Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Sunflowers...

This was the coolest thing about the sunflower field.  People were parked up and down both sides of the highway to get out and take pictures.  The farmer had put up a collection jar for donations from those visiting and walking through his fields.

This gentleman set up the back of his truck as an art studio...

How Fabulous!!!


Monday, August 30, 2010


So we went on an outing Saturday in search of Sunflowers.  The first place we went was a bust...  The sunflowers were already spent and were nothing but brown heads on stems.  So we drove to the second place. 

(Suzanne, we found these on Hwy 24 northeast of Lawrence.  The ones in the newspaper article you told me about.  Thank you!)

So, here are a few of the shots we got.  I'll share more later this week. :)

Happy Monday everyone!  

Much Love,


Sunday, August 29, 2010

More Car Show

Ok, so this weekend is turning out to be very productive!  I will share all of it over the next few days.

I noticed something about my photography yesterday morning when I stumbled across the car show.  I found that the first 10-12 shots I took were pretty boring.  They were normal stand-at-a-distance-and-shoot photos....  Like this.

How ordinary and not anything spectacular.  The cars are so amazing - they deserve better than this!

So I went with the first thing I know.  Get in closer!  Look for the elements of design - line, form, shape.  Pay attention to the backgrounds (or eliminate them entirely), watch out for the reflections, get high, get low.  I also had to get over worrying about all the people staring at me taking pictures.  As I went about my business and quit feeling self-conscious, they quit looking at me. 

Here is where I went from there.

It seems that the passion that began to flow as I really focused on what I was doing was contagious.  The car owners were thrilled that I loved their cars.  As we began to chat, I told them what I liked about their cars and what I was trying to capture - the curve, the shine of the chrome, the tail light that's different than any other.  The pride that flowed from these men was like a physical thing you could reach out and touch!

Photographically speaking, I began to notice that my shots seemed to center on tail lights, head lights and grills.  So, I thought I'd try to find other interesting spots on the cars.


One of those last two were my favorites of the outing.  For a person who is SO into color, it's interesting that my favorites are mostly black and chrome.  I think that shows that the design elements are strong.

There are MORE - believe it or not!  I just couldn't stop shooting!  I'll share more later this week.

Much Love,



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Car Show!!

I was driving down the street and saw several AMAZING classic cars go by.  My first thought??  "Where's the car show?!" 

PS - I LOVE classic cars!!!  Especially muscle cars..... ESPECIALLY Chargers and Cameros....  Mostly Cameros!  I think I was born to drive a camero - not one from the 80s that looks like a Firebird or a TransAm, but one from the early 70s.  I go weak in the knees whenever I see one!  *sigh*

Oh, I forgot to tell you that the car show is all day today and just happens to be only 3 blocks from my house!!!!  I called mom and she's coming over.  We are going to spend the afternoon taking pictures!!!!!!  Woo Hoo!!!

Anyway, here's a little taste of what I saw this morning.  There will be MANY more pictures to come!!!!

I hope your weekend is as wonderful as mine is going to be!  :)


Friday, August 27, 2010

Loving the Performing Arts!

Friday My Town Shootout

One of my favorite things about Topeka, KS is how much this community supports fine arts.  Each school has top notch band, choir and orchestra programs.  There are 2 community theaters and a Performing Arts Center in town in addition to Washburn University and all the performances there!

This is my son at band rehearsal this past Tuesday night.

And these pictures were taken by my husband last summer at a musical I was in.  Can you guess the title?  (I'm sure you know it - it's a very well known show!)

We seem to have caught them all blinking...

You will see me farthest to the left in the above shot.  :)

Have a great weekend everyone!  I hope to have some Sunflower photos for you soon!  


Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Glasses!!

My baby girl got glasses this week.    Awww, how sweet!

So, we went right outside to take a few pictures.  What a challenge that was!!  Both of us are adjusting to the glasses.  Of course, I didn't feel the need to spend extra money on the "no glare" glasses, so that was the big battle.  Although I'm not certain how much difference it would have really made. 

Here are some of the shots we got this afternoon.

The first shot was obviously NOT good.  She was looking right at me and we had major glare on the lenses.

So I asked her to look down slightly and this is what I got.  While the glare was greatly reduced, the facial expression was anything but natural.

I wondered if having her turn to an angle would help with the glare.  It only helped a little, and again, very unnatural expression.

So, in order to get a more relaxed, natural look on her face, I had her look to the side, the slowly turn her head toward me.  I just shot several shots throughout the turn.  I also just started talking to her and asked her to tell me about her glasses and how they felt, did she think Grandma would like them, etc.  It definitely helped!!

This is a new challenge for me.  I haven't had to deal with glasses before other than my own!  (I'm getting new ones too - my first pair of bifocals should arrive by the weekend.)

Anyway, that's my little slice of the world this week... and  the chaos of beginning school, which is actually beginning to calm finally.  I'll chat with you all a little more soon!

Much Love,


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I have been both busy and exhausted over the last week and a half.  I did get out to take a few pictures over the weekend, but not many.  I hope I will be able to take more pictures as we all settle into our school routines.

In the meantime, this post today will be very short and sweet!  :)  I went to the park on Sunday and road this little train around the perimeter.  It was a fun little 10 minute ride and I actually learned a couple of things about the history of the park.  I'll share more later.

Much Love,


Sunday, August 22, 2010


We went to an event at a campground a couple of weekends ago.  It was a lot of fun and dad had the chance to show off!  It's important to teach the next generation how to play frisbee after all!

It was very hot out, so they didn't play for long.  Even so, it was a fun day!

Have a great day!


And the answer is......

I'm just sorry I didn't have a prize to give away!  Nice job Jama and GingerV - the answer was toothpicks!

My husband grabbed these from the grocery one day (not knowing that I had JUST bought toothpicks the day before!)  He saw the bright colored choice and decided that was the way to go!  :)  They are lots of fun! 

When the kids saw them and showed me, I immediately grabbed my camera.  It was actually a tough shot to get.  I had to be careful because I was SO close to the bottle that I kept knocking it over.  I also kept getting in my own light.  So, I had my daughter shine a flashlight on them.

This was fun!  I will have to do another close-up to guess again sometime!  :)

Have a restful and peaceful Sunday everyone!

Much Love,


Friday, August 20, 2010

What am I??

It's not really a shot of my town, but it's in my house which is in my town.... So - I have decided to participate in the "Friday My Town Shoot Out" this week.   Each person who participates shares a photo that shows what is best about their town within the theme.  This week's theme is "What am I?"

I wanted to include a button for the page, but I can't seem to find it now.  (which is odd, because I was certain I had seen it before - hrmm... where was that??)

Comment if you have a guess - What am I??

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Drawing with Light

Every tutorial, book or instruction manual I ever picked up on photography began with the same thing - a definition of "photography".  I used to get so annoyed at this.  I mean, isn't the definition of a "photograph" or of "photography" pretty well understood by EVERYONE?!?

It wasn't until I read a well-written book (I think it was by Bryan Peterson whom I mentioned in this post) that I finally understood the significance behind the definition.  It is actually VERY important AND most people DON'T understand it!  That is why photography looks easy, but it isn't as easy as one might think!  :)

The word Photography comes from two Latin words:  Photos which means "light" and graphé which means "representation by means of lines" or "drawing".  Literally photography means "drawing with light".

At this point you may be saying, "Duh...."  but think about it.  How much attention do you pay to the light when you take a picture??  You pay attention to your subject, be it a person, a barn or a pet.  You may even pay attention to composition - remembering the rule of thirds.  If you are really advanced, you may have learned about aperture, shutter speed and ISO (which I am still learning....)  Pros pay attention to all of this AND the light.  Where's the sun?  Where are the shadows?  How will the light affect the colors in the shot?  These are things we may intuitively know, but do we consciously think about them and make decisions based on the information?

One thing he said that stuck with me was this (and I'm paraphrasing because I already checked the book back in at the library.)  Just because you don't see the sun in your shot, doesn't mean the sun isn't a part of it.

Here is an interesting exercise.  Look at the photos below and take the time to think about these questions:

* Where is the light source in this picture?

* How is the placement of the light source affecting the colors in the shot? the composition?

* How is the light source affecting the subject itself?

* Are there shadows that are distracting or unappealing?

* Is there part of the shot that is too dark or too light?  Is it possible that moving the light source (or moving the camera) could have fixed the problem?

* What time of day is it?  Would a different time of day have looked better?

I hope you have a wondeful day!

Much Love,