Thursday, January 30, 2014

day thirty, white out. { project 365 }

Tyler worked one of his funny shifts today. When it happens on Thursdays I usually hope he comes along to story time at the library with us. He didn't have to go into work until 1 today and we've missed the last couple of weeks of story time (super cold weather with two little kids and all that goes along with getting in and out of the car.. doesn't always sound attractive to do alone).

We woke up to a few inches of snow and the snow was continuing to come down. I'm glad he was planning to come with us.. driving there was quite an adventure. We typically meet friends for coffee before story time but not only did we not make it to that in time, we were a little late to story time. But I'm happy we went - our friends were there and a whopping total of six kids. There is usually something like 26 kids there. So it was a nice, quiet, fun, small group. :)

By the time we got home the snow had stopped and the sky was bright and sunny. I think the high was supposed to be around 18 and boy did it feel great. Yes, I just said that.

As soon as we got everyone out of the car I bundled Olive up in her snow pants and warm mittens so she could enjoy the snow in the bright sunlight and "warmth". It's also nicer to have her play in fresh snow since there are layers and layers of frozen gifts from our dog, Honey. ew. When there is fresh snow I can pretend it's not there. And I know she won't find it.

I stayed inside and hung out with June but peeked at her from the sunroom and gave her some beach toys to play with. ha. I also kept reminding her that hot cocoa would be ready for her as soon as she was ready to come inside. I hoped that would ease the transition and making coming inside somewhat motivating. It worked! :)

A few times when I asked if she was feeling cold while playing outside she said "Well.. I'm a little cold, but not really too cold." so she continued to play.

Today's photo: Olive "vacuuming" snow:

And a few more for fun:

Honey really likes to run around in the snow. Even on very very cold days she doesn't complain. Notice our outdoor furniture that I never got around to putting in the garage? (blame it on having a baby) Notice the snow alllll the way up to the bottom of the seats? yeah.

Honey is difficult to photograph in the snow. She's always moving so so fast.

June was waiting for me inside and wasn't too happy about my absence.. so I couldn't be too patient with Honey. But wanted to catch her with a snow covered nose. :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

day twenty-nine, poor tree. { project 365 }

This is the tree next to our house. It's a tough tree. It survived the tornado in 2011 unlike many of the trees on our street. It keeps our home cool in the summer. Save for a small tree we planted and some weird weed type trees.. it's the only tree in our yard.

A couple of days ago it was making really loud popping sounds. It was cold and windy that day. From what I could find online that happens to trees in the cold if they have frozen moisture inside but it doesn't hurt the integrity of the tree. But we couldn't be sure if it was a popping or a splitting sound.

Tyler called a few tree companies to get their opinion. We got mixed responses but they all came out this week to take a look. It sounds like the general consensus is that it needs to be removed or cabled because there is a large split in the center of the trunk that goes all the way down to the ground. The part that would fall, if something falls, are the two limbs that lean towards our house, specifically our bedroom.

We've had mixed information on if it should be saved or completely removed.. either way is costly. We're gathering quotes and have to act fast. I'm also trying to find someone that may be interested in a trade of services, as I always do. But we don't have much time to work with so I doubt that will happen. But even a portrait session would knock a couple of hundred off the total and we're looking at around $2,000 at this point. Yikes.

Poor tree. :(

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

day twenty-eight, where i work. { project 365 }

Forgive the terrible photo.

Sunday evening and Monday evening Tyler hung two floating shelves for me. I'm slowly trying to decorate our house and personalize it a little more. Make things more purposeful and more us.

I've somehow managed to collect quite a few vintage cameras. They were previously on top of an antique cabinet in our dining room but it was becoming quite the balancing act to keep them there. So I purchased these shelves to display them in my "office"/"studio". It's a bit more appropriate and now they have more room.

I enjoy that I haven't purchased any of these cameras. Some were given to me, some were found, and some of them are old family cameras.

With the addition of the shelves, my desk had to be moved a bit and (because whenever I have to move something an inch I usually move it a few feet) so I rearranged. I'm really enjoying the new set up thus far.. but I only did it today, so we'll see.

It isn't perfect - I need an outlet cover, need to finish painting the trim, need to organize the shelves on my desk, need to clear up the mess on the desktop, and need to drink the hot cocoa in the red mug.

But I wanted to share.

Monday, January 27, 2014

day twenty-seven, invitation. { project 365 }

Today Olive worked on addressing and stamping some invitations for her birthday party. Sometimes these things take is a long time. She claims her arm gets tired of writing.. ha. And she doesn't always enjoy that the stamp has a very specific location that it must be stuck. So we got an early start so we can make sure they're in the mail on time.

Her party theme this year is: Trees
Last year was: Reindeer Nose
He first birthday was just colorful.

valentiny. { frost on flower }

June was so kind as to help me out this morning by snuggling up on a blanket on my set up. I wanted to test some lighting and try to get a few more photos of June and Olive. Olive was less cooperative and informed me that she was finished after just a couple of photos of her and June. After packing everything up she decided that she did, indeed, want her own photo, but it was clearly too late. Maybe next weekend when I'm set up for minis.. we'll see!

Speaking of minis - if you're interested I still have some openings for next weekend - February 1st and 2nd.

Whoops, these are in reverse order. Olive walked by which caused June to smile but she walked right in front of the umbrella which cast a noticeable shadow. But his smile is nice.

I thought monster pajamas would be a good outfit for the occasion.

It's not too easy to include the backdrop for infants.. since they can't sit up, but I wanted to see how it looked photographed. Since Olive wasn't interested in her own photos I had to use June.

I know, what a horrible thing I had to do.

Olive likes to hold his hand.

This one is my favorite.

In case you're curious and thought he looked mature for his age, June is now 17lbs and around 26" at 2 months old.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

day twenty-six, little valentine. { project 365 }

June doesn't have a valentine yet, if you're interested.

Look for a blog post soon with a few more photos from our little mini living room session today.

Friday, January 24, 2014

day twenty-four, movement. { project 365 }

I took some long exposure photos of Olive playing. I don't often do long exposure but I thought it might be neat to capture toddler movement this way. I think I'll play around with it more and possible use it while working when I can afford to take the time for more artistic shots. Maybe during wedding dances. Or while a bride walks down the aisle if I'm the second shooter and can compromise the regular walking shots.

Below are just a few more that I liked.

The image below is a composite of three that I threw into Photoshop to try layering.  All of the images aren't the best examples of long expose because I wasn't using a tripod or a remote - the camera was set on top of a candle holder and I used my finger. But it was still fun.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

day twenty-three, a method. { project 365 }

Tyler has recently hit the digital recording interface jackpot.

Here he is, through a seemingly tangled mess of cables, installing a new-to-him interface.. for temporary use.

There's a method to the madness of his cables. They're not tangled.

I forgot to bring my camera along to the co-op this evening. I'm so bad at this.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

day twenty-two, testing testing. { project 365 }

All but one of these photos have been edited.

I'm going to use some of my new lighting set up this weekend and wanted to test a few things. I'm also going to be using it in March when I photograph gymnastics teams and that's a daunting task. I'm not sure if you realize but there is so so so much that goes into lighting. Camera settings, flash settings, placement of flashes, the camera, the subjects in relation to the backdrop, backdrop lighting, etc. etc. etc.......

My brain can't stop thinking about how little I know and how confused it is so I just had to try some things tonight.  It was a tough task to start while Olive was still awake and just before I had to make dinner but my brain made me do it. I had more luck after Olive went to bed and I gave my brain some time to calm down.

I thought I would share my tests with you. The backdrop is haphazardly hanging from blinds on doors and it's wrinkled. And save for humans, I was photographing random things. Don't judge me. And please don't judge the quality of photos. These weren't even trying to look decent.

In the end I think I have a good place to start but it depends on so many factors once I'm in the field. I will certainly do more testing before the big session in March but I'm feeling more prepared to use the lights this weekend.

One amazing thing I learned is that my 7D can trigger speedlites remotely. I bought a wireless transmitter system for my 5D (because that's all I ever use!) and was using that but realizing that, because of the size of groups in March, I may also need some fill flash to fill in the middle. The 5D, for some odd reason, does not have a pop-up flash (Canon thinks it isn't a pro feature.. but it is) so I grabbed my 7D... but you can't use the pop-up flash AND the wireless transmitter in the hotshoe. I tried to depress the shutter and the manual transmitter button at the same time and that's basically impossible. Then I remembered a little snip it I read while skimming lighting info today and I realized the 7D could do it all for me! And it did! Hooray! I knew I still and that camera for a reason...

Olive wore her bee dress all day today and insisted on buttoning only the top and bottom buttons of her sweater.

This is when I switched to the 7D.

I had Tyler move closer to me, closer to the background, moved the speedlites, changed their angle, diffused my pop-up flash, etc. trying to get rid of the shadow directly behind him.

He was having a great time.

Finally it worked. And I wrote down a lot of notes so hopefully I can replicate the placement of everything.

And then super duper fast I threw this one into Lightroom and played around with the white balance and exposure. I'm going for an almost white background.. doesn't have to be exact.. but the backdrop I have is cream. I could light the background to blow it out but I don't have enough lights for that so I'm just thinking that if I light the entire space well enough and customize the white balance I should be okay. I can also take it into Photoshop and work with masks to do it for real but I know next to nothing about that right now. I will do that with this photo soon just for practice. When ti isn't 11:30pm. :P

Thanks Tyler!!!!