The New Manual DSLR Project

Hi, and welcome to my blog. The Manual DSLR Project was started March 30, 2010 with the intent of devoting one year to learning how to use my Nikon D300 in manual mode. I invited you to join me as I took this journey. You celebrated with me as my fingers began to remember which wheel adjusts the shutter speed and which controls the aperture settings. I was brutally honest in sharing my mistakes.

A year passed quickly...and I achieved my goal of demystifying the manual operation of my camera.

While the Manual DSLR Project was intended to be bound by time (one year), I am eager to keep the conversation going. So look for additional posts on anything related to photography. And interact. Let me know if you are reading the blog and find it useful.

All the best...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Storm Update

Here a team from Lexington SC is working on electrical and finishing drywall.
Hi, Folks! It has been a crazy past several weeks, and while I have had the chance to shoot and write a bit, I didn't have a chance to bring both together on this blog.

As many of you know, our area was hit by severe storms on April 27. According to the National Weather Service, six confirmed tornadoes touched down in DeKalb County on that day and 33 lives were lost. Hundreds of homes were destroyed.

This is one of the portable showers at our church.
Much of our lives since April 27 has revolved around relief efforts to help our communities recover from the storms. Our church is hosting teams from all across the country who are taking vacation time to visit our area to help with the relief effort. Working with our denomination's Mission to North America organization, I am serving as the initial contact for groups who come to our area and my wife, Trisha, is coordinating the work once the teams get here.

To date, we have hosted teams from Delaware, Iowa, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Alabama, Florida, and a couple of full-time RVers whose home is wherever they park their motor home. It has been great to meet these good people who donate their time and expertise to help their fellow man. There is still much work to do and we will be here working and hosting teams as long as there is work to do and volunteers keep coming.

We have made some new friends and renewed some old friendships. For example, we went to Iowa for flood relief in 2008 and met two couples from Delaware. After the tornadoes hit here, these great folks called and let us know that they would be here to work for three weeks. And work they did!

A partial completed Shed For Hope stands among the rubble.
The work has been anything from debris clean up, chainsaw work, house repairs, helping to build houses, and building Sheds for Hope. Sheds for Hope is a project started on the Gulf Coast after Katrina where storage sheds are provided at no cost to those who have lost so much in storms. The sheds provide storage room for those who are living in temporary housing, like FEMA trailers. An 8' x 12' wooden shed costs about $600 and takes 2-3 days to build. While it would be more efficient to prefab these buildings off site, part of the value of working in the storm area for 2-3 days is the contact with the families and their neighbors while the shed is built.

As a rural community, our area has not received a lot of press coverage. Even so, I am heartened by the outpouring of support that we have received by our sister churches across the U.S. The children in Vacation Bible school at Perry Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Perry Georgia raised more than $1,200 to support our Sheds for Hope project. Thanks to these children, two families now have a building to store their belongings.

Enough for now. My next installment will actually be about photography and the most manual of lighting situations: natural light. We will start there and move into reflectors and modifiers, hot lights, and flash. All the best...Mike

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