So I’m a little excited about embarking on Monday on my first trip into Canada. I’ve been to the other side of Niagara Falls when I was a small child, but never further then that. Our trip includes exploring St. Paul Street, going to the Notre Dame Basilica, exploring Old Montreal, and St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, exploring Quebec, Chateau Frontenac, Montmorency Falls, The Sanctuary of Saint Anne De Beaupre, and ends with a visit to the Montreal Casino. This is a bus trip through Flo’s Tours and White Star Tours, but still looking forward to sharing my pictures from the trip! I hope to get some black and white film shots of the historical parts and the natural parts of the trip, along with digital color shots of the places we go.
Lately I’ve found myself trying to build my family portraiture portfolio. This is a learning experience because there is so much to consider. I’ve been building my infant and child portfolios, too, and they have similar challenges. When young children are involved a photographer needs to keep in mind that it by necessity needs to be a short shoot. Get in the beginning the shots you really want because that is usually the best chance you have, then you can try to fill in a few others if the child/infant is up to it. As a pediatric nurse I know what to expect from most kids, but each child is an individual and one is never totally in the know. Some kids work better when Mom and Dad are present, others are better behaved when they are no where in site. Sometimes the parents think they are helping by adding comments and such, but sometimes they just distract. This can be said for any extra person in the studio…if that is where you are shooting. Being outside has it’s own challenges…and add in pets…and one could easily throw ones hands in the air and say ENOUGH, but I love the challenges that each of these things have brought.
Through these shoots I’ve dealt with an healthy infant, one who had shoots earlier in the day, and one who had a stomach flu. Sometimes we get thrown curve balls, but good results can still be had!!
So I’m going to really try to be better at this blog thing…and post at least once, if not twice a week. I’m going to share my adventures (including such events as going to Myrtle Beach, trips to Ocean City, and white water rafting the New River in West Virginia) and my Interests (NASA, Airshows, Hapkido, and photography including black and white film and even exploring wet plate (ambrotypes) and Cyanotypes). Come along with me and maybe we’ll all learn something together!
The last few weeks I find myself getting more and more excited about the beginning of October fast approaching. The reason I’m excited is because on September 29 I leave for about a week and a half in New Mexico and Arizona. John and I will be attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, their 40th year actually. We are even going to be doing a photo walk while out there, John is leading it.
We are dividing the trip up just a little, leaving New Mexico and heading towards Arizona Sunday night to go to Page and see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, The Upper and Lower rim of the Grand Canyon, and coming back to Albuquerque via the Petrified Forest. The sites will be amazing and I hope to get a lot of fantastic photos!
I also can’t wait to compare with my photos from 2-3 years ago when I went to Antelope, right after getting my first Canon 40D camera…and a few months later when I first went to the Balloon Fiesta. We’ll see what comes from this adventure. 🙂
Wrote this a while ago and swear I published it, but here it is unpublished, but it deserves to be put up, so here it is. 🙂
In the last few months I have found myself learning more and more about NASA and the shuttle program down at Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island in Florida. I lucked into a spot at the NASA STS134 Tweetup and was able to make it back for the second launch attempt as the first one was scrubbed for a couple weeks. I have re-found the enthusiasm for space exploration that I had as a child watching Space Camp, this was back when each launch was played in our classrooms, that is until the fateful day that Challenger exploded during launch. I’m not sure I ever saw a launch live at school again. It is sad that a tragedy such as that could stop us following NASA as closely. Maybe it was because it was hard to explain to school children that the astronauts on that shuttle were dead and what that meant for us as a nation, those families, or the program itself.
Space is full of unknowns. There have been deaths along the way. There were two shuttle explosions, Challenger and later Columbia after their mission was completed that occurred during their re-entry. There were deaths before that, almost at the very beginning of the United States space exploration, Apollo 1 caught fire during a Launch-pad test. Apollo 1 showed the risks. A cellphone that we carry in our pockets now has more technology in it then they had when the first manned spacecraft went into space. If we could launch a man into space with that little bit of technology, what can we do now?
It has amazed me during the last few months how many people seemed to be relieved that the program was ending, stating that the cost was too much. When informed how little NASA actually gets of the federal budget these people were surprised, they all seemed to think it was much, much more. They also seemed surprised to learn what all NASA has given us technologically speaking. They did not know it was NASA who gave us Velcro, Tevlon, Light-weight metal alloys that we use in bathrooms/kitchens/in vehicles, they didn’t know it was communications technology from NASA that helped make modern cellphones available and usable by the public, or the amount of medical research that is done in space.
Other people were unaware of the discontinuation of the shuttle program and shocked to learn about it. They just assumed it was going as strong as ever. Some don’t realize that the shuttle program was around for about 30 years now, that it could only ever go to low earth orbit. I acknowledge that now that the international space station is build, our need of the shuttle is less. They don’t need the large cargo bay to hall up parts to the station. I do think we’d be better off keeping one shuttle in working order, just in case, until we have our next vehicle available for space travel. (This point has been proved with the crash of the Russian vehicle into space…could ending our shuttle program bring about the ending of the ISS many years earlier then planned?)
Where is NASA going now? Will there be further manned space flights from NASA, from the US? I don’t know. I sure hope so, and I hope that the American people realize the importance of that dream, of reaching for the stars! The dream of being an astronaut is important for our children. It keeps the imagination open and allows us the dream of going out into the universe, away from Earth to try to find other lifeforms. It keeps the imaginations going and expands our technology. It forces us to come up with better communication modes, of faster ways to travel, of ways to keep our astronauts healthy in an anti gravitational environment. The problems we have discovered from space travel have pushed us to keep motivated to change, to find better ways of doing things, and to grow as a people. Who would have thought when the space shuttle program started back in the 1970s and 1980s that one of our closest allies in the 2000s would be Russia? That they would be one of the key allies to get our astronauts into space now that we are ending our space shuttle program?
The dream is alive and we need to keep reaching for the stars. We need to keep our children’s eyes looking up. As tight as our budgets here on earth are, the jobs that are created by the NASA programs are invaluable to our future. People just need to open their eyes, see what is there, and dream of touching it.