November 29, 2007

Our Sweet Beast. Kona the Dog Dude.

My 2nd Lightroom edit. I used Aged, some highlight recovery, added a little vignetting, and sharpened a bit.

November 27, 2007

This is our catch-and-release buddy.

The Dudes named him Gandalf. This is the 3rd time they've caught him. He's a cute little guy.

November 26, 2007

Happy 11th Birthday...

... to my handsome, intelligent, unruly haired, humorous, neatnick-y, aspiring to be an author, firstborn Dude.

November 25, 2007


Yes, I do know that in SoCal it is almost sinful NOT to have pedicured, painted toenails. So be it. This is me.

November 23, 2007

And before the Big Meal was the Big Race...

The Turkey Trot!! And yes, the Littlest Dude was very upset not to have his own number, too.

November 20, 2007

Books I Love...

The Bible


Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
My Antonia - Willa Cather
Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
O Pioneers! - Willa Cather
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Emma - Jane Austen

Modern Classics (my opinion)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
The Chosen - Chaim Potok (and everything else by Chaim Potok)
Davita's Harp - Chaim Potok
Pigs in Heaven - Barbara Kingsolver
The Good Earth - Pearl Buck
Cheaper By the Dozen - Frank Gilbreth Jr. & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Pattillo Beals
Animal Farm - George Orwell
all Winnie the Pooh books - A.A. Milne
Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
Trumpet of the Swan - E.B. White
Just David - Eleanor
The Education of Little Tree - Forrest Carter
The Water is Wide - Pat Conroy
The Little French Girl - Anne Douglas Sedgwick
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls (I know, kinda early to call this a classic, but it's my list, and I think this belongs here.)
Night - Elie Wiesel
Out of the Dust - Karen Hesse
A Good Man is Hard to Find (collection of short stories) - Flannery O'Connor

Slice of Life

At Home in Mitford + rest of series - Jan Karon
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency + rest of series - Alexander McCall Smith
A Year in Provence - Peter Mayle (also A Dog's Life, and everything else by Peter Mayle)
Funny in Farsi - Firoozeh Dumas

Mystery/"Pulp Fiction"/Legal Thriller

The Beekeeper's Apprentice + rest of series - Laurie King
Mallory's Oracle + rest of series - Carol O'Connell
Bone by Bone - Carol O'Connell
A Time to Kill - John Grisham
The Testament - John Grisham
A Great Deliverance + rest of series - Elizabeth George (warning: dark & depressing)
The Man with a Load of Mischief + rest of series (except the more recent ones) - Martha Grimes
Gaudy Night (+ everything else) by Dorothy Sayers
All Agatha Christie series

Christianity(books that have spoken to me along the journey...)

Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis
Hind's Feet on High Places - Hannah Hurnard
Loving God - Charles Colson
The Pursuit of God - A.W. Tozer
The Divine Conquest - A.W. Tozer
The Unity of the Bible - Daniel Fuller
Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible
The Revenge of Conscience - J. Budziszewski

Helpful Photography Books

Understanding Exposure - Bryan Peterson
Nature Photography Field Guide - John Shaw
The Magic of Digital Nature Photography - Rob Sheppard
The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book (for Lightroom users) - Scott Kelby
Layers (for Photoshop CS3 users) - Matt Kloskowski
The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book (again, for CS3 users) - Scott Kelby
Professional Photoshop: The Classic Guide to Color Correction (5th Edition) - Dan Margulis
On-Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Wedding and Portrait Photography - Neil van Niekerk

Other (translation: doesn't fit in any of the other categories)
The Giver - Lois Lowry (first in series of 4)
Son - Lois Lowry (last in series of 4)
The Willoughbys - Lois Lowry
The Search for Delicious - Natalie Babbit
all picture books by Graeham Base
Ida B - Katherine Hannigan
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
Island of the World - Michael O'Brien
The Squire's Tale series - Gerald Morris
The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Cross Game - Mitsuru Adachi (graphic novel/manga, 8 volumes)
The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman

Not a book, but movies I love

Anne of Green Gables (the first two series)
The Princess Bride
Forrest Gump
The Story of the Weeping Camel
The Family Man
Rabbit Proof Fence
Miss Potter
Sweet Land
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Quiz Show
We Bought a Zoo
True Grit
Seducing Doctor Lewis
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Moonrise Kingdom
The Descendants
An Ideal Husband
Life is Beautiful
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
The Village
Big Eyes
Lars and the Real Girl
Queen of Katwe
Mr. Holmes
Loving Vincent

November 19, 2007

My Gear

What am I shooting with? This question comes up enough that it's probably worth making a list...

My "Big Girl" Camera - Canon 5d
My other big girl camera:  Canon 5d MkII
My Cropped Sensor Camera - Canon Rebel xt


Canon 24-105mm f/4 - this is my general "walkaround" lens (tons of versatility for a day out). It's a wonderful lens for landscape as well as portrait work. Its only "downside" is that it doesn't have a very wide/fast aperture (f/4) and it's big/heavy.

Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro - this is the lens I use for my close-up flower images.

Canon 85mm f/1.8 - Super sharp, beautiful colors. Love this portrait lens.

Canon 35mm f/2 - good, fast lightweight wide-angle lens that I like to use indoors or at night. My favorite lens for "diner" shots.

Canon 50mm f/1.4 - the standard "normal" view.  no camera big should be without some variation of a 50mm lens.

Canon 15mm f/2.8 fish-eye - oh my. such a fun toy. quirky, super-wide angle lens that adds a fun curve to images. 180* view side to side and up and down. I have to be careful to keep my fingers and toes out of the images!

Canon 70-200mm f/4 - lightweight telephoto zoom lens. fits better with my family's hiking/roadtripping lifestyle than the heavier f/2.8 version.

Canon 24mm f/1.4 - fast wide-angle. 'nuff said.

Bogen Manfrotto Tripod with Acratech ballhead.

Canon Speedlite 580ex ii - flash that I'm still too intimidated to use


Lightroom 4 & Photoshop CS5 - my list of really really helpful Lightroom Links

Lumapix Fotofusion for collages (of course, collage work can be done in CS3, but it takes longer and requires more skill than I have).


For a list of books that I've found to be indispensable in my photo education, please check my Books I Love post.

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that make me think, or laugh, or nod my head, or that I just like for whatever reason.

Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; in Thy presence is fulness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11

Fairy tales don't tell children that dragons exist, children already know that. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. G. K. Chesterton

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." Cicero

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can"t read them." Mark Twain

Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

Sometimes I do get to places just when God"s ready to have somebody click the shutter. Ansel Adams

No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books. Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How shall we become lovely? By loving Him who is ever lovely. Augustine

Among all the redeemed in glory there is not one who looks back and sees that on earth there was any mistake in the divine conduct towards him. God does all things well. William S. Plumer

It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt. Mark Twain

When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes. Erasmus

We must form our minds by reading deep rather than wide. Quintilian

We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking. Mark Twain

six hoc adfixum in obice legere potes, et liberaliter educatus et nimis propinquus ades. (translation: If you can read this bumper sticker, you are very well educated and much too close.) :-)

There may often be excuse for doing things poorly in this world, but there is never any excuse for calling a poorly done thing well done."-- W. E. B. DuBois

A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction. - Tolstoy

It was clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down. ~ Agatha Christie

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

A dead thing goes with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it. ~ G. K. Chesterton

Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~ Thomas Edison

"to me, photography is an art of observation. it's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... i've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." ~ elliott erwitt

Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee.
~Saint Augustine

[There is a] difference between a pretty picture and an important picture. Anna Kuperberg

"Miracles do not cluster. Hold on to the Constitution of the United States of America and the republic for which it stands. —What has happened once in six thousand years may never happen again. Hold on to your Constitution, for if the American Constitution shall fail there will be anarchy throughout the world." ~Daniel Webster

"Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”
— St. Augustine (354-430)

"I am a product [...of] endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents' interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass." ~ C.S. Lewis

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. ~Dorothea Lange

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain. ~ author unknown

“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one” – Jill Churchill

"Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair." G.K. Chesterton

“Photography is about savoring life at 1/100th of a second.” French Photographer Marc Riboud

"A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people." - Annie Leibovitz

"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

‎"Avoid making a commotion, just as you wouldn’t stir up the water before fishing. Don’t use a flash out of respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any. If these rules aren’t followed, the photographer becomes unbearably obtrusive." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

“This benefit of seeing ... can come only if you pause a while, extricate yourself from the maddening mob of quick impressions ceaselessly battering our lives, and look thoughtfully...” ~ Dorothea Lange

Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ... ordinary life.  (as seen on a Pinterest poster)

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart” - A.A. Milne

The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.  - Victor Hugo

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” ― Joan MirĂ³

"If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."   Roald Dahl in The Twits

Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.  ~Paul Klee

It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Photography, like life, happens only in the present, and when we’re at our best we practice a craft, and create art that points people to the most astonishing, beautiful, and human moments – the ones that happen in a sliver, almost a moment within a moment, and are gone. We freeze the light and shadow of these moments into a likeness that allows us to look at, and remember, these moments long after they pass, and in so doing to say, ‘This moment matters.’ It’s important. It reminds us that as we live our moments, even the briefest of them, so we live our lives.   ~David duChemin

There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.  ~ Bobbi, Lambrecht, Cheryl Strayed's mom

Notes from Peter-John Courson's message of Rogue Grace ... My conclusion to the entire narrative of Scripture: Two Laws separated by one Great Divide. This is how one “rightly divides the Word of God”.  “The Two” are two laws, one being the Law of Sin and Death and the other the Law of Spirit and Life. Through the first, one seeks to be justified. In the other, one knows they have already been.  From Eden to Revelation these two Laws are all there is. Scripture graciously uses a myriad of ways to describe this dichotomy of these two laws: stone and flesh, darkness and light, old and new, cursing and blessing, death and life, Egypt and Canaan, ect. Yet it always comes down to “The Two”.
Question: So the christian life is not about climbing the ladder of salvation? Many people find that to difficult to accept…… they say they believe in grace, but it must be balanced. ~JT
Response: Balanced Grace! That is the Christian Killer. It’s poison. It has neutralized both the Law and Grace, taking the edge away from both. There were “Believing Pharisees” in the Book of Acts, we must not be the same. ~Peter-John Courson

The contemplation of things as they are, without substitution or imposture, without error or confusion, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention. Francis Bacon

"There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from him. And the higher and mightier it is in the natural order, the more demoniac it will be if it rebels. It’s not out of bad mice or bad fleas you make demons, but out of bad archangels. The false religion of lust is baser than the false religion of mother-love or patriotism or art: but lust is less likely to be made into a religion.”  C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce

"Both good and evil, when they are full grown, become retrospective…That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporary suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say ‘Let me but have this and I’ll take the consequences’: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin.” ... “That is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say, “we have never lived anywhere except in heaven,’ and the Lost, “We were always in Hell.” And both will speak truly.”  C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce

"A sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on.”  ...  “Evil can be undone, but it cannot ‘develop’ into good. Time does not heal it.”  C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce

"When you painted on earth – at least in your earlier days – it was because you caught glimpses of heaven in the earthly landscape. The success of your painting was that it enabled others to see the glimpses too.”   C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce

“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.” -Oscar Wilde

"It does not take much to make us realize what fools we are, but the little it takes is long in coming. I see my ridiculous self by degrees." ~Flannery O'Connor

"Why would God require, desire, or even accept a sacrificial substitute? How is such a concept remotely just? The short answer is that God fulfilled His own terms of justice and mercy Himself... because He loves us... and because we couldn't do it for ourselves." ~Brett Bonecutter, The Pajama Philosopher

"... in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. Instant information is not for me. I prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it...  can you imagine curling up in bed to read a computer? Weeping for Anna Karenina and being terrified by Hannibal Lecter, entering the heart of darkness with Mistah Kurtz, having Holden Caulfield ring you up — some things should happen on soft pages, not cold metal."  Harper Lee in a letter to Oprah Winfrey

"The defense of Planned Parenthood in light of what has been revealed is almost as disturbing as the mound of body parts - because a moral vacuum can never be contained to the one little corner of life you don't mind it in; it always expands." ~Mark Steyn, commenting re: PP videos demonstrating the harvesting of baby organs

“The sorry religious novel comes about when the writer supposes that, because of his belief, he is somehow dispensed from the obligation to penetrate concrete reality . . . . But the real novelist, the one with an instinct for what he is about, knows that he cannot approach the infinite directly, that he must penetrate the natural human world as it is.”  ~ Flannery O'Connor

"Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. 'Pooh!' he whispered. 'Yes, Piglet?' 'Nothing,' said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. 'I just wanted to be sure of you."  ~A. A. Milne

"If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus one day, so I never have to live without you." ~ A. A. Milne
“The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.” ~ Albert Einstein (quoted in the New York Times, 1921)

"If God makes the world, populates the world, infuses the world with every kind of ethical meaning, then the signature of God is the beauty of the world. Why even imagine a mystical experience when we’re born into one, submerged in one, day after day?" ~ Marilynne Robinson

"I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story."  ~C.S. Lewis

Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth.Grace evokes gratitude like the voice an echo.Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightening.”  ~Karl Barth

"The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do."  ~Andy Warhol

"In the work of a writer of genius, we rediscover our own neglected thoughts."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

“The Iliad is only great because all life is a battle, The Odyssey because all life is a journey, The Book of Job because all life is a riddle.” - G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."  —C.S. Lewis

"Nothing teaches us the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else."  ~Charles Spurgeon

"Redemption is meaningless unless there is a cause for it in the actual life we live, and for the last few centuries there has been operating in our culture the secular belief that there is no such cause." ~Flannery O'Connor

"Fable is more historical than fact, because fact tells us about one man and fable tells us about a million men."  ~G.K. Chesterton

"It would be against God’s character to give us a promise that our children will be saved if we raise them in a certain way. That would mean that he was telling us to trust in something other than Christ and his grace and mercy." ~Elyse Fitzpatrick

“When people look at my pictures, I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.” ~ Robert Frank
"Lord, You know better than I know myself that I am getting older and will someday be old. Keep me from... the fatal habit of thinking I must say something in every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but You know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind from the recital of endless details-give me wings to come to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure the with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I will be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint-some of them are so hard to live with-but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me the grace to tell them so."  Elizabeth Elliot in Gateway to Joy, via MizBooshay's blog
"In almost every major literature there are works that make you love being human, and make you love and revere the humanity of other people. That is the great potential of any art."  ~Marilynne Robinson
"It has seemed to me sometimes as though the Lord breathes on this poor gray ember of Creation and it turns to radiance - for a moment or a year or the span of a life... ~Marilynne Robinson

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November 18, 2007

The Photo Gallery

My website:

Susan Keller Photography


It's probably weird to mix my floral photography in with my portrait work, but it's my website, so I did it! :-) You can find my floral work in the Galleries. You can also find more floral photographs in the Client Section - just type "floral" in the password box. From the client section you can add any of the photographs to the cart for purchase. And to see the cart, just press the little shopping cart in the lower left corner (can I just say, that took me the longest time to figure out!?!)

So far I've only downloaded a few photographs. If there's a photograph (or a size configuration) that you're interested in that you don't see in there, just Email Me! or leave a comment. I can always add to the gallery to accomodate your wishes.

November 17, 2007

A Little Bit About Me and My Dudes...

Preset me
I'm a Christian, Wife, Mother, Enthusiastic Photographer, Home Educator, lover of good books, drinker of coffee and Diet Coke, watcher of "reality" tv, and sporadic taker of walks, enjoying life with the Big Dude, the three little Dudes, and the dog Dude.

My Man (the Big Dude)

The Firstborn Dude, 11yo
My Eldest

The Middle Dude, 8yo
Lightroom test-1

The Youngest Dude, 5yo
SpongeBob photoshoot 3

The Dog Dude, 1.5yo
M' Dawg, Kona