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Archive for March, 2012

Day 90

Just a quick couple of pics today!

The Littles and I are going on a trip to see some of our California friends tomorrow!  One of them moved to Ohio a couple months ago and is now within driving distance!!

Road Trip!!

I got a pic of a fluffy dandelion BEFORE Itty Bitty blew all the seeds off! Yay me!

Seeing how close I can get to the inside of a tulip ūüėČ

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Day 89

Best Daddy EVER!

Itty Bitty and the Hubs disappeared into the garage yesterday afternoon.  Next thing I knew Itty Bitty has a shiny semi-new tool box {he shined it up himself!} full of tools!

Oh yeah, Hubs got MAJOR Cool Daddy points from Itty Bitty!!

Itty Bitty is now *obsessed* with building with his tools. ¬†Hubs let him grab some scrap wood to use and he’s been making things with them! ¬†He’s made a little house {and requested small balloons for it to make it an Up house}, a plane, a car, and something else that I’m not sure what to call it.

I’ve been outside half the day watching Itty Bitty build {AKA keeping him from trying out Daddy’s table saw}

Itty Bitty's tool box and tools!

Brilliant Hubs put the pieces of wood that Itty Bitty was hammering nails into in a vise grip so that they didn't slide all over the place!

Itty Bitty wants to be a builder when he grows up.

The first thing Itty Bitty built. It's a house ūüėČ

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Day 88

Within 100 Yards of My Front Door

A baby maple tree!

Sweet tulips

Interesting green "things" growing on a tree ūüėČ

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Day 87

While on a nature walk with Itty Bitty on our property I stumbled upon several trees with medium sized white flowers.

I have NO idea what kind of tree this is, but I’m LOVING it! ¬†Maybe I’ll have some time later tonight to google what these are!!

If you know *please* share with me in the comments below!

Pretty please!?!

**EDIT** ¬†Thanks to my rock star friends and a couple readers I now know these awesome flowers are Dogwoods! ¬†Oh yeah!!! ¬†ūüôā

The sky was so blue and the flowers SO white!

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 100

f/2.5

Shutter Speed 1/3200

A couple weeks ago I shared some tips on taking pictures of flowers and/or nature. ¬†One of those tips was to shoot on an overcast day or wait until your flowers are in shade. ¬†This avoids those over bright “hot spots” that you can get from harsh sunlight.

However, sometimes you will want to take a picture of a flower you find and can’t {or don’t want to} wait for it to be shaded or come back another day.

May I suggest using your body or anything else large enough to cast a shadow on your flower?

Here’s an example:

The top photo shows what the flowers look like with the noon sun shining down on them.  Lots of bright white spots and shadows.

The second photo shows what those same flowers look like when in the shade.

{close your eyes and picture me standing there holding a cardboard box above my head to create shade}

{now stop laughing}

{seriously – no laughing}

ūüėČ

In hindsight, I should have moved so that there was a darker background so that the flowers would pop out more {maybe had the trunk of the tree more to the left of the pic} Рespecially on the shaded pic.  However, in my defense, these flowers were on a tree that was deep in the scrub brush area of our property and I was balancing on a fallen log trying to get these pics for you.

Hopefully you can see the difference!

Until next time my friends!

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Mama I Love You THIIIIIS Big!

Earlier today I was outside with my camera looking for fun things to photograph when Itty Bitty runs up.

“Mama! ¬†I’ve got the bestest idea for your today picture!”

Of course I said “OK!” and asked him what it was! ¬†He jumps back stretches his arms as far as they go and says that I can take a picture of “how big he loves me!”

Aaaand I turned into a pile of Mommy goo :’o)

How big Itty Bitty loves me!

 

Then in true Itty Bitty style he plops down and starts cutting the grass with a stick.

Seriously.  He said that his Daddy works too hard and that he would take care of the grass for Daddy.

Have I mentioned that our property is almost 5 acres?

Cutting the grass for Daddy.

 

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

First pic:

ISO 100

f/2.2

Shutter Speed 1/640

Second pic:

ISO 100

f/1.8

Shutter Speed 1/400

Both pictures were taken around 2pm when the sun was shining bright above us. ¬†If you look at the first picture, you can see that Itty Bitty is standing in a little patch of shade. ¬†He was in “Open Shade.” ¬†This means that while he’s standing in shade I’m standing in the sun with a wide open space behind me. ¬†The shade keeps his face from having harsh shadows and the light in front of him gives his eyes some yummy catchlights! ¬†If I were to have too much shade behind me or if there was something blocking the light behind me {like some trees or a building} I’d have to use a reflector to get catchlights in his eyes.

You can barely see it, but the blades of grass at the very front of the picture are in the sun. ¬†I had him stand at the edge of the shade and step back slowly until there was no more harsh sun on his face {about a foot or so.} ¬†He’s in pretty much the same position for the second picture.

BONUS PIC!

I found a little friend outside while watering my flowers!

Meet my little friend!

 

 

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Day 85

Cartwheel and Bridges and Headstands… OH MY!

Ok. ¬†I admit it. ¬†I’ve been a lazy Mama.

Ever since we’ve moved to Virginia from Southern California, I haven’t signed Glamor Girl up for *any* activities that are not run through her school.

Not one.

Back in Cali she was in soccer, Girl Scouts, gymnastics…

In my defense, she has changed her mind at least a thousand times on which activity she wants to do. ¬†When we lived in Cali her brothers were too little to do much, and now they are in activities of their own. ¬†Instead of being allowed to join a bunch of activities, I’ve limited Glamor Girl to just one. ¬†Each Little gets one activity. ¬†The boys chose TBall and are on the same team this year!

Oh the choice making drama that caused! ¬†Violin lessons, horse back riding, dance, gymnastics, art, Girl Scouts, swimming, soccer… How’s a girl to choose? ¬†{Insert sarcastic Mommy comment here}

I’m happy to announce that she has finally chosen an activity!! ¬†Gymnastics!

Finally.

Of course now she’s obsessed with practicing what she “remembers” from her classes in Cali. ¬†Translation – she’s done hundreds of cartwheels and thousands of headstands.

Seriously.  Hours and hours.

Glamor Girl's 993rd headstand

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 800

f/2.0

Shutter Speed 1/100

The sun was going down and the room was getting dark.  To compensate for the lack of light I bumped my ISO up to 800 {any higher and I get crazy grain}, slowed my shutter down as much as I could.  If I slowed it down any more Glamor Girl would have been blurry if she moved.  From there I was able to tweak my aperture until I got a reasonably exposed photo!

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Day 84

Raindrops

 

Do you know what I love about the rain?

{besides the excuse to snuggle up with a good book?}

Raindrops on my flowers!

I big puffy heart when the rain stops and my flowers are covered with little drops of rain!

No reason why, I just do. ;o)

Itty Bitty named this tulip Mama tulip and Baby tulip.

Loving the little pink stamen thingies ;o)

 

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO for both 100

f/2.2

Shutter Speed for the tulip 1/400 & blossoms 1/1250

My first tip for today is to check your settings before you start taking pictures.  My pics were consistently over exposed even at a shutter speed of 1/4000 and I was wondering what in the world was going on!  After about 10 pics I *finally* thought to check my ISO.

#facepalm

The ISO was still set at 800 from taking some low light shots last night.

My second tip is to not be afraid to crop quite a bit off of your photos. ¬†Most lenses have a minimum distance from your subject before it will be able to focus. ¬†I’m sure there’s a fancy technical term for this, but I just remember that my favorite lens (50mm f/1.4) won’t be able to focus unless my subject is at *least* an arm’s length away.

While an arm’s length away from one of my Little’s allows their whole face to fill the frame, the same isn’t true for a flower that is less than an inch in diameter.

To bring that flower up close and personal I use the crop tool in Photoshop.  It enables me to fill the frame with my subject making it appear like I was closer to it when taking the picture.

It’s easier to show you the difference! ¬†Here’s the pic before and after I cropped it:

 

Can you see how the detail in the flower seems to jump out of the picture once it’s cropped?

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