Brian's Photo Blog — Article 66
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The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go!
Thursday 29 March 2012   —   Category: Thoughts
Well, even though my half-​cen­tu­ry birthday wish didn’t come true, I’m sure the reason is be­cause Sony didn’t have the lens ready in time, rather than the lack of someone willing to spend that kind of money on me!

Seeing that I never expected my wish to come true (is that why it didn’t?), I’m not at all dis­ap­point­ed. On the contrary, I've been very blessed by some thoughtful gifts my family gave me to help me along on my photographic journey.

Besides some nice chocolate, my 18-year-old daughter drew this card, from a pho­to­graph she found on the Web. I was very touched and pleased with her talented efforts — there’s something special about receiving a one-​of-​a-​kind work of art!

My wife, Catherine, was in Cor­val­lis recently, so she popped in to Many Hands Trading, a fair trade store with lots of unique products. Her attention was caught by this t-shirt by Liberty Graphics, and once she read the text, she immediately knew this was just the gift for me!

I had never seen this quote from John Muir before, but now that I have, I seem to be captivated by it. “The mountains are calling and I must go.” These words resonate with something deep in my soul. If you have looked around my Web site very much at all, you will know that my love for photography and my love for hiking in the great out­doors are virtually in­sep­a­ra­ble. In the same way, these words seem in­sep­a­ra­ble from the core of my being.

It is a very nice looking t-shirt, with a beautiful water-based-ink silkscreen on heavy, dark-blue cloth. It’s going to be the shirt I wear when out on photographic hikes from now on. Thank you, Catherine — you picked an awe­some 50th-birthday gift!

Next, my 17-year-old son, Jeremy, and my 10-year-old daughter, Olivia, gave me a book: Digital Photography Masterclass by Tom Ang.

I was delighted to receive this book, because I had been very impressed with the only other Tom Ang book I own: How to Photograph Absolutely Everything: Successful Pictures From Your Digital Camera.

Even though it is aimed at “beginners,” this previous book is so packed with great photographic information that even experienced photographers will likely learn something new, or at least be reminded of principles and techniques which had slipped their mind. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Therefore, I’m really excited about digging into this second book, and then putting what I learn into practice as I go on photo outings this year. I have a great hope that it will help take the quality of my photos up to a higher level — we shall see! Thank you, Jeremy and Olivia, for giving me another tool to help me along on my photographic journey!

And finally, last, and most certainly least, I received another birthday card yesterday — from the AARP! Gosh! The min­ute I turn 50, they are right there, soliciting my mem­ber­ship! Receiving this mailing must be an American rite of passage into the tens-of-millions-strong ranks of “older Americans.” The vultures are circling, but I’m not dead yet! Yikes! They even sent the same offer to me at my parents' address — I haven’t lived there for many, many moons! This is one “birthday card” that’s going straight into the trash!

Well, there you have it — a blessed and memorable way to celebrate the completion of my 50th orbit around the sun. The mountains are calling ... and I MUST go!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 66
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