I Am An Author

Last weekend, I attended the Igniting Souls Conference in Columbus, Ohio. I’m a member of this because earlier this summer, I enrolled in one of their mentoring programs, “Authors Academy Elite”. At the end of the program, I will be a published author and they are providing me with the tools and knowledge to do it. I also participate in weekly coaching calls and a Facebook group where I can ask questions.

The conference was great! There was good teaching on identifying our vision and coming up with a plan for it. We then moved into building a social media platform, covering topics such as advertising on Facebook and how to build or borrow a platform. There were also speeches by people who published their books in the last year. We got to hear about their books, their passions and values, and who they were (click here to listen for yourself).

The networking was even better. We started on Friday night with a dinner for just the authors. Over 40 of us showed up, including quite a few from my summer start date. Several authors were published just that week!

Read More


The High Probability of a Low Probability Event

In his book, Triggers, Marshall Goldsmith talks about how when we want to change ourselves, there is a statistically proven high probability that a low probability event will happen and derail our plans.

We’ve had ours for this year.

While taking sunrise pictures in Acadia National Park, my favorite boy toy slipped on some loose gravel and fell backwards, destroying his camera and lens, and tearing his tricep.

20150907-21 Blog

The button right below the start / stop is totally gone. Canon put that little glass slide on the back to keep glass fragments from getting all over while they determined the camera was not fixable.

Thankfully, the camera and his backpack of lenses broke his fall. But it hasn’t been fun.

Read More


ABFriday: Street Art

Welcome to another month of After-Before Friday, where participants take a photo and each renders their own interpretation of it. The other photos are hosted at Visual Venturing by Stacy Fischer. This month, Ben Rowe, of Aperture64, volunteered a photo of the Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, England. I encourage you to visit both blogs – Stacy’s to see what other people did (and it’s always a wide variety) and Ben, because he does such a superb job of explaining how he edited his version.

So here’s the original photo. The red marks are some things I cloned out to slightly declutter the picture. This included two benches, a sign, a small amount of roof, and a blip in the sky. I also did some pipes up the side of the building (just to the left of the center), but missed one in the middle of the tower, where the arrow is.

Original Photo Before Lightroom Adjustments; Red Shows What I Cloned Out

Original Photo Before Lightroom Adjustments; Red Shows What I Cloned Out

I lightly edited the photo in Lightroom and cropped it down to reduce the sky and grass. I felt the castle was better seen when it filled the frame and the Lightroom adjustments brought out the colors and perked up the picture.

Read More


ABFriday: Stone, Water and Sky

It’s once again time for After-Before Friday, hosted as always by Stacy Fisher over at Visual Venturing. To see other pictures from ABFriday, click here.  It’s always fun to check and see the many variations that happen each month!

On the left is the original photo; on the right is how the photo looked after I enhanced it in Lightroom. The colors and textures have improved and there is more variation between the sky and water.

This was the finalist, using Topaz Glow “Whiskers and Fur 1”. Topaz Glow uses “energetic sparks of neon lights” (per their advertising) “to create beautiful and vibrant images”.

I’ve found it difficult to find anything I like when using it, so my challenge this month was to see if I couldn’t figure it out. It took some experimenting, but I finally found a look that after some adjustment, I thought showed off the textures and colors in a way that was pleasing. To finish it, I used a border called “antique” from onOne Software to give it a vintage look.

The finalist! This used Topaz Glow,

The finalist! This used Topaz Glow, “Whiskers and Fur 1”, with an antique border from onOne.

I didn’t clone out the people. On the other experiments, I thought it helped give perspective to the photo and they were clearly recognized as people. For the Topaz Glow, it’s harder to tell what they are and if I were to redo the picture, I’d try it with and without the people to see how it looked.

Read More


Half and Half

20140712-102 Blog

So what happens when I go in the yard to take pictures? A miniature pinscher goes on full alert to guard me as I carelessly walk around the yard, oblivious to all the dangers that could be out in the street – like Mom’s pushing strollers and worst of all, old Grandma’s taking a walk and minding their own business. He will protect me!

What I liked about the photo was how it divided his face in half, which is also the theme of this week’s photo challenge, which was to share an image that has two clear halves, literally or figuratively. To see how others interpreted the challenge, click here.


Beagle Reporting on the Backyard

Hello kind and gentle readers! It’s me, the beagle, reporting on what’s happening around the backyard. Mom and Dad took down the garden last year. They said it was too much work for what they got out of it. Plus there was a little problem with destruction. Apparently one of the dogs kept playing in it.

And when the tomatoes ripened, the mockingbirds and squirrels ate them up.

Read More


AB Friday: Capitol Building

Final Photo with Topaz Impressions Watercolor 4 and onOne Torn Paper Border

Final Photo with Topaz Impressions Watercolor 4 and onOne Torn Paper Border

Thanks to Stacy Fisher, sponsor for another month of After-Before Friday (ABFriday) and Robin Kent (Photography by Kent), who provided the picture! While other months had tough technical challenges to the photos, this month was hard because the photo was so nearly perfect already.
 .
So here’s the original photo. The people are minor, the building is straight (I checked) and the sky has a nice color. I really choked. I mean, what do you do with that?
 .
Original Photo

Original Photo

 .