Life Without Hue.

“The long sobs of The violins Of autumn Lay waste my heart With monotones Of boredom.”

Just because you are missing something in your life, doesn’t mean it’s not still present. You’re just looking at the entire scene incorrectly. My “Focus” phrase works in all situations. Adjust it. I felt like going into a black & white direction with this one. Something about a jump start. I need it. Getting myself back to the start. You know that place I stood when I decided this is what I wanted to do. Whether it be a profession or just a great hobby for the rest of my life. I knew I wanted to capture life. I don’t just shoot landscapes, I remember them. I look forward to having those moments to look back on in the future. Something I grew up doing. We looked at film images printed on a 4X5 piece of photographic paper you got from the local Longenecker’s Pharmacy.

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I think from now on I will start my posts with a quote or part of a poem just to get the juices flowing. Back to the task at hand. I don’t shoot, I capture. Meaning before I blast off a couple of rounds out of the old 645, I like to take the time to sit and study a scene. Whats there? “where’s my magic and what are my supporting elements. That’s a pretty bird or man that snake looks mean. Do you think about this stuff before you trip the shutter? Take this image for example. I saw the light coming through the top of the canyon and I moved around to make it just a small amount. Can you tell me why I did that? Correct I wanted a starburst! If I didn’t take the time to study that scene I would of just shot the cliffs with a super bright light at the top. Always make sure you are choosing the best image out of them all. You don’t have to shoot 1000 pictures to get one good one.

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THUNDER DOME | MAMIYA 645 | REALLY RIGHT STUFF

Have you ever took a picture. ONLY one picture of a certain subject and than got back to your house only to realize you didn’t get what you wanted?! This is what we call bracketing. No not that kind of bracketing, HDR is a completely different thing. I’m saying to you that when you’re in the field do it right the first time. Make sure you shoot multiples of you scene. Zoom in, zoom out move to the left or right. Be positive you have your shot before you leave. This still does not mean you need 1000 pictures from that spot. Think about it like this. When you get back to Facebook what picture will you share with your friends and family? If you said all of them then you didn’t read this post.

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ACADIA REFLECTION |  MAMIYA 645 | REALLY RIGHT STUFF

Let’s say I was out shooting my D800 in Acadia and we came upon this reflection. How many pictures do you think I would take of this location? We will say I took 8 pictures from this spot but you will only ever see one of them. Why is that? Because one of the images is stronger than all of the others that I shot that day. Man how do you narrow it down to just one?? Well I go through and weed out the ones I don’t think work at all. After that which are the strongest in composition? Exposure and focus. It all boils down to which you like the most. But I like them all!! Of course we love all of our pictures but not all images are created equal. Be picky.

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CADES BEND | MAMIYA 645 | REALLY RIGHT STUFF

Ohh the Great Smoky Mountains. Can you imagine how many pictures come out of Cades Cove each year? Just the fall alone probably produces in the quadrillions. How many of those images do we see? probably none because we aren’t friends with those people or they never do anything with the three memory cards they filled up. So my next point would be making your images stand out, no I’m not saying Photoshop the stuffing out of your image. Let’s say, be on location at the right time to catch amazing light or even put together some powerful compositions. The normal snap shot out of the window isn’t going to be any different than the last person that visited the location.

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XTOL CHEMICAL BURN | MAMIYA 645 | REALLY RIGHT STUFF

Alright so enough preaching, I didn’t get off track to bad in this post. Be selective, be creative and focus. Ed Heaton will always tell you “the best way to improve is to slow down.” I honestly think this was a major help for me. Slowing down is a great way to focus on what you’re doing. No need to rush through what you’re doing..You love doing it right, so whats the hurry?

 

Zach Heaton

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Full Time Anything.

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”
Don McCullin

Something I stumbled across this morning while browsing the inter-web and I decided to do a post on something I love, Photography. If you can’t be inspired by what you’re doing than how do you expect others to? I started out just like everyone else. I got a camera and started taking pictures. I had no clue what I was doing, what any of my settings were supposed to be or even what composition meant. What the heck is a photographic triangle? is that like Bermuda?

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Bobbi | Mamiya 645 | Really Right Stuff | AristaEDU100 | XTOL

The first book I ever read on photography was given to me by Ed Heaton. The book was by Bryan Peterson on “understanding exposure”.  What a major help. I went from no clue to having a clue and then some. That was such a great push in the right direction for me and I couldn’t stop. I knew where I wanted photography to take me and I knew I was going to get there one way or another. I started watching a lot of Youtube videos on different techniques and ways to improve. I studied with Ed Heaton as much as possible. He always told me if you want to learn from someone you have to stick right by the teachers side. So that’s what I did. Before I had even thought about teaching workshops, I attended all of his classes. I watched, listened and learned everything he had to offer. If you have a readily available resource, take advantage of it.

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Mark | Mamiya 645 | Really Right Stuff | AristaEDU100 | XTOL

I caught a lot of crap from other photographers saying I wouldn’t be where I am without my Father…Probably true. I had a resource and I utilized it. I’ve also pushed myself beyond digital photography. I pride myself on being self taught in film photography. I learned all of the chemicals and processing by myself. This took time and a lot of dedication. Every day and every night I was reading different blogs and websites so I knew exactly what I was doing. If I would run into a problem I would take a moment, step back from what it was and figure it out. If you can’t solve your own problems than something needs to be adjusted.

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Osmyn | Mamiya 645 | Really Right Stuff | AristaEDU100 | XTOL

I‘m also a fortunate chemical photographer. I’ve had a darkroom since I started shooting film. I had the space and time to build one, so I built it. This is also something I do full time and I think most people don’t realize that. If shooting film is a hobby or something you do here and there for money you probably don’t need a darkroom. If you only shoot film..You probably need a darkroom. I develop film every other day. That means I spend a lot of time in the dark. When I first started I would spend hours in my darkroom and not even think twice about it. That’s just how it was, I couldn’t get enough.

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Tucquan Glen |  Mamiya 645 | Really Right Stuff | AristaEDU100 | XTOL

Continuing my education is key. I see a lot of people right now jumping into this art like its only here for you to profit from. I disagree with everything you are doing. Don’t get into something because you think you can make money from it, get into it because you love it. You would like to learn all it has to offer. Than you can start to think about making some cash with it. Don’t rush the process.  You’re giving serious professionals a bad rap. Yeah it happens every day and sadly its overlooked. This isn’t why I wrote this blog. I wanted to inspire, Create and achieve things that I had been doing in the past but I have turned away from. I’ve decided to start my blog back up in full swing and see where it takes me.

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tucquan glen | Mamiya 645 | Really Right Stuff | AristaEDU100 | XTOL

I can’t guarantee I will have fresh ideas or something amazing to talk about each time I post but it may be entertaining. So I will go out and spend film on something that excites me and hopefully it will excite you too! See already I’ve veered way off track and started rambling. This is going to be fun. Anyways all of the images are from the same roll of Arista EDU100. It’s a very cheap film that I slowly fell in love with. Everything about it screams amazing. Give it a shot. So I guess I will end here and see what else I can come up with the rest of the week. I know I have plenty of images to edit after spending all day developing.

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Lancaster City | Mamiya 645 | Really Right Stuff | AristaEDU100 | XTOL

So until next time, keep your head up. Check your settings and focus. Life is here and its slowly passing by. Why not capture it. Thanks for stopping by.

ZACH

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Over Thirty.

   I recently developed a roll of Kodak Gold 200 that I randomly pulled out of my film fridge. What I found was pretty awesome. I never really write on my rolls, so when it came time to develop I honestly had no clue what was on it. That’s one of the amazing things to me about shooting film. When I’m shooting a lot, the rolls seem to lapse and everything all starts to run together. Meaning I forget what I was shooting before the current roll in my camera. Anyways I was getting off track, these few images are my favorite moments from the roll. Over Thirty is me, I’m now 31 years of age and it feels weird. I just feel like a big kid. I guess it’s normal for my generation or any generation for that matter. This was my party.  Do you care if I ramble a little?

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Enjoy every moment of your life, wether it be large or small. The most important details in your life are right in front of you. You don’t have to travel half way around the world or buy the most expensive things to find happiness. My moments are all here, frozen in time waiting for me to re visit them. These memories can never be erased or taken from me. I can’t lose them or forget where I put them. Well maybe I can forget where I put them but thats besides the point.  Do you enjoy your life?

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I enjoy life. I enjoy who I am. I don’t have to put effort into who I am. It just kind of happens, but I think thats how life should be. Yeah we all get down in the dumps here and there. That should never out weigh the happy in your life. Stop trying so hard to be something that doesn’t make you happy. Accept you and be happy with it. I’m so happy my family supported me as I grew. They never pushed me to be something I’m not.

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So here I am. A Thirty-one year old man embarking on a journey through life not having a clue where I’m going or even how I will get to where I’m supposed to go. I found a love in photography and even took that a step further and discovered that film excited me that much more. Oh the little things in life. Shooting a single roll of 35mm film sparks memories from months ago. Something that seems so distant when in fact it was only months ago. Why do we rush life?

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When you look past the main event and realize you’re right where you need to be. Focus on the future. Because the past is always going to be here for you when you want to look back on it but no one really knows what the future holds. No one.

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We all grow up, it’s just part of life. I’m just happy I found a way to hold on to my memories. I know the pictures will always make me smile, even when the days are long and rainy I will always have something to hold on to.

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Thanks for following along. I always appreciate all of the love and support from friends and family I receive. Even when I ramble, It’s nice to know I’m not rambling to myself. The one piece of advice I can give that has always got me far in life. “You never have to be better than anyone else, just be better than who you were yesterday.” Oh yeah and never lose your imagination. 😉

 

Chemicals.

I haven’t did a blog post in a really long time. I feel like life kind of caught up to me all at once and I went into hiding. Well I honestly didn’t go into hiding, I’ve just been working silently behind the scenes trying to catch up on all of the rolls of film I have in the fridge. Feels like I’m slowly catching up but I still have so much to do.  That’s OK, I thoroughly enjoy working in the dark because a lot of my inspiration comes from there.

 

2017FilmNEG277-1Since the last time I talked, I took on a new project shooting only film for a year. Well at the time when I had the idea I thought, hmm this will be fun and exciting. When in fact its kind of tough. That’s what I was looking for though, a challenge. Something to push me a little bit further in this art. I wanted to see what it was like to not have any digital. You know go back in time to when there was no digital at all and this is how photographers did everything. I feel like I could have survived but it is a lot of work. I guess if you aren’t developing your own film and sending it to the lab it may knock some of the load of your shoulders. Then you are just paying way to much to have all of your rolls developed. I know, I am very fortunate in having space for a darkroom. There are a lot of chemical photographers in the world who work in small cramped spaces and some who have no space to even have a room. Last night Ole said something I firmly believe. That taking a picture (physically tripping the shutter) is not creating it. There’s an entire process behind creating a single image and bringing it to life. capturing it is not the end, it’s the beginning. Every part of the process is a key ingredient that is involved in breathing life into my photography.

2017FilmNeg626-1 I’ve been out shooting a lot here lately and have not seen any of my images. It’s weird. Before I moved as soon as I shot or finished a roll I would be in the dark developing that roll so I could see how I did. That’s not the case so much anymore. Oh well. Patience is a virtue.

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I want to be more involved. After going to see Ole speak last night on Tin type photography, he inspired me to get out and do more. Now I am looking to get more film shooters together in the area. His presentation was very informational and gave me a boost on what I do. I know the hobby is on its way back in or its already here but I think it would be fun to get a bunch of us together to hang out. Maybe even start a group. This is me rambling. Let me know if you would be interested. This would include veterans of the art and those of us who just picked up a camera this weekend at an antique store. Just a fun hangout to learn, teach and be inspired.

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Anyways back to it. Tomorrow morning I am leading a Ed Heaton Photography workshop at Appleseed Hollow and I’m hoping the rain holds off. I’m very excited to get into the field tomorrow morning at about 5:30. That’s the life. up early and out late. After that I’m leaving the area and heading down to Harper’s Ferry, WV for a little R&R. Obviously the cameras go everywhere but I’m going to focus on ideas rather than my art.

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Thank you for tuning in and reading my ramblings. I know I get off topic and sometimes I speak my opinion. Sometimes I get lucky and get stuff right. I need to go mix C-41 chemicals and I know you don’t want to hang out here all day so I will sign off with “keep shooting the way you do. Anyone can copy a style but not many can create their own. It’s what sets YOU apart from the crowd. Don’t blend in.”

http://www.zachheaton.net

A Year on Film.

Alright I wanted to make a post on how I’m feeling about this project I’m taking on and a little bit about what I’ve been working on. A Year on Film at first seemed extremely overwhelming and I had no idea how I was going to complete it but the more I step back and think about it the more I realize that this isn’t the monster I’m making it out to be. So far I feel like I’ve grown a great deal since I started this. New projects have came about and new ideas are constantly forming. If Kodak and ISTILLSHOOTFILM have noticed than I must be doing something right. Right?

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Above it all | Acros100 |XTOL| Mamiya 645 1000s

Kicking off the year correctly, I was invited to go fly on a hot air balloon with Visit Lancaster Pa. Obviously you don’t turn down this experience. I was up at 4:30am to call in and make sure the flight was still taking place and of course it was. I spent two rolls of film on the flight. This image is from the roll of Acros100. I also shot a roll of ektar100. I found it challenging to shoot with a fully manual camera that has no light meter. Action shots and a hand held light meter is tough to juggle in the air. Changing rolls on top of that was nothing short of awesome. I am by no means complaining because I love what I do.

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Lomography100 | 11 Seconds | Mamiya 645 1000s

Next up on the list was our Charleston, SC workshop. This trip I wanted to change up the way I think about shooting and push new experiments. Nothing new to the world obviously but new to me. Using a Tiffen Variable ND filter I shot this image at 11 seconds. The filter was just about 4 stops of light away from what my meter was telling me. Yes my meter talks to me. Helping to smooth out the water by extending the exposure was my goal. I think the entire magic behind film is the mysteriousness of not knowing whether you achieved the image or not. I only took one picture of this and decided that was enough. I wrote down my settings and called it a day. When I pulled this roll from the tank and saw the picture right where I had left it, A pure feeling of excitement ran through me. I’m sure if the image was way under exposed or even over exposed I would of been just a tad bit bummed out that I didn’t capture it. That’s what we call trial and error. I would say the best advice I can give as a analog film photographer is TRUST YOUR LIGHT METER. Yes it’s OK to take control and adjust your settings accordingly if you think it needs adjusted. All I’m saying is put some trust in your equipment. Mine has yet to fail me.

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Lomography100 | Mamiya 645 1000s

I wasn’t looking to ramble to much, just wanted to say hi and keep everyone including myself up to date on where I’m at with this journey. Next spot is the Great Smoky Mountains. I’m just a little excited about it. The Smokies have always been a spot for us to reboot and get back to the basics. A place to reset our minds and jump start the creativity. Until that time I will be spending most of my days hiding in the dark room trying to catch up on last years rolls. Thank you everyone for all the continued support and for following along with my shenanigans.

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Lomography100 | Mamiya 645 1000s

To see more of my images please follow along with my facebook or go check out my instagram.

Philadelphia, Pa.

   Raising my light meter just about eye level so I can get a grasp on what my settings will be, my focus shifts past my equipment to examine the scene one last time before I fire the shutter. I’ve been excited about getting into the city to street shoot for a while now and I finally have the opportunity to do it. I take a breath, time slows and I shoot. This will be the beginning of my blog.

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Transport | Ektar100 | F2.8 \30

I venture back to my seat and continue listening to the conversations on the left side of me and the new Yo-Yo Ma album on the right. I can barely contain myself for what lies ahead. We pull into the station, walk up the stairs and out onto the street. At that moment, walking out the doors, the city hits you like a sledge hammer. Meeting up with the group, it’s nice to see old friends and make new ones.

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Stairwell | 400TX | F1.9 \30

China town was our first destination on the list. I had never been there but I’ve always seen images from that part of the city and have since wanted to roam the streets and see what I could come up with myself. You really never have any clue whats going to happen during a Philly visit but I think that’s what makes the entire experience so great.

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Process | Ektar100 | F5.6 \250

First off a bus pulls up and rams a car, which I can only assume was trying to turn in front of the bus. Accidents happen, life goes on. Heading north on 12th we stumbled upon a closed off road that was hosting a sort of market. All types of vendors were set up selling all kinds of treasures. Live music was happening as well that gave the street a nice vibe. Philadelphia is a street shooters heaven. There’s so much diversity and character hidden in the shadows all you have to do is find it.

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Street | Ektar100 | F2.8 \30

The group definitely didn’t have any trouble finding it. Everyone hit the ground running capturing moments they saw and not letting anything slip by. At points it was nice to sit back and watch how everyone works. Their technique is an art in itself and amazing to witness first hand.

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Septa | 400TX | F1.9 \30

Street shooting is an inspiring event for me and I always come out feeling extremely renewed with a better sense of creativity and passion for photography. It’s an extra boost I enjoy grabbing before workshop season kicks into full swing.

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China Town | Ektar100 | F5.6 \250

China town was nothing short of awesome. It is other worldly being just within those few blocks that you almost feel you’ve left Philadelphia. Just a brief visit, we were all starting to need fuel so we did a big loop back to the reading market for some lunch. I of course had a “Franklin Cheese steak” which was a cheese steak…with cream cheese, onions and mushrooms. It was amazing. After lunch was finished up we started down the street to independence hall where we ran into a small wedding and a big protest.

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Love | Acros100 | F2.8 \30

I grabbed my wedding shot and ventured into the crowd of protesters to see what fun I could get into. Trying to find the best vantage points for shooting this was a major player in portraying the event properly. Normal photography just wasn’t going to work so I had to step my game up and work fast because these activists where not sitting still. The group eventually formed into a parade and we went marching down the street into the heart of the city. I had to keep reminding myself that I was with a group, if I didn’t the large mass would of pushed me down river and who knows where I would of ended up.

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Protest | 400TX | F8 \500

After the excitement died down we did a group shot minus a few who left earlier and then we all went our own ways. 3:30 came fast and it was time to head back to the station to catch the train home. When we did arrive at the septa station an announcement came on saying that all of the trains were late and the displays were all wrong. I took that as go shoot some more.

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Going up | 400TX | F1.9 \30

Found a few more gems in the station that I couldn’t just let them slip away. All and all the Philly trip was a blast and I had a lot of fun breaking from the norm and jumping out of the comfort zone to explore the world of street art.

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Breakfast | Ektar100 | F1.9 \30

I was pushing myself to learn consistency and to be conservative. I shot a total of 48 images during this trip. Just over 3 rolls of 120 film at 15 images per roll.

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Signs | Ektar100 | F5.6 \250

Hopefully you got to come along on our adventure and if you didn’t I hope my post gives you a general idea of what we experienced. Thank you for reading along and I hope you have a wonderful week. To see more of my art please visit Zach Heaton or follow along with my Facebook or instagram.

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Kims | 400TX | F1.9 \15

All of my images were taken with a Mamiya 645 1000s using a Sekonic hand held light meter. The settings for each shot are located under the images.

Film: Kodak Ektar100, Fuji Acros100, Kodak 400TX

http://www.zachheaton.net

 

A well documented life.

As a photographer I’m never without a camera. Which means my life and those around me are highly documented, including my nephews and niece. I wanted to make this post about watching these kids grow up and capturing the moments they will forever have to look back on. I’m not going to talk a lot during this post, it will be more of a gallery.

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I started out shooting the two below from the beginning with digital. I wasn’t always around for the beginning of Alex’s life and I kick myself everyday for missing a lot of it. The best moments were the moments we made together, letting our imaginations run wild. Chasing monsters through the jungle, shooting bad guys who were trying to board our spaceship. Apple Jacks ( Alexander Jackson) was my new favorite buddy that I loved spending time with. Watching him grow up was a great thing for me and I will forever treasure those moments we made.

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Then along came Mad Max or Tanner Maxwell. Tanner eventually adopted the name Tanner the tornado and I think you understand why. He is the most energetic kid I’ve ever seen in my life. Chasing him around really wears you out, put all three of them together and by the end of the day you’re tired. The three amigos, they always had this thing called the boys club. Well that all changed when little miss Morgan Julia came along.

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Miss Morgan stole my heart. She’s the cutest thing ever, and we’ve become friends now. She really loves the Polaroid camera. Whenever I get it out and take a picture she always comes running over to take the picture from me so she can watch it develop. She has become my model and she is always up to pose or give me a smile. When I started shooting film I bought a bunch of Porta160 because I knew I would be shooting the kids a lot.  I am now almost out of the rolls and need to re up my stash because I never want to miss the moments, I always think if I do miss something or I don’t happen to have my camera in hand I wont have that memory to look back on.

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Not a moment skipped, every precious memory captured. I’ve had so much fun watching these three grow up and I will continue to enjoy watching them. Remember to not let the precious moments slip by. Pick up a camera and snap away so when you are old and your kids or grand kids are grown you will have something to look back on and embarrass them with 🙂

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