Saturday, April 4, 2009

Me Doing My Thing

The girl in the mirror... Yes, that's me... in motion... doing my thing with my favorite inanimate object... my camera.

Today was my sister's prom, so I basically followed her the whole day and did a massive shoot for her to document her prom. The girl doing the make-up in the picture is also my sister. And she's in motion too... doing her cosmetologist thing...

ISO 200, f/2.5, 1/80

In photoshop, I did a color boost and added a low contrast vignette.


Thanks to Teri for suggesting this word! I think it's a great one!

Challenge this fine weekend is: MOTION

What does this word mean to you???

Let's see it!

...and as a reminder, please make sure your pictures are takin within the time period that the challenge is given. (in other words, take your picture AFTER reading this challenge) Those are the rules and that's what makes this challenge fun! :)

Pictures in by tomorrow night at midnight.

And the winners are.....

Can you believe I am actually posting the winners early this time? Thanks to my 4 a.m. wakeup call courtesy of my sweet little boy, I had some "spare" time this morning. :)

So here are the winners!

Best take on the challenge went to Jackie for her "smokin' cigarette" picture. That was definitely worth of a no smoking poster! :)

And the best overall went to Rachel for her tricky paint picture. Thanks guys for your vote. There are so many great pictures that I thought I would never make the cut!

Another challenge on it's way! Can't wait to see what you come up with this weekend!

P.S. WE NEED SOME MORE FRIDAY FEATURE SIGNUPS! Time has flown by and we are ready to fill another month's worth of spots. Please sign up in the comments if you are willing to post something. It can be simple--there is lots of good info out there that you can share, and it will help you learn in the process. You don't have to be a pro to post, promise!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Time to vote!

What a great challenge everyone! There were some really fabulous pictures and I just love how you are stepping it up and really putting forth your best. That makes this blog more fun!

So let's get voting.

Remember to put:

And then all your shoutouts and other comments. :)

Thanks everyone for sharing your beautiful art!


Feature Friday: Capturing Moods

I am by no means a photography expert. I like to think of myself as Photoshop expert, and had planned on doing a photoshop tutorial. BUT, my husband took my laptop (and my photoshop) with him on a two month internship. So I have no photoshop to work with right now.

So instead, I'm gonna paraphrase a section from one of my favorite books: The Joy of Digital Photography, by Jeff Wignall. It's not a super technical book, but it's FABULOUS for giving me ideas of new things to try.

So here's what I learned about capturing moods from him:

- Since people's facial expressions are the most obvious indicators of mood, the best way to emphasize mood is to zoom in and fill the frame with only the face.
- Focus on the eyes, as they are the window to the soul.
- Shallow depth of field (low f stop) will also help increase the sense of mood by drawing more attention to the expression.

- That being said, don't underestimate the importance of body language!

- Direct quote: "Lighting, in both color and quality, plays an important role in establishing mood. Bright, warm, early morning sun lends warmth and well-being while the cool tones of an overcast day instills melancholy."

-Use the setting to your advantage. Choose carefully how much of the setting you include in the frame. Another direct quote: "By including lots of space around your teenage daughter sitting alone on a rock jetty, you heighten her brooding. By moving in tightly on a granddaughter whispering a secret to her grandfather, but still showing the rocking chair they're nestled in, you use the chair to enhance the intimate and trusting mood of that moment. Would a chaise lounge or a bar stool evoke emotions as powerful as a rocking chair? Unlikely."

Well, I hope that gives you something to contemplate in your next shoot! And please feel free to CC any of my photos here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I to like Mindy have a addiction to running. Call me crazy, but I love it.  I first became a addict when in high school. I ran track and cross country, and loved it from the start. 
It's an addiction when you keep running even though you have blisters, when you go to the mall and the first store you go to is Lady Foot Locker or the running store down the street just to see if they have anything new, when you have 6 or 7  of shoes you never wear but don't want to get rid of them, when you want to run more marathons just to see if you can beat your time, when you add a mile to your run every week just to see if you can go farther, and you wake up at 4:30 just to get in a run.
This photo is of my newer pair of shoes and with my two running bibs from my half marathon, and my full marathon. I ran a vivid action in elements and turned off all the layers but the urban layer. Taken in manual mode, ISO: 200 F:4.8  Shutter 1/4

Addiction: Orangutan

I am addicted to Orangutans. I have been as long as I can remember. I just got back from visiting my sister and we went to the zoo with the kids. I was so excited to go see the orangutans. My sister stood with the kids while I watched the monkeys play for awhile. I think I was more excited to see these guys then the kids were.

Addiction: Blueberries

This photo does double duty with this challenge. My true addiction is taking pictures of my daughter. Wanting to expand my horizons, I decided to take a picture of my daughter's addiction. She absolutely loves blueberries. They are her favorite food, bar none.

About the photo: This photo is straight out of the camera, save a little cropping. No lighting or color corrections.


Cookbook Addiction

I am addicted to collecting cookbooks and recipes. This is just a small sampling of my extensive collection. Most were from the thrift store, or given to me free, because I also have an addiction to getting things cheap!

Battle of the Bulge

I wanted to take a photo of the aftermath, per se, of my addiction. Namely I am incredibly addicted to dessert. I love cookies and brownies and cheesecake and ice cream. Plus I eat way too much of them. I try not to have them in the house at all because then I won't eat them. I hardly ever bake anymore because I have absolutely no self control. That being said, I started an exercise regimen in November and I've been really good at keeping on top of it. I've lost 25 pounds so far and other than a set back or two (like my SIL's peanut butter truffle brownies!) I'm doing well to beat back my bulges!

How I did it!

For those wondering how I did my picture, I took another picture from farther away so that it might make more sense. :)
I put my paint in a pyramid, but had to keep the bottom row pushed between 2 pieces of wood I have sitting around. The other 3 paint cans I had laying on the ground (there are only 2 in this picture.) The way the sun was shining caused my shadow to be cast over the paint cans when I took it (for the challenge) and so it looks like a dark background. I stood directly over the setup and looked down at it.
Does this make more sense?

Crafty Addiction

I have a huge addiction to anything scrapbooking or quilting.
I just love working with my hands and creating things.
I also like spending money. It all works hand and hand :)

Totally Addicted to Jane...

Austen, that is. I own 5 of her 6 novels, 4 versions of the movie Pride & Prejudice, and at least one version of each of her other novels made into movies. I've read books about her, books written in the style of her, and books based on the "craze" created by her. So, yea, it's an addiction. =)

I wish I could have taken this picture without flash and have it still been in focus. But I couldn't, so here it is taken in auto mode with flash, and then with the brightness and contrast adjusted to give it back some color and take away a little of the glare. I like this shot (even though several others turned out better technically) because I think it shows the extent of my "addiction"...

Shoe Addict

I'm addicted to shoes!  The first step is addmitting it.  I have it mostly under control, and I'm not as bad as I used to be, but its hard to pass on some really cute ones!  
(ISO 400, F5.6, 1/20 sec) Window light, shaded.
Used photshop to: B&W, Singnature, Border, and croped it square.

Running Away

Can running be an addiction? You bet. You get a high... you think about it a lot... you envy others when you see them running... you spend a lot of money on it (yes, I have a lot of shoes)... when you have to stop you go through withdrawals (dang foot and knee!!!)... you do it even though sometimes it's actually bad for you... you constantly push your body's limits... AND other people think you're insane for doing it. Sounds like an addiction to me. ;)

Addicted to paint...

If you read my blog at all, you will know I have a spray paint addiction! I love to redo furniture and all sorts of other projects. And I always do it with spray paint! It's the BEST--the EASIEST--and the most CONVENIENT option for me!

I took this picture standing over a pyramid of spray paint and the other 3 cans. It was on a dark brown drop cloth that I had been painting. It looks like I photoshopped one set in, but in actuality I didn't. Just took it looking directly down at them.

Taken in my garage with only natural light.
(dang it, just realized my ISO was high again from my last photos. Darn it!)
ISO 1250, f5.3, 1/2000 second

Ran a color boost in Adobe Lightroom.

Clean Freak!

My son is addicted to baths. He LOVES them. He would take two or three a day if I would let him! It's a good thing too... he's a very messy boy!
The lighting was bad, so I toned down the color temp and saturation just a little to soften it a bit.
-CC- Name is Melinda and I have a Twilight reading problem...

This book, while I resisted it at first, sucked me in. I don't think I'm quite as addicted to it as I am to the Anne of Green Gables series, but it's a close second. I really enjoy being pulled into another world, especially one so alluring as this.
I only cropped and added a little of saturation. I played with b/w, but I really wanted to keep the red apple and I don't happen to have a camera or program with that ability.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Addicted or Just Engrained?

This is an unused toilet converted into a drinking fountain? Are you addicted to water, clean and things that just look good or are you like the elephant from Tarzan "are you sure this water is sanitary, it looks questionable to me". My wife and kids are addicted to water they always have water near them.
There was a really bright light over this on the right hand side, no flash 320 ISO no enhancements cept cropping out extra background. The light helped backout the background which I experimented with though I didnt want one side light causes too much light, but Im learning! CC
Addicted to cake!

Wrapped around his little finger

I am addicted to my son, he is perfect. He was drawing on the front door with a pencil and when my husband caught him he looked right at my husband and said "Please don't spank me daddy."
How could you be mad at that? I told you pure addicting perfection. When I was taking this picture he was so annoyed that the paint brushes were dry. He thought he was going to really paint and kept saying "they need water!"

Also I might be a little addicted to Photoshop CS but only a little:)

I'm a Loreal Girl


I love buying makeup, it is one of my many that crazy or what? I went to Target tonight to take pictures of my addictions and this one turned out the best. I just love makeup!
Posted by Picasa


Going out on a limb with this one. It was just the first thing that came to mind, even though I dont smoke..I adjusted the contrast and added a vignete.

My Addiction

Photoshoots. That's my addiction. :) This is one from today and this is one of my favorite shots so far. I know the right side is dark, but that's the effect I wanted. We actually took this picture inside the old house I posted a picture of for the last challenge. We were in a very brave mood.

f/3.2, 1/160


Starting Early

(50mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO 200)

My little one may only be 3 but she already has the makings of a serious chocolate addict in her. Notice all the ooey-gooey goodness in the bottom of the glass. Mmmmm.

Sweet Addiction

(Canon Powershot A470, 6.3mm, f3.0, 0.4 sec, ISO 200)

When I was pregnant with our twin boys, I was highly addicted to Jolly Ranchers....more specifically, Watermelon Jolly Ranchers, which always magically disappeared faster than the other flavors. Why don't they make bags of Jolly Ranchers with just individual flavors for those of us who aren't big fans of blue raspberry. I liked that this was the only red candy left in a sea of blue and purple, thanks to my dad who always stole the cherry ones whenever he came over to visit.

I used my trusty point and shoot for this super macro shot, since I'm still pining away for a macro lens for my D70. I then tweaked it a bit using a level adjustment layer and a curve adjustment layer. Simple overhead light, no flash.


I can't believe I'm first. This one was easy to decide on. (maybe not so easy to take a picture I liked) I wish I could have put a picture of cleaning supplies or running shoes but NO- I am addicted to the computer. I know that because this morning I came in turned it on (as usual) and my internet was down. AHHH! Panic! I can't live without it. So, took some deep breaths, restarted the computer and was able to continue my life as normal.

This was on my macro setting. f/5.6, exposure 1/125 sec, ISO 100
I cropped it a little bit and added an edge burn for depth. Nothing fancy


CHALLENGE: Addiction

Yet another suggestion, and a great one too! This challenge should bring lots of different responses...and I am sure excited about it! (and that's no joke....haha)

CHALLENGE: Addiction

What does that mean to you? How do you interpret the word? How does it make you feel?

Let's see it. And as always, pictures in by midnight tomorrow so we can vote. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And the winners are.....

Winners this week are:

Best Take on the challenge: AprilF with her picture of that ROCKIN' pb&j sandwich

And Candace took the best overall shot of her Simpler Times--stunning photo!

Great job everyone!

Be ready for the new challenge tomorrow--it's a good one!

And I have put the winners link on the sidebar in the categories, if you want to browse and see the beautiful art!

Thanks again everyone for your participation!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Simple or not?

I am late been crazy around here this weekend. Here is a pic of some filipino food that I ate. Just a black sauce with beef and rice. On the side is a basic stew made with olives. Looks Simple right?

Turns out the black sauce is made from pork decide if that is simple!

Let the voting begin!

Must have been a busy week for a lot of people. It seems we had a lot less participation than last week. But we did have some awesome pictures submitted! Thanks everyone.

So let's get voting!

Remember to put:


And then all your shoutouts and other comments. :)

Thanks everyone for sharing your beautiful art!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

If Only...

This is my niece Grace. She just turned one. She is our family's miracle baby. Grace was born with HLHS. She received a new heart on August 18, 2008. There are so many heart babies born every year and there are not enough hearts that are donated to save these babies. It is such a blessing when a family going through the crisis of losing their child/loved one is able to think about their ability to bless the lives of another family through organ donation. It is truly a selfless act of giving.

Grace loves other kids and for so long she hasn't been able to be around her cousins. Due to her immunosuppressant medications on top of her weakened immune system, she has been on "house arrest" for a lot of her life. But she's doing so well and I love that my kids finally get to see her and hug her and kiss her and love her.

When I look at this photo, I am reminded of my daughter's simple, daily prayers--Please bless Grace to get better. Please bless Grace's heart. Please bless Aunt Buggy and Uncle Topher to be happy.

If Only... life were always this simple.

Simple: Say Cheese

Imagine a life with no photoshop, ISo, or aperature adjustments. Just smile! Simple! I found this camera in an antique store this wknd. Loved it!

Watch the Garden Grow

I love the simplicity of gardening. There is something cathartic about working nice, tilled soil with my hands, then watching the plants miraculously grow.

This is a picture of the garden we are doing this year. We just planted the early crops, and I am eagerly awaiting the sprouts popping up!


Simple Carbs

Yep, they're on the list. Oranges are a simple carbohydrate...
Unfortunately, potatoes aren't. That's what I really wanted to take a picture of. :)
Picture taken on a mirror, directly under a lamp.
ISO 640, F5.6, 1/13 second
Ran BOOST in photoshop.

Sunday Morning at the River

f22 1/80 iso200 18mm

This morning I drove up the canyon to think and reflect. There are so many pressures around us every day, and sometimes we need to sit back and think about what is most important. To me, it's the simple things that are closest to my heart... my faith, my husband, my kids... I get so caught up in the details sometimes, that I forget.


Simpler Days

I'm being a bit over critical of this one I'm afraid.
I've been tryng to stay away from photoshop for these challenges but this one I went crazy with.
I really liked the bright colors but I didn't like that the yellows were right next to each other- it was just what I got stuck with in this particular block set. It may not bug normal people but it drove me CRAZY!
So I decided that it would be fun to make it black and white to remember the simpler days of youth- long LONG ago.

I wish I had a better explanation of what I did with photoshop but I kinda played with it a while. Basically I desaturated then made some colors darker so that the "=" and the "2" didn't seem washed out. Then I added a teensy tiny filter of sepia to warm it up a bit.

I took this pic next to an open window with nothing but the sun- Yay me! No flash!

Homemade Simplicity

My daughter turned 1 yesterday and that about covered the pictures I got. I was very excited about making her was going to be actually cut in the shape of a 1, but time constraints made that impossible, so this is what we ended up with. She dug right in, promise!
Simple Sunday Picnic-
Taken in studio

Easy Lunch

I love simple food. Simple preparation and simple cleanup. And still good taste.