February 28, 2010

He soared upon the wings of the wind...


I love you, O LORD, my strength.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From His temple He heard my voice;
my cry came before Him, into His ears.

The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because He was angry.

Smoke rose from His nostrils;
consuming fire came from His mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.

He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under His feet.

He mounted the cherubim and flew;
He soared on the wings of the wind.

He made darkness His covering, his canopy around Him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.

Out of the brightness of His presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.

He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.

The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.

He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.
Psalm 18: 1-19

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February 25, 2010


Out slaying all manner of vermin in the backyard:

killing chars

And when he's done slaying by sword, he begins shooting ...

sword doubles as gun

I'm just glad we've got him around to kill all the bad guys. :-)

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February 24, 2010

A Brand New Family :: Aliso Viejo Photographer


One Adoring Daddy:



One Committed Mommy:



One High-Energy, Fearless, Darling Daughter, boldly embracing her new life ...

blog collage

... and quickly learning how loved she is!


You can read their sweet story here.

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February 23, 2010

February Miscellany…

Random scenes from life: 

They played.  No one cried.  Pretty much a banner day in Keller-land!

_MG_2472 _MG_2479 _MG_2478 _MG_2480

I always loves me a fun shadow shot…


Wanna know what that open book shows?  The culmination of two years’ hard work in an old, beat-up 60’s Dolciani Algebra text.  Next up:  Euclid’s!!


_MG_3166 _MG_3165 _MG_3184

What I’ve been cooking.  Carmelized onions… yum!


What we’ve been watching:  :-)


Big Dude, preparing taxes.  Fed + State + Self-employment + SS/medicare + Property + Sales … OUCH!  ‘Nuff said.

_MG_3160Locked and loaded and ready for action at a moment’s notice:


Locked out and wanting in.  (but don’t feel too sorry for him.  He wants out when he’s in and in when he’s out.)

_MG_2628   _MG_2626 _MG_2627


Me, late at night, self-portrait.  Because Sarah double-dog-dared me on Flickr.


Putting on the final touches on this project. 

_MG_2688    _MG_2679 _MG_2681 _MG_2685

The end.

February 22, 2010

Keeping Middle Dude Busy

Last week Middle Dude’s school had Winter Break.  Keller Academy, however, did NOT.  (because here at KA, we like to be done with school by the end of May!!)  It was imperative, then, to keep Middle Dude busy busy busy, in order to keep distractions to KA down to a minimum.  :-)  I thought 39 Clues would keep him busy.  But alas, he finished all those before his vacation even began.  But I was, like, on it, and with two more trips to the library I found a couple more books for him to keep his nose in.  That, and giving him daily “homework” making a new Mindstorm robot, and he was nicely occupied all week.

_MG_2785 Those lashes.  Each Keller Dude has them.  Big Dude has them, too.  Me?  Alas, no.

_MG_2783 _MG_2781
_MG_2787 _MG_2788


Now it’s back to ye ol’ grindstone for Middle Dude!

February 21, 2010

Rain down ...


May he come down like rain upon the mown grass,
Like showers that water the earth.
In his days may the righteous flourish,
And abundance of peace till the moon is no more.
Psalm 72:6

"This is entitled 'a psalm for Solomon:’ ... But, though Solomon’s name is here made use of, Christ’s kingdom is here prophesied of under the type and figure of Solomon’s." ~Matthew Henry

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February 19, 2010

Legos + a Little Engineering = Halo Minifig

Please forgive me for adding even more testosterone than usual to this blog.  Big Dude asked me to.  And he doesn’t ask for much. ;-)

So Big Dude’s work contracts have been pretty slow lately, and since he’s not a man to let dust collect under him, he used his “spare time” to create these “Lego compatible, Halo-ODST-inspired, custom minifigs” (gotta be careful how I phrase it; y’know, copyrights and all…).  And he’s listing them on Ebay (his description cracked me up).

lego halo odst _MG_2904 It looks so simple in this rendering, but look at some of the minutiae details that go into the creation:

_MG_2905 _MG_2907

Pretty cool, eh?  And yes, all the Little Dudes have been quite interested in the progression of this particular engineering project.  :-)

February 18, 2010

Lightroom and/or Photoshop?

I am often asked “which should I buy:  Lightroom or Photoshop?”  If you can afford it, the answer is:  BOTH!  If you can only get one or the other, I usually recommend that people begin with Lightroom.  In my humble opinion, it’s way more intuitive, easy to learn & use, fast, non-fussy, photographer-friendly and truly adequate for most hobbyists’ workload.  For all but a few of my family photos, I use Lightroom exclusively.  Especially now that I’ve finally found settings that make my LR edits look pretty darn close to PS edits (no small thanks to Rebecca Lily presets – her Just a Little Something and b/w presets are the ones I usually begin and end with). 

In each of the following groupings, SOOC is first, LR is middle, and PS is last.

IMG_5193 IMG_5193-2 IMG_5192T


_MG_9279 _MG_9279-3 _MG_9279T



_MG_9279 _MG_9279-2 _MG_9279TT




_MG_9282 _MG_9282T

_MG_0041 _MG_0041-2 _MG_0041T


Alrighty then, if nothing else can be determined from these [above] particular pictures, you can see that I don’t spend oodles of time finesse-ing my family photos in PS.  And that, really, LR does a truly decent job.  So let’s look at a couple of my photos from my professional sessions, where I do put forth the additional time and effort to polish and finesse.  This is where PS is the real workhorse – anything requiring superior sharpening, curves/levels adjustments, selective area adjustments, skin retouching, eye brightening, etc.  In the following images, you will see the greatest difference in the eye detail (sharpness & brightness), because, of course, this little beauty’s skin does NOT need to be messed with!

IMG_2830-2 IMG_2830-Edit




IMG_2884 IMG_2884-2 IMG_2884-Edit

In this image [above]  you can especially see the PS difference if you look closely at the eyes, freckles, and dress detail.

IMG_2862 IMG_2862-2 IMG_2862-Edit

So there’s my simple offering of a comparison of what LR and PS accomplish for me.  Hope it’s helpful for anyone considering purchasing one or both of these…

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Aliso Viejo Portrait Photographer