Family Time

Cant you just hear the laughter coming from these two? The weather was perfect today so of course we went outside.  We threw rocks, fixed the garden, and played with tractors. I love spending time outside with my boys! I need to start using the crock pot more though. I hate having to go inside and make dinner in the middle of all the fun. By the way….I am way outnumbered in the house now. We got another dog. Yep another pound puppy.

His name is Cheech. Unfortunately he is very sick right now. He had kennel cough, a double ear infection, and an intestinal virus. He’s been on medication for a week now and still isn’t feeling better. He’s going back on Monday.

I have a couple of things growing in the garden. So far we’ve only harvested radishes, but we have cucumbers, pea’s, 3 different types of beans, tomatoes-big and small, jalapeno, and orange bell pepper. To be honest with you, there are other things that I’m not sure of what they are because nothing was growing so I just threw a whole bunch of seeds down in no particular order. I’ll let you know when they are growing something.

I’ll leave you with some more laughter for the weekend…

I really like this last one though. Think Ill print it out. 🙂

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Absense

I know I’ve havent posted in a while, and the truth is I am busy, and enjoying no pressure. On the flip side I miss all of you! The good thing is I have been taking photo’s in the mean time. Here are a few….

This is SOOC, from a photo walk with Jake!

This isnt. Lol! I like it a lot though. I might put it in my bathroom. Need to print it and see what it looks like.

I also did a “for fun” photo shoot with Roman’s best friend Ty. We went out at sunset and I thought “I’ve got this!” Lol. No I didn’t. I learned a ton of things. Like fill flash is your friend at sunset, get closer, and use the middle focusing dot. 🙂 Doesnt Sal look good though? 😉

Ty….showing some love to the world.

Every Memorial Day weekend Sal plays soccer in a local tournament called the 5-A-Side. Unfortunately this Memorial was horrible. The wind was killer. It took me soooo long to get the dirt out of my ears. Yuck. Sals team did really well, but unfortunately the last team was a fouling bunch and won by one point…off of a hand ball. Isnt that some ish? Oh well….there’s always next year.

The tournament is near and dear to Sal’s heart. Its put on in memory of Sal’s best friend Matt Armstrong who died his sophomore year due to Meningitis. Sal has played every year almost since it’s conception. 60 teams played this year. What a great tribute!

Anyways, I’m going to try to post more often and catch up with everyone’s posts!

Death Valley

We took a little trip to Death Valley. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, but something I had gotten some resistance on now for some time. I won!! Lol!  I’ll give you the scenic pictures first…

We went the “back way” through Olancha and ended up getting to Furnace creek about 3 hours later. Haha. Yeah…I thought that was the only way to get there. Apparently it’s not. And apparently the only way to get to Trona besides Ridgecrest is through Death Valley. I’m telling you, I learn things by leaps and bounds every day! Anyways, we stopped at the Furnace Creek Resort. Its built into the side of a mountain and you go through this tunnel and take an elevator up three floors to get to the lobby. My pictures of the tunnel do it no justice. Jake however has taken some amazing pictures of it if you want to see something cool.

We got a room for the night even though we weren’t planning on it at all. We had no change of clothes no toiletries, nothing! But the offer they made us was half price what it normally is, and we were tired of driving. So we went swimming and strolled the grounds, exploring the natural springs. The pool is a natural spring and the green is all from the springs. Nothing piped in from a well or city water. A true oasis in the middle of the desert.

Wordless Wednesday

Your Best Advice

 

I figure the hardest thing about being a photographer would be the originality part. Well for me anyways.  I think it stems back to the time when I was told as a child to color inside the lines! Damn teachers! Lol!

I went with Jake this morning to my grandma’s house. She’s got some really rustic stuff out there and I showed him around. With my Grandma’s approval of course. Afterwards he showed me a little around CS5. I’m movin on up! Ya, tried to put a texture on the next pic. No go. Have no idea what I’m doing! Ahhhh….what’s new though?

What a wonderful day of learning what I’m interested in! Yay for fun learning! We talked about the business of going into business for yourself. I’m have a degree in Business, but it has to be so scary to take that plunge! I’m good taking pics of my kiddo’s and friends just for fun. I would LOVE to try my hand at newborn photography though! Just for fun of course. I could never charge anyone for what I’m doing :)!

Later in the day we went over to Honey (my mom) and Grandpa’s house. Last weekend my mom was watering the plants in their courtyard when a bird flew out of one and nearly scared her half to death. I took half of the batch a couple of days ago and picked up the rest today since she never came back. I’m pretty sure they are quail eggs (thanks boss), but not sure they will ever hatch. Poor guys!

I’m really working hard to try to improve but there are so many ways, I’m not sure where to start. Still constantly thinking of composition and light. I had to restrain myself until the end of the day to take photo’s hehe.

I asked Jake today what was the best advice about photography he had ever been given was. Now I want to hear from you. Tell me what turned that lightbulb on for you!

Like a Sponge

First off, I would like to say sorry to all of you that I usually comment on. I’ve been crazy busy lately, and really just havent wanted to be near the computer. I hope I caught up with some of you though! Hopefully more tomorrow. The weather is horrible right now and supposedly for the remainder of the week, so I’ll have plenty of time. The past week or so has been full of getting ready for taxes, finals, and Roman’s birthday. Super busy! I’m currently done with one final (ugh Western Civ II) and working on the paper for the next one.

Anyways, on to the title of the post! I have been thirsty for more EVERYTHING about photography lately. I found a couple of great tutorial sites about LR and natural light and….well everything that when I am on the computer and not doing homework at night I’m reading everything I can. I even put the photo of Roman’s crazy eyes in a Flickr critique group. And guess what!? It got ripped to shreds! Lol! But I’m happy about it! I was at a point for a couple of weeks where I was stuck. I know and knew that there is a ton more to learn, but I was stumped on what was next. Its like I saw all of these paths leading to a light, but wasnt sure what path I should take. So I think I’ve figured it out. Composition. I’ve learned the rule of thirds, now I need to pay attention to everything else in the photo too! Haha! Who woulduve thunk it? Ohh and I’m going to look into ISO. I hate going above 400 on my camera because they come out so grainy, and that’s usually not the effect I’m going for. I know you can get a good pic above this, but I havent figured out how to yet.  So much to learn!

Boy’s are always dirty at this age aren’t they? He was laughing so hard that I actually caught a smile! Oh and the garden pic…yeah those are toys at the end. So far this garden (there are two) has had a bike ride over it like it’s a freakin BMX track or something, a dog jump all over it, and dog poop on it. Oh and its supposed to freeze tomorrow night. After our 90 degree weather last week I was sure we were on to spring! Ugh!!! So far all I have got to grow IN the garden are cucumbers strawberries and radishes. Not sure they will be here after tomorrow night though. UGH! Oh well, to tell you the truth I really enjoy my time in the garden. Even if nothing grows. Okay…that’s a lie 🙂 I better get one cucumber, one strawberry and one radish at this point!

Trona Sunrise

I got up unbelievably early today to head down the road about 20 minutes to Trona, CA. I wanted to catch the sunrise, but without someone counting on me I wouldnt have gotten up. So I called my Dad and asked him to go with me. It was his birthday yesterday, so I thought while we were in Trona we would have breakfast with his granddaughter and my niece Lexi.

For those who don’t know what type of town Trona is I’ll break it down really quick. If you blink you miss it. It smells like rotten eggs because it’s home to a Borax mine. The highschool football team plays on a dirt field. It used to have a HUGE salt water public pool. The roads are red.  A lot of movies were filmed here including but not limited to The Planet of the Apes; that desert scene…ya that’s Trona.  The people are close-knit and are very protective of each other and the town. 

While I hate mornings, Trona did not disappoint. The clouds colored the sky with blues an pinks and oranges. Beautiful. 

Trona has a lot of abandoned houses and for lack of a better word…junk, laying everywhere. That’s not a bad thing though! It makes for some cool photo’s. This was my first time shooting a sunrise, and I learned a couple of things. You need a tri-pod. My dad bought me one, but my brain didn’t wake up and remember this morning :). And you need a coffee. Got one of those a little later in the day.

I plan on going back and trying again soon. The scenery would lend itself to HDR so easily. I’m excited to see how that works out! BTW that’s really teal you see through the window. That wasnt me.

I really like over saturated processing right now. Or desaturating to get a B&W. Maybe it’s because I’m a beginner :).

One of the coolest murals I’ve seen in a long time.

One of the mines.

Enjoy your weekend!

The Pressure Is Off

Funny thing….now that I don’t feel like I have to post, I’m looking forward to it again. I’m not so stressed about it. I don’t worry all day about what I’m going to take a picture of. I’m letting it come to me again. I feel like picking up my camera and traipsing about for my own enjoyment. Weird, because I’m that person who does some of my best work under pressure. Or at least I like to think I do. So I went out today and took pictures of nothing…and LOVED it!!! Dont get me wrong, I always love taking pictures, but I felt freedom again. Free to take crappy pictures, free to take no pictures, free to take pictures of stuff only I would probably like. I’m not trying to take pictures for anyone else, just me.

Here’s a fun picture. One day about a month ago, Roman and I were coloring the driveway with chalk. I wasnt paying attention at some point obviously, and when it was time to go inside what did my eyes see???? This amazing contemporary art piece by Roman Dean himself!!! Not sure how to get chalk off of stucco without destroying it, so it stayed. I’m really not to concerned with it to tell you the truth, and when its a bit warmer outside I’ll try to wash it off.

This is a picture of the Nectarine tree we planted in the back yard of my parents house shortly after we lost Gigi. It was dedicated in remembrance of her by our family.  Last year it had an amazing yield of Nectarines, but I think this year is going to be a little slower. It seems that every other year is an off-year for fruit trees here.  We call the fruit Gigi fruit, and the flowers before the fruit are so pretty! My dad trimmed her up this year and replanted all the little branches and they are taking off. We plan on planting a bunch of them in our yard this spring :).

My moms best friend is visiting from Alaska right now and they asked me to take their picture. I have to say this is probably one of the best pictures I have ever seen of my mom, and it’s not because I took it (even though it’s not bad if I do say so myself). It’s because she’s really smiling! She’s not faking it! Love it! Anyways, I’m off to bed! See you all when I see you ;).

RAW and Lightroom 3….What Was I Thinking?

I must be crazy. I have a ton of homework, tons of stuff to do….but what do I do? I decide I’m going to shoot in RAW and download LR3. Bahahaha! I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing (whats new though right?) and I don’t care.

This is my first attempt in LR3. From what I’ve heard, LR is supposed to be quick and easy. I’m on the learning curve rollercoaster right now, because it was not. What it WAS, was FUN!

Roman has had a little cut on his thumb for about a week now. At first we couldn’t get him to wear a band-aid for anything. Luckily Sal had cut himself around the same time and was wearing one too. But now….now, we can’t get him to NOT wear it. He saw these nifty Cars band-aids about a week ago, and they are almost gone. I should invest in Band-Aid. By the way…he calls his owies “hurts”. “Mom can I have a cars for my hurt?”. I now officially speak 2 languages :).

Some photo’s from my walk outside today.

If anyone can point me to some good tutorials for LR I would appreciate it much! And….I still havent downloaded the photo’s off of Romans little camera. Some day…. Lol!  Oh yeah, what kind of computer do you guys use for editing. I think my handy old laptop is on its last leg :(. I don’t think that it was built for all the photo’s I’ve put on it.

Flats

I’m sick of wind! I work a lot outside, and when you come inside and your hair is crazy looking, it’s not a good thing. Cleaning out your ears with more than two Q-tips. No bueno.  It’s not a good look!!! Anyways, I decided we would plant some more “flats” as they are called in the gardening world (who knew?). Gotta keep the munchkin busy when its crap outside. 

Gotta love dirt indoors…yeah, not really, but luckily I have mostly tile floors. I’m sure everyone is sick and tired of hearing about this garden so on another note that is completely off the subject…does anyone ever see their “views” skyrocket in an hour or two? Mine did today but I’m not sure if it’s a “bug” or something. I’m thinking it was, because it wasnt just by a few it was like 70 hits in two hours. Not normal for my little ole’ blog.

Afterwards we read about animals. What you see here is the crocodile! Ahhhh….scary! I’ve been reading a lot about B&W lately.  I see the term “flat” used a lot, but I’m not sure what it means. What makes a good B&W photo? Emotion, shadows, etc. etc.??? Help would be appreciated!

I know there is a lot of debate about textures and if they improve or ruin a photo. I would have to be on the side of artistic expression, therefore improvement, for lack of a better word. For those who have been with me on my journey so far, you know I love to use textures. Here’s the thing though. I don’t do them necessarily to make a photo better, but to play. It keeps me inspired to see different looks for the same image.  I think about what photo’s I would like to try to take and what texture I would like to apply to it. Mostly though, I do it to learn how to work the archaic PSE I have.  I find out new things every time I try to apply textures. I just learned today that you can apply textures to 3 different layers. Not sure why you would do that, but I’m sure there’s a reason. I also learned how to make a layer by itself in PSE today….I think. Its fun! So I do it!

As a side note about watermarks, I have found some amazing tutorials on watermarks, and always appreciate it when people are willing to teach (I think I say that a lot, but it’s true), however, until today I never fully understood that when you put a watermark on a texture or layer it doesn’t work. Maybe its just me, but I have to put it on my duplicate of the original. Maybe it’s because I have a really old version of Elements or maybe I missed something? Either way…learning by leaps and bounds.

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