Project 365: Day 120

Dylan has been home sick all week.  Not sure what he had, but aside from having a fever nonstop for 5 days, he was just a little less energetic than usual.  This is Friday, his fever had been gone for close to 24 hours and his energy was back, but I kept him home from school just in case.  He was back to his usual self and while practice his rock star guitar kept asking me to invite his friends over so they could start a band together.  One day, he will be in a band.  One day....


Project 365: Day 119

The day was nearly over before I even took my camera out.  I figured this was a good opportunity to play with my flash.  Aaron was happy to give me his best squishy-face smile while I practiced.


Project 365: Day 118

This may be one of my favorite photos so far.  It has so many elements that I currently love... a flower, sunburst, good focus, low key style (despite the fact that the sun is in the picture).

I picked up a small bouquet of flowers yesterday while grocery shopping specifically because I wanted to take some flower pictures and am tired of waiting for the weather to cooperate.  I took a ton of pictures, trying different angles and such.  And then I caught the sun by chance in one of them.  So for the next shot I intentionally set up for the sunburst, took the picture, and the camera battery died.  Of course by the time the charge was good again, the sun was gone.  But I definitely want to try this more.  I also think it would have been cool if I the whole flower had blocked the sun and been completely backlit (hopefully that's what would have happened anyway).  Now I just have to hope for another bright sunny day before these flowers die so I can try again.


Project 365: Day 116

This shot was for this week's +MacroMonday theme on G+:  In your camera bag.  This roll of film actually was in my bag from our DC trip on Sunday.  Sadly, it didn't get used.  Another time though.


Project 365: Day 115

Today I set a personal running record for farthest distance... 9 miles!!!!  It was a good, but tough run.  I felt really great right up until mile 6 when I ran a slow mile to recover from a quick previous 2 miles and also ran on a different sidewalk than I normally do (a rundown, old, asphalt sidewalk) because the bike trail was super crowded.  I'm not sure if it was the mental aspect of the long run, or the sidewalk itself, but I really felt the impact of each step during that mile and it hurt!  Luckily, no one else was on that sidewalk because I audibly groaned quite a few times.  But I got back on track and felt great through miles 7 and 8.  9 was another tough one because I un-smartly finished my run going up an incline (usually I try my best to avoid that)... it definitely wasn't my fastest mile, but wasn't my slowest either, so I was happy with that.  When I finished I was STARVING and my legs were TIRED.  But other than that I felt an awesome sense of accomplishment.  All in all, I ran with an 11:07 pace, which is great for me :)  So I was thrilled.  Now I just need to stay healthy enough and maintain my current path for 5 more weeks and I'm all set for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.  I can't wait to hit that milestone :)


Project 365: Day 114

 We are having beautiful weather this weekend.  Today it got up around 65 degrees and was nice and sunny.  Which is quite a difference from last weekend when there was a half a foot of snow/ice and temperatures right around freezing.  So I took advantage of the nice day and made a trip into DC with the kids and my brother.  We went to the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum (to say goodbye to the dino bones) and walked around the mall a bit.  I brought three cameras with me...  like a crazy person.  Dylan used the digital a lot, so did my brother.  I tried and failed to finish off the roll of film in my other camera.  And then my brother and I both brought our DIY cameras, though I'm not sure I took anything with mine.  Anyway, all that to say.... we have a lot of pictures from today.  But I am tired and have to go to bed early so I will have enough energy for tomorrow's long run, so this is the only one I'm sharing for now.


Project 365: Day 113

A few years ago I received this really cool stained glass piece for my birthday (thanks Aunt Kathy and Uncle Dave!)  I've been trying to take interesting pictures of it for a while but they just never really seem to come out as great as I want them to.  Today while the kids were eating lunch I just happened to come up with this idea.  There's a little sliver of mirror that caught my reflection and I thought it looked kind of cool.  Like an abstract portrait.  I took nearly 100 pictures of my eyes in the mirror, but in the end I think I like this better.  I just wish I could do something with that big gray blob right below the lips.  I may need to re-edit later.  But for now I'm off to do my 1 hour treadmill run (I can't keep procrastinating). 


Project 365: Day 112

Aaron has been my unknowing test subject lately while I try to figure out how to take a good picture with a wide angle lens.  I really want to use it for more candid lifestyle pictures, but the distortion has been a big problem.  So I took this one at the library today.  It's a set up I've had in mind for a while, but I really wish I had been able to place him one window further right, facing the camera, and reading a book....  that's my vision.  However, Aaron is 21 months old and does not care about my vision, he's too busy running around soaking up the world to play model for mom.  So while this isn't my vision, it's still perfect, because it's Aaron.

Also, I remembered that I can correct some distortion post process which is what I tried to do here and it is MUCH better than the original.  I'm hoping I at least have the vertical and horizontal lines straight (though notice how stretched out that bench in the right corner is... oh well).


Project 365: Day 110

Piano lesson!  I can hardly believe that my piano student is now teaching my son.  He started with me when he was in 5 years old and in kindergarten, and is now in high school.  It hardly seems as if time has gone by at all.  And it really freaks me out when I think about the fact that he started teaching Dylan at age 5, going into kindergarten.  I am going to blink one day and Dylan will be in high school too.

On a technical note...  I definitely have some things to learn about shooting with a wide angle lens.  To start with, distortion.  Which I expected, I'm just trying to figure out how to minimize it.  And now that I can get more of a scene in a frame, I need to figure out how to best compose the shot.  I'm not totally thrilled with this because I think the viewing angle is kind of awkward, I probably should have been more parallel to them.  But I was trying to avoid having a big bright blown out window in the shot.  I'm sure I will try again (luckily the two of them had no problem completely ignoring me while I took a few quick shots).

Looking forward to improving my candids.  I have lots of ideas, it just may take a while to execute them correctly.  But you know, in the meantime... practice practice practice


Project 365: Day 109

Aaron and Eve share a "secret" snack.  Aaron goes crazy for cereal, and he can access our stash all on his own.  I keep thinking that I need to move the boxes elsewhere, but we really don't have anywhere else to put them.  Plus he'd probably just get into some other snack in the cabinet anyway.  And please don't judge our sugary cereal.

Today I got my new 28mm f/1.8 lens!  This is one of the first pictures I took with it.  It's a moment I've wanted to get for a while (it happens often), but was always too tight with my 50m.  I'm really looking forward to trying out new and different things with this lens.  I didn't expect to get it so soon, but it went on sale, and I just couldn't hold out any longer.  I'm hoping that this wider angle will help with getting nicer indoor shots, as well as maybe some landscapes... though I really don't have the first clue as to how to take a good landscape shot.  But now I can at least practice :)


Project 365: Day 108

Dylan received a crystal growing kit for Christmas.  We finally got around to testing it out this weekend (thank you snow days), and this is the result of the first crystal.  Those are about as big as Dylan's fingernails, and took 4 days to grow.  But we did another one tonight that grew instantly (we just couldn't save it).  He's looking forward to trying more of them.  Lots of fun for a future mad scientist!


Project 365: Day 107

The kids played at their grandparent's house today for a little while so Matt and I could do some focused shopping.  I took this when we went to pick them up at the end of the day.  The original picture was really dark, but I still liked it, so I decided to just play around with the editing and come up with something fun.  I like how it turned out, kind of comic book-ish.


Project 365: Day 106

This was such a perfect snowy day.  A good foot and half of snow fell yesterday, and it was cold!  But today was warm and sunny and so the kids and I met some friends at the local playground (which was quite the ordeal to get to).  Both kids had a lot of fun playing in the snow, even if it was way too deep for Aaron to really walk in.  I know a lot of people around here are sick of this weather, but I really wish that every winter were like this.  I hope we get a few more snowfalls before things warm up for good.


Project 365: Day 104

Asparagus with personality.


Project 365: Day 102

I have been in a major photo slump lately.  And to be honest, I haven't been taking a picture everyday this month so far.  I totally feel like I've taken every picture I could possibly think to take at this point, so I just haven't been doing much.... other than sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike.  Then I read a photo book and the photographer talked about doing the exact opposite of what I was doing.  Instead of waiting on inspiration, just start working... that's when inspiration hits.  So I took out my camera and found a random object to take pictures of... a small peppermint candy, which looked terrible, so I tried something different, and different, and made a few changes...  and somehow ended up with some decent fruit still life pictures that I'm REALLY happy with (despite some imperfections, though that just makes me want to try again).  Hopefully I'm out of my rut.


Project 365: Day 95

Abstract macro images of my piano's strings.


Recent Self Portraits (in place of days 93 and 94)

I did quite a bit of self portrait practice during January.  These are all really moody, which is kind of how I felt a lot, and seemed to work well with the winter light.  I still feel really uncomfortable making eye contact, but that just gives me something to work on.