Header collage

Header collage

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gingerbread House (and catching up on posting)

Gingerbread house decorating with D.  We bought a kit to decorate and he was meticulous in matching the decorations to the picture on the box.  That is, until we finished the front and roof and there were no other pictures on the box for ideas for the other sides.  He quickly decided they should be un/under decorated  as he figured out this would leave more candy for him to eat.

After he tested all the candy, I asked him which was his favorite and he said "none of them...I like the icing best."  I was taking a shot of just the house and looked up to see this...mischevious grin and all...

And on a photography note, I was looking back at these photos from last year's gingerbread decorating and am super happy with the difference from last year. Same camera and lens, better light.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas!

A little behind on posting, but better late than never...

Merry Christmas!

On a photography note, I am really excited about this photo (this year's Christmas card photo).  It made me pause and realize some progress made over the last year.  I loved last year's Christmas card with a collage of photos of both boys, including this one of my Baby A, which I still love.  But, one goal I gave myself after last year's Christmas card was to have a family portrait on this years.  Is this years photo perfect...pssh...nope...was it easy?  Pssh, nope...I might do a follow post on that soon, actually. But it is all four of us in a photo together and captures the ages and stages of both boys at the end of 2014.  And speaking of ages, this post makes me a little sentimental.  Baby A is so big now...what a difference a year makes!

Monday, December 22, 2014

O Christmas Tree

Whew...I didn't intend to go this long without a blog post, but between Christmas and all things computer related crashing at our house it's taken me a while. First my EHD started acting up and now our laptop monitor is going out. We will have to get a new computer soon, meanwhile we are using it tethered to our computer until we figure out what will meet our needs (which is much more complicated now that I am into photography).  While I really, truly appreciate the convenience and abilities computers provide, shopping for anything technology related is on my necessary evil list...just above vehicle shopping and dental work.

A is really enjoying the Christmas tree this year.  He has a few, mostly stuffed, ornaments at the bottom of the tree he likes to take off and look at/play with, but, he has not bothered the tree nearly as much as I anticipated.  (I just remember keeping super glue on the counter when D was this age...repairing an ornament a day).  Although his interest in the ornaments has not been as destructive as I imaged, the bows on our presents is another matter...no one's getting bow/ribbons this year...it's worse than having a cat. (But a good trade off for our ornaments, I'd say).

 Our tree lights are on a timer and everyday at 4:00 he gets excited when they "magically" glow.

Friday, November 7, 2014

What Now?

My 365 is complete, so, now what?

I will definitely continue this blog.  While I don't necessarily love the process of blogging, I certainly have come to appreciate the connection with family, friends, and a really great group of photographer ladies that has come from this blog.  Also, I love that when I was working on a "first year" book for Baby A, there were so many "firsts" that I forgot to write down, but had documented on here.  

I have been trying to process what I've learned from my 365 and have been asked a few times if I accomplished my goal.  Well, yes and no.  I did take at least on photo most days ( I know I missed some here and there) for the whole year.  It did help learn my camera (the feel and settings).  So, really, yes, I did accomplish my goals as stated at the beginning of this blog: documenting our boys/family, connecting through the blog, and improving my photography skills.  That last one gets me a bit, though.  I didn't necessarily define any specific goals for that one and it's hard to evaluate.  So often, as I focus on different technical skills, as I work on one, others slip and I wonder if I've really improved at all in those areas.  That said, I do know my focus has improved.  My actual, technical ability to have sharp(er) focus in my photos, that is.( Not "focus" as in focus of attention) Also, my knowledge of light  and editing has improved.

The single biggest take away from my 365, though, comes back to the beginning (as in all things, I suppose, in the end you go back to the beginning) of why I am trying to learn to take better photos.  My boys & our family.  The single most stand-out lesson from my 365 is that, for me, my photos don't mean much to me if they don't include anyone I love.  I can appreciate pretty light or a pretty scene, but if I can't connect them in some way (a memory of a special time, place, etc) with those I care about, then I don't really care about that photo.  After reading my blog on her visit this summer, my aunt asked me what I planned to "do" with my blog/blog photos after my year was up and thought I should make a book or scrapbook them or that I needed to "do something" with them.  But, the reality is, a lot of my photos I took because I needed to have a photo for the day, and they don't mean much to me.  Were they pointless?  No, everytime I photograph something new..new light, a new location, a new/infrequently used lens or focal length, I learn something.  I know this technical knowledge will help me in my ulimate goal.  But, do I feel a connection to those photos and feel the need to save them to cherish? No.

In light of this, going forward, I want to be more intentional.  I have started a photography journal as a place to write notes and inspiration.  I have already come up with a few photos of details about the boys I want to remember to capture.  I will definitely still have my camera handy and ready to catch impromptu scenes that arise, but I also want to begin to try to capture some of my inspiration images in a planned, intentional way...considering the light, composition, etc and having an "image" in my mind to guide me before I pick up my camera.  It's more work and a bit intimidating, but what I've learned over the past year is that without this approach, things I want to document & remember slip through the cracks.  This approach is intimidating to me, as so often, I am not able to create the image as I envision it. So....

Another goal is also to be intentional in my practice & learning.  I am still working out what this looks like, but I believe it may (ok, probably) involve a class (or more than one, hopefully...eventually), and being purposeful in choosing one technical skill or photography aspect to work on at a time.

Finally, (if you're still with me at this point) what's a photography blog post without a photo?  Here's my fav from this week:

Friday, October 31, 2014

365/365 Project Complete!! Happy Halloween & My little Firefighter

Whew!  I made it.  It wasn't alway pretty, but my 365 is complete!  Although, I am not going for another round, I will continue to keep up this blog and post....more on that in another post.  I am working on my photography goals for next year, reflecting on what I've learned over this 365 project, and am working on what this blog will be like in the future...I will be posting on that later this week.

To the other ladies in the 365 project who have finished...Congratulations!  I am so glad to know you will continue to be keeping your blogs and keeping in touch!

Happy Halloween!  I am so glad I got a few photos of Baby A yesterday.  Although it didn't rain, Halloween was pretty nasty out... cold with a brutal wind.  Brutal.  I am also now thankful for that crazy hood on Baby A's costume...cause he needed it!  We took Firefighter D to Dave's firehouse for some photos.  I mean, what 5 year old boy doesn't want his picture taken (especially when dressed as a fireman) with a firetruck, right?  Mine.  I think visiting Daddy at the firehouse is so common place for us, he doesn't really realize how cool it is anymore.  He told me before we even got there he was not going to sit in the truck.  And, unfortunately, with the wind, the apparatus bay (the garage for the trucks) was closed so I didn't get a nice, wide shot of him from the front, but we did document Halloween.  It happened and he was a firefighter this year.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

364/365 "Lil Puppy Dog

We went for a walk to get a few photos of Baby A since it's supposed to rain tomorrow.  I think he is making peace with his costume.  I wasn't sure if he was even going to wear it, but on our walk, he didn't seem to mind.  I, however, had a super hard time getting his photo....that little one is running so much faster these days...and my camera wanted to focus on the dog hood, instead of his eyes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

363/365 Golden Light Legos

362/365 The Table

If we leave the chairs pulled out, Baby A is now able to climb up to the table.  For whatever reason, he loves to sneak sips from my water. I suppose its probably just the novelty of a clear glass rather than a sippy cup...oh..and the entertainment that is ice.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

359/365 Ghost Boy

I actually really dislike Halloween, scary movies, and, in general, all things creepy, but I when I saw the tutorial on CM for ghostly images I did want to try it.  D and I had a lot of fun and he was actually pretty into it.