True Stories, 2014 — Los Barriles

Last night was the 2014 edition of True Stories in Los Barriles, presented by the Healing Winds Holistic Center.  This evening of personal, true stories written and read aloud by folks like you and me was produced and directed by local theatrical genius, Camilla Ford, and was generously supported by Tehroma Lask.   Music was by Dr Mary Kleinsorge.

I wasn’t sure what “folks like you and me” meant since Camilla is one of a kind (that’s GOOD, Camilla!).  I decided to interpret it as “normal” people.  But just imagine how much trouble Camilla had looking for “normal” people in Los Barriles?!  I guess she had to give up and invite the group we had last night.  It worked out in the end, though; the stories were all great!  There was a good turn-out for the show.  However, if you could not make it last night, here is a list of those reading their stories with accompanying audio…

Sefi Held

John Merryfield

Linda Hunter

Dennis Obrien

Sally de la Vos

Craig Hammes

Camilla Ford

Everyone had a good time!  And thank you, Camilla, for all the hard work you did in bringing us this great show!

Photographing Snow and Ice in the Baja

It may seem like a strange topic to write about in Mexico, but I have been studying how to photograph snow and ice.  True, there isn’t much snow or ice in the Baja, but I DID come prepared with a collection of unprocessed photos from Colorado taken in November and December.

First things first, though.  If you really want to improve your photos, the ONE piece of software you should be using is Adobe Lightroom.  I use this software for about 90% of the adjustments I make to my raw images.  You can get this at Amazon for $110.

Next check your camera manual, and if it is possible, shoot your images in what is called RAW mode.  Careful there, I did not say IN THE RAW.  RAW images have much more flexibility when it comes to making adjustments in the processing (e.g. color and exposure correction).  The bad news is that you will need special software to process or look at the RAW images.  The good news is that Lightroom is designed to handle RAW images with ease.

You may be asking how difficult Lightroom is to use.  While Lightroom is very powerful, it is quite easy to operate right out of the box.  As you gain familiarity and experience with Lightroom, you can then begin to explore the finer points of the software.  But where can you learn this?  Youtube to the rescue!  You can learn just about anything from Youtube, including how to use Lightroom.  For the current project of Snow and Ice, I have been watching two videos by Joshua Holko.  The first is Tips and Techniques for Shooting Ice and Snow, and the second is Processing Ice and Snow Images.

With the power and flexibility of Lightroom, you get CHOICES.  Loads of them.  Here is an example of the same photograph processed 3 different ways.  To see a larger version of any image, just click on it.  If you have a preference, I would like to hear which it is and why.  In the meantime, I will keep on processing as well as shooting new images here in the Baja!

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3


happy Easter to all!

Happy Easter, everyone!  It is a beautiful morning here.  Christ is risen AND the Easter bunny came!  It is great living with kids.  They make life so fun.

The Easter bunny came, but I think I would have been afraid of that leopard if I were him...

I found this note this morning. Silly girl. Doesn't she know the Easter bunny brings and hides the eggs?

When I woke up this morning, I found this note from Stefi waiting for me.  I sense that maybe she has some doubts about the ability of the Easter bunny to do his job without help.  As for me, I believe.

I love you Niki & Stefi!  Happy Easter!

Stefi is 11!

Stefi is 11!

I cannot believe that it was almost ten years ago we were in China, picking up our younger daughter, Stephanie.  It seems like yesterday that she was a screaming “bundle of joy.”  Stefi has now just turned 11, and I am wondering where the years have gone.  She is still quite energetic but screams much less now.  8-P

I have cherished getting to be Stefi’s dad and watching her grow.  I love exploring the world with her and learning things together.  I love teaching her.  I love her jokes.  I love the pictures she draws.  I love that she is now the family expert on animals; if she tells us some strange fact about an animal, you can bet it is true.  Last year in Mexico, there were “things” we had never seen before washing ashore in the strong wind — Mary and I did not even know if they were plant or animal, but Stefi took one look and told us they were sea cucumbers.  She gets this from her voracious reading.  Right now her favorite books are the Warriors series.

Five years ago she drew a picture showing first a little girl and then a very “dolled-up” older teenage girl.  At the bottom she wrote, “I am six, but I want to be eighteen.”  Every birthday I am a little sad that her wish is coming true so fast.  But I just want her to always know how proud I am of her.  She is becoming such a beautiful, sweet young lady.  However, she will always be my little girl.  And I will be her dad.  Even when.



getting back into the swing of things in Colorado

Ash Mesa Cornfield at Dawn

I woke up this morning with a start, not knowing where I was.  I thought I should be in Mexico but also knew things just weren’t right.  It didn’t take long to realize I was back in Colorado.

We are getting back into our routine here.  However, I want to keep up my photographic explorations.  I do still have quite a few pictures to process from Mexico (I took over 2500 exposures in the 6 weeks we were there) but also have many from last fall to still evaluate.  This morning, I found this one taken of a Colorado neighbor’s corn field at dawn last November 15th.  I particularly like the “alpine-glow” on the clouds in the background.

I find it funny we have so much corn in Iowa and here I am showing you pictures of Colorado corn. My plans for this year are to get more Iowa pictures for you during both planting and harvest.