31 March 2008

Internet Rage


I just read my friend Tammy's Blog and it really reminded me of the "issues" and bad sides of the internet. I played a lot of internet games, xbox live, warcraft and it never ceases to amaze me the hate that seems to dominate in these areas. Lots of horrid words, racial, cursing, people talking to complete strangers in a way to enemies might talk. These people can live in the same town, state, province yet they meet online and take their rage out on each other. I've been guilty of getting in to childish rants on forums. I don't go to the level of racial or hardcore cursing but I have allowed myself to get my blood boilling over things someone has said.

I believe the moments I've felt my blood boil have been when something else in my life was lacking. Just as when I am driving in Edmonton on the Whyte Mud and some moron cuts me off, or speeds up behind me inches from my bumper. If I am having a bad day, or bad week or bad month, heheheh, I allow myself to get mad, say some horrid things to this person and wish them nothing but negative luck. Same as online, some powerless person can feel power over others by acting like a bully, doing something to try and upset another. Happy people don't act like this, even people that are having problems don't act like that. Not everyone sees the need to treat their fellow mankind with this kind of attitude but yet it's so common in our world today. Showing love is something that very few people think about anymore.

It just makes me sad when I see how "ugly" the world has become. I don't often talk on my xbox live anymore and mute most players in games for almost all of them are kids talking with such hate. If a person just takes a look at society it's getting uglier and uglier. Just take a look at the biblical city of Sodom and think how far off is today's North American culture from becoming just like that? I think the connections are coming closer and closer and that is scary stuff. Hehehheheh, wow, there is my rant about rage for the day. :)
-Randy

30 March 2008

Drawing Tablet


Just loving my tablet. I sketched a picture quick tonite and played around with it. This was REALLY quick....I am happy with it. It's a new Wacom BAMBOO tablet. (drool) An Anniversary present from Jenn....XOXOXOOXOXOX THANKS WIFEY!!! :) Here is my sample:

Sierra Noble - Amazing Metis Fiddler

This chick RIPS it up on a fiddle. :)

My Savior My God By Aaron Shust

Sweet song :)

Aaron Shust performing My Savior My God on the Logan Show

This guy can sing....and check out his cool hair too. :)

Edmonton Oilers Dressing Room Tour

Check out where the Oilers hang, now hope they can make a Cup Run....

Weekend Update


We attended the Red Willow Community Church and I got to meet the famous Trevor Boller. :) Got to visit with his wife and him for awhile. Overall it was a very social day, we also met another couple, Anna and her boyfriend Stan. Anna wants to practice music with Jenn and do some piano and saxaphone music. Then we attended a Fiddle Concert at the Museum. It was a lot of "old" people but the music was awesome and such talented peeps.


It was a long day however it was a VERY good day meeting so many cool people. Then to top things off, the Oilers went down to Cowtown and layed a hurting on the Calgary Shames. Nice to see the Oilers are not going out quietly. If they miss the playoffs no one will look at them and say they went easy. I am happy that my Mom and Dad are leaving today. They should be here on Monday evening...that means Dad can watch the Flames game with me on Tuesday. Best case scenario for Edmonton now is for the Canucks and Preds to lose 2 of their next 4 games and Edmonton can make it.


Today means cleaning and I will be helping get ready the house so Mom and Dad don't think we live in a dump. :)

-Randy

27 March 2008

Last Day Before the big BREAK! :)

Well, for the last two days I've started my day of teaching at 6am and arrived home at 8:30pm, last night was 9pm. Long days of dealing with a lot has me very excited for a chance to relax. I really appreciate some of the feedback I've got on my blog. It's not a lot but it's nice to know there are a few people who can relate and understand. I really feel like I am able to breath now with the space I've tried to give myself.

I am excited for my Mom and Dad to arrive. I saw them on June 10th, 2007 for my Birthday. They were here with my sister, Eddie "the eagle" and my nephew baby Caleb. They will share my spring break with me and it'll just be sweet to hang with them. Watch some hockey with my Dude aka Dad. :)

I hope to do some more work on the website....keep checking cuz it's gonna get even better I hope.
-Randy

26 March 2008

Website


I have been enjoying having a website, now the fun of deciding what pictures to show in each gallery. I am also trying to figure out what is the best way to present my galleries. I change my mind so often it's tough deciding on what to include. Right now I am thinking of:


  • wedding gallery

  • ~ the ladies (for all the great portraits of models and friends I have done)

  • ~ the gentlemen (for the dudes I've worked with)

  • ~ the kids (for child photos)

  • ~ couples (for the love birds)

  • ~ life (for things in life that caught my eye, be it nature, still life, or anything that I can't classify under another gallery

  • ~ event photography (for sports events, etc. that I have done)

Those are all I can think of for now. If anyone can think of more galleries please let me know. Contact me through my website http://www.randypond.ca/ and I will be very glad to hear from you.


On a final note, GO OILERS, I think I might grow a playoff run beard until Edm is out for sure from this year's playoff run. Not sure if I can stick with it, but they are sure close and how sweet it'd be if they made another cup run without Pronger (that loser). I am at work until 8pm tonight.....so won't be home until 8:30pm....


-Randy

25 March 2008

This is Me


Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.
Proverbs 25:28 (Read all of
Proverbs 25)New International Version

This sadly I relate to all too well. I have found myself being a city broken down and without defense. I have fallen in to the trap of feeling "comfort" in my life. I've allowed myself for far too long to make bad choices. I am at a very critical point in my life now where I am faced with some major lifestyle changes. Taking them lightly is not in my plans. My walls are in need of being rebuilt and if I go about it the wrong way they'll just fall down again just as easy as my life was with no self-control in it. Considering these things I am struggling with are personal I won't mention them but reflecting on them here helps me. I know my friends and family care about me, it has helped to have support from my family.

I think that there can be good to come from this. Making healthy choices and wanting to rebuild and strengthen myself is a positive. Some of the things I have been working are the 4 overall areas of the medicine wheel:


  • Physical: my plan to improve here is to workout, for too long I have neglected doing physical things. I want to go for more walks, ride my bike, do weights, eat healthier, drink more water and just not sitting around on the computer.

  • Spiritual: attend church more, daily prayer, devotional, reading my bible more, connecting more with pure elements of life so I can have strength to deal with temptations

  • Mental: studying, working on improving professional, reading more books related to education, doing what I can to grow my mind in areas that can benefit my career, marriage, and help my skills in photography and with things I am interested in.

  • Emotional: here is where I need a lot of work, I have lots of "stuff" that has followed me around for years, before I was married and back to when I was a kid, "stuff" that needs to be worked through before I can strengthen myself I need to get emotionally healthy or none of this will be of any use.

I am a great procrastinator - a pro at it. However, I have kept putting all of these rebuilding activities off for so long. It's "DUMB" because I have known for years these changes needed to be made. I blame myself for not making them, it's time for me to create this change. I feel that deleting facebook, myspace and limiting my internet exposure has been the best thing for me. I find myself with more time, time I've needed to reflect, pray and think. It's so easy to escape life. A person can do it in so many ways. I think internet, television, video games, movies and so much more are ways I can escape and not face my problems. Much like someone uses drugs I used distractions to keep me from reflecting and changing for the better.


Right now I don't want to just focus on my own personal problems. I know they seem HUGE to myself, but in truth there are some larger problems that deserve prayer and your positive thoughts. My Mother-inlaw is dealing with health issues. I just found out tonight that she can not have an operation she needs. I really hope she can improve for she is still young and I want her to be around as long as she can. Also, my Auntie Rona is dealing with her health now too. She has been in the hospital and is dealing with some really tough issues. I hope that you can remember them in your thoughts and prayers, they need them more.

Photography

Pho·tog·ra·pher n. One who practices, or is skilled in, photography.

Lots of people call themselves a photographer. Some add the word "professional" but what does that word professional really mean?

engaged in a profession or engaging in as a profession or means of livelihood; "the professional man or woman possesses distinctive qualifications ...

I have a background in art classes and have studied the history of art, I know the skills and techniques involved in most visual arts. I know a lot about how my camera works too, but the key in being a photographer or an artist is that word skill. Skill can be so many things. Skill in having a creative eye and seeing beauty where others do not.

I always think back to a moment in University when I attended my cousin's grad. The grads were all dressed up and parading around the gym in their fancy clothes. There were a LOT of really beautiful young people there. You could tell who the popular kids were based on the applause and attention they received from the crowd. However that night it wasn't a popular grad that created a massive impact on my memory. Walking by herself was a very ordinary girl, probably not very popular and no one was escorting her. She walked alone and was not smiling. She had thick glasses, very plain features and not a girl anyone would give attention to based on physical appearance. As she got close to where I was sitting she noticed her family, who were sitting just below where I was seated. I wish to this day I had a camera. She gave the most brilliant and beautiful smile. This girl's face was lit up with pride and joy. Her moment with her family was all that mattered...that moment taught me that beauty is sometimes hidden. Her smile was the most beautiful thing I saw that night. I felt lucky to share that moment and see that smile. That's a once in a lifetime smile. It's moments like that I try to capture when I do photography. Professionals can know lighting, know how to operate the camera, but knowing to see beauty and capture it is a whole other skill that can not be taught in a classroom.

So many artists feel because they attended art school they are in fact "art elite" and this to me is a joke. I saw so many want to be artists graduate art school. I feel this world is full of skilled people without the paper to back themselves up. Some students I teach have more art ability then some very experienced artists. I'll close with a text that I came across randomly on the web...I feel it sums up how we should live our lives. I am taking it to heart.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.
1 John 4:16b-17 (Read all of
1 John 4)

RANDYPOND.CA is LIVE :)


Just some happy news for a Tuesday! :) My website is live....well, it shows up on my computer so hoping others can see it too. Check http://www.randypond.ca/ and if possible try using my contact form to see if it works. I am excited, I want to add more to my galleries and get it looking even better in the weeks to come. :) I am excited to have my own site. Thanks to Jenn for supporting me in getting this far with my photography. I love you so much. Busy week of work for me this is going to be a tough week to survive. Can not wait until the weekend. Congrats to the Oilers for making the playoff race exciting....they will most likely miss but wow they are close. 3 points out and who knows what will happen. They just need to win, win, win and win and maybe....just maybe. :)

-Randy

23 March 2008

Easter Sunday


Saturday was a good day, met an old friend named Richard in Edmonton at the Edmonton South Church. Turns out he has met someone and is now a married man, congrats to big Rich!! :)


I am patiently waiting for my Bludomain site to go live. I was told it may take up to 72 hours. I hope it goes live soon. http://www.randypond.ca/ should be alive and kicking soon I hope. I am not 100% done it but it is close to being finished. I am still trying to pick some songs I like for it. The music on there is mostly temp for now.


I hope everyone has had a good Easter Holiday.....I had a restful one. Nice to see the Oilers are still hanging around. Maybe there is a slight chance of them making it in yet for a playoff run.


My parents will come soon for my Spring Break - looking forward to that.


-Randy

20 March 2008

Easter Break


Today is the last day of school before a small break. No school Friday or Monday, which is a welcome time for teachers. Next week brings even more busy times with 2 nights being Celebreation of Learning and that will take time to prepare and visit with families.

This week I've taken a big step in planning for my photography. I have paid to get the domain name http://www.randypond.ca/ and now have that as my new space for a webpage. Bludomain is where I am developing my site and will soon be asking them to go live with my site. I want to simplify my photography so that being online takes up zero of my time. I want to focus on the things I enjoy. My time spent online needs to be as minimal as possible. If you want to stay in touch with me you can check out my new site. I will not be posting as much new work as I was on pbase. Yet, I will have some news and photos for people to see. I am also not planning any new shoots for the near future. I am lagged down with a LOT of photos yet to be processed from recent shoots. I will work on finishing those up so that I can send them out to the models I have worked with.

As for Time for Print work, until my website is working I do not plan on doing any shoots. I also will be doing only very selective work. I feel my portfolio has enough strength in it that I want to start using my time for more business side of photography. I also want to have weekends to spend with my wife and 2 precious kittens. I am also removing my old email address so contact me through my website in the future should you wish to contact me. Thanks to all the photographers and people that have supported my photography. I am excited to show the new website and hopeful it will result in something positive for me.

~~~ Happy Easter!!!
-Randy

17 March 2008

Update St.Pats Day! :)

Happy Saint Patricks Day Everyone!!

Today before midnight is when bludomain is supposed to send me my site to start working on. I am VERY excited. I am not going to tell what template I selected...I want it to be a surprise.

Last week was a lot of fun. I was able to go to a conference in Edmonton at the RiverCree Resort. On Thursday I went in to the banquet hall and sat at a randomly assigned table. People started to come in and started joining me at the table. One person sat down next to me and as I read his nametag I could not believe the person I was sitting next to. His nametag read Lance Scout and I was so amazed that out of all the places I'd be sitting beside Lance. I had met Lance back in 1997 when I was a student teacher doing my internship at St.Patrick School of Fine Art in Lethbridge. He is from the Blood Reserve down by Lethbridge and together we planned a First Nation Art show in Lethbridge. It was a lot of fun and he had a BIG impact on me as a young teacher. He is just a great person and one of those people you don't forget. He is an amazing artist and I was blessed to see some of his personal work in his room at the resort. Jenn also got to meet him and his 16 year old son that came to the conference with him. It was an awesome part of my time at the conference for sure. I hope I can see Lance again, maybe this summer and maybe collaborate with him on some kind of art venture.

The weekend can be summed up by saying STRESS - I am having every problem imaginable with my report cards. I don't want to talk about it, lets just say GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR and I'll leave it at that. :)

I can't wait to end this week and have some time to relax. March Madness baby!!! I hope I can take in a few games. Love NCAA basketball.....I had fun playing Nestor NBA 2K8 on the weekend, he BEAT me with the Nets.....I was the lowly Raptors...but I won every other game so not worried about my 2k8 skills. :)

Have a GOOD week people...stay tuned for Bludomain updates. :)
-Randy

12 March 2008

CONCEPT ART (WACOM+PHOTOSHOP+PAINTER)

Some very cool tablet shizzle. :)

Yay last Day


It's been a mini-week for me. Tomorrow I hand over the fun (madhouse) to a sub and go to a convention in Edmonton. I get to stay at the RiverCree hotel on Thursday night. That will be fun to see what kind of rooms they have there.

I Also am excited to just have a break for a couple days. Spring break is coming and the kids need a break just as much as I do. My students have been VERY emotional and I can sure tell they need a break from school. The weather is nice, snow melting. How can I tell it's spring? (I can't believe I am making this joke) well, the Oilers are about to start golfing it appears (sniff, sniff, sigh)....I do expect the Shames to lose in the first round to whoever they play. It's a proven fact that the Calgary Insanes love to play golf over hockey in the playoffs.

I still need to do some soul searching about what website template to select from bludomain. Seriously considering going with one that Joey Lawrence went with for his site. It's a pretty sweet one and I think it'd fit with the style I shoot with.

Also, I had an idea today for a shoot. For some reason I have been loving the colours Orange and Purple. I am looking for models that have a lot of purple or orange to do a shoot on this theme with. I have other ideas too, but really want to do the Orange and Purple idea. :) They are fun colours, Phoenix Sun colours too.
:)

11 March 2008

Marching in Spring


Hopefully by the weekend I will be able to buy my Bludomain website. I am excited and trying to decide which template to go with for my site. They all look great so it'll be a tough decision I think.

I have just a few more days of work this week and then I am off to Edmonton for 2 days of conferences. It'll be rough with report cards on the go, making sub plans but the break from school will be really nice. It's also at the RiverCree which is a nice place to visit. I think it will be a good time. It also helps that this weather is so nice and warm, I find it gives extra energy to get through the day.

Last night I was able to learn how to set up my brushes on photoshop to work with my tablet. It's pressure sensitive and now I finally make sense of how it works. Silly me, not knowing how to use the settings, but now if I press hard I can change the width of my line. I also have it set so if I press lightly it makes a lighter mark and harder makes a more opaque mark. I love technology. So what does this all mean? I hope it means I am on my way to creating some very cool artwork. I think I might start drawing more and seeing if I can somehow mix my photography and drawing work to create some cool art. Who knows, but I am sure loving digital art. Thanks to Imaginefx and magazines that showcase digital artists and give tutorials on how to create such amazing works of art. The best way to learn though is just with lots of fooling around and practice. I highly recommend if anyone is going photoshop to get a wacom tablet. It's not a BIG investment. A small tablet is around $70 I think and if you have deep pockets you can get an amazing one. It'll help in so many ways.

10 March 2008

Monday Fun


Wow, I take a deep breath and look at this week as one crazy roller coaster ride. First of all, report cards are due on Friday. Then I have a conference in Edmonton coming up on Thursday and Friday at RiverCree. Basically, crazy...crazy times ahead for this dude.


The weekend was fun, shooting the pay-per-view event was fun. Talked with a freelancer for the Edmonton Journal there and saw that he had the 70-200 I am dreaming of. He said it's a staple lens that all of the media guys use. I was very jealous and was basically sold on buying this lens.....only small problem now is the matter of the $2000 price tag, hehehe. Anyone wanna throw some cash my way pretty please?


Not much to say today, just overwhelmed with the road ahead. The nice part is at the end of this road (end of March) lies a beautiful Spring Break...which will be much appreciated. :)


07 March 2008

Weekend is Here.




Today marks the end of a busy week. I am thankful the weekend is coming. Last night I sat down with photoshop and was able to get my drawing tablet to work with some pressure sensitivity settings. I am looking forward to doing some cool edits with it in the next while. Melanie F. and Sherry B. two models I know have hooked me up with a cool opportunity. I get to be the photographer at a pay-per-view event in Edmonton this weekend. It's a chance to do some event photography that I have never done before. Should be interesting as I am not allowed to use a flash. My 40D can shoot at really high ISO's and I have 2 decent lenses, however, I am REALLY wishing I had the 70-200 2.8 for this event along with a sweet battery grip. However, I know the equipment won't matter, it's the ability of moi to get the shots that matters. I am excited to see how I can do with this event. I hope to have pics posted this weekend. I hope it'll lead to some new opportunities and connections. Maybe one day I'll make some cash to buy that 70-200 lens....(hoping)....also stay tuned this month. I am going to hook up with a bludomain website and get it up and running asap. :)


06 March 2008

Photoshop Art




I am totally interested in learning the skills of taking a photo and turning it in to a work of art. I've been reading a magazine called Imagine FX and trying my hardest to see how these artists can create these types of creations. Here is a link to some awesome examples of what I am talking about.

Check out an artist V.Hulbert - her work is awesome....the pic posted in this blog is something I colored when I was just learning photoshop. :) I have a lot to learn.

Reading magazines like ImagineFX are great ways to learn new techniques. It comes with a CD full of goodies, free brushes, textures, tutorials...and lots more. I highly recommend picking up magazines like this and trying out some of the things they show.




Here is a helpful link I just found for painting in photoshop. :)

05 March 2008

Wednesday


Yesterday I got some bad news. Found out a really close friend is struggling with his health. He is a vice-principal at a First Nation school in Northern Alberta. He has worked really hard to get where he is today. His family is very supportive of him and he recently recieved his Masters degree. Finding out he is going through some medical issues just reminds me how short life can be. Friendships and family are so important. What makes it tough is that he lost his Dad recently and his family went through a really hard time with that. My prayers and thoughts are with him and his family. People like him are rare and he does have a lot of good ideas and goals relating to education and being a leader. I sure hope he can get through this and be even stronger. I am praying for you C-Dawg. :)

Here are just a few inspirational quotes I found today while thinking about family, friends and just loving those around us.
"And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."~Ephesians 4:32~
To me this is a reminder that we need to see beyond people's faults...see them for who they are and treat others with kindess and respect. My friend who is sick is very much involved in his culture and First Nation culture is about showing respect, honoring people and to me in this bible text showing kindess to others is what we need in this world and in this life.

Just a few more inspiring quotes from the B-I-B-L-E :)


"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God ... Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."~1 John 4:7, 11-12~

“Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and never succeed. (Proverbs 12:24)”

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

04 March 2008

March Madness


March is here and I do not feel ready for all of the things that need to be done. I have a conference coming up mid-March, report cards, Celebration of Learning and another PD activity related to special education. Basically, it's a lot of stuff and I feel a bit pressured. People can say what they like about teachers....but wow we do a lot of stuff. I love the profession but it seems like come Sept. we are strapped in to one wild and crazy roller coaster ride. Little breaks throughout the year, like Spring Break, just seem like chances to stop and catch your breath before rushing off again on another wild and crazy ride.

I am VERY excited because it looks like March will be the month I get my website. I am going with a bludomain and hopefully be able to launch it in time for my Spring Break. I can't wait, it'll be fun to show off my photography in such a polished and professional manner. I love the addition of music to the website, to me it's a perfect combo. Tammy is close to launching her bludomain site and I can't wait to see it go live. On a closing note, I am very pumped to pay off my credit card...hehehe, my reward is a 70-200mm 2.8 piece of Canon goodness. :) (DROOOL)
I am also making March a month to work on some personal stuff. I have made myself some goals and hoping I can stick to them. I really want to be a better person and feel I have not put enough effort in to reflecting on the man I am. Sometimes life seems to pass by in such a way that I get too lazy, too easy going about things. I really hope I can make this a mad month of professional work, photography work and self-improvement work. :) Go Randy! (my inner cheerleader speaking)