.  Extra spending money for car parts, etc.  After working all day he would approach the home owner for payment.   It was never a problem.  Unless it was a widow, a single mother or family in need.  As it turned out we would just leave and not ask for payment.  Man at times I wanted to kick my dad’s butt.  Let it be known that even at 73 in full Alzheimer’s he could still take me!   It was a bitter pill for me to swallow.  The money meant more to me than anything in the world.  And that was the problem and the lesson Dad taught me.  “if you do enough good things for other people, good things will happen to you”.  He said it often.  Only to me.

He built this home that I was raised by hand.  Dug the foundation out by hand.  Hand mixed all the concrete for the footings and foundation.  Took down a quonset hut piece by piece at Hill Air Force Base and hauled all the wood, windows and hardware from South Ogden to Bountiful.  Built the majority of the home out of the materials from the old building at Hill Air Force Base.  For many years he and Mom and my sister lived in the house with mostly unfinished stud walls.  A small home full of memories.  Hand built by the REAL King of the Hill.  MY DAD!!!!

 Posted by at 10:01 PM
Jun 122012

Do 6 year old boys really enjoy Baseball?

Depending wholly on the enthusiasm of Mom and Dad little boys are signed up for spring little league baseball.  Little mitts, cleats, and uniforms are bought.  Schedules of games are sent out to parents that in turn end up in grammy and pappas email boxes.  In most yards a baseball is tossed back and forth, to some little tikes more than other little ones.    They have to learn the American pastime as early as possible right?  According to Mom and Dad it is so.  Luckily for these parents superstars get their start.  And for others it’s a great time to get recognition from their son in the field just as a ball is hit right past him….

Actually the photo above is my grandson.  And boy is he grand!!!  Since his birth he has brought laughter and interest to Grammy and I.  He loves puzzles.  He loves to sing.  Like his two brothers he takes life seriously.  His enthusiasm at times puts his brain ahead of his mouth. It’s a real kick.  Especially when he throws in the pallet tongue slapping “L”‘s with his stuttered attempt to get full sentences out before being interrupted.  I can be anywhere and at anytime and think of him and a smile breaks out!  He’s probably not going to be a baseball superstar.   Just like all our grandsons to me and grammy he is the greatest superstar.  Even when running to first base with an oversized batters helmet……


Amazingly to me at this young tender age there is some real talent for Baseball.  Without a doubt dad or mom spends extra time with these little athletes.  The genetic athletic skills carried to them being drawn like juice from an orange.  One little baseball prodigy hit two home runs in this game.  I’m not talking about the Keystone Cops chasing a base hit while he ran the bases.  This little guy with his hitting gloves in force hit out to the outfield.  Airborne the whole distance.  A real home run.  Impressive especially for  an individual just learning math and reading and doing his first science projects.

I placed myself just beyond the first baseline looking back to home plate to photograph the expressions and body shapes as each player made the dash to first base.   I love these photo’s and the enthusiasm reflected by each boy in them!






 Posted by at 8:44 PM
Jun 102012

What does a 19 hour old baby see?

What does he feel, or smell?

He is helpless.  Without doctors, nurses, extended family, grammy, pappa, and most importantly his Mom and Dad he would not survive.  Is his tiny little brain as clean and pure as we might expect?  Does he have a “few” remnants of a pre-earth life in there?    When those teeny weenie eyes peer open for just a second I am sure its all blurry and very bright.  CBB is not 24 hours old yet.  When I saw him again tonight, swelling down, just a tiny bit more comfortable out of the womb he had just been fed from Mom’s best gift to him.  God’s secret potion for newborns..Colostrum. He can only get it from his MOM.  It’s the start of “that” bond between mother and child.  So I held little CBB.  We had a talk.  Yes we did.  He opened his eyes to express his trust to me that he was listening.  Though his mother is holding him in this photograph he is still trained on me ……

There is no way to describe what I feel when I witness my daughter hold, sniffing and kissing her first Son!  She has waited literally all her life to create and nurture this miracle.  The world stopped for a few seconds tonight.  I had no worries for my grandson, his mom or his dad.  Because right then they were engulfed in one of Gods greatest gifts and miracles to us.  And wow you can see it in his moms and dads eyes and little CBB’s demeanor.  He knows what his mother smells like now.  She is his sole source of nutrition and motherly love.  There is no greater love on earth than that of a mother for their child.  My daughter without doubt will give 100% of every fiber of her being to her son’s welfare.  She has prepared her life for today, tomorrow and beyond.  She is ready!  And she is well prepared!


Then there is his Dad!  This one is special.  I have the best son-in-laws out there!  Ben loves my daughter, treats her like a queen.  He’s known for his integrity and high standards.  His virtues are near flawless.  He’s not perfect though.  None of us are.  At least his parents dig deep to come up with some stories about he stripped some leaves off a bush once or some horrible thing like that.  Dang juvenile!  Good thing his parents don’t know my past. They might avoid any public appearances with me.    This little angel is Ben’s first also.  This new little boy in their life reinforces that Ben and my daughter are a team for Eternity.  I’ve often wondered how Ben would be with a brand new son.  Well like most other things in his life …it’s natural.   I can however see a different gleam in his eye.  Last night he witnessed the miracle of birth.  It was pretty darn tough physically for my daughter.  A couple of scary moments.  I know that Ben’s faith gave him the stamina and courage to stand strong and support my daughter.   There is absolutely no comparison of what the dad experiences at birth to what the  mother experiences.  It is extremely emotionally draining to watch your wife suffer and endure through child birth.  Tonight though drained when his son was handed to Ben his whole countenance changed.  He is now a Father!  And he is ready…

 Posted by at 12:53 AM
Jun 032012

Main street in Bountiful, Utah is taking on a bit of a new life.  New buildings, apartments, retail space, and a brand new bank.   Looks nice from the road.  Look close.  Especially at the drinking fountains……

Yikes!  Not sure I will drink out of these anytime too soon.

A couple of weeks ago a sidewalk chalk-art festival was held.   Seen it before.  Some real talent is put onto the sidewalks.  I found that if I go back at least a week later and maybe even one rainstorm later the chalk-art is surreal.  I walked it today and photographed many art pieces.  And as I expected it was beautiful.  I like it better in the worn state than fresh and new…

This one is my favorite.  It is right in front of the Post Office on Main Street.


 Posted by at 9:44 PM
May 272012

Found this Ivy on a building in SLC.  Nothing special.  Loved the shapes, textures and colors.  Especially the detail.  I shot this with the D800.  Yowza!  I am amazed every time I get on the computer after shooting with this Camera.  It’s incredible.  Not a wildlife camera, a sports camera, but a great still life, portrait and scenery camera.  This shots are handheld.  As I am getting older and my body is falling apart I have to rely on tripods, window mounts etc.   That adds to the fact that it is so sharp even with shaky Sam here……

Both photographs shot at ISO 100, 1/125 @ f/5.6, -33 EV.  No post work done on photographs.

On a personal note I read blogs everyday of great photographers.  It seems that a lot of them “brag” or make note of all their handholding shots.  I know there are a plethora of times when a tripod is difficult or impossible.   But I will never forget what one of the greatest photographers that has ever lived said to me face to face – “nothing is better for a sharp image than a camera on a stable tripod” Ansel Adams.  Yes he was carrying around behemoths that required a tripod.  But this was much later.  He said this when he was shooting a lot with smaller formats that 8×10.  He had mentioned earlier that the question he is asked most was how his shots with the smaller format cameras were so sharp.  And he always replied about the use of a tripod.


 Posted by at 6:50 PM
Mar 112012

Yesterday I blew into SLC and captured a few places of Worship.

Today is a special day for a friend that is stepping up and making a religious commitment.  Kind of declaring them-self  a Christian.  A big day and a happy day for this individual.  Made me think about all the religions on the earth today.  Here in Utah there is a prominent religion.  But also many, many other beliefs.  We are pretty diversified.  We seem to get along and respect each other for our own beliefs.  I may be naive.  But I don’t think so.  My friendships are not determined by an individuals religious faith.  Rather it is their conviction towards their own personal beliefs.   The individual that took that giant leap has conviction.  Conviction toward their family, friends, career and now their religion.  I am proud and excited.

How does this relate to photography?  I spent less than an hour and within 1 mile of each other photographed these Places of Worship.  They are all 5-9 shot HDR images.  Ran through a grunge topaz filter to create a little bit of artsy fartsy feel to each one.  I know they are a little over the top!  But hey!  I had fun tonight in post!!!!!!






 Posted by at 8:36 PM
Mar 102012

I had a great urge to capture this shot.  Then played with it a little too much.  Ran it through Topaz then Silver Efex Pro2 and copied back some color.  Must be a little bored today….

 Posted by at 9:19 PM
Mar 102012

Today I was out and about somewhat.  Camera on the seat next to me.

This blue building caught my eye.  West SLC near the Budweiser Bottling plant.  After a 5 shot HDR I wondered how it would turn out.

Pretty darn flat!

 Posted by at 9:15 PM
Jan 292012

I was fortunate to have my camera with me at Zella Pearl Putnam Cox’s funeral yesterday.  A grand lady.  With the families permission I hope to post several photographs.  One that touched me was this little one taking a flower off the casket.  The nice thing about photography is at times you can hide behind the camera.  Tears were shed when witnessing this little one still trying to take in the whole thing and wondering where great grandma is?

 Posted by at 10:45 PM