Thursday, October 21, 2010


I have shared many a photo that failed in one way or another. For once, I am sharing one that I am in love with (click on the photo to see it larger.)
My daughter and two dear friends were playing in our backyard Tuesday afternoon. When I went out to check on them, I found that they had raked our pine needles into a Big Bird-style nest and were playing in it. (I had always been a little sad that we had to cut down our big oak tree, but I guess pine needles are fun to play in, too.)
How could I NOT take a photo of this? I ran in to get my camera, and when I came out, they were plucking morning glories to decorate the nest with. That was even better!
And then, when I asked them to pose, they all posed like champs! (I can tell that my friend has worked with her two DDs on their picture posing!)
I decided to make it even better and followed Misti's tutorial on photo textures and layer masks at Love that Shot. So, now, I have a photo that I am actually proud of. I'll admit it.
Shot with my d3000. 50mm/f1.4 lens. 1/1250. ISO 400. f/2.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You'd think I'd know better

DH is in Singapore. While I do miss him terribly, I am enjoying my time to myself. Mainly, I am putting the kids to bed and trying to learn photoshop a little better. For the most part, I am stumbling around, figuring things out by sheer dumb luck. But, I've read a few tutorials, downloaded some more actions but I can't help myself. I keep going back to Pioneer Woman's Vintage action and it keeps failing me.

There has to be something about the vintagey tones and my eyes that produce this glowing, terrifying alien look. Maybe this would make a good Halloween shot?

Why all the self-portraits, you may ask? That's because my children are now boycotting my camera. I have resorted to taking photos of myself. It's a sad state of affairs at my house.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Now I get it

You know that whole "rule" about removing batteries from devices that you don't plan to use for a long time?
Yeah. I get it now.
My sister and nephew were coming for a visit. I needed to clean up the guest/storage/oh-crap-there's-someone-coming-over-and-I-need-to-hide-my-mess room.
I picked up our trusty old radio, the one that's covered in drywall dust and has seen us through many a home-improvement project. The one that's so old, it doesn't have an ipod dock. And I found all kinds of white powdery crystal-ish stuff all over the hardwood floor.

Yep. It was battery acid. Not one, not two, but three of the batteries (that have been in there since the dawn of time) leaked.

This one was so bad that is was misshapen and felt noticeably lighter. (On a side note, the science teacher in me wants to say, "Had noticeably less mass, but I decided that would be way to nerdy and weird. )

Mild fascination aside, I was pleased that the only damage to the hard wood floor was this small, dark spot. It will never be noticed amid the green and purple scuff marks from when this was my son's room and Buzz Lightyear had many an adventure.
And please, don't let this happen to you. Don't put batteries in a radio for a tailgate party and then forget about them for, ummm, let's say, three years.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

5th Grade Boys and Cameras

Today, my son went of a field trip to Springfield, Illinois. The 5th graders visited Lincoln's Tomb, the Lincoln Homestead, The Capitol Building, had lunch at the Governer's mansion with our state rep, Keith Sommers, and finally visited the Lincoln Museum. (I highly recommend it if you haven't been.)

I was a little heartbroken that I didn't get to go (serious photo ops, people!) and since I couldn't go, I twisted poor little KJ's arm until he agreed to take my point and shoot. I hoped that by giving him the camera and the freedom to shoot what he wanted, I would end up with some precious memories. I remember BEGGING my mom to take the camera with me, and I'd get 15 exposures with that Kodak Disk. And have to wait for-ev-er for processing. Painful

Controlling Mom Alert!!! Before he left, I had to set the camera to a mode in which the flash was OFF. I've become a bit of a flash snob in the past few months. Down with flash!

was not disappointed. The kid came home with over 250 shots. Some of them were of the backs of people's heads and his thumb, but all in all, I had a ball looking at them. It was so much fun to see what he thought was important. And to see the 30+ self-portraits he took because he "got bored by the old dudes talking."

My point? Take pictures. Let your kids take pictures, even if they are of Abe Lincoln's outhouse. This is your one chance to record your life, their lives. My husband always makes fun of me and wonders who is going to want all these damn pictures when we are gone. I don't care. I want to have them when I am a 97-year-old-widow, living with my sister, 23 cats and room devoted entirely to pens.

If you want help or inspiration, check this out! 31 days to a better photo. It's fantastic!