Friday, February 26, 2010

America's War Casualties

Notes for these figures were taken from "Infoplease". For the most current GWOT statistics, visit:

Vet. Admin. Estimate as of Sept. 30, 2006

Gulf War (1990-1991
Total service members=2,225,000
    In theatre= 665476
    Battle deaths= 147   
    Other deaths in service (theater)=382
    Other deaths in service (non-theater)= 1565
    Non-mortal woundings467
    Living veterans=1,852,000

Global War on Terror (as of Sept. 30, 2006)

Total Service members (Worldwide)=1,384,968
Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan 165,000
Battle Deaths 3,776
Other deaths (In theater)=958   
Non-mortal Woundings=21,649
Living Veterans=588,923
My personal opinion is that I believe in fighting for freedom for others if they are willing to fight for themselves. I am not seeing that willingness from Iraq or Afghanistan. We are shedding the blood of my brothers for political expediancy. We should send our politicians over there and bring our soldiers home. And, I mean all of the miserable scum we have in Washington D.C. The stink that they would carry with them to Iraq and Afghanistan would force mass evacuations by our enemies and the people who live there.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Travel and Landmark Gallery is Up

More photographs will be added to this gallery very soon. And, I will begin key wording and captioning the shots as soon as possible. This is one of three special "popped art" galleries that I now have on my HKB Photo Studio web site. Please take this opportunity to browse my galleries and let me know what you think, or what you would like to see on this site.

More photos are coming very soon.

Progress Notes

As far as my health program goes I am making good progress. The past several days have been hectic, but I have still been able to fit lots of walking, and a little stretching and weight exercises into my day. The best part about it is that I am walking faster without being more winded. And, I am sweating. I am making good progress, but there is still a long way to go.

My employment picture is not going so well. Today I will be placing another application with Wal-Mart , and I will be checking on a few applications that I have out. But, I have a lot of competition for jobs, and people are just not looking to hire a 61 year old trucker to do something besides drive truck. But, my health demands a new career for me. And, I am trying to comply.

Although my time is pretty well taken up between my health program, my job hunt, and visiting my sickly sister I plan to try to get out more with the one camera that I have left. I miss the activities that go along with searching for subjects to photograph. But, I am still very busy editing and posting from my current files.

So, that leaves one other subject that I want to take note of. I am trying my best to do research for several articles that I am wanting to write. No matter what I am doing if there is a moment to spare I am taking notes or just thinking about things I want to write about. I have started a list descriptions of characters that I want to write stories and novels about. I am taking notes on issues that deal with the transportation industry, and I am taking notes on everything musical that I come across. And, I am seriously considering using the last of my money to buy a guitar. That way, if I am going to starve to death at least I can pick some tunes while dieing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PLUS - Picture Licensing Universal System

The following paragraph was taken word for word from the "PLUS" site. I have posted this because I believe that new technology is helping and hurting our industry in ways that many (or at least me) of us cannot understand. For instance, while the stock industry may not be dead it is certainly not the thriving (for photographers) money maker that it was just a few years ago. Work that is comparable to what I would not have licensed for less than $300 is now being posted for penny's on the dollar. This has been brought about by a technology we must not denigrate. Instead we must learn from it, and reach for higher standards from ourselves. And, maybe this group can help save the rest of the industry from the same fate.


The PLUS Coalition is an international non-profit initiative on a mission to simplify and facilitate the communication and management of image rights. Organized by respected associations, leading companies, standards bodies, scholars and industry experts, the PLUS Coalition exists for the benefit of all communities involved in creating, distributing, using and preserving images. Spanning more than thirty countries, these diverse stakeholders have collaborated to develop PLUS, a system of standards that makes it easier to communicate, understand and manage image rights in all countries.


Featured members of “PLUS” include: ASMP, Adobe Systems Inc., Adbase, Pentagram, and Digimarc. And, there are a number of handy tips and gadgets on the page to help photographers run their businesses.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Reason to Write

Her name was Eugena Hoover. Well, it may have been Eugene, but Eugena seems more feminine, so I'll go with that. She was my high school English teacher. Anyway, I have recently heard that she passed away a few years back. But, at least I had the opportunity to tell her daughter that Mrs. Hoover is probably the reason I am alive today. Mrs. Hoover may not have been able to teach me the correct way to use words, puntuation and all of the stuff that makes for a good writer. But, she taught me the importance of writing. And I remember a lecture when she told us that she was not as concerned about how we wrote as she was concerned with the fact that we learned to write it down, and write it the way we would say it. She said, "If you are writing a book where one of your characters is from England he has to speak like an Englishman, not an Okie."

So, I write. I write about writing. I write about me. I write about work, politics, people, photography, music. I write about life. And now, after 40+ years of adulthood (?), and somewhat of a hairy ride through life, I realize that writing about this stuff is most likely what brought me through my life. And, writing about it is the way I have regained my sanity through the hard times, and the reason I am still here today.

Thank you Mrs. Hoover!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Monarch Butterfly.popped

d.010262.cropped.posterized.small: original file size = 3.3mb, Nikon D200 w/70-300 at 180mm, ISO 100, f/5.6 @ 1/125 sec.
The Monarch Butterfly, (Danaus plexippus) is a common butterfly that lays its eggs on the milkweed plant.  They have four stages of life:
1.) egg: 1/8 inch long, spherical, ridged and white. Hatches in 3-5 days.
2.)  caterpillar: the larva stage. Molts 4 time, eating its old skin as it grows to be about 2 inches long.
3.) pupa: a green cylinder shape that becomes transparent a day before the adult emerges in about 10-12 days.
4.) adult: Bright orange with black wing veins and outer margins. Three oranges patches, with white spots on the black outer margins. The body has white spots on a black trunk.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Did You Know

Accepting Article Submissions

HKB Photo is trying to build a commercial photo blog at HKB PhotoBlog. We are accepting 300 to 400 word “how to” articles on how any subject pertaining to photography. If you write clear and concise articles about the business and art of photography you can help build HKB PhotoBlog into a successful commercial enterprise. I return you will receive exposure for you photographic skills and you writing skills. We both win. And, if we are successful HKB PhotoBlog will begin to pay contributors for their work. That means your work is deserving of more attention, and you will get it.

To see your article published simply submit it by e-mail to Keith. Be sure to include an “author resource box”, and include a link to your web site.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

For the past

Subjects to Write About

Writing articles for blogs seems to be becoming a competitive challenge for me. For now, my only competition is myself. My mind, these days, seems endlessly busy trying to find subjects to write about. My problem appears to be the same old story. My previous occupation had, somehow, totally separated me from the human species. As a result I have forgotten the myriad of activities ??????? that people are involved in. Even simple activities like scheduling my day so that dinner dates with members of my family seem to be a strange activity to me.

So, I am collecting subjects to write about even as I type this post. I suppose I could spend all of my waking hours writing articles for sites that deal with the transportation (my former 35 year career) industry. Well, I plan to do that in due time. Bur, after 35 years of endlessly giving to a career that seems hell bent to take your last drop of blood, I am currently just a little burnt out on the thought of writing about it, except for one thing.  I am in the process of writing a list that describes a list of characters I want to use for possible short stories and novels. Yeah, I would like to become a published novelist. For now, my list of published stories is rather short, with only one story being published in a college textbook. But, hey, the story was not written to be published in the first place. I wrote the story as part of an assignment for a speech class.

For now I will probably rely on my activities since retirement to draw stories, articles and post from. Hopefully my subjects will deal with photography, writing, health, music, and learning to live like I am part of the human species. These are the areas of my own life in which I am trying to make improvements. As the saying goes - write about what you know most about.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Losing Weight the Smart Way

This is the diet plan that I follow. I have never seen it advertised. I have heard many people talk about it. Most people will agree that it is the best plan on the market. However, those same people are the ones that jump from one failed diet plant to another.

This plan is called "The Three Step Diet" plan. Yep that's right. It only has three steps to follow to lead a healthier life. Have you ever dreamed of having more energy? Would you like to be more productive in your career? Would you like to feel that old urge you once had to make whoopy with your spouse? Would you like to look look at yourself in the mirror and not want to cry?

Well, guess what. My plan is simple. My plan is cheap. In fact, I will give it to you free. And, here it is.

Step 1: Make your active day shorter. Your body may look like an overused, worn out machinge. But, it was meant to be one of God's works of art.

Step 2. Eat healthy. That does not mean to panic and join a fad food diet. That means to get a heathy amount, and a variety of the right foods. Do not eat the same thing every day. Make use of the variety in your grocery story.

Step 3. If you take in more calories than you burn out you gain weight. If your intake is the same as your out go you will not gain weight or feel better. If you burn more calories than you take in you will lose weight. So, burn calories. Get off your fat but and move.

Now, here is an added bonus "tip": Any athelete will tell you that if you lift weights, run laps, or do any kind of exercise it actually makes you stronger, and you can actually choose the muscles you want to make stronger. And, on top of that, when you make muscles stronger they tend to become more firm, less flabby.

Image that.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Camera Equipment

I am switching from Nikon to Canon. Will try Canon for 2 years. May switch back.

Nikon Camera Equipment For Sale

1: Nikon D70s camera. #3061353

1: Nikon D200 camera. #3043492

1: Nikkor AF-S lens, 18-70mm zoom, Nikon ED1:3.5-4.5G,
    w/reflector ring, Nikon DX #453142764
1: Nikkor AF-S lens, 24-85mm zoom, Nikon ED1:3.5-4.5 G,
    W/reflector ring,  Nikon SWM ED IF Aspherical 067 #452090544
2: Tiffen 62mm UV Haze-1 filters

1: AF Micro Nikkor lens, 60mm, 1:2.8, #5007002

1: AF VR Nikkor 80-400mm zoom, Nikon ED lens, 1:4.5-5.6 D w/case,
    and reflector ring.????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
1: Tiffen Circular Polarizer, 77mm.

1: Tiffen Haze-1 filter, 77mm.

1: Nikkor lens, 70-300mm zoom, 1:4.5-5.6, w/reflector ring.

2: Nikon Speedlights, SB 800, #2437981 and #2456850

1: Lumiquest Softbox LQ-107

1: PhotoFlex 45” Convertible White Umbrella

1: Giottos LC244 Air Cushioned Light Stand

1: RPS Light Stand, small

1: Monfrotto monopod, model 681, #AU 450746

1: Slik single action panhead

1: Giottos MT 9180 tripod, aluminum

1: Stroboframe (for mounting flash to camera).

1: Nikon SC28, speed light cable
1: Nikon camera bag

3: Nikon EN-ELe batteries, Gray, 3 point, for Nikon D200 camera,
    #6302c, #5Z028, #6213C.
1: Nikon EN-EL3a, battery, Black, for Nikon D70s, #M5aaa

3: Hoodman 1GB, compact flash, professional memory card.

1: Hoodman 4GB, RAW UDMA300X, compact flash, professional memory card.

1: SanDisk Ultra II, 1GB compact flash.

1: Transcend 45X 256MB compact flash.

1: Transcend 80X 256MB compact flash.

1: Transcend 80X 512MB compact flash.

2: Nikon HB-28

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rock Star

I started playing guitar in the 9th grade. When I graduated high school in 1967 I moved to California and played in a rock band for a few months. When I quit the band I sold my guitar, got drunk and went to Vietnam. Surprise! I made it home alive. That was it until 1993. After spending about 20 years of my life in deep depression I somehow landed in Fair Park, Dallas, Texas on July 4, 1993. In the afternoon I watched Sammy Kershaw and other country concerts and a military band. That had me feeling pretty good, and I was glad that I stopped. So, I went to the evening rock concerts - and had a blast!

First up was “America”. I have no idea how I remembered those songs. I certainly would not have connected the songs with the band, because those were my darkest years with the least amount of music. Thankfully, they reconnected me with Ventura Highway, A Horse With No Name and Sister Golden Hair.

Next up was “Stephen Stills“. Yeah, the hippie. He played more guitars that night than I even knew existed. For the most part he was the only one with a spot light on him. And, he did great with all of the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young stuff, and his solo stuff. He has been in numerous bands throughout the years. I think he just gets bored if he is not in the spotlight. But, he is that good.

The show closed with about two and a half hours of a group spotlighted by “Joe Walsh and Don Henley“. From my position out in deep right field I could barely see any of these groups, but their music was the only attraction needed. Joe and Don, of “The Eagles” had that stadium rockin’. I was excited from the first notes of the entire show from “America”. I was simply amazed by the presence of Stephen Stills. And, my mind was blown away by “Joe Walsh and Don Henley”. I do not know if all of the members of “The Eagles” were present that night. But, for my money, it was “The Eagles”. These guys, collectively, have written and recorded my life - period. If you have listened to the “Long Road Out of Eden” the lyrics tell you that they have all matured well.

Needless to say, I liked the show. My entire life changed that night. For the next three months I was on a rock and roll high and just a bee-boppin’ down the highway in my big ol’ 18 wheeler. Within 6 months I was picking on an acoustic guitar. By the end of the year I owned an Ovation electric-acoustic, a Fender Stratocaster, a Gibson Les Paul, and a 60 watt amp. I carried all of them in the truck with me, plus all of my camera equipment. And for an eleven month period I had my youngest son on the truck with me doing home schooling.

Maybe I cannot say that this night brought me out of the hell I was living in, but I can say that it helped make my life worth living. My guitars disappeared by 1997, but I hope to get them back again someday. I actually smile sometimes. And, I learned what the gift of music could have done for me had I stuck with it. I had to work a little to play lead guitar. But, I was writing songs, and I was a natural at rhythm guitar. I was a rock star waiting to shine.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Adding POP with Photoshop

If I did this right there should be a slight bit more "pop" to d.010287aaa than to d.010287. This was done with slight adjustments to the color curves. I see the adjustments. They were subtle this time, but they are there. I think my images will start looking better soon. I have learned a lot with Photoshop in the past couple of weeks. I just never had time to experiment while working 16 hour days.

Getting Image POP from Photoshop Elements 8