Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography | Blog

LBJ Photography Blog 

This blog features notes on image creation sessions, photographic lighting, and image editing techniques. Our main website can be found at:  http://lbjphotography.com    


Woodcarvers & Woodburners

February 01, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Woodcarvers' Wednesday

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What a fascinating day it was today at Woodcarvers! First of all, David brought in a “talking stick” and explained that he carved and burned it for a school counselor—the talking stick is held by only one person, and that person is the only one allowed to speak in the room. When a student is given the talking stick, only that student speaks until he/she hands the stick to somebody else. Secondly, Bob brought us a completed metal hummingbird sculpture we requested he make for one of our hanging baskets at home. His home-made vice is another daily reminder to us of his creativity. It rivals any vice we have ever seen.

Lesson 101 (upon arrival a couple weeks ago): “For your wood burner, make a stand using plywood and nails,” instructs David and shows us his model of scrap plywood, nails protruding diagonally from the wood, holding an idle, harmless, hot burner. Lou made a similar stand last week with a few nails he found around the house. Today, David brought in a wood burner stand—“For you” he said, “I make these all the time for people.” I think we will trash the first one! Wouldn't you say?

Meet Ki. Her most recent walking stick has no carving at all but is all done with a wood burner. To achieve the shading, she uses an extremely tiny burner tip.

Talking StickTalking Stick HummingbirdsHummingbirds Bobs viceBobs vice burner standburner stand KiKi IMG_1961

Fishing on the Rio Grande River

January 28, 2018  •  1 Comment

Hiking—or Fishing—on the Rio Grande Which is it?

January 28, 2018—Mesilla, NM

Imagine this! We are on a Sunday afternoon walk along a trail hugging the Rio Grande River hiking a gentle path from Mesilla to Las Cruces. It's sunny; the temps are about 65 degrees—nothing special—just an afternoon hike! The Rio Grande is nearly dry this time of year, but it has pockets of thigh-high water. We come upon a thicket of reeds and mesquites where a young couple is beating bushes and their surrounding waters with sticks. Here the water is deep but not above their waders. We have NO idea what is going on. We walk on. Upon our return after about 20 minutes we notice that the man is walking in the middle of the water with a compound bow, and the woman is recording the event. This snapshot in time is worth a stop! We wait patiently but eagerly to see whether there will be action. I'm ready to pull out the camera, but both of us won't let our eyes stray; we have them glued on the man wading slowly—oh, so slowly—through the water with his bow at his side and arrow arranged loosely in it niche. Suddenly, he zips around, pulls the bow taught, and shoots into the water behind him. The arrow speeds into the Rio Grande waters with a neon green strap following in its wake. It's a hit. The man reels in the green strap like a fishing pole reel, and a huge carp at arrow's end splashes out of the water squirming to release itself from the the arrow's barbs. The man holds up a 5-lb. carp, and we cheer. “We have caught four more,” says he, as he and his mate hold up 5 huge fish to pose for a Kodak moment. “What will you do with them?,” yell we! “We take them to the state park next to us, and they are fed to the animals.” An unusual hiking story, wouldn't you say? Or, should we call this post a “fish” story?

Fishing_1Fishing_1 fishing_2fishing_2 LBJ_Rio GrandeLBJ_Rio Grande

Gnomes and Nuts

January 27, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Gnomes and Nuts

After nearly two weeks in Las Cruces we finally feel “settled in”. The first two weeks' meetings with the Dona Ana Woodcarvers was more social than productive, but we must adhere to the important things first, right? It is simply amazing to see the artistic ability of these amazing individuals who attend simply for the love of the morning whittling/carving exercise (their works to be posted on a later blog). However, we have begun our journey down the lane of would-be wood carving: our focus has been on  gnomes and Santas.

Dona Ana County, of which Las Cruces is a part, is a big pecan-producing region. We were fortunate enough to acquire a shopping bag full of pecans. Now, while watching the PBS Newshour in the evening, we will probably be shelling pecans instead of finding puzzle pieces (the only time we do puzzles is in Las Cruces).

gnomesgnomes NutsNuts puzzlepuzzle

Soledad Canyon -- Las Cruces, NM

January 16, 2018  •  1 Comment

Monday, January 15, 2018

Las Cruces, New Mexico

The Soledad Canyon Gang

“My meditation today was 'Relax, I am in control'”, Susan told us as we six paused along the trail to Soledad Canyon. After witnessing what just happened, that phrase must become our daily mantra, and here is the story of why that is so.

After settling into our Hess Terrace rental, our first order of business was to get on the hiking trails after unpacking, shopping, and, of course, taking care of the birds. As we exited the truck to begin our first hike of the season, who should pull into the lot almost next to us but our hiking buddies from last year! This was NOT a planned rendezvous, and what makes it more extraordinary is that the exact same thing happened in 2017 at Dripping Springs. An unplanned rendezvous with these four on our first hike of the season—two years in a row? This was NO accident. Yes, the daily mantra must be: Relax; He is in control.

Soledad Canyon GangSoledad Canyon Gang 1045 Hess Terrace1045 Hess Terrace

Watering the birdsBird sanctuary in the back yard.

Santa Fe, NM

January 14, 2018  •  1 Comment

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Santa Fe, NM

Amarillo and a 7-hour drive to Las Cruces. Where should we stop? We remembered the story from friends of the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe and decided to make it our destination. The legend is just as interesting as the staircase:


Santa Fe did not disappoint. The unique shops are exquisite, and Bonnie, who is not a buyer, did buy.

Chapel OutsideChapel Outside Loretto ChapelLoretto Chapel StaircaseStaircase Santa Fe SquareSanta Fe Square


Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively. 




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