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WHO: Garry (a.k.a the "FIL")   |   WHAT: Portraits, Random   |   WHEN: August 2, 2010   |   WHERE: Plano, TX

Kylie's parents just left today after staying with us for the last four and a half days, and I 'm sad to see them go for a couple reasons:  1) It's just nice to relax and hang out with them because they're good peoples from the mid-West.  2) No more fresh corn on the cob straight from the Indiana stalks.  3) The indulgent snacks (home made ice crean, brownies, homemade strawberry shortcake, Klondikes, homemade cinnamon rolls, buckets of soda, etc.) suddenly become harder to justify eating when all the company leaves.  4) Mia seems a little depressed after being in K-9 heaven with the nearly 24-7 attention and spoiling she got from "Grammy" and "Grandfather Garry".  5) Now that Garry's gone, I'm designated as the resident handyman again, and for those that know me, the term "handyman" and me?  Well, we're not exactly friends.  In fact, most days we're downright adversaries. 

Oddly enough, my dad is quite the Bob Villa as well when it comes to fixing things around the house.  Apparently I was absent the day he and I had an appointment scheduled to transfer that father-son knowledge.  In general, it just seems like men from my dad's and Kylie's dad's generation know how to fix more stuff.  Me?  I'm blaming the internet and Microsoft for my home improvement shortcomings - the internet because it's made me lazy and Microsoft, well, because it's been a while since I blamed Microsoft for anything (and it's due).

Anywho, back to Garry (a.k.a. "the FIL")... everytime her parents come down for a visit, Kylie makes a list for her dad of things around the house that need a little help.  And typically Garry goes above and beyond in blowing through the list and then some.  For me it's great because I pick up all kinds of tips and tricks for fixing things while Garry does the work and I pretty much stand there and say, "Great job, Garry.  Lookin' good... You need somethin' to drink?  Need me to wipe that sweat off your forehead before it gets in your eyes?"  WIll I ever remember said tips and tricks when the time comes and he's not around?  Dunno, but I like to think I'm absorbing his skills through osmosis, and they'll magically come back to me next time something comes up and he's not around, and it will be my time to shine.  Wishful thining?  Prolly. 

I was out watering the plants in the front of the house last night - a skill I picked up all on my own, thank you very much - and I noticed the sunset and wanted to grab an image.  I decided to snag Garry and rescue him from watching Design Star with the ladies for the moment and do a quick portrait in the middle of the street.  It was pretty dark, and all I had was a light meter and a Nikon SB-800 flash, but no light stand to hold it.  So I had Garry hold it, laid on my back in the street (as a neighbor and his 3 dogs walked by, of course), and fired a couple images.  The one above was my favorite because he kinda looks like Super Garry, which - considering there's not much he can't fix - seemed appropriate.

For you photography geeks out there who might be wondering, I put the flash (with Pocket Wizard transciever attached) in manual mode and set it to 1/128th power and placed the light meter right in front of his face to get a reading.  I set me shutter speed to 1/250th of a second which is what my light meter told me to use at ISO 400 with an aperture of f/5.6 at a flash output of 1/128th power.  I ended up slowing down the shutter speed to by a stop to 1/125th to burn in a little more of the orange sunset light in the background.


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