Baker’s Dozen Link Love

3 11 2010

1. Joe McNally: Common Mistakes by Photographers
One of my favorite photographers, Joe McNally, created a list of common mistakes people make when starting out in photography. Go check out this great post here:
http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2010/11/02/mistakes-2/

2. Larry Becker’s Cheap Shots
Through Scott Kelby’s blog (love him, too!), I learned about Larry Becker and his new DIY blog, Larry’s Cheap Shots. This blog resulted from his regular segment on the photography web-based tv show, DTownTV. He offers great DIY projects and inexpensive solutions to your photographic needs. Visit his regular blog, also a great site, here: http://lbecker.com/blog/

3. Dan Williams, Bird Photographer
I met Dan Williams, bird photographer extraordinaire, when he was exhibiting during a Craftsmen’s Classic Art & Craft Show at the Dulles Expo in Chantilly, Virginia last year. I had the chance to talk with him at length about his photography career, including his choice of equipment—the full frame 24.9mp Sony A900. After seeing his work, I have concluded that there is no one better at this genre—so I’m leaving avian photography to him! His work is clean, graphic and filled with color. He describes his approach to composition in his blog post, Keeping It Simple Can Produce the Best Results, here. Another insightful post, Breaking the Laws of Nature Photography, can be found here. Check out his website here and his blog here.

4. Bob Krist’s Compact Location Lighting Kit
After seeing freelance photographer Bob Krist on the Nikon Creative Lighting System video, I decided I had to put together a compact lighting kit like his. My only change was a cheaper travel case—although now that I see his Stormcase has wheels, I’ve got that on my wishlist again. I already had many of the items; I just needed to add some of the accessories—such as the smaller collapsible light stands and shorter umbrellas. (The video is well worth the price—lighting guru Joe McNally and Bob Krist show the amazing results you can accomplish using Nikon Speedlight flashes on location. Check out the DVD here). Krist works on assignment with magazines such as National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian and Islands. His website is beautiful—check it out here. I traveled with my newly-assembled kit for the first time when I photographed musician Richard Reed in Providence, RI, earlier this fall. I was on assignment for Cochlear Americas and posted the results of our two photo sessions here. Richard wrote an article for the November/December 2010 issue of the Hearing Loss Magazine, which went to print last month. I’ll be posting a recap on that issue shortly.

5. Erik Gauger’s Notes from the Road
I discovered travel writer and photographer Erik Gauger’s blog a few years ago and have had the pleasure of corresponding with him via e-mail regularly. I will be interviewing him and profiling his career in a future post on this blog, so stay tuned. His website is not only beautiful, it will make you want to hit the road in search of adventure! His blog has garnered accolades: “Unexpected frontier of the travel blogosphere…” —Boston Globe; “Sumptuous Site” —Time Magazine; and “The best-looking blog we’ve seen” —Forbes Magazine. Erik’s blog is definitely a must-see, must-read virtual trip. Find out why at http://www.notesfromtheroad.com/

6. Kolby Kirk’s Travel Journal
I met webmaster/graphic designer/photographer/traveler Kolby Kirk through my blog. Check out his newest blog—The Journal. He has several other websites that can help you plan your own travel adventures. Click here to peruse that list.

7. It’s (K)not Wood
I have a thing for anything faux bois (fake wood), from vases to dishes to table runners, so I love Emilyn Eto and Jonathan Lo’s It’s (K)not Wood, the blog “dedicated to all things faux bois.” Oh, and did I mention I also love anything emblazoned with leaves, trees, twigs, birds, bird eggs, bird nests, or bird feathers, too?

8. The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies
If you’re an “old school” graphic designer, you’ll appreciate the trip down memory lane in Lou Brooks’ The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies. Click on any item from “the ghosts of graphic arts past” to relive its use.

9. The Pantone Hotel
On my list of places to rest my weary head, I just added The Pantone Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. For those of you who don’t know what the heck Pantone is, click here.

10. On my nightstand: A Homemade Life
A few weeks ago, I read A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg, the creator of the blog, Orangette. I found myself sniffling in the airport during some of the passages she writes about her dying father, an exuberant gastronomic. Food and memories are intertwined in this short, sweet read. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry…so good, it even made me want to cook—one thing I just don’t do much of, I must confess. Learn more about the book and Wizenberg in this Amazon.com review here. In honor of your father, Molly, I promise to utilize (soon, I promise, soon) my shiny new white KitchenAid mixer—a well-received birthday present last month from my friends Gina, Karen and Rob. I have always thought that if only I had one of these, then I would be a real cook. Guess now I don’t have any excuses to stay out of the kitchen, do I?

11. Matt Bites Blog
I just love food photographer Matt Armendariz’ blog, http://mattbites.com/. His blog tagline reads, “a man obsessed with food, drink & everything in between.” A former graphic designer and art director in the food industry, he is one of the charter members of Martha’s Circle, a selection of lifestyle blogs selected by the editors of Martha Stewart Living. Check out his food & drink, travel and photography portfolios while you’re there. Just reading his recent recipe for Chicken & Potato Patties makes me hungry—oooh, and they include cilantro, one of my favorite herbs!

12. Mark Berkery’s Macro Photography
This site was featured on the “Freshly Pressed” page in WordPress last week—Mark Berkery’s Being Mark blog. His macro photography is jaw-dropping and if you click here, you’ll learn how he gets these amazing shots (it’s not just equipment—he knows technique, too), as well discover that there’s an inexpensive piece of equipment to add to your arsenal to capture images like his—a Raynox Macroscopic Lens. I’ve never heard of this company until now, but was thrilled to find their inexpensive products at Adorama. I first ordered the DCR-250 ($50 + shipping), which allows really high magnification and includes a snap-on universal mount suitable for lens that range from 52mm to 67mm size (I’ll try it first on my Nikkor 105mm micro, but it can be used on any of my lens, macro or not. They can be used on other cameras, too—not just Nikons). After reading the various entries on this Pentax forum here, I decided I also wanted the option of pulling back from my subject, so I also ordered the DCR-150 ($42.95 + shipping). I’ll do some experimenting shortly and will report my findings.

13. And finally, this one is just plain fun!
I learned about HEMA’s site here a few years ago (via graphic designer Chuck Green’s Design Briefs, if I’m not mistaken) and I still think it’s still one of the coolest retail sites online. HEMA is a Dutch department store chain. Unless you’re from the Netherlands, you probably won’t be able to read any of the product names, but wait a few seconds to see the reason this site is so much fun anyway. Do turn up the sound or you’ll miss some of the action. My flight attendant friend Gina has a penchant for visiting grocery stores in her international travels, so I’m sure when she sees this link, she’ll be making plans to patronize HEMA the next time she’s in Amsterdam!

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Parents, plants and partying

22 03 2010

Best parents in the world, shown at right. It’s true. It’s really, really true. Wouldn’t trade ’em for nuthin’. Check out the latest photos I’ve posted on our wedding blog here.

Speaking of blogs…check out my dad’s blog, The King of Texas. He waxes rhapsodic about his family, revisits his childhood (with amazing recall for details), comments on current events (political, celebrity, media and more), and aims to right grammatical wrongs (one visitor at a time) with his occasional lessons on the subject. Check out his archives for some of his essays. I introduced him to blogging almost a year ago and he has become a prolific poster. He has always loved to write and it shows in his lengthy and detailed essays. I just knew it would be a great creative outlet for him. I realize I’ve created a monster, but I am so proud of my grasshopper! Whether you agree or disagree on any particular posting, he welcomes feedback of any kind (but thrives on kudos in particular), so don’t hesitate to comment—he always responds.

Out in the garden…my hellebores, snowdrops and crocus plants are in bloom—after a long, cold, way-too-much-snow winter. I predict some flower photos appearing on the blog shortly. Michael and I cleaned up most of the front yard (gathering six bags of debris!) on Thursday and my friend Tom helped me with a good portion of the back yard garden on Friday. There are lots of empty gaps in the garden this year, so there will definitely be some restructuring of the various beds in an effort to refresh things. I bought a slew of bulbs at Home Depot last night for the front yard garden (liatris, crocosmia, tigridia and lilies). I’m waiting to plant when I’m sure there’s no danger of frost! I also want to try out some new perennial choices so I’ll have some new specimens to photograph this year.

Speaking of flower photography…check out my buddy Ed Vatza’s stunning photos here of the elusive Himalayan Blue Poppy, which he photographed at Longwood Gardens recently. Wish these beauties weren’t so temperamental—they would be in my garden in a heartbeat if they were easier to grow!

And on to the partying…Nanda, one of my Garden Club Weedettes, hosted a knitting party late this afternoon (with wonderful Indian munchies). Yours truly was introduced to knitting today. Boy, was that ever a challenge! I think I’ve gotten the hang of it (sorta/kinda), but it’s definitely seems harder than my basic crochet skills. I’ll post a few photos of my newfound knitting friends and my work-in-progress (I think it’s a scarf—hard to tell at this point!) shortly. Sigh…as if I needed another hobby.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Apparently you can get here from there!

20 05 2009

In celebration of passing the 70,000 mark on my blog, I offer you some unusual word searches that actually brought visitors to the blog:

cocker spaniel trixie little jimmy
nancy wong booty (Nancy must be very popular.)
mating blogs
october afternoon ducks in a row
what rhymes with the name victoria carr
polydactyl woman (Apparently, it’s possible. Read this.)
the coolest thing ever
obsessive crochet (Been there, done that—too much for my own good)
thrift stores on way to death valley (Ooh! Now that sounds like a fun road trip.)
kids running from bees  (Smart kids)
mom washed our hair   (Every Sunday night, right before the Wonderful World of Disney)
nun toys ugly  (hmmmm….)
using thankfully incorrectly  (Ha! My dad is going to love that one.)
sugar glider on a cat (not a safe place to be, that’s for sure)
lucky hummingbird hobo (I googled it to see what that might be. It’s a tote bag.)
ice cream chest freezer in rio grande valley (hmmm…sounds like criminal activity…should I call the police?)
lilium sweat kiss (sweet, not sweat…and it’s a Lily hybrid)
20 foot high elephant lawn ornament (Our homeowner association would have a fit!)
she wet (T.M.I.)
honey sockal loocust creeper (Definitely not a potential candidate for a spelling bee)

And the top dozen postings of “all time” on my blog are:

Concrete leaf casting (still in the #1 position, as always): 2,482 hits

Color Magic Rose (still in the #2 position, as always): 1,777 hits

Crafty room divider screen: 1,523 hits

Stuff about me: 1,128 hits

Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth: 598 hits

Spotlight on Abbie!: 592 hits

Gigglebean with parrot and sugar glider: 528 hits

Heavenly blue: 515 hits

Mina Lobata (Spanish flag): 489 hits

Monarch butterfly habitat poster: 449 hits

Then on to craft project #823: 387 hits

Bionic Woman = Cover Girl: 345 hits

Many thanks to my fellow bloggers who have sent their visitors to my blog:

Avid gardener and photographer Birgitte in Denmark

Bookkeeper, writer, cochlear implant recipient and fun-loving Abbie in New Jersey

Avid gardener, photographer, wife, and mother Jan in Virginia

Garden designer and photographer Pam in Austin, Texas

Traveler, blogger and photographer ChrisY “Visuallens” in Malaysia

Librarian, gardener and photographer Phillip in Florence, Alabama

Lovely Heather—Mom, wife, designer, lover of all animals, helpless creatures and underdogs—somewhere in the U.S.

Golden-haired, candid, open and honest, blossoming photographer Chloe in Australia

Avid gardener, quilter, and Kurt’s Mom—Aunt Debbi in North Texas

Hearing loss social network creator Senthil somewhere in the U.S.

Gardener, nature lover, and recorder-of-all-things-happening-in-the-pond GG near Atlanta, Georgia

Photographer Scott Thomas in upstate New York

Artist and photographer CheyAnne in New Mexico

Passionate gardener, daylily enthusiast and aspiring novelist Gotta Garden in Stafford, Virginia

Avid gardener and photographer Jan from Covington, Louisiana

Reluctant (but obsessed anyway) gardener Kim in Maryland

Creative photographer and lonely wanderer Wildblack in Abu Dhabi

Fotoblography Andy, somewhere in the U.S.

Web/graphic designer and photographer Stacy Tabb in central Florida

Marketing specialist and very talented nature photographer Ed Vatza in eastern Pennsylvania

Homemaker, wife, mother of five beautiful children, and cochlear implant recipient Jennifer near Nashville, Tennessee

Up-and-coming country singer/songwriter Jay Henley in Maryland

Artist, crafter, newlywed, and amazing cloudscape/Texas sky photographer Shelley in West Texas

Avid gardener, photographer, mother, wife and Army retiree Tina from Tennessee

Gardener, blogger and candid writer Gumboots in Australia

Father, writer, and soon-to-be-a cochlear implant recipient (yay for you, finally!) Ulf in Norway

Undeniably, hands-down, no contest—the best father this girl could have, The King of Texas





Absentee

22 03 2009

Yes, I’ve been noticeably absent for over a week. We were in San Antonio visiting my family from March 13-20. Plus, I was battling a raging sinus infection from the day after I arrived to the day I returned. Thanks to a visit to a doctor (plus a shot in the behind and a fistful of drugs), I am feeling better now. I will have photos to share from our vacation but wanted to post this shot I did of ZenaB on the stairs yesterday afternoon.

Oh, and by the way…my father and younger sister have now been introduced to the world of blogging. They both came in kicking and screaming, though, but it’s really for their own good. They are both gifted writers and should be sharing their talent with the world. They have both promised me they will post soon. Until they do, bookmark their sites and check back occasionally. Dad’s blog is www.thekingoftexas.wordpress.com. (The blog takes its name from the royal title my friend Debbi bestowed upon him in a fairytale she wrote about me a few years ago). I have encouraged him to blog because he has wonderful stories to tell in his stream-of-consciousness way. Some of my regular visitors have already been enlightened and informed through his “Grumpy Grammar Guru” comments and posts that I have shared on this blog.

My sister’s blog is www.itsjustnotright.wordpress.com. (This blog takes its name from something my sister says often.) I have encouraged her to put her thoughts into a blog because she is very funny. Her observational skills are amazing and her recall is astounding (sometimes much to my chagrin when she remembers things from our childhood that I thought I had blocked out)—whether she is talking about her single-girl-dating days or sharing the antics of her two children. I doubt she has even noticed that I replaced the standard banner with a great shot of her with her daddy. Let’s see how long it takes her to notice (and change her password so I can’t gain access again). Give them both a chance to build some momentum. I believe they will both be pleasantly surprised at how rewarding blogging can be!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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