Thursday, May 11, 2017

Dear Kerby,

In the 90s I remember getting my first computer that ran Windows. It was not exactly mine, it was a family computer. The computer came with a small CD-ROM Binder. The binder included a few educational games like Gizmos and Gadgets, word processing/presentation software and the encyclopedia.

I greatly remember a disc from the Hallmark company. It could do about anything creative; cards, banners, certificates, and more. Later on I got tired of the presets and began using the blank pages to do my own thing. The main feature inserting clipart and some word art. Clipart is a way of saying pre-made illustrations. 

I was a fan of printing out anything an everything. The printer did not scare me. I was not afraid of ink. I graduated from the Hallmark into a few other programs that would make cards. The new program had a feature where you could edit the clipart. I spent many an hour recoloring the designs to get the right color. Ever seen a purple bear? Not exactly sure how many color schemes I went though or how many fonts I learned to like with this process.

By high school I still had a family computer. This computer change so much over the years as did my use of design programs. My dad knew of someone that could get us used copies of programs. I had Photoshop and Illustrator from Adobe. 98% of it was using Photoshop because I had acquired a few books on how to do some simple graphic techniques. I also had a photo magazine that had step-by-step instructions on how to edit photos. It showed how to crop photos and create different color effects. Little did I know that later on in my life I would be using Illustrator more than Photoshop.

My enjoyment of design and art came from a need to print especially custom greeting cards.

Talk to you later,
Bluelaugh

Clipart

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Dear Kerby,

All I can say is that it has been a while since I last wrote. I have had things going through my head that I have wanted to write you about things going on lately. It is more of me being afraid of telling you rather than being lazy and not writing. 

Here I go:

  • relationships
  • computers problems
  • design work
  • photography
  • exercise

With this being 2017 and I not being in a relationship I wanted to start over. I have been taking to some guys but never sure where it goes. They talk to me as if it is going to lead to a first date but they fade away. In the past week I found someone new to talk to. This one had lead to me going on a date/ hanging out with him in a few days. On the outside I am excited but on the inside I know not to get my hopes up.

Last year I had a computer problem with the new update. The Apple Store wiped my computer clean and did a clean install of the operating system. Since that incident I have been using Time Machine on my iMac. have not had to restore anything from it so far. 

In the past week I found out that I had an external drive start failing on me. The bad way to notice it is when files start to disappear. The Genius Bar at the Apple Store told me to put the files on the Mac hard drive itself. Time Machine will take care of backing up the files. In the future, I would like to get a new portable external drive. Not a priority because life changed and I hardly have a place to transport the files; not going to school any more. I would still like something portable for those large files.

I have been doing a little design work from time to time as always. I find little projects I do for people but noting that major at this point. I keep up with what I like to do.

Photography is also keeping me busy. I have had two shows so far to display work in and I am working on a third. All I can say is that creativity takes time. Executing the photograph is the main chunk of the project when you do things as I do. I hope one photo will sell. 

When feeling healthy I get back into exercising. I am sticking to the 5 days a week goal that I set for myself 95% of the time. It works for me as long as I watch what I eat and log it. My goal is to be more fit for a special event I have planned in June. Maybe, this goal makes me more fit.

Lately, I feel better about myself. Things can only get better.

Talk to you later,
Bluelaugh

Keeping On

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dear Kerby,

What a way to start off January! I ended up getting sick. I was not eating. As a result of not eating or not eating the right things I got sick. I had a fever among other things. I wanted to rest in baed. After a few days I ended in urgent care. From there I went to the ER. The ER sent me into the hospital for observation over night.

One night ended in about 10 days. I have been out of the hospital for about 5 days now. I am recovering from a version of pneumonia where they had to take fluid from around my lung. From time to time my lung has a small pain that comes and goes. It last a minute or two. It is just my body healing slowly.

I am back up and moving. I do my exercises to make me stronger. What more can I do? I do not want to be stuck in a hospital bed with only tv to watch. Not my style.

Talk to you later,
Bluelaugh

Sick

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Dear Kerby,

I am not here to brag. I have had my setbacks most are my fault. Sad, but true. I am picking myself up and moving on.

I got back to tracking my weight, food, and exercise again by the beginning of November since I had been out of work for a few weeks. As soon as I started I hit a heavy downward spiral. I did try to keep myself sane food wise. By the end of the day I was always wanting more food – left hungry. Part if the problem was having the wrong calorie settings in the apps tracking my intake. I thought by eating less calories and exercising 75 minutes a day and getting in 11,000 steps I would be fine. Not true for me.

My main goal is to go hard with everything in the month of January once the holidays are over - jobs, exercise, and relationships. I find it difficult to do anything major till the end of the year. I am still going to watch my weight and make sure the holiday parties to not destroy me.

I was talking to a good friend and I told him about my camera situation and how things are taking a long time. I asked him, "What happens if the batteries for my camera are sent to me and I am still not satisfied with my camera? Is it fine to sell the camera and get something new?" We both agreed that I must be happy with whatever I have since I will be using it quite often. The reason I got the cameras was because I thought it was going to be something I would love since I liked all it had to offer. Part of the reason to find a job in January is to: continue investing in my future, saving for my short term goals, and just living everyday life. Don't worry, I budget things. Finding a new camera will be a short term goal but it will not be that short. I am not going to let this camera situation be a setback for me.

Relationships took a downfall. Not much to say in that department. I am glad I have some good friends to talk to even though we do not hang out as much as I would like.

What is something you tried recovering from this year?

Talk to you later,
Bluelaugh

Move On

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Dear Kerby,

In the past month I have been taking some photos of anything an everything. Anything can be photographed. No need to wait for the moment when the moment is now. Now is all around us. On this journey of snapping and not thinking I fell more in like with the photos.

While on the journey I found a black an white style that I have become more comfortable with. This lead me to shoot the photos in black and white. I have been shooting in color for so long that I would like to get back to black and white. I was told that I do good photos in black and white. If only I did more! I can see a good amount of my photos from this upcoming year being shot in this black and white style.

I shot the photos with a depth of field f/4 or lower. A few of them have a slightly out of focus look which fascinate me. Take a look at the trees in the woods. I am not saying that every photo has to be out of focus (the rushing water). Somehow, I like the grain added to the mushroom. I like a grain that adds to the photo but is not overpowering. Even an out of focus photo with grain still looks good to me.

I have a few photos I need to produce for some upcoming events this next year. I can not wait to produce more photos if they are as fun to take as these photos were.

Talk to you later,
Bluelaugh






The Journey

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Dear Kerby,

For a few months now I have had a problem with my new (digital) camera. I sent it in with the battery and charger so that they can find the problem and get it repaired. I did not get the charger and battery back when they sent me the camera. This can be a problem. Not having my new camera made me want to take time to shoot some rolls of film. Yes, I did have my older digital camera I could use which I have been using sparingly. I have been watching/following some advanced photographers on YouTube as they talk about film photography. These photographers have some lessons I can relate to. The topics they talk about can be translated to digital photography because the techniques go above boundaries.

I have been with a local camera club for quite a number of years now and I have learned a number of lessons about how to handle a camera in manual mode as well as things on my own. I know about film speed/iso, aperture/depth of field, and shutter speed. These three things can be summed up as the exposure triangle. With my first digital camera I never thought about any part of the triangle. I let the camera do what it needed to in full auto mode. By my second digital camera I started to learn about parts of the exposure triangle. I have not quite mastered all three parts.

Shutter speed keeps giving me problems. In my mind I do not know correct timing for the right exposure. I always relied on the few second image review after taking the photo. I could then gauge if I needed more or less time so that what I was photographing would become correctly exposed, in my eyes. This is not an accurate way to take a photo because I lose time when reviewing and might miss something perfect. If I was to set the camera up like it was a film camera I would not have the advantages of instantly reviewing the shot. Film cameras sort of have the all or nothing feel.

The other day I came across a photography term called sunny 16. If you do not know what the term is then take time to watch this video. After having the video explain the technique I discovered a new way to look at the camera. I am slowly trying to find the correlation between the items on the exposure triangle. I like a shallow depth of field (F/4 or lower) for most of my photos. If I use a shallow depth of field to take my photo with a low iso (400 or less) then I try and calculate the correct exposure time. The sunny 16 gives me a jumping off point on how to calculate for the correct exposure.

I am going to keep a small notebook in my camera bag from now on so that I can have the sunny 16 rule with me as well as write down things that work or do not work for me when correctly exposing photos. Not everything works the same for every photographer. It all depends on your individual artistic style of taking photos. Sometimes you just want to take a correctly exposed picture and other times you want something more artistic. I find myself in a happy medium between the two nowadays.

Hoping to share with you what I learn along the way.

Talk to you later,
Bluelaugh

Exposed

Friday, November 11, 2016

Dear Kerby,

In the late '90s somewhere between 4th and 5th grade I got to go on another summer vacation. Summer vacations were a regular thing for me, even if it was only a week long. I remember spending time Salem, MA. It was only about a day or so but none the less it was still enjoyable when I was that young.

The town had some sort of antique/resale shop that peaked my interest. I got a few things from that shop. One of them was a hefty, metal peace sign belt buckle. The belt buckle was hand made in fashion with the hammered metal feel. When I got home I knew the exact belt I was going to use the buckle on. This belt came from one of the novelty venders at the county fair. It had a stamped design of eagles all around. I even had an arrow head eagle buckle on it. This buckle was no more. I took off the old buckle to use the new peace sign.

I had many problems with the belt buckle when I was using it at school. The buckle would come unattached. I remember in P.E. I had to keep adjusting it. I adjusted it so much that the teacher was wondering what I was doing. With this problem I stopped using the belt and the buckle. Years later after I started college I rediscovered the buckle. I got a belt that fit me. This made all the difference. The buckle never slipped off. The belt became something that I wore with every outfit I owned.

Recently, I got my Fitbit and I started watching what I eat. I was not "fat" but I was not in the most healthy state. This resulted in the belt and buckle not fitting quite right even though it was as tight as can be. I gave in and got a new belt. Along with the new belt came a new belt buckle. I ended up ordering this belt from Foster Weld and a customized copper wooden buckle from Shop Joyo.

Yes, I did mention that the belt buckle was customizable. I had some song lyrics from a Kimya Dawson song put into the wood. When read sideways the belt buckle reads "I am grounded   |   I am humbled    |   I am one with everything" These lyrics from the song are with me wherever I go. I am reminded to be better and do better. Overall, it is a fun song to sing as are all Kimya Dawson songs. I am sure that I will not buy a new belt or belt buckle for years.

Talk to you later, Bluelaugh

Peace