Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day!



The colors on the photo look much brighter in photoshop than here (by the way, all I did to this photo was sharpen it!).  Need to investigate – open to any suggestions or information.

Oh, and that’s not frozen spit – it’s an icicle!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Gearing Up for Snow!

They’re calling for 5-7 inches tomorrow.  All fingers crossed…


Hat made by Grandma – does it get any better?!


Need to find hat made by Grandma – but take my picture too Mom!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chrono order?

I meant to somehow keep these posts & pics in chrono order … oops! 


My boy.  So studious (when he wants to be anyway!)


Goofball & Loverboy (:


Catching Up!

Who knew that a 5 day vacation could set me back so far?!  I feel like I’m in one of those dreams where I’m running, but going nowhere.  However, starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel… and maybe tomorrow I’ll unpack!


Enjoying ice cream on a somewhat balmy afternoon.  Snow forecasted for tomorrow night – we’ll see!


Treated myself to a post vacation hair-cut.  First time I’ve had bangs (or ‘fringe’) since the 90’s?!!  Not particularly fond of the photo, but that’s all I took that day.  Will definitely try again!


And of COURSE she lost that tooth while I was gone!


Beautiful day… sad to leave FLA


VERY windy in SW Florida this day.  Tested my agility (and camera settings/shutter speed) by trying to catch this soaring bird in flight. 


My gorgeous baby sis



Baby sis lounging poolside


First day in sunny FLA.  Went for a powerwalk/photowalk and found this lovely treasure!  My favorite flower by far.  It was windy outside and the flower kept blowing in the breeze, so I had to speed up my shutter to catch this shot.


Saturday, January 23, 2010


Hello! Just a quick update ... I'm in sunny south FLA with my sisters and sister-in-laws, enjoying some much needed relaxation and bonding time :)

I am still working on the 365 project, and will catch up my photos upon my return.
I usually use the program Windows Live Writer to update my blog, since I've found it is an easy peasy way to blog, and you can post large photos. (I don't have that program here)

Have a great weekend!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Park Day Monday

I love taking my kids to the park.  It makes my heart sing to see them run, skip, laugh & be in nature.  I think park dates will be one of the things I miss the most once my children grow up.  Oh, and yes, it was another lovely day in the 60’s!  Hardly warm enough to play in the creek… but oh well… sometimes you just gotta go with it!



A Lovely Long Weekend


Saturday – we were so happy it was ‘warm’ out … upper 50’s anyway … much better than the bitter cold just days before.

Perfect weather for puppy training!

Jan17_1 Jan17

Then Sunday came, and what a weather treat we received – 70 degrees for the first half of the day.  This is why I love NC so much.  Just when you think you can’t take the weather (especially cold) anymore, it changes.  We spent most of the day outside on Sunday – nice!



Hubby was giddy with a chain-saw! (wish I had gotten the blade in the pic!)


And I was photographing all day, have a lovely time in between rain showers.  I have started playing with textures as well.  So much fun, but so time consuming!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rule of Thirds


The sun was almost down, and I realized I hadn’t taken my photo today.  I turned my ISO all the way up to 1600 (which in my D60 creates a LOT of noise),  and luckily was able to achieve a fast enough shutter speed to hand hold my camera, and grab this quick shot of Willis.

I am proud to say that I instinctively took this photo using the rule of thirds (I normally have to think to myself “compose the shot”).  If you don’t know what that is, here is a great place to learn about it!  One of my many goals with this 365 project is to sharpen my skills with my camera, and need less time in Photoshop cropping and editing.  I am  happy to report that I am on my way!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Variety Thursday


My baby girl is getting ready to pass into young girl-hood.  Losing a front tooth any second now.  Yeah, she’s lost a couple already, but nothing changes the smile more than the front tooth.  That sweet baby smile … who knew I was so sentimental?  I do embrace her growing up, but it’s just so bittersweet with the youngest one.

I am shooting in Manual Mode on my Nikon D60 now (M on the dial).  Thus, this picture has ‘blown out’ highlights, as my setting weren’t quite correct.  Funny though, I kinda like it.  I may try this more often, perhaps not as severely.  We’ll see.  The beauty of photography and taking lots of pictures – you learn something every day!  Whether it be about your personal tastes or operating your camera, it’s a good thing.  I can already tell I am going to enjoy this 365 journey!


May be one of the last times I see this perfect little ‘baby’ smile.


There’s more! As if ice on the lake wasn’t enough of an oddity (first time in 5 years), now there’s swans!  Lucky for me I happened to grab my camera on the way out the door.  I was simply going to take photos of the ice, as my children were skeptical.  I was jogging along, checking for good views to come back and take photos of ice, and if I didn’t stop dead in my tracks and rub my eyes!  A pair of swans making a perfect heart shape with their heads!  To make the long story short, I ran BACK to my car (about 1/2 mile), got my camera, and proceeded to have a really fun photo walk/jog in the 28 degree weather.  (I’m so so lucky to have the freedom to do these things!)


One more from my photo walk.  Definitely going to do this EVERY month!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010



I feel so lucky to have tall trees in my backyard.


I feel so lucky to have this little critter.


Monday, January 11, 2010

some new blog love

check it the brand new Beyond Snapshots Blog!


We Are Family


Stumbled upon this family line up in our playroom today.  Shot this cute family from many angles with many different flash settings.  Still figuring out my SB-600.  A wide angle lense would have been nice too!


Photo Challenge - “Best Face Photo”

DSC_1374 copy

Sipping hot cocoa, waiting for the Santa train

Happy first birthday to a fabulous photography community… i heart facesI love their contests, and have resolved to do my very best to be more active in their community.  So much to learn, and so much to share.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Relaxing Sunday


We bathed puppy and played puppy games.


The perfect age (almost 11) for baking.  Must have heard 10 times today how she’s going to be a chef – love it!


We made extremely delicious cupcakes from scratch…you can find the recipe here.  Impressed my neighbors with these delicious treats. (good way to save calories – take to neighbors! sorry CQ !) I have never tasted a cupcake so decadent.  Love my Ina Garten cookbook!

Hope your Sunday was relaxing as well.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday Chores


New Year’s Resolution #873 … children do chores Sat. AM.  Teaches family values and worth.

Placed chore list on sticky note at each child’s seat this morning.

These are the ones found at our seats by our 6 year old. 

Out of the mouths of babes :)


Friday, January 8, 2010

Comparing Apertures

Aperture is defined as the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken.
(A good place to read more here)

This is my brief attempt to help you understand what aperture is.  My ‘aha’ moment was from a blog post I read last year (wish I could remember where!) that was brief and had pictures to support the data. 

Although I am trying to shoot in manual mode only (M on the Nikon dial), I frequently shoot in Aperture mode (A on the Nikon dial).  In my opinion, aperture allows you to tell the story how you want to.  You can choose to have one point of the picture clear and spotlight that subject (large aperture = small f #), or you can choose to tell the story of the scene and have the entire frame clear (small aperture = large f#).

It is confusing, but the more you read and the more you practice, the more sense it will make!


Jan08 Jan08_1 Jan08_2

      f /2.2     shutter 1/320   ISO100                       f/4.5     shutter 1/80   ISO 100                f/6.3     shutter 1/60    ISO200

          low f- stop = large opening                         higher f-stop… notice slower shutter       higher f-stop … look at background!

                      fast shutter                                                and background not as blurry                raise ISO to keep shutter speed 1/60



f/14.0    shutter 1/100  ISO 1600 (high iso=faster shutter but = lots of digital noise.  Just look at the vase – looks grainy)

I am fortunate enough to own a lense (the one I shoot with 80% of the time) that allows me to close my aperture down quite small (big big number!).  Just look at how much of the background is included in telling this story.  Looks like a nice, sunny day for a BBQ, eh?  Guess again – it’s 25 degrees outside!  But you get my point anyway.

Hope this post helped you along on your photography journey!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010



Realized on my way out the door to fulfill my chauffeur duties that I hadn’t taken a photo today.  I almost forgot (which isn’t surprising these days!).   Luckily there was enough light in the sky to capture this tree silhouette. 

Photo edited with Pioneer Woman’s  Boost Action for Photoshop.  If you haven’t been to her blog, you should check it out.  She has an entire section devoted to photography.  Lots of free goodies and great advice there!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good Morning Sunshine


Caught a little sun flare this morning.  How to capture sun flare post coming soon!


Monday, January 4, 2010


18 degrees this morning.  kids went ice hunting, skating & smashing  in field next door before school today …

the best things in life are free!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

January 3rd


My boy.  My boy who’s pants were too long  before Christmas … this very same pair.  Got a haircut today, and all of the sudden he looks so much older.

Jan03_2  Jan03_3

Ice.  Something we don’t see much of here in NC.  It is a real treat when the ‘frog pond’ freezes over.  It is an even bigger treat when the ice is thick enough to stand on, or is it? Looks like this time the old conch shell test proved correct! 


365 Pictures

I have always been intrigued with the idea of taking a photo per day, so here I go.  Decided yesterday, Jan2nd, to begin my journey. Hubby says will be easy… we’ll see!  I hope I stick with it, and cannot wait for the end product as well.

I imagine some days there will simply be a photo of my coffee cup.  And some days I will be inspired.  But best of all, in the  process I will (hopefully) sharpen my photography skills.  “Live what you Love”.  One of my many New Year’s resolutions.

By the way,  this blog is a work in progress.  Going to make it really schnazzy in the near future!

To make up for missing Jan1st, I will post two from yesterday. (It helps that I have two that I love!)

Still loving her violin!



Nothing left but the clean-up.  Fastest holiday break to date, I must say.