Country Distancing

Willow City Loop Texas

2020-04-01

A few days ago we took a ride out to see the bluebonnets. We had planted about a pound of seeds in our yard, but they are still looking pretty skimpy. Willow City Loop is in the Hill Country just north of Fredericksburg Texas. It has just the right soil conditions so the bluebonnet flowers are always tall and lush and beautiful.

This year the bluebonnets did not disappoint.

The loop takes a few hours to drive with frequent stops to photograph.

Even in stormy weather there is always something interesting to photograph
Some downed trees can make an interesting subject.

We had a wonderful break from our self isolation. We saw very few other cars, but in the late morning more started to drive the loop. On the way home we even stopped to pick a few bluebonnets to press for our business at www.flowersinglass.com which, like all other non-essential business’, has been shut down except for some mail orders. Hopefully, we will be able to start doing art & craft shows in the fall. In the mean-time I could get used top this retirement thing!

Camera Club is Back Baby!

Still in Pipe Creek, TX

Last night we had a pretty successful meeting with the Greater San Antonio Camera Club.

At first we tried Google Hangouts which was a total disaster. This time we tried Zoom. At one point there were 11 members in attendance. There was a lot a laughter as us “old farts” struggled with this new way of holding a virtual meeting. Fortunately there was a 15 year old who managed to explain to a couple of the more technology challenged how to share their screens.

It’s a small miracle! That’s me second from left.

This Thursday we will hold a full meeting with all of the members. I think that we are ready, but still, just in case, wish us luck!

The Ten Best Things to Come Out of the Corona-virus

Still in Pipe Creek, TX

  • Many/Most of the companies seem to be sensitive to helping out with reduced or free services.
  • People seem to be taking more time for conversations. Be it on the phone, or video chat.
  • Not having to rush through a project. We now have plenty of time to finish it, AND do it right.
  • Working from home means less time in the car, less polluting the planet, and more time for relaxing.
  • Curbside pickup ROCKS!
  • We now know that there is an APP for everything including getting to know your neighbors.
  • The leisure of starting a new hobby with time to actually learn it.
  • Being mindful of eating leftovers.
  • Grocery shortages equals more weight loss.
  • Less traffic sound. means louder bird songs.
  • As a side and personal note, I am happy to be working on some of my photography projects such as the picture below.
Just a little imaginary photo taken at Arches National Park

Please note that I am not trying to minimize anyone’s pain and suffering. This is partly an attempt at levity, and partly some points that we have found useful in dealing with our own, at this point, voluntary isolation.

A Photographer Stuck Inside

Pipe Creek, TX
2020-03-24

This post is for all of my photographer friends who are struggling with what to do now that they can’t go out and shot, or attend their favorite photo clubs meeting.

Aside from projects around the house I have also still been working on my photography. I do have a couple of on-line photo competition sites that I regularly submit my photos to.

The first one is https://gurushots.com. I have been a member for less than a year and it has been a lot of fun. To think that you could enter a contest for free with thousands, or even tens of thousands of entries from all over the world, and do well is quite a thrill. Getting a message from another photographer in Russia or Malaysia, who loves your photography can be quite exhilarating! I have risen just as far as I can go. To get to the next level I have place first in a competition to become a “Guru.” It ain’t going to happen, so I have kinda stopped participating, but still I do recommend it.

Here is a sample of GuruShot page

The next one is PhotoCrowd https://www.photocrowd.com. In this one there might be only a thousand or two entries, again from all over the world, but the quality of the judging is better. It is humbling to submitting a photo that you are sure is your best work only to have it get a low score. Still I HAVE won a couple of first places, and have had quite a few images place in the top 10%! It’s also just fun.

Here is a page from Photocrowd You can see subjects vary quite a bit.

If you prefer prints, as I do, the last one that I entered is from the DeWitt County Shutterbugs at https://dewittcshutterbugs.com. I submitted 11 prints in 10 different categories. I did pretty well at that one which included a first place and 5 second places. I actually won $250! That one is over til next year, but the Victoria Camera Club http://www.victoriaphotographyclub.com/page4.html also has a similar print competition that starts in July.

A 1st Place winner in Architecture at the print competition of the Shutterbugs

Another thing that I am working on with a few of my photo friends is a way to use https://hangouts.google.com/ Google Hangouts to continue the Greater San Antonio Camera Clubs https://www.gsacc.org/ online digital competition. That is a work in progress that I hope to get finished by our next education meeting on the first Thursday in April. Wish us luck!

So I hope that everyone uses this pause in life to make this a better world for all of it’s citizens! Stay creative, happy and most of all safe.