Tuesday, March 30, 2010

True Love

Mar28th f/3.2  1/30th (not bad result for my shaky hands!)  ISO200

My wonderful parents.  Coming up on 45 years of wedded bliss.  My heroes!



spring Break Here We Come!


f/3.5  1/60th ISO 400

The long haul from NC to SW Florida.  12 1/2 hours.  Highly recommend the ‘puppy between two children’ trick to keep everyone happy!



Monday, March 29, 2010

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge : "Dramatic B&W"

Springbreak09_279 BW

Spring Break.  Air boating in the Everglades to see alligators.  Except that there were no alligators to be seen.  The air boat operators made up for this by driving like maniacs and doing donuts every few minutes.  While the rest of us were thrilled  & screaming for more, my baby girl wasn’t feeling the same way.  However, I must say she was a trooper and didn’t outright cry, even though those furrowed brows and lone tear tell me she wanted to.


Wow - there are so many stunning entries this week at I Heart Faces – go take a gander!



Friday, March 26, 2010

my tulips


f/5.6  1/100 ISO200

Beauty is everywhere.  Taking a photo every day has really opened my eyes to this.

My tulips are blooming & it makes me smile!  I wish I had a macro lens to photograph them.

We are leaving for spring break & Florida before sunrise tomorrow, so I’ll be back  in a few days!



Fix it Friday #48

This is my first attempt @ Fix it Friday over @ I Heart Faces.  Several regular contributors to the I Heart Faces community edit a submitted photo, so that the rest of us can see & learn new editing techniques.  The fun part is you can play along, and submit your own edits. 

What a great shot!  Nice angle, adorable face, bright colors.

Before :



My after:

FIF48 copy1

Here’s what I did.  Now, this is much more editing than I normally do, and not sure this is entirely my style, but I do like the way that it turned out!

1. Curves Bump.  2. MCP Under Exposure Fixer – masked out hat and background

3. MCP Magic Powder 70%  - masked lips and eyes

4. MCP Eye Doctor – low opacity brush 25%

5. MCP Sharp People

6. Slight Crop

7. MCP Burnt Edges Low Res 60%

8. Florabella Lighten/Brighten 76% (one of my new favorites, even at low opacity)


Thursday, March 25, 2010



f/2.5  1/100  ISO 200  SPOT metering

I consider myself extremely lucky that my 5th grader loves to study.  She always has, and I hope she always will!

I tried spot metering for the first time tonight (been reading the manual lately).  I figured most of my light was coming from one spot, so I’d try!  I am quite please with the way the lighting turned out on this photo vs. matrix metering.  The matrix metering didn’t create the drama of directional light, as I feel this photo has. 

I processed using a free TRA B&W Action for Photoshop, tweaked a little more with curves & added just a little texture.



Technology Amazes Me

I found this over at Gizmodo this morning.  Upcoming Photoshop CS5 feature.  Wow.

If you have Photoshop, check it out.  If you don’t have Photoshop, still check it out!



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fields of Joy


f/9.0  1/80  ISO100

Beautiful, sunny morning!

  On my way to the lake for a walk/jog (still recovering from sciatic issue, so no actual ‘running’ yet).  I drive by this little old farmhouse all the time.  I love this type of old country scene.  I know this scene won’t last long.  To the right of this photo is an enormous college apartment complex.  Our area is growing very quickly, which is good for the economy, but bad for peaceful scenes as these. 

I always think to myself how fun it would be to dress up the kids and take their photos frolicking in this field!  Some day real soon – before the bugs and snakes take over. 



Thank You I Heart Faces!

I am thrilled and honored to tell you that a photo of mine was published on the I Heart Faces blog today! 

The subject was (and still is – not too late to share your photo)  “Beautiful Sky” photos.  Here’s the post to see all of the honorees, and here is the photo that I chose to share:


Funny too – the *only* editing I did on this photo was slight sharpening.  Yes, the sky in NC can be that blue!

I Heart Faces hosts not only contests and giveaways, but a huge community network of photographers of many levels,  from beginner to pro.  It is a place to learn & a place to share.  It’s a community I’m proud to be a part of!



Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, Monday


f/2.8  1/160  ISO 800

My baby girl.  Hittin’ the books, and loving every minute of it.  I consider myself lucky (and take great pride) that my children truly enjoy reading, and will do it even when I don’t ask.  What could be better than finding your child reading on their own accord?

I love this photo because I know this toothless phase isn’t going to last long.   Those big crooked fangs will come in any day now.  And not that I don’t love them, but this is my baby.  My youngest.  Last chance for toothless grin (besides me & my hubby when we get older – ha!)  So expect a lot of toothless pictures in the near future.

She’s also in a growth spurt.  I mean, I know this isn’t the best angle for chins, but check out the meat!  Since my children are normally very thin, I love it when they bulk up ;)



Crossing the Creek


f/4.5  1/160 ISO100

Hiked with the family this weekend – glorious weather! 

My son skipped ahead and decided to cross the creek on this log that was 10+ feet over about 6 inches of water. 

Can you see how proud he is of himself?

Yes, I had a cow, BUT I managed embrace the moment, embrace his boyhood & snap a few memories ;)



I Heart Faces : “ Focusing on Angles” Photo Challenge



This week at I Heart Faces, it’s all about shooting photos from different angles.  Lucky for me last week’s theme for my 365 was perspective.  I laid on my back to get this photo of my son swinging in the treetops!




Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hello Spring.

Magnolia3 copy

f/3.2  1/1250  ISO100

77 and not a cloud in the sky today – fabulous!

Can you find the heart in this photo?



Friday, March 19, 2010

Through the Looking Glass


f/5.0  1/80  ISO400



I love warmer weather!


f/4.5  1/500  ISO200

I love warmer weather because children like to play OUTside!

Perspective on this shot was laying on my back.  I like the way you do not see any fence, and all tree tops.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty’s Day!


f/2.5  1/160 ISO100 

My son on the way to school today – so full of spirit this child – I even painted his nails green like his sis!  I did change up my perspective and try to shoot from above him … and that worked out really well for the catch lights I must say!

On a different note, check out this cupcake idea:

rainbow cupcake

How cute are they?  I may  make these today and surprise my kids.  Here’s the link if you’re interested – you basically make white cake mix and use six different bowls to make six different colors.

Yes, I am a child from the 80’s – LOVE some rainbows!!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Six Year Old Perspective


f/4.0  1/60 ISO100 speedlight bounced off ceiling to the rear a little, avoiding flash glare in vase (or trying anyway!)

I was talking with my children after school today over snack, and mentioned to them the word perspective.  Asked them if they knew what it meant.  We had a nice chat.  We  decided that everyone would come up with their own perspective photo this week – yeah for me!  (And for them too).   I love to see how children interpret things – I think we could all learn a lot!


I Heart Faces Photo Challenge : “Bundled Up”

A celebration of cold weather is going on @ I Heart Faces this week.  I am happy to report that we are going to see our first 70’s this weekend – and can’t wait!  Bye-Bye cold weather!!!

IHF 11 copy1

This photo was taken around the holidays. We were sipping hot chocolate, waiting for the Santa Train (:


Monday, March 15, 2010



The new theme for this week is perspective.  I am intrigued and inspired… and ready to tackle it!  Did you know that changing your perspective is a key way to change your pictures from snapshots to photographs? 

My normal morning routine includes some sort of exercise after the children go to school.  With my leg injury, I am not able to exercise.  I believe I am having withdrawal symptoms! So much that I dropped the kids off at school, and headed to my favorite arboretum to breath the crisp morning air, and clear my head.  Too bad when I was done with my 45 minute stroll (and a few perspective shots), my leg was not feeling too well.  Sigh.


f/3.2  1/1250  ISO100   Underneath the plant

I’ve been keeping up with this plant (my memory fails the name – sorry!), waiting for the flowers to face upward, but they haven’t, and it doesn’t appear they will.


f/4.0  1/100  ISO100      Into the Sun

I must say, I love love this photo!   I was aiming for glare (which normally your f stop should be a bit bigger #), and got that gorgeous red/orange circle!   I am wondering if there is something on my sensor?  It doesn’t make sense, but I love it! 


Old Fashioned Fun!

Mar14th Kite Day

What a fun day!  Kite Day for the YMCA Guides & Princesses.  This is a free blog board from MCP Actions.  I’ve been wanting to try this for a while.  I think it turned out okay – I definitely see that I could rearrange the photos (:

Unfortunately, last week’s ‘old’ theme caught up with me, and I’m feeling old!  I have injured my nerve in my leg.  I shouldn’t have gone out to kite day, but I just couldn’t miss it.  I didn’t quite realize how much I get down on the ground for photos until now … now that I can’t … or shouldn’t. 

Will keep you posted – wish me luck that the steroids work the trick.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ice Cream Man

Mar13th Mar13th_1

                f/5.3  1/250  ISO 100                                                                                       f/4.0  1/320  ISO 100

Not sure we’ve ever seen one of these in the neighborhood before, but the kids SURE knew what that sound was! 

Something ‘Old’ in the nostalgic sense.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Poor Puppy


f/5.6  1/60  ISO100  Speedlight bounced off ceiling

Our Christmas puppy Willis.  Loves to roll & dig in the leaves in our backyard.  SOME one in my house (not I) decided to give little Willis a trim last night, in hopes to cut back on the leaf piles that accumulate in his hair, and eventually  in our house.  As you can see, Willis isn’t too happy with this hack job, and stuck his tongue out at me!

Groomers, here we come…


I Heart Faces : Fix it Friday #47

FIF 47

“Fix it Friday” is not a contest, but a chance to learn and see from others their editing techniques. 

FIF 47 copy

Here’s what I did to the photo using CS4:

Nik Dfine 2.0  100%      MCP Under Exposure Fixer ran TWICE at 100%      Slight Curves S  

Channel Mixer – Color Pop (learned from recent tutorial here) each channel @ 130% 

MCP Sharp People 35% and masked the skin to keep it as smooth as possible since there is a lot of noise in this pic

Cropped 10x8  and ran MCP Burnt Edges Low Resolution 50%


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Something Old- Ouch!


f/4.0  1/60 ISO100 Speedlight fired & bounced off ceiling

I cringe just looking at this photo!  Did you ever use an epilady? I know that my mom & sisters are laughing at the memories right now :) 


Going Through Some Changes!

Yes, my blog is under construction right now and I’m excited!

Yes, the current banner photos are not mine, but that will change once I get the kids to school!



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Opposite of Old


f/2.2  1/250  ISO200

I’m sorry to say the ‘old’ theme just didn’t inspire me today.  And that’s okay.  I told myself if I couldn’t stick to a theme for an entire week, I wouldn’t.  Just wasn’t feeling the love today! Instead, I jetted to the arboretum again this morning.  I am on a mission to see the giant magnolia blooms!  No blooms yet, but soon.  I read somewhere recently that the best light to photograph flowers is an overcast day.  That it was today.  I also read you should shoot with your shutter around 1/200, to compensate for any breezes that might move the flowers. 

I also tried new processing today.  I read this post about how to make your colors pop in Photoshop.  Don’t get me wrong, I love actions, but I also like to know how things work.  I also used textures from the Florabella Collection (sorry don’t remember which ones!)

I also used the *FREE* CoffeeShop Web Color Block It Action to frame up the flower.  It took a little experimenting to get the size of the colorblock correct, but I just love it!  Thanks Rita!!


Giveaway at Maternal Lens

Check out the birthday giveaway at the Maternal Lens – great prizes!

DSC_4964 BW


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Old Photo


f/1.8  1/80  ISO400

Just love this pic of me and two of my brothers.  Good ole  Olan Mills! 


f/2.8  1/400 ISO100

Now, she’s not old, but I wanted to share this comparison with you.   History repeating itself!  Makes me feel old ;)

Hoping to get out and about soon to find an old barn or farmhouse to photograph. 


Old Window


f/2.5  (should have had it higher to get greater depth) 1/250  exposure –0.67 (oops – I find I need to be more aware of what is changing when I’m shooting manual & rolling the dial!)  ISO100

I love how the bricks are painted green to look like shutters.


Monday, March 8, 2010

I Heart Faces - “Jump for Joy”


I love action shots, and my kids love them even more!  My favorite ones are when they kids don’t know I’m shooting.  Capturing those types of moments make my heart sing ;)

Lots of action happening at I Heart Faces this week – take a visit!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Something Old

In an attempt to NOT burn out at this project, I’ve decided to try a theme for this week.  I am following a fellow 365 blogger Sheryl that I met in blog-land, and using the theme something old.

Mar7th web

f/3.5  1/250  ISO100

This cluster bench of seats was gifted to a friend of ours.  The seats are originals (we think) from the Reynolds Coliseum at NC State.  The Coliseum was built in 1949.  We are all huge NCSU fans, so these are very special seats.  We are glad that our friend brought them over today so that we could watch NCSU whoop Boston College while seated in them!



Mar6th_1 Mar6th

f/2.8  1/640  ISO 400

After my son’s last bball game, we decided to head downtown to celebrate and enjoy the sunny warm afternoon!  The mural really caught our eye, and we all thought it would be fun to incorporate it into a photograph :)


Friday, March 5, 2010

I’ve Got a Feeling…

Mar5th web

                                                                                                     f/2.8  1/100 ISO100

… that tonight’s gonna be a good night.  That tonight’s gonna be a good good night.  Ha ha! Listened to the radio too much today!

Had a ‘free’ hour this afternoon (didn’t feel like doing chores), so I headed to the JC Raulston Arboretum to see how the flowers are blooming.  Fell in love with this tree.  Can’t remember the name, similar to a weeping willow. But with flowers.  Love. 

I’ve got a feeling … I’ll be visiting the arboretum a lot this Spring. 


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Strange Looks

A typical scenario.  It’s the end of the day and I haven’t taken my daily photo yet.  Quite honestly I am feeling burned out by all this winter!  So ready for spring green leaves and flowers!

Anyhew, my son was outside hitting the baseball and I thought that would make for a cool sports shot.  A chance to  practice my manual skills with high shutter speed in low light.  Something I don’t do often. 

These pictures crack me up, as NONE of the (many many) shots I took had any ‘normal’ faces.  Who knew?!

Mar4th web

f/2.2  1/500  ISO400   I raised my ISO to attain the fast shutter speed.  Wanted to keep shallow depth of field with low f number so that the neighbor’s house would be blurred!  Processed using Florabella Color Action Cosmopolitan 62% and curves to brighten a bit more.

Mar4th_1 web

f/2.5  1/500 ISO400  processed same as first photo.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Snow… again…

Mar3rd web

f/1.8  1/200 ISO100

It snowed last night!  Not a lot, but good grief, enough already!  This is NC for goodness sakes!

I was at the lake this morning for my run, and decided to bring my camera with me in hopes to capture a fleeting snow photo.  One last one before we hit the 60’s later this week!  Well, there wasn’t much snow and nothing really caught my eye, except this little sapling coming up out of the ground.  This photo really stands out to me in B&W, as the snow underneath really creates some depth, and even movement to the photo. 


I Heart Faces Photo Challenge : “Hilarious Outtakes”

IHF Outtakes

My daughter refers to this as her “magician photo”! 

We decided to pluck the petals from my Valentines Day flowers, and use them as a prop for some photos with her, since she already had her fancy dress on :)  I asked her to spread out the petals, and was taking some test shots for lighting. 

Voila!  It’s Magic!

Come join the fun over at I Heart Faces !


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

All You Need Is…

Mar2nd web

Found this on my 6year olds desk this morning.  She is a shining star for sure ;)  Happy happy happy!