Friday, January 30, 2009

Wisp and Iced Blue




Two new images going into my etsy shop! The Iced Blue is a piece I used with a texture/image courtesy of mirkaphotographics (flickr) that she shot while over in the Czech Republic. I always do more than just layer an image. The other is "Wisp" again a layered image. I shot these on one of the coldest days this week after the ice storm hit Oklahoma. It moved out from our area quicker and for the most part we are extremely fortunate in our county compared to other regions that the storm has passed through.


Well, these will have to do for a few days. Wrapping up a couple projects, so if I don't respond to your emails or comments, just know I appreciate them! And one other thing, I have discovered that my blog page looks funky on some monitors, like the banner is off to one side farther than the page. Not sure why, but I can assure you, it looks fine on the majority of monitors.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One more,


This one will go in my etsy shop tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice on Tuesday

My favorite. In my front yard early this morning around 8:15 a.m.


See the heart? This was above my head about four feet. Thank goodness for a long lens plus I was losing light.


in my neighbor's yard this morning. at least it didn't fall on houses or vehicles! they just had their yard cleaned this weekend, at least it landed near the pickup pile! hahah!
Yes, we finally got ice. Maybe it clears up tomorrow, doubtful. Managed to get a few shots this morning before work and a few more when I got home this evening though the light was nearly gone. I think that everyone showed up for work today at our newspaper (well they did in the newsroom, and two other departments. And I have to applaud one of the carriers. They are independent contractors so some special rules apply to them, yet this one woman had to drive in from a neighboring town to pick up her papers for delivery. She got there two hours early and sat in her car with it running until the papers were ready off the dock. I only know this as I was headed to the print shop and came back in and found out from the circulation director about her. Now that's dedication. Yet there were some 'younger ones' who weren't quite as dedicated.
For the most part, it seemed fairly quiet for a snow day.
This first one below, definitely low light but isn't that ice drop pretty?

I made my husband stop in the middle of the road so I could photograph this. I think it would have been prettier had I shot it in the morning. It was several feet above my head, again, long lens capture!
1oth Street in front of the newspaper. Screamed for black and white conversion.
Circles of ice on rusted pipes in front of the print shop.

And a few more beautifully shaped leaves coated in ice as night creeps in.



Monday, January 26, 2009

One of those "Here Mom flowers. Love you" from my youngest son....

We didn't get enough ice today to do anything other than slick up the roads. Plus I'm not really feeling the creative spirit. This is one of my archived images I shot a couple years ago. Still one of my favorites. Probably because my youngest son gave it to me. My boys, growing up, they always were giving me flowers, usually out of my own little garden! My oldest son always makes sure he gives me a plant each Mother's Day. Most of them don't live long or we move and can't take them. Hopefully this year will be different. I need to just let my husband take care of them as I'm not a greenthumb gardener. Still, the sentiment is sweet and I love each one they give me no matter where they come from or how long, or in my case, how little they last in my care! Thanks boys! I know it's only January, but the cold dreary day reminds me of your flowers. Suppose I needed some 'spring brightness' today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ice-static!


We've been extremely fortunate here in Oklahoma with the winter weather, at least in our little area, but tonight they are forecasting freezing rain, ice for tomorrow through Tuesday. As a 'normal' person, I hate ice. Yet, everytime it happens, I'm out in it. That's the photographer and teenager in me. Two years ago we had a huge ice storm hit Oklahoma and I was all over the place on foot photographing the storm's beauty up close. I'm in search of the disc with the images, but haven't found it yet. I did find this one that's just a general winter shot, off one of my old blog posts. And yes, I'll be out again tomorrow and Tuesday. Wish me luck. I really don't want to bust on the ground. But if you see someone walking around with socks on their shoes and with camera in hand, that'd be me!
And if anyone really wants this image, I'll search harder for the original and upload it to my etsy shop! I love this shot and forgot about it until I searched my archives of my blog.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New in my etsy shop!

This is the view from Monument Hill, that shadow falling across the ground is actually the monument and it is huge! I love this place. The history of this spot is rich with cowboy and cattle. This is one of the reasons I love Oklahoma. There is so much history here to explore.
I've added this image to my etsy shop. This image is also one of those I'm debating on getting as a large canvas for my home...20x30 probably.
I shot this photo after attending a fine arts festival in which I won first place in the professional division. My husband and I stopped here and enjoyed a little bit of time taking in the beauty of the land. I had been there many times to cover various tours when I was editor of the newspaper down there in Waurika, but it was the first time my husband had been.
Have a great day and don't forget to stop and enjoy the beauty of our country, or your own if you live somewhere besides America.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Longest Day and WPPI



The Longest Day, part 1! This is for all you photographers out there who haven't seen it yet! For years, I've said, I'm going to WPPI. I really thought I'd make it this year, but the deck is stacked against me. I MUST get there next year and posting this show is part of my game plan. Now, just watch it, enjoy and PLEASE post a comment if you watch it. Thanks!
http://www.wppionline.com

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Miss M loves to 'cheese'







Yes, the poor child says 'cheese..cheez..cheeeeeeeeeezz'....of all things! Today though, I shot a poloroid of her. She saw it sitting out and had to have her photo taken. I haven't scanned it in yet.



The weather was really nice today which got me to thinking about landscaping. If you know of any good online sites with ideas, post a comment.



Chloe is cute!

One of the things I like to do is check out the blurb site. There's always new ideas of images/books and just some great independent photography books being published through blurb.
Tonight I saw one called Kamruz and then checked the author's other book, about Chloe the dog and her companion. Grabbed the name and went surfing..found an entire fun Web site about Chloe!
Here's the blurb link: http://www.blurb.com/books/119565
And then go here: http://www.chloecards.com/
Just fun! And these kinds of books make great gifts for someone who appreciates books and photography.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

And the Oklahoma Governor's race begins....

Oklahoma Lt. Governor Jari Askins, second from right, with her family, mother Jarita, seated, brother Marty and his wife, Dana and their daughter, Allison, to Jari's left. Today she announced in Duncan officially that she is running for governor for Oklahoma, 2010. You can read the story at http://www.duncanbanner.com "Askins aiming high"
















Polaroid: Suspended

Polaroid I shot recently, then scanned and added texture.
A 5x5 image of this is available for sale. Let me know and I'll add it to my etsy shop.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Etsy finds!

Yes, another round of Etsy finds. This time it's furniture! Great pieces, especially for you photographers looking for something unusual to add in your prop arsenal.
And you might notice I was really into RED! To find the pieces, just copy and paste the links.




















red Candy Striper Chair - $225: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15270841
red antique Monarch chair - $645: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=14906710
vintage Cherry Bench - $595: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=14731967
rustic Antique Windsor Firehouse chair, green paint - $88: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15270841

Monday, January 12, 2009

Blueberry = beauty

Blueberries! I love them! Absolutely!


I can't say when I first discovered that I had a taste for them. Honestly, I have no idea! I can tell you about apples and peaches and blackberries - all from my summers in Sebastopol, California as a young girl. Especially blackberries and raspberries! My nephews and I, we were all pretty much the same age..long story, but I didn't come along until my mom was 50 and thus began my mom's 'second' group of children. I kind of fell in the middle of 'batch 1' and batch 2. Mom had this crazy idea to adopt triplets when I was 4.
But back to my story. My nephews, Jerry and Joey (Johnny was 'older' so of course, he didn't play our games). We'd sneak through the fence into the neighbor's backyard and eat blackberries and raspberries until we were delightfully full of dessert, then we'd head back and always got caught! I'm thinking now that the juice stains gave us away. Ummm....
Then years later, I enjoyed the delights of picking wild blackberries in Arkansas when I was pregnant with my first son.
But blueberries...I have no idea. I don't ever remember having them as a little girl. No, I really think it was after I got married. No matter, I love them and can eat a massive quantity in one day, just as I can with blackberries.
And everytime I buy them, I think, MUST take pictures first. But then I eat them. Finally I took some photos so I could make some beautiful cards and postcards from them. I've been seriously creating some wonderful images and products that I plan to offer up for sale.
And we all know that blueberries have great antioxidant value.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Moments

starting another week

Circus fun with Lightroom



A little fun-ness for today! This was an old shot, actually, the first time I ever used RAW format a few years back 2004 or 2005, can't remember. Anyway, I processed it finally a few months ago using Lightroom. I really have to buy that program someday! I made several versions of this shot, but here's one for now. Was your Saturday good? Mine sure was!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Raging winds, fire dangers

Escaping! Evacuating...all the same when you have this rushing your way.
Firefighters advise residents on course of action.
Oklahoma scenes, Central High area, northwest of Marlow.






The wind is raging here in southern Oklahoma right now. And the fire danger is high. Reminds me of 2006. Today fires shut down highway 7 east of Velma. Very reminiscent of three years ago.
Here's some old shots. For those who weren't here, it was a devastating fire season, in Oklahoma and Texas. I was on one end of the county covering fires north of Marlow and could see the smoke from fires more than 30 miles away. That's insane! I don't remember how many miles I drove that day and evening in covering, but I do remember escaping from a fast moving fire. That was scary. The worst thing though was right after that I returned to the newsroom and another reporter and I heard the most distressing scanner 'chatter' ever, as two firefighters were not so lucky and were trapped. One of them died.
Oklahoma has been very dry this year and when the wind rages like this, combined with the dry conditions, fires flare up. Do what you can to fireproof your homes. Keep debris removed, like dry firewood, shrubbery, etc. Make sure you have a fire escape plan and always know where your car keys are! Also, have water faucets outside in running order and get water hoses. Keep your lawns watered and the plants around your home. The moisture helps.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Zen nature




No words needed. Comments always welcome.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

CONTEST! Seniors!

It's been awhile since I've had the chance to do some fun portraits. If you are a senior at a high school in Stephens County (Duncan, Marlow, Empire, Velma, Comanche Bray or Central High) and haven't gotten your senior portraits done yet and you are set to graduate this spring, then post a comment and tell me why you deserve a free photo session?! If you are from anywhere in the southwest region of Oklahoma and are up to driving here for your photo session, go ahead and post also. You could be from Walters, Lawton, Yukon, Mustang, Edmond, etc.
Surely there are takers out there? You can see some of my senior portraiture at my web site: www.tonihopperphotography.com. Go to the button on the left and then under galleries you'll find a section for Seniors.
Morgan, a 2008 graduate from the OKC metro area, said she didn't realize a photo session could be so much fun. I think the excitement of tornados/impending storm looming added to the drama. Bridgette of Rush Springs also had a blast! As did their moms and anyone else they brought. I could list off some more seniors comments, but I think you get the idea.
I'm all about fun and wanting to make sure you get portraits that you love!
So, post your comments and spread the word. At the end of the month, I will announce a winner.
Now come on, don't let me down. The post that most intrigues me wins. You'll have to post an e-mail so that I can contact you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Robin McGraw, Oprah and Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Jari Askins

Those who offer hope and inspiration:

The three women I mentioned in the title are the inspiration for this post. It started this morning when I got a return call from Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Jari Askins. I have been excited about this all day! I've known Jari for years and she has announced her bid to run for Governor for the state of Oklahoma! Whoohoo! When she was running for the Lt. Gov. position, I actually did some photographs of her at her church for her campaign. It was wonderful and I've learned so much since then as a photojournalist, photographer, writer and more. Jari is one of those people that always remembers your name and always seems so level headed and professional. Yet she's one of the kindest, warmest women. So after talking with her on the phone this morning for comments for our headline story, I just knew today would be a good day. She just seems to have that effect on people.
I didn't have much to do at work, got most of it knocked out by noon and I came home from work early today and actually accomplished a few things. The biggest being my desk and cleaning it! How can I be productive when my work station at home is a cluttered pile?! With that out of the way, then I felt like I could do more.

After, I sat down and watched a show that I normally wouldn't watch, The Doctors. A talk show, but it was their guest that prompted me to sit and watch. Robin McGraw.
When I heard her name, I knew it would be worth watching. I've not had the opportunity to meet her (well, I may have, memory fails me on that one). It might have been when I did a story on Cindi Broaddus and some trees were donated to the local park in Cindi's name. I'll have to find that article and scan it in.
(See another story here: http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/181 {not mine}. Cindi and Robin are sisters and Robin has been to Duncan many times. Her new book hits the stands tomorrow and I am going to put my name on the library list to read it. I'd go buy it, except it's part of my pledge to not buy books this year since I have so many backed up that need reading (see Sunday's post!).
But the theme of the show was just making sure you take time for yourself. This is so true. If you don't take time for yourself, then you can't take care of your family. Robin said it's not being selfish. It's just important.

Then I turned it to Oprah after watching the entire hour and there was Oprah talking very candidly about this past year, her weight gain and tiredness and thyroid issues. And her lack of joy. Wow. Oprah, get your joy back! If I can do it, so can you! I know what she's talking about. Years ago, I was getting sicker and sicker and it got to where I couldn't even lift a coffee cup to wash it. Just horrible. I was even afraid to go to sleep for fear I'd never wake up. Can you say INSOMNIA?
I didn't know what was wrong. Some events opened up doors and I went to a doctor and sure enough, it was my thyroid. I even felt negative, empty, poor me pity, all of that.
I made some serious changes, eating habits, sleeping, work, etc... I believe those saved my life. I'm slowly incorporating exercise back into my life.
Which brings me to this next step. Mind you, getting "YOU" back doesn't happen overnight.
But listening to people like Robin McGraw and other inspirational people, Joyce Meyer, joycemeyer.org; and Nicole Johnson (freshbrewedlife.com) are the newest thing for me to add joy and the "me factor" back into my life. It's the encouragement and calmness that these women exhibit and I think to myself, that's awesome! Plus, moving into empty nest syndrome, I think, wow, there is so much that I want to do. For myself, my husband, my children and grandchildren. Yet in a different way than I've done for the past 20 years. I think, wow, why didn't I do this a long time ago?!

So if you are reading this and you feel some joy is evading you, listen online to some of these women, or even men (feel free to tell us who they are with a comment) and oh wait, Rick Green with Wallbuilders. He also comes to Duncan and visits. There's a guy to listen to. When I was younger, my mom and I would watch Robert Schuller on TV. I can't remember why we stopped. Anyway, if you have someone that you listen to, read or look to for inspiration, I'd love to see your comment and what it is about that person that inspires you.

Here's yet another link on a short article on Cindi. Worth your five minutes.
www.womenforhire.com/be_gutsy/magazine/women_who_inspire_us/cindi_broaddus

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Need that recipe!

Blogger burped out my first post on this, so here's the short version:

Atlanta Bread Company.
Chocolate toffee cookie.
giant.
delicious.
want. that. recipe.
share? please?!!

Freestyle fun


Yes, I'm bored. Watching old clips of Dancing with the Stars, but you know, only the really, really good/hot ones! Love this, so much fun!

Books to share

I really want to know, what do you do with your books when you are finished with them? Some of mine I keep, some I send to my sister. And I used to go trade a lot at our local used bookstore. But they aren't taking hardback trades anymore. I'm almost finished with Greg Iles, Third Degree, which I bought at an airport when traveling. I'm probably going to donate this one to the public library's book exchange. They have a little store where you can get books for I think, hb .50. It's been awhile since I was in that room. But I am curious what many of you do with your books.
I thought about offering the book, but am really pushing to not spend money on anything extra (especially since I need to fix my car and the tub I want for the master bathroom, price tag on that $1,000).
I have a huge library of books and plan to try and spend more time reading this year. My goal is to try and get about 30 books read and removed from my library. So what the heck am I doing sitting here typing?!!

Oklahoma tree and lots of wind

Being a tad lazy and just posting some I did awhile back. It's windy, windy here in Oklahoma tonight and I'm hoping it calms down enough for some backroad traveling tomorrow so I can get some new landscape images. I haven't had anything new to play with as far as textures go on my photos and landscapes and nature are my first photo passions.
Lone tree, 1 image series b

Lone tree, 1 image series a
If you like these, share a comment and I will respond. It's nice to know if people like what you post. On another note, jpg.com is shutting down on Monday. Not sure if the magazine is ending, but it's a shame the site will disappear. Some fantastic photographers on there. If you haven't ever visited, today is the day to do so.
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's a new year...my slogan, 2009 and it's all fine (or it's all fine in 2009). So I grabbed a few photos that kind of speak Happy New Year...Happy speaks for itself, new is the baby and year, well the pathway with the light shining kind of says the past is behind us and the future we walk toward. These are all images I shot this last year but haven't published.





And if you are a regular blog follower, please join at the side! I would also love to hear more from you blog readers, photo enthusiasts, etc...I do plan to start booking portrait sessions again in about six weeks. So if you are a senior, or just need some fun portraits, send me an e-mail. I am still mulling over the idea of shooting weddings again.
Anyway, don't be a stranger!