Sunday, March 23, 2014

My New Photography Store

It took me some time to get it together and decide which route I wanted to take but today I finally created a store for my photography. After much deliberation I decided to go with "Imagekind" as they offered the best solution for me and allowed me to start with a free account with the option to upgrade at a later date.

For a year and a half I have been building up a good collection of images but couldn't decide what to do with them, whether to publish photo ebooks of my images or sell prints. For now I've decided to sell prints and see how it goes. I may yet publish specialized ebooks if I find a good option for publishing them. So far (as much as I might dislike it) Apple iBooks seems to be the only realistic route for publishing photography ebooks. Who knows what the future will bring though and maybe, just maybe, Ubuntu will offer an alternative for photography and art ebook publishing in the future (that's a hint guys just in case you didn't pick up on it.) There actually is some really nice photography software on Linux now and it's improving all the time. But that's for another day, for now I need to sign off and get back to editing. In the mean time you can find my new store here:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow, beautiful snow...

For the second time this winter we had snow in Corvallis. Last Thursday and Friday about a foot of snow was dumped from the sky on our heads. The initial reaction as usual is one of excitement because snow is very beautiful and puts an almost ethereal glow on everything. However, after a couple of days it becomes troublesome and dangerous as the ice sets in, making it difficult to move around. So the best time to head out to get some shots are those first couple of days and that's just what we did. It was also a perfect excuse to really give my Nexus 5 a run out to see just what it can do with a little help from the brilliant Snapseed. 

So far I've been really impressed by the Nexus 5, it is a great device and the camera is pretty good in daylight conditions. I love my DSLR but I have to admit, being able to easily carry my Nexus around with me and edit and share on the go is a really fantastic experience, I can't wait to see what future generations of phones bring us. And as I've covered before, Snapseed is just an incredible App that really brings your photographs to life and can give them a real fantasy almost game like feel. For example, around our house had a very Guild Wars feel to it with all the snow, it felt like the Norn areas in the game when we stood on the porch at night and looked out at the trees and Snapseed I think helped to capture this effect.

Now we wait for the inevitable thaw and the ice and slush that comes along with it. That will still never take away from the beauty of the initial snow fall for me. I'd happily take the snow over boring months of drizzle any year.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Autumn in Corvallis 2013

After a week of bad weather we are now back in Autumn, the leaves are changing and the colors have come alive as they tend to do here in Oregon. A couple of days ago +Linda Dean and myself took a walk along the river front in Corvallis. It's one of our favorite walks, it's beautiful, peaceful and of course lined with great restaurants and craft brewery's like Flat Tail and Sky High. We also love eating at Sada Sushi & Izakaya , they have great sushi. But for now back to the walk and the images we captured along the way.

The river front walk just comes alive in the autumn, the colors are vibrant and at sunset it looks incredible.

Photo by Linda Dean

For more images checkout my Flickr page:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Homebrew Ginger Beer!

As most of you know by now brewing beer is one of our passions and last night we brewed one of our specials, Ginger Beer, the alcoholic kind as apposed to the non-alcoholic mixer variety. We also used this opportunity to film a special episode of "Don't Be Afraid!" for an up and coming YouTube channel we're working on. And as usual I was able to snap away when I wasn't using the camera for filming so I decided to take a few shots of +Linda Dean butchering a Ginger or two as she prepared them for cooking.
Ginger has a very medicinal quality to it, almost like a mild sedative when brewed into beer. It can be very relaxing and a fantastic stress reliever as well as making sure you get a great nights sleep when needed most.
It is also very spicy, very, very spicy but not in an overpowering chili or curry way. After you've taken a sip of the beer you can feel a wave of heat rise up through your palette, through your nostrils and sinuses and out through the top of your head. It is a very pleasurable and relaxing experience.
Ginger beer is definitely one of those beers that you sip slowly over an evening, you definitely won't be downing bottles of it like you can with other beers. It is perfectly suited to those dark, cold and wet winters nights. A good book or movie and a bottle of your home brewed beer is guaranteed to relieve any stress you might have.
The little bit of effort that is needed to make five gallons or even just one gallon is well worth it. We will be posting a YouTube video showing you in detail how to make your first batch but for now these teaser images will have to suffice.
I'm not sure why I was so surprised to find out that ginger beer would be so spicy. I guess my only real experience with ginger before we brewed our first batch were what we used to call back home, dunking biscuits, they are very hard, crunchy ginger biscuits that we used to dunk in our cups of hot tea as kids. This would soften them enough so that we wouldn't crack our teeth eating them.
We had a really great time filming and shooting this one and I can't wait to see the video on YouTube when the editing is done. Brewing beer really is very rewarding, there is something very nostalgic about it, it connects us not just with our past but also gives us a sense of what a D&D tavern might be like or what the Prancing Pony might be like in Bree. At least that is how I feel about it and it always makes me feel happy.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Benton County Fair Part 3

To finish off the Benton County fair series of posts I'm going to show some of the produce that was on display at the fair. As I mentioned yesterday this includes the biggest onion I've ever seen and I'd say it would be great in a salsa or fried with mushrooms and a steak.
The food on display looked great and I wouldn't mind living on this food rather than packet stuff every day. Not that we eat packet food everyday, we actually eat home cooked fresh food the majority of the time.
The eggs were really big and fresh looking compared to supermarket eggs that tend to be quite small and very thin shelled.
+Linda Dean was in absolute heaven and spent a long time studying the produce on show. She is currently building a home hydroponics system and hopes to match the produce on show at some stage in the future.
Produce was not the only thing on display though, there was also a large selection of very impressive and colorful flowers on display including this sunflower.
I like unusual looking flowers with interesting shapes and colors, they make for good shots and can look very impressive.
The organizers and staff of the fair really did a fantastic job with the displays and really showed off what people in the community had to offer.
And to finish up I'm going to show two great images that were captured by +Linda Dean. The first is of one of the hardworking staff members at the fair. If it wasn't for these guys there would be no fair rides every year.
The second shot by +Linda Dean is a great capture. Most days and nights we either see or hear the fire trucks racing by to help someone and deal with a problem. We tend to take these Firemen for granted so it was great to see them taking the time out to spend time with the kids at the fair.
We spent six hours at the fair on the first day and we had a great time and some good food. It was really enjoyable and we would definitely go back next year.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Benton County Fair 2013 part 2

Following on from yesterday's post here is part 2 of the Benton County fair. As I mentioned yesterday one of the highlights of the fair is the animal judging. It's a great way for kids to learn how to take care of their farm animals and learn how to treat them properly.
+Linda Dean managed to get some good shots as we strolled around the edge of the arena.
The sheep judging was interesting, the owners hold up the sheep's head to show off the sheep's back and legs.
And while on the subject of sheep, we got to see our first sheep rodeo, kids rodeo or mutton busting to those in the know.
Since I was a child I've always loved old cars and trucks so coming across a couple of old Hull-Oakes Lumber Co. Mack logging trucks and a Ford TT was a real treat for me.

 Classic Mack trucks restored and kept in great condition for future generations to enjoy.
Given the age of the vehicles and the lighting I thought black and white worked really well for the next few images, I love the shadows and lighting.
+Linda Dean checking out the logging truck below.
The Ford TT was really great to see, there can't be to many of these left on or off the road anymore so it was great seeing one at the fair.
I think that's a good place to leave it for today, I don't want to be boring people with endless scrolling down the page and there is still a fair few images to go including the produce section that had the biggest onion I've ever seen, it could have fed a house full and looked really delicious. But I'll save that for the Benton County Fair part 3 which I'll post tomorrow.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Benton County Fair 2013 part 1

I don't normally go in for fairs especially since I'm trying to avoid junk food but we decided to go to the Benton county fair this year as it was my first time going to a fair in the US. And since I have the new camera it was a good opportunity to get some shots. It may not be the biggest fair but it has real charm and plenty to keep you occupied and enjoying yourself for hours.

Our first stop had to be food, we walked the full line of food trailers to the very end and found a nice little Italian sausage place. Home made, fresh, spicy Italian sausage and yes, it was as good as it looks.

After we had our breakfast it was time to take a look around and see what the fair had to offer. Llama's have to be one of the most unusual looking animals I've seen, kind of half way between a Camel and a Sheep with the weirdest looking teeth.
 +Linda Dean has always been a horse lover so the fair was a real treat for her. She got to spend some time saying hello to the ponies before we headed into the 4H small animal barn.
The 4H small animal barn is a great way for kids to show off their pets and enter them into friendly competition. We keep guinea pigs ourselves so we had an interest in seeing some of the animals on display and there was some real cute guinea pigs and bunnies on display.
Apparently we looked very suspicious to the pigeon below. I have no idea what kind of pigeon this is but the coloring is beautiful, I'm used to the normal everyday grey and white pigeons you see around cities.
This next image was taken by +Linda Dean and is one of the cutest bunny pics. It really does look like it came straight from a Disney movie and Linda captured it perfectly.

Heading back outside we encountered a hay wagon giving people rides around the fairgrounds. It was drawn by two of the most friendly draft horses, they had beautiful coloring and were very curious about us.

And that's about it for part 1 of the Benton County Fair posts, I will post part 2 tomorrow with images from the animal judging.