Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thank You

I'm writing this blog entry tonight for two reasons. One, I want to stop and take a few minutes to thank my family and friends for all their support with my photographic endeavors over the past few years. Second, I wanted to share something cool that I learned about this week.

If you don't know, I have a web page for my photos and I use the name fotomom not only for my blog but also in posting my pictures. You can see my best pictures on my website and even buy them if you see one you really like. Most of the pictures are nature shots, but there are some artsy type shots too. There's a description and picture of me on the homepage, and I talk about why I'm interested in photography.

I started taking pictures when I was a little girl, and I talk about the cameras I've had in my lifetime. Obviously, my Dad had a lot to do with sparking my interest in photography. He handed me my first camera and lots of upgrades along the way including buying me my current Canon Powershot S3 and Canon Powershot SX10 IS. He let me go through the family pictures and try to organize them when I was a teenager. He's scanned in and preserved old family photos over the last year and inspired me to keep a good record of family history for my kids. Thanks, Dad!

When I had Joey in 2002, like most new parents, I made sure I was prepared to take lots of pictures and videos. There was a real surge in picture taking. Joey was so cute. How could I resist taking pics of him?!? I started buying pretty fabric to lie under him in his bouncy seat so that I could take portraits even. It was becoming an obsession. I started uploading my pictures, Yahoo at the time, and sending out nearly daily pictures e-mails to my closest family and friends. I really owe Dad, Faith, Don, Patricia, Debbie & Joe, and Christine a huge thanks for being receptive to and putting up with all my 'picture e-mails'. I was really blogging before there were blogs.

I also want to thank those of you that have helped me take pictures. If Joey and Johnny had a $1 for every time they had to sit in the car and wait a few minutes for me to stop along the road and take 100 pictures they'd be rich. Serious! Debbie and I were yard-saling every Saturday, and I started adding picture taking into our routine. Friends let me take tons of pics at parties and other big events. The kids were usually eager to ham it up for me. Ranger Greg at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham has been supportive in last year in helping me find the best shots in the museum wetlands area Explore the Wild. Danny and Christine have been really good sports about me coming into their yard to take bluebird and flower pictures. The list could go on. I've had a lot of help.

Thanks to my husband, Rick, for his support of the time and money I have invested in my photography.

I'd also like to recognize Terri Pastrana of Coffee and Crepes in Cary for giving me 3 opportunities over the last year to display my pictures in her shop. She also inspired me to branch out and try more artistic style glass and water pictures.

Finally, I want to thank Don for helping me out with all my photographic computer issues. Everything from dealing with the demise of Yahoo Photos and switching me over to Picasa to making sure I've adequately backed up my pictures. I think he told me 2 years ago I'd have 7 terabytes of pictures and videos by the time the boys made it to college. Better recheck that math! I think I told Faith the other day that some weeks I am shooting several gigabytes worth of stuff! Ever hear of a room full of servers or a server farm? Well, I've got an office full of external harddrives.

If I didn't name you explicitly and you've helped me along the way, thanks too! I know I've had a lot of help.

Now, on to the new cool stuff. I make a New Years resolution every year not to make any resolutions. But, I did promise myself when I got Photoshop Elements 7.0 that I would make time every day to learn something about graphic to improve my picture or picture presentation. Well, being a working mom of 2 kids I haven't quite met that goal, but I am making good progress when I can.

Several weeks ago, I became a member of the DailyPhotos Community on SmugMug. I have been posting a picture every day here, and I get/give feedback with other members.

I started out several years ago doing digital scrapbooking with a tool called Scrapbook Factory Deluxe that I picked up on the spur of the moment at Wal-Mart. I proceeded to make 175 digital pages. Those were some late nights! You can check them out here. Well, I've been really meaning to get back to making new pages. I get newsletter from the Scrap Girls, and I am constantly reminded how much I'd like to learn how to make real digital scrapbook pages using Elements.

So, I saw a wonderful photo collage this week on the SmugMug dailies by John Loguk of Lights and Dreams Photography. I was very inspired, and I'm pleased to say, that I have figured out the mechanics of how to do something similar to that using my pictures and Elements. Yippee! See two samples above.

I'm getting the hang of layers and name it. So, if you guys get a calendar for Christmas this year, you'll know why, right?

Seriously, thank you everyone for your support.

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