Back on the grid, but…

•Tuesday, 4 January 2011 • 1 Comment
Cooper's Hawk

© jmillerphoto.com - Cooper's Hawk

It is good to be connected to the grid again.  Once finals were over for the quarter I all but unplugged from the grid.  No facebook, no blogging, limited cell phones, etc.  I flew back to Texas and spent some needed solid time with my kids and an extraordinarily long Hunnadew list to be erased.  Got the kid time, not so much on the Hunnadew list, but hey…priorities.  I got a little photography in, though not much.  My second venture turned out reasonably well and I will blog on that trip likely over at the other blog.  But hey, I’ll share the image now 🙂

I returned to Dayton today and was greeted with a little over 1200 e-mails.  Most will hit the shredder pretty quick, but it will take a while to sift through them.  For those who e-mailed me, please be patient.

The next 6-8 weeks is crunch time for me.  I’m on the final lap of my thesis race and hope to have that thing done and defended by the middle of February.  Then it is close up shop, graduate, and get ready to head to the next job.  But until the thesis is in, that is top priority.

I will poke my head in a couple of times between now and then.  I received a new tripod for Christmas (thank you B&H wish lists…  she got me exactly what I wanted) and I used it a couple of times when I was back in Texas.  Pictures coming soon.

So please, a little patience dear readers and some degree of sanity will be restored soon…

Still here…

•Friday, 10 December 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’m still alive and kicking.  It has been very busy at school and things photographic have moved to the back burner until the quarter is over and I can return some sanity to the situation.  More to come soon…

Happy Thanksgiving

•Thursday, 25 November 2010 • Leave a Comment

© jmillerphoto.com - Wild Turkey

To my friends near and far, I wish you and yours a very happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

No turkeys were harmed to produce this entry, but the cousin of this fella is sitting in the oven at 325ºF…

Stuck in Neutral…

•Monday, 15 November 2010 • 1 Comment

© jmillerphoto.com - Black-throated Sparrow

…and that describes photography this week to an exacting detail.  The hoped for photo shoot did not materialize as other school-related priorities jumped ahead of making images.  My weekend was a no-go for photography as well–Saturday became a “do everything I would normally do Saturday and Sunday” day and Sunday was reserved for some things that needed to happen before going to the hospital this morning.  The weekend extended into this morning as I went in for my procedure and have since come home.  I’m here, but the drugs they used to ensure my comfort during the procedure now have me pretty darn awake well beyond when I would normally be asleep.  Hopefully I will get some sleep before I have to return to the grind tomorrow morning.

This week I’m going to do a fraction of what I had hoped to do last week.  The phrase “Get real” has entered my vocabulary.  I will try to pull an image out of the library this week and discuss what went into making it (both on site and possibly in the digital darkroom) and why I enjoy it and/or choose to show it.

But for now, hopefully I can convince myself into some sleep so that my Tuesday is more productive than my Monday.

Give the man a hand…

•Tuesday, 9 November 2010 • 1 Comment
Bronzed Cowbird Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

© jmillerphoto.com - Bronzed Cowbird

…really, I could use one right now.

Still no overtly photographic related events in the last week or so.  School is keeping me very busy right now as I am looking directly into the eyes of my thesis (and it winked at me today…should I be worried? 😉  ).  The wrist brace is driving me nuts right now, but I know that it has to be on and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel as the quarter ends and the holidays get ready to begin.

I did a couple of blog entries over at JAUPR in the last week as I’ve had some short bits of time.  I am hoping that with this week’s mid-week holiday that I’ll be able to get away for at least a morning and make some images.

While the camera has not been in my hand, I have been planning for next year and my return to Texas.  From the reports I am reading regarding one area in particular that will be reasonably close to my projected new home, I should have no problems doubling my Odonate and butterfly life lists in just a couple of photo shoots.

On the To Do list is doing some test prints of images, working through some of this year’s photo shoots for portfolio shots, and maybe working on the Pictures from Iceland site.

A quick post in between ducking bullets…

•Sunday, 31 October 2010 • Leave a Comment

© jmillerphoto.com - Brown Pelican (Immature)

Super busy this weekend so I wanted to do a quick post before the weekend got away from me.

One of Murphy’s Laws of Combat is A sucking chest wound is nature’s way of saying “Slow Down.” Well, a lingering wrist injury can have a similar effect.  And when you don’t listen, then it just keeps saying it louder and louder and louder until you can’t ignore it any more.  Which is where I am today.

During the summer quarter I ignored the physical pain that I was feeling during my graduate-level Stats class.  Remarkably enough, this was the only class during the last 15 months that had a significant level of note taking that had to be done with good ol’ fashioned analog methods.  But I digress…

My ignoring the pain led to, as my kids would say, an epic fail.  This led to my finally taking my carcass to  my primary care manager.  He was nice enough to hold back the requisite laughter as he directed me to be fitted for a fancy wrist brace.  This brace has my thumb immobilized for the next 8 weeks in hopes that the tendon that I have damaged and inflamed will heal/calm down on its own without needing to get a surgeon involved.  Provided that works, then my guess is that there will be additional physical and occupational therapy involved to try to once again try to train my hand to work as nature intended sans pain.

So, photography is on hold at least for this weekend.  It isn’t that I can’t make images.  I shoot almost exclusively off of tripod and monopod anyway and I have a remote shutter release that I could use that would get the job done.  But I have found myself so far behind in the normal day-to-day chores necessary to keep my residence clean and tidy that I will spend most of my Sunday catching up before I get back to the books.

I have added a post over at Jim’s Assorted, Usually Photographic, Ramblings about Life Lists.  This is a piece that I’ve been working with off-and-on over the last couple of weeks and has made for good fodder to help me relax before I fell asleep at night (hopefully it will not do the same for you, though if that is what you need and it works…).  I have also moved the entire JAUPR blog to WordPress.  There are things I like about Blogger that WordPress does not have, but in terms of ease of writing and getting the blog to look the way I want it to, WordPress is the winner hands-down.

I also added a post over at Texas Photo Blinds.  That blog will remain at Blogger (too long of a history there to move it).

A mid-term and some final i-dots and t-crosses on a paper will keep me busy this week.  Maybe some photography next weekend…

Published Again…

•Wednesday, 27 October 2010 • 3 Comments

© jmillerphoto.com - Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

Just a short blurb–school is still very busy and I’m literally five minutes away from stepping back out for more, um, stuff.  But I was asked this week for permission to use one of my images by Five Rivers MetroParks–the collective name for all of the MetroParks in the greater Dayton area.  And after thinking about it (for about five seconds) I said, “Absolutely.”  The Five Rivers Metropark system has been one of the most enjoyable things about being on my 21 month exile from Texas.  I’ve always come away from one of the parks with good image opportunities.

Their crop of the image is online right now in the short slideshow on the front page of Twin Creek MetroPark.

The Calendar Is In…Wow!!!

•Friday, 22 October 2010 • 2 Comments
Twelve-spotted Skimmer

© jmillerphoto.com - Twelve-spotted Skimmer

In what may have been the only good thing to happen this week, my calendar proof arrived today.  And all I can say is “Wow!!!!”  Lulu did a great job producing it.  The cover (Twelve-spotted Skimmer) is stunning and each and every month met or exceeded my expectations.  I am very pleased with the vibrant and consistent print quality.

It is available now for $16.99 (plus S&H) on Lulu.  My profit margin is pretty thin, but half of whatever I make will be donated to one of the Dayton-area organizations that both protect the natural areas and at the same time make them accessible to the general public.

Breathing. Relaxing. Well, maybe…

•Monday, 18 October 2010 • 2 Comments

 

Halloween Pennant

© jmillerphoto.com - Halloween Pennant (Mr. October)

 

Task saturation is pretty high with school, so photography has been on the back burner.  I took some time away from studies and household chores Sunday afternoon to finish the 2011 Dragonfly calendar.  After much contemplation I kept the couple of damselflies out of the finished product and kept it strictly dragonflies.  It is available on Lulu with the caveat that I have not seen the proof of it come back and it may be a week or so before I do.  It doesn’t have my production quality stamp of approval yet, but I am really happy with the images and I was very happy with the last calendar that Lulu printed for me.

I’m hoping to get out next weekend to a photography event, weather and time schedule permitting.  However, the #1 priority on my agenda is taking care of academic business so I can graduate when I am supposed to and get ready to take on the next challenge.  Once the piece of paper is hanging up on the wall, then the photography can start returning to a much more constant and predictable schedule.

Summer Reflections

•Sunday, 10 October 2010 • 2 Comments

© jmillerphoto.com - American Bullfrog

As I sit here on this holiday weekend, still not moving 100% after last weekend’s medical misadventures (yet doing much better, thank you), I thought it was appropriate to look back at the summer shooting season.

In a couple of words:  Satisfying and disappointing

Satisfying because I made a lot of nice images this summer.  In my head I had set a few goals for myself in terms of number of images on the cards and number good images that I’d like hanging on my wall.  I far surpassed both of those.  Ohio’s ponds, rivers, and nature trails were very good to me.  Many thanks to the folks at Dayton’s Metropark system, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Greene County Parks, and the Beavercreek Wetlands Association for the work that they do to protect nature and make it accessible.

The disappointments were few but significant.  There were places I wanted to get to that I just never managed to hit.  There were places I learned about after the prime time for those locations had passed by.  And on a couple of occasions there were events that I learned of a couple days after they occurred that I would have loved to have known about.  And of course the disappointment that my time here has nearly come to a close and the great places I found while I was here will be 1500 miles in my rear view mirror.  Such is life, I guess.

All in all it was a good summer.  Many good memories.  Many great images.  Many great people met.