Westward Bound…

 

I’ve been a little neglectful of posting on here the last couple weeks.  It’s not that I’ve not been taking pictures, only that I had to shift my focus intensity for a little while to my other hobby love  – the martial art of Tang Soo Do.  I had a HUGE belt test a week ago and it required all of my attention for preparation the two weeks leading up to it.  I am officially now a Black Belt candidate though, so I’m really proud of that accomplishment and look forward to finishing the course on that.  That huge test was followed by a somewhat “spur of the moment” trip to Colorado to see some dear friends of mine.  Spur of the moment for me is – I made the decision 2 1/2 weeks prior to actually go! 🙂  You have to understand this is completely out of character for me…but God orchestrated all the details and provided the opportunity, so how could I let my “routine” loving self get in the way? 🙂

John Deer baby! 🙂

 It has been so good to be here, to catch up with my friends, and take pics of her gang and extended gang.  Here are some of the finished works so far.  I’ve really been focusing on getting the clarity and focus that I feel has lacked in my pics.  Yesterday I felt like I had some real breakthroughs as to positioning in regards to sunlight, and also the ratio of distance to lower f stops in portraiture to achieve optimum clarity. Did you know that sun over the shoulder instead of sun in front of you actually makes a better pic (sometimes you may need a fill flash), but honestly it was a revelation for me.  I read it in this photography book that my friend had and I was like…no…way!  It breaks a rule I’ve been taught since I was knee high to a grasshopper, but I tested the theory and I have to say…It was absolutely true.  There were less shadows, less complaining from my littlest subjects and not as much squinty pics.  It made me so happy!!  And to top it all off…I love my pics from the day! and that is what I am looking for.

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Puppy Love

Meet one of my best friends… Susan.  I love this lady.  I love her whole family really.  Our kids have grown up together and I love looking at the photos of our earliest friendship days and comparing them to now.  The kids have changed so much.  I know it shouldn’t but it always shocks me just a little.

Anyway, this lady is one of those dear friends where we can go months without seeing each other or talking and we can pick up right where we left off.  Of course it takes us hours to catch up, but the point is she is a kindred spirit through and through. Those kinds of friendships are God’s gift to me and I treasure them.

This past week we had a chance to catch up after the business of life has kept us apart for way to long.  While our kids played together, we drank coffee and talked and talked…and talked.  I also got to meet her new four legged baby, and hang with her little old man, who quite literally crawls into my skin every time I see him.  We have a special bond since I got to puppy sit him one week after they brought him home.  That bond has been unbreakable since!

So, in between coffee sips and non-stop talking and interruptions from our kids I stole a few shots of her four legged “kids”.  I have found photographing animals an often difficult process.  These two were fairly amiable however, making it a little easier….and honestly, I’m in love with how they turned out!  Aren’t they cute??

Mountain Trip, Day 3

 Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 1000, f/8.0, shutter speed 1/320
My hubby actually took this pic early on our last day! I love it!!

Psalm 121
A song of ascents.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 250, f/5.6, shutter speed 200
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 250, f/16, shutter speed 1/8
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 250, f/5.0, shutter speed 1/500
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 250, f/5.6, shutter speed 1/2000
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 250, f/5.6, shutter speed 1/1000
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 200, f/8.0, shutter speed 1/1000

Mountain Trip, Day 2

Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 1000, f/5.0, shutter speed 1/400
Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 1000, f/4.5, shutter speed 1/2000
Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 1000, f/4.5, shutter speed 1/100
Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 1000, f/4.5, shutter speed 1/500
Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 1000, f/5.0, shutter speed 1/250

Mountain Trip, Day 1

Nikon D90, 18-55 mm lens, ISO 320, f/4, shutter speed 1/1600

So I mentioned that I was headed to the mountains over the weekend. Life has left me weary the last month or two, so I was really looking forward to the time away to slow down and breathe deeply. Since there was no wifi where we were staying, I truly was able to “disconnect” for a little while.

The weather didn’t cooperate for most of the time we were there. It was really rainy, and foggy, and cold. Somehow that didn’t slow my picture taking down too much. Now I’m left with 100’s of favorites that I’m sorting through and trying to decide which ones to post. 🙂

In an attempt to make that process easier, I think I will post a selection of favorites from each day. So without further ado…here is day one.

Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 250, f/2.2, shutter speed 1/4000

Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 250, f/3.2, shutter speed 1/2000

Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 320, f/3.5, shutter speed 1/640
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 320, f/2.8, shutter speed 1/3200
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 320, f/4.0, shutter speed 1/1600
Nikon D90, 18-55 mm lens, ISO 200, f/8.0, shutter speed 1/20
Nikon D90, 18-55 mm lens, ISO 200, f/5.3, shutter speed 1/320
Nikon D90, 18-55 mm lens, ISO 200, f/4.2, shutter speed 1/640
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 320, f/2.8, shutter speed 1/2500, sepia preset

The Business of Play

This past week I had an opportunity to watch my two nieces.  My kids were thrilled that I had some new subjects to aim my lens at! I so enjoyed watching the girls play and figuring out ways to capture these carefree moments of childhood.  As I snapped away, trying to master my nemesis of shutter speed and aperture, I had the realization that one of my happiest places was behind the lens of the camera…even at it’s most frustrating moments.

I have never felt very artistic, but have always admired those who were, and wished just a little that I had more talent in that arena.  However as I’ve picked up my camera, I feel like it is as if God has given me a window into places of me I didn’t even know existed.  A creativity that is raw and untrained, but there.  As I uncover that part of me I can’t help but be grateful for the discovery of a way to creatively express myself.  I’m not sure where this path will take me, but for now I am enjoying the journey.

In other news…headed to the mountains for a couple days to see some fall colors!  I can’t wait to play with my family and my camera there!  I am not sure of my internet availability so pics may be delayed. Stay tuned!

Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 400, f/2.8, shutter speed 1/200

Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 320, f/3.5, shutter speed 1/80
Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 320, f/3.5, shutter speed 1/200
Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 320, f/3.5, shutter speed 1/160
Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 400, f/2.8, shutter speed 1/500
Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 400, f/3.5, shutter speed 1/200
Nikon D90, 50 mm, ISO 400, f/2.8, shutter speed 1/200

“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about… say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from before the beginning of the universe.”
Rumi