Saturday, March 7, 2009

Generation Celebration

(ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/1250. Overcast day. Sorry for the watermark- it's a client image.)

I find some of the greatest celebrations are the simplest. Like a merry go round.


Happy Birthday Buddy

My son turned 2 years old on Thursday and his birthday party was today. So we are celebrating his birthday and I am celebrating the fact that he is in our lives!
Manual settings on camera with flash on. Cropped and color adjusted in photoshop then I added texture.


Today, my kids and I were celebrating the apparent start of Spring, as it was in the upper 70s today here in southern NC! We went out for some fresh air and sunshine to our park and this was my favorite picture snapped there. My sweet baby boy's chocolate brown converse shoe.

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/200- I took this is manual mode with no flash - and in photoshop, I sharpened and brightened somewhat.


Celebrate Being a Girl

nikonD90 f5.3 1/30 ISO200 62mm no flash b/w in photoshop

Since I'm not celebrating anything this weekend, I thought I'd take a picture of something I celebrate every day... my daughter, Aubrey. There are so many things to celebrate about her. She was my firstborn, so in her I celebrate the beginning of motherhood. She is growing up so fast that every time I look at her, I celebrate the beginning of womanhood. And, since she is my only daughter, we can celebrate being girls together.


p.s. This picture, and others, look better blown up a little. If you click on the picture, it will be bigger. If it's too big, just press ctrl - (minus) until it's the right size to view. I like to do this with other people's pictures, so I thought I'd share the idea!

CHALLENGE: Celebration

It's my birthday weekend, and I thought it fitting for the challenge this week to be:


Anyone else celebrating a birthday?? Or do you have another reason to celebrate? I can't wait to see how you interpret this word!

Put those creative caps on and let's see what you come up with! As always, PICTURES SUBMITTED BY SUNDAY AT MIDNIGHT. :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

2 Easy Tips

For my Friday Feature, I wanted to share 2 Easy Tips that will instantly help anyone be a better photographer! These are not by any means the only two things... there are a lot more "rules" that I'm hoping others will share later. (I didn't want to cover every topic in one week! ;) I know that some of you have these tips down to a science, and are way above and beyond me, but they're good things to remember anyway.

So, what are these magical tips, you say?

1: Fill the Frame

2: Get Down, Baby!

I know, now you want to know what those mean!

Fill the frame means to get in close to your subject. You want to give your audience a front row seat, not a back of the balcony seat! Your subject should touch the edges of the frame, or close to the edges, and sometimes go outside the edge of the frame. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but most of the time this will make the difference between a snapshot and a photograph!

Get Down... don't take all of your pictures from your standing-up level. Try EVERY angle and level, and most of the time you'll find that getting on the level of your subject is the best (yes, again, there are exceptions!!). When I take pictures I find myself laying on the floor a lot. If you're not willing to do that, you'll miss a lot of interesting pictures.

Let me demonstrate these tips with a few pictures... please know that I'm not saying these are perfect examples... I am learning along with the rest of you!

Hmm... a picture of some flowers in a vase. Not that interesting, is it?

If I move in close, and FILL the frame with the flowers, it brings in a whole new perspective! It also eliminates other clutter that takes away from what you're focusing on.

Say I wanted to take some pictures of my measuring cups (everyone wants to take pictures of their measuring cups, right? ;) This picture makes me yawn... who cares about my worn ugly table?

Look at what a difference it makes when I fill the frame here! I also GOT DOWN, so I wasn't looking at them from the usual persective. (That's what makes getting down so great... it gives your audience a view different from how they usually see things, which makes it much more interesting!)

For this shot I got down even more, so I was really on the level of the cups. It might not be the best angle, but it's something different. It never hurts to try!

These tips also apply to taking pictures of people! You'll usually want to get on the level of their eyes (uh huh, exceptions happen all the time! ), so if it's a little one, get down to their level! :) (Pictures are of my three munchkins that I took a couple of months ago.)

So, go out and try taking a few pictures with those tips... you'll like the results!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


We have been gone all day so I apologize for not commenting on all the great pictures this week quite yet. I will have more time tomorrow, promise!

Took this picture today at a Children's Museum in Pittsburgh. There were so many vibrant colors, but I fell in love with the streamers hanging from the ceiling in the art room.

ISO 220, f9.0, 1/30 sec

Birthday Boy

It is my sons second birthday so between planning his party and making sure today was a fun day I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to get a great picture. We took him to Classic Fun Center in Layton to play on the blow up things and I got this one, it's not perfect but I do like the colors and that you can tell how much fun my boys were having together.

My cameras was just on manual settings and I had to fix it up as much as I could on photo shop because it was even more blurry than it is now.

Orange and Green

I took this on my kitchen stove using the range hood light and the flash on my camera. I only have a point and shoot so, nothing fancy was done.


So, this one isnt great. My mom's tulips. I obviously blkd out the bkgrd and kept the tulips in color. It was challenging, no fancy settings though.

The Color in His Eyes

I absolutely LOVE my husbands eyes; I think they're simply gorgeous! And what I love best about them is that they are tri-colored--green, blue, and brown. So, naturally, these were what came to my mind when I thought about "COLORS."

(I used a Nikon D-40, auto mode, no flash, with natural light, then slightly cropped the picture.) CC


Okay, it wasn't the most fantastic sunset, but after taking pictures of several other things (and Teri, I'm with you on the lack of spring for another 6 weeks) before asking my hubby what his favorite was. So this is it: a sunset through shadowed trees. I did like that there is some shading from yellow to dusky purple. The only technical changes I made were cropping and "I'm feeling Lucky" on Picasa.

Colors: Machine wash cold

I'd had something else in mind when I saw this challenge, but I took my camera with me when I went to Sam's Club yesterday. I snapped a few photos in the warehouse, not particularly loving any of them. I started looking at them this afternoon, and this one eventually grew on me. I cropped it down to have only the Gain laundry detergent in it (which isn't even my brand), and then I just "auto correct"-ed in Microsoft Office Picture Manager, which brightened the colors even more.

I think the reason this grew on me is because (1) the box is very bright and colorful itself, but also, (2) a good laundry detergent will help keep your colors bright and last longer! (I sound like a commercial.)


The Color Blue

I tried my best to find any hint of Spring so I could post a colorful picture but let's face it, I live in North Idaho and we are not going to see any kind of color until the end of April, So I had to find something colorful in my house and this littlest member of our family has beautiful blue eyes so I chose her as my topic for Color.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spring Colors

The colors of spring I can hardly wait for my yard to be full of beautiful flowers.

flash of color

against all the dead winter grass etc., i was intrigued by the life and energy that surrounded this colorful skirt.

Don't Lose Your Marbles

I was looking outside at my colorless, dreary world, wondering what on earth I was going to take a picture of. Then... the marble game caught my eye. Aha! Color!

I added the second picture because my husband liked it better. I've got to please everyone, right? ;)

Color in here

I wanted to think out of the box and went for the bowl. Toilet bowl. Sorry it is grows but its true. A lot of things of different colors go in here. So here is food coloring not flushed let sit for about 1 minute. I took several angles but the light refracted with a glare. This one was less so. I used a picture editor to sharpen, saturate more color. No flash. CC on the taking of the photo not on how gross that many be, please lol :)Posted by Picasa

Lotsa Color!

This is my daughter's basket of bows. I made them all, I must've made 5,000 bows for her since she was born. I love it!
I shot this picture with my 50 mm lens, f/5, ISO 400


Okay fellow photographers in training. It's time for another challenge! The white of winter is hopefully fading and we are being surrounded with spring and new life. That's where this challenge come in...

It should be pretty easy--COLORS

What does this mean to you? How does this word maek you feel?

Let's see this challenge really come to life! It should be a good one!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Sorry this is so behind. My little superhero has been so sick. He was even in the hospital for a day. Not fun at all. He is getting better. It has been a long week. I apologize, but this picture was taken before he got sick. He hasn't been too picture happy this week, so I had to use one that I had already taken. He took this costume from his "build a bear" and wanted to wear it, so I put it on him. I think he's a pretty cute superhero. He is also my little hero. We all have many heros, and he is one of mine.
Camera used:
Sony Super steady shot (cyber-shot)
12x optical zoom

Monday, March 2, 2009

Airmen Waggoner

This is a picture of my hubby's cold weather coat. He is in the Air Force. His job is to put the bomb on the airplanes. The airplanes don't care if it's -40 outside. Neither do the big bosses. When they say the bombs have to do loaded, they have to be loaded. Rain, snow, freezing weather. My hubby and all the other servicemen of the military are my heroes. They put in the 12 hour shifts for less money than McDonald's workers.

I took this with overhead light with 0"8, F5.6 and ISO400. I was trying to focus on the Waggoner to make that stand out more.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Hero

I almost didn't do this post. It just wasn't working for me, and it's a sensitive subject. This is my dad. He's my hero. He died while on a Mission to Peru at the age of 67. He loved music (I had to use m y guitar that he borrowed from me, though, he was a violin player...but I don't have a the guitar will have to do) and he loved walking sticks. This is his special walking stick. And this is a painting of him. He was the best example of being a hero I have ever known. He welcomed anyone into our home, and they'd leave with arms full of any food we had. He was a perfect example of what a Hero should be.
Abt the pic:
Taken with Canon XTI Rebel
Iso 100
4" at F5.6
Lamp Light
"Aged effect" to make it feel more timeless
I think it feels a little "Flat" but not sure how to fix that. Any suggestions welcome.
CC always welcome

Hero (and Fresh . . . sorry!)

My Hero: My Grandpa

He has saved me a number of times and I love him more than anything. Since I couldn't get the real thing this weekend, I took a picture of something I have always associated with him: his cowboy boots. He wears them everywhere. When I was little, I would dress up in them.

34 mm, ISO 640, 1/60 sec, F 4.2

A Fresh Perspective

Now I know that Rach has asked us all to try to post our challenges in a timely manner. But during the week I work really long hours and by the time I get home it's dark and I would rather do things like eat dinner and cuddle with my husband than take pictures. So I try to catch up on the weekends. If this detracts from anyone's creative process, then I will not do it anymore. Just let me know.

26 mm, ISO 640, 1/200, F 25

This picture was taken in a light room with a bunch of distracting objects and colors in the background. I had read about this technique where you use a remote flash and really low light settings to underexpose the background and create a black, abyss-like background. It took a lot of trial and error to get this picture (and I am still not completely happy with it), but this is a neat technique to have in you bag of tricks. What I learned: (1) play around with the intensity of the remote flash. The article recommended 1/1, but it looked nuclear. 1/50 worked much better. (2) Don't play around with the intensity of the flash with your husband unless you intend to blind him. :) CC

A good man!

Well like many of you my husband is my hero. He has given me everything I have ever wanted and more! So since he isn't here to take a picture of... I took one of his tools, because its part of who he is!!

okay and I'm new to this stuff so if I do it wrong, tell me! (ISO 400, F5.6, 1/10 sec)


I took these pics at the Vetran's Cemetary here in my town. Looking at the one where my kids are running, it is sobering how many have lost their lives fighting for our freedom.

Quite Unheroic

This is our cat Finn.
He is such a scaredy cat. He runs away from everything. He even runs away when he sees a bug crawling across the floor. He is terrified of our oldest daughter, who just wants to love him, but likes our youngest daughter who wants to torture him. Go figure.
He lives under the desk and under the bed most days.

He isn't very photogenic. He kept giving me red eye. This was the best shot I could get of him without him looking evil :)

My Hero My Hubby

My husband is my hero. He is amazing and so good to me and our son. He bought me roses just because he loves me a week or so ago and I had to get one more picture before they die all the way.
I just took it with the auto setting on my camera and had the lights on in the living room.

The forgotten hero

My son used to LOVE Woody...he was THE ULTIMATE hero.

UNTIL we found Buzz Lightyear at a garage sale.

Our poor forgotten hero.

Took this under a lamp, no other light. Setup on a mirror just to add some interest. :)

ISO 3200, F 8.0, 1/20 second

Super Heros

These are my some of  sons super heros. I had just put in a closet organizer, he had been cleaning his room, and I walked in to his room to find these on the shelf all set up. 
Some specs on the pic are, iso 800; shutter 1/15; F 5.3, and taken in manual.


My hero is someone who isn't afraid to express themselves.

Request for topic

Do you ever see something that you just would LOVE to take a picture of but we haven't had a challenge to cover it??

PLEASE feel free to request a particular topic at any time! I am happy to put it in. Just shoot me an email, or leave a comment here and I will get it lined up for the challenge. My email is on the sidebar.

Thanks again everyone for participating! You are all doing an amazing job!


I don't have the technical specs on this, but it was taken on my kitchen table with natural light; sepia setting on camera; just a little bit of cropping.

This is a list of names that I am entering for family history work. My progenitors are my heroes. I seek to have their faith, endurance, capacity to love, and ability to stay true. Working on their histories and doing their work helps me love them even more.

The other side of this story is that my father does the initial leg work to extract the names. He doesn't type very fast, and where I type 74ish wpm, it works out for me to put them in PAF(plus, not very many people can read his handwriting...). It has also brought me closer to him. He has been my hero for many years, and the more I know of him, the more that title fits.


A Giant Among Men

Lucky for me this challenge coincided with our Stake Conference, which was held at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square (how awesome is it to live in Salt Lake!). I took the opportunity to walk around and take pictures of some of the beautiful statues that are situated throughout the square.

This is a statue of Joseph Smith, one of my personal heroes.


Hero: WAAAAAY out of the box

I almost feel sacrilegious posting something so flippant for this topic, but it's what I've got. This is the book I'm currently reading for my book group. I chose it, and I'm unbelievably excited to read it. I am feeling so nerdy. I chose it for "hero" because anyone who writes a book on the ill-fated consequences of poorly used punctuation is a hero in my book (get it? in my book?). Sorry. I'm a bad pun waiting to happen.

About the photo: I placed the book inside a nook in my coffee table, pulled the table out from the window so that I could get in front of it in the natural light. I took a series of shots, then picked my favorite. I sharpened the image, so the lines on the text are cleaner, and the texture of the book cover shows up a little bit. I darkened the shadow so that the reflection was still there, but not nearly as distracting as it had been before.

(EDIT: I forgot to add CC.)

Everyday Hero

What you call a hero, I call just doing my job. ~Author Unknown

I took this in natural lighting, outside. I brought it back to my Picasa program, cropped, 'warmed', and gave it a 'glow'. I happen to like the sunlight falling between the flag and the tribute, though it was an accident.
This is a mosaic at a local firestation that I've fallen in love with (the mosaic). Thanks, Rachel, for accomadating me and choosing a topic like this so I could make an excuse to get out there and take a picture!

My Favorites

f4.8 1/25 iso200 no flash pp in photoshop
My grandma is a model of love, efficiency, resiliency, and faith. She has survived breast cancer, cooked 5 course meals in minutes, taught me to quilt, gone on four missions to foreign countries...she is my hero in so many ways! Since I couldn't take a picture of her, I took a picture of the cookbook she made for me, that is (obviously) well used! That is her handwriting on the front.