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We've been experimenting with using my old Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Lens manufactured in 1987 with our new Canon EOS Rebel T1i/500D. The lens with a 1.8 f-number/focal ratio has a much larger aperture which creates a shallower depth of field than the kit lens which came with the Rebel T1i. Sometimes it creates problems in automatic modes by blurring portions of the picture you want sharp, but when it works, it works great!

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Landon being held by Mama outside in the shade. You can see the very shallow depth of field as Landon's eyes are sharp but, just an inch or two farther away from the camera lens, his ears are blurred.

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Landon inside, much more relaxed, getting some supplementing formula from Mama.

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Will a/k/a Mr. Uncooperative, doesn't always like to play the part of a willing subject.

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This is a classic "Will" expression.

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I love this picture of Drew! Taken outside in the direct sunlight without a fill-in-flash. His expression is perfectly natural. A lot of times pictures don't really capture precisely what a person ordinarily looks like but this picture really does.

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Joey, unfazed by my late night camera settings experimentation.

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I believe he's thinking, "Enough with the pictures already."

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

Back in my school days I longed for a quality SLR camera but none of the, then, available cameras much appealed to me. Then Canon introduced its much anticipated EOS line in early 1987 which combined fully automatic autofocus and metering with integrated lenses. That Christmas I was fortunate enough to get a Canon EOS 650 camera. There after my system grew to include the following components, along with their place and date of manufacture determined from their respective date codes:

Canon EOS 650 Camera, FB0713, Fukushima, Japan, July 1987
EF 50mm f/1.8 Lens, UB0400, Utsunomiya, Japan, April 1987
420EX Speedlite, SB0802, ???, August 1987
EF 70-210mm f/4 Lens, UB1101, Utsunomiya, Japan, Nov. 1987
EF 28mm f/2.8, UC0703, Utsunomiya, Japan, July 1988
Electronic Date Back, FE0909, Fukushima, Japan, Sept. 1990

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Anyone who knew me in college and grad school knows I was never far from my EOS 650 (left). I've been wanting a digital SLR for a few years now, but much like my initial acquisition of a film SLR, all the features I wanted in a digital SLR weren't available...until now. After traipsing around these past years with a point-and-shoot, I'm back to an SLR with my new Canon EOS Rebel T1i a/k/a 500D (right).

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My love affair with my film camera began to fade with the advent of digital cameras, you just can't beet the instant feedback of a digital imagery. From right to left, a Kodak DC3200 which, much like crack from a digital camera dealer, came free with our first PC computer purchase in 2001. Since then the addiction to digital has required stronger and stronger "fixes," continuing on: Canon PowerShot A80, Canon PowerShot A610 and Canon PowerShot A650 IS.

While just having the camera a few days, we are already impressed with the quality of the pictures delivered by the camera. (And, yes, I'm well aware of people who can get amazing photographs from crappy cameras...I hate them, and this guy too.) Anyway, for me at least, the camera does make a difference and below are just a few shots taken with our new Canon EOS T1i which are of a better quality than I could have taken (with my limited abilities) with our old digital cameras. Look for improved photography from us in the future!

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Mama took this photo of Landon one evening in the lousy florescent light of a bathroom.

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Landon again, both photos taken without a flash. The best thing about the new camera is how it doesn't need a flash most of the time.

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After dinner tonight, the boys ran around outside playing lawnmower tag (don't ask!). I keep calling them over to take pictures and try out different camera settings. Will is is such a hoot, he's always got a comical expression ready to show off.

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Here's a spontaneous pucker for the camera from Will.

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Drew was quite sweaty after running around. Could those dimples be any deeper?

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One of the first pictures I took with the new camera: flash off, some natural light, a handsome model, point, shoot...whoa!

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Even Joey looks better with the new camera. This was just a test shot late the first night I had the camera with the only light in the room behind Joey. All I did was turn the flash off and the camera exposed everything just right!

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You just can't beat a subject exposed by natural light. I love this photo! Much, much more to come, I'm sure.

[I also updated the post about Drew's pre-k field trip to the Tulsa Zoo.]

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

342-st-john-health-system.jpgLast Friday, Mary was admitted to the hospital directly from her doctor's office where she went to see if anything could be done about her high fever which she still had since prior to her ER visit Sunday. While in the hospital, Mary was unresponsive to the intravenous antibiotics they gave her including a powerful new one (which really burned when it was put in her IV) developed just a few years ago in response to the growing problem of drug resistant bacteria. Mary's white blood cell count continued to rise to alarming levels and if it hadn't finally started trending down Wednesday morning the doctors were going to take drastic action. Fortunately, despite none of the antibiotics working, Mary's infection seemed to have finally worked its course. She hadn't had a fever since Tuesday, her white cell count finally came down Wednesday and further today, and she was able to tolerate her new oral antibiotic.

Mary's still not feeling 100% but her four boys are all very glad that she is finally back home after her twelve days of fever and seven day spa hospital stay.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

No time to post anything of substance. Mary is still sick and celebrating a miserable 40th. I just wanted to show my love by reminding all of our friends that Mary was now, "in her 40s."

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 11 2009

Back to the Hospital

342-st-john-health-system.jpgMary's had a 102/103 degree fever since Friday along with an unrelenting and excruciating headache. Her OB/GYN, over the phone, thought it might be mastitis and prescribed an antibiotic on Friday. By Sunday, the antibiotic, along with Tylenol, had done nothing for either her fever or headache. With Mary's fever at 103 Sunday evening, her doctor told her to go to the emergency room. We dropped Drew and Will off at Ma and Pa's and Mary, Landon and I trekked off to St. John.

The emergency room physician was stumped by Mary's condition which we now learned included a super fast heart rate. Mary had a couple of symptoms of several ailments but, at the same time, was missing key symptoms for each possible diagnosis. The primary concern was encephalitis, swelling of the brain. So, it was time for tests: CAT scan for her head, chest x-ray, full blood work up, urine analysis, flu test and a lumbar puncture. The results came back negative for encephalitis but showed positive for a massive infection the origin of which was unknown.

During all this Mary and her uncooperative veins were being, as usual, uncooperative. The nurse couldn't get a line in and even the IV specialist they called in couldn't get one going. Finally, the doctor himself had to put a line in Mary's neck...but, of course, not until after unsuccessfully trying on one side before putting it in the other side. So, in addition to everything else, Mary was stuck twice in each arm and both sides of her neck...fun!

Mary was given an intravenous antibiotic, a steroid and a strong pain reliever which was finally able to knock down the headache she had had for three days. Sometime after 3:00 am, we were finally able to go home with a prescription for a different oral antibiotic. As of tonight, Mary's a little better, but still not well. Her headache is controllable with Tylenol but her fever and other symptoms are still present.

Needless to say, yesterday was not a Mother's Day to be remembered.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Despite there being one more week left of school, Drew's Pre-K class had its graduation ceremony yesterday. It was a wonderful ceremony filled with all kinds of songs and demonstrations of the things his class had learned. Most impressive was how each child, even the shyest and most quiet, took their turn to speak, alone, in front of all the assembled family and friends.

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Drew was very insistent that Will be in included in his photo.

(Maybe another one for kindergarten, do grade school and middle school have their own too, high school, college, grad school...times three...only about 17 more graduations to go!)

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 6 2009

Male Bonding

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Landon and Mama came home from the hospital just before midnight Sunday. Landon was on lights here at home Monday and Tuesday and now, finally, things are back to normal. Well, at least as normal as a home can be with a newborn, 2 1/2 and 5 year old running around. With the first two sons, I got the reputation as a baby hog. I've missed way too much time holding our latest edition. Time for some serious male bonding.

[Update:]

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I kept thinking the photo should somehow be better. I don't know if I've accomplished "better" but here's another try.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Aunt Donelda stayed with us for a whole week, Saturday to Saturday. After Drew and Will's soccer practice this morning we all had lunch (except Mary and Landon who are still in the hospital), followed by Aunt Donelda taking off on the long drive back to Illinois. Thanks for all the help!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |