I must be in a particularly sappy mood today. While out taking pictures of the deck for my porch blog, this slice of color caught my eye. I had to stop and shoot it because it touched me and made me a little sad.
A few weeks ago, when we started our porch project, we cleaned out under the deck. In that clean out, we gave the girls' old sandbox along with several other toys they've outgrown to our next door neighbor who has a toddler. We were thrilled that they could get more use and save them some money in the process. We thought we had gathered up all the toys associated with the sandbox but this must have been missed. Originally a bright red color, it has been left in the sun and neglected leaving it faded but remarkably, given what's been going on in our yard for the past few months, still in one piece. I spied it up against the end of the swing set partially covered in leaves.
I eventually picked it up and brushed it off. As I gazed at the bunny's extruded smiling face I flashed back to when it was new. Images of the girls digging in the sand, spinning on the tire swing and climbing up and down the slide flashed through my mind. Where has the time gone? Wasn't that just a few months ago? I remember reluctantly going outside and sitting there watching them play impatiently waiting for the day they could do this on their own. Becoming irritated when they needed a kiss or a hug but it was so hot that touching anyone was just unthinkable. Yes, in the back of my mind I always knew the adage, "They grow up so fast" and I've paused occasionally to reminisce. This, however, was different. For the first time it hit me and it hit me hard that we are far removed from that time. My babies aren't babies any more. They are young ladies who have minds and lives of their own.
That's not to say I don't get plenty of hugs and kisses any more. At 8 and 10, they are still lovable and need their mother plenty. For some reason this forlorn piece of plastic resonated with my sentimental side and made me a bit nostalgic for the innocence that is indeed, fleeting.
Eyal asked me if I'd like to go to Jordan Lake to get a few shots of the sunset. The past few days had had gorgeous colors so I naturally jumped at the chance. I dusted off my pathetic tripod and away we went.
Unfortunately, the clouds were not as cooperative as they had been all week up to that point so the colors were a bit disappointing. There were a few I took after this that had slightly better color but about 10 seconds after I took this one, a boat passed by and ruined the pretty water with the wake so they weren't as serene.
Eyal had reminded me about the "close the aperture down to get a starburst effect" trick we learned about in a class we took together last year so I tried that. It did slightly effect the sharpness of the lens but this sucker is so much sharper than anything else I've used it's still pretty amazing and the starburst effect is pretty cool.
In post, I decreased the yellow and orange luminance just a bit, increased contrast 7, decreased exp 0.3, boosted the vibrance and saturation a tad and cropped it a smidge. PLUS, I realized that while the woman at Southeastern Camera did a decent job cleaning my sensor, at f22, there are still a load of spots on that thing. I'm going to have to find a time to send my camera in to Nikon to have it cleaned by them. While they have it, they may as well give it a tune up. It really should be done once a year or so from what I've read. The good news is that at f8 and lower, the spots are not visible and most of my shooting for the next few months will be at f2.8 so that's good. The bad news is that from what I understand, I'll have to be without my camera for at least 6 weeks!!!!! I guess I'll have to rent one from Borrow Lenses to get me through. Maybe I'll try out the D3s. It's only 12Mp but it has 11 fps. Plus, I just tried to see how much it will set me back and they have no way of estimating that. I may have to wait until I can call and talk to someone. In the meantime, I will shoot at a smaller f stop and use LR to remove anything that shows up.
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