Thursday, September 26, 2013

The traveled road, page five

A few nights ago the moon was full, and it was a 'harvest moon'. With no moon shooting skills to lean upon, and only a fundamental knowledge of my gear (though the knowledge is growing, it's far from complete), we headed out. What did I learn? The moon is hard to shoot! What makes it hard is the light from the moon relative to anything surrounding it.  The contrast is hard to manage within a single image, but I'm still proud of these two shots, from the same location, but with different lenses, apertures, exposures and focal lengths...

This, right as the moon came up from behind the rocks. A bit of 'peek-a-boo'. I like the detail on the rocks here, and the tree to the left of the moon.  I shot this with my 70-210mm lens.  I love that lens.  Older, but cheap, and it's pretty dang sharp, even further out.

This one was fun because I was playing with my newly acquired 'starburst' skills. I used the 12-24mm lens here, f/22 for 30 seconds.

Not far from home we have been able to find some pretty places from which to shoot. We live in a very beautiful place. I often forget. These evening treks remind me that we have incredible beauty just a few minutes from home.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The traveled road, page four

We set out for some camera practice for Cliff last night, and had a destination in mind. What we intended to focus on was different from what eventually caught our eye: a pump pump house in Terrebonne, in a rather affluent area, just sitting off the side of the road. The gnarled tree added so much visual interest to the setting, we just had to see about capturing it. As we were setting up, the moon made an appearance, which turned out to be the icing on the cake.

To be honest, I think this is a pump house and setting made to look old, rather than an old one blended into a new landscape. No matter, the visual interest was so compelling, we couldn't resist.

I'm always amazed at what you can stumble upon, in your own hometown, if you just get out and about. Sometimes it's about finding new things, and sometimes it's about seeing old things with a new eye, a more appreciative eye, an eye filled with gratitude.

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful;
readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 18, 1993...

(photo by Baron Spafford, 1993)

It was, in every way, a perfect day. I don't remember a lot, because it was such a whirlwind, but I remember some things perfectly clear - seeing your face when my father gave me away.  I remember your eyes as we were reciting our vows, and I remember hugging you, knowing I was where I was supposed to be.  20 years later, I feel the same way...I am where I am supposed to be, with the most wonderful, caring, kind and giving soul I have ever known.

I love you...with all my heart.  I hope there are 20 more years, and then another is sweeter because I have the incredible honor of sharing it with you.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The traveled road, page three

We live in a grand landscape. Not as grand as some, but the sights that can be found within an hour of our home are quite impressive. Hard to accomplish when you live in a desert, and nowhere near the beach. I can't count tropical paradise, nor the ocean, in locations close to home.

Smith Rock State Park is a favorite location of mine, and we are, literally, 10 minutes away from this stunning place. A favorite of rock climbers from all over the world, the chalk they use can be seen on rock faces nearly everywhere you look. I have yet to capture a climber on the rocks, but I will some day. I have only been here as the sun is going down, so my arrival times haven't coincided with the climbers, who tend to climb in the light of day.

Anyone visiting central Oregon should plan a stop here.  There are ample trails, and breathtaking views everywhere you look.

Roasted spaghetti squash

About as easy as cooking can be, this dish will delight those who want simple, delicious and healthy. And if that weren't enough, it's beautiful to look at, with its char marks, and bright, vibrant colors.

Feel free to experiment with this one.  Add anything you please.  This squash is a superb partner to a host of flavors.


1 spaghetti squash, stem end removed, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds removed
olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded (or more, as you please)
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
1 roma tomato, thinly sliced


Heat oven to 425 degrees.

With cut ends up, drizzle each half of the squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Lay cut sides down onto a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until flesh is fork tender. Remove from oven.

Plate each squash, cut side up, loosen flesh with a fork, top with the Parmesan cheese, tomato slices and basil. Serve. Each half will feed one person a light dinner.

(Tip: If you don't have a very sharp knife at home, ask someone in the produce department to cut your squash in half before you leave the store).

Monday, September 16, 2013

Quote corner, "don't tell me..."

This was sent to me after we lost Ty.  I'm reminded of it with the losses so many are going through right now...perhaps it will help others, as it once helped me.

Don't Tell Me

Don't tell me that you understand, don't tell me that you know.
Don't tell me that I will survive, how I will surely grow.

Don't tell me this is just a test, that I am truly blessed,
that I am chosen for this task, apart from all the rest.

Don't come at me with answers, that can only come from me.
Don't tell me how my grief will pass, that I will soon be free.

Don't stand in pious judgment, of the bounds I must untie.
Don't tell me how to suffer, and don't tell me how to cry.

My life is filled with selfishness, my pain is all I see.
I need you, I need your love, unconditionally.

Accept me in my ups and down, I need someone to share.
Just hold my hand and let me cry, and say, "my friend, I care."

-- Anonymous

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The traveled road, page two

A great weekend...

350 miles driven, several sights seen, and a truly enjoyable time with friends. Started out meeting up with a friend Friday night at the Prineville reservoir. Early Saturday morning we took off for the Painted Hills. Didn't quite make it for sunrise color, but it didn't diminish our enjoyment. I learned from my friend how to make a 'starburst' without any kind of trickery or fancy editing, a skill I will be excited to take to Sequoia National Park, and the Grand Canyon this fall. Simple, easy and really effective. No special equipment needed!

We took a swing through the Sheep Rock area. I'm not sure why it's called 'Sheep Rock', because I didn't see any sheep shaped rocks, and I sure didn't see any signs explaining how it came to be named as such.  It was lovely, regardless.

New this trip was a visit to Fort Rock, Oregon, where another friend joined up with us for some night shooting. Last night was the anniversary of Ty's passing, so shooting the stars and the Milky Way was fitting. I am so excited to have a wonderful image to remember the night with...a night to celebrate my Ty's precious, and all too short life.

Hoping to go back to Fort Rock in the late fall for some closer up shooting of the Fort Rock homestead buildings, which are pretty nifty. I did manage one shot of the rock, off in the distance. It's a fascinating place.

Until we meet again on 'The Traveled Road'...