For the past few years, I've seen Delaney do some pretty amazing drawings. She asked for an art set for Christmas last year and she's always doodling something. I have repeatedly asked her if she would be interested in an art class or art camp but she always gives me a resounding, "NO!" so I didn't push it.
A few weeks ago I was at The Wake Zone on a Wed between patients while Rocio was here. While I was chilling in the back room, a woman came in and started setting up canvases and laying out paint brushes etc. A few minutes later, in tromped a much of kids! I watched as they all painted a really nifty guitar with the woman's step by step guidance. After the class was over, I engaged her in a conversation. She was so sweet and enthusiastic without being too artsy, I immediately came home and looked her up online. She runs Cool Mama Crafts. On Mon and Wed, she has a class at TWZ just for kids. I showed Delaney the site, explained that it was just one hour and pointed out the different projects available. She grudgingly agreed to try a class. Macy was on board without hesitation.
This morning, they had their class and I think their pink elephants came out spectacularly. The girls had a great time and Delaney even wants to have Karen over to do a project for her birthday party! I knew she'd like it if she'd just give it a chance!
We had mulch delivered today and spent the entire morning moving it into our yard. (See pictures below.) In the afternoon, we brought the girls over to Bond Park for Spring Days, an anual craft fair held by the Town of Cary. The girls asked if Meghann & Sarah could come. It was OK with Rob & Jennifer so away we went. The 4 of them galloped around and tittered like the little girls they are. They each bought a few things and then we headed home. KC pointed out the scene to me and I snapped this shot of them on the way back to the car. It's a good thing it came out because it was the only one I got before the group turned and there was a giant sewer in the frame.
The picture was pretty in color: all the leaves are a bright spring green but there was something about it that made me think to put it in B&W. I tried a few different settings but as soon as I saw this one, I knew it was correct. There appear to be lines pointing to the girls from all around them. It's a classic childhood pic.
As noted above, we had mulch delivered today. We only had 20 yds this time since we didn't feel the need to cover the side yard or around the back deck due to the impending construction. However, 20 yds is still a considerable amount esp when it's just the 2 of us hauling it.
The girls have been asking for a pic-a-nic lunch since track out started. Today was a perfect day. Not too hot, a nice little breeze, sunny and the pollen was bearable, so we packed up our cooler and headed over to the park.
Delaney wanted to pull the cooler but also wanted access to her scooter. No problem! Macy simply rode them both over! I had to tell her to walk them down the hill though because she doesn't have a brake like this!
An integral part of pin-a-nicking is the Aerobe. While I am pretty bad at it, Delaney has acutally gotten fairly good.
Macy, on the other hand... well, we'll just say she has fun.
Here are some other pics from this afternoon's Aerobe toss:
If you have been following my other blog, you know that Herb, the surveyor came out today and Macy and I helped him with the plot. I was outside taking pictures to document the event and Macy popped in front of me. Oh, how I love this child's spirit!
Photographically, it was on Aperture priority with auto ISO. I had the f-stop at 4.0 since I was shooting the post in the ground just before this so I'm surprised she is in as much focus as she is! In LR4 I took out the green cast created by the sun reflecting off the grass and boosted the light on her face while dimming in on the grass. Nothing too dramatic.
This was taken shortly after midnight so I guess it's technically today.
It took a while but they eventually settled down. Aren't they precious in this state?
But they were up bright and early the this morning! I made them pancakes and each one ate 4-5! Where do they put it all?
Great group of girls. Love them all!
Yesterday I went up front at the gym to pay for the TOPs leos an as I was standing there I noticed a flyer for an international festival for kids at Bond Park. It sounded like fun so I grabbed a flyer and suggested it to the girls. Macy was all in but Delaney took some convincing. So we ended up there and watched a few acts. We had to go before these girls went on but I loved their costumes, specifically their scarves. They were so crisply white! I took a few pictures of them as they sat in the bleachers. In this one, I liked the way the girl second from the right's hair is drifting in the wind. Wish we could have stayed to watch their performance!
There were crafts and food there as well. This was a weaving exhibit from Turkey I think. This gentleman was extremely patient with the girls.
I have no idea what booth this was but the girls had a good time making tissue paper flowers. Again, the volunteers at this craft were extremely patient.
Part of the reason we had to get home was to prepare for Macy's sleepover. Olivia and Lizzie came over around 4:00 and played their hearts out. Thank goodness it was a nice day and they were able to spend a good portion of the afternoon outside!
Not a great picture but so Macy. KC has to go out of town tonight for business so we went out for lunch at Roly Poly. I love my family.
Anyone who has spoken to me or has been following my blog at all, will know that I have been desirous of the Nikon 105mm Micro for a long time. As I mentioned yesterday, I found one used and jumped at it. It came today and as suspected, it was in pristine condition. I don't know where the "signs of use" B&H said it showed but it made it more affordable so yay for me. I had to go to work today so I made myself wait until after I finished to open the box. This evening the light was shining through the azaleas in my front yard so I set up my tri-pod and started my journey into learning macro.
Here's a little lesson for you. Macro is a misnomer. It sounds like I should be shooting large things but in actuality, I'm shooting little things. Which is why I think Nikon calls their macro lenses "micro." I think they meant to make it less confusing but just made it more so IMO. A true macro photograph has a minimum reproduction ratio of 1:1 which means the subject is the same size the image is on the sensor of the camera. I can never remember if it goes to 1:25 or 25:1 before it technically becomes microscopy though. If you want to learn a little more about it, here's the Wikipedia entry about it.
Regardless, I did learn a few things today.
1) While I knew that DOF was very shallow in macro mode, I wasn't sure how shallow so I kept my f stops around 25 or greater. I'm going to have to play with that all over again. I hope I'm a quicker study this time around.
2) I need to pay attention to how close I am to the subject. I tend to get too close as evidenced in the above shot. The pistol (I think that's the correct terminology) is out of focus.
3) I will need a better tri-pod. My old Velbon Victory 550 isn't going to cut it.
4) I will need a macro flash. I had to do a lot of work post on these images and they still are underexposed even though I was shooting in some pretty bright sun. I was trying to capture the petals glowing and while I was slightly more successful than my attempt last year, it was still not something I'm super excited about. I'm not getting down on myself though. This was my FIRST attempt at this. I will get better with practice.
5) I can see the allure of X-Y plates. Moving the tri-pod fractions of an inch at a time is no fun!
So, like all things in photography the main take away is, new stuff begets more new stuff!
Here are the rest of the 1/4 way decent shots I took today. Normally I wouldn't post these but I promised my mother I would for her. She loves azaleas.
Not all of these are macro. The pictures of the entire bush are just shots I took with the lens in non-macro mode. The dandlion was taken earlier in the day hand-held while I was on a walk with KC and Floyd. Unless otherwise noted, all settings were the same as the picture above.
You can see how I'm still struggling with DOF and lighting. I am eager to learn. Stay tuned!
KC called me out onto the front porch this morning to see this little guy perched on our railing. How cute! Here's the kicker though: yesterday as I was looking for a longer lens for KC to use on my old D60 on B&H, I just happened to find the 105mm USED! They don't come up used very often. I had to jump at that chance. It saved me $150 and was rated in a 9 condition. B&H describes 9 as shows signs of wear but clean. I trust them to deliver a solid product. It won't get her until tomorrow however. So I had to shoot this guy with my 24-70mm. I zoomed in as close as I could but still had to crop it significantly to fill the frame this much. Plus, I had the ISO set to 6400 from last night and forgot to check that so it's rather noisy. I had to fix that some in LR4 but you can still see significant grain in the wall behind him. (You'd think that would have occurred to me when my shutter speed hit 1/2000, but no!) I also did some minor color and curve adjustments as well.
I'm a mother of 2 girls living in NC. I've dabbled in photography on and off but really this is just for fun