People who have really “lived” have fascinating stories to tell. Some are fascinating just because they took place in such a different time than we live in (back when people walked barefoot through the snow, uphill both ways, to get to school). Others are remarkable because of the people they involve. You know, those stories about someone they knew or befriended as children who eventually became someone famous, maybe an important political figure or famous athlete. Many of their stories are of interest because they took place before so much of our culture became so sissified…back when kids were allowed to climb trees without signing waivers and lawyers weren’t hanging around everywhere like vultures.
“Bearpa” is shown above telling stories to my wife and a couple of the kids by the fire one evening. We recently spent a (cold) weekend camping on their ranch while we hunted for deer. Between hunts and during meals Bearpa shared many stories of interest to all. He’s a wise man and imparted much of his wisdom and knowledge — about hunting and life in general — to all of us.
I only had the camera out here and there (was busy hunting and skinning myself) but when I did it was usually in very low light. I used 1600 ISO most of the time yet some shots were still very challenging. If I left the camera in “normal” metering mode it overexposed much of the image since so much of the background was dark. So, I switched to partial metering (which on the Canon 50D is essentially spot metering using 9% of the center of the frame) and this allowed me to expose based on the brightest portion of the frame and keep it from being blown out. I also used an exposure bias of -1/2 all the way to -3/2. Notice how the picture of Bearpa beginning to skin a deer has deep black shadows in the background and how he himself is just a tad underexposed. This captures the scene perfectly in my opinion. This was taken out in a barn late at night, and the slightly underexposed picture reflects this. I cleaned up the night shots with Noiseware, which works magnificently.
Due to my back pain (this was pre-surgery) I was limited on how much I could twist, turn, and get into good positions but I did manage a few other shots. The trophy wall below is an HDR from 6 exposures and the one from in the blind was taken with my iPhone.
What an autumn our family had in 2010 — I hope my three regular readers didn’t miss my blog too much. We dealt with breast cancer, a back injury which will require surgery, and the normal busy-ness of a family with lots of children. All is good however. My wife is doing great and I’m walking again. I might even take a picture sometime soon.
God is good. While in bed with a severe back condition — which was most of the month of December — I meditated a lot on Philippians 4. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”. So, I did that. In my pain I rejoiced. In my pain I thought of a thousand things I was thankful for and expressed that thanks to God.
What’s with the picture above you may ask? The whole family is headed out to a friend’s ranch next weekend to hunt deer and stock up on venison. Our friend needs to cull some of the herd in order to keep the deer healthy and we’d love to have the meat. He is going to show us his method of processing a deer from field to freezer. He’ll show us how to make our own venison sausage (many variations). Since I am now able to stand and walk reasonably I am going to take advantage of the opportunity to hunt on the weekend before my surgery (which is just after the final week of deer season). I can shoot and wield a knife just fine and my oldest son can do all the lifting. I went to the range and sighted in the rifle yesterday (and blasted a bunch of rounds out the Glock). While I had the rifle out I had my son snap a picture of my younger son and me holding our guns. My six year old (in the picture) inherited this BB gun as a Christmas present and just loves to shoot. Don’t worry — we keep the gun out of reach, only let him shoot with supervision, and make him wear eye protection. We tried to be serious in the picture but came out looking like deer in headlights.
I hope to be taking pictures again soon. It’s been necessary to put the camera down for a while but I think I’ll have time to do a little bit here and there in the near future. Maybe I’ll have something useful to post as well. See you around.