31/365: Macro Monday


We had a gloriously dewy and sunny morning.

Visited our first preschool this afternoon. Isaac asked the director "Can I stay?"

30/365: Sunday Self Portrait


Oh how I love him. The portrait session I had planned in my head didn't pan out. But that's ok, something so much better did.
I can hardly look at this picture without crying.
Mamas- get in those pictures with your babies.

It's worth it.

(A couple tips on self portraits and back lighting. For this portrait I did have Isaac sit on the ottoman and I focused and metered off of him and then got in the frame with him. When I don't have a second subject to meter off of I will try to focus on something that is approximately at the position my head (or whatever I want focus on) will be at. If I don't have skin available, I try to find something else that is close to neutral gray to meter off of. Then take a couple shots and adjust as necessary. In backlighting situations I always spot meter off of my subjects skin. If the light is really strong you might have to shield the lens (like a lens hood would) while metering and focusing, then remove your hand and allow the light to flood in for the flare and haze effect.)

29/365:Back-Up Plan


I was hoping to do a quick shoot to get an image I need for a workshop I'm taking. Unfortunately, I lost the sun earlier than planned behind a huge bank of clouds. And, both Isaac and I are sick with colds.... which doesn't have anything to do with it, but boohoo for us :)
Hopefully the sun will make an unexpected appearence tomorrow so that I can get that image. Otherwise I'm not going to have my homework completed on time.
I can't be the only adult who still has nightmares about showing up to math-class without completing their homework???

A Little Extra


Just 'cause they're so cute...

28/365: Clacking Along


Grayden's new walker came via the beloved brown truck yesterday. We had a plastic one for Isaac, but I can't find it and we're swimming in plastic as it is already. This Melissa and Doug version had good reviews on Amazon. Grayden is quite proud of himself.
Apparently Ellie (the dog) is a bit worried about this turn of events. Perhaps she remembers the quick increase in Isaac's skill at chasing her after he began walking.

27/365: Things I Love Thursday


I don't just love my (well, actually, it was a Christmas gift to my husband a couple years ago) immersion blender.
I adore it.
It powers through blending up my iced protein shake after I exercise in the morning and should we decide to make one of those soups that require blending after cooking... no more dealing with pouring in and out of the blender. It's also fabulous for making marinara sauce. Clean up is a snap. Unlock the "blending head" (uh- what would you call that??) from the motor section and rinse or dunk in soapy water as desired. Let dry. You can also put it in the dishwasher if you so choose. Mine is produced by Food Network and was bought at Kohls.
Love it.


adore it. :)

26/365: Walkin' on Sunshine

Or... running, but that didn't quite fit. This morning I was reading, again, about really using a range of angles when you're photographing normal scenes to get more of a "wow" effect. So down on my belly in the street I went. I love his honest happiness here :)

25/365: Winter Garden


When we moved in I had grand plans of a year-round garden.

Um, maybe next year.

I was out looking at the raised beds today and this lonely little tomato branch was blowing across the sidewalk. It's time to clean out the garden and get ready for the spring. And start planning what to plant.

Along with researching preschools. Apparently some of the better ones are filled by March... for the following September. Ahh!

24/365: Macro Monday


I shook up my bottle of countertop spray and these are the resulting bubbles. I think I want to play a little more with the dof... I wonder how much I would have to close down to get entire bubbles in focus...

23/365: Sunday Sweetness


Yes, I am cheating. This is definitely not a self-portrait :)
I got to play with the twins today! They are absolutely precious and both slept angelically.... at separate times :) Mom and Dad were very relaxed and took it all in stride and we came out with some sweet images.
I think I kinda like newborn photography.

22/365: Cement Mixer!


Today I'm not quite so jealous of those of you who have snow right now :) We're in the mid 60's and my patio door is open while the slight breeze blows in. This is why people live in California! The boys and I took a pre-lunch walk around the neighborhood and continued on to the development under construction behind us. Isaac loves the heavy equipment.

21/365: Favorites


It's really close between hydrangeas and peonies for my favorite flowers.

Trader Joes had these beauties today and I had to pick them up (along with a couple brussels sprouts salads, of course.)

Grayden may be getting yet another cold, ugh.

Last random rambling for the day... I added an "Ask Me" page above. I love this section on other blogs, so I thought I'd give it a try here.

20/365: Things I Love Thursday


I love breakfast time snaps that turn out like this! There's a little bit of an adjustment to the new camera, but really, it is pretty fabulous. Another thing I love- my 50 1.8. I was worried that I would want to upgrade to the 1.4 right away, but I like the 1.8 so much more on the D700 than I did on the D90. I threw my 105 on earlier as well... beautiful. Skin is so creamy sooc.
I hope I can step up and really rock this camera!

19/365: Ahh!!!


There are way too many hours between 9am and 7pm. UPS generally either comes between 10 and 1 or 3 and 5 in this neighborhood. So, I spent the morning at home. 2:30pm... finally a knock at the door! Signed for the package and dove in.
I stole a battery from my D90 while the new battery was charging and I LOVE how so many more adjustments are available on the exterior of the camera. I avoid menus unless I absolutely have to use one.
I'm about to grab my nap-time cup of coffee and spend some quality time with the manual.

Welcome to the family, camera!

(Oh, and Courtney, I just jumped a little- for you :) )

18/365: Chapstick


My skin doesn't like petroleum products and a lot of natural chapsticks that don't contain petroleum have some other ingredient that I'd rather not put on my lips. So... I decided to make my own. It's super simple:

2 tblsp Coconut Oil
2 tblsp Shea Butter
2 tblsp Beeswax

Melt on double boiler. Add a couple drops of essential oil of your choice (or not). Use a small medicine dropper to fill the tubes. Put a couple extra drops on top because the liquid will contract as it solidifies. Makes enough for approximately 12 tubes.

Here is the link to the blog I found the recipe on.

Supplies can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs or Camden Grey (I ordered from them most recently). The mixture makes a great hard lotion, you just pour it into a small container (such as an ice cube tray) and then rub the cubes on your skin. It will melt upon contact with your body. I did some quick reading and you can buy cosmetic grade mica powder to tint the chapstick pink :)

17/365: Macro Monday


This Aloe Vera plant was my last shot of the day... I really should have brought out the tripod. It's just so clunky and hard to maneuver. Yet another thing on the wish list :)

16/365: Sunday Self-Portrait


I was inspired last night watching the boys bang the colanders together.

Lighting is a flashlight through a colander propped on the ironing board rack in my tiny 6x6 laundry room. My camera is on a tripod on the dryer and I used a remote for the shutter.

15/365: 10 Months


I can't believe he'll be a year old in 2 months! I'm fairly certain that I'm not meant to be a child photographer. It drives me crazy that I have to put him in a basket in order to get him to hold still long enough to take a picture. Young babies are fabulous and so are older kids who can take directions... but these mobile, but not quite communicative, months are rough!
At least he's cute and sweet to make up for it :)

14/365: Produce Box


Yesterday we got out first bi-weekly produce box. We'd like to eat more fruits and vegetables and figure that having this box delivered to our door every other week will help force us to do so. All of the produce is grown locally and everything looked so fresh and tasty! Once my garden starts producing in the early summer we'll switch over to a fruit only box, but for now... I'm loving these little carrots :)

I played around with a LR preset today. I'm normally a very clean editor... but I think it might be fun to learn how to achieve some different pp'ing styles.

13/365: Things I Love Thursday


This may or may not be a secret, but I'm going to let ya'll in on it.

I am kind of a lazy housekeeper.

If there is a way to do something that reduces the amount of effort I have to put into cleaning, I'm all about it. That's one of the main reasons the Roomba and I are getting along so well. Another thing that I love is this shower spray by Method from Target. We spray down our glass enclosure after each shower and squeegee... and I haven't had to descale or scrub the glass since we started using the spray. Lovely.

In even more exciting news- the twins were born today! Yay!! And... I sold one large item and only have one more to sell and then I can order my camera! Double yay!!

12/365: Brothers


I was in the middle of packaging up some yarn that sold (actually-it all sold, woohoo!) when Grayden woke up from his morning nap. I heard Isaac go in and say "It's ok Grayden, Mama will be here soon." Then, Grayden stopped crying and I actually heard them both laughing! This is what I found when I went to investigate. Isaac had thrown all of the stuffed animals available, minus one or two, into the crib and climbed in himself.
Bottom line- they really do love each other :)

11/365: Brussels Sprout Salad


Trader Joe is another one of my good friends. He, Eva the Roomba and I had a lunch date today. Joe provided the Brussels Sprout Salad and Eva cleaned up all of the crumbs left over from the cereal bar Grayden had for breakfast.

Mmm... brussels sprouts aren't just for Thanksgiving! Toasted hazelnuts, bacon, cranberries and a honey dijon vinagerette. I don't think I've skipped picking up one of these salads for the last several TJ's trips.

10/365: Macro Monday


Lots of frost today.
We had to do a little bit of re-sleep-training with Grayden last night. He's on the tail end of a cold/ cough and I always feel so bad letting babies cry when they're sick... so I pay for it later. So tired :)

(eta- It's the top of our patio table... kind of a faux mosaic... in a neutral of course!)

9/365: Sunday Self-Portrait


This is my life. Isaac attempting to rough house with Grayden... Grayden laughing then dissolving into sobs.
Someday they will be big enough to break things when they wrestle, so I suppose I should be happy with a little crying. Hehe.

(Oh... and we named the Roomba. Eva. Eva the Roomba. Sounds good, no?)

8/365: Uhh... yah.


Yesterday I was talking about my macro lens and how you can set it to only hunt for focus between 0.5m and infinity, or let it hunt it's entire ability... feeling so smart for knowing that... then realized that I had left it on the 0.5- infinity setting and had been wondering why I couldn't get very close to my subjects. Ugh, sigh...
I switched it over and got within a couple inches of these bubbles in the Keurig's water tank. I'm loving this lens more all the time!
(Nikon 105 2.8, f/10, ss 1/30, ISO 3200)

7/365: He was a Brave One


These little guys sure are flighty. And apparently, cameras are more scary than a 3 year old screaming "There's another hummingbird!!!" I've been trying to capture one for a week or so now. My macro is slow to focus though and I've had more near misses than successes. On about my fifth attempt of the day I told Isaac "I'm waiting for a brave one." After I snapped the picture above Isaac exclaimed "He was a brave one!"

6/365: Things I Love Thursday


I used to think Roombas were ridiculous.
That was before I started having lower back issues and had a baby who screams while I vacuum... unless I hold him. After suffering through vacuuming with a baby on my hip for several months Clickinmoms posted their "Our Favorite Things" blog post. Among other things... one of the ladies gave a glowing review of her Roomba. I decided to give them another look- and here we are.
Yesterday during the Roomba's (we're going to give it a name... it deserves the honor) test run it was vacuuming around and I opened the door to the laundry room and went in to start folding laundry. What followed me in? Yes, my new best friend.

It vacuumed, I folded.

It was like there were two of me!
So far, I am super impressed. It is a little tempermental about a couple items, but I can definitely deal with it. My whole house will be vacuumed by the end of the day, it cleans really well, Grayden hasn't screamed (well... at least not due to the vacuum cleaner) and my back is happy.
I AM in love!

5/365: Seriously...


This is my adorable friend who is 38+ weeks pregnant with twin boys! Doesn't she look amazing?? And here's another tidbit so you can hate her a little more.... that belly is stretch mark free! My, am I jealous :) I can't wait until those sweet little boys get here and I get to play photographer with them too.
Come on out babies!

4/365: Creamy Textures


This image is so me. Neutral, with texture.
I am working on my D700 upgrade goal. Today's step was taking pictures of some yarn I purchased to knit up for Grayden... but that just isn't going to happen.
Goodbye Cestari Superfine, hello 1/20 of a camera.

3/365: Macro Monday


I'm so excited to learn how to really use this lens. Unfortunately, even macro items don't like to sit still for me! The tiniest movement causes focus to shift... and then I have to get it back manually. I'm learning the DOF and focusing techniques that work best, though, and by the end of the year hopefully I'll be macro proficient :)

edited to add... yep, it is a decaying leaf. The pretty lemons on the tree above it where not nearly as cooperative as this dead leaf :)

2/365: Sunday Self-Portrait


Not exactly an inspired self-portrait session and that middle bottom one is admittedly soft.
I now decree that all photos of me are to be taken from above with nice overhead lighting.
Hello cheekbones! Who knew??!

Top 10 of 2010

Today is the last day to link up and share your 10 favorite images of your kids over at Click It Up a Notch. Better almost late than never, right?


This is how Grayden began the year :)


Probably in February at our old park in Spokane. I miss having it one block over from the house!


Aww... 5 days old, I think? I need to go back and re-edit this shoot!!!


About a week old.

May 4 017web

April. He was just wide-eyed, not scared. I promise! :)


3rd Birthday in September.


Love, love, love a baby bum. Fall-ish


Rainy day. October-ish.


Trying for the escape.


Can I please bottle this age up to keep forever?? December

Please excuse the wacky picture sizes and random use of a watermark. I just went into my flickr and pulled out what caught my eye... and I've obviously done some tinkering around with how I size and present photos over the past year :)

1/365: This isn't a Roomba


This might not be the best start to the year.
I had planned to take a picture of my new Roomba... but Bed Bath & Beyond was out of stock and the one that they are shipping to me won't be here for about a week. So, I had to improvise. I decided to illustrate one of the goals I have for this year- to learn how to better utilize my speed-light. And....gasp.... maybe even use it off of my camera! :)

I thought I'd list some of the things I learned through doing my first 365 and then share some of the goals I have for this year.

I learned:
-Macs rock! I switched from a PC in May and haven't looked back.
-LR is totally awesome. On a related note, RAW format isn't scary, hasn't slowed down my computer (probably because I keep all my photo files on an EHD) and makes editing a much more pleasant task.
-Converting to B&W can be fun. I was intimidated at the beginning of the year, but now I have a good grasp on when an image will convert well and a fairly good workflow for doing the conversion itself.
-Workshops (and being critiqued by peers and people you respect as more knowledgeable than yourself) are invaluable.
-Critiquing others gives you an opportunity to teach and solidify why you like or dislike images. This practice makes decision making while behind the camera much more intuitive.
-The group of 365'ers is an awesome bunch of ladies! I'm so happy that most everyone is continuing on in 2011 :)

This year I want to:
- Rock that flash :)
-Streamline and really understand my workflow. I'd also like this to include getting a firm grasp on making and using my own actions/presets in LR.
-Continue learning how to really use natural light.
-Continue defining my style of photography. At the end of the year I'd like to be able to say that I really do have a "style."
-Use some themes to give this 365 a little more structure (Macro Monday, Things I Love Thursday, and Self-Portrait Sunday)
-Participate in 2 or 3 workshops.
-Meet up with some other photographers in the area.
- Upgrade to a D700.

I recently listened to an audio file about goal setting. The most important things I got out of it were that goals need to be stated in a positive way, if you want to achieve a goal you need to do something (anything!) everyday to work towards it, and difficulties come not to obstruct, but to instruct. Failure is certain, it's what you learn from those mistakes that matters.

Here's to a wonderful year full of learning!