Showing posts from June, 2013

Self Portrait: An Early Attempt

I've been trying to take some occasional self portraits here and there.  Not so much because I think I make an awesome photo model, I feel super self conscious and weird, but I think it's good practice, especially when I have to use my tripod.

This was taken in October/November, before I really knew anything about anything and was just playing around with the camera a lot.  I want to use this to compare more recent and future shots....  looking away from the camera because looking right at the camera felt awkward and uncomfortable (though now I think "what the heck was I supposed to be looking at in this picture????  --real life answer:  anything but the camera... because it's scary).  Actually looking at the camera felt fine, but looking at the images of myself looking at the camera felt really awkward and uncomfortable.  I still need to work on that.

Photography Fears: Setting my own White Balance

I played around with White Balance last night.  I didn't really know what I was doing, but even with that taken into consideration I think I'm on the right track for figuring out how to get a better white balance.  All part of my effort to get my pictures better SOOC.  Though WB is one of the easier adjustments to make on a raw file, but I still think this is a good thing for me to figure out.

These were all taken in my living room at about 9pm, so the only source of light is from our ceiling fan lights... normally all of the pictures would be very yellow.  From what I've read sometimes you can adjust the Kelvin levels on your camera to get a very specific white balance.  As far as I could tell, my camera doesn't have the feature.  So instead I used a picture of our freshly painted and very empty white wall in the living room to customize my WB.  Here we go:

Camera set to Auto WB.  The best option from the presets, but still really really yellow.
With everything else t…

Running Update

So I already broke the news on Facebook, but I'll go into a little more detail here...

I've decided not to run the Leesburg 20k this year.  It was a tough call to make.  I've been thinking about it for a few weeks now... I know I'm not ready for it.  But I thought that if I just ignored that, I'd be able to push through and do it anyway.  Unfortunately my body doesn't work that way.  I've been having pain in my left leg (knee and hip) for the last few weeks, I haven't managed to hit 8 miles on my last 3 attempts for various reasons (this week my body just started walking after 5.5 miles-- and there was nothing I could do about it), and time is just not on my side.  Despite starting to run in March, it just wasn't enough time to really prepare.  I'm sure that I could run/walk it.  But I just don't really see the point of that.  I mean, I can walk 12.4 miles today...  it's not very hard, so where's the accomplishment in that?  I really…

Aaron at One: Playing in the Living Room

We spend a good amount of our time playing in the living room.  On this particular day Dylan and Matt had gone out to a baseball game so it was just me and Aaron for the evening.  Nothing significant happened, but I wanted to grab a few shots not just of him doing his typical one year old thing, but of me playing with him (which was hard because I couldn't really see where the frame was, and I used my 50mm, so a lot of the shots didn't turn out...  A wide angle lens is on the top of my "next to purchase" list) Moms need to be photographed too. :)

This nice clean space won't last long.

 Playing with Woofie and some trucks.

 It gets messy quickly.

Now time to cruise up and down the couch.

Going back for round two... got a little distracted by the library book.
Sizing up his course.
Look at that happiness :)

 Happy to catch mom!

Aaron's new favorite place to play is on the fireplace.  He is not supposed to be doing this, but I haven't figured out a way to st…


A couple random things going through my head:

First- The house is currently getting repainted.  No more dark pink and dark yellow walls for us!  I'm so excited to see how much bigger and brighter the house will look once it's done.  We're also having our bedroom painted since it was still the builder's white (despite the house being 15+ years old).  We got a great deal from a company and even though Matt is fully capable of painting the house, I decided to hire them.  He just doesn't need to take time off work to do this, and this way it will be done in 2 days.  Although that means I'm stuck in the basement with the kids for 2 days.  But this is probably far less painful that a slow ongoing process of trying to do the work ourselves.

Second- While we were waiting for the painters today Matt and I were talking about random vacation-y things.  Two ideas came up kind of in passing....  and I'm holding Matt to them.  We both said that it would be fun to take a …

Dylan at Five: Piano Lessons

Last week Dylan started piano lesson.  I'm not his teacher... instead he's being taught by my longtime piano student for the summer.  I figured this would make the lessons more fun for Dylan and I also think it's a great learning experience for my piano student.  And so far Dylan really loves it.  He's so excited to practice his songs that sometimes I have to stop him from playing (usually because someone is sleeping).  But he's doing a great job so far.  I hope he keeps up with it, I enjoy sharing this part of my life with him...  kind of like Matt does with baseball.  But if he winds up not liking it, that's fine too.  I just figured that since he has a piano teacher for a mom I should probably at least give him an opportunity to learn.

Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart watch on.

Working on his steady beats.

Love the fading tatoo on his hand while he practice.

Taking after mom... he loves the theory book.

Good hand position.

Aaron wanted in on the fun... a brotherl…

Arts and Library stuff revisited

I'm currently creating a metadata keyword scheme for my photo library.  It is re-awakening all sorts of memories from my library school/art library days.  For reasons such as this...

While googling to find examples of keyword schemes (because I don't want to have to redo mine in the future when I find "a better way") I was eventually directed to the Library of Congress's Thesaurus for Graphic Materials:  Subject Terms page.  It is definitely informative although waaaaaay more comprehensive than I need to be for my little photo library.  But it's still fun to read, and i honestly dont think I've even been on the LOC website since I graduated.  However, I stumbled upon this, and I have to say that it is SOOOO far off from what abstract art is, that I'm a little annoyed.  (This isn't meant to be their definitive definition, its just mentioned in part of the write up that talks about how to decide what is in an image):   "The most obvious excepti…

Aaron at One: Sleeping

It's hard to capture this.  Mostly because I don't want to wake him up with my camera noise, but also because he usually sleeps in a very dark room, even for naps.  But the other day he missed a nap and then we had to go out.  By the time we got to our destination, he was, of course, asleep.  I had my camera with me and took advantage of the situation.

Happy #floralfriday

A few weeks ago I got talked into joining G+ for photo sharing.  And I am really glad I did.  It's so fun to look at everyone's photography.  Some of the people who participate are AMAZING.  I also like that there are ongoing photo prompts that even an amateur like me can participate in.  All in good fun.  At the moment I'm only really active in 3 things:  the food photography community, #macromonday, and #floralfriday.   I'm so happy to have photoshop up and running so I can make finishing touches on my photos before I share them.

My real favorite is Friday because everyone posts their flower pictures.  I love looking through all of them because it's fun and seeing all the beautiful flowers makes me happy!  And also I love getting ideas for new ways to shoot flowers.

So in the spirit of Floral Friday, here are a few of my favorites...

Happy #floralfriday!

9 Year Anniversary

Matt and I have been married for 9 years today.  NINE years.  That's a long time, and I feel like it puts us in a new phase of our relationship... not sure what it's called, I wouldn't say we're an "old married couple"  I think we need many more years before we can take that label (I'm looking forward to it), but we are definitely in some new part of our lives.  Maybe it should just be called the Parents-of-Little-Ones phase.  It is probably hardest and also most rewarding part of our relationship yet.  Since this momentous occasion occurred on a Wednesday, we didn't do much to celebrate today.  In fact, we aren't really occasion-celebraters, but an anniversary is a good way to guilt out a babysitter, so we are taking advantage of that and going out on Friday :)  I think we'll have dinner and see a movie.  I remember at the beginning of our marriage when that was just a regular thing... now it's a special event.  Something we haven't d…