ISO 100, 38mm, f5.0. 1/60, on camera flash
Tomorrow is our 10th (can you believe that!) anual holiday party. Over the years it has morphed and adapted to what we feel is appropriate. The first year we lived here, we actually hired the neighborhood girls to sit upstairs and watch everyone's kids. Needless to say, we never did THAT again. We gradually phased out the cold cuts and rolls and wheedled it down to a few bowls of chips with hummus, a small plate of fruit, a small plate of veggies and several hot hors d'oeuvres from Trader Joe's. However, there are 2 traditions that have endured: the eclair cake I make from an old family friend's recipe and the Ritz and peanut butter dipped in chocolate. People have told us they wait all year for these 2 treats. So tonight while I made the eclair cake, KC and the girls made the Ritz/peanut butter/chocolate cookies. I paused to capture the sweet (pun intended) moment between father and daughters.
OK, so if you've never read Twilight, you won't get the allusion in the title but oh well.
While waiting to go to school this morning, the girls were outside riding their scooters around. They came in all excited that the Prokrym's car was all sparkly! The windshield was coated in frost which, to NC kids, is rather an anomaly. I suspected this was the case so while a frosted windshield is hardly something to get excited about when you are an adult who grew up in NY, I dutifully grabbed my camera and joined them outside to take a picture. Those came out rather bland (see below) but as I was walking back to the house, I noticed the frost on the leaf pile and the sun glinting off it. I stopped to get a few more shots. It didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped but it was better than the shots of the windshield so it gets top billing for the day. In LR, I boosted some colors and played with the split toning to enhance the sparkle of the frost but I'm not thrilled with it.
When I zoomed in on this in LR, I could notice the individual ice crystals on the edges of the leaves however I was a bit disappointed in the lack of definition beyond that. I've proven, once again, why the Nikon 24-70mm is a better lens. For this type of shooting, the Sigma is fine but I can see a difference between it and my 70-200mm and understand why people choose the Nikon.
Here was my first attempt at the above pic. I think playing with the split toning helped give it a little zing. This one looked a little flat to me. The top picture is actually closer to what my eye saw so I'll keep that one.
Here's the windshield. I told you it was pretty bad! I even tried to spice it up but really nothing could help it!
This evening, Eyal and I wrapped up our Premier Co-ed Sports contract (for lack of a better word.) They had their end of the year party/awards ceremony at Sparian's in Raleigh. It's a pretty decent place for a party. A few bowling lanes, a decent room with tables for a more tradtional banquet feel a lounge and bar area that was really cool.
The winning teams for each sport were awarded medals which were actually pretty nice. Better than some of the medals the girls have gotten at meets. Before they were handed out, I snapped a picture of them and thought it looked pretty cool. Since these pictures weren't intended for posters or anything which required them to be blown up, just facebook posts, I shot in JPG to start with. This one was ISO 100, 46mm, f5.0, 1/60, A mode, SB600 flash.
There's a funny story about my SB600: I haven't used it since shooting the frames a few weeks ago. While reading how to make it work as a slave, I read that you had to un-do everything you did to put it in slave mode to get it to act as a primary again. I thought I had done that. It was acting very strangely though. It normally will adapt to the zoom of the lens but it was flashing 14mm no matter what I did. I figured I had neglected to do something but for the life of me I couldn't figure out what it was. I got it to work well enough however so I just shot and hoped for the best. Most pictures came out pretty well.
I decided I needed to (after owning this thing for over 6 years) look at the owner's manual to figure out how to get it back to normal. I only needed to get to page 10 before realizing what the issue was. Page 10 is the schematic of the light. The very first part labeled is the "Built in wide-flash adapter." which I had always thought was a diffuser. The description for this piece is as such, "Increases the angle of coverage to match a 14mm lens." Hmmm....14mm sounds familiar! I had put it down to reduce shadow in a closed space and it never occurred to me to lift it to see if that was the issue. When I read that, I laughed right out loud for several minutes. I immediately got it back out and put it on the camera, lifted the wide-flash adapter and - viola! it worked as it was supposed to! See what reading the manual does for you?
Kylie, Eliza and David - Owners of Premier Co-ed Sports
One other note, Eyal and I finally had a chance to meet David. We've been corresponding with him throughout this endeavor but have never met him face to face. Everything we've done has been through e-mail, smug-mug, adobe and pay-pal! Amazing times we live in, huh? It turns out he is thrilled with our work and "Of course" he wants us to continue shooting next season! Whopie!
My! How far Floyd has come in a little over 2 years. When we first adopted him he did little more than follow me around the house. After about 9 months, we noticed he was starting to play a little bit and then over the past year, he has gotten down-right rambunctious! Of course the period of rambunctiousness still only lasts about 10 minutes. Tonight he was playing tug with Macy on the wood floors. It was a sight! Neither of them could get any traction so the 2 of them were slipping all over the place getting nowhere! I managed to get off a few shots but by the time I got the camera out the actual game of tug had ceased.
ISO 100, 50mm, f5.09, 1/60, A mode with on camera flash.
This is the only shot for the day. A snapshot of my Jellybean. It'll be a good one for the sleeping page in my annual picture book I do for KC.
Meghann and Sarah came back from parts unknown this afternoon and the first thing the girls did was head to the backyard to play a game of soccer. It's a little difficult with only 4 but the bigger 2 played goalie and Macy and Sarah slugged it out on the field. (Perhaps that will be where Delaney will find her place.) I'm not quite certain why they chose to play up and down the hill with the creek directly behind Meghann rather than turning the field 90 degrees and having a level playing field but who am I to interject.
Yes, Macy was playing in a frilly skirt and Delaney had on a tank top under her coat. That's just the way they are.
The settings aren't really important since I was just shooting backyard JPGs but I did bump up the ISO and tried to increase the DOF while shooting in aperture priority. The shutter speed was a little slow so I have a bit of a blur esp on the ball. I chose to B&W the first pic of Delaney because it just felt right. I did some noise reduction and minor adjustments on the rest.
That's the conventional wisdom, right? Well, Delaney and Macy may have proved it wrong.
We went to Cafe Caturra for lunch and both girls decided they wanted the club sandwich. We knew neither of them would be able to eat a whole one so we got one and split it between them. When it came, the looks on their faces were priceless. It was enormous! Neither had any idea how to tackle such a tall sandwich but eventually they managed. The entire thing was GONE in about 10 minutes. Those were some hungry girls!
The other day, Delaney came home from school terribly upset because she was picked last for soccer. Given how athletic she is, I find it hard to believe it had anything to do with her soccer skills although admittedly, she's never played an organized game of soccer. However, at this age, esp in a school setting, it's not much more than kicking the ball around the field and taking a shot on goal if you have the chance. My suspicion is that it was more of a social/political issue than a true ability issue that left her being taken last. However, she was unaware of anything along those lines and attributed it to her lackluster soccer skills. The only way to get better is to practice so KC braved the crowds at Target and brought home a soccer ball for her.
We are watching Molly and Ben while the crazy part of the family does black Friday shopping. Delaney and Ben immediately started a game in the back yard. Macy and Molly played a game of their invention on the playset. It involved going up and down the slide which got Macy into a fit of giggles. I captured this and loved the smile on her face.
I had the ISO bumped up from yesterday but was just shooting a quick few shots so it didn't really effect it much.
ISO 100, 50mm, f11, 1/100
Then I took Floyd for a walk and saw some interesting light so I thought I'd try me hand at shooting into the light with very limited success. I took several shots varying the angle, aperture and shutter speed and evaluated the results. None were great. This was the best but that's not saying much. I tweaked it quite a but in LR. I guess that's an area in which I could definitely learn a lot.
As promised, the pies have been topped and baked to a golden perfection. However, I still have shrinkage. This has always confounded both myself and my mother. Naturally, after it was too late to do anything about it this year, I became curious enough to look up how to stop it and came across this article. Hopefully, I will be able to remember to look that up again next year BEFORE making the pies.
We all have our own ideas of what makes it Thanksgiving. Some people must have the stuffing or the Turkey. Others have to have green bean casserole. For me, it's the chocolate meringue pie and the mashed potatoes. Since those are what's important to me,I am responsible for them. The first year I did it, I made one pie and it was gone first. The next several years, I made 2;one of which was always eaten immediately as was 1/2 of the other. Of the remaining 1/2, some went home with Grandma which left very little for me. This year, I wised up even more. I made THREE pies, brought 2 of them to dinner and will still have a whole pie left for me and my family. Tomorrow morning I will make the meringue. These are all ready to be topped. YUM!
On a side note, I did NOT make the crust. I tried for years to duplicate my mother's recipe but failed miserably every time. I have found Pilsbury deep dish frozen crusts to be MUCH better than the crusts I can put together. Even better: they were BOGO at the Teeter today. Whoot!
I added a little vignette and sharpened it a bit in LR along with a bit of a yellow color boost and curve adjustments.
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