Monday, April 21, 2008

Illness and Absences

I've not been answering my messages or notes this past week for the most part, because I have been sick. The kind of sick when you start thinking if you die in your sleep it would be alright, cause at least you wouldn't feel bad anymore... heh. :) I am not totally better, either. I've gotten sick with something else, or I've gotten new symptoms, but this isn't as bad as last week, so I can function. It'll be a few days before i get around to doing all the catch up I need to do though, so If you haven't heard from me, have patience... I'm getting there :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

My Little Bit of Heaven

I have a humble garden in my front yard. It is a odd mix of strawberry's, mint, lemon balm, basil, perennials, annuals, wildflowers, artichokes, pumpkin plants, and whatever I might find of interest at the green house. Peppered liberally in this garden are my benches, my birdbath and assorted garden decor pieces. It is by no means a piece of art, I'd win no awards, but it soothes me.

Every year it is the same thing. I go outside sometime in spring and think, "Wow, this is a mess, I should clean this up!" And then I wait about a month before I do. Buy then it is a ridiculous amount of labor to pulls the weeds, figure out what is not weeds, and trim and rework what I have this year. By then I want more plants, so I go to the nursery and buy some new stuff, (half of which will die because it doesn't do well where I live, or needs more sun).

My garden really should be on the other side of the house, but in the front yard is where we brought in top soil five years ago and it is the only place capable of sustaining life, unless it's weeds. (even the weeds struggle, however, so things like the tomato plants I crave have no hope.) The sun there is better, but the garden hose doesn't reach either. Poor me, I am so deprived.

Sometime during midsummer it starts to look good, and I can go outside and enjoy a book and a glass of tea in the middle of my lemon balm and mint (my favorites) and I begin to hope that my vegetable plants will yield some kind of fruit. (the photos above and below are from last year, btw... I can only hope some of these plants will look so good this year.) Invariably something goes wrong (Like having chickens who eat all my blooms, or too many grasshoppers if my chickens stay out of the garden.)


Anyway, it is that time of year. I am ready to start cleaning up, but it is just now getting warm so I may wait a few weeks. I'll keep you posted :)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Oh Look! It's Baby Ducks!

I have something cool to tell you.

But before I do I thought I'd share the following, and see if any of you can translate? :D


So, on to the news.... (drum roll please...)

Two days ago I went to the feed and seed (to buy feed and seed) and I bought...


Yup! Those itty bitty things that go waddle, waddle, quack, quack!

Oh, the pictures right now aren't so great, because they move around constantly, and the lighting where I have them sucks, but they are soooo cuuuuute! :D

Now, I know this isn't great news for anybody else, but seeing as I have no one else to share it with, I am sharing with you :)

There's more pics in my scraps if you'd like to see (with chicks and a blue chicken and Turkey babies too...) hopefuly I get something good enough soon to put in my gallery :)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Why I Offer my Stock Photos (for free)

Some of you may not be aware of it, but I offer my photos for other people to use.... FREE.

I got started sharing my photos online because a friend of mine looked through my pics and said "Wow, these are pretty good Dawn, you should sell them as stock!" I didn't know what stock was, or where to share it even when he explained. But once I understood what he was talking about, out I went to sell my great photos.

Except they weren't so great.

Of course I didn't know it then, to me they were fantastic and my fan club (friends and family) all coerced me into believing I was the next Ansel Adams. But enough rejections form the stock agencies cleared that issue up for me. I couldn't get anyone to take my images to sell.

My buddy said, Hey! no problem! Try SXC! ([link]) It's a place that gives stock images away for free, and you can practice you photography with them until you get good enough!

So off I went and submitted my images.... and they accepted about 2 out of every 10. (Those odds crushed me, let me tell you.)

I've been with SXC about four years now, and my acceptance level has grown exponentially. My rejections are now about 1 in 25 (and well deserved usually.) I now sell my best stuff at paysites, and take the rest and offer it here and at sxc.

But sometimes I have other photographers I know locally who ask me why I'd even consider letting someone use my photos for free.

So, here it is:

1. I am not going to do anything else with it, so why not?

2. I've had a ton of publications, many of which I have tear sheets for, worldwide. Those publications have helped my portfolio more than any sale I have ever made. EVER. (you can see a list of some of those publications here: [link])

3. The models I use for my images frequently get tear sheets or other items they can use for their own portfolios, which has made me fairly popular with the local models. :)

4. Every time I think I am getting good at photography, I can look through what I have offered in past years and realize how far I've come, and how far I have yet to go.

5. I get far more critiques from the free stock I offer, which gives me some basis on which to decide what I need to work on.

6. Some of the people who've used my stock have helped me learn better PS techniques, as well as helping me know what kind of stock is most needed. :iconchaoticmisfortune: :iconkayceeus: :iconamiens:

So, thanks again to everyone who not only uses or collects my stock, but who sends me links so that I can see how it's been used. Hopefully your interaction will bring much more and better free stock photos to come :)