Thursday, June 30, 2011

White Balance - VERY IMPORTANT!

My husband was in another play this past month, so when time came for the photo call, I was SO there!! 

The show was The Boys Next Door and it was so enjoyable.  Here are a couple of shots from that evening:

What does that have to do with White Balance you ask??  Nothing yet!  But here's where it happened.  I noticed that the photos of people who were in a spot light were very washed out...  Here's one of my husband.

You see that it seems somewhat over exposed right on him.  So, I flipped over to manual so I could adjust the white balance, changed it to florescent lighting and snapped another shot. 

Here's the difference (although I like the composition of the above shot better, I think): 

Much Better!!!!  So I patted myself on the back for being so clever!  :) 

However - there's more to the story....

The next morning I went out very early (sunrise!) to try my hand at taking some Senior Pictures of my son.  What I didn't realize until I happened to glance at the LCD screen was that the White Balance was still set for florescent lighting.  OOPS!

Here's how I knew something was hinky....

Blue-Faced Child....

The white of his sleeves (and his face) have a bluish hue...

Once I fixed the white balance problem (this is un-edited!)

So, um, ya.... if you decide to be clever and change the white balance setting on your camera, don't forget to change it back!! 

Much Love to ya on this beautiful Thursday!!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quick Question for those who visit my site...

I tend to put up lots of pictures... DUH!  It's a photography blog and I <3 pictures.

The question is, does this cause my page to take forever loading???  I don't want people to give up on my site because it doesn't load properly!!! 

Please, please, PLEASE tell me!  IF my page takes too long to load or to see a post, I will cut down the number of photos in each post to make it a little smoother!  :)

Thanks for your input!

Looking for Inspiration...

2 things about me for today:

1 - I am inspired, humbled, and occasionally frustrated when I see the AMAZING photos  that are out there in the world! 

2 - I want to do some kind of photo project to help me improve my photography.

About viewing photos - first of all, I have been introduced to the website 500px and I don't think my life and my attitude about photography will ever be the same...  seriously, my world view, photographically speaking, has just been adjusted.  I joined the site in order to browse, but I think it will be a long time before I post anything there!  It was beautiful, extraordinary, and down-right intimidating!  WOW!

About my own photography - I have been pushing myself for the past year and it shows.  If I go back and look at my photos from a year ago and the most recent shots I've taken, there is definite improvement. 

Slightly over a year ago...  April of 2010

Last week...  June 2011

Last Summer

This Summer - so far...

I'm stuck in a strange place - I'm both encouraged and frustrated by my photography!  I see improvement and I like it.  Yet I see where I want to be and I'm SO FAR from it.  I guess it's something like your Freshman year of college (university).  They say the first year is so you will know how much you don't know.... or something like that.  Well, I'm there!  I have SO far to go!

In my constant effort to improve, I have decided that I definitely want to try a 52 week project.  The idea would be that I would post a photo once a week.  The question I now have is how do I want to do this??  I've seen projects like this where the person takes a self-portrait every week - which does intrigue me....   I've also seen places where there is a list and each week you take or create the next photo that is on the list.  That really sounds about my speed at the moment. 

I want to push myself, but I want to be realistic.  I want something that will challenge me, yet not so much of a challenge to set myself up for failure (which is why I will NOT do a 365 at this time in my life!  haha!)

So - do any of you have suggestions??  Have you done a project 52 or a 365 that you enjoyed??   I'm looking for things that will drive my creativity and really make me think.  Do you know of lists or photo challenges out there to participate in? 

Thank in advance for any suggestions or advice!!!  :)

Much love!

Monday, June 27, 2011

1, 2, 3, SMILE!!!

I tried to take photos of my children and create a Father's Day gift for my husband and both of our fathers.  What a challenge!  I have taken pictures of each of the kids in the last year and they are pretty good models.  However, (!!!)  trying to get all three of them to look at me and smile with a genuine smile was SO difficult!  If I think I might want to be a photographer some day, I need to work on my getting-people-to-smile skills!!

The resulting shots are actually somewhat amusing (at least to me.)  So much so, that I submitted one of them to Pioneer Woman's Funny Face contest.  She didn't choose my shots, but that's okay - there are SO MANY wonderful shots submitted.  You should check out her page if you don't already!

Here are some of the ... um... interesting shots that I got from the session.

Unfortunately, this is the best picture of the youngest one... I wish my photoshop skills were good enough to merge the faces on one photo...


In the end, I wound up using the very first shot I took.  How nuts is that??  Here is the finished product as it is at the moment.  I edited it on Picnik which is a good site to use in a pinch.

Have a happy (and funny faced) Monday!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Playing in the Dirt

Sometimes you just have to get down and dirty.  When we went to see the horses a week or so ago (wow, has it been that long already?) my daughter made a little friend.  They were getting bored at one point so they started drawing pictures in the dirt. 

Do you remember drawing pictures in the dirt when you were little??  (or maybe still?)  What kind of pictures did you draw?  I remember drawing stick figures - my sister was the real artist!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


For some reason, I have recently become obsessed with doors.  Not just any doors, mind you, but doors with character!

Not more than a mile or two from my home is an old down-town area that is in the process of being renovated and turned into an arts district.  There are still many run-down buildings, but the progress is fabulous.  Especially because those who are doing the renovating really seem to appreciate the original architecture and preserve as much of it as possible.

Here are some shots from a quick outing I took a couple of weeks ago.  It was only 8:30 am, but that was already pretty late as far as the sunlight went.  It's summer here so I would have to get up pretty darn early to catch that lovely first light of morning.  We'll see about doing that within the next month - maybe.  I'm not really a morning person.....

This old bank building is now a jewelers.  Perfect use of an old vault if you ask me!  They do wonderful work.  I had to have my wedding ring repaired and they had it finish within 48 hours and it's perfect!

I love that you can still read the name "Sage Grocery" on the side of the building.  (Plus, I love Dr. Pepper!)

Not that this is super amazing, but it was screaming for an asymmetrical shot.

The same way that this building was shouting out for a symmetrical shot!

I have no idea why, but this building called to me.  I love the reflective glass and rich colors. 

The corner cafe.  My daughter and I went in and tried it out.  Yummy breakfast!

OK - I LOVE this door!!!  Who wouldn't!?

Another asymmetrical shot.  The door is pretty awesome.  I'll have to shoot it again when there isn't a ghastly shadow messing it up!

Just plain old AWESOME!  Spanish style building in the middle of a business district in Kansas.  Yup!  Take a look at the wrought iron on the second story window - just perfect!

Any cool architecture where you live?  You better believe I've got my eye out for those awesome doorways now!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hats, Hats, Hats and MORE Hats!

When I first read the theme for today's Friday My Town Shoot Out, I thought "Hats?!?  I hope I can find some pictures of hats!"

Well - was I surprised when I started sorting through my photos!  I have hats galore!  I hope you don't get bored as I post so many hats it will make your head swim!  (haha!)

Be sure to check out everyone's hat posts here
Friday My Town Shootout

Part of the reason I have so many hats on file, is my work with theater - you'll see in a moment.  I also have quite a few from parades since my children are involved in marching band.  Of course, there are a few from Halloween....  So I began to wonder if I had any hats from everyday life.

Never fear!  There are hats!  :)

Let me begin with hats in the every day life of those around me.

Fellow photographer, Mark, who wears a hat on occasion.

My step-dad, Lyle, who always wears a hat when working outdoors.

Fellow dart player - I don't think I've ever seen him without a hat....

My step-dad again along with my nephew.  Hats are essential in the cold!

One of my favorite hats on my husband.  I've tried to steal it a few times - unsuccessfully....

A student of mine who happened to have this on the day I brought my camera to school.
Photographer at a wedding.  I don't think he expected to have his photo taken that day.

Father of the Bride at the same wedding.  Lovely man!

Now, of course, you'd expect to see more hats as the weather turns cold!  Here are a few of those.

Youngest Daughter in the Snow
Trying on her Birthday present!

My husband - hiding from the cold!!!

And of course, my largest selection, the parades, costumes, etc.

One of my favorite photos of my son - and one of his favorites too!
Who can forget My Fair Lady

Especially those wonderful Ascot Hats!!
Some of them from back stage!
What about this amazing Alice in Wonderland cast?!?  Middle school kids with wonderful hats.  The flowers, the Queen of Hearts!!  Wow!

How about some Rockin' parade hats?!?  I'm running out of room!

 And some of the more important hats...

My God-Daughter at her High School graduation

Always a wonderful moment!

I hope you enjoyed the hats today!  They are more plentiful than I first thought!  Look out for hats around you and don't forget to go look at everyone else's hats!

Friday My Town Shootout

Happy Friday!