Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gothic Tower

Last Sunday while showing my niece around down town Norfolk we saw this Gothic tower from a distance, unfortunately we did not have a chance to go check it out. So earlier today when I was nearby and had a few minutes I decided to get a little closer and snap a few photos.

This church sits at the western end of the Mowbray Arch near down town Norfolk. I plan on going back and getting some closer shots and hopefully some history as well.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Week In A Whirl

This week just seems to be going by in a whirl. Here it is Wednesday already and I am way behind. I wish I could say Monday and Tuesday were busy with productive projects that kept me occupied but I can't. Sure there were appointments to go to, and some photo editing to be done, but most of my time was spent going in circles trying to find my way around this fair city.
As for the weekend it was fantastic. My niece arrived Friday evening. My oldest daughter sprained her ankle on Thursday so was not able to go out and about much. So although we did show my niece around some most of the time was spent visiting at home which was very nice. Here are a few of the many photos we took over the weekend.
 My son-in-law gave her a tour of his ship.
 We headed down town on Sunday morning to show my beautiful niece a few of the sights.
 The kids persuaded her to join them in a round of Dance Central competitions.
 Saturday evening we enjoyed a bit of cards a round of Yahtzee and many laughs.
It had been many years since my niece and daughters had seen each other and it was the first meeting for her and my grandchildren. It was great to see how excited they all were to get to know each other. Bonds were established and hopefully they will see one another often in the coming years.

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Unknown Mami

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fabulous Friday

I am so excited for this evening to get here. My niece who lives in DC is coming for a weekend visit. It has been almost a year since I was able to visit her in DC.

Hopefully it cools down some so we can show her some of the area. Like down town with it's great old and new buildings, fountains and the Japanese Gardens.
Submission for both Sky watch Friday and Weekend Reflection

If not maybe we can head out to the beach tomorrow and cool down.

But whatever we do, I know it is going to be great spending time with her again. It will be even more special seeing as it has been around ten years since my daughters and niece have been together. I can assure you what ever we decide to do we will be making lots of terrific memories, and capturing them on our cameras.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Humor Is Important

Taking life too seriously can cause a great deal of stress and cause one to grow old quickly. So I am very happy that my family embraces a more humorous approach to life. We can be serious when the need arises but we also enjoy letting the our hair down. Now you may look at these photos and think Oh My God they are crazy or drunk. Well, we may be crazy but the hats actually went on before the first drink was poured. Four of these tinfoil hat wearing individuals actually went to the store with their hats on just to see what peoples reaction would be. As you can imagine they got quite a few odd looks and some laughs. With them all prepared to ward off any invasion of mind reading aliens I thought it would be fun to create a photo that captured that theme. The wording is slightly off set to allow them to use it as a Facebook cover photo.

From this:

To this:
As you can see if laughter and humor keep one young we are never growing old.
Linking up with

Wordless Wednesday
And Wordless Wednesday at
Cookin' for my Captain

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From Photo to Drawing

Generally there is more than one way to do something. Take for example cooking, two people can have the exact same tools and ingredients and be asked to make the same dish without the use of a recipe to follow and while they will make the same thing they will not taste exactly alike. That isn't to say that they won't both be delicious, just different.
The same is true with art. So like any good cook I like to try out new recipes once in a while, tutorials in this case. So earlier today I visited one of my favorite blogs where Ashely Sisk shares tutorials on Tuesday's. Her tutorial today is on converting a photo to a drawing using Photoshop. This is not a new thing for me but I figured it would be fun, I could use the practice and hey she might do it different than I do.

Here is the first original I decided to work on:
I followed her tutorial, which by the way was only slightly different from the way I convert photos to drawings. Here is the results:
I decided that while I love the results I also wanted to see how this one would look with more of a painted look. For this the first three or four steps are the same as Ashely's tutorial. Typically I will do step four and if I am not happy with the result I will back up to step three before going on to my next step. I am pretty sure I didn't invert on this one. Sorry I should have made a note so I wouldn't forget if I had or not. In place of steps 4 - 8 I applied a 'Dark Stroke' filter to the layer, then proceeded to step 9. The steps to finish are the same from here as in Ashely's tutorial. Here is the finished image:
I was having so much fun I decided to do another one, this time going for something fun for my granddaughter to put in her scrapbook.
The original
The sketch for her scrapbook
My advice to others is to just keep playing around, don't be afraid to tweak the settings. Practice, practice, practice! Just like cooking it usually takes a lot of practice till you are able to consistently be happy with the results, and to keep the skills sharp.

Tutorial Tuesday

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Bittersweet Father's Day

Father's Day - A day of bittersweet memories 

This post is done in memory of my father who left this world way to early in 1985.

 My father was a very quiet soft-spoken person with a fun sense of humor and a very gentle personality. He was not one to open up and talk seriously with others but did on rare occasions. He was a lover, he loved everyone and especially loved children. I can't remember him every saying anything negative about another person or really even in general no matter what the situation.

I am sure I got my artistic gene from him as he was an artist when it came to working with wood, whether making furniture or  refurbishing historic homes. He shared with me his love of the ocean, swimming, outdoors, auto racing and classic cars. Although I had such a short time with this gentle man I am thankful for that time and hope that I have somehow acquired all his best qualities.

While many songs remind me of my father these are the ones that hold the strongest memories and emotions for me.

Wishing all fathers a very Happy Father's Day. 
May you have many memorable and happy years with your children.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Buildings Past and Present

This week my mind is jogged by sudden memories of my two oldest children sitting in front of the TV watching Herbie Rides Again over and over. They loved that movie and so did I. Each of us for our own reason's. Mine was the plight of the beautiful historic Firehouse and the dedication of its' tenants. My son's of course was Herbie himself. I do believe this movie was the beginning of my son's love for Volkswagen's. As for my daughter she will tell you it is just a darn good movie!

The sudden memory was brought on by this stark evidence of the loss of some historic building. Of course not all old buildings can or even should be saved but still sights like this always leave me a bit sad.  It leads me to wonder just what building might have graced this spot. Maybe I will get lucky like Keetha and come across some old postcard or photo, so that I can see which building once graced this street. If you are like me and interested in the old and the new check out her Then and Now post.

I was happy though that not all the old buildings were destroyed, and that the new buildings were not just box's with no character. Here are just a few of the beautiful buildings old and new I saw on a short walk in down town Norfolk, VA.

These beautiful buildings, old and new tell the stories of the community around them. Yet if we do not think to record their stories how will future generations even know they existed. If I could go back in time I would photograph buildings that played a part in my youth and in the youth's of my children. But alas I can not. Maybe one day I will go back to the West Coast and the Midwest to photograph any that remain.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

OpSail/Harborfest 2012

My Sunday 'Week In Pictures' post has been pre-empted to bring you this look at one of Norfolk's' biggest festivals. OpSail combined with Harborfest for an exciting weekend of nautical enjoyment reaching full force with the Tall Ship Parade on Friday. I was fortunate enough to spend a good part of the day Friday taking in the excitement. There was so much to see it has taken almost two days to go through the nearly 600 photographs I took.
I could fill a large photo book with just photos of all the terrific Tall Ships. They came from all around the world to participate in the parade. It would be easy to dedicate this entire post to just photos of these beautiful ships. Visit my other blog to check out the Tall Ships. Instead I would like to focus on the the fun sights and entertainment to be witnessed at the festival. Harborfest celebrates the nautical history of the region and with this year marking the bi-centennial of The War of 1812 there was a definite focus on that time period. Actors dressed in period garb entertained and interacted with festival goers.

What would an 1800's nautical festival be without Blackbeard and other pirates?
There were so many amazing sights, like these sailors that stood on the masts for hours while the ships sailed in the parade.

 There were so many different types of entertainment, rides and games galore.
Of course being a Navy family I couldn't pass up a patriotic shot or two.

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Unknown Mami