Monday, May 23, 2011

CCUC North - All Church Retreat

This past weekend, members of the Chinese Christian Union Church - North from Highland Park, IL attended an All Church Retreat in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  The event's code name was "Extreme Makeover - God Edition."

I believe we had about 270 people signed up, although I don't think all 270 are depicted in the photo above.  I know I'm not in the photo!  :)

To take this photo, I had to stand on a tall 8 ft ladder and shoot down at the people.  If you are on the same plane as the subjects in a huge group shot like this, it is usually hard to see everyone in the photo.  So getting up higher is necessary.

The image required the grass area to be "cloned" in Photoshop as there were just too many dandelions and other weeds in the image.  Plus, a huge wooden swing in the background made the image look unbalanced.  So Photoshop's "Content Aware Fill" helped to remove that.

I had hoped for a shaded area to take the photo, but with so many people in the shot, there just wasn't a good place to do it and still have a decent looking background.  So out onto the grass we went.  We were really thankful that the weather cooperated as we had a great sunny morning for the photo.

Be sure to click on the image to take a closer look.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Haven't Gone Fishing At All This Year!

I have not had the chance to go fishing at all this year!  The photo above is one I posted in 2010.

Last year, I had hopes of doing a lot more fishing in 2011, but with the new teaching studio open, time is limited.  In addition, our weather has just not been cooperative either.

I keep reading the various reports on fishing forums and it seems few people have been lucky catching fish this year.  Reports from other sources show that fishing is just plain down this year because of the weather.  Eventually, I get out there, but it seems it will have to be in the early morning hours of the weekdays.  I'm actually ok with that as I enjoy watching the sunrise over the water.  But I've never had any luck out on Lake Michigan on shore.  All of the fish I've caught have been out on a boat in Lake Michigan.

Of the various species to catch, I enjoy catching salmon the most.  Big fish like you see above is what I like catching.  I also like catching pike out of the Des Plaines River, but nowhere is it as much fun as catching a salmon!  Even if I don't catch anything, I still like getting out there and trying.  It's very peaceful out on the water.

My desire for getting a Wisconsin license this years is over too.  Again, lack of time is the issue.  From what others have told me, the chances of catching a salmon in Wisconsin is far better than in Illinois.  They stock a lot more fish up there.  But I'll have to make do with what might be available from Illinois.  Time... I need more of it!