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Archive for the ‘Me’ Category

Over at iheartfaces this week we have the chance to post about the progress we’ve made in our photography journey thus far.

Since  I didn’t start getting serious about photography until the end of last year, I feel like all of mine even now are more like “befores” than “afters”.

But I dug around my files and found quite a few technically and artistically BAD photos.  I still love them because they’re mostly pictures of my kids so I’ll keep them but I’m so glad that I now “know better” and have the ability to take better pictures these days.

Here’s an example of a typical before:

DSC_0204

Cute kid but BLECHY photo.  I used the camera I use now but on AUTO of course, with an on-camera flash (yikes), without a clue about composition, or exposure or natural light, or any concern about what was in the background.  Just a fancy camera that I used to point and shoot.

The beginning of this year I realized what better pictures I took when I didn’t use the flash.  I was still on AUTO but because I didn’t know how my camera worked, I manually held the flash down with my finger and shot away (double yikes).

DSC_0267Everything was just so yellow and out of focus. And OOPS I chopped off her feet…

Finally, I got my camera manual out and actually read it!  Lo and behold I did not need to hold down the flash in order to turn it off.  Who knew? Certainly not me!

Ever since that defining moment, I have been gleaning all I can from blogs like iheartfaces and ilovephotography, and Clickinmoms.

And I shoot every chance I get.

I think I learn something everyday.

After looking through all those old picture files, I actually feel a little better and can see that I am, in fact, improving little by little.

These were shot a couple of weeks ago:

maddy graffiti texture

maddy12 copy

Here’s what I shot today.

will play dough I’ve got a ways to go, but I’m loving every minute of it.

Head on over to iheartfaces and take a look at some serious progress being made in the world of photography.

Happy Monday!

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So Excited!

I_Heart_Faces_HM

I have so much still to do this morning before we leave on our trip.

But I have to share my excitement first.

Do you remember this post where I entered this picture of Will in the iheartfaces photo contest for beach week?

willbeach watermark

Well, out of almost 500 entries,

I won 4th place!

I am SO excited.  And surprised! There were some amazing photos entered and some incredible photographers out there.

Thanks Karyn! You have motivated and encouraged me to keep learning and clicking away.

Head on over and check out the winners.

I’m off to pack and clean and scurry the family out the door for our final hurrah before school starts again.

Happy Weekending!

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I waited patiently for the UPS guy to deliver me this:

dp1

And this:

book_understanding-exposure

He finally arrived yesterday and I’ve been nose-to-book ever since.  Well maybe not the whole time.  I did get a chance to get out and try some of the things I read about.  I took my camera everywhere we went (which honestly only consisted of the backyard, the neighbor’s house, a neighboring sheep farm, and Carls Jr.) and clicked away.

Here are some of the shots I caught.  (Really, they are so much better if you click on them)

watermom-cornsheep2brodyline-up-sepiashakepoolveggiessheepprizemaddy-cross-legscooter

Yes, it’s a fact.  We live in the country.  We’ve got barns and tractors and livestock galore.  I’m left wanting for cityscapes, cabs, and traffic here.  That’s why we’re packing up and heading off to The Windy City next week. Well,  that’s not really why we’re going.  We’re actually going to visit Oma and Opa, but I’m still a little giddy to get back to civilization the city. We’re stopping in Salt Lake on the way to drop off my niece Hannah who has been staying with us for about 10 days.  We will miss her! It’s been a non-stop fun fest with her here.  It was nice to level the playing field a little too with another girl around.

Some good friends are staying at our house to water the garden, bring in the mail, feed the horse, cow, bunnies, and dog, keep the pool busy and the trouble-makers away.

If I can access my blog while we’re away, I’ll post some pictures of our Chicago trip.

Happy Weekending!

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FacesFixIt

Before:

mr-handsome-original

Aside from some greenish skin color I thought this was a pretty good photo to start with.  Since there wasn’t much to mess with I concentrated on changing the background.

after:

mr-handsome-final-try

It was all done in Elements.  I can’t remember exactly what I did but here’s a guess:

cropped

selected the background and changed it to gray to go better with his shirt and added a vintage texture

warmed his face

decreased the saturation

sharpened the eyes using Coffeeshop’s Powder Room 2

unsharped the mask

I think that was it.  Head on over to iheartfaces and take a lok at everyone else’s take on Mr. Handsome.

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Kiara

First off, thanks for all the great advice about Kindergarten.

I have consumed it and am now digesting it all.  I think I know in my heart… or my gut …or some sort of anatomical organ what the right answer is.  Now I just have to break the news to the fearful rest of me.

So, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve plunged head first into reading all I can find that will teach me to take fantastic photos.  It’s kind of a crash, self-taught, course on digital photo 101  (unitil I can find an honest-to-goodness official photography class around here, which at this point is not looking likely)

As I’ve scoured the internet, blogs, and books, one thing I’ve read over and over is this

practice, practice, practice

is the key to improving

To take lots and LOTS of pictures.

So lately I’ve been grabbing the closest willing body and sitting them smack dab in the middle of some fairly good lighting.  Let this be a warning to you.  If you’re around me in the morning or late afternoon hours, don’t be surprised if you find yourself the subject of a study on composition or bokeh or backlighting.

My sweet neighbor allowed me to grab her niece Kiara for a few shots today.  I was thrilled because my own kids are growing weary of all the grabbing and the posing.  I’m just about left with only the dog as a willing model.

kiara

I know, I know.  The shadow that cuts across her head is not ideal.  But I like the water drips and her cute expression.

kiara 4

I like the bokeh in the back.  She cleans up nicely, doesn’t she?

kiara 2

Here I am trying to guess the names of the two cutest boys in her class.

kiara 3

Success!  With a few clues, I guessed right!  But I promised her not to tell.

Isn’t she beautiful?

Thanks Kiara.

Now I’m off to check out some preschools.  🙂

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Feet Week!

button - feet week

It’s feet week at i heart faces.    There were three pictures I thought about posting for this category and finally decided on one that’s the most meaningful to me.

I shot this on Father’s Day while were in California.  We took the kids to the cemetery where my dad is buried so we could put flowers on his grave and pay tribute to him.  It was sweet and peaceful and serene.  As we were all standing around reminiscing, I snapped a quick photo.  Here’s the result.

feet-week

Click on it to get the full sized version.

Head on over to iheartfaces and check out all the other entries for this week.

Happy Sunday!

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fix it friday

FacesFixIt

I have been agog over this site all summer gleaning little bits and pieces of photography tips and tricks.

Today is Fix it Friday where a photo is posted for people like me (who love editing) to download and play around with.  The goal is to improve the photo from the original.

Here’s my attempt.

The original:

little miss

Very cute photo to begin with.  I thought there was too much going on in the background so I cropped, enhanced, added a CoffeeShop LOMO action, brightened, and sharpened a little bit.

Here’s what I came up with:


little-miss-edit

Head on over to iheartfaces and check out all the superbly talented photogs and what they’ve done with this cute photo.  WARNING: you may become addicted to all this photography stuff like I have!

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