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Archive for February, 2012

Day 60

Face painting.  For 3 & 4 year olds.  For two hours.  While my Littles were by my side.  The.  Whole.  Time.

Yup.  That was my night.

Fun!  Oh so fun!!

But *very* exhausting!

It was Family Night at the Book Fair at Itty Bitty’s Preschool.  TOTALLY worth every minute!!

As I was leaving I snapped a pic of one of the book tables.

Desperation makes you take random pics like that.

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 800

f/2.2

Shutter Speed 1/125

 

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Losing Baby Teeth!

Love Bug is about to lose his first top baby tooth!  This is big for two reasons.  First, this will be the first time he loses a tooth because it’s ready.  The bottom two had to be pulled last year because the adult teeth were growing in behind them.  You know, like a shark!

Second because to me, losing the bottom teeth doesn’t change how your Little “looks.”  They still look little.  Once those big ol’front teeth come in then they really start to look like a big kid!

Today’s pic is Love Bug wiggling his tooth with his tongue.  I wanted to get a pic before the tooth falls out and my Little starts to look different!

Wiggle wiggle that baby tooth!

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 400

f/2.2

Shutter Speed 1/250

Today was *crazy* busy!  I’ve only been home for about 15 minutes all day.  I’m going to go snuggle with the hubs instead of writing a detailed photo tip.  Hope you don’t mind ;o)

I *will* leave you some links that you might want to check out for previous posts!

To make eyes pop {like Love Bug’s above} click here.

To understand why Love Bug isn’t centered in the photo click here.

I hope you have a wonderful night and I’ll catch up with you tomorrow!

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Day 58

Spring is almost here!

Woo hoo!  Everywhere I look there are signs of spring!  Buds on trees, daffodils and tulips getting ready to bloom!

*Sigh*

I used to think that I was strictly a portrait photographer.  My fave thing to photograph was children.

Lately I’ve found myself drawn more and more to nature.  Oh I still *adore* taking pics of Littles, but there’s something SO satisfying about sharing the beauty of nature with others.

As signs of spring are beginning to appear I’m outside A LOT taking pictures {and wishing for a Macro lens!}

Here are a couple of my favorites from today –

These itty bitty flowers popped up next to our sidewalk!

My bulbs are sooo close to blooming!

Lucky me, the daffodils at the Church are blooming!!

Shot with my Cannon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO {all three} 100

f/2.2 {again all three}

Shutter Speed {flowers} 1/2000 {bulb} 1/200

Did you notice the HUGE difference in Shutter Speed for the bulb?  There are 10 {yes TEN!} stops difference between the photos!!  That’s because the bulb was in the shade and the flowers were in the sun.

The colors look the same though don’t they?  That’s because I adjusted my white balance from “Sun” to “Shade” for the bulb.

{Not sure how to adjust your white balance or why you *should* adjust it?  Check out this post for a TON of detailed info on white balance!}

One other quick tip!

When I’m shooting close ups in nature I’ve found that having a wide open aperture can keep the “clutter” down.  Nature is chaotic, it’s messy.  Having a wider aperture can help to blur some of the chaos and help you guide your viewers eye where you want.  In the top photo I only focused on the two flowers right next to the sidewalk.  That way your eye is drawn to them.  If I had left more of the photo in focus your eye wouldn’t know where to look!  There’s just too much going on, it’s too busy.

Is spring starting to bloom where you are?  If you head out and take some pics let me know!  I’d LOVE to see them!

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Sweet Glamor Girl *loves* to have her picture taken.

She’s always coming up with these crazy ideas for “photo shoots!”

We haven’t done one for awhile so I asked her to come outside real quick with me today to snap a few pics.

My girl!

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 100

f/1.8

Shutter Speed 1/640

Today’s photo was taken around noon.  The sun was out and not a cloud in the sky.

How did I get Glamor Girl’s skin so evenly lit with no harsh shadows?

Open Shade.

Open shade is a shady spot {usually near a tree or large structure.}  For today’s pic I used the shade from our house.

What makes open shade different from other types of shade is that the area directly behind the photographer is usually wide open with no shade.  This is what gives your subjects beautiful catchlights {click here for detailed info on catchlights} in their eyes and enough gentle light for their face.  If you want that golden halo of light that appears on the top of your subject’s hair then try to find some open shade where the sun can still kiss the back of your subject.

The shade coming from my house stuck out from the side almost like a triangle.  I put Glamor Girl right at the edge of one of the sides {right where the shade begins} facing away from the sun {no squinty eyes!}  Watching her face I had her back up just enough so that her face was completely in the shade.  Then I had her turn just a bit so that her eyes picked up some catchlights from the sky.  You can get your subject to look up just a bit to make them more intense.

To avoid under exposing your subject’s face, you will have to tell your camera where YOU want to read the exposure!!

I’ll sum it up here, but there’s a TON more info in this post.

You can choose different Metering Modes on your camera.  They are found in your camera’s menu.  If you choose Evaluative Mode it will meter off of your active Auto Focus point.  When you focus on your subject’s face your camera’s meter will read the light from that area allowing you to make adjustments so that your subject’s face is properly exposed.  Often when you do this your background {especially if it’s REALLY sunny} will be very bright and/or blown out.

With a little practice you will learn to LOVE open shade!  I look forward to sunny days knowing that I can get those gorgeous creamy skin tones without worrying about picking up a blue tone from the clouds!

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Day 56

Have you ever had a day where *nothing* inspires you to take a picture?

That was today for me.

It probably didn’t help that I’ve had the worst headache all day, but usually no matter what something catches my eye and makes me want to take a picture.

Blah!

What did I do?

I went to the room that had the best light {my den because the setting sun had light streaming in through our huge windows} stood in the middle of the room and closed my eyes.  Then I turned until I could feel the light on my face.  I told myself that I was going to take a picture of the first thing that I saw when I opened my eyes and make it AH-MAZING!

This is what I saw:

Huh.  Great.  A vase.

But wait!  If I contort my body *just* right I can get the sun shining THROUGH the vase!

Suddenly the plain purple vase exploded with color!  Oh yeah!  THEN I was inspired!  I took several shots but this one was my fave.  The colors were spectacular!

Find yourself in a photography rut?  Do something crazy {like standing with your eyes closed in the middle of a room} and step outside of your comfort zone, outside the box that we often find ourselves in and make something ordinary EXTRAORDINARY!!

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 100

f/16 {to get the suns rays shining through the vase}

Shutter Speed 1/100

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Day 55

Last Minute Mama!

Today was one of those crazy days where I was rushing off to one thing or another.  Time was slipping through my fingers!  I had some great ideas for today’s picture, but absolutely NO time to take them!

This is how I ended up throwing my camera in the car as we drove to the bus stop to pick up Love Bug and Glamor Girl.  The boys were in desperate need of a haircut so I was taking them after school.

Along the way I tried to take some pictures of the new buds that are just about to burst on the trees but the sky was *so* overcast with storm clouds that they didn’t turn out the way I had envisioned.

Those same storm clouds turned into fireballs of color as the sun set!  Absolutely breathtaking!  So I snapped a pic.  This is the only one I took.  {We had two other stops to make before dinner!}

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 100

f/2.0

Shutter Speed 1/1600

So today’s photo was done!  Whew!  I could take a sigh of relief.

THEN my eye was caught by all the lights coming from the cars as we sat in traffic on the way home.  Boy oh boy I could see some GORGEOUS bokeh just waiting to be photographed!!

I waited until we were stopped at a stop light and snagged my camera.  It was crazy dark and I only had a moment so I best guessed my settings, threw my camera into manual focus {there was NO way it would focus in that much dark!} and turned the focal ring until the lights were nothing but blurs.  This is what I got –

ISO 800

f/2.0

Shutter Speed 1/250

Do you see how the lights turned into gorgeous bokeh?  Cool huh?  I had a blast doing this around Christmas time with all the lights on the tree!

The key tonight was to use Manual Focus.  I’m not a big fan of Manual Focus because I’m not very accurate at it yet but for this all I had to do was blur the lights.  Easy peasy right?

The shape of the lights is determined by your aperture.  Your aperture isn’t a circle, it’s more like an octagon {that’s the 8 sided one right?} like the shapes above.  If you have a wide open aperture the lights will blur and look like mine.  If you have a small aperture f/11+ then you will only see the center of the lights and rays of light coming out from them.

What did I learn today?  Sometimes being a Last Minute Mama can inspire you to take some fun pics! 😉

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Chocolate Lab Love

I big huge puffy heart our Chocolate Lab Luke!!

Why?

He’s absolutely the bestest dog I’ve ever had!  He’s so loving and gentle with the Littles, there isn’t an aggressive bone in his doggy body, and he gives the best cuddles!  Just ask Itty Bitty!

While I was typing up today’s 365+1 Project post Itty Bitty snuggled up with Luke on the floor in the sun and they both FELL ASLEEP!

Seriously!

Snuggling with his pooch!

OMGravy! Itty Bitty paws and puppy paws!

Sleeping in the sun!

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