Tag Archive for: mexico

Johnny (Cash) Knows What I Mean

This year has been a whirlwind of tours. We’ve crossed deserts, seen snowy mountains and experienced gorgeous sunrises. We’ve also seen some freaks, but met some nice peeps and overall-had a lovely 2010. Here are snippets of my top ten places we’ve visited from this last year.
I’ve been everywhere, man.

Number 1:
I love to play practical jokes on unsuspecting musicians. It helps them not take themselves too seriously. Plus, it makes me laugh.
Sort of a win-win.

Number 2:
Marfa, Tx is smack dab in the middle of nowhere. It’s filled with a unique art community that made us all feel right at home.

(photo courtesy of Malcolm Schuyl at http://www.wildvisions.co.uk)
Number 3:
I had a bit of a run-in with a snow goose while driving David Copperfield through the frozen tundra of Canada.

Number 4:
Visiting Sturgis, SD was quite the eye opener-complete with halter tops, leather chaps and helmets adorned with horns. Weird.

Number 5:
There are many things to love about Austin, Tx-and the  St. Cecilia Hotel tops the list.

Number 6:
Slapped in the face with a little dose of Mexican reality snapped me out of a pity party.

Number 7:
Biceps is a passionate man-especially when it comes to stage performance. So passionate, in fact, that he got scolded during a show for doing very naughty things.

Number 8:
My mother-in-law has a knack for searching out some of the coolest stores. She introduced us to a store called Victory’, and it changed our lives.

Number 9:
I like to focus on the beauty found in each town we visit. But, there is a seedy underbelly that from time to time humors me.

Number 10:
There is much more Woodstock, NY than hippies. Much more.
I have enjoyed sharing our year of touring with all of you, my dear readers. I hope that you have seen some places you are inspired to visit, and perhaps some that you will avoid…
Happy 2011 to all of you!

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A Mexican Reminder

I had a bit of a pity party this weekend.
I am woman enough to admit it.
My cell phone (my right hand) was snatched from my cart while shopping at Lowe’s. Right out from under my nose. I saw the ‘perps’ and even tried to get them to admit to what they had done. They took off, of course.
My one chance to punch someone had passed me by.

While waiting for the workers to review security tapes at Lowe’s, I began to pray that ‘those dirtbags would get caught, that there would be a prosecution and a restitution’.
And my Creator, for some crazy unknown ‘Omniscient’ type reason, brought to mind our trip to Mexico-where my cell phone didn’t matter to me anymore.

Slowly, my prayer began to change. I started praying for the men who stole my phone-that they would find Jesus somehow. My Creator brought to mind this picture as I was praying, and I knew what He was trying to say to me. I speak German, so sorry if this translation isn’t spot on. I believe the words on the fence say, “God is much bigger than my problems”.
Do you know where this fence was? Scroll down.

Next to the city of Reynosa’s landfill. This is where several hundred people call home, living in shanty’s and shacks and surviving off of other people’s trash.

Their children played soccer in this dirt lot, which was surrounded by the smoldering landfill. They were some of the happiest children I have ever met.

The shanty townspeople pilfered through the garbage, finding anything they can sell. They are so hip and green and don’t even know it…

And as I drove my air conditioned vehicle back from Lowe’s and pulled into my driveway, I was reminded of the enormity of the blessings in life. The blessing that I didn’t deserve.
I noticed that my driveway was surrounded by a freshly mowed lawn with landscaping and pathway lights. That my white house had beautiful black shutters and fresh paint on the windows.
And that my wonderful husband, Biceps was waiting for me inside with a huge hug and probably Cowboy at the helm. I cried right there in my van, realizing how unimportant the loss of my cell phone was to me at that moment.
I think it’s always good to have a little Mexican Reminder.

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Using the Diffuse Glow Function

I love taking ordinary objects, such as this couch below, and adding a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to make
you want to hang it on your wall.
I liked the composition of the photo and decided to play around with it a little using ‘diffuse glow’.

This was shot in Reynosa, Mexico in a little neighborhood nestled in between a landfill and a sewage facility.
First things first, I made a layer of the photo. You can read how to do that here.

After making a layer, I chose the ‘burn tool’, (the little hand on the left column of the page), to tone down the bright spots in the foreground of the picture.

The dirt, parts of the bike and the bright section on the right side of the couch have been burned in with a hardness of 37% using a 200 diameter burn circle.

Now, this is when I got crazy. I hate using the ‘diffuse’ function typically. It tends to make people look way too angelic. But, what the hey…I decided today was the day.
Under the ‘filter’ tab, go down to ‘distort’ and choose ‘diffuse glow’, and then click on it.

I chose a ‘graininess’ of 2, a ‘glow amount’ of 5, and a ‘clear amount’ of 13. I tried several different settings until I came to like these settings.

Rebekah likey. It made the couch really pop. But, remembering my photo teacher from the 9th grade, the brightest spot on the photo was leading my eye off of the photo and into the right bottom corner. Teacher no likey. Bad Rebekah.
So, what did I do?

I cropped that sucker is what I did. The grey bar along the bottom is what I am going to crop out by using the ‘crop tool’.

This is what the photo looks like cropped. And don’t worry, if you ever crop something and hate it, just use the undo function (on a mac hold the apple button and the ‘z’ button down at the same time.)
I still wasn’t happy with how bright the bottom of the photo was. So, back to the burn tool.

I burned in the bottom of the photo, and some of the highlighted sections of the bike.

And here’s the final photo. I think it turned out pretty swanky. Have you used the diffuse glow and liked it? Send me some examples, and I’ll post them!

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