Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Ultimate Gift

Birthdays come and go with the wind, but some birthdays hold a special place in your heart. Believe me, my faint memories of my birth year made only slight dents in my clogged arteries and my wife's birthday recently celebrated over the weekend reminded me birthday wishes do come true.

Happy birthday to my beautiful wife of over ten years. Ten long years. Long meaning a very good length of time, really. There is no other woman in the world that can put up with my personal foibles and bear gorgeous children other than the Blessed Virgin Mary. Truly a wish that keeps on giving. Even the BVM has hit the social network, check out her Facebook Fan Page. She does not like the new look and feature changes of Facebook either!

You do not have to be a fortune teller to read my crystal ball. I love taking pictures, especially of my family. My friends at North Tampa Photography hosted another successful Canon EOS Discovery Day over the weekend in Tampa, FL. Experienced and aspiring photographers gathered to learn from official Canon instructors like Drew Macallum and Amanda Arrick. I played with all their latest Canon gear with childhood reckless abandon.

I got my hands on the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye lens. Although, I am not a fan of fisheye lenses, but this lens is unique because it caters to full frame, APS-H and APS-C image sensors. The 8mm focal length gives you a true fisheye effect on full frame such as the Canon 5D Mark II. The lens is actually marked on the zoom ring with a "C" for APS-C and an "H" for APS-H sensors for a no borders wide angle view in camera. The lens will give you a unique POV especially for the HD DLSR video crowd.

The gift of scoring six runs by the Tampa Bay Rays led to a 6-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday night. The Ray's rookie left-hander, Alex Torres, even threw five scoreless innings topped off with Johnny Damon hitting a three run homer for the big win. Just like TV news, baseball has lots of waiting between innings for the prime action.

My family enjoyed the possible playoff atmosphere of game #77 especially for my baby daughter Serena. This was her first official baseball game of her new life and that was the third chili cheese hot dog of mine to celebrate America's past time.

Just like a Major League player connects with his game through his fine weathered glove, my camera captures the loves of my life. Call it the love for my family through my love of photography. That is the ultimate gift.

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I just had to show you a close up of that yummy Chili Cheese with onions Hot Dog I ate multiple times at the Tampa Bay Ray's baseball game. Pictures do not give it justice, as a matter of fact.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Birthday On Ice Skates !

Meet the future Stanley Cup Champions of this National Hockey League birthday party. My nephew-in-law's 9th birthday was kicked off with ice induced fun and double knotted skate laces at the Tampa Bay Skating Academy.

The closest thing to a Stanley Cup was the Tampa Bay Lightning birthday cake topped off with a hockey stick and an NHL puck. The Publix Bakery forgot to put "The 2003-2004 Stanley Cup Champions by the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League." Maybe on the next birthday cake...

There is always a first time for everything. My son hit the ice for the very first time. Of course, with the help of ice skating training wheels, my son turned fear into something positive. The theme song from the 1978 feature film "Ice Castles" began to play in my head while I photographed this monumental moment minus the conflict of a tragic ice skate accident and Bobby Benson.

My daughter in Hello Kitty "Pink" was anxious to learn more from her ice skating instructor to glide like her cousins without traumatic injuries like in past birthday parties. Hopefully, she will swoon like Yamaguchi and Fleming in World Figure Skating.

I do not think this is the last of ice skating birthday parties. My son already reserved his next two birthday parties at the ice rink. His cousins, family friends and classmates are already on his birthday party guest list.

My 6 month old daughter, Serena will have to wait for her ice skates. On the positive side, the colder temperature of the ice rink brought out her Fall collection of pink outfits.

This Tampa Bay Skating Academy Ice Skating birthday party was shot with the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lenses.

You can view more in my Tampa Bay Skating Academy Experience Gallery.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Fruits of Our Labor Day 2011

Labor Day sparks the end of summer and the day off from work for most but for my newborn daughter Serena, this holiday weekend celebrates her 6 month old milestones. Sitting up on her own, grabbing objects with her hands and recognizing her own name are just a few recent developmental skills of this very happy baby.

With 10 pounds of Rib-eye steak and Pork ribs to grill, we officially ended summer with a windy trip to our favorite Fort De Soto Beach Park. The family loves the beach and everything that comes with it. The waves, the splashing and the seashell hunting tops the beach favorite's list. For me, it is the uninterrupted charcoal grilling with the ultimate final reward of consumption. One juicy bite at a time.

Okay, we did not spend all weekend grilling meat and soaking up all the sunshine. We journeyed long and far to various eating establishments. Of course, all this culinary research is for the greater scientific good. The good of our appetites.

We hit a Food Network favorite of Guy Fieri, Taco Bus in Tampa, Florida. I would not consider this Mexican Food Truck restaurant as a "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" hotspot, but more like a school bus authentic Mexican kitchen attached to an air conditioned dining area.

All that matters to me is that the kids like it with the convenience of 24/7 yummy dining. My daughter's Food Network choice is definitely the fried fish tacos with all the trimmings. Scrumptious!

Capturing my newborn daughter's six month milestones is naturally a labor of love. Every month comes with a new shining baby moment and an overwhelming photo gallery of cute and adorable baby portraits.

Labor Day for my son means a few short weeks closer to the upcoming iPhone 5. Call my son the King of anything Apple and an Honorary Soldier of the soon to be released, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Almost every week my daughter Serena surprises me with some new baby skill. Everyday my daughter's adorable smile makes everything worthwhile one photograph and dirty diaper at a time.

You can view more fruits of our Labor Day 2011 shot with the Canon EOS Rebel T3i/600D and the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV in my Labor Day 2011 Gallery.

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