Ever After
  • Archives
  • September21st

    I’m taking an awesome online photography class and am excited to learn about natural light techniques.

    Here are a few shots that I took of Vivi on Sunday morning before church. Everyone had a role: Ariana held the reflector and Tad’s job was to make Vivi laugh. Vivi loved being the center of attention, and when the photo shoot was all over, she wanted to know when we could do it again.

    I also learned a new trick for helping to prevent sharp pictures from appearing softer when posting them the web: save files at 72 dpi and at the size you want it to appear (max 590 pixels wide for my blog theme) so the blogging software doesn’t resize them. I also run a subtle “sharpen for web” action that seems to also help.

    Side-lit, no reflector

    Instructor feedback: Light pattern nearly perfect. Just turn her head and shoulders a tiny bit more toward the light source. We’re aiming for a triangle of light on the cheek away from the light.

    Front Lit, No reflector

    Instructor feedback: Crop just a tiny bit closer to the top of her head. Lighting looks good.

    Side-lit, reflector

    Instructor feedback:In side-lit, indirect light settings, reflector should be held parallel to the side of her face away from the light and not under her face causing the light to bounce up on her. The shadows under her eyes, nose and chin are caused by not positioning the reflector properly.

  • September21st


    Posted in: Tad

    I was grateful that my camera was close at hand as Tad immersed himself in his new library books.

  • September21st

    I Can do it!

    Posted in: Lori

    Coach Dave was one of the most influential people in my life. He taught me how to swim when I was a nine-year-old so afraid of the water that I didn’t even want to put my face in, and he coached me in competitive swimming until my early high school years. Pacing the deck, workout after workout, year after year, he was always there to coach and encourage me. Even though I was not a gifted athlete, he never gave up on me. His mantra for each swimmer was a simple phrase, but to this day, it’s still my motto–“I can do it!”

    Beautiful strokes, no muscles. That was my curse. No matter how hard I worked, how many laps I swam, how many hours I spent in the pool, I could never advance to the highest levels of my sport. I was good but not great, and it drove me crazy. Despite this, the life lessons I learned through Coach Dave Maynard’s swim program have truly shaped who I am.

    Swimming is so ingrained in me that, more than half a lifetime later, I still have dreams about competing. Normally they are bad dreams–I’m wandering the pool deck of a meet without my swim suit, I can’t figure out when my next event is, I can’t remember how to swim. But some dreams are tender reminders of my dear swim coach, and I wake up teary because I miss him.

    Over the last twenty plus years, I’ve dabbled in other forms of exercise, and the only thing I’ve ever been consistent at has been walking on the treadmill, but I’ve gradually realized that walking is not going to pay the dividends that I am looking for. It’s a good form of exercise, but there are so many things that would give me a better pay back for the time and effort I’m investing. Sadly, I’m such a klutz that I can’t even get up the guts to try anything more advanced. I’m definitely not a runner, kick boxer, biker, or spinner. The obvious answer was to get back in the pool and start swimming again, but I knew that it would miserable. I remembered what it felt like to be in top shape. to be able to swim and never get tired. And I knew that getting back to that point would be tough.

    The first few days were TORTURE, and I was sure that I was going to drown, but each day got a little bit easier. I’m just finishing week three of swimming 5-6 days a week, and I am excited by the progress I’m making. The pool is starting to feel like home to me, and I’m up to 2,800 yards per workout. Sadly, the scale hasn’t budged, so that’s ultra frustrating and makes me want to quit. Patience is not one of my virtues. But whenever I feel like quitting, I hear Dave’s voice inside my head, the voice that I’ve heard so many times in my life when things get really tough: “You can do it.”

    Thanks, Dave. For everything.