30 is the new 20…

Oh goodness, I hope not. I turned 30 a couple of weeks ago, and the weeks leading up to that were a little bit of a rollercoaster.  I was happy to be done with my 20’s one minute, the next minute I would feel upset that I wasn’t “young” anymore.  See, I was looking at 30 through a 21 year old’s eyes.  30 was ancient to me. If I was to have a conversation with someone past 30 (and not a good friend) I subconsciously thought of it as unsolicited advice.  And I’m sure many will now see me as giving unsolicited advice.  And guess what….I’m okay with that.

Looking back at the last year, with the help of this little blog, I have realized a couple of things about myself and my life. For example…

#1. I have a crazy busy life! And I loved it that way! Absolutely loved it. In the last couple months I have figured out, that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  I felt that I needed to prove to myself and maybe one other (if I’m going to be completely honest)person that I could handle the world on my shoulders, and I’ve finally figured out that it’s not worth it.  I have cancelled my plans to continue on to my masters degree and instead am planning on taking the test for my professions certification.

#2. I am constantly searching for something to fulfill me.  Now, I don’t mean like a child, or a family, or a career. I mean something that is purely selfish and self-fulfilling.  I wanted to do something only for myself, that would make me happy. I didn’t care if it made anyone else happy.  I went through a running spree….the next great marathoner I was not! I started a blog…which is hit and miss for me sometimes. I’m walking this line of how much do I share, how much do I keep to myself? Do I keep my real personnality in check or do I just let it all hang out?  I wanted to buy a coffee shop, or open a day care! My most recent adventure in photography finally fit the bill though.  I know because I’ve been obsessed for over a year…that’s a decade in my time. Im not worried about if people will like my personal work, I mean I hope they do, but it’s not my #1 concern. I think I’ve finally found that one thing! Yay!

#3. I have a pretty awesome life. Like everyone I have had some very hard times, that I wouldn’t wish on even my worst enemy, but in between those hard times are great times!  I have been very blessed at work. I had an amazing boss who gave me plenty of good advice and reality checks. I have an awesome little boy who cracks me up at least hourly. He teaches me patience daily, and has pulled me through some of my hardest times in my life. He really is my heart. I have an amazing husband. We have gone through our hard times as any married couple will tell you they have if they are being honest, but were still here! He’s an amazing father. I never have to worry about going on travel for work, because he’s competent. That was very important to me when making my “list”.  I live comfortably. I don’t have to worry about how Im going to find food to put on the table, or how I’m going to clothe my family.

I’m looking forward to my 30’s.  I pictured myself knowing how to handle situations better, how to talk less and listen more, how to not take things so seriously, to rise above things. Basically I think that I’m going to be able to rise above myself and put more effort into the bigger picture.  I want to bring more babies into this world, and become more involved with the March for Dimes. I want to learn how to take better photographs and use off camera flash so that I can become involved with NILMDTS.  I want to build another house where we will stay forever. And I want to be comfortable with the decisions I make, and not look outwards for validation.  The 30’s will be great! Thank you everyone for joining me on this rollercoaster ride!

8 Easy Tips for Lens Flare (Tutorial)

This is my first ever tutorial as promised. Hopefully it’s understandable and easy to simulate :).

I first started exploring photography almost a year ago today, and part of that exploring meant pouring over blogs and reading tons of websites devoted to photographers.  I love almost every type of photo out there, but the ones that always caught my eye were light and airy. Many had these amazing little rainbow circles that were almost magical to me! Come to find out, it’s actually something that isn’t wanted by many photographers, thus the invention of lens hoods.  Well! I am not one to go by the rules, so after many months of experimenting I’ve figured a few tricks out to get that little rainbow circle in my photo’s. Btw the rainbow circle is called a lens flare sometimes refered to as a sun flare.

Hint #1: It’s easier to produce a lens flare with a crappy lens! All you kit lens owners rejoice!!! That’s me too btw! So even if you own an awesome $1,500.00 lens but have yet to master the lens flare, pull out that first lens you bought or that came with your gear.


Lens EF50 f/1.8 II
ISO 100
1/500 sec f 2.8

Hint #2: Focusing. It’s practically impossible to focus when you’re shooting straight into the sun. So I block out the sun with my hand while I focus and expose for my subject. I have my focus set for center focus so once I get it, I will recompose and then click.

Lens EF-S55-250mm f/4-5
1/250 sec at f / 5.6
ISO 100

Hint #3: Exposing. This one took me FOREVER to get. I admit, I still have a way to go figuring out exposure. I’ve abandoned the meter inside my camera, because more times than not, it’s wrong. Or maybe not “wrong”, just not what I’m going for. So here’s the trick. Set up the histogram to show on your display. I was terrified of histograms, but trust me, they aren’t THAT bad. :).  When going for lens flare, most of the time, if not all, the background will be blown out. Who cares!? It’s part of the creative process that comes with the look we’re trying to achieve.  So expose for your subject.  And over-expose that by a little more so you don’t have a black blob.

Lens EF-S55-250mm f/4-5
1/250 sec at f / 5.6
ISO 100

Hint #4: Shoot during the golden hours. If not, you will be on the ground aiming up, which isn’t bad, it’s just not always as easy.

Hint #5: You can actually see it through the lens! I look for the flare in my viewfinder. When I can see it, I know that I have it.  It’s not as big on the photo as it is in the viewfinder though so don’t be shocked!

Nifty Fifty
1/320 @ f / 3.2
ISO 100

Hint #6: Different apertures will give you different shapes. When I have my aperture opened all the way up (think low numbers) I get round flares. When I have it closed (higher numbers) I get more of a hexagon shape.

Nifty Fifty
1/100 sec @ f / 3.2
ISO 100

Hint #7: Different lens’ have different colored flare.

Nifty fifty
1/1000 sec @ f / 2.8
ISO 100

Hint #8: Have fun!

This is my absolute favorite that I took when I first started trying to get lens flare!

1/20 sec @ f / 29
ISO 400

This Past Month….

Hello all you out there!!! So I bet you’re dying to know what I’ve been up to? Well, as usual I have been very busy with dinosaurs, mammoths, and blushing brides, oh my! I think I’ll keep this post to the dinosaurs and mammoths though :).

On September 3rd…wow is time flying by or what?!…we went to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. This trip was prompted by the movie Night at the Museum and Romans fondness for dinosaurs. Well its more of an obsession really. My days are filled with talks about dinosaurs, or hell just talking to imaginary dinosaurs that are sitting on top of the house or next to us at dinner. I digress…

Do you see the pitiful look on his face? It looks like he’s hating life. The only thing he was hating at the moment was that he couldn’t ride the T-Rex like the kid does in the movie. He lives a hard life I know.

Almost a smile here. Lol! Oh my…

Once he got over that little reality check it was all good. The museum was beautiful and much bigger than I expected.

This is one of my favorite photo’s from the whole day. I love catching him when he’s in his own world. He may not be looking at me but I know exactly what he’s thinking and feeling.

The next day we headed to the La Brea Tar Pits. No dinosaurs, but plenty of prehistoric creatures!

Roman and Sal are pushing a rod into tar. I was amazed that there was tar coming up in the middle of LA. It smelled kinda…well, like tar.

Here’s Roman with Manny :). He had such a good time and keeps asking to go back. I just got an invitation to a Halloween event being held there and I’m thinking we might go.

On an other note….Im nearing my one year mark. Oct 6th is it people! I will be turning the big 30! So much has changed, yet so much has remained the same! I plan on doing at least two more posts before than. Hey…that will make it the most I’ve blogged in a couple of months! Hehe. One post will be a tutorial on sun flares. Ill do that tomorrow, and of course, one will be on my birthday. I cant believe it’s almost here!