Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Playing in my milk

So I stumbled across a youtube video and thought it would be super cool to do with my daughter.  The moment I said "Kayla - do you want to do a science project?"  She immediately put down her bubble wrap and ran to the table screaching "YEAAAAAAAAAH!" the whole way. 

What, your kid doesn't play with bubble wrap on any random Tuesday night?

Anywho - I have to admit, watching it actually happen is way cooler than taking a still picture, but it was still fun to take pictures at different intervals and see how different it looks.  I really like some of the more colorful shots.

This one reminds me of tie dye

Fun fact - after strange milk/food coloring/dishsoap voodoo is done, it turns a really unattractive color that is not good to spill on anything perceptible to food coloring.  Just ask my cream colored upholstered dining room chair.

Here's the video I saw - though while admittedly mine didn't do such a cool pattern, it was still fun to watch. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

85 millimeters of glory

I have drooled over a lens for a while now.  All the reviews and research I encountered all said that it is everything that is good and pure and right in the world.  I put it on my wish list long ago...  Well, since then Nikon started the process of upgrading their lenses to include even more fancy-pantsness and my beloved drool-inducing wished-for lens was upgraded.

Fast forward to today and after much bru-ha-ha, complications, cancellations and good ol' fashioned bad customer service (by Nikon directly no less, hmph!) I hold in my hot little hands the wonderment of glass.  I bit the bullet and got the AF-S 85mm 1.4G.

Now - I feel like I need to explain myself here.  My everyday lens for the past - oh I don't know - long time, has been the 17-55mm f2.8.  It is a wonderful, fabulous, glorious lens and I adore it.  And I have gotten used to the zooming capabilities as well as the general wideness of it, so when I slapped on a 85mm prime - it really threw me for a loop!  First of all 85mm is a long way away, especially on a DX camera body and secondly, someone who is accustomed to the 17-55 range - well, is accustomed to the 17-55 range.

I am thinking that I am going to love my new lens, I really do believe that (just look at that bokeh!) - but in the meantime, it is really going to take some playing to feel comfortable with it.  So that's exactly what I did, I played!  My poor photo subject (aka: daughter) is getting annoyed with the camera in her face, but hey - at least I took her somewhere she could swing and be annoyed at the same time.

Most of these were taken at f1.6 and let me tell you - that is HARD to capture a 3 year old at 1.4 and get a decent focus.  Practice, practice, practice.

Notice the sidewalk behind her foot is in focus?  Ya, she's not.

Look at the sharp eye there - lovely bokeh.

Love the speed of the 1.6 - this was low light conditions in the fort - but again the focus is a bit off. (hey, it's hard at such an open aperture!)

Just look at that dreamy blur action.  I hope to perfect this eventually


Do you have a favorite lens that is your go to?  I love the capability of this one - but it hasn't replaced  my 17-55mm as favorite yet...  

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Finally!  Finally there was some sun!  And after work even!  Ahhh the days are starting to get a little longer.  Could it possibly be that Spring is in the air?  Lord help me, I hope so.   If not for the fresh air, then maybe for my poor toes that I stub on the 800 million toys strewn about the house at any given time.  Ever sit on the couch and get up with a puzzle piece stuck to your butt?  No?  Just me?  Well you haven't lived.

So anyway ya, we needed to get outside today.  Kayla just got herself a spiffy new Barbie Beetle courtesy of Grandpa for her birthday.  Let's just say I'm thankful there are a few more years before any licensing.

I mean, she's not even looking in the right direction for crying out loud.

10 and 2 dear - TEN and TWO!

 It as about this time she drove off the sidewalk.  Seriously.

Is it just me or does she look a little too comfortable not paying attention at all?

Of course, I can't NOT do a black and white.  I have a slight addiction problem.

Maybe we can squeeze some driving lessons in this summer between the gymnastics and swimming.  I'm thinking the earlier we start, the better.  

Linking up again this week!  Paper Heart Camera
Sweet Shot Day

Monday, February 7, 2011

Love is in the Air

So I'm sure everyone knows that Valentine's Day is coming up.  I'm trying to get all cute and figure out something cute-like and original to take "love-related" photos of.  There are the candy hearts...  they are adorable and mark my words, I will do it, but at the same time, so will everyone else. 

Leave me alone with my thoughts for 5 minutes and I start to play with my daughters doll house.  I should really get out of the house more.  And buy some candy hearts.

Let's get passed the awkwardness and talk technical, shall we?  This is shot at ISO400, f2.8, 1/100.  Probably could have closed up my aperture a bit, but let's face it, probably could have come up with something different (read: better) altogether.  

Am I the only one who is stumped photographically with "love"? (other than the stupid hearts that I will go get immediately and shoot)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Playing with Black and White

I decided to let Kayla jump on her bed and take some pictures with my Fong Collapsible light diffuser that I got for Christmas to try it out.  I like the diffused light!  Unfortunately, I didn't like the background and Kayla's particularly rosy/blotchy after-bath face - so I decided to play with some black and white settings.  I used mostly MCP Actions (love them!) in Photoshop.

Before - SOOC

Final Edit

Another from the bed jumping session, she was having fun :)
 My edits are as follows all in Photoshop:
  • Cleaned up blotches with spot healing brush
  • Ran the Eye Doctor action from MCP Actions
  • Ran Snap action from MCP Actions
  • Desaturated
  • Added a layer, screen mode
  • Added a layer, Soft Light mode
  • Applied vignette with lens correction filter
I much prefer the black and white, I wasn't a huge fan of the original shot, but the B&W hides alot. :)

Linking up this week!
  Sweet Shot DayPhotobucket

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welp - I did it

I put it off as long as I could...  for some reason, I considered "a blog" as a nuisance - something I had to learn.  I had visions of hours and hours behind my computer in my spare time trying to keep up with technology when I really didn't want to. 

I have followed so many wonderful, educational, fun and inspiring blogs for quite some time and they all do these wonderful "linky parties" that allow a person to just get lost in a web of photos, lessons, techniques.  Hey - I want to play!  That's the catch, ya gotta have a blog to play. 

Well people - I am here to embrace the future!  Admittedly I'm not exactly paving the way into uncharted waters or anything, more like driving a volvo in a nicely paved suburb.

Hey, I did it.  That's gotta count for something. Yay me!