12.25.2013

12.24.2013

12.23.2013

Project 365: Day 53

Aaron is no longer very cooperative when he needs to sit in the cart at the grocery store.  Which means it's much better for his safety and my sanity if I go without him (if at all possible).  The nice thing about going alone after he's in bed is that I can bring my iPod and listen to my music.  Which makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable.

12.22.2013

Getting Caught Up on the 365: Day 52

I'm back from a brief internet hiatus.  I've been taking my pictures, now I just need to edit and upload them to my blog.  Also, I'm post-dating just so the count doesn't get screwed up for me and the pictures stay in order.

Here we go.


This was a warm December night so we decided to do our own walking tour of the neighborhood lights.

12.21.2013

Project 365: Day 51

Cookie decorating at my mom's house today.

12.20.2013

Project 365: Day 50

I didn't realize today was day 50 of this challenge until I wrote the blog title.  If I had known maybe I could have planned for a better, more celebratory image.  Instead I'm going with this.




I didn't take many digital pictures today because I finished off my Lomo film using my DIY Konstruktor camera instead.  Now I just need to send it off and get it developed.  I'm hoping at least ONE picture will turn out decently.  We'll see.  Either way, it was fun to build and play.

Project 365: Day 49

Tree ornament and lights.  I couldn't decide between the black and white or the color version.  



We just replaced our tree lights with LEDs (because nearly all the old ones mysteriously stopped working this year) and while they are bright and colorful the new lights lack a little bit of that warm glow.  So I tried working with that, by trying one in B&W and one in crazy color.  My 5 year old likes the colorful one best, but I kind of like the other one.

12.18.2013

Project 365: Day 48

Aaron tried to sneak off upstairs while he thought I wasn't looking.  But I followed him as he went into his room, turned on his lamp (a very small nightstand lamp) and started reading through books.  I love that I captured this quiet moment he had.  But the light was tough and I don't think I edited this well.  I may have to try again sometime.

12.17.2013

Project 365: Day 47


This is an image from my last photo class.  We talked about still life lighting for different materials (ceramic, wood, water, translucency, etc.) and ended with a few action shots.  It was really fun, I probably could have spent days playing around with the lighting and objects, but we only had about an hour and a half.  Here's one of the "action" shots I came away with.

50mm, ISO 200, f/3.2, 1/2000
We used a single tungsten halogen lamp which is positioned behind, up, and to the right of the glasses.

12.16.2013

Project 365: Day 46

Another attempt at a B&W conversion.  I think to add this to my growing list of "things to seriously figure out during 2014" list.  I love the tones in the original and I was trying to bring out more detail and contrast (specifically good blacks), and yet not lose detail, which is where I have a hard time finding good balance.  I'll keep practicing.


original color image for comparison

12.15.2013

Project 365: Day 45

This year's tree topper:


12.14.2013

Project 365: Day 44


We have finally gotten around to putting up our Christmas tree.  Dylan decided to play with the lights while we got things ready.  He actually said "hey mom take a picture of me like this."  He also had me take pictures of him holding various colors of light bulbs near his mouth for some reason.

50mm, ISO 2000, f/1.8, 1/160

12.13.2013

Project 365: Day 43

Taking a walk with my little one through what's left of the snow.

12.12.2013

Project 365: Day 42

Joey came over for a little bit today to hang out with Dylan.   No art this time, they mostly played Sorry while I tended to a ridiculously cranky toddler.

12.11.2013

Project 365: Day 41

Sugar and a little light.


One thing this project is forcing me to do... find alternate light.  Especially because there are many days when the sun goes down before I touch my camera.  I shot this using my extension tubes and an LED flashlight in the dark kitchen while making myself a cup of tea.  

50mm with 36mm extension tube, ISO 2000, f/16, 1/200

12.10.2013

The Trouble With Editing Photos Is...

I can't make up my mind!  Too many choices and options and small nuances.


Here's an example:
 
This is straight out of the camera.  It's admittedly a little on the dark side, but I still like it.

This is what I would consider a fairly straight forward edit.  I didn't really do much other than brighten it a bit, sharpen, and add a little more color so it's not so drab.

Noticeably edited.  Bright colors, and a warmer tone overall.  Not really the direction I initially wanted to go in, but it kind of works for a different concept.

A B&W conversion.  This is more of what I had in mind.  I wish I could have gotten the highlights on the tree branches in the foreground a little brighter to show more of the trees' texture without making the fog too bright, but I couldn't figure that out.  

Oh and just for some more fun, here's an infrared conversion.  I wish I could do infrared on my camera, but I think I have to physically have to alter the camera to do that, so I don't see that happening any time soon.  For now I'll just play with the filter in photoshop.  I also cropped this in tighter, which I think works for this.
 So my problem is...  Well first off, I really need to learn how to edit properly.  As of now I just click a bunch of options, slide things until they look "right" and call it a day.  But also, I think that once I start editing again I'm going to have to force myself to be more intentional about what I want the end result to be.  And I'm definitely still trying to figure that out.

Also, my apologies to the people who have been reading my blog for a long time and are now subjected to nonstop photos.  I'll try to get back to other subjects again soon :)

Project 365: Day 40

More wintry weather for today.  I love the snow!  Though photographing it has presented some unique challenges.  Not the least of which being that my fingers freeze!  But it's so pretty.

50mm, ISO 160, f/4.5, 1/200
Converted to b&w

12.09.2013

Project 365: Day 39

Icy morning.

300mm with 10mm extension tube, ISO 640, f/5, 1/320

I'm slowly starting to do some editing on my photos again.  I just feel like I don't really know what I'm doing on that end of things.  I think I'll be spending a good amount of time in 2014 trying to figure that out.  Straight out of the camera is still my preferred option though.

12.08.2013

Project 365: Day 38

Our first real snow of the season!
I also think this is the first picture I've taken of all four of us all year.  I keep saying that I want to do more of these, but they never happen.  I'd like to do at least one a month during this 365 challenge, but I already failed for the month of November.  Maybe I'll make it 11/12 months.  The focus isn't perfect, and if I had an opportunity to reshoot I'd do about 1000 things differently, but I still love it because it shows how excited and memorized we all are by the snow.

22mm (I'm reborrowing my brother's 14-24 2.8 wide angle lens), ISO 250, f/4, 1/50

12.07.2013

Project 365: Day 37

Two brothers having fun just running around the house.

50mm, ISO 1250, f/2.2, 1/160

Running Update

Running has been going pretty good lately.  No major break throughs or personal records or races to report.  Just the slow and steady progress of a continued effort.  Which in and of itself is a success at this point.  I've accepted the fact that I can only really run 3 times a week.  Any more than that makes me a little crazy (schedule wise).  And I've also been running outside in really cold weather for the first time.  Other than needing to get perhaps a pair or 2 of pants and some sort of decent long sleeve top to run in, that has actually been fine.  I tend to run in the middle of the day, so it's not too bitterly cold.  And once I get going I feel totally fine.  The coldest part is after I get back home and need to take a shower.  But it's not as bad as I thought running outside in the cold would be.

So my running stats... as much as I've been keeping track anyway.

On the treadmill:
Average comfortable pace:  5.0 mph
Fastest pace I can hold for 2 minutes without needing to stop:  7.5 mph
Typical run length: between 30-35 minutes
Haven't checked my mile since the last update.

Outside:
Longest run:  4.2 miles with an 11 minute mile average
Hills are troubling to my hip, but unavoidable outside.

Aches and Pains:
My hip has started hurting again (boo!!!!), but if I take some motrin after a run it goes away and leaves me alone.  I probably shouldn't be doing this, but I've decided to just ignore it and push through.  If it gets bad enough I'll do something about it, but while the pain is minor and manageable I'm just going to live with it.

Other interesting news:
I can maintain a "sprint" kind of pace at the end of my runs for over 2 mintues.  woo :)
I'm debating running a 10k on New Years Eve, but since that's Matt's birthday I think I'm going to skip it and do a 5k on New Years Day instead.  We'll see.
I entered the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April.  Not sure I'll get in, but we'll see.

12.06.2013

Project 365: Day 36

Uncle Joey comes over to do some art.
This is one of only 4 pictures I took today.  It's not spectacular by any means, some days are like that.  But it keeps me going on this challenge.

12.05.2013

Project 365: Day 35

I may have a library addiction.
50mm, ISO 400, f/3.5, 1/125
light from the bedroom window to the left of the bed, partially diffused by sheer curtains to keep the shadows looking like they come from one light source.


12.04.2013

Project 365: Day 34

Aaron has such strong focus and intensity when he's trying to figure out how things work.  His coloring sessions are much more about exploring the crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc. than they are about creating any kind of picture.  He has to know how everything works.


50mm, ISO 640, f/3.5, 1/500
Early morning light coming through a window on his left side.  I would have lowered my ISO since I didn't really need such a fast shutter speed for this shot, but since anything not in the direct sun is super dark I needed the flexibility in my shutter in case I wanted to grab something in a darker part of the room.  But I don't really see too much noise in this shot, so it's probably okay.  For the past week or so I've been really trying to keep my ISO below 800 even in low light and I'm surprised by how much I can get that I didn't think I could before.  It's definitely a different kind of look, but I really like it.

High and Low Key





So here our the shots from my last photography class assignment.  One high key, one low key.  Going into this I was most excited about the low key, because I really love the dark, rich tones.  So I thought the high key was going to be the bigger challenge, and I struggled with it at first.  But in the end, I like that one better.  Maybe because I wound up putting a LOT more thought into it.  A crazy amount of thought.  And I probably re-shot the image like 7 times over the two weeks we had to work on it.  And then I had to look through 100s of pictures to pick "the one."  Hundreds of images of soap... when I got to class I was totally second guessing my choice of subject.  I mean, it's a pretty straight on picture of a bar of soap.  Not the most exciting subject matter ever, especially in comparison with some of the really interesting images other people in the class shared.  But in the end it all worked out.  What I was most pleased with is that people understood the image...  my intentions came through!  woo!  It made me ridiculously happy to know that I was able to communicate my ideas successfully with this image.  Which is that I went for a very literal interpretation of high key... clean (hence the subject) and simple.  And I wanted a softer and more inviting take on something clean and simple, which is why the soap is pink (I tried white too, but that made it seem harsh and sterile).

I'm still working at getting a really good low key shot that I love... though the one I took of my teacher and his wife last night is pretty close.

12.03.2013

Project 365: Day 33

Today's picture comes from my photo class session on portrait lighting.  First time I've ever used nice studio lights... and it was really fun to experiment with manipulating the light.  My favorite picture though was of the teacher (Thomas Ramsey) holding a reflector up to bounce some light back onto his wife's face.

12.02.2013

Project 365: Day 32

Getting into the Christmas spirit!

I've been posting a lot of dark/low light pictures.  Partially because I'm trying to figure out how to take good pictures in low light without too much noise. (I've been using a wide open aperture and trying to keep my ISO below 600)  And also partly because I seem to keep finding myself hitting the 4:00 hour and thinking "oops, need to take a picture."  I'm hoping to get some daylight images up for the rest of the week.

Also, I used G+ to edit this a teeny tiny bit because otherwise Dylan's was completely blacked out.  My first edited picture yet.  And G+ has a surprising amount of editing options.

50mm lens, f/1.8, 1/50s, ISO 400

12.01.2013

Project 365: Day 31


Dylan helped me with my photography class assignment tonight.  Here's one of the outtakes, just being silly.