July 16, 2014

Tilt-Shift Shenanigans

The Teen wanted Joshua Tree.  Which is a pretty funky place.  And I wanted to add to the funky.  So I rented a 17mm tilt-shift lens for the occasion.  This lens is fascinating.  To state the obvious, it has both a tilt function and a shift function – both of which give the photographer multiple choices as to which items/planes to have in focus).  Additionally, each of those functions can be separately rotated 180*.  To say that this is a sophisticated, complicated piece of machinery that I couldn’t possibly exhaustively learn in 48 hours is an understatement.  But even as clueless as I was to its numerous possibilities and abilities, I surely had fun with it…
IMG_1793 IMG_1795 IMG_1797 IMG_1798 IMG_1800 IMG_1814IMG_1815 One of the trickiest elements of this lens – for me, anyway – was the manual focusing.  Because, truth to tell, I’m quite nearsighted and desperately dependent on my camera’s autofocus function.  Since this lens was 17mm, it was “pushing” items even further from me than the naked eye naturally registers.  Thus, I had no clue that in the picture below, Big Dude’s right hand is perfectly in focus, while his left hand was already falling out of focus.IMG_1860 IMG_1865 Or, in this picture, I couldn’t remotely tell that The Teen was completely OUT of focus.  But I’m going to embrace my “mistake” and call it art.  Who says the focus needs to be spot on him?!?IMG_2742 IMG_2781 IMG_2790 IMG_2799 One of the neat possibilities with tilt-shift is that the photographer can have infinite focus front to back with a wide-open aperture.  So conceivably – if I could remotely see to focus properly/manually – I could have the rock on which I’m standing be in focus, as well as the furthest rock peak, as well as the moon.  All on the widest aperture.  But alas.  It was dark.  I’m practically blind.  And I didn’t quite pull off that feat.  But still, I like resulting image.  I’m calling it art.  It’ll be our little secret that my out of focus areas weren’t intentional. IMG_2821

July 15, 2014

#1 in a Class of 1.

Almost 18 years ago, this very little dude showed up 3 weeks before his due date.  And to this day, I remember thinking how remarkable it was that we got to hold him, as a tiny little baby, in our arms for three weeks longer than we might otherwise have been able.  Like we got  3 bonus weeks.

I kind of feel the same way about our homeschooling years.  Like we got 10+ bonus years of daytime hours with him.  Not to say that some days we didn't want to kick his behind to the nearest school around the corner (6th & 9th grade, I'm looking at you...); but, truly, one of the neatest benefits homeschooling has given us (beyond a really great education!) has been flexibility and a whole lot of time all together as a family.

We graduated The Teen.  Life is going to be forever different.

IMG_2211 IMG_2221

From his 3-week-early arrival to his near departure [for college] ...

July 14, 2014

3 Days of Promo Pricing…

BL plus BB sale
So, here’s the scoop.  Buy both books and save 30% for the next three days (or until I run out of books):  $85*


The description of each book can be found by clicking on the STORE button above.

* +$5 shipping for Beautiful Lifestyle.  Beautiful Business is an e-book and I will email you a link for upload.

July 13, 2014

Innumerable Grains of Sand.

How precious are Thy thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them,
they would outnumber the sand.
Psalm 139:17-18