Welcome, Sammy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Sammy, our new pooch!

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Posted on 05. Apr, 2011 by in Blog, Pet Photography, Pet Pictures

Ship Shapes!

On our recent cruise to the Mexican Riviera we saw many interesting sights – beginning with the ship! The first thing we did after boarding and unpacking was to grab our cameras and begin exploring the Norwegian Star. She is a large vessel and it did take us a day or two to get our bearings.

Sometimes when experiencing a place or space through the camera’s lens, a theme will reveal itself to us. Here we share what we captured of the “Ship’s Shapes” from embarkation day, as well as the next several days we sailed on the Star.

Check out our newsletter for ideas on how themes can make your vacation pictures come alive.
(To comment, click on the post title, above)

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Posted on 28. Apr, 2010 by in Blog, Learn About, Taking Pictures, Vacation Pictures

Air Dog

Misty (our mascot) has lots of energy so one of our daily goals is to give her some exercise and get her tuckered out. One of her favorite things to do is “attack” the back fence. Let her out the back door and nine out of ten times she makes a beeline for one spot on the fence and jumps up as though she was hoping to “catch” something on top of it, or just on the other side. We have debated why she does this for months.

There used to be a large tree branch that rubbed on the fence, making an eerie sound on windy days. Misty dislikes blustery, windy days – so we figured she was “attacking” the bothersome branch. Then Marc cut it down – (I was concerned this would seriously disrupt her life – you know – destroying her routine) but Misty continued jumping higher and higher!

One day I noticed a cat sitting in that exact spot atop the fence (being a typical cat, I could almost swear it was taunting Misty!) Aha! But why would she jump at the fence, even when her feline foe isn’t in sight? Is she just goofy? (well, yes, a little). The cat has reappeared several times, but Misty jumps on the fence whether or not the unwelcome visitor is beguiling her. More than anything, we have come to realize that Misty just LOVES to jump!

Marc did a great job of photographing her in mid-air (where she does spend a lot of time!) As much as I enjoy these pictures of our beloved AIR dog today, one day we will be even more glad that we have them to remember Misty. How and when do you capture treasured memories of your pets?

Sadly, Misty left us on Thursday, February 17th, 2011 after a tragic accident. She is missed more than you can imagine. Now more than ever we are thankful for all the wonderful pictures we have of her that warm our hearts when we share our Misty stories with misty eyes.

To share, click on the post title, above.

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Posted on 09. Apr, 2010 by in Blog, Learn About, Pet Photography, Pet Pictures, Sharing Pictures, Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories

Marking the Milestones


Joel and Kate (one of our sons and his wife) were at our home for the past two weeks, taking care of Misty (our Mascot) while we were away on vacation. It was a nice getaway for them – they were able to visit their SoCal friends and escape a few of the last weeks of Midwestern winter. We especially enjoyed the few days we were able to spend with them after our return from Mexico before they left to go back to their home. I really miss my sons and sharing life with them on a daily basis. We are truly blessed that both are successful and independent adults and have married special young ladies whom we love and are glad to have in our family.

I came across these pictures from when Alan, Joel’s twin brother, left us to move to Chicago back in 2007, and then from 2008 when Joel moved out after marrying Kate. These pictures help me remember that life is fluid and changing and that even bittersweet moments (represented by empty rooms and cars packed to the gills) are part of the normal scheme of things. Looking back helps me to appreciate my life as it is now and serves as a good reminder to cherish the times I do have with my family all the more.

How do your pictures enhance your life today?
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Posted on 25. Mar, 2010 by in Blog, Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories

Having a Whale of a Good Time!


Have you been wondering where we went? Well, we went on a cruise. Actually we’re still ON the cruise – to the Mexican Riviera. We’re on our way back and we have been having a great time. We haven’t forgotten about all of you and just wanted to give you a taste of the fun we’ve been having.

The three ports of call – Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta have been wonderful. In this post we share pictures from one of our favorite excursions – whale watching on a Zodiac boat of which were among only 14 or so passengers. This was not your ordinary excursion – because of the type of boat – we were able to get up close and PERSONAL with these magnificent creatures. And, as though someone had said “cue the whales”, did we ever have a show!
These humpback whales came within feet of our boat. Some lucky people in a nearby Zodiac got so close, they TOUCHED the whales! Our boat didn’t get close enough for that, but even if we had, I was too busy taking pictures and Marc shooting video, we might have missed some spectacular pictures or risked losing our cameras! All in all, it was very inspiring to come so close to these magnificent creatures of the sea.
We’ll have lots more to share about the wonderful experiences we have had on this vacation – please stay tuned.

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Posted on 18. Mar, 2010 by in Blog, Vacation Pictures, Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories

Technology Maven

I’m so proud of Marc’s Mom! She is a real go-getter…and although she is enjoying her retirement years, she is one of the youngest-at-heart people I know. When it came time to communicate in the modern way – well, she figured she needed to change – and did!

Undaunted by the cables, modems, wireless cards, printers, drivers, ip addresses, logins, user names, passwords, software, and about a hundred other reasons that people her age decide to just not be bothered, Mom forged ahead into the electronic world about a decade ago. With advice from her technologically savvy family, she purchased her first Mac and has never looked back. Any particular day one can find her on the internet, happily exchanging email, surfing the internet, and keeping in touch with her large network of friends and family from all around the country. And, she keeps on learning. Recently she asked for instructions to download pictures published to a MobileMe Gallery into her iPhoto application – which she accomplished without a hitch. This great grandmother is even kicking it on Facebook!

So…what’s my point? Mom inspires me to keep on learning and exemplifies my philosophy of being a lifelong learner. Technology doesn’t have to be scary when we take it a step at a time and have a little patience and guidance. We will benefit from the tools that are available now and the ones yet to be developed. This is especially true when it comes to capturing and sharing our treasured memories.

Marc and I are so glad that Mom – and you – are with us on this journey as we Learn About Pictures! How have you been challenged recently to try something new?

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Posted on 06. Mar, 2010 by in Blog, Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories

To Carry, or Not to Carry?

The other day Cathy and I rushed off to the hills above Malibu to pick something up. It was later afternoon and the skies were threatening rain, which for southern California is a rare occurrence. This is something we love – being from Chicago, but we were a bit skeptical about driving in those hills so late in the day with a potential monsoon about to hit.

As we were walking out the door I thought to grab the Nikon and drag it along as I commonly do, but this time I decided not to, thinking that we were up against the clock and “who’s going to have time to stop and take pictures along the way?

However, by the time we reached our destination up on Mulholland Hwy, the skies were the most dramatic I’ve seen around here and the foregrounds were so awash in a fast moving fog that was literally like being in the clouds. And then, like I was being remotely controlled, I went to grab the camera. Oh drat, it’s not there…..I left it home. The only thing I could do at the top of the hill was pull out the iPhone and take one picture to help remind me to not leave behind my best tool when great picture taking opportunities loom ahead.

iPhone to the Rescue!

Late last summer in the early days of the “Station Fire” while at work at CBS in Studio City I stepped outside during lunch when I noticed a co-worker was pointing to the eastern sky. When I realized what he was reacting to I high-tailed it over the the parking structure and climbed quickly to the 4th level to get a better view. Again, all I had with me was my iPhone as I typically don’t take the Nikon with me when I’m doing videography, but I sure was glad I could take this picture of the spectacular smoke plume.

Sometimes I have to forego the pristine pictures I want in exchange for having a picture of something memorable at all. Has this ever happened to you?

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Posted on 28. Feb, 2010 by in Being Organized, Blog, Taking Pictures, Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories

A Slide Show by any Other Name…

Over the past few years I have created slide shows for family occasions – today I’m thinking specifically of two I created for our sons’ weddings. Joel and Kate were married in October of 2008, and Joel’s twin brother, Alan, was married to Noel in October of 2009.

Creating these shows were great learning experiences and I have to say I can see improvement in my skills. But I was surprised to find for me an additional benefit was their cathartic value. By the time the wedding days arrived, I had emotionally relived the moments the pictures represent – the milestones: the day they were born, their first day of school, preschool Christmas performances, graduations, and all the wonderful and unique things about each one of them in-between. I requested pictures from Kate’s and Noel’s parents and enjoyed enhancing my knowledge of their lives through those pictures – it was a way to get to know them even better. I carefully selected the music to suit each couple’s personality and taste.

Marc and I shed a few tears as we watched the show emerge and I had fully come to terms with the fact that they were moving on the next stage of their lives. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized this on Joel and Kate’s wedding day (well, I did cry a little – tears of joy, of course!) and therefore was very eager to do the same thing for Alan and Noel’s a year later. I would recommend any parent might want to do the same. It was a great way to share and the guests at both weddings enjoyed the shows, too!
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Posted on 27. Feb, 2010 by in Blog, Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories

Why do we take pictures?


These days it seems that everyone has some type of picture taking device with them at all times. Whether it be a mobile phone with a built in camera or a pocket sized digital ‘snap shot shooter’ or a substantial DSLR, picture taking is at an all time historical high. According to Family Circle magazine “digital camera users typically add 5000 images to their computer’s hard drive every year.“ In fact, since 2003 when I bought my first digital camera, I’ve amassed over 30,000 photos in my library. That amounts to about 4,600 per year. That does not include the thousands I’ve scanned from negatives and prints taken over the past 30 years of shooting film. Extend these numbers out to a worldwide basis and the number of images generated by all picture takers is staggering.

As we’ve embarked down this road of sharing pictures and information about pictures with you there’s been a lot of talk around our house about pictures, how to take them, how to share them with others and methods of getting and staying organized. Many many topics have come up for discussion and much research has already been done to help us help you more effectively. We’re learning a zillion things about our topic at hand as well as how to share it all in fun, creative ways.

The other day as I was deciding what this blog post ought to be about a profound thought occurred to me that went something like this: “Ok, great….we’re writing articles for the newsletter, the website and writing blog posts about all the different aspects of making pictures, taking pictures and sharing pictures BUT why? What’s it all for? Why do I take pictures in the first place?“

So why do we take pictures? I spent some time reviewing my library to examine the content of my photos. The pictures I have collected fall into these categories:

1. Family Events
2. Vacations
3. Home Inventory
4. Landscapes
5. Abstracts or Unique Perspectives
6. Pets
7. Work Related (shots on set)
8. Home Renovation projects
9. Moving
10. Parties

It soon became apparent that my picture taking habits range from the purely fun to the highly utilitarian. From the documentarian to the goof ball, I find myself taking pictures of a wide range of subject matter. But still the question haunted me, “Why do I shoot so many pictures?“

Some quick research lead me to various reasons why people take pictures. Here are a few reasons I found for you to chew on as food for thought:

“To document my life…“
“I like to capture the beauty I see….“
“Because I don’t trust my memory….“
“to create – creation gives people a sense of purpose in life… and photography is one of the most accessible forms of creation.“

The reasons are as varied and rich and interesting as there are people who share them.

So why do you take pictures?

It’s a question that I’d like you to explore for yourself and over the next several weeks we’ll share some of our reasons together here on this blog. I hope this exercise will help you to shape your sense of purpose the next time you pick up your camera and fire away.
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Posted on 20. Feb, 2010 by in Blog, Sharing Pictures, Taking Pictures, Vacation Pictures, Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories

It’s a Dog’s Life…


Misty (our Mascot) is one of the joys in our life. Her needs are very simple and, as long as things seem routine, she is very secure and calm. She is very attuned to the patterns of our daily lives – event the difference between weekdays and weekends when we are both home. But the moment we change OUR routine, Misty becomes noticeably nervous. She KNOWS something is up – this amazes and amuses us.

Misty has a very expressive face and body language and we love to capture this in pictures. Last night, I came across a few of these and realized how thankful I am to have them, some of which I share here. Our days and times with her will be relatively short and one day these pictures will help us remember her and the fun we had with her.

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Posted on 17. Feb, 2010 by in Blog, Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories

Pictures and Memories

Marc’s Dad celebrated a milestone birthday a couple of weeks ago and his Mom planned a little surprise party to celebrate the occasion. Figuring I already had a good amount of material ready, I decided to create a slide show to honor his 80 years. Marc and I had scanned and prepped many pictures over the last couple of years to make slide shows for our sons’ weddings and a video Marc produced for his parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Eight decades is a lot of life to cover and, although I thoroughly enjoyed the process, I was nervously tweaking music and timings literally up to a half hour before it was shown! At one point I glanced over and saw Dad wiping away tears as he enjoyed the show. A big hug and kiss afterward confirmed that he had been touched – I was SO glad! Later we ran the show again, and “Papa” gathered his youngest grandchild next to him, sharing stories about the pictures – and he cried a little again. It made the event more of an event and a celebration of Dad, and I was hugely blessed, too. This is why we do these things – to honor and connect with those whom we love!
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Posted on 13. Feb, 2010 by in Blog

Welcome!

Welcome to LearnAboutPictures.com!

We have one goal in mind…to help you, as our name says, learn about pictures and how they can document your life events and tell your story. Other websites offer information to help you become a better photographer, or focus on specific aspects of photography, but we will walk with you through the entire picture taking and sharing experience on a user-friendly level.

We want to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of this creative and fun activity as well as provide you with the information and resources you need to delight in taking great pictures! Then we want to equip you to organize and share them in ways that are appropriate for you. In other words – we want to become: Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories.

We will accomplish this by providing articles, information, tutorials and links to resources. Along the way we will develop our LearnAboutPictures community forum for sharing experiences, photos, tips and expertise.

So – WELCOME again and thank you for joining us. Please come back often as we develop and grow together.

Marc and Cathy

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Posted on 12. Feb, 2010 by in Blog, Your Resource for Capturing and Sharing Treasured Memories