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1x1.trans Getting Beyond Automatic | Seminar with Lubbock Photographer

Learning How To Take Great Pictures with Mark Umstot Photography

When: Saturday, August 1, 2009 from 9:00am – 5:00pm
Where: Mark Umstot Photography, 1216 Avenue K, Lubbock
Read more…

1x1.trans The Craziest Weather This Lubbock Photographer Has Ever Seen

Just 45 minutes ago, I experienced the craziest weather phenomenon I’ve known. I have a bit of a background in meteorology, been in tornadoes, etc. Love studying weather. Read more…

The boat I travel in is called Surrender. My two oars are instant forgiveness and gratitude—complete gratitude for the gift of life. I am thankful for the experience of this life, for the opportunity to dance. I get angry, I get mad, but as soon as I remind myself to put my oars in the water, I forgive.

1x1.trans One Part of the Symphony | Lubbock Photographer

I serve. I do the dance I must. I plant trees, but I am not the doer of this work. I am the facilitator, the instrument. I am one part of the symphony. I know there is an overall scheme to this symphony that I cannot understand. In some way, we are each playing our own part. It is not for me to judge or criticize the life or work of another. All I know is that this is my dance. I would plant trees today even if I knew for a certainty that the world would end tomorrow.

Source: Planting Love One Tree At A Time, from Heron Dance, Issue 11

I have a bit of a meteorology background (one of about 15 zillion hobbies I pursue), by no means am I an expert but weather fascinates me. Lubbock’s weather is actually pretty predictable and earlier today it looked like we were going to have some bad weather. And… we did.

I cut short my previews schedule at the studio and headed home to let our four dogs inside. They tend to panic with this kind of weather. Read more…

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”
-Mark Twain

1x1.trans What Travel Does | Lubbock Photographer

I like using my blog for anything that may cross my mind and I got to thinking about why I have the beliefs I do. Yes, some are probably ingrained in me since birth. Some are due to being a male. Etc….

But I find it very interesting when you can tell if a person has traveled. Mark Twain’s quote rings as true today as 140 years ago when he penned those words.

I lived in Spain for a while during college. Changed my perspective on almost everything. Simply time spent in a place and culture out of your comfort zone. I think it ought to be a requirement for high school or college to spend abroad.

That’s all. Just something I’ve been thinking about.

Here’s a video worth watching. The comedian Louis CK is on Conan and talking about how spoiled we are. Watch. Smile. Laugh. Change.


Mark and Taylor decided to go fly a kite last night. They had fun. The line got a little tangled so Mark tried to get it untangled. It worked. He wound it back up. They flew and flew and flew that kite.

Finally they decided to let it fly higher.

The kite wanted to escape. It must have talked to the string because the string started to pull away. Faster and faster. The string escaped. The kite escaped. The string got caught in a tree. Too high for Mark and Taylor to try and get it out.

It was 8:15 p.m.

At 9:00 p.m. it was still flying.

At 11:00 p.m. it was still flying.

The next morning at 7:30 a.m. the kite was still flying.

As of now, 11:50 a.m. (that’s when the picture was taken), the kite flies.

Update: 1:30 p.m., still going strong.

2nd Update: 2:40 p.m. flying.

3rd Update: 3:00 p.m. wind very strong and kite not flying. It was stuck up against fence where we enter the park. Mitzi got it and brought it home.


That kite flew for almost 19 hours by itself.

1x1.trans the curious case of the kite that decided to escape
Posted by: In: Journal 26 Feb 2009 1 comment Tags: ,

It’s funny how one remembers things. Tonight, talking to my wife, I said a phrase that came from the past, “Hey good looking, I’ll be back to pick you up later.” Quick quiz, where did that phrase come from? Well, in case you can’t remember or if you weren’t alive when that came into existence, here’s a reminder.

Just been thinking about this for a while. It’d be interesting to put percentages with each of these four loves. In my opinion, they’re in order. You almost can’t do the third without doing the first and second….

Would love to know what some of you who read my blog regularly think. Or better yet, let’s just do ‘em.

The love for equals is a human thing—of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles.

The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing—the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world.

The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing—to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints.

And then there is the love for the enemy—love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.

Source: Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat

My daughter Alex was baptized this Sunday. Words don’t do justice to what’s in a dad’s heart. So, just thought I’d share.