Encouragement from Eternity

Yesterday, I went to the memorial service for Janice Myers.  I knew Janice in passing.  Her middle daughter, Christy was in my high school class at Harding Academy in Memphis.  Her husband, Edward, and I worked together for years at Harding University.  I took wedding photos for her youngest daughter.  So, since I was a junior in high school I would occasionally be around Janice.  Actually, it feels weird typing her first name as I probably would have called her Mrs. Myers.  I always remember her being a happy and friendly person.  During the memorial service, multiple people mentioned how encouraging she was.

As I arrived at Cone Chapel for the memorial I saw Christy and I went over and gave her my condolences.  We talked for just a minute and she said " Jeff, my mom loved your photography and she got so excited when you started posting watercolor paintings. "  Christy went on to tell me that her mom loved to watercolor and they actually had brought one of her paintings to display.  I had no idea that Janice Myers was a watercolor painter.  I left Christy and went and sat down in the chapel and I had been encouraged.  What a powerful thing to be encouraged by the women whose memorial service you are attending.  Janice Myers had used her God-given gift of encouragement and had passed it on to her children who had passed it on to me.

Andrew Baker talks about making an "Eternal Difference."  Janice Myers made a difference from eternity.  I am motived to be more of an encourager than I ever have been before and I am thankful I got to celebrate the life of Janice Myers.


Jalen's Jr Year as a Wildcat

I really hate for summer to end because the slower pace is so nice. 
The reward of the craziness of the beginning of school is football season. I will seriously miss seeing Jackson playing but I am so looking forward to watching Jalen and all the other Wildcats play this fall.

Detroit Institute of Art and Loving Vincent

Back in the summer, I went to Michigan on a business trip and the last day we had several hours before we needed to be at the airport and we went to the Detroit Institute of Art.  I love going to art museums and for the most part, my family is not so interested in art museums so this was a treat.  I got a map and made a beeline to the photography area and sadly it was between shows and was closed.  That was a bummer.  I really did enjoy all the paintings and I took some photos of my favorites.  

 It was cool to see some of the VanGogh paintings.  If you haven't seen the movie  Loving Vincent you should check it out.  You can watch the movie on HULU.


Magnolia Monday and random thoughts

Today's #MagnoliaMonday photo taken with a Fuji X-100s.

I have a new iMac and I am slowly getting used to it.  I like the big Apple screen but I really miss the solid state hard drive that was in my old MacPro.  That MacPro drive was only 500GB and the iMac is 2TB but I would take the speed back in a heartbeat.  I love the wireless keyboard and I am slowly making friends with the new trackpad.  I am so glad that the keyboard and trackpad both have rechargeable batteries.  I also upgraded from a second generation Drobo to a Drobo 5D3 which uses Thunderbolt 3 instead of Firewire 800.

Another new thing that I am working through at the moment is Google Team Drives.  I have not been a huge fan of Drive but I think it is just lack of use.  I do like having all my photos online but that is still a work in progress as each year of digital photos is about 500GB and that takes a while to upload.  It is funny how I am looking forward to back to the 12 MP era cameras so the uploads will go so much faster.  In the last three hours, 6000 photos have uploaded.  I really love using the file transfer app FromSmash.com.  The only problem is it only keeps the uploads in the cloud for 7 days several times lately I have had to re-pull photos because people didn't download them in time.  I hope Google Drive or Team Drives help with that.

I am really looking forward to Jackson being home this weekend from his summer job in Alaska.


Camp Tahkodah

 Every summer since 1992, I have spent at least one day at Camp Tahkokah shooting photos.  Josie is at camp this session and Jalen was at Camp last session.  Camp Tahkodah has been a blessing to me and especially to my kids.  I am really thankful for all the people that spend their summers out at camp investing in kids.

 I got lucky and caught the bullet.  I had fun taking a couple of turns shooting myself.

Camp tradition- you get thrown off the bridge if it is your birthday.
Josie and her cabin.
I really enjoyed the basketball games.  This time I really enjoyed the basketball.  I sometimes miss shooting sports in the summer.

 Josie and her friends.

This is what happened when you asked Jordan Ashmore for water at the canteen.

Jalen went to Camp with me and he wanted a camera. His photos were not half bad.  "Not half bad" is code for really good.  It comes from Statler and Waldorf, the grumpy old men muppets.  One would say something "was not half bad" and the other one would respond "it was all bad."

This is Jalen with my friend Sam Jeffrey.  

Back over Christmas break while the boys were out of school and Jackson was recovering from ACL surgery Jalen used Sam's name to win an argument.  The boys were fussing over something that really didn't matter and it eventually boiled down to Jalen saying at least my knee works and Jackson accusing Jalen of thinking he is tough because he has an Apple Watch and then said only sissies wear Apple Watches.  I was watercoloring at the time and had had enough of their nonsense and said so you calling Coach Simmons (HU football coach) a sissy?  It was a total bluff on my part as I have no idea what kind of watch Paul Simmons wears.  Jackson looked at me for a moment and then bluffed back at me with " is Coach Simmons the toughest guy you know?"  Jalen said, " I am pretty sure Sam Jeffrey is the toughest guy I know."  Argument over.



Thoughts on Mirrorless Cameras

I shot this photo on Friday with a Sony A7 mirrorless camera.  I had the camera in my possession for about 45 minutes total so this is in no way a complete review.  I was not a fan of the camera.  I kind of felt like this butterfly with the chewed up wing, it could fly but it was not very pretty.  I could take photos but it was not very smooth.

The menu system was not very clear or easy to get around in. I have been fluent for 16 years in Nikon menus and that is a huge bias.  The lens I  used was the 18-140 and it was capable.  I was not a fan of electronic zooming but I am sure I could get used to it.   The lens was not great at closeup work which I am sure there are better lenses for that.  The camera seems to be strongly aimed at videographers and that is exactly who we bought the camera for. The thing I loved is how the monitor showed you the exposure as you changed settings.  I feel like you would eventually stop using a meter as you learned to trust what you saw in the viewfinder.  That to me is a major draw of these cameras.  The fact that the cameras are small and light is a great advantage in my opinion.  The viewfinder always looked somewhat unsharp to me as I got ready to take the photo but the playback of the image in the viewfinder showed sharp images.  I constantly struggled with turning the exposure compensation button instead of the shutter speed button.  I am sure with practice I would overcome that issue.  I am sure with practice and maybe reading the instruction book I could become friends with the camera.  I really do believe you have to become friends with your camera to get the most out of them. 

I do own a Fuji X-100s which is a mirrorless camera.  I love it and have used it for about 5 years.  The S model is the second generation of the camera and it currently is in a fourth generation as an X-100F.  Fuji has a new H-1 professional body that looks wonderful and I would dearly love to have one to use at the office but I am waiting. 

I am waiting to see what Nikon is going to release this year.  All of the rumor sites are saying there is going to be a professional Nikon mirrorless camera this year.  I so dearly want it to use the same lens mount and be able to use the majority of my lenses.  Please, Nikon, make this camera amazing and I so would love to be able to use my Nikon flashes as well. 

Finally, my hat is off to people who write equipment reviews as this was way more difficult than I thought it would be even for such a limited review.


The Cat, Sunflower, Spider and Josie photos.

 I shot this photo of Catherine last night as she laid in the light getting ready for a cat nap.
Sunflower and spider
This year I have planted nothing.  This sunflower came up from a seed from last years sunflowers.  I liked the little green spider in the center.

The next three photos are from Josie.  I may have rubbed off on her a little with the flower photos.  The first thing she told me that she did was to take a stick and knock that spider off of the flower.


Abby Tran has left the building

For the last four years, Abby Tran has worked for me as a student photographer and then for the last year, she has worked as a part-time university photographer.  She has been the chief scanner, lighting model, co-teacher, head social media photographer, the fun person in the office and so many other things that I don't have time to mention.

Harding University Photo Services will be forever indebted to her for all the work scanning in the archives.  The 100th anniversary will be a much easier task because of the work she has done. 

Most importantly, she has been my friend and I am going to miss her. 

Thank you, Abby.

Moving forward, the office will be 10 degrees cooler and the music selections will be much less diverse without any groans from the other side of the office.


Getting out of a rut

 I have been feeling one-dimensional shooting flowers.  Nothing wrong with shooting flowers, but I am much more than a flower photographer.  I got Andre Kertesz's book Diary of Light in today through Library Loan and it is inspiring.  He took a camera everywhere and he has all these wonderful photos.  I want to be like that and I am, I just don't always post them and sometimes it is pretty heavy on the flowers.  Today, I went to Uplift to see singing time which didn't happen because it was slideshow and group photo day.  But before things started there was happy music playing and people were dancing and I was sitting by this dude on the front row who was not dancing.  Nothing wrong with dancing but I am not a dancer.  I only dance to embarrass my kids. I took his photo because I felt a connection with this kid. No high tech gear just workable equipment and a knowledge of a moment of shared experience with a stranger.

The moment always dictates in my work. 
What I feel, I do. 
This is the most important thing for me. 
Everybody can look, but they don't necessarily see. 
I never calculate or consider; 
I see a situation and I know that it's right,
 even if I have to go back to get the proper lighting. 
Andre Kertesz

Ben Hansen

watching a slide show

Uplift Session 3 Group photo

Photo info- Nikon D700, Nikon 35mmF2, edited in Adobe Lightroom