Friday, December 30, 2011

UP # 119

UP # 119 by Just Used Pixels


On May 10, 1869 a special ceremony took place in Promontory, Utah, USA where two railroads met that completed a track that went from the Atlantic Ocean on the east to the Pacific ocean on the west. A span of approximately 3000 miles. This engine is an exact full size and fully functioning duplicate of one of the engines that met on that occasion. Today it was again going to the same location, approximately 200 yards from where this photo was taken as it passed by.

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2011

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"There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ.

     Because He came to earth, 
we have a perfect example to follow.

     Because He came,
there is meaning to our mortal existence.

     Because He came,
we know how to reach out to those in trouble
or distress, wherever they may be.

     Because He came,
death has lost its sting, the grave its victory.

     We will live again because He came.

     Because He came and paid for our sins,
we have the opportunity to gain eternal life."

Thomas S. Monson
President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Even though this is Sunset Sunday I will not be posting a sunset today because we are celebrating the ultimate "Son Rise".  I'm going to take a little break and may not post again until the next Sunset Sunday.  We'll see how the week shakes up.  Hope your Christmas 2011 is the best and merriest ever!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

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What do you do with your Christmas Eve? Is it a time for last minute shopping?  Getting together with loved ones?  Are you excited about getting the presents under the tree for the little ones while the sugar plums dance in their heads?  Whatever it is, I hope that it fills all your dreams and desires this year, but most of all I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and I hope to see you tomorrow for my special Christmas Gift to you.
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Listen - You Can Almost Hear Them

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Okay, so it's a one horse open carriage, not a sleigh.  You'll have to give me a break on this one. ;^)

Wow, can you believe that Christmas is only two days away?  Hope you're keeping the season merry and I'll see you on Christmas day.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Help Needed - Free


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Everywhere you turn there are wonderful opportunities to help others around the Christmas season. Unfortunately most of them require something out of your pocket. I would appreciate a little help to but it won't cost you a penny. I'm just looking for some feedback.  I had prepared the photo below for today's post, but lately I've been really wanting to improve my art with effective use of textures as inspired by many of you and especially Erin , Lisa and Kim Klassan.  With that in mind I decided to create a textured version using this same photo.  First I created a texture that I call BriteWhimsie1 and then I applied it to the photo.  I posted the results above.  So the photo above is the textured version and the one below is the original.

The photo is a small portion of one of the Christmas trees of a friend of mine.

My wife says she likes them both for different reasons.  I'd like to hear your honest feedback.  As always clicking either photo will isolate them against a dark background to give you a better view, plus it may enlarge them, depending on your monitor.
 




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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Joy

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And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 
Luke 2:10

Only four days until Christmas.  I hope you'll stop by and see my special Christmas gift to you.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Focus


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Christmas time is drawing near
The blessed Savior's birth
A spirit of peace and love will soon
Be spreading o'er the earth.

Within my heart there is a song
Of peace and good will to men
For He who was born in Bethlehem
Will bring peace to the world again.

From a poem written by my Grandmother Janette C. Miller

Counting down with only five more days 'til Christmas.  Hope yours is the merriest and please come visit me on Christmas Day for a special Christmas image and thought.



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Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa Clause is Coming to Town

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"He's making a list and checking it twice.  Gonna find out who's naughty or nice."

Just six days until Christmas. Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season in 2011.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunset Sunday - 92

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Today is Sunset Sunday and again I don't have anything specifically oriented toward Christmas. However, today is one week before Christmas and I just want to plug my special photo that I will be publishing at 12:01 (Mountain Standard Time) Christmas morning.  Whether or not you get a chance to visit on Christmas day I hope you will stop by and see it.

Meanwhile, every Sunday is Sunset Sunday.  We'd love to see a beautiful sunset (or sunrise) photo of yours. It doesn't matter when you took the photo so join us every week.  If you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise please share it. Post a link  in your comment, (click here to learn how) or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it.

OBTW, if you do post something for Sunset Sunday it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to this blog. Thanks!

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lighting the Path to Christmas



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I hope you're getting ready for another wonderful Christmas celebration with friends and family, and keeping the reason of the season in mind.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Light of Christmas



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"God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is love; the radiance of Christmas, which is purity; the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice; the belief in Christmas, which is truth; the all of Christmas, which is Christ."  Wilda English




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Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Begining to Look . . .

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"As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is." ~Eric Sevareid
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunset Sunday - 91




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Sorry I didn't have another Christmas oriented Sunset, but it is Sunset Sunday.


Every Sunday is Sunset Sunday.  It doesn't matter when you took the photo (and sunrises are okay too) so join us every week.  If you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise please share it. Post a link  in your comment, (click here to learn how) or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it.

OBTW, if you do post something for Sunset Sunday it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to this blog. Thanks!




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Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Living Water of Christmas

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Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (John 4:10)


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Friday, December 09, 2011

Promised Photo



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Yesterday in this post  I promised to reveal the photo that I had made into a canvas print by EasyCanvasPrints.com.  This is certainly one of my very favorite images from 2011.  If you've got a minute here is the story behind it.

If this is not your first visit to my blog you probably know that I live in northern Utah, and even though I'm pretty close to The Great Salt Lake it is nothing like living near the ocean or even one of the Great Lakes.  For a guy who lives so far from the ocean my trip to the New England coast a couple months ago was like taking a hungry kid to a candy store.  I could not get enough of the little harbors and lighthouses and so on.  While in a small harbor in the city of Ogunquit, Maine on a chilly rainy day I took several photos of the idle boats tied up to the docks and this one was one of my favorites with the boats lined up and the walking bridge in the distance. 




When I got back home and got it on my computer I discovered that somehow my camera had got set to ISO 3200 which introduced a lot of noise and overall the image was just not exciting at all.  I wondered how it would look with some added texture, so after trying a few I came across a texture I had created by accident a few months ago when I accidentally fired the shutter while the camera was moving and pointed at some colorful weeds.  Using Photoshop I combined the two and after playing around with different blending methods and opacity settings came up with the image you see at the top of this post, which both my wife and I were really quite excited about.

 Yesterday's post tells the story of how it went from what you see at the top of this post to this 16 X 20 canvas print hanging in the place of honor on my home office wall.




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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Easy Canvas Prints and Me

Sorry to interrupt my Christmas season theme but maybe you've been thinking about giving someone you love a canvas print (even if it's yourself).  If so, you may want to read this.

This is what I came home to after running some errands this morning.  I knew what it was and so I was excited.  Of course I quickly took it inside to open it up and see how it looked.  Just so you know, there was a large piece of protective cardboard in front of the print that I have removed and the print was wrapped in plastic for further protection.



For some time I had thought about and discussed with my wife the idea of a Canvas print of one of my photos and she had really encouraged me to get some done.  As circumstances happen I had received an offer shortly before we left on our trip to New England from a company called Easy Canvas Prints.  The offer was simple - If I would post a review of my canvas print experience on my blog they would give me a free canvas print.  Because I had never done any advertising or a review for services on my blog before it took me a while to talk myself into it, but finally I contacted them and told them that I would accept their offer with the provision that they knew I would be totally honest and thorough in my review.  They said that is exactly what they wanted and so here we are.

I am very glad I did take them up on their offer because now I have a beautiful Canvas Print hanging on my wall.  The free offer was for an 8 X 10 or an 11 X 14, whichever I wanted, I chose to upgrade to a 16 X 20 which cost me an extra $20.54.  Shipping was free. 

Was the whole process perfect and easy?  Pretty close but not 100%.  The problem seems to be that Easy Canvas Prints expects only landscape (horizontal) oriented photos, and though I have looked and looked I can not find a way to tell them I wanted mine to be Portrait (vertical) orientation.  When I first uploaded my image it showed it to me cropped down so that much of the top and some of the foreground was removed.  The only way I found to resolve this was to go back into my photo editing program and rotate the image so that when viewed it looked like it was laying on it's side.  I then uploaded it to them again and it came out just the way I wanted.  Is that a huge deal??? No, not for me because I know how to do it, but I wonder if someone who is not comfortable with any kind of editing program might be stumped and even give up.

Approximately 32 or so years ago I was attending an Intermountain Professional Photographers Association (IPPA) convention at which we had received wonderful portrait training from internationally renowned photographer Sherman Hines and I had bought one of his prints which I had him autograph. 


I framed it and have had it hanging on various walls in my homes or offices, as it is shown here, for the past 32 + years.  I've always hoped I could create an image of my own making that I would enjoy as much - or even more - than Mr. Hines' print.

I can now say that thanks to EasyCanvasPrints.Com  I finally have my own 16 X 20 canvas print, which I will reveal in tomorrow's post, hanging in the place of honor in my office. 

I have not price shopped canvas prints too much, but from what I have seen, when Easy Canvas Prints has a sale or promotion their prices seem very competitive.  I have looked at a few canvas prints from photographs at retail stores and the canvas wrapping and the print quality from Easy Canvas Prints appears to be as good as any I've seen, and other than the little issue I mentioned above, which is not an issue at all if you are getting a landscape (horizontal) oriented photo, the ordering process was as quick and easy as you could possibly ask for.  

Next time I need a canvas print of one of my photos, whether scenic or family portrait, I will not hesitate to consider EasyCanvasPrints.com for my order.

Click here to see the photograph along with how it looks hanging on my wall.






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Shepherds

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"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."  (Luke 2:8-10)

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Monday, December 05, 2011

Glowing for Christmas




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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sunset Sunday - 90



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I went to Salt Lake City the other night to get pictures of the very famous Christmas light display at the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). Got there a little early and even before the lights came on we got a pretty good light show in the sky.

Every Sunday is Sunset Sunday. It doesn't matter when you took the photo (and sunrises are okay too) so join us every week. If you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise please share it. Post a link in your comment, (click here to learn how) or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it.

OBTW, if you do post something for Sunset Sunday it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to this blog. Thanks!


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Thursday, December 01, 2011

December is Christmas Month




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MERRY CHRISTMAS

Most, if not all, of the December posts will in some way relate to the Celebration of the birth of Christ and the Christmas season. I will be featuring many photos from the holiday lights and decorations at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) which is in Salt Lake City, Utah and surrounds the famous Salt Lake LDS Temple. Many of the photos will feature that internationally known landmark.




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