Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One Shot

More homework.  My jaw pretty much dropped to the floor when my teacher announced our homework that second week of class.  We had to choose one day in which we took only one photo.  Not turned in one.  Not chose one of many.  We were only allowed to TAKE ONE PHOTO!  For the WHOLE DAY!  Aaiiiieeeee!!!! 

As it turns out it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  The day after class was super busy and I wasn’t able to have my camera with me nearly all day.  I did spend what felt like half the day at the mall trying to find out if my cell phone was fixable.  It was not.  So I got to spend more time there getting a new phone.  Once we got home and got the kids to bed Rob had to leave for his Reserves weekend which left me at home with a new phone, the perfect subject, and time to set something up.  So I drug out my “studio” (my black-lined empty diaper box), turned off all the lights but a little Ott desk lamp, made a stand out of Legos (yes, I did), made sure the phone was straight, straight, straight and hit the shutter.  I was hoping for a photo that would be near perfect SOOC (that’s straight out of the camera) but right when I hit the button the phone fell.  My Lego stand failed me and the phone slipped to the floor.  Those iPhones are pretty sturdy I can tell ya. 

After verifying that my phone was fine (it is) I checked my shot and it was crooked.  Dagnabit!  So I ended up doing more editing than I had wanted because I needed now to straighten the photo but other than a little white balance correction and contrast increase the photo is close to SOOC.  And I do like how my picture turned out.  As for the exercise of taking only one photo for the entire day, I really liked it.  It challenged me to make that ONE photo really count.  I didn’t want to just get to the end of the day not shooting anything and then take a snapshot of whatever was around me.  I thought, planned and carried out what was required to get a good photograph.  I think I did it (and I love my new phone).  My one shot:iPhone-0953

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I feel bad for neglecting my new blog.  But I’ve been neglecting my old one too.  Most of my time has been spent taking pictures and editing pictures.  Well, that and my usual tasks like taking care of children, home, animals etc.  Anyway, I thought I’d start sharing some of what I’ve been doing in my photography class.  I’ve been learning and relearning a ton.   The first week in class we were supposed to take photos of common objects in uncommon ways, try night photography using flash and take a stab at HDR.

Here are my common objects:

Cats eye marbles.  To get these I lined an empty diaper box (have plenty of those) with black fabric, I wanted to avoid light from other sources, and used the flashlight app on my iPhone.  I placed the marbles on my phone and took the picture with my macro lens on a tripod.




A partially submerged leaf.  We have plenty of those around here and one happened to find its way into one of the black rubber pans we used to feed our goats in but is now filled with rain water.  How handy for me.


And lastly.  Toilet paper.  How common is that?!  I used the same black lined box only with natural light coming through the dining room window.


Here’s one of my night shots using flash.  I only have the pop-up flash on my camera which is not a flattering light and typically causes really bad red eye and gross colors.  But I had to make do and I think I did an OK job, still there are things I’d like to try differently.



And lastly, my HDR photo, Mr. Rainier.



HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.  It is how we can get a photograph to look a lot more like what our eyes can see.  I’m sure if you have ever had a camera in your life then you’ve encountered situations where the darks are very dark and the lights are very light and the colors are dramatic only to be disappointed with the resulting photograph which is either way to dark or entirely blown out and the colors just don’t compare.  HDR helps with that. 


What you need to do is take 3 or more exposures of the subject WITHOUT moving.  You can’t shift or reframe or it won’t work.  The exposures need to be with different settings as well.  One or two will be underexposed, one will be in the middle, closest to “correct” and one or two will be overexposed.  Then you run them through a program which stacks them and takes the different exposures and mashed them together in order to present the most detail and best information.   The result is often spectacular.  My first attempt at HDR is pretty good I think.  If I hadn’t taken this picture with HDR in mind the clouds and snow would have likely been blown out and all the colors in the trees darkened and a lot of detail lost.  I really enjoyed it and want to take a lot more HDR photos but you’ll notice watermarks on the photo.  That’s because the program I used offers a free trial but it puts the watermarks on.  If you don’t want the watermarks you can purchase the program.  It’s on my wish list!

Well, there you go, an update and a short lesson on HDR.  You’re welcome!  ha ha

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Texture Tuesday–Two!

I had  such a productive day today I can’t believe it.  One of the things, or maybe I should say two of the things I accomplished was two self portraits for my photography class homework.  I plan to share those soon.  But today is all about texture ‘cause it’s Texture Tuesday!  Tonight I went back and played with a photo from my Harry Potter movie-athon weekend turned photography weekend with my friend, Cedar.

We were walking around this quaint little seaside Victorian style town which was beautiful and so interesting but the wind was remarkable that day.  At one point in order to make a lens change out of the dusty wind we stepped into the nearest shop which turned out to be a wine shop.  We spent maybe the next 20-30 minutes there, with permission, taking pictures.  This was one of the first times I used my new macro lens, I’d only bought it two days before.  I focused my attention on a bowl of wine corks and was amazed at how close I could get. 

Now one of those pictures is before you texturized with Kim’s “all that”  at 81% and “serendipity” at 100% and lightly brushed over the “M”.   And that’s it.  I usually keep it pretty basic.  Here you go:


Now pop on over to Kim’s to check out more textured pictures.

And just in case you’re wondering where the “two” comes in which is this weeks theme I’m going to stretch it, I had my macro lens TWO days when I took this picture and I used TWO of Kim’s textures to make it.  And, as so often happens I’m finding, I had already talked in this post about TWO things I’d accomplished that day and I wrote about that before I knew the theme.  Ha! 

Yeah, lame, but it’s midnight and I couldn’t find this week’s theme until just now.  ‘night.  :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Every morning when we leave the house for the bus stop I think I should grab my camera.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes when I do I don’t use it.  But when I don’t grab it I nearly always regret it.  This morning?  I brought it.  I’m so glad.  There was rain over night but a bit of sun this morning and leaves have started to fall.  That means there are just a few here and there so you can isolate just one against interesting backgrounds.  I did only bring my 50mm though so tomorrow I may have to take my macro lens.  These would have been so great even CLOSER (I’m discovering that I just can’t get close enough, I see many, many macros in my future).



Beauty.  Found it.  Thanks, God!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Texture Tuesday

I am SO excited to be participating in my first photo challenge on my new photography blog.  You may have visited my other blog over at Wellblessed.  I’ve decided to move my photography posts over here and keep my family stuff over there.  BIG changes, much excitement!

Talk about changes?!  I’m actually writing this post SUNDAY night – for Tuesday!  I guess the changes have me all excited and chomping at the bit.  Or maybe it’s because I checked today to see what this week’s Texture Tuesday them is and found out it’s “red”.  I just happened to be shooting some flowers yesterday and one of them, well, you can’t get much redder than that.  Here is my offering for Texture Tuesday – Red Edition:

Raindrop Old Photo

Here’s what I did to the original:

  • added Kim Klassen’s Gray Day Vintage at 68%, brushed over the raindrop and lightly over the flower
  • added Kim’s Stained Linen at 86% and brushed over the raindrop and flower again
  • added Kim’s Taped Edge at 88%.
  • finally I did a rectangle mask on both the last two layers and brushed lightly over the center to increase the contrast between the edge and the center

There you have it.  I love checking out other entry’s into Kim’s challenge, I encourage you to do the same.  Blessings!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grand Opening!

I am excited to be launching my new photography blog AND store!  I really can’t believe it and while I feel like I’m not ready yet I’ve had numerous requests from people wanting to buy prints of my photography lately and who am I to say “no”.  I also wonder if I will ever feel “ready”.  I will always be learning and improving so I cannot expect that perfection will be the sign that I’m ready.  So, here I come, ready or not.

And here it is.  My blog.  With very little on it yet but my grand opening post.  The link to my store is to the right but here it is as well Finding Beauty Photography.  Of course I encourage you to go and check it out.  Buy something even.  That is the point after all.  For now there are prints and other products for sale, soon I always want to make cards available.

In closing I just want to say to God be the glory!  My biggest prayer is that my craft and my work will glorify Him!  Amen!