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Showing posts from 2013

Project 365: Day 61

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Project 365: Day 60

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Project 365: Day 59

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Project 365: Day 58

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Project 365: Day 57

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Project 365: Day 56

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Project 365: Day 55

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Merry Christmas!


Project 365: Day 54

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Merry Christmas Eve.

Project 365: Day 53

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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.

Getting Caught Up on the 365: Day 52

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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.

Project 365: Day 51

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Cookie decorating at my mom's house today.

Project 365: Day 50

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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

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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.

Project 365: Day 48

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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.

Project 365: Day 47

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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.

Project 365: Day 46

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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.

Project 365: Day 45

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This year's tree topper:


Project 365: Day 44

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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

Project 365: Day 43

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

Project 365: Day 42

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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.

Project 365: Day 41

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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

The Trouble With Editing Photos Is...

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


Here's an example:





 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

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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

Project 365: Day 39

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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.

Project 365: Day 38

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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

Project 365: Day 37

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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 witho…

Project 365: Day 36

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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.

Project 365: Day 35

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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.

Project 365: Day 34

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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

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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 i…

Project 365: Day 33

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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.

Project 365: Day 32

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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

Project 365: Day 31

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

Project 365: Day 30

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Yay!  I made it through the whole first month of this project!!  My postings may have been late at times, but I did manage to actually take a picture everyday (usually I took closer to 100 pictures everyday).  Excited to keep this project going.  Hopefully my images will improve by the end of the year.

Project 365: Day 29

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Happy Black Friday!  It's a tradition to go out bright and early (dark and early) on Friday morning with my mom and sisters so we can get a free Mickey Mouse snowglobe at JCPenny, some coffee, and then do some shopping.  This year Aaron got to come with us.  I have been trying to get over my shyness when it comes to taking pictures in public spaces, so I took a brave 10 pictures while we were out.  Except that putting all my energy into taking these pictures in the first place apparently left nothing for my brain to think about anything important like good composition (hello "Free ATMs" sign and leaning building).  Baby steps though.

Project 365: Day 28

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Happy Thanksgiving!  I had the best of intentions for taking a great family photo today to show what I am most thankful for.  But unfortunately, that just didn't happen.  Instead I wound up grabbing my camera and shooting in the dark at the end of the day when I remembered that I needed to put the trash and recycling out.  This was the best of the 5 shots I took all day.

Project 365: Day 27

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I know it's really hard to see, but this was one of the first light snows of the season.  It didn't snow for long and nothing stuck, but it was still wonderful for us anyway.

In Which I Finally Admit It To Myself

I'm giving up on piano.  Not in the sense that I'll never play again; I love sitting at the piano and working on music, and I'll still do that.  But in the sense that I have finally accepted the fact that I'm not going to be as good as I'd like to be.  For some reason this has not been an easy thing to admit to myself.  The fact of the matter though, is that I have invested a lot of time and effort and money into learning to play and learning about music (hello college degree).  And I really want to be a competent musician.  Not a world class performer, but you know, I think I should be able to successfully accompany a church choir at this point (I have accompanied church choirs in my past, but successfully?  no).  Or play through an intermediate piece of music without much practice.  But I can't.  I can play an early advanced piece with a few months of practice though.  It takes months, and that intermediate piece, that probably takes a few weeks.  Way longer …

Project 365: Day 26

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A rainy, cold, dark night.

Project 365: Day 25

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This was just a "let me see how these settings are" shot before I took the actual planned shot.  So I pointed the camera off at nothing and fired away.  But I kind of like it.  I'm collecting shots of pictures of my house with no people.  Kind of like still life or actually more like empty life pictures.  I think I may add this one to the mix.

Project 365: Day 24

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I feel like most of my pictures lately have just been practicing and trying different things.  The result isn't as important right now as the process.  One day I'll be able to focus on the actual image more.  Despite how dark this is, I took it in a well it room at about noon today.  But when significantly underexposed it looks dark and moody.  I really wanted to do this same kind of shot on the stairs, but I messed up the timing with the way the light comes through my windows which caused me to miss the opportunity, so I'll have to try again another day.

Project 365: Day 23

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I didn't take many pictures today.  But I did manage to get one of a beautiful sunset... while in the car (Matt was driving).




Project 365: Day 22

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Things I Pay Attention To (whether I want to or not)

You know how there are things that you never noticed until someone points it out... and then you see it everywhere.  And you can't go back to NOT noticing it.  Here are some of the things in my life that I never noticed, and probably never would have noticed, had someone not pointed them out to me.

MusicPart 1:  Okay, I notice a lot in music, because I studied for so long, so I'm not going to list everything.  But the only thing I can never turn off, and that I figure out in the back of my mind without even putting any real thought into is the meter of a song.  And if it's in anything other than common time, I will most definitely comment on it.  If you have ever listened to music with me and I point out how "hey, this song is in 3/4"  "or hey look a song in 6/8, that almost never happens with stuff on the radio" you've gotten a little glimpse of what my brain does to every song, every time.  Also, if there is ever a meter change or complex rhythm l…

Project 365: Day 21

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I kind of took it easy with the camera today.  I got a few cute shots of the kids doing their thing, but I'm trying not to over do it with kid shots.  So here is my sharing picture.  I took this while looking for inspiration for my upcoming photo class assignment: one high key, one low key.  I could probably use this as is for the high key, but I'm going to try and do a few things on another to see if I can make it better and add a little to make it a bit more interesting, I just have to wait for more light.  But this is a good start, I see potential.  Hopefully I'm not wrong.