Friday, January 25, 2013

365 / 23, 24 & 25 Snuggle/Cold/Hands

It is snowing!!  I love when it snows, everything looks fresh and bright and new.  And let's admit it, the pictures are just so much nicer.   Hoping for some fun weekend photos.

For day 23, the theme was "snuggle."  My girl was sick and I had to pick her up early from school.  Despite a 101 fever, she did not really slow down much.  You'd think a sick kid would do a lot of snuggling on the couch, but she was talking and playing a mile a minute until the very end of the day when she crashed on the couch.  So this is as snuggly as it got.  I guess it is a good thing that she has energy even when she is sick.  Right?  And when she crashes, she really crashes!  I'm getting sleepy just looking at her.:

For day 24, the theme was "cold."  Lots of options for this one.  My first thought was to check on the lake, since it has been below freezing for a few days.  Sure enough, there was a skin of ice on top.  Just enough for the ducks to walk on.  And when they saw me, they came running!

This guy (or girl?) practically crawled into my lap.  The rest of them surrounded me.  I had to go back into the house get some bread for them.   I felt so bad for them out there on the ice.  Quack.

Don't your feet get cold looking at this poor little guy?  And he has ice on his feathers!  Brrrrr.

Every now and then, one of them would slip on the ice as they came running.  I tried to catch it with my camera but I was never looking at the right duck at the right time.  You'll have to take my word for it.  Funny stuff.

A certain "sick" helper came out to see what was going on.  And she had to get in on feeding the ducks. 

She was a little afraid the duck was going to bite her.  I just thought it was neat the way this duck was getting up on his/her toes to beg for the bread.  Just like our dog.

I think I am going to have to name this black and white duck, and I'll admit I am wondering if they all have a warm place to hide away from the weather.  If you happen to see a new shed in my back yard, you'll know why.   Shhhh, don't tell animal control. 

Or the dog.

Then, today's theme was "hands."   Nothing too artsy, but here's my girl at Cracker Barrel.  This was not prompted by me, she always talks with her hands.  I don't even remember what she was saying here, but whatever it was, she was emphatic about it.

Tomorrow's theme is "passion" and then Sunday is "dislike."  I may just toss those ideas out because they are not inspiring me at all.  We shall see.  In the meantime, here are a few more "cold" shots.  Because it is January after all.

Scenic stop off Route 295 where Crosswicks Creek meets the Delaware River.  Yes, that's ice on the river!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

365 / 19 through 22

Lots to work on this week and my creative juices have started to freeze up.  I think it has to do with the temperature.  TWELVE degrees this morning.   Brrrrr.

Day 19:  "Bright" - I'll admit that this photo was taken from the car, and I wasn't the one to press the shutter, but I did set it up and direct my friend to take it because the sky was so amazing.  If we weren't on the PA Turnpike driving 65 mph, I might have pulled over to take the photo myself.

Here's one that I did take myself.  We went to a very beautiful baby shower this weekend and Mr. Velveteen Rabbit was looking pretty "bright" as well, don't you think?


Day 20, "Playing."  From the same baby shower, this baby was just the cutest little peanut, and sitting in a beam of light that was absolutely perfect.   And just want to point out that I have had to use another site to host my photos because Blogger is not letting me upload (who knows why?) so some of these are losing a bit of focus/clarity and I am going to blame it on the hosting site.  Baby's eyes are much clearer in the original photo.

And since we are talking about playing, my girl is all about coloring these days.  She made the card for our baby gift, didn't she do a great job?

Day 21:  Equal ~ my super white dog is equal to the snow, that is about all I could think of.  OK, I did think of a LOT of other things, but my subjects were not so willing so this is what we have.  A bit overexposed, I need to work on metering!

Day 22:  "Frozen."  Finally an assignment that fit the weather. I had big dreams. But instead I got a call that my girl was at the nurse's office with a fever. She still wanted to go and check out the tiny bit of snow we had on the deck. Took about 10 seconds until she was, indeed, "frozen."

Today's theme is "snuggle" and tomorrow is "cold."  I think I will go and work on that snuggle idea now.  :)  

Friday, January 18, 2013

365 / 15 through 18

Today I lost an earring.  Which sounds like one of those things that just happens, not a huge deal.  But if you know me at all, you know that I never change my earrings.  I mean never.  They were my grandmother's earrings and they have probably been out of my ears about 10 times in the last 20+ years that I have had them.  So, my head feels a wee bit unbalanced today. 

I'm going to keep this one short since I'm all crooked. 

Tuesday's theme was "nut."  I had a few ideas for that one.  I thought for sure I could get a squirrel shot, since they are pretty plentiful these days.  But the squirrel that came by on Tuesday was really more of an apple guy, no nuts.

Then the cat got a little crazy.  I thought I could catch him at it.  And I did manage to get a quick shot of him thinking he was king of the maple tree, but not sure it had the "nut" quality I was looking for.  Trust me, this cat is pretty insane, but he acts all cool when the camera comes out.   See how he has that one ear back just a little, as if to say, "yeah, I'm on top of the tree, nothing nutty going on here, please move along."

And then I came across this beauty that I took a few days ago and I knew I had a winner.  Because my oldest son is a a true blue NUT.  Bonus points for including the cat.  Told ya he was insane.  I mean, look at him, pretending he is a hat.  NUT.

Wednesday the theme was "jumbled."  Things are always jumbled around here, but I wanted a shot of the kids - and true to form someone didn't cooperate, so these are kind of lacking focus, but I still like that I got all the kids in one place.  In a jumble on the floor.   First shot, color was off, focus was off, adjusted my settings and well - it was too late.

Guess who wasn't cooperating?  Here's a hint:  She is missing from the next photo:

Thursday was "favorite toy" and I got a few cute ones:

And since it was bath time too, I took a few to embarrass her with later.  I love her mermaid hair:

And then today was "a doorway."   I chose the doorway of my girl's little hiding place that she set up in her room.  She goes in there and reads and plays and watches movies on her mini DVD player that was a present from grandma.  I don't know how she has any room to sit in there with all the junk she piles inside, but she likes it and I have to admit that it looks cozy.

So, that's what I did this week.  Among other things.  This weekend the themes are "Bright" and "Playing."  I think those sound easy, but then again, my head is crooked so it might be harder than I think. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

365 / 14 In Low Light

Monday's assignment was "in low light."  Since I am learning all the fun new things my D600 can do, and since the low light capabilities are just light years ahead of my old D50, this was fun.

Mondays are always hectic because there are activities after school, but then we had a moment of quiet computer time and I was able to get a few quick shots of my daughter, entranced by her game.  I liked this in black and white.

So today (Tuesday) I am supposed to be working on "nut."  Should be fun.

365 / 12 & 13

The weekend was busy and that meant that Monday was an even busier catch up day, but I did take my photos!   For Saturday, I used the Sunday theme, "a stranger's smile" since we were going into New York on the train.  I was thinking I would snap a quick picture on the train or on the street.  And then I realized that I did not have the nerve for it.  This photo project is teaching me all kinds of things about what I need to work on.  Apparently I need a bit more chutzpa

We spent the day watching Tricia Messeroux work her magic and transform little girls into fashion models.

 It was really fun and I guess it gave me a bit of a push in the right direction, because after we were done, I did manage to get a few strangers to smile for the camera.  This guy was my favorite, he was obviously the owner of the shop and working hard to keep things in order.  I wish I had caught him a second sooner, before his hand covered his face, but you can see, he is smiling.

And then we had dinner and met this charming fellow - yes, I took this shot on auto because I had my old D50 with me and it has hardly any low light capabilities, but have to share our new friend Wesley Diamond, who is apparently a famous rapper in Jamaica.  You never know who you are going to meet in NYC, right?  And he was officially a stranger when we met him tonight, so I say this counts as a stranger's smile.

All in all, not the most successful exercise, but it definitely taught me that I need to work on stepping outside of myself.  Not always easy to do when I am herding one or all of my kids through the world, but definitely something to work on.

Then on Sunday I went with the Saturday theme of self portrait.  Again, I will say that I am not thrilled with what I got from this exercise as far as finished product goes, but I definitely learned a few things that I needed to work on!

I had the idea of a nice sillhouette in a window.  But my house was so crazy on Sunday, I knew that would not happen.  Then I thought I would find a spot by the lake and sit for a quiet, reflective shot.  My son said he would come to help me set up the shot.  And then my daughter heard and wanted to come.  And then she let the dog out.  Quiet, reflective portrait by the lake turned into dog chasing ducks into the water.  I don't think you can feel the mayhem in these pictures, but I tried to capture it.  

And that last photo I put in just because I thought that duck was cute with the little fluff on his head.

So OK, back to the business at hand - how to get a self portrait?  I was afraid to set my camera down and use the timer because the dog was so crazy.  So I tried the good 'ole long arm pose:

I look very serious, don't I?  I was trying to figure out if I had my settings right.

Then I told the kids to take the dog AWAY and forget about helping me set up the shot, I would just do it myself.  Hmmmm.  I put the camera on a chair, set the focus on the tree I planned to stand near, set the camera on timer, pressed the shutter and RAN for it.  I learned a lot from this:

1.  The self timer goes by PRETTY quickly when you have a distance to cover
2.  Focusing on the tree is NOT going to be the same as focusing on yourself. 
3.  If you run too fast and try to stand too close to the water, you *might* fall in, just a little.

Here's what I got, once again using a bunch of those Matt Kloskowski presets.  Nothing cleans up a slightly out of focus self portrait like the Wedding Fairytale preset.  And if you notice that I am standing with one leg up, like a stork, well, please refer to number three above.  Hey, isn't that tree PERFECTLY in focus? 

If you think that one is bad, check out this one.  Oops.

So, that was my learning experience.  I now know that I have to work on approaching strangers.  And work on self portraits again when it is NOT the weekend.  Monday's photo challenge is "In Low Light" and I will be posting that one shortly.  Hope you all had as much fun as I did this weekend!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

365/11 Climbing?

Today's photo was supposed to be about "climbing" ~ but it was another busy day and really rainy and gross outside so I didn't feel a deep need to explore the whole idea.  But I did take some photos today.   I had the camera on full auto for the first time in a while and just snapped some shots because I needed to see how some clothes worked on my girl.  So that's what you get instead of "climbing."

And even if the camera was on auto, I still love this shot.  I think it's the eyelashes.

Tomorrow - New York City, here we come.  I expect I will post all photos from the weekend on Sunday night or maybe Monday. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

365/10 ~ Real Life

Yesterday's photo theme was "real life."  Pretty true to the theme, I was so busy with my real life that I did not have time to blog that day, but I did manage a quick photo that sums up my real life pretty well.  And I kind of cracked myself up with it too.

So, here's the photo, and then a fun edited version:

So, do you get it?  Huh?  No? 

I know, not really all that funny, but the thing that made me chuckle was the preset I used.  Matt Kloskowski has a great site with free presets for Lightroom.  Since I am just beginning to learn photo editing, I have been playing around with some of his presets when I have the time.  This one was called "wedding fairytale."  So, that is what cracked me up, the monstrous pile of laundry (which, by the way, is only one of many) and the wedding fairytale theme of the preset. Looks like a dream come true, doesn't it?

Today's theme is climb.  We'll see what happens with that.  And then this weekend will be "Self Portrait" and "A Stranger's Smile."  I may flip flop them and do the self portrait on Sunday since we will be heading into NYC for Toddlewood on Saturday!  Sounds like a perfect chance to get a stranger's smile, right?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

365/9 Peaceful

I had some ideas for today, but my favorite shot had nothing to do with what I planned out.   Mr. O. Surprised me by sitting quietly at the table with his head down, and then just popped his head up and gave me this perfect stare.  So he wins for today's "peaceful" post.

Here are a few more from today.  I had a vision of my girl and the dog sitting sweetly by the lake, looking out at the water, very peaceful, right?  But the girl wanted to run, the dog wanted to go IN the water (in January?) and as it turned out, pictures of the boys sitting at the table were the most peaceful  ones I could get.  Go figure.