Friday, July 31, 2009

July 31, 2009

Can some one tell me where my little baby boy went? He is looking less like a little kid. If it were not for those baby teeth showing, he may look older. Sigh.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 30, 2009

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of man."

"What a colt learns in youth he continues in old age." -French Proverb

"All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July 29, 2009

My girly-girl loves horses, the color pink and her boots. We seem to have it all here, don't we?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009

This is my entry for i ♥ faces Category: "at the beach"

He is such the little surfer. He will stay out in the waves for the entire time we are at the beach. I don't know how he does it; after just a few minutes of getting dunked, my eyes and nose are stinging from the salt water and I head to the shore to build sand castles with the others. Here he is waiting for his next big wave.

Check out the other photos at i ♥ faces.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 26, 2009

I love the lighting in this picture. Capturing the light is something I need to work on. Sometimes I get so excited to capture the "action" that I forget to look for the best light. For this shot, the sun was behind us and it was late in the day. It produced some beautiful light to shoot in.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 25, 2009

What a fun day at the beach. We usually go in the mornings and leave before the crowds and heat of the noon day wear us out. But today we went later in the afternoon. We arrived around 4:00 pm and stayed until 7:00 pm. The evening light was beautiful.

I rarely take my camera to the beach. But this time my husband met us there on his way home from work, so I took advantage of an extra set of eyes and hands and brought out my camera for the last half an hour. I'm glad I did.

Here our youngest, still going strong at the end of the day.

July 24, 2009

Here is another one of my red faced, sweaty kids playing at the park.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 23, 2009

I kind of like this picture. It is technically not the best, but I like it. Must be the subject. At first I was going to try to take the red out of his face. But when I enlarged the photo to look at it, I could see the beads of sweat above his top lip, on his forehead and temples. We had been at the park since noon and it was now 1:30 pm. I'm surprised he wasn't more red. But he is a good sport to sit still for a fraction of a second so that I can get two, maybe three shots (if I am fast).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22, 2009

Here are some more photos taken with the aperture opened all the way. I don't like them. I miss the super sharp, crisp, high detail shots. The bokah is nice and all, but it is all too "soft". Do you know what I mean? Any advice, other than hold still?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 21, 2009

Hopefully the few of you who read this blog know that I am just starting out with my camera. Recently, I bought a prime lens (Nikkor 50mm 1.8). I had heard so much about it (and it's more expensive brother, the 1.4) and read so many posts of adoring photographers complete with all their amazing portraits; all compliments of their "nifty fifty". So I have had high hopes of my new little lens. Unfortunately, I don't really know what I'm doing. Trial by error to be sure, with emphasis on the error. I suppose I thought that if a wide aperture is good, then why not open it up all the way baby! Perhaps hundreds of blurry, grainy, fuzzy photos will emphasize to me the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I can't just focus on one of the three and forget about the others. Maybe pay attention to how much light I have, if the subject is moving around, stuff like that? Did you know that not everything should be shot at an f-stop of 1.8? Did you know that there is a time and place for it? Slow learner, that's me. I don't even want to show you all my "bad examples" ...

... but, here it goes. I'm not saying that either of these are at all good, they are not (yuck). They are both SOOC (straight out of camera). Might as well show as it is. But this is the exact same shot at the same time but in different settings.

Shot 1: f: 4.5, 1/80 sec, ISO 200
Shot 2: f: 1.8, 1/4000 sec, ISO 1000

So those of you reading this who have some words of advice (or condolences), let me have them. How do you manage with your prime lens? Tell me how you decide what aperture to use. In the interest of having at least one good shot, I'm tempted to turn my dial back to "auto".

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20, 2009

This is my entry for i ♥ faces, category: FEET

There is a lot of tree climbing that happens in our backyard. I would think that a good pair of shoes and long jeans would be most comfortable, but for some reason she uses her bare feet.

Check out the great photos at i ♥ faces.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 18, 2009

Today I participated in Scott Kelby's Second Annual Worldwide Photowalk. I joined up with the Jacksonville, FL group and strolled along the river, at the Landing and a couple blocks downtown. We were quite the sight; 50 plus people with their cameras walking around aiming at buildings, bridges, gargoyles, and churches.

It was a good experience for me. I was very much out of my element (there were no cows, horses, kids or dirt roads anywhere). I find it challenging to be creative and take interesting photos of structures. Where one photographer can find amazing lines and shapes, I just see an old building. As such, I came home with a bunch of boring photos of old buildings.

Here is the best I could come up with. Be kind. I'm trying to learn.

On the upside, I found a most amazing alleyway that would make a perfect backdrop for some edgy, urban style portraits or senior pictures (Natalie, want to be my model?). I also found some perfect doorways and arches that would be great for childrens portraits.

Friday, July 17, 2009

July 17, 2009

Yea! Grandma and Grandpa are here visiting. Wait ... Grandpa, Grandpa, where are you?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14, 2009

Question: In what ways are your children most like you or most unlike you? Are they picking up both your good and not so desirable qualities? Do you see bits of you, or someone else in them, or are their own individual. Perhaps a mix of both?

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13, 2009

This is my entry for i ♥ faces "Sports in Action"

I like this category, sports in action. With such active kids and parents, I had lots to choose from.

Oh, he really does love baseball. Wants me to play catch with him or pitch him balls to hit. What a fun kid. WHACK!

This is my entry for i ♥ faces "Pets, anything goes"

This is also one of my favorite categories. Other than my kids, I love to take pictures of wildlife. Gators, herons, egrets are some of my favorites. This is a beautiful blue heron. He was so close to me. I was able to get a bunch of great shots.

Check out all the photos at i ♥ faces.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 12, 2009

Sometimes he is a monkey, other times he is Tarzan! Either way, he is usually climbing and swinging off something.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11, 2009

Do you know why I like these pictures? Look again at the first one. Right above Chief's shoulders. See what looks like a spot on my lens. Second picture, look on Chief's back. It's a horse fly. Nasty little buggers. Then Chief turned and bit the fly. Hope he got 'em too. Chief does know how to nip.

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10, 2009

This is a Wood Stork. Did you notice the band on his leg?

Here is something interesting about Wood Storks: they have a very unique foraging technique. A stork walks with its partially open bill in the water, swinging it in an arc or probing with it in the mud and vegetation. When the bill makes contact with prey, it snaps shut with an extremely rapid reflex snap (25 milliseconds). This technique is effective in shallow water where prey are dense, therefore storks are seen an indicators of healthy wetlands. There you have it, our pasture outside our house is a healthy wetland with storks (and you thought the interesting tidbit of info was going to be about their baby delivering occupation). See, this blog is full of interesting tips and pointers!

July 9, 2009

I love it when I find "surprises" in my camera. Do you know what I mean? Shots that I took during the day that I didn't plan to take (it just caught my eye), didn't agonize over what settings to put my camera on and usually I forget that I even took them until I download my pictures. Then low and behold there are a couple fabulous shots that I don't have to edit, adjust lighting, crop, or fix up in anyway. Every now and then I get a couple of these surprises. These pictures are my surprise of the day.

These pictures were taken with my absolute favorite lens: AF-S Nikkor 70-300 mm VR (4.5-5.6). It is big. It is heavy. It is awesome! I use it for all my bird/wildlife shots. I like it to use it with my kids because I can be half way down the dirt road watching them through my lens and they don't know it (I'm very sneaky that way). Plus it give the most beautiful bokah ever (these are not good examples of bokah)!

Jared, why is your little sister's tricycle so much fun to get stuck in the mud? I guess it's the same reason she finds his baseball cards and dinosaurs so inviting.