“C” Family Children’s Dedication Sneak Peak

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I am the first to admit to my friends and clients that I’m still getting used to “flash photography”, my comfort zone most definitely being in natural lighting. However there is a time and place for flash, particularly in event photography. An area that I am dabbing my foot into and learning much about these days.

One of my biggest fans and encouragers to continue in the photography business is Mrs. C. Her faith in my abilities, and encouragement to step out of my comfort zone has been a blessing to me in the short time I’ve known her.  I was honored when she asked me to take pictures at her children’s dedication service at a local church recently.  She was confident in my ability to capture this special moment in the dimly lit building

It was a very special day for all who attended, including me.  I’m grateful for the continued opportunity to watch these kids grown and capture the special moments in their lives.

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“Head Shots”

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So my final post for the evening is of our friend who is an actor, and another “first” for me in that he needed some new head shots.  I was really happy with the results! My hubby came as my assistant on this cold dreary day and found me some INCREDIBLE backdrops. Really, you can’t go wrong with old abandoned house with vintage curtains still in the windows and vines traveling up the siding! 🙂

I learned a few other things about head shots and this kind of shoot: First, that is exactly what they are – shots of someones head. They really want you to focus on the face and eyes – no extra limbs necessary. Second – eyes really are the “windows into your soul” and KEY for these kinds of pictures. So make sure they are clear and bright. Third, producers sometimes want to get a sense of your body type so one or two full length pictures aren’t necessarily a bad thing.

Hopefully, these will be good enough to land Mr. D some face to face screen tests!

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My First Newborn Session

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So obviously I am playing “catch up” tonight. I’ve been swamped with photo sessions, continued learning in photography classes, post processing, and developing a solid business plan to move forward in this here little leap of faith! It’s been a crazy, wild ride already! Anyway, I’ve already given this sweet girl’s “sneak peak” on my facebook page, but I would be neglect if I didn’t show you my very first newborn session, and introduce you to this sweet baby girl.

I have to admit…I think I’m going to LOVE newborn sessions! It’s a good thing too, because I have two more scheduled this weekend! Nothing like getting those sweet baby snuggles AND a solid nights sleep! 😉 Seriously though, this was so much fun. I learned a lot through this time, particularly that baby is in charge! You may WANT a cute, scrunchy sleepy baby pose…but if baby is more interested in that weird looking black thing attached to your face, you are more likely to get the very cute, puzzled, “who in the world are you?” look!   But I love that just as much. 

These precious little ones have so much personality, and I love being able to try an capture that with my lens!CopyrightSommerDaysPhotograpy-0126

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Sneak Peak for the “C” Family

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Meet the “C” family, my first official session where I didn’t have a previous friendship before the day of our photo session.  However, within 5 minutes I felt like I had known this warm, friendly family for my whole life.  🙂  

This session was a celebration of family, Mrs. C’s birthday, and a milestone anniversary!  Since Mr. C’s work allows him access to the marina, we were able to take advantage of the beautiful backdrop for our time together.  It couldn’t have been more perfect, or any more beautiful of an evening.   And honestly I couldn’t imagine a better present then capturing memories with the people you love, to mark those special years.

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary Mrs. and Mr. C , I hope you love these as much as I do!CopyrightSommerDaysPhotograpy-0205

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My Happy Place: Rebirth and New Growth

Nikon D90 ISO 200, 18-200 lens at 170, aperture f/7.1, shutter 1/50
Nikon D90 ISO 200, 18-200 lens at 170, aperture f/7.1, shutter 1/50

My newly uncovered artist heart, rebelled against yet another dreary and chilly day that seemed to match my mood. I headed out in search of some “happy”, and found it in my beautiful albeit very confused Hyacinths. They whispered hope and life to me. A reminder that it is part of God’s design, that after winter comes spring…both in the natural world, and the season of winter in our souls.   New birth and growth bravely press through the cold and muddy mess, and beauty shines through once again.

To everything there is a season…and God has a purpose in it all.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every [a]event under heaven—

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Nikon D90 ISO 200, 18-200 lens at 105, aperture f/8.0, shutter 1/50
Nikon D90 ISO 200, 18-200 lens at 105, aperture f/8.0, shutter 1/50
Nikon D90 ISO 200, 18-200 lens at 200mm, aperture f/11, shutter 1/50
Nikon D90 ISO 200, 18-200 lens at 200mm, aperture f/11, shutter 1/50
Nikon D90 ISO 200, 18-200 lens at 150, aperture f/7.1, shutter 1/50
Nikon D90 ISO 200, 18-200 lens at 150, aperture f/7.1, shutter 1/50

Panning

My favorite picture from all my attempts at Panning.Nikon D90 - ISO 125, shutter speed 1/10, aperture f/22
My favorite picture from all my attempts at Panning.
Nikon D90 – ISO 125, shutter speed 1/10, aperture f/22

panning  present participle of pan (Verb)

Verb
  1. Criticize (someone or something) severely.
  2. Swing (a video or movie camera) in a horizontal or vertical plane, typically to give a panoramic effect or follow a subject.

So panning is a fairly new idea for me, and obviously on this post it is the second definition that is most appropriate. 🙂  This was our homework assignment this week.  I think if I was to add to the definition, I would add that it gives a feeling of movement while making it very clear what is your subject.

The keys in attempting this technique is to lock down your arms and body and make sure it is only your hips moving as you follow your subject.  You also need to remember that you need to lock your focus on the subject slightly before they pass in front of you, which takes LOTS of practice.  I was a bit shutter happy at first.  Use a slow shutter speed, snapping the picture as they pass in front of you, and continue to follow your subject as they pass.  Have I mentioned yet, it’s not an easy to do?!

I don’t know enough about panning at this point to give my attempts an honest assesment.  While I think there is a certain amount of fuzziness allowed in this, I can’t tell if my images are focused enough.  I do think they capture the movement pretty great though.

I’d love any in put from you more experienced panners out there to tell me what you think!  Hit me, I can take it.

Nikon D90 - ISO 125, shutter speed 1/20, aperture f/22
Nikon D90 – ISO 125, shutter speed 1/20, aperture f/22
Nikon D90 - ISO 100, shutter speed 1/50, aperture f/22
Nikon D90 – ISO 100, shutter speed 1/50, aperture f/22
Nikon D90 - ISO 100, shutter speed 1/25, aperture f/20
Nikon D90 – ISO 100, shutter speed 1/25, aperture f/20

Digital 102 Assignment: Night Lights and Light Painting

My very first attempt at getting night lights!  You can't tell from this picture, but it was just after sunset and DARK!!  The only light was the passing lights of the cars.  It made me so happy to get this one first time out!! Settings: ISO2000 1/24sec f/18
My very first attempt at getting night lights! You can’t tell from this picture, but it was just after sunset and DARK!! The only light was the passing lights of the cars. It made me so happy to get this one first time out!!
Settings: ISO2000 1/24sec f/18

So I never updated you on my last week’s photography homework assignment. It was Night Lights and Light Painting. Of course it was the coldest week we’ve had to date in January since I started class, which made getting outside not so much fun. However that fact did give me an opportunity to use my new fingerless gloves that a friends surprised me with a couple weeks ago!

Also the fact that my husband was still fairly immobile made it a little hard to wander too far from home and be adventurous. I really would like to head into the city and try these again! Even still while I felt composition lacked some on the interest factor, I was thrilled to finally be able to understand the “technical” side of Night Light photography, and Light Painting.

The key ingredients are: tripod (so you eliminate camera shake with the low shutter speeds), wireless remotes or exposure timers, and low shutter speeds. The lower (or sometimes called slower) shutter speed allows the shutter to stay open longer and therefore capture as much available light as possible. For the newbies, it is also the thing that causes the streaking of car lights that you see in “city” night pictures. Since the cars are moving, the camera is capturing the light AND movement.

I was thrilled to discover the bulb setting for my shutter speed on my camera that let me determine the time elapse of my open shutter. Using my new wireless remote allowed me to really eliminate the need to touch my camera  and therefore I had almost no camera shake.  It made it so much easier!!  It amazes me how completely dark settings, can look like daytime with that option.

And for the record, my wireless remote is my new favorite photography toy!! Couldn’t have purchased it at a better time!!

Next weeks assignment is “Panning”, which is where you track a moving person or object, and capture the movement while keeping the subject in focus (more or less). Right after class my hubby and kids picked me up (they took a mini field trip to a local museum) and we headed over to a local park in the city and I already got some great shots. Can’t wait to post them. Be sure to check in Monday night or Tuesday for those.  We also have our “Field Trip” outing to a local train museum on Saturday morning!  I can’t wait.  I will be sure to post those pictures too!

Nightlights Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 5.3 seconds, aperture f/22
Nightlights
Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 5.3 seconds, aperture f/22
Nightlights Settings: ISO 320, shutter speed 2.9 seconds, aperture f/20
Nightlights
Settings: ISO 320, shutter speed 2.9 seconds, aperture f/20
Silhouettes Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 1/25 seconds, aperture f/11
Silhouettes
Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 1/25 seconds, aperture f/11
Silhouettes Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 1/10 seconds, aperture f/11
Silhouettes
Settings: ISO 200, shutter speed 1/10 seconds, aperture f/11

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My Happy Place Day 28: Leopard Geckos!

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My Happy Place Day 28: Leopard geckos!! Particularly THIS leopard gecko!! Goobs (Short for Goober) is awesome!! I’m not a “creepy crawly lovin'” kind of girl, and I was sure I would be skeeved out when Nate convinced us to get this for his Christmas/b-day last year. But I love this little guy! He’s sweet and way less “creepy” then you would think. 🙂

Another example of the incredible creativity of God.

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My Happy Place Days 25-27

My Happy Place Day 25:  Bluebirds.  I love everything about them!  I was so happy to find a pair sitting in the tree next to my house the other day!
My Happy Place Day 25: Bluebirds. I love everything about them! I was so happy to find a pair sitting in the tree next to my house the other day!
My Happy Place Day 26: Deep belly, laugh till you cry, laughs.
My Happy Place Day 26: Deep belly, laugh till you cry, laughs.
My Happy Place Day 27: When nature surprises you! I stepped out of my car in downtown Atlanta and this little mockingbird was sitting in the bush eyeing me. I could have reaced out and touched him. He didn't even budge when I reached for my camera. Just sat there giving me the "I dare you" look! It totally made my day!
My Happy Place Day 27: When nature surprises you! I stepped out of my car in downtown Atlanta and this little mockingbird was sitting in the bush eyeing me. I could have reaced out and touched him. He didn’t even budge when I reached for my camera. Just sat there giving me the “I dare you” look! It totally made my day!