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New Photo Friday :: Friendly Sports

This week I shot a Lake Erie Crushers semi-pro baseball game for the Morning Journal, and my picture for today’s New Photo Friday encapsulates why I enjoy spring/summer sports so much–aside from the sunshine and warm temperatures, of course. I’ve noticed that in spring sports, especially baseball and softball, everyone is so much more friendly. I started to get a bad taste in my mouth for winter sports because of the awful behavior of fans and players. There was so much nastiness toward opponents. But in spring sports, I saw much more camaraderie between players from opposing teams. They could compete against each other and still be civil, oftentimes even friends. I saw coaches congratulate players from opposing teams when they played well; I saw players support their opponents; I saw parents acknowledge when youngsters competing against their kids did well. That’s not to say I didn’t see anyone acting foolish and immature, just far less frequently. 

In this photo, the short stop got the baserunner out trying to steal, but they had a friendly little back and forth before they left the field. Each player was all smiles and it made me smile, so I love this picture that captured a bit of it. I took this with my Canon 5D Mark II and my Canon 300mm/2.8f lens (oh my God I love this lens for baseball and can’t wait to use it for football season!).

friendly sports

 

What have you been shooting this week?

Jennifer Forbus: football camp

New Photo Friday :: Football Camp

My new photo to share this week is from a football camp I shot for The Morning Journal this week. This camp was co-sponsored by the Cleveland Browns and the Lorain Titans for kids in 3rd-8th grades. I love having photography opportunities like this. It’s so much fun to see the enthusiasm of the kids. The high school players who were running drills worked incredibly with the younger kids. So the opportunity to shoot here is a bonanza–great emotion, action and fun. I was especially excited with this assignment because my pictures wound up on the front page of the paper on Wednesday. Here’s a picture I took with my Canon 5D Mark II, using my Tamron 70-200mm lens. The kids were working on diving into the end zone. 

Jennifer Forbus: football camp

 

So what have you been shooting this week?

New Photo Friday: Rufus

New Photo Friday :: Rufus

As promised, I’m returning to my New Photo Friday posts. Today I’m sharing more than one. These are a few I took of Rufus when we were out on our hike yesterday–as you can see, he was playing in the river before I took them. Because of his color, Rufus often blends in during the fall or in areas with a lot of trees, so I tried to get spots with good vegetation to contrast with his color. I used my Canon Rebel 6ti with my 24-70mm f/2.8 USM lens.

As soon as I have a little block of time, I’m going to create a new gallery that will be called “On the Road with Rufus.”  It’ll be all our travels, whether close by or overnight trips out of town. He did a lot of traveling before he even came to live with me; he’s a pro. I’m fortunate to be able to take him with me so often. 

Enough yammering, here’s Rufus:

New Photo Friday: Rufus

New Photo Friday: Rufus

jennifer forbus - camp unleashed

Reboot

First of all, I can’t believe it’s July already. And my last post was in February. Oh good gracious. In a slight bit of defense, I have made updates to that last post. I hope if you haven’t taken a look at the recommendations I offered, you will do so. I plan to update it as I find other books about those issues worth reading.  I think they will be very important in future elections.

In the meantime I’m trying to organize myself to give this blog a bit of a reboot. I’m planning to return to my new photo Fridays. So stop by and take a look at those. I’m sure there will be plenty of sports since I’m continuing to shoot about 3 games a week for the Morning Journal. But there has to be room at least for pet photos, too.  And I’m working on senior portraits for my niece, so you may see some of those as well.

I’m still reviewing regularly for Shelf Awareness, so I’m going to push myself to get those reviews up here, too. And probably throw in a few on audiobooks I’m listening to now and again. The goal for those will be Mondays–the first tomorrow. 

I’ll take the middles of the week as they come. I should start back off slow so as not to overdo and wind up going five months without a post again. 

O.k. so to wrap this post up, I just wanted to share a few things from around the web that I particularly like:

  1. I just finished reading Maeve Higgins’ book that’s coming out next month, Maeve in America. She’s now on my list of sheros. I think maybe we were besties in another life. Anyway, I love this opinion article she wrote about her dog. There’s been a lot of negative talk about emotional support animals–some of it warranted because stupid humans try to abuse it–but she talks about the calming effect her dog has on her. I can attest to the same thing. My Rufus is not certified as an emotional support dog, but he performs the role everyday for me. Anyway, check out Maeve’s article.  
  2. My amazing friend Rochelle Staab has been walking trails in and around Los Angeles for a couple of years. She has chronicled them to an extent on her Facebook account, but now she’s put together a blog to keep an archive of her experiences–Hiking Los Angeles. I was so fascinated by all the pop culture AND history throughout that area. Check out her blog when you have a chance. It’s a kick! 
  3. Of course if you’ve spent much time around here, you know Rufus and I look forward to our Labor Day vacation each year at Camp Unleashed. They were mentioned in this fun article, Three Camps for Adults You Can Enjoy With Your Dog. If you’re up for it, join Rufus and I this year!

jennifer forbus - camp unleashed

Dual Book Review :: The Wisdom of Moms & Amazing Dads

I‘m kind of addicted to National Geographic books. It’s probably partly due to my love of photography. National Geographic sure knows how to do photography. Today I have two gorgeous little gift books to share with you just in time to pay tribute to the moms and dads in your lives.

The Wisdom of Moms: Love and Lessons From the Animal Kingdom

First line: “Moms can be feathered or furry, they can live in the mountains, at the water’s edge, or in the desert.”

The Wisdom of MomsThis little gem is chock full of glorious, color images of mothers and their offspring in the animal kingdom, among them a flamingo, bulldog, owl, dolphin and one of my personal favorites, the meerkat. The images are accompanied by little facts about the species and their parenting practices as well as lovely quotes related to parenthood, motherhood, love and life. Spread out throughout the book are short sections on characteristics of mothers, such as loyalty, compassion and grit. The narrative tells how the corresponding animal displays that trait.

The images are awe-worthy and the quotes are well-chosen. The variety of animals gracing the pages is terrific fun. Some regulars we expect to see everywhere–the graceful giraffe–and some that aren’t so common–free-range pigs! The Wisdom of Moms is a treasure for any animal lover, but it’s certainly the perfect gift this Mother’s Day. I’m not sure I can part with my copy of this one, though, so I will have to go get another one for my mother.

One of my favorite quotes from the collection is from Barbara Schapiro, “Sometimes the laughter in mothering is the recognition of the ironies and absurdities. Sometimes, though, it’s just pure, unthinking delight.” The Wisdom of Moms is certainly pure delight, but instead of unthinking it’ll have you pondering your own mom, guaranteed.

Goodreads - Brown Dog Solutions

 

Amazing Dads: Love and Lessons From the Animal Kingdom

First line: “There is that one special person who is always your biggest fan, your most tireless coach, and your friend no matter what: your dad.”

Amazing DadsThe companion book to The Wisdom of Moms is Amazing Dads. Set up in the same format, the book is packed with beautiful, bold images of animals throughout the world. The jacana and its spindly little off-spring practically tweet from the page. Meanwhile, it’s hard not to conjure up memories of Nemo as the brilliantly orange clownfish pop in their sea of blue.  The quotes range from heartwarming to humorous. And the facts accompanying the images are fascinating. Did you know that a male Japanese puffer fish spends nine days drawing intricate sand patterns on the ocean floor? Then the female deposits her eggs in the center. From hedgehogs to eagles, parenting in the wild is stunning, entertaining and magical. Amazing Dads captures that beautifully.

Either book will make beautiful gifts, but the pair complement each other wonderfully. Anyone who loves one with cherish the other…take it from me, I’m not relinquishing mine. National Geographic knows how to engage an audience with sharp, striking pictures and both The Wisdom of Moms and Amazing Dads are well-endowed with those images. And you really can’t beat the price on these little beauties either. Be sure to check them out!

Goodreads - Brown Dog Solutions

My reviews of The Wisdom of Moms and Amazing Dads is the kick-off post of the TLC Book Tour these great gift books. You can find out what other bloggers think about them by following the tour, listed here.

Book Review :: Loyal

First line: “There are dozens of reasons to love dogs, but the paramount reason for my passion emerged while I was writing the prequel to this book, Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty and Life With Dogs.”

Loyal - Brown Dog Solutions

Journalist Rebecca Ascher-Walsh is a volunteer in a high-kill animal shelter. Because of her experiences in the shelter she helped found the Deja Foundation, which is devoted to funding the medical care and training costs of dogs rescued from high-kill shelters. This is a true animal lover, and she’s put together Loyal: 38 Inspiring Tales of Bravery, Heroism, and the Devotion of Dogs, a beautiful book celebrating dogs who contribute to the lives of humans in truly extraordinary ways.

If you’re a pet owner, you know how much your own furry friend(s) add to your existence.  So it won’t surprise you to hear the 38 heartwarming tales Ascher-Walsh has collected in this stunning little book. She found purebreds and mutts, old dogs and young. The common denominator is their pure, unselfish willingness to give of themselves. A Labrador who served in the military, a German Shepard trained as a seeing eye dog for a marathon runner, a German wirehaired pointed adopted from a shelter to improve community relations for a police department, a Spinone Italiano who comforted the children of Newtown following the Sandy Hook massacre. The stories are diverse and fun and inspiring. The full-color photographs in every chapter are top-notch, as you’d expect from a National Geographic publication.

Peppered throughout the book are small call-out sections with special facts or breed background. And the variety of organizations that come to light is astounding. For example, the Pets Helping Agriculture in Rural Missouri (PHARM Dog USA) that trains and places service dogs with disabled farmers or Canine CellMates in Atlanta that rescues dogs on the euthanasia list at shelters and matches them with jail inmates to be trained.

Through all of the stories and dogs and individuals, Ascher-Walsh illustrates how the loyalty of dogs can bring out the best in their human friends. Loyal is a perfect book for the bedside table or coffee table. Readers can pick it up for one story at a time, a couple stories or an uplifting hour or two of all the stories. After having read it the first time, I found myself flipping through to look at the pictures again and wanting to re-read the tales as the pictures reminded me of the smiles and warm feelings those words elicited the first time around.

Loyal is an ideal book for any dog lover. It’s a great gift book as well, but if you buy it as a gift, you may very well find parting with it a great challenge.

I’m kicking off the TLC blog tour for Loyal. You can check out the full schedule of bloggers and find out what others are saying about Ascher-Walsh’s tribute to furry heros. You can find purchasing information at the National Geographic site or at Amazon. And as always, below you’ll find the Goodreads link if you want to add it to your reading list.

Goodreads - Brown Dog Solutions

New Photo Friday - Pets

New Photo Friday

Good gracious is this ever overdue. Again, I apologize for the long silence there. Today I have a new photo to share with you and some fun news about Fredrik Backman. Those who know me and my book review history know I adore Fredrik Backman’s work. He’s absolutely astounding. Anyone who asks me for book recommendations can be fairly certain I’ll mention his name. So of course, I’m delighted that his next book, BEARTOWN, is coming out at the end of April. In addition to that, the film version of A MAN CALLED OVE has been chosen by Sweden to compete in the foreign language Oscar category. I saw this film and just adored it—it’s true to the essence of Ove and the man Backman created. Of course, I would have liked for it to be about three hours longer so they could have flushed out more of the delightful supporting characters from the plot, but it’s a film. What can ya do?

On to New Photo Friday. Last weekend Rufus and I went to a dog fair in the area, so today’s photo comes from that trip. I was quite smitten with this St. Bernard puppy. She was a bit resistant to having her picture taken, so I was delighted to catch this shot.

New Photo Friday - Pet photography

I’ve started setting up a mini studio with some new-to-me equipment I was fortunate to acquire. So you’ll probably see some pictures from that new set-up in the near future.

One last little book tidbit—o.k., really it’s a big, honkin’ bite—for those in the Northeast Ohio area. Another author I recommend regularly and obsessively is Craig Johnson. Hopefully you already know he writes the Walt Longmire mystery series…which the TV series LONGMIRE is based on. He’ll be at the Strongsville Public Library on Wednesday, May 24th. Save this date and register NOW. It’s free, but I’m fairly certain the event will fill fast, so make sure you get your spot. I’m just thrilled he’ll be here in the area. Hope to see you there.

Happy Friday, friends. Have a great weekend!

New Photo Friday - Depth of Field

New Photo Friday: Week 17

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Happy Friday! I hope your first week of 2017 was wonderful. Mine has included snow, so I’m not sure if we’re at the wonderful level, but I did have the opportunity to do a fun photo shoot on Monday, and I’m headed to the West Side Market with the Erie Shores Photography Club tomorrow for a day of shooting there. So, besides the snow, it’s been a pretty decent start to the year.

On Wednesday the photography club did a workshop with depth of field and focus. I played with some crayons, so my photo this week is one of those from my workshop. I shot this with my new-to-me Canon 85mm lens using an ISO of 200, an aperture of 1.8 and a shutter speed of 1/80 of a second.

New Photo Friday - Depth of Field

Depth of field is one of my favorite aspects of photography. And I’m having a blast with some of my newer lenses that are allowing me to get apertures in the 1.8-3.2 range. The effects you can create are fun, sometimes dramatic. What are some fun ways you’ve used depth of field or seen others use it?

I’ll try to make good use of it this weekend at the West Side Market. Hope your weekend is enjoyable, whether you’re doing something exciting or relaxing from the week. And if you’re in weather similar to mine, stay warm!

New Photo Friday – Week 16

jennifer forbus - new photo friday

Happy Friday! If you’re observing Christmas this weekend, I hope you’re ready for the festivities. I’m not really, but it’s going to happen one way or the other. 😉

I mentioned in last week’s post that I would be doing a Santa Claus shoot last weekend and that’s where my picture today comes from, although probably not what you’d expect.

Because we were setting up the facility before sunrise, I was able to snap this shot outside in the parking lot at Lakeview Park where they have a lovely light display all over. I was tickled by this beach volleyball scene with gingerbread people. The volleyballs blink on and off so it appears as though they are going over the net. I shot this, obviously, with a long exposure so all of the volleyballs appear lit in the image except for the fourth, which was burned out.

This is a crop of the original image and I realized when I cropped it that my focus was in the center of the picture, so gingerbread man is sharp but gingerbread girl is slightly blurry. That’s my biggest regret on this image. The beach scene to the right of ginger-boy is sharp, but I removed that to declutter the image.

What I really liked about it: I got the long exposure and the volleyballs all came out lit. I love the reflection in the puddles on the asphalt. And it’s whimsical and fun. Festive for the season. I hope you enjoy it too.

The technical details: I obviously shot this on a tripod. The shutter speed was 4 seconds, ISO 100 and aperture 5.0. I should have used a larger aperture setting and a slower shutter speed to get little miss ginger-girl sharper. I may go back another night or morning and try again. I’ll also frame the picture to only include the volleyball part of the scene.

New Photo Friday - long exposure

Next week I’ll have my end of the year lists for reading and a final new photo for the year. I hope you’ll stop by and check everything out. In the mean time, happiest of holidays to you one and all.