Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

School is out (YEAH!!!) and summer is here... well, maybe it's officially here though the sunshine and great weather have yet to make a regular appearance. I hope they show up soon or we just might miss it!

I know I've been in and out lately and haven't posted much, but it's because I've been busy. First was the end-of-the-year stuff that comes with teaching preschool. We had projects to finish, parties to plan and a pretty great graduation to top it all off.

The other thing that has me busy lately is my photography. I mentioned taking Karen Russell's class and that has been great for me. And I got my new lens (which I *love*) that has also been keeping me occupied (you must play with the new toys, right?!?). I think I also mentioned that I started a photography business earlier this year. Now that the weather is finally getting nicer, things are picking up. Saturday was my very first wedding and it was a blast! I did walk away totally exhausted from the 3-hour shindig, but when I got home I hit my second wind and started editing photos. I spent the next two days sorting and editing some of the hundreds of photos that I took. In the end, I hope I pleased my client and have some nice photos to add to my portfolio. If you're interested in seeing those photos, see my photography blog at http://www.photographybyannette.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 11, 2011

More pictures...

I'm on a roll now! I've been taking tons of photos lately for my photo class, and even though I haven't used all of them for my lessons, I have liked many of them well enough to edit and save them for use.

Carissa and her headphones. I want to do a scrapbook layout about her love of music and her current playlist of favorite songs. Plus I love how blue her eyes are here.

Oh yes, the teenage years are in full swing. This is often how I will find Chase after school, hanging in bed with his computer in his lap. LOL
Just a pretty one of Carissa that I took when I was playing with my new lens. Did I mention that I love it???
Chase leading the schools opening flag ceremony for the 8th grade awards. He also led it for the Evening of Excellence at his school.

I promise that I've also taken pictures of Tristan, however they are mostly with his Nerf gun, as seen in the previous post, because that's what he does in his spare time. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Snapshots of a Good Life (Week 4 Continued)

The final assignment of week 4 was to take the lessons on focusing and do something creative with your focus. Focus in on something different or take a different perspective of an object or situation. Here's mine...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Snapshots of Life, Week 4 (parts 1 & 2)

This week I had a lightbulb moment. Reading all these things, changing settings and *gasp* turning on manual! It just clicked and I feel like I'm really getting it. Plus, I got my sweet new lens that I'm already totally in love with!

The first part of Week 4 was Exposure Compensation. That means overexposing or underexposing your picture according to your tastes instead of the cameras. For instance, here's a picture of the cat with the cameras settings (which were a little messed up because she was lying on a shiny surface in bright sunlight).
And here's the settings I prefered, a slightly overexposed version.
In playing with it, I found that sometimes underexposed shots are fun too. Here's an underexposed one I loved.

Part 2 of our assignment was to take a try at manual. Now that I'm understanding the bits and pieces of photography, it wasn't as hard as I thought. This one was shot in the shade, hence the more muted colors in this photo. Anyways, here's my first photo taken in manual. :)

As I mentioned, I'm loving my new lens. I love the lower aperature setting and am finally able to produce great bokeh in my photos, like this one:
I still have one more assignment to complete for this week and will post that when it's done. :)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

It's picture time...

I edited photos so I thought it was time for a catch-up post.

A few weeks ago the boys walked the "Cop Walk". It's a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and was a fundraiser for Boy Scouts too. They were only required to walk one 2.25 mile leg of the relay. Instead, they decided to walk all 12.5 miles. Here they are about mile 11... in good spirits and so happy. They did a great job and I was so proud of them. (Especially Tristan who forgot a belt and walked the whole way holding up his pants. LOL)

Brian and his new gig... man, is he loving marine! Now that the weather is nice he gets to wear polo shirts and shorts to work, with deck shoes on his feet. Not too shabby.

Miss Riss... holy, moly, is this girl growing up. I swear, she look older every time I see her.

OK, since there are never any photos of me, here's one. That's my way over-candled cupcake for my birthday. No, they didn't fit enough candles on, but they tried. This was my 37th birthday. I got a purse from my husband, who actually did a good job picking it out. I also got a giftcard to Kohl's from the in-laws and some money from my mom (which I'm saving for something I want for me... have no idea what yet). We blew off Taekwondo that night and just vegged at home. It was nice.
Theme days at school for both Carissa and Tristan. Carissa had a whole week of them, though this is the only picture I got. It's retro (80's) day. Can you believe I remember the "retro" years? LOLThis is Tristan on character day, where you get to dress up as your favorite book or movie character. He chose Link from Legend of Zelda. It was stretch to get this put together, but we pulled it off and he looked pretty great. He even made himself a shield (see it hanging on his back) and painted it and everything. He was adorable!

Brian got patched in to his motorcycle club. You're on probation when you first join up, so they can get to know you and decide if you're the kind of person they want in their club. Guess they decided he was pretty decent and he got patched in the day before memorial day. Here's the president handing Brian his patches.

And here's the other two guys who joined about the same time and who also got patched in that day.

On Memorial Day Brian and I went for a ride with the club. We went to Long Beach and it was beautiful there. Gorgeous and clear and not windy. A rare day at the beach. Unfortunately, in between home and the beach it was rainy. I've definitely learned that I'm a fairweather rider... riding in the rain is no fun at all! Thankfully, it wasn't too rainy but it wasn't fun to ride in it anyways.

Snapshots of a Good Life: Week 3

We were warned about this early on - week 3 is tough. Really tough. A lot of reading, a lot of really technical stuff and starting to pull together all the pieces of the photography puzzle. It was a tough week, but it was good.

This week was all about aperture. Can I just say that I *love* aperture! The difference it can make in photos is amazing. She's even convinced me into buying a new lens with a lower aperture so I can make the most of my photography sessions. I ordered it last week and it should come on Monday. I'm so excited!!!

Anyways... back to aperture. Our first assignment was to have two willing subjects, set apart by about 1 - 2 feet. Then you play with the aperture, taking shots at all the full aperture settings to see how changing the aperture affects the shutter speed and how it affects the depth of field on your photo. I took several different tries at this, taking pictures of the kids themselves, then them with their pets. Here is my favorite and not-so-favorite photo.

This one is meant to tell a particular story... the story of how Tristan is starting to grow out of the shadow of Chase and how he's becoming his own man. It's for a scrapbook page and I like how having Chase in the background will help me tell the story.

Even though I like this one, it's my not-as-favorite, because Chase is just so blurred and washed out in the background.

The last part of the assignment was to play with depth of field and get a creative shot. This was one of those spur-of-the-moment shots. Carissa was playing at the park and kicked her flip flops off. I saw this one sitting in the grass and when I layed down on the ground to get a photo, I saw the sunshine and the little tiny Carissa (just under the sunshine). It was our first really nice, warm day this year and this photo captured it for me.
Next week is starting with focusing and here's where I really need help... and a new camera. My three measley focus points just aren't cutting it for this class, but it's going to take me a while to save up for a new camera with more focus points.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Snapshots of a Good Life: Week 2

Our second week was all about shutter speed and both capturing and implying motion. Capturing motion wasn't so hard, though capturing something in motion and still beautiful was a little more difficult. Often you end up with wierd shots at wierd angles. I took the kids to the park for this assignment and shot them practicing for their Taekwondo belt testing that's happening next week. Let me tell you, these photos sure showed the kids where their forms and kicks aren't quite right. But we also caught some pieces that were really great. This was my favorite picture capturing motion:

I did find that implying motion (purposefully catching the blurred motion) was harder. Here's the photo I submitted, though I know that it's not exactly right (it's focused on the grass, not her).

The last part of the assignment was to play around with freezing and/or implying motion and then post your favorite photo. I did this assignment on the day it was due (thanks to all our rain!) and it happened to be a day I got to ride on the boat with Brian. Lesson learned... taking decent photos from a rocking, moving boat is NOT easy. When we were at the boathouse I did catch this bird returning to the nest with a stick and posted it as my favorite. Brian just let me know that this nest now has a bunch of little hatchlings in it.

Just a reminder that these are all SOOC, with no editing.