Saturday, April 25, 2009

A fantastic day

Today was day one of a photography weekend put on by Rocky Mountain School of Photography. OH MAN!!! I had my choice of 9 classes over 3 sessions. I wanted to take all 9. The three I chose were so full of good stuff. I can't believe how much I learned. The trick will be remembering. The guys are such good teachers. After the class I had on Low Light and Night Photography, I was so psyched to go out and try the things he told us about. Some really easy tricks. I want to attend one of their week long workshops sometime. They have them in MT where the school is located and also several great locations throught the US and one in Victoria, BC, Canada (one of my favorite cities). I can't wait for tomorrow's classes. There are two videos I'd like to buy but I'm going to choose only 1 -- I think.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jazz Bands Concert

Tonight I went to my 13 year-old nephew's Jazz Band Concert. Now, mind you, the kids were grades 7-12. There were 4 different bands. The first band consisted of several 7th and 8th graders. They decided they wanted to be a band. These kids were fantastic. The next band was 7th - 12th graders. Well, they blew my socks off too. The next, a combo was 6 guys grades 8-12. They not only totally amazed me, they blew everyone's socks off at a competition a couple weeks ago and it was their first time participating. They received a standing ovation from the other bands. The last band also consisted of all the grades. Those kids were fantastic too. And Saturday they go for regional competition at Michigan State University. These kids do a lot of their own arranging of the songs and for the most part, their music was memorized.

They have a new director this year and he is fantastic. He has taken the kids to new levels. Two of the bands meet during non-regular school hours. The combo comes in at 7:00AM daily and one meets during G period which I think is supposed to be kind of a free period. The kids in the 1st group even get together on Saturday mornings at one of their house's for outside practice. This school really encourages music. In most schools, kids aspire to be the top sports star. In this one, it is the top musician. I've never seen so many good musicians in one school and it is a small school -- a charter school. And I've never seen middle and high school play together. Usually there is such a difference in skill level, the high schoolers would not want the younger ones playing with them. These kids all have such a great time playing together. One of the boys who plays in the combo and the last group plays fiddle and guitar. Right after he graduates in a few weeks, he is joining the army and will become a member of the U.S. Army Band. The kid can play!

Black River, you guys rock!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bike Ride

I got the bicycle out today after work. I had a chiro appt which is about 3 miles from my house. Jumped on the bike and headed over to his office. It felt so good to be out there riding. Supposed to have another few nice days. Hopefully I can get a few more rides in of longer duration.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Ya just gotta love MI weather. Nice for a few days in a row. Nice enough to even get a little tan on my face when at the zoo. THEN the bottom falls out. This morning it was in the 20's and got up into the mid 40s. That's not so bad. It was the wind and lack of sun that made it a very chilly day. I was hoping to get the old bike out again today and go for a little longer ride than yesterday but it was too cold. The weather report for the end of the week looks MUCH better starting on Wednesday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A beautiful day

Today was an absolutely beautiful Spring day. So after work, I headed out to Meijer Gardens. I wanted to get more pictures of the butterflies. There were quite a few people there when I arrived but they started thinning out after about a half hour. It was getting close to closing time and dinner time. I got some pictures but not sure if they are good or not. I'll look later.

On the way home, I stopped at a camera store and bought a new tripod and head. I've been looking at this one tripod for about a year. Every time I got to a different camera store to look at them, this is the one that they recommend. I can't find a good picture of the head but it has a pistol-like grip. Hopefully I can try it out tomorrow. I also rented a macro lens that I'm going to try out tomorrow. It will be a return trip to photograph the butterflies and some of the flowers.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meijer Gardens

The butterflies are in bloom at the gardens.  I've been out there once to take some pictures.  Tried to go out again on Saturday but it was jam-packed.  I may go again Good Friday.  I have the day off.

This was my evening project tonight.


Meijer Collage3

I sure wish I had thought and got an email or something for this guy.  I love the picture.  The little girl is holding their ticket into the gardens.  I shot this through a tree from quite a distance away.  Telephotos are great.

P3143608 (Large)