Christmas is fast approaching and get it kicked into gear, we took the family to the NewSong Christmas concert. It was great. The concert was in a big church instead of a large sports arena and we had front row seats. It was a late night for the kids, but they didn’t seem to mind.
NewSong brought with them Michael Tate (formerly of the D.C. Talk and now with NewsBoys), Kerrie Roberts (fairly new to the Christian Music scene) and some great violinist (can’t remember his name). I brought with me a BlackBerry Storm to try it out recording some of the concert. The video looks decent for a phone video, but the audio is awful… either I was covering the microphone or it just can’t handle the loud volume.
All the performances were great, the place was packed and Russ Lee (now singing with NewSong) was just awesome as usual.
Here are a few pictures, Click on an image to view it larger and notice that you can click next and previous to see the rest. Here is a link to all the pictures in a slide show at Windows Live. I used LightRoom to clear up the noise caused by shooting in the dark with out a flash and high ISO of 1600.
At the bottom you can watch the videos if you are interested via YouTube.
Well, we tried for 10 years or so to get family to come south to warmer weather and join us for Thanksgiving, but finally gave up this year and loaded the family into the van and drove up to PA for Thanksgiving weekend. Driving up 81 on Thanksgiving day was nice, roads weren't busy at all, but then we got to PA and it was rainy and messy… but we all perked up once we started seeing snow on the farm fields.
There was a bit of snow on the grass when we arrived at Mom’s, but that was it and no more was to come. We enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast and eat till we could eat no more…then started on the desserts. The weekend was a bit hectic traveling back and forth Mom’s place to Laurie’s, Laurie’s place to Mom’s, Mom’s place to Terry’s, Terry’s place to Mom’s, Mom’s Place to Laurie’s, and once more from Laurie’s place to Mom’s. Oh… the exciting part (sorry mom) was getting back to mom’s place at 9:30 and finding the house locked up and no way to get in… the heavy sleepers slept through door bells ringing, phones ringing and more. Called Laurie and she helped me find a way in.
The kids had a blast playing with cousins, Rock Band and Michael’s drums and don’t forget the movies and popcorn.
Below are a few pictures from the weekend. Click on an image to view it larger and notice that you can click next and previous to see the rest. Here is a link to all the pictures in a slide show at Windows Live.
I was experimenting with a used BlackBerry 9530 phone that I use for Calendar, Camera, Video, MP3 Player and a few games. So I was trying out the video camera with Amber in the back yard the yesterday before dinner. The lighting was good, late afternoon, just before dawn, so there was no harsh lighting or shadowing. The video is a bit jerky at times and I was not able to zoom which I found quite annoying… but then again, if zoom did work, the video would be real shaky given the little phone you have to hold. Being able to upload and share on YouTube was quite easy.
We skipped a year or two, but it was time to attempt another family photo shoot at Myrtle Beach. This time it was over the Halloween weekend so time for the photo shoot was limited to Saturday morning. Unfortunately for the photographer ( ME ) it was a clear, bright sunny morning. The children just wanted to dig and play in the sand, not sit still, pay attention and not squint at the camera.
No matter what direction the subjects were looking… it was too bright, but we did our best. I turned on the built in flash for fill light, attempting to remove dark shadows and contrast. Unfortunately the power of the sun was too much and almost all pictures needed to be “tweaked” in LightRoom to reduce the clipping (when the whites become pure white and the blacks become pure black). To the untrained eye and the polite family members… these pictures may look just fine, but I know how much better they could be. Mental note for next time, pictures just before dusk with a flash and now towel to sit on.
The beach trip it self was a success, stayed at Dunes Village Resort. This place has a small water park with few pools, lazy river, some water slides and more. But as usual, the visit was too short.
Here are a few pictures from the photo shoot.
August sure was a busy month for us. After a week at Pocono Plateau, we stopped by Terry’s place in PA to celebrate Johnny's and Dona's Birthdays with a swim and a bite to eat. Laurie was there with Joey and Jessica, so our kids had a blast swimming together for a while. It was a short visit, but good none the less. After Terry’s we went to moms for the night and left bright and early the next morning for home.