My Grandson's 1st Baseball Tryouts

February 22, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Throwing 'em OutThrowing 'em OutMaddox 1st Baseball Tryouts 02-22-2015 The day before his tryouts, I found myself sitting on my truck tailgate with my seven year old grandson talking about how much fun his first baseball tryouts were going to be.  With his bat in hand, he jumped up and onto the truck bed lid and said "let me show you how my knuckles line up" and he started his practice swings.  What a great memory for me store away, at the same time remembering the past excitement of my son's and daughter's baseball and softball practices, games, and conversations of future expectations.  Here I go again, camera in hand.  It doesn't get any better than this.

I was so excited that once again I was going to a tryout for little ones.  I made sure the night before that my backpack was ready with clean camera lenses, that there was plenty of digital card memory, and all batteries were fully charged.  My alarm clock went off at 6:00AM and I was ready to go.  I didn't want to miss photographing a single swing of the bat, or scoop and throw.  When I arrived at the field, I heard this resounding voice call out "PAPA" from beyond the fence.  What a great feeling it was to hear the little guy call me and meet at the fence with a quick handshake and fist pump with explosion.  I could imagine his nervousness since I began remembering when I was a titch older than him when I had my first tryouts and I was very nervous.  I also remember how important it was to see my mom and dad as well as my grandparents sitting in the stands when I had a game.  ScoopScoopMaddox 1st Baseball Tryouts 02-22-2015 I quickly scanned the bleachers and saw a whole host of proud parents envisioning their little "Casey" at bat hitting a home run and "touching 'em all" to cheers of the crowd.  My observation though was missing a very important aspect, I didn't see any cameras.  I was the only one capturing this pivotal moment in these young children's lives.  This was one moment in time that I was not going to miss.

I affixed my 70-300mm lens to the camera and worked my way to a stealth position so I wouldn't interfere with the activities but appear and disappear randomly so he knew I was supporting his efforts.  I was so proud to be able to capture images of him in traditional baseball pants and practice shirt all topped off with his Angry Birds baseball cap to intimidate the competition.  I set my camera on high speed continuous shooting so that I would capture as many frames of the action as possible.  Another import aspect of capturing this event was to get the all important pictures with his Mom, Dad, Mema, and Aunt.  Everyone needed to be part of this documented event to tell the whole story of his first baseball tryout.

What a great morning and he did fantastic! I truly enjoyed photographing this event and I encourage everyone to bring your camera and capture every event moment of your family.  Whether it's the first baseball tryout, ballet recital, school play, or some other type of event, going back and revisiting is very important in a persons life.  Don't miss out, enjoy and always remember,

"Moments in time are lived once. Images of those moments live forever."

Have you had a similar experience, I'd like to hear about it.

Ed H.

 


Pass It On

February 15, 2015  •  25 Comments

 

Pass It On

"Pass It On"
My Social Experiment
Did You Receive a Card?

"Pass It On" is my social experiment to see how many people can be made to feel special by simply giving them one of my photographs on a "You are Special!!!" business size card and providing them a choice to either "Keep It" or "Pass it On".  There is no cost; no advertising; no strings attached.  There are no expectations to buy or sell anything.  "Pass It On" is simply a set of printed cards handed out to produce a smile or to say thank you for being a special person.  The cards were given to people because of an observed random act of kindness; or a passing smile or hello; or a feeling that someone needed a pick-me-up; or for no other reason except that today is a great day and our paths crossed, potentially never to cross again.

If you received a card you have a choice:

  • "Keep" the card and smile each time you see it, because the person "Passing It On" thought you were special, or
  • "Pass It On" to someone else to make them smile and feel special.  Initial the back of the card to show you are part of the greater good in making people feel happy.  Use your camera and snap a picture of the front and back so you have a remembrance of your actions.

If you would like to share your experience, add your comments below and include the number that was written on the card.   I'm looking for positive feedback that the cards may have had on you or the person you gave the card.

I am hoping this experiment will provide many comments that show the genuine good nature everyone posses.

Enjoy and remember,

"Moments in time are lived once. Images of those moments live forever."

Ed H.

 


My "Selfies" - A Photographer In Front Of and Behind The Lens

February 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

In the past the only way I was able to get into a picture was to place my camera on a tripod, table, or boxes, set the timer and run like hell.  Everyone waited for the flashing light to count down for the eventual clicking sound of the shutter.  The number of shots taken was dependent upon how fast I could get into my position usually with the first few shots of my backside, or a profile, or just some dumb look because I was not completely ready.  I know this process was happening everywhere, family members or friends standing huddled together and then given the command to smile and wait for the click.  Bodies and faces frozen for at least ten seconds waiting for the click and flash.  It can be hysterical watching everyone trying to freeze a happy expression, only to complain about why the picture only got the back of my head when I pushed the button and couldn't get my chubby legs moving fast enough.

Cell phones have helped people come out from behind the lens with the ability to set the camera to shoot from either a front or rear lens.  The phenomenon of the cell phone "selfie" is so significant to me because those behind the camera, immortalizing the moment in time, are now shown as being part of the activity.  Spontaneity is captured which shows raw emotion and participation.  All of which the photographer was left out in the past unless relinquishing control of the camera or begging someone else to capture the moment, usually not at the same level excitement.

My daughter introduced me to the selfie a few years ago by shooting us with her phone.  I am a good candidate because I have long arms and know that the farther away the camera, the more people can get in the picture.  I've never been a person that wanted to have a picture taken, I've always been more comfortable behind the lens with quick "hit-and-run" conversations with a click of a button.  This concept of a "selfie" has become a new challenge for me.  I decided to capture selfies in situations that are spontaneous, fun for me, and challenging to photograph.  Some of these situations include the use of mirrors, reflections in windows, or my shadow on different types of backgrounds.  My shadow is becoming more interesting lately because the size and shape of the shadow is dependent upon the placement of the sun (high noon vs sunrise/sunset) and an available object that will be of interest that I can cast the shadow.  With all of my selfies I find that symmetry can also be a challenge.  My personal preference is to have symmetry in my images with both arms even or the image centered with straight lines.  Window reflections are also interesting and challenging.  This is because I cannot use a flash and am dependent upon any existing light that can highlight me in the image.

The artistic possibilities of selfies is endless.  Now when walking I'm like Peter Pan, watching and trying to catch my shadow through the camera.  I am watching for my reflection with lighting opportunities.  Selfies are going to be a new adventure where this photographer is going to make the effort to be in front of and behind the lens.

Have you had a similar experience, I'd like to hear about it.

Enjoy and remember,

"Moments in time are lived once. Images of those moments live forever."

Ed H.


Walking: The Six Mile Cypress Slough (sloo), Fort Myers, Florida

January 22, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Six Mile Cypress Slough (sloo) PreserveSix Mile Cypress Slough (sloo) PreserveSix Mile Cypress Slough (sloo) Preserve located in Fort Myers, Florida

There is no better way to relieve stress than to take a walk in a nature preserve.  My wife saw that my stress level was reaching it's maximum and suggested we take a trip to the west coast of Florida and visit the Six Mile Cypress Slough (pronounced sloo) in Fort Myers.  I was a little concerned about the perceived six mile walk and the South Florida heat, but the reality is that it was only 1.4 miles and a well sun insulated walkway. To my pleasant surprise I discovered this was a very mature preserve with a beautiful canopy of vegetation Six Mile Cypress Slough (sloo) PreserveSix Mile Cypress Slough (sloo) PreserveSix Mile Cypress Slough (sloo) Preserve located in Fort Myers, Florida providing a nice roof-like covering for the wooden walkway.  The canopy provided all types of challenging lighting opportunities with brilliant colors and reflection opportunities at every turn.

When I start walking, my focus is not about looking for any particular birds, flowers, or nature items.  I focus on seeing everything and allow myself to relax and experience the walk.  To my amazement when I follow this approach, I always just begin to see things.  I don't make much noise.  I walk softly in the hopes that I am blending in with nature as opposed to being a foreign object invading the environment.  I find myself avoiding others on the walkways.  I will generally find a cool spot in the shade where I can observe the movement of leaves, branches, and most importantly water.  Still water presents reflection opportunities.  Rippled water presents fish, turtles, or alligators that blend silently and seamlessly into the colors.  As I walked "through the slough" all the stresses that life has presented me quickly evaporates from my mind and soul.  This level of consciousness allows me to see the ripples.  I start to observe birds camouflaged within the tree leaves while sounds of movement become more prominent.  My camera now becomes my weapon for the hunt.  "Capturing" in my camera prison what I see and being able to tell the story of my surroundings through pictures becomes the goal of the hunt.  Ultimately I want the viewer of my images to feel as if they were walking in my shoes.

The Six Mile Slough was a great photography opportunity that I am grateful to have been able to take advantage.  I look forward to returning and walking "through the slough" in the spring and once again use the preserve as an opportunity to reduce life's stresses.

Have you had a similar experience, I'd like to hear about it.

Enjoy and remember,

"Moments in time are lived once. Images of those moments live forever."

Ed H.


Preserving the Christmas Tree Ornaments- Timber

December 17, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The Christmas TreeThe Christmas TreeThe Christmas Tree TIMBERRRR... That's the sound you would expect to hear in the woods as opposed to hearing this echo off the walls in your living room.  Many holiday families that purchased or cut down a large live Christmas Tree has lived with the devastation of their tree and years of memories crash to the ground.  My family experienced the joyful feeling of visiting the Christmas Tree stand, ripping open multiple tightly wrapped trees all to find the perfect northern specimen for Santa to leave gifts under, only to hear the cracking of wood and the shrill sound of glass smashing on the floor.  Tears begin to flow as reminiscent stories are told of each broken memory.  This only happens once, because when that first tree falls the next step after cleaning up the memories is to anchor the monster to the wall or ceiling. You pray the string is strong enough to lasso an elephant and is transparent to everyone admiring your decorating expertise.  The holidays do survive.

_MG_7251_MG_7251Hineline Family Christmas 2014 This year my ladies once again convinced me to pop the Advil and throw a ten foot behemoth into the back of the truck.  After we strung the lights, set the ornaments, tossed the tinsel, and carefully set the Angel on it's perch overseeing our home, that familiar "crack" was heard.  We were within a few moments of pure ruination of our holidays.  It was time to get the string and wall anchors and save the day.

As I verified the anchors I began to look closely at the near disaster and realized that if this tree fell, our memories would once again be compromised and I needed to use my camera to document the years.  This turned into a perfect situation to photograph our ornaments in an environment that is only available for a few weeks a year.  Typically our ornaments are carefully packed and stored in the attic.  I was witnessing the natural habitat of our ornamental memories where the colorful bright holiday lights brought the hibernating ceramic figurines to life. 

 

Photographing the ornaments turned an impromptu point & shoot opportunity into a very satisfying family project.  We can now enjoy these pieces of art anytime from this point forward.  I can also share our memories with others.  I feel a sense of security in shooting the images because tragedy can happen at any time where these beautiful pieces of art can be destroyed.  Glue can only help for a short amount of time.  Do you love photography?  Now is the perfect opportunity to shoot images that are only available during this time of year.  Give it a try, shooting these type of images can be challenging.  I shot all these images on manual with an ISO of 200, shutter speed 125, and an aperture of 8.0.  In addition I used my Speedlite 580EX II set on ETTL with the flash exposure set from -1 to -3 depending upon the reflectiveness of the object.

Have you had a similar experience, I'd like to hear about it.

Enjoy and remember,

"Moments in time are lived once. Images of those moments live forever."

Ed H.

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