Sunday, June 9, 2013

 Reverence and Reflection on a Sunday Morning Hike
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.” 
~ John Muir
Just up the street from our home in California we have discovered a quiet little wilderness area called Canyon Park. Nestled in the San Gabriel Mountains just minutes from the 210 freeway and a bustling city it is an eighty-acre refuge offering hiking trails, a nature center, places to enjoy a picnic and the waterfall that was our destination this morning. The park literature explains how volunteers opened the park in 1911 but I couldn’t help imagining what it must have been like for the visitors who happened upon the canyon in the 1800’s.


The serene peacefulness of a Sunday morning seemed like the perfect time for us to explore this cathedral of nature located in our own backyard. Right after breakfast we made our way up the hill and into the canyon. The ranger who greeted us at the gate provided us with a map, a parking pass and trailhead information.

 We walked to the trailhead in the dappled sunlight breathing in the sweet scents of the forest, smiling and holding hands, happy to have found this sanctuary. It quickly became evident how well loved and well known this community park is. We shared the trail with families, couples, dogs and visitors from as far away as England and Asia, all cheerily greeting one another with hellos and well wishes as we navigated the path.


The one-mile trail to the waterfall is just one part of a much bigger trail, a portion of which is closed to hikers as a result of a fire. I enjoy hiking but, I would put myself in the beginner to intermediate classification  and I pick my trails accordingly. This was what I would consider an easy trail. The trip to the falls is mostly uphill on a grade. It was a good workout but I had no difficulties with the rise in elevation or crossing the water on the stones nestled in the streambed.


Before too long we had arrived at the thirty-foot spring fed waterfall. A small crowd milled around taking photos and enjoying the sight and sound of the water as it pooled at our feet. The water was as clear as any I’d seen and our fellow hikers hopped back and forth across the rocks in the sparkling streambed balancing children, puppies and cameras. I knew at that moment we were all sharing in the wonder of this beautiful little waterfall tucked away in a small corner of Los Angeles County.


We completed the hike in about an hour and fifteen minutes, which included several stops along the way for photographs. We could have continued along the trail past the waterfall if time had allowed but unfortunately today it did not.  

As I walked along the trail I thought it fitting to spend Sunday Morning in this spectacular forest. I was a member of the congregation in God’s own cathedral. Wherever I travel I’m always humbled and moved by the beauty of our natural spaces. It is my hope that we all will in the midst of our busy hectic lives pause and seek out similar places of refuge and renewal in our own backyards.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Preserve You Memories  
“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
  ~Ansel Adams

I’m a person who loves photography and videography. I have always derived a great deal of joy from documenting both special and everyday events. I have accumulated an enormous amount of photo and video information over the years. In order to enjoy these special memories, they must be easy to find and reference. I thought I would share the way that I   archive, back up, preserve and store my precious images. I hope it will assist you in organizing your own collections.

My first cardinal rule is that I never delete the photos or videos from the camera until I have them backed up in at least two places.

1.   On the appropriate labeled computer file

2.   On a DVD archival disc.

3.  On an additional multi - terabyte drive

4.  Where video is concerned I also burn a viewable home movie disc in addition to the computer back up and the archived raw data DVD. Well worth the extra step.

Once I have the data backed up ONLY THEN will I format my camera.


So where do you start?

Pick a drive on your computer to house your media files. Make sure the drive is large enough to accommodate the space needed for video and photo files. I recommend investing in an external drive for media if possible. 

Prices have recently dropped considerably making even a multi- terabyte drive, which stores  many thousands of gigabytes very affordable. I use an internal drive and back up to our external drive as well. I also burn an archival DVD housing the files

I have developed four Folders within my external media drive.

1.Video Archives
(videos are moved and live here after I back them up)

2.Video NEW 
( holding tank till backed up)

3.Photo Archive (photos are moved and live here after I back them up)

4.Photo New ( holding tank till backed up)

In the two folders marked VIDEO NEW and PHOTO NEW I place data that has NOT yet be archived by burning it on to a DVD. These images have NOT been erased from camera yet. (remember it should exist in two places before being deleted off the camera)

I use these folders as holding tanks and I like to get my data backed up in these folders (ASAP) as soon as the event or trip is over, just in case of a camera mishap, loss or damage.

The two key folders are always the VIDEO ARCHIVE and PHOTO ARCHIVE folders

In my archive folders I break down the photos/videos by year for easy reference.
I like to archive my information by date, I always have done it that way and it works for me.
It looks like this:

First (Label a Folder in your Drive ) 


Second Label (sub folder of photo archive by year) 


Third Label (sub folder of 2006) 

2006 1 New Years Day

Label (File of 2006 1 New Years Day)

 All image or video  files  pertains to 2006 1 new Years Day

(file of 2006 1 New Years Day)  

this file contains photo pertaining to 2006 1 new Years Day

EXAMPLE Of how the Directory will look


The number following the year indicates the month the photos were taken so
1-12 =Jan.-Dec It serves to keep the photos in date order within any given year.

       This system also works very well for old photos. As you scan your old photos they can be filed by year or even by decade depending on how many old photos you need to archive.

It is also a good idea to store your archived data discs or additional copies of them with a family member or friend in a different location. If the unthinkable happens and you experience a fire, flood or robbery you will still have your precious photos and videos secured for the future