Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Do you have trouble making decisions?  I usually don't.  When I've made up my mind, I'm usually pretty quick to act.  This only changes when I analyze my decision/desires with friends; 'analyzing' being discussing at great length.  After these conversations, I'm usually confronted with additional data/information that makes me think twice about my original decision.

And so it goes...I'm hankering for a new piece of camera equipment.  Yes, I know I don't need it.  But, when things have been leaning towards the extreme negative in my life, I gravitate towards retail therapy.  And I never regret retail therapy.  Actually, and in all honesty, I've never regretted much, if anything, in my life.  It's all a 'learning experience,' but that's another story for another post.

The question at hand...to purchase a lensbaby lens or not?  I've done the research, read the history of the lens, looked at reviews, searched out tumblr for sample shots and then I had the 'conversation' with Angela (http://besoterio.tumblr.com/).  Angela is often my conscience when it comes to camera equipment and then there are those times when we are 'partners in crime,' aka...a bad influence on each other.  Our motto:  See it, want it, buy it!  When she reads this, I'm sure she will be recalling the infamous camera bag purchase we both regretted.

Angela and I both use Nik Software but she is far more familiar with the workings of this set of post-processing photo programs.  She pointed out that I just may get the same effect using one of the programs/filters in Nik as I would with a lensbaby lens.  So I'm hunched over my computer trying to replicate what I think might be a lensbaby effect.  Here are the results.  The jury is still out.  I'm just hoping I don't miss the special sale B&H is currently offering on a nice lensbaby package deal.

Straight out of the camera...converted from RAW to jpeg...no editing.
Blur vignette applied in Nik Software with focus point centered on flower.

What do you think?  And while you're thinking, I hope you're enjoying this outstanding fall weather we (East Coast) are having.  Hopefully some fall leaf photos will follow soon...before we are covered in snow!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


As the colors of summer are fading, I am thinking of my mom in the care center.  Last night she did not know who I was.  This has happened before and, after sitting with me a few minutes, she'd come around and recognize me.  Not so this time.

She fell again last Friday.  This was her 7th fall and the 3rd that required an emergency room visit.  She has suffered head lacerations three times.  Each fall has acerbated her mental condition...age-related senility.  The problem with this type of senility is that it results in aggressive physical and emotional outbursts and patients often require sedation.  I am in awe of the physical strength that has come from this 97 year old 100 lb. woman during these episodes.  During this last ER visit it took three nurses to hold her down while the doctor stapled her wound closed.

It is amazing to me how much the human body can endure.  I have prayed that she is happy and comfortable...so many prayers .  I'm now asking God to find a safe place for her.

We once had a conversation about death and I asked her if she was afraid to die.  Her response was no.  She commented that she has had a good long life.  God had been good to her.  She is a strong woman.  I laugh and think...that must be the 'Russian' in her.  I hope she passes her strength on to me.