Thursday, February 28, 2013

Photo Challenge: Water

I've been missing the past couple weeks, but I'm going to wait until this weekend or Monday to explain why.  In the meantime, I'm linking up again with Ivy at LWLH in a photo challenge.  The tip of an icicle, icicle caves, and a throwback to warmer weather and prettier colors from last fall.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday.  It's amazing how until the past couple weeks, you came and went in a flash.  But now, you take absolutely forever to come around.  Why is that?  Dear weather.  While the thundersnows** were pretty spectacular to behold, I'm sooooo sick of winter and snow.  Time to move on.  Dear husband.  1.5 weeks since you left me to go to the desert, but it feels like much longer.  Please come home now?  Dear house.  I love you more and more each day.  Da bestest.  Dear husband.  Seriously.  I love and miss you.  So...will you come home?  Dear pups.  Having a dog walker come by and take you out every day is exactly what you needed.  So happy to come home to exercised, happy, exhausted pups!  And a house intact!  Dear work.  I'm so in love with the position I'm subbing for until March, and think I could really handle working with special needs kids for the next couple years.  But do high schoolers ever learn to keep their rude comments inside their head?  Geez!  Tired of being called names, already.  Dear Profe. Rue.  I really never thought I'd use the four years of Spanish you tortured me with, but turns out that with this temp position, I have to help kids with their Spanish homework.  You did something right because I actually remember most of it!  Dear Spanish.  You come quite easily, as long as I don't slip up and say something in German or Korean.  Dear Korean.  Why you tryin' to screw up my Spanish?  Dear little sister.  I'm so proud of you for graduating the AF basic training, and can't wait til you move on to your technical schools.  You're so strong and amazing! Dear extra pounds.  Get some rest while you can; starting Monday, you're outta here.  Dear peeps.  Life is hectic and exhausting right now, and I'm still trying to find the balance between school, work, missing husbands, and still having fun.  I appreciate your support and patience throughout this process! You guys are wonderful, I hope you know that.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Photo Challenge Link-Up!

You all know by now that I'm no pro at taking photos, but I have definitely come a very long way in my two years of holding a DSLR.  And while I still find myself making novice editing faux-pauxs, I thought I could pass along just some basic tips to help some of you who are just starting out.  What better day to do so than while participating in a photo challenge link up?  This week's challenge is self-portraits, which can be difficult to do without ending up with a Myspace pic [you know what I'm talking about].
Before I get to the pictures and my own ways of taking a self portrait without holding the camera at arm's length, here are some other tips:
1) Take it off of auto mode.  Yes, auto is our go to setting with all cameras.  I promise you, though, that by putting it on manual, aperture priority, or shutter priority, you will see a gigantic difference in your photos.  Seriously.  They won't start off that great [lots of under/over exposed pics coming your way], but it'll force you to pay attention to your surroundings and get used to the other controls of your camera.  Eventually, your pics will look like a pro.  Don't know what your settings are?  Youtube or read your manual.
2)  Play with manual focusing.  Auto focusing is fantastic, and very very useful, especially when your subject does a lot of moving.  I usually use auto focus 24/7, unless dealing with patient and still adults or when taking landscape/nature pictures.  But manual focusing allows for more creative shots, and can be tons of fun.

Okay!  Here is my before picture:
This is taken from a distance using a timer, without a remote.  It can be tricky to get your camera to have the correct depth of field, and thus focusing where you want it to without standing in front of the camera while focusing.  This one still isn't exactly right, but I was tired of posing.  It took some trial and error, but what I ended up doing was first focusing on the window exactly to the right of where I would be standing.  It helps to have dirty windows *ahem*.  I then manually adjusted the focus, bringing it forward just a tad to compensate for the fact that I wasn't exactly on the same plane as the window, standing in front of it instead.  Basically:
1) Focus on window in general area of where I'll be standing.  Dirty windows help keep track of the spot you're focusing on.  Another trick?  Use a corner: doorway or wall to focus on, then stand even with it!
2) Adjust focus [manually] if you will be standing slightly in front of your original focus spot [window].  If not, then leave it!  Using that corner of the door or wall, just make sure your desired focal point is even with it.
3) Use a larger f-stop so your depth of field is not too shallow.  The higher aperture allows for imperfect focusing, instead including more objects both in the foreground and background in the focus.
4) Use a timer!  No awkward arm in the way trying to press the button

Final results?  Ta-da!
[I wanted the focus on the heart.  I breathed on the window and drew a heart first, then used that as a guide of where to focus my camera]
[focus is a little too close to the camera for my liking...I would've preferred it to be on the eyes]
Thanks for hosting the link up ladies!  Can't wait 'til next week :)  
Questions, comments, requests or concerns?  Or maybe you want to yell at me since I don't know how to correctly use photography lingo?  Email or comment!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I spent today

thinking that it was Monday.  I honestly believed that I still had a few hours to post Weekend in Pictures and...not so much.  I'm a full day late, which kind of makes me sad but thus is life and oh well. I wish I could share some wonderful photos with you that I've taken recently, but the truth is, I don't think I left the house to do anything more than take the dogs on a walk, which usually means I look like a bum.  Except for this specific moment:
But really, Ninja steals the show on this one.
In other news, I received so many wonderfully supportive emails, comments, and other forms of messages in response to my last post.  Timmy's deployment still isn't the best thing in the world, but I'm happy to say that the particular dark streak I was going through is now over.  We've already started our little routine here in the house, and have even had the opportunity to talk to our missing member.  He's doing great!  So I'm sure the next six months will be flying by.  Especially since I never seem to get caught up on stupid schoolwork.
I managed to break out the camera within the past couple days [at a point where I was dressed in something other than pajamas] to prepare for a link up with LW and the weekly camera challenge she is co-hosting.  This week is self portraits!  I decided that while I always love showing off pictures, just posting one or two of me seems so...narcissistic?  So on top of the challenge, I'm including a couple of very basic tips that could help those of you trying to get a feel for your DSLR.  Make sure you stop back by on Thursday for it!
I can tell I'm rambling, so I'll let you get back to your week.  Thanks again for being such kind, wonderful people.  Ciao!