Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 59: Mommy and Me

I’m always behind the camera and as a result there are very few pictures of me and the kids.  After reading Sheye Rosemeyer’s blog about how she really wishes she had more photos of her and her late daughter Ava (her story seriously has me in tears every time I read it), I want to make sure I put the camera down and play with my children, as well as have somebody capture some of those moments.  Today  I asked my husband to take some of those pictures.  (How unfair it is that my husband has yet to read the camera manual or a darn thing about photography and yet he can give me such great photos that need very little in the way of editing.  So jealous.)


DSC_1242_edit_wm DSC_1304_edit_wm DSC_1213_edit_wm

Be back soon

Experiencing technical difficulties installing Windows 7. I may or may not blog tonight. I did take photos today though.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Appreciation for manual white balance

I usually just fix white balance in post processing.  However I can’t always get it right and I’m tired of the inconsistency in my photos.  I sat down and read my manual (for the millionth time it seems like) and figured out how to do it.  Today’s photos were taken with manual white balance and editing was so much simpler!  Plus I could actually get the kids’ skin tones right.

As an example, here’s our lovely dog Scout putting up with my ‘practicing’.  These were taken at night in our dark living room, with a torch lamp on a a side table lamp on.  I used my speedlight bounced at 45° behind me.

Auto white balance (I rarely use because it always seems washed out or too cool)


Incandescent (I never use)DSC_1193

Direct sunlight (I only use in actual direct sunlight)DSC_1194

Flash (I rarely use)DSC_1195

Cloudy (I use quite often)DSC_1196

Shade (I use most often because I like the warmth)DSC_1197

Manual white balance.  This actually captures the true color of the blanket and of Scout.


And cropped/edited  (I wish I would have been a slightly different angle…but I have to say dogs are SO much easier to photograph than toddlers!):



Day 58: Feeding the dog

Today was a special treat since I left the baby gate down and let them come in the office.  We weren’t feeling well enough to go to the park, but they get bored with the same old parts of the house.  I needed to do some cleaning anyhow, so this worked out well.

Whenever Cooper notices Scout’s bowl is empty, he insists on feeding her.  There is no room for me to take pictures at a good angle, but I’m glad I was able to get a few good ones.

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And when she wouldn’t eat the food he put in her bowl, he picked up a handful of food.DSC_1171_edit_wm

Charlotte enjoyed some coloringDSC_1175_edit_wm

They both enjoyed some Handy Manny on the computerDSC_1179_edit_wm

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 57: Like mommy, like daddy

Charlotte and I are both sick…we got lucky and got whatever Cooper had.  I don’t feel awful, but I’m definitely not 100%.  So far, my husband has been spared.

Charlotte didn’t eat dinner tonight and instead sat on watched all of us.


Then she zonked out.  I love how sweet they look when they’re sleeping.  I rarely can get photos when they’re like this because it wakes them up.DSC_1148_edit_wm

Cooper is back 100% (minus his runny nose and cough).  He thoroughly enjoyed dinner.  He ate all of his and then all of Charlotte’s dinner!


First he squished his hands all over in the spaghetti…DSC_1138_edit_wm

Then he thought it was hysterical to clap and spray the sauce all over daddy.DSC_1131_edit_wm

After cleaning up and while waiting for daddy to put Charlotte to bed, he got to enjoy some special time in the office with mommy.  We don’t usually let them in the office because they are bit destructive and it’s also not toddler-proofed.

Like Daddy.DSC_1150_edit_wm

Like Mommy


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 56: Bye mommy (with hats)

They are loving daddy’s hats these days and now have to have a hat on to say bye to me.  This picture was a quick snapshot and I didn’t have time to get Charlotte to look at me.  Oh well!





And just for fun to give a different look to the photos:  Pioneer Woman Seventies action (modified).  I like the vintage look on this.





And Coffeeshop Vivid Urban.  I like the harder look to this…it makes the dirt on the baby gate look like it’s there on purpose.DSC_1105_edit_vivid urban_wm

Edit Challenge

Edited for another mother.  All she asked was to remove the foot.  Editing is so much easier with a really great photo to start with. 



Edit 1 was just to remove the foot.


Edit 2 was how I would edit if it were my photo.  I got rid of the closet doors and door frame and made it all a white background.  Then I adjusted levels, curves, and color balance.  I added a light vignette and did a modified Coffeeshop Perfect Portrait action.  (The only thing I don’t like is that his face is now a little blown out)


Edit 3 was turning the photo black and white using a modified Coffeeshop Creamy Chocolate B&W.  I really love this version.IMG_3702pse_edit2_bw

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 55: Jumping

Charlotte is learning how to jump so she loves practicing on the couches and on the bed.  This also means that she falls off.  She’s had a couple fat lips and some bruises on her head.  Today she climbed on the end table and told daddy she ‘beh dow’, or ‘feel down’.  This is amazing progress for her speech!!

I got a photo of her in mid air today.  What I don’t like:  Her face is blown out slightly.  I cut off her feet.  She’s a bit out of focus, plus there’s some motion blur.  The picture isn’t quite straight.  What I love:  My husband smiling in the background.  The pure joy on Charlotte’s face.  Her hair flying up.  The position of her arms and legs.  The photo captures some action.


Cooper noticed daddy laying down to rest.  I love the devious look on his face here.DSC_1083_edit_Wm

Daddy pretending to sleep and Cooper waking him up.  You can almost hear my husband pretending to snore and Cooper going ‘rawr’ to wake him up. DSC_1087_edit_Wm

(Have you noticed the Halloween themed shirts in the last couple days.  My husband thinks they are cute and doesn’t care that it’s February.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First Blog Award

I received my first blog award!  I want to thank Wendy, from Our Story:  Our Journey to Adoption, for  awarding me the Beautiful Blogger Award!


Here's how it works if you receive the award:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
  2. Post this award to 15 other bloggers that you like to follow.  (You can do way less than this, or none at all.  This was seriously a lot of blogs.)
  3. Leave them a message on their blog so they know they received the award.
  4. Post 7 things about yourself (again, or none at all…your preference).

In no particular order, some of my favorite blogs:

  1. Stephanie Cooks for giving me tons of delicious recipes that are simple, quick, and easy.
  2. Life in the Fun Lane for inspiring me to decorate with colors and furnishings that I love
  3. A Penny Saved for sharing tons of beautiful decorating ideas that look expensive but cost next to nothing.
  4. Knock Off Wood for being a new favorite on how to save money by building furniture
  5. Maybe If You Just Relax for making me laugh out loud
  6. Niffer for reminding me to enjoy motherhood and frequent blog comments to let me know someone is reading and enjoying my blog.
  7. 525,600 Minutes for the beautiful photos of Jaelyn
  8. Our Family Unplugged for London’s sassy personality captured in all the great photos
  9. Pixel 365 for the simplicity and beauty of the photos
  10.  Through the Looking Glass for inspiring me to find an editing style all my own
  11.  threeSIXfive – A Picture a Day from Keiki Photos for the amazing crafts, sewing projects and fantastic photos
  12.  House of Turquoise for inspiring me to see color in a different way
  13.  Stinard Family for the fun blog, beautiful photos, and sweet baby boy with kissable cheeks
  14. Ramblings and Photos for the inspiration to try new things while editing photos
  15. No Time For Flash Cards for giving me tons and tons of craft ideas and new songs to share with my toddlers

And 7 things about me:

  1. I must have a creative outlet.  I’ve done scrapbooking, creating artwork for the house, designing wedding invitations and baby announcements, and now photography!
  2. I am an avid reader and I have an obsession with owning books.  I refuse to get rid of books, even if I’ve never read them or if I think they’re terrible.  I prefer paying for my books over borrowing them from the library.  Although I love my Kindle, nothing compares to the smell of a book.
  3. I was born and raised in Colorado and still refer to it as home, despite living in Southern California for almost 8 years.
  4. I love that my family is unique.  My children are 4 months apart.  My husband and I have untraditional roles with him a stay at home dad and me supervising engineers and geologists at an oil company.
  5. I have a passion for learning and miss being in school.
  6. When I grow up I want to be a:  teacher, social worker, stay at home mom, high level executive, lawyer, and a business owner.
  7. Photography has given me a new perspective on being a mom and helped me appreciate all the amazing, wonderful, surprising, fun things my children  do, even on the tough days where I’m tired and stressed.

Day 54: Lots of random

Cooper is still under the weather and wasn’t in the mood for pictures.  Charlotte seemed to be showing off tonight…guess she wants some extra attention since Cooper is getting some from being sick.

I realized tonight that my editing from one photo to the next is inconsistent.  My white balance especially is different in every photo.  I really need to learn manual white balance.

Fake sleeping


Cooper waking her up


Taking her temperature in her arm pit.


Taking the temperature of her foot.  I’m not sure about this composition.  I kind of like it because it’s so different from what I do, but I almost don’t like how it feels like she is falling out of the photo.DSC_1047_edit_Wm

So what’s it say?DSC_1044_edit_Wm

After telling him to use two hands.DSC_1010_edit_wm

I love the look on his face.  They both really love Elmo, particularly the lost little puppy books.  We’ve hidden most of the books because neither my husband or I can stand reading them for awhile.DSC_1049_edit_wm

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fun Edits – Swirling

Fun edits in Photoshop.  I used flowers and a butterfly, but you could probably use anything.  I love the first two, but thought I would show the rest.  I haven’t figured out which types of photos make really great swirls.white flower bokeh swirl purple daisy swirl daisy swirl butterfly swirl multi flower swirl rose swirl

Here are the originals that I cropped to 4 x 4.  Then I did:  Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Polar to Rectangular.  Then Image > Rotate > 180.  Then Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Rectantular to Polar.   You don’t have to crop to a square…the oval from a rectangular crop also looks really great.DSC_10036 DSC_0032DSC_0647 DSC_0469DSC_0037  DSC_0639