Friday, July 10, 2009

Lilies in July

I'm finally back into a regular routine and I'm not having to work on several different projects at once. I did have a good amount of time to get out and shoot during June, I just didn't have the time to sit down at a desk and begin the process of weeding out the bad images and post processing what remained after the cuts.

I had a chance last night to clean off all my CF cards, so I started the culling process there. I took the photo of the lily above on July 4th while visiting my mother on the holiday. It was good to go back to for a family visit and get some good, Mom-cooked meals. My mother and her brother live next door to each other and always have a wide variety of flowers in their yards. I had hope to shoot a lot of them, but the heat had withered just about every flower in their yards to the point they weren't very photogenic.

I got lucky with the lily though. As I was walking in my Mom's house, I noticed a lily on the verge of blooming. By Saturday afternoon it had blossomed and I was able to get some shots of it before the heat took its toll on the poor flower.

My Mother says the flower is a Tiger Lily (Lilium columbianum), but I believe it's actually a Turk's Cap Lily (Lilium superbum). Even though both flowers are very similar in appearance, the Tiger Lily is native to the western United States and the Turk's Cap Lily is native to the central and eastern United States.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I've been working on several writing projects lately and came across an open source planning application I've been using for character development and plotting. The screen shot above is a long-term project I've been working on for a while now called Colony. I've been using Freemind to make notes on the characters as I'm developing them.

The nice thing about Freemind is that the nodes can be clicked to collapse or expand them. This allows me to put a great deal of information into nodes and still be able to keep the overall project compact by collapsing the nodes I'm not working on. It's also very easy to edit nodes and moved them around in the overall project. If the node trees start becoming too complex, they can be cut and pasted into a new document. There is also a very wide range of node icons (on the left of the screen shot) that can be used to easily identify related entries indifferent trees. For example, the light bulb in the screen shot is used to show a relationship between Pax and Madelyn.

Freemind is a little quirky when you first use it, but once you get the hang of the interface, it's a really simple application to use. You can download Freemind from the Wiki. Installation is a very simple matter and you can have the application up and running in minutes.

I highly encourage anyone that needs a mapping application to give Freemind a try.

Monday, May 18, 2009

An Unexpected Absence

I had planned to be a lot more active with this blog in 2009, but it seems like something was always popping up unexpectedly. I did a lot of freelance photography for a community theater, a lot of programs and promotional material for The Brundidge Historical Society, the Pike Piddlers' Storytelling Festival and shot a lot of class reunions. The days slipped by and before I realized it, it was May already.

I'm past most of the freelance work I do during the year, so I'll begin to post more frequently. I had originally planned to to post on regular schedule, but that's just isn't going to work out too well. I'll be writing a few
Photoshop, Illustrator and photography tutorials.

There are two projects I've been working on during the past three to four months. The first is a four-panel cartoon series I've been working on titled "Life as a
Wallbanger." I've got the script and thumbnails for 80 panels comeplete and I'm working on finalizing the first 10 installments now.

The second is a series of speculative science fiction
short stories in a collection I'm calling "2028." I'll be posting draft one of "The Remains of Spring" before the end of the month. I have a few more plotting issues to work out before I begin working on rewrites. The second story is titled "Ambient Light" and follows an unfortuante day-in-the-life of a freelance photographer trying to survive in a cutthroat world of corporate news media.

I have a third project in development in the 2028 collection called "
Redline Marionettes." It's a one issue comic book about a corporate "asset recovery" team that screws up a recovery operation.

Finally, but most importantly, I'll be posting a lot of
HDR work I've done lately.