To The Heavens

As strange as it may sound, Bonventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia may be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The towering oak trees are hundreds of years old, and so are some of its permanent residents. My favorite thing about this old place, however, is the art. If it were anywhere else, it would be ordinary.

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Canon 6D with 50mm f/1.2L, adjusted in Lightroom.

A few more to come…

Animal Photography: Fuzzy Faces of November (Humane Society)

Last week was pretty exciting for me, because I broke down and bought a prime that I’ve been lusting after for quite a while. The 50mm f/1.2L finally arrived to my house after much anticipation. I’ve shot with the nifty fifty 1.8, upgraded to the 1.4, and found the focal length great, but the 1.4 wasn’t really up to snuff. So instead of buying a new copy of the 1.4, I decided to go ahead and get the 1.2. The ultimate prime lens for working in super wide aperture (1.2 to 2.8 is spectacular!) The images are beautiful, crisp, and I found that I had far less throwaways. The color is good, not perfect. It doesn’t require much adjustment in lightroom at all. The histo-curves are to die for if you have your settings right. Shooting in manual wasn’t hard with this lens. it gobbles up light and produces beautiful, creamy bokeh. 🙂

Now, to the fun part… Here are a few of my favorite HS shelter photos from last week. More can be seen on their website and Facebook Page.

Sally… my favorite dog of our session. Sweet as pie.

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The face of mischief:

 

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Dixie, the pit bull that ate her owners lawn chairs 😉

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Dash the super smart terrier:

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Hello….. 🙂

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Favorite beautiful kitty cat of the day… this guy… –>

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Stunning Red! –>

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And my boy Rocky, who finally got a haircut –>

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Another curious kitten –>

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Cats are quite fun to photo. So exquisite –>

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Rose Hill Cemetery

One of my most recent adventures was last Sunday. Instead of church, we found peace and spirituality in another, more unusual place. We participated (somewhat) in the Rose Hill Ramble, which is held every Sunday before Halloween. It was a large group of people and one man with a megaphone wandering through Macon’s largest historic cemetery (and one of my personal favorites), Rose Hill. I’ve been known to ramble through Rose Hill in years past with my old Canon Rebel XS. The intentions were good, but it was difficult to hear, and people’s heads were interfering with my photo taking. We wound up wandering off from the large group and my creative juices started flowing. I took a few shots and threw them in Lightroom to play around with the colors/contrast. I feel like in old/abandoned/cemetery photography, there is a little more leeway for creative edits… as long as they are not overdone. I’ll go back one day when it’s not as hot… and I can drive my car. 🙂

Here’s what I came up with…

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Lord knows I love a creeping vine on a tombstone.

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There is something so beautiful and peaceful about the Son and the sun…

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John B. Ross, another famous occupant of Rose Hill. An 8 year old little boy who aspired to be a fireman when he grew up. Read the blog post about him by Stephanie Lincecum HERE.

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Ellen Gertrude headstone. 9 year old girl who died in 1859 from Scarlet Fever. Stephanie Linececum of Rose Hill blog wrote about her, READ HERE.

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Dr. Robert Collins family plot statue: read about his wife and her sister HERE. (Great history lesson!)

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Dr. George Pierce Gostin, M.D. headstone. Died in 1912, age 60. It reads: In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

 

Which one do you like best? Tell me what you think…

 

 

On a side note, the 24-70mm is a beast. It’s so sharp and intuitive. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I finally took the dive and bought it.

All photos taken with Canon 6D and 24-70mm f/2.8L Mk II lens with UV filter & hood. Edited in digital darkroom.

 

November 1: Thanks

An internet tradition for the month of November up until Thanksgiving is writing something you are thankful for every day. I won’t slam Facebook with the cheesy status updates, but why not try to blog it? Let’s see if I can do this…

The first thing I’m thankful for (and I will add to this list) is my boyfriend of 4 years, Ryan. (Of COURSE he is first!) WHY? Because he puts up with me. Because he left his entire family and all of his friends in his home state of Minnesota to live in my much warmer state of Georgia. Because he is SO smart. Because he helped get me through pharmacy school. Because he is my coworker and we haven’t killed each other yet. Because he helps me with problems at work. Because he helps me with problems at home. Because he is a good listener. Because he is mature. Because he is trustworthy. Because he is reliable and a good provider. Because he loves animals as much as I do, and helps take good care of all of my furry children. Because he does dishes and laundry, and never complains about it. Because he knows when to ask for help. Because he knows not to wake me up from a nap. Because he kisses me on the forehead. Because he calls me “dear.” Because he has good genes. Because he comes from a wonderful family. Because he loves me for who I am and doesn’t try to change me. Because he UNDERSTANDS me. Because he isn’t perfect, but his imperfections are all things I can live with. Because he is the best person I’ve ever met in my life. Because he is Ryan. And because I love him.

Ryan and Buckley at the 2013 Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk
Ryan and Buckley at the 2013 Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk

A Few Furry Faces

These are a few faces up for adoption at Dub Laurens HS 478-272-5341

It’s just a taste.. I have many more to come. Another volunteer project has come up, also pet photography related. You’ll see.

Here they are:

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These aren’t full res because they are on the Facebook page and I’m uploading mobile. Forgive.

Lastly, all were taken on 6D in outdoor light (overcast day) with the 24-70mm f/2.8L II

More to come when I’m not half comatose past my bedtime! 🙂

BB

Thank You Toe Much!

Today was less than pleasant. I had pretty high hopes that my new podiatrist would give me better news about my “funky toe”, but alas, he did not. The “funky toe” has been a part of my life for several years now, and it has become somewhat of a running joke between me and the BF. After a botched ingrown surgery, it started growing sideways. I have lived with it for several years albeit it’s unpleasant aesthetics. However, lately it has become a woe of a toe. After two courses of medicine, they ruled out an infection, and my poor deformed toe had no hopes of recovery. It was forever destined to be about as straight as Richard Simmons.

Sitting in the Podiatrist’s office is always awkward. It is for certain that I will be the youngest person there, and without contest, smell the best. It’s one of those places where you cringe before you sit, and hang your head in shame because you, too, are amongst the great unwashed. You are all there together… with your funky feet.

Of course, there are always those who want to swap those knee-slapping fun foot stories. An elderly woman made small talk with me about her compression stockings. Unfortunately for her, she searched for sympathy in an unlikely place. I pretty much told her to suck it up, because I wore them every day when I worked retail pharmacy for 12 hour shifts. Yes, putting them on is like trying to stuff a sausage down a drinking straw. Yes, they feel like demons are swallowing your legs whole. Yes, their ugliness makes one heck of a good birth control. But it’s either that or cankles. Choose your battles.

I sat down in the chair. Shamefully, I stared at “funky toe”. The Pod came in and presented me with two displeasing options: (1) We remove the nail and see if grows back correctly or (2) We remove the nail and it never grows back. I don’t think he understood the gravity of this decision… I am 27 years old. I love shoes. He doesn’t realize how important that toenail is to me. My shoes require it to be there… to be pink, blue, red, gold, or grey… with polka-dots or chevron… I told him I’d think about it and left.

After walking to the parking lot, I saw that it was pouring rain. Sigh. I thought about it. Might as well go back inside and get my toenail yanked off, right?

I sat back down in the chair. He proceeded to enter the office with a syringe of lidocaine. The needle was only about as long as my middle finger, and that was pretty much all I wanted to give him back after he stabbed my toe three times with it. He gave me a pat on the shoulder and said, “You just wait right here.” Like I was going to limp off somewhere, with my neuropathic great toe. As I watched my  toe swell up to the size of a potato, I silently wept inside.

He came back in and grabbed some sort of metal contraption and I looked away. I felt a pressure, heard a pop, and he said “there we go!” Oh, TOE! It was gone and it looked wretched. He started explaining the regrowth expectancy (a year) and the wound care component of the process and I zoned out… all I could think about was no more open-toed shoes for the next… Wait… What?! The NEXT YEAR!?!

After writing a check for $250 for this highly educated man to literally rip my toenail off with a pair of pliers, I collected my Rx for some Tylenol #3’s and Keflex. I sulked out of the office and limped to my car, staring at my foot the entire way, looking at the hideous thing wrapped up in Coban tighter than a rubberband around a walrus.

Then I had lunch… with a piece of Key Lime cake… and mourned my loss. As of yet, the toe is regaining it’s feeling and I’m about ready to make myself a codeine milkshake and toast to the life of my toenail. Here’s toe you, may shoe rest in piece.

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Propofol, Profanity, and Plasticity: Why Anesthesia is Awesome

Luckily, I have been fortunate enough in my 27 years of existence to have avoided the need for any surgical procedures; however, I’ve experienced being put to sleep twice. If you’ve never had anesthesia before, I will be the first to tell you that entering a state of sleep that borders death isn’t half bad. Honestly.

I will begin by describing my most recent procedure: an upper GI endoscopy. I’ve heard horror stories about the chemically induced confusion for colonoscopies and endoscopies by using the drug Versed (midazolam). I know that with the use of this particularly potent benzodiazepine, it (1) Makes you not give a crap and (2) It has an amnesiac effect, so you forget everything that happened to you while it’s in your system. Now, here is my beef with this practice: You still get a tube shoved down your throat (or if you are over the age of 50 and every 10 years thereafter, via rectumus inserticus) WHILE YOU ARE AWAKE… yet only SOMEWHAT conscious. However, you DON’T REMEMBER ANYTHING. Voodoo, I say.

My gastroenterologist, a very tall, young and handsome Brazillian man whose name I can’t spell or pronounce, informs me after a recent stint of chronic stomach pain, they want to examine my innards. I immediately informed him that I was onto his mind games, and I shall not be duped by their Versed trickery. This is when he informed me, in his gorgeous accent, “No, Mees But-lerr, ac-tulee, we arre go-ing to uce the pro-puh-full.” Swoon.

That day, D&D/DDs (Denise & Dane/Designated Drivers) drove me to the appointment. They took me in the back room to get me ready for the procedure. It was decided that it should be Denise, not Dane, who accompanied me… just in case I decided to strip down naked and jump up and down on the bed post-anesthesia. We were pretty sure Dane wouldn’t know how to handle it.

I prepped for the procedure, putting on the usual unflattering garb. They refused to let me keep my pants on, which I protested and caused me to question their motives. “That tube is only destined for my mouth, right?”

They introduced me to the nurse anesthetist and Dr. Brazil came in and spoke to me in his soothing voice as they wheeled me away… Mom gave me the “Denise smile”, the one where she looks at me adoringly, but uncomfortable. She knew what was coming next…

Last thing I remember was seeing the milky juice being injected into my veins… and counting down from 10… 9… 8… Just 8.

After the procedure, I woke up in recovery. I had on clothes. I felt like a zombie. Denise was still smiling, and Dane was sitting on go. He shuttled me out of the building as soon as possible. I slept. They’d tell me how I’d embarrassed them later via telephone.

Mom: “You were quite the comedian today, young lady.”

Me: “Oh yeah? Did Daddy turn red?”

Mom: “Yes, but he missed most of it. Luckily he wasn’t there when you told the anesthetist he was hot.”

Me: “But he wasn’t.”

Mom: “You didn’t care…”

Me: “Oh.”

Mom: “There’s more… you asked the doctor if your esophagus was ‘beautiful’.”

Me: “Oh, bless his heart.”

Mom: “He didn’t really know what to say, he just said everything looked fine. You corrected him: ‘beautiful.’ I think they were even more uncomfortable when you told the entire recovery room about your LAST experience of being put to sleep.”

Me: “Uh oh…”

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There is a good reason why the propofol structure looks like a little man going “YAY!”

 

(FLASH BACK TO 2009…)

My wisdom teeth were coming in more crooked than young Forrest Gump’s back so during my month off after my first year of Pharmacy school, I decided to be proactive and get them taken out. What a stupid idea. The highlight of this experience, by far, was my reception of controlled substances.

Versed pre-induction. A short-acting barbiturate. Sleep. Pure bliss.

I “woke up” 8 hours later, but OFFICIALLY I had awaken in recovery. I woke up from my mild coma and screamed. My Dad thought they had killed me. Luckily, it was just “Versed Tears” (Google it.) 

On the way out, I told the anesthesiologist he was “the man” (it’s apparent that I appreciate their art) and cursed through the waiting room, at the reception desk, and the entire way to the car. They tried to help me into the front seat of my parents’ Avalon and I swore some more. I told them their car was ugly. My Dad reprimanded me, in true Dane-like fashion. I was oblivious. We headed home.

The true pearl is coming… the whole reason for me telling this tale of drugs and defiance… 

For those of you who don’t know my Dad, he is a 65-year-old former school principal. He’s a good man, worked hard his entire life, and has very little patience for my silliness. Stern, serious, all-business. He’s a forced to be reckoned with, and possesses a limited sense of humor. He is Dane.

According to Denise’s recall of events, I was very talkative on the ride home. Mom said it was difficult to understand some of it, as I had about 5 wads of gauze shoved in both sides of my mouth, but continued to talk without cessation. I was bleeding. I was drugged. I was awake. But I was still sleeping. And TALKING.

We weren’t far from home, and I paused… interrupting my own sentence. I turned my head to my father, who was cruising at 55mph, at 10 and 2, concentrating on getting his extremely chemically altered daughter back home safely. I am sure he was growing more and more uncomfortable by the mile. Mother said I turned and looked at him with glazed over eyes, gauze in mouth, and raised both hands to my chest. I cupped my hands and pressed them against myself, then proceeded to ask, “Daddy? Do my boobs look bigger?”

Mama said at that point she saw a look come across his face that she speculates has happened only once in their 30+ years of marriage, complete with raised eyebrows and widened eyes, a look of confusion, horror and genuine hilarity. 

She laughed hysterically, “WRONG SURGERY, BROOKE!”

I became solemn at this point, stared at my lap, and entered complete silence. I’m sure my parents were relieved, but I almost feel sorry for myself in that moment… I can’t imagine the disappointment I must have felt… because I sure as heck don’t remember it. 

Fabulous Furry Faces of September

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am going to have to start it off with my favorite kitten of the week… Meet Gizzie. What a spastic mess this thing is, but man, if I had room for 1 more cat, she’d be at my house. She is totally neurotic, looks insane, and meows constantly. I loved every ounce of her craziness…

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MEOW! — Not as sharp as I’d like the image to be, but this little thing would not be still! She’s too cute not to share.

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Don’t fall in love… this little one is adopted 🙂

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This little girl is also adopted and is now called Bella.

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Another very photogenic feline waiting for adoption.

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Meet Buttercup, one of the shelter employee’s own dogs. She was being so photogenic, I couldn’t help but snap her.

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Chewy is still available. Loved this girl.

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Maddie is still waiting.

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Kaycee is also still waiting.

 

All photos shown here taken with Canon 6D and 24-70 f/2.8L II lens. Processed in digital darkroom.