Donny's Ramblings


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Back in the Saddle Again

Besides photographing cars, I’ve taken a hiatus from any work that’s photographic in nature. I just needed a break.

As of a few days ago, that has changed. I’ve blown the dust off the lights and have begun shooting again. My plan is to build a real portfolio now, rather than a “porn” portfolio. When I told my friend David about it his exact response was:

Good for you, Donny. Photography is a wonderful way to express yourself artistically, and it is good exercise for the body, mind, soul, and spirit!

If you live within 50 miles of Redding or Chico and would like to have portraits shot of you or your family, please let me know. I’ll volunteer my time and equipment. Any prints you want are on you, though. I’m up for senior pictures or weddings too. Until I have a decent portfolio developed, I won’t be charging anything.

I also plan to start heading out into nature and seeing what I can find.

I’ve shot a few things already. It feels good.


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Almost a Week on My Own Again

Last Sunday I moved into a tiny studio apartment only a few miles from my son. It’s basically a hotel room with a bathroom and kitchen. It’s perfect.

The owner of the place asked if I’d prefer a larger one or two bedroom unit but I declined. For some reason, this studio just fits what I want out of life right now: simplicity.

I’m still within driving range of the churches I enjoy attending, but now it’s a 5 minute drive to see Caden and Wendy. It’s only a few minutes further to visit John, my best friend. In fact, the two of us took a 3 hour walk yesterday morning, which probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do right before work. I’m used to exercising half that amount of time. It was also not such a wise decision to choose yesterday as the day I doubled my exercise time because I had to follow it with nearly 3 hours of driving to photograph more than 100 cars in the nice, too-warm 85 degree California sun.

One positive: I slept very well last night. 🙂

Living alone again, yet being so close to my son, has been great so far. I don’t have to worry about getting dressed every morning just to walk the hall to the bathroom (that has to be the worst part about having roommates). Now I can just run around in my “natural state”.

Fortunately for my neighbors, I keep the shades drawn.


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Caden Friday Part II: Grandpa and Caden

When my dad left full time ministry as a Pastor, he worked for a few years as a Correctional Officer for the California Department of Corrections. I ran across this photo late last night. I’d forgotten it existed.

Caden was 6 months old when this photo was taken, and was fascinated by Grandpa’s whistle. This shows a tender side of my dad that makes me smile.


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Caden Friday


click to enlarge
Originally uploaded by Donny Pauling.

Tonight I’ve been going through a bunch of photos of Caden that were taken during his first year on earth. I shot several thousand photos of him. For some reason I started uploading more than 1,700 photos to Flickr tonight. While doing so I thought to myself, “Hey, I should start having Caden Friday’s where I upload a different photo of Caden each week.

Sounds good to me.

I love this photo of 4 month old Mr. Toothless.

I had a hard time deciding between the photo you see in this post, and this photo here.

This one also brought back some great memories. I loved feeding him. Wendy used to laugh at the faces I’d make while doing so. I guess I’d open my mouth hoping he’d open his.


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Flickr – My New Friend

I’ve had a Flickr account for a long time, and have always intended on using it for blog entries. I’ve just never gotten around to actually doing so.

I guess one reason is because my subject matter didn’t really conform to Flickr terms of service. They don’t take particularly well to adult oriented material.

Earlier today I uploaded 158 images to my Flickr account. Feel free to browse through them and comment if you’d like to do so. I also added a few nifty Flickr gadgets to my blog. In both the left and right colums you’ll find “Flickr badges” that show random photos from my account. Each time you refresh the thumbnails in those badges are supposed to change.

Northern California is beautiful. I love living here. These photos were all taken within a 10 mile radius of my house.


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I Think of This Photo While in Church

For as long as he’s been able to stand, Caden has reached for me like this. The look on his face says it all: he’s almost desperate to be held.

Every time he reaches like this my heart melts. In fact, it almost hurt to make him wait as I shot this photo. I wanted to pick him up so bad, but I also wanted to capture the moment.

When he is upset I pick him up and whisper in his ear, calming him with my words.

This photo comes to my mind every time I’m in church. Others raise their hands in surrender, I raise my hands asking to be “picked up”. My hands look very similar to the way Caden’s hands look in this photo.

Lately my heart has been happy at times, heavy at others. It’s during those heavy times I reach skyward and ask God to pick me up and whisper calming words into my ears.


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My Son – Between Ages 1 and 2

I checked my records and this photo was taken just a few months after he turned 2.

According to the Chinese Zodiak, he’s a rabbit. So this photo makes perfect sense, no? In his first year of life I took more than 10,000 photos. He quickly became bored with cameras. This is a look that became quite common: the “Dad, give up the camera already!” look…