The mushrooms continue to be numerous. This little one just popped up all by himself. I liked it so I shot it. I had to crop it down and do some curve adjustment to make it pop.
Gary and Kathy took the girls up to the lake directly from school today so KC and I had the evening all to ourselves. We went to Serena in RTP where they have Crispin on tap. The ceiling in the place were pretty cool so before ordering, I snapped a few shots off. The weren't exactly what I had hoped but this shows the odd curves and the shock of red in the pendants. I killed the saturation in everything but the lights, then boosted the shadows and dodged the highlights in the lights. If I'd had my druthers, I'd have gotten up and moved around the place to get a few more angles but that seemed a little much so I'll take what I could get and run with it.
OK so with KC out of town this week, I haven't been at my peek photographically. But the longer I go into this challenge I've set for myself, the more I appreciate a good snap shot. Let's face it; most likely 90% or more of the pictures taken in this country are snap shots and of those, probably only 10% are worth ever looking at twice. This wasn't just a snap shot, it was also a hip shot. I wasn't looking through the view finder, nor was I using live view. I just pointed the camera from my hip toward the girls and shot. Kind of takes the pressure off me to frame things perfectly so it's fun to do every once in a while. I actually did crop and rotate in post but that was to get her sister's hand out of the corner more than anything else.
Again, it's not a piece of art anyone will hang on a wall but it'll make my yearly book. It captured a moment in time where my kid was happy and having fun. As a parent these are the moments we want to capture and keep forever. That's the beauty of a snapshot.
We carpooled back from the gym today so Keira's dad needed Macy's booster. When she got home, we just put it on the floor near the back door so we wouldn't forget it next time we went out to the car. When I went to make sure the garage door was closed before going to bed, this is what I found. I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky she decided it looked more like a throne than a litter box.
No, it's not a prize winning picture. Yes, I used the flash again. But sometimes what makes a good picture is the story it tells more than the technical perfection of it.
KC is building a thingy for his parents. It has something to do with moisture sensing. I don't really know all the particulars. Regardless, he has this big circuit board and has ordered all the parts to make this thingy work. All the little parts must be soldered on.
Delaney has always been fascinated by that process and KC allowed her to solder a few junk parts onto a junk circuit board the other day. To his astonishment, she did a better job than some professional engineers he's known. So when the parts for this board came in, he said he'd allow her to solder on many of the pieces.
She came home from the gym this evening and rushed to his office to get to business. Per KC, she was able to do it completely on her own including identifying the correct parts from a schematic. That's waaaay beyond my comprehension.
Since I hadn't taken any other worthwhile pics today, a snapshot it is. I even used the on camera flash! (gasp!) Deal with it.
There wasn't much shooting going on today but the clouds were behaving oddly all day. I caught this one as the sun ducked behind it. In post, I boosted the blue, a lot. I'd like to have taken the few branches out of that corner but when I cropped them out, it ruined the rest of the balance. I weighed that against leaving them and the balance of the light won out. If I had photoshop, it wouldn't have been an issue but LR has it's limitations so this is it.
On a sad note, today was day 10 with the big lens. That was the end of the rental period so I had to pack it back up and ship it home. It was a beautiful piece of glass and I look forward to shooting with it again.
We slept in a little this morning and then went for a family bike ride up the hill to the Wake Zone for a beverage. Originally Delaney didn't want to go but I played the mommy card and told her it would mean a lot to me to have the whole family together. I don't use that line often therefore, when I do pull it out, it usually works, as was the case today.
Macy decided she wanted a muffin instead of a drink. The muffins there are pretty massive and she ate most of it. The way she was looking at me over the top of the muffin just made her big brown eyes pop at me and it compelled me to shoot.
Delaney got her usual vanilla cream and sucked down the whipped cream first. As you can see, she managed to get over her reluctance and enjoy herself for at least a few minutes. Creams are incredibly yummy but the high sugar content puts them out of reach for us old folks. KC and I both opted for an iced caramel latte with skim and 1/2 the caramel. Still pretty yummy.
Both of these were shot in aperture mode without flash so the shutter speed was a little slow and zoomed in things get a little blurry but it's a snap shot so it's good enough. I did a little highlight dimming in both of them as well but I didn't go wild since it's just going to be seen by family and anyone who happens to stumble across this.
The rest of the day, we spent cleaning out the play room and the girls' closets and dressers. Nothing worth shooting but it was quality time of sorts I suppose.
OK, so 9.5 isn't quite perfect but it's close enough in my book. Delaney and Macy had their practice meet today and Delaney knocked it out of the ball park esp on beam. She was confident and strong throughout the entire meet. We are extremely proud of her.
Macy has a few things to work on but her beam and floor routines were super. She went for it a little too hard on bars and that's the event where that line is so fine, when you go for it, you either nail it or go down in flames. Better to flame out in the practice meet than in one that counts.
I tried something new today. I knew I needed f2.8 and I like to shoot at 1/500 to stop motion in most circumstances. Today, I allowed the camera to choose the ISO. I started at 6400 and if the lighting was such that the exposure could handle a lower ISO, then great! less noise. As it turns out, it was mostly at 6400 but I did notice a few as I was going through them where it was down to 5000 or lower. I also left WB on auto and it worked much better on the one side of the gym than the other. I can't for sure tell you why, the lighting is very similar except for the very front where the beams are, there are low hanging fluorescents but I wouldn't have thought that would have had that much of an effect at the back of the gym. Go figure.
The one I posted is one of my favorites of Delaney on beam. Even thought you can't see her face, I love the motion in her hair as she is performing a turn. Any one who has ever watched the Olympics knows how surprisingly hard that skill can be. Not even a little bobble!!
KC was on the video camera. This is Delaney's and this is Macy's.
Here are the results for the 2 girls:
I am still working on some of the pics but here are the ones I've touched up thus far. I have just a few more to go and will post them as I finish them.
Delaney again alerted me to a good photo op. She came charging in yammering about a giant slug. Yes, I find them to be quite loathsome as well but I must admit, they are pretty cool to look at. They had the added benefit of not moving fast so it should be easy to frame and take a decent picture. All one needs is patience, a virtue we all know I lack. Add to that my lack of a macro lens and the fact that I had my 70-300 on with a minimum focusing distance of about 25 feet (just kidding the specs say 1.5m which is almost 5 feet) and I struggled with even this simple assignment. I had to crop significantly again and given all the crud that gets in the way when shooting from across the yard, my angles were limited. However, this one shows his antennae (is that what they are called?) and his enormous size. That is a normal size brick he is on. I think I'm going to have nightmares about mutant attack slugs tonight!
I set AF to spot since he wasn't moving out of my focus point any time soon. Apparently, I need to pay greater attention to everything because I didn't notice until just now that the ISO was set to 640! ARGH!!!! Note to self, when finished playing around, re-set setting to normal use settings so this doesn't happen!!!!!! 300mm, f5.6, 1/160. I should have picked up on that since the shutter speed is way too high for that aperture and the lighting.
While we were shooting the slug, Floyd and Cecelia happen to be in the back yard at the same time. This doesn't usually happen. Unfortunately for Cecelia, it was Floyd's "happy time of day" when he gets super playful and will run a little wild if let out in the yard. Cecelia is way to dignified for such shenanigans. Floyd was unfazed by her rather vocal protestations and tried, repeatedly to entice her to join him in a game of tag.
I switched over to continuous focus and tried to capture the hilarity that ensued.
At first he stayed several feet away while he did his "fly-by." Cecelia just watched and growled as he dashed past her at mach 3.
On a side note, I must be getting better at the panning thing because this one came out with Floyd pretty sharp!
As time when on, he started to get more aggressive. Cecelia stood her ground. At one point he even ran into her but she weighs almost as much as he does and was planted firmly so she felt no need to relinquish her spot. She did, however, keep her eyes on him.
Eventually, Cecelia decided she'd had enough of that foolishness and retreated to the safety of the back porch. The amazing thing about it was that Floyd actually pursued!! I caught him changing direction as he realized his "toy" was leaving.
Guess what I did this afternoon! I took the dog for a nice long walk before going to the bus stop to pick up the girls. The light was magnificent as it played on this grass. It was slightly breezy which heightened the appeal as the grasses swayed and the light moved. I was short on time since I had to meet the bus and this, naturally, caught my eye on the way back. I had to shoot quickly and checking on my little screen is still very difficult to gauge correct exposure with the sun where it was. I remembered to close the shutter a little more this time but it was still over exposed so I had to do a little work post. Originally, I thought is was a missed opportunity but once I stepped back and looked at it, I kind of like it. What I originally discounted as over-exposed I realized was a very good representation of the light that drew me over to the plant. Happily, I was able to capture the light I wanted despite my tendency to under expose, which in this case would have completely ruined the pic. I learned something today! Perhaps if I were to shoot it again, I would have stepped the shutter speed to 1/800 or even 1/1000 but I think the DOF was spot on in this one!!!! Finally!
Who says one can't get nice shots in suburbia. The park in our neighborhood has been extremely useful to me in my quest.
ISO 100, 70mm, f 3.5 aperture priority with flash.
When will I learn that I need a 4.5 or better to do this? Apparently not today.
Macy lost another tooth at the gym this evening. I hadn't taken a picture all day so this was it.
Some day I'll learn.....
On a side note, I LOVE carpool. There is a little girl on Level 3 who goes to LPES in 3rd grade. Her mother and I have it worked out so I drive them in and she brings them home. Works great!
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