Friday, April 27, 2012

Manual Mode: Day 2

Yesterday I took my kids to the driving range.  My oldest is part of a Junior Golf Academy and needed some swing time.  I figured it would be a great time to practice my photography... great areas to work on... bright sun = exposure, swing shots = shutter speed, composition, perspective... lots of things to consider.  I took 57 photos... yes, 57 almost identical photos of my one child doing the same thing...swinging a driver at a little white ball.  I did snap a few of AR and JS, so I will include those as well, just to keep it interesting. 

Before adding the images, let me say that apparently in my desire to keep the toddler safe from being hit in the head with a club, my brain mixed up shutter speed and ISO (light sensitivity).  I should have certainly shot these at 200 ISO (the lowest setting my camera will tolerate) because of the glaring sun, and adjusted my shutter speed accordingly to freeze the action.  But, I didn't do that... I shot at much too high an ISO.  Thanks to my SnapShop workshop, I knew to pay attention to my exposure measurement.  These images are sooo far from perfect, but worth sharing so you can learn from my mistakes. 

1/5000  f/5.0  ISO 800  28mm
settings are wrong, no other way to say it... but I love how the ball is frozen in mid-air

1/5000  f/4.5  ISO 800  28mm

1/5000 f/4.5  ISO 800  68mm

1/5000  f/4.5  ISO 800  68mm

1/5000  f/4.5  ISO 800  80mm

1/2000  f/5.6  ISO 800  80mm
almost identical shot to the previous, but with slower shutter speed and smaller aperture

1/2000  f/5.6  ISO 800  80mm
changed my position so I could see more of his face

1/2000  f/5.6  ISO 800  28mm
exposure is okay (setting still not optimal), but shot is boring... not simple enough

1/2000  f/5.6  ISO 800  31mm
a bit underexposed on his face, but MUCH more interesting shot...
like how the diagonal line of the club leads us to him - the main focus of the shot

1/6000  f/4.5  ISO 800  60mm

1/2000  f/5.6  ISO 800  31mm

1/6000 f/4.5  ISO 800  60mm
if it weren't for the absolute cuteness sitting in the chair, this shot would be trash

1/2000 f/5.6  ISO 800  80mm
overexposed, but happy with persective and use of thirds rule...
especially love his contemplative expression... that's so him

1/2500  f/5.6  ISO 800  80mm
this boy makes my heart smile, but the quality of the image leaves much to be desired

So, as you can see, there is much to be learned here.  The mid-afternoon sun presents so many exposure issues, and I didn't handle them well at all yesterday!  Everything except maybe the f/stop needs to be adjusted, but wow did I learn!  I learned, too, that golf is tough to photograph!  Achieving the correct balance and appealing cropping is not for the faint of heart!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Over the hill?

In less than one week, I'll turn 40... the big 4-0.  I'm okay with that.   Really, I am.  People say it's all downhill from here, and I sure hope that's true.  Downhill is the fun part... I much prefer the downhill speed on a rollercoaster, or topping my street and turning around to see the sunrise and the downhill part of my run.  Downhill is where the excitement is - it's where you hold your hands high in the air and scream with enthusiasm.  So, bring on the hill!

it's an old picture, but so perfectly appropriate :)

With the big day so near in my sights, I am embracing it... and I plan to enter this new decade of my life with re-discovering and sharing all that makes me "me".  I'm not special, but I am unique.  God made me that way... He made each of us unique... and He intends for us to use that "unique"ness for His glory.  I have created in my mind a list... a "new year" resolutions, of sorts... ways that I can use my "talents" to glorify God and serve His people.  It's a long list, but as long as I keep God as my focus, I'm not intimidated. 

And while I really don't feel older, I am most certainly wiser.  I know first-hand that time really does fly... and that every second should be cherished, not squandered away.  I want to stomp in puddles and draw with chalk... and braid hair and paint toenails... and campout in the back yard and judge diving contests in the summer... to make frozen lemonade popsicles in paper cups and run through the sprinkler...

But I also want to take time to read a good book (first on my list is "Grace for the Good Girl" by Emily Freeman)... to finish sewing that cute apron for my sister... to organize my recipes and finish the cookbook I'm working on... to sip coffee and listen to the birds with my wonderful husband before the kids wake up... to feed my soul and to remember on a daily basis that in order to be the mom and wife I'm called to be, I need to take care of the woman God made me to be. 

My new favorite verse is Zephaniah 3:17... "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;  he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."  Love it!  Each day I cherish being quieted by His love, and in my mind I dance along to His singing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Manual Mode: Day 1

These are pictures taken after my first day of SnapShop, an online, self-paced photography course.  The course is not intended to grow professional photographers, but rather to give the mamarazzi like myself knowledge and courage to shoot in "manual" mode.  These photos are just as they were taken (except for the tree that i cropped off of my baby's head)... exposure issues haven't been fixed... what you see is what you get.  I had some success and some failure,
but all in all, I am quite pleased with the moments captured.

1/400 f/5.6 ISO 400 80mm
probably a little overexposed, but i like it anyway :)

1/400 f/5.6 ISO 400 80mm

1/400 f/5.0 ISO 400 28mm
unfortunately, this one is overexposed...
but, love the adoration little brother is directing at big brother

1/500  f/5.0  ISO 400  28mm
hand is more sharply focused... possibly an issue with f-stop?

1/500 f/5.0 ISO 400 28mm
this one had a merger behind baby's head...
luckily i left myself room and was able to crop most of it out - lesson for me here!

1/320   f/5.0  ISO 800  50mm
overexposed?  maybe a little ;)

1/320 f/4.0 ISO 400 50mm
not perfect, but a personal favorite :)

1/250 f/4.0 ISO 200 38mm
depth of focus, maybe thirds rule?

1/200 f/4.0 ISO 200 28mm
practicing my mid-shoot cropping (see all of his cute Toms?) and perspective

1/250 f/6.3 ISO 200 53mm
accomplished what i wanted, flowers in focus, and him blurry...
but why did it work at that f-stop? Was it his distance from the flowers?

1/250 f/6.3 ISO 400 80mm
like the composition and exposure... and that i caught her off-guard without a pose ;)

1/1600  f/6.3  ISO 800  31mm

I took these in the lot next to our house, because the flowers and grasses were delicious!  Bright, vibrant, and lots of movement from the wind.  Because the lot is surrounded by large trees, the time of day meant there were lots of lighting situations to accomodate.  I was constantly adjusting my ISO to work with the bright sun or deep shade, but it was good practice ;)

Monday, April 23, 2012

About me...

i am...
a wife, a mother
blond hair, green eyed

i believe in...
soul mates
the power of faith
the miracle of life

rest for my spirit...
family time

rocking my littlest
cooking for family & friends

a few of my favorite things...
my camera
sewing maching, fabric
coffee with cream and stevia
flip flops
cheese toast with ham and pickles
squishy toddler cheeks
painted furniture
farmer's markets