Award Winning Photographers

I had an eye appointment last night, and I have originally reached middle age. I now have bifocals. They will take some getting used to, but I sure can see better now.

We attended the monthly meeting of the Sweetwater Camera Club tonight, and it was a great night for the Barrett family.

I won an Honorable Mention in the Field Trip category for this photo:



Our youngest son (who is nine) won Second Place in the Color category. This month’s theme was Architecture, and he won with this photo:


Our oldest son (12) won First Place and Third Place in the Field Trip category with these photos.

First Place:

Inside The Monastery 2


Third Place:

Statue At Monastery


As of tonight, all three boys have now won an award for at least one of their photos! All in all, it was a great evening!

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Lookin’ For Love

Green Herons are fun to watch, especially when they’re trying to impress each other.

Green Heron #3


Green Heron #5


For the record, the female made her appearance just moments after these photos were taken.

My Fine Feathered Friend

I’ve got a lot scheduled over the next couple days, so I hope you’ll bear with me while I post some photos today and tomorrow. I promise, they’re good ones.

Red-Tailed Hawk #5


Red-Tailed Hawk #4


See. I told you. You can see some more awesome birds on my Flickr account.

No Rain On My Parade!

They say, when it rains, it pours. It rained today.

Two days ago we paid almost $600 to get our air conditioner fixed. This morning my wife walked down to the basement to get something from her sewing room and the floor was flooded. It wasn’t a flood of Biblical proportions, and thank God it wasn’t the water heater.

The pump that sits on the floor next to the air conditioning unit was not pumping the condensation outside, and because condensation can only build up so much before it pours over, it poured over onto the floor.

All over the floor.

Several boxes of items were damaged, but the worst damage was to my wife’s art portfolio, which contained all of the sketches, drawings, and paintings she has done over the course of the past thirty years.

All of it is damaged.

After careful examination of the air conditioning unit, and the condensation pump, we realized the pump was not getting power and after running a new power line to it, it works just fine. The condensation can now flow through the pipe and out of the house. Of course, after the rain moved through today the temperature cooled and we won’t need to run the air conditioner again for a few days.

At least it’s ready when the time comes.

Good MedicineOn a normal day, that would be the end of the excitement for the day. Not today it wasn’t.

I forgot until very late this afternoon that the Sweetwater Camera Club meeting was tonight, so we hurried to get some photos ready for the contest, and rushed out the door.

As usual, we had a good time visiting with friends, and the presentation by Kathryn Kolb of Kathryn Kolb Photography, was excellent. She’s an awesome photographer, a wonderful speaker, and a true professional.

The meeting ended on a high-note when I won second place in the field trip category for my photo, “Good Medicine”, which you see here on the left. You can click the image to see the full sized image on my flickr page.

As we pulled into the driveway, I realized my right front headlight is burnt out. My list for tomorrow has already started. Something tells me it’s going to be a long list.

I hope you had a good day!

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A Long Day Preceeding A Long Week

Wow, what a day!

It all started this morning when the boys and I met some friends for breakfast at a local place that had a line out the door at 9am. The food was decent, the company was awesome, and a good time was had by all.

After breakfast we all met to practice some lighting techniques, shooting with a backdrop and an actual model. I had a chance to photograph some models a couple months ago, but forgot my camera the night they were at a camera club meeting, so today was the first time I took photos with a model that didn’t have wings or branches.

After our “shoot” the boys and I stopped by Sweetwater Creek State Park, but all we saw were a couple Double Crested Cormorants, seven Bufflehead, and two Pied-Billed Grebes.

One of the guys invited us over, so we stopped by his place after the park and spent an hour or so watching the hundreds of birds in his backyard. (Photos of the birds and the model tomorrow, as I am exhausted tonight).

On the way home we stopped by another friends house to visit and chat for a couple hours and we were home at dinner time.

Before the kids went to bed they stood out on the back deck and listened for owls. We played a couple owl calls from the iBird Explorer Pro app on the iPhone, and a Barred Owl responded almost immediately. I played the sound of an Eastern Screech Owl and we were “buzzed” by what appeared to be a Barred Owl, probably the same one who answered the call the first time.

After an eventful day, the kids are all sacked out and it’s all I can do to get this post done. In fact, I think I may be rambling a bit. I have to clean the garage tomorrow, then Monday I will be making calls about the health-care bill.

Back in 2001, Sen. Robert Byrd went on the record to state that reconciliation for Clinton’s health care package was unacceptable.


This time, however, he has no problem with it. I wonder if he, or anyone else, has a problem with the U.S. House of Representatives passign a rule that says “the House deems the Senate version of Obamacare to have been passed by the House”, when Article I, Section VII, Clause II states,

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively

Pay attention to that last part that is in bold print. Every vote for each bill shall be determined by yeas and nays, not some rule thought up by House leadership to bypass the legislative process of the United States.

This is a do or die week. Call your Congressman, call your Senator. If you have a problem with Louise Slaughter, the Rules Committee chairwoman, gutting the Constitution and completely re-writing the legislative branch of our government, call them all!

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How Did You Spend Your Saturday?

Well now I’ve done it. I went and created a new photoblog. I know, I know. I don’t want to hear it. The kids were busy playing in the snow and enjoying their day so I took a few minutes to throw together a completely new website, complete with eye candy.

I just decided that I needed a place to highlight some of my best (or favorite) photos. I have a different blog for everything else, why not photos? Instead of pointing you to my Flickr account to see my photos, I will point you to EXIFR, the new photoblog, that displays photos from my Flickr account.

Yes, you read that right, and yes, it is confusing. Let me attempt to explain.

EXIFR will be an intimate photo album that highlights the best of my Flickr photos. I will still be using Flickr to share my photos, but rather than point you to an entire set of photos or my entire photostream everytime I take some photos, I’ll simply point you to EXIFR, so you can enjoy them in all their 1024 x 683 goodness.

So? What are you waiting for? Go check out EXIFR. I bet there are some photos there you have never seen (unless you’re a stalker who has already sifted through my entire Flickr photostream).

I will now step down from my soapbox of self promotion and enjoy the rest of my Saturday.