Tag Archives: stars

Forced Creativity

One of the best parts about doing a Photo 365 so far is the forced creativity. There are so many days when I would not pick up my camera, out of laziness, lack of time, lack of inspiration or lack of light. But, committing to do it reminds me that I must find a few minutes every day to shoot something.

I’ve been hanging out by my back window, hoping to catch some cardinals. Today, I saw several!
2014-01-03_0001
Female on the left, male on the right. Someone, my mom I think, told me when I was very young that the male birds are almost always the more colorful, interesting ones.

I made two different kinds of soup for dinner. Ham and Potato Soup and Creamy Broccoli Chowder. I can’t give you a personal review of the Ham and Potato, but the Broccoli is so, so good. Andrei told me that it was new to him and very good. Lena, Gus and I all had seconds. Aaron told me he liked it better than the Ham and Potato. Oh, but it looks unpleasantly greenish brown when done, so Reed won’t touch it.

Back to the subject of photography, I had a huge pot of soup on the table and Gus discovered his reflection. He was very entertained.
2014-01-03_0002

Now. Star trails. I posted about my star fails a few weeks ago, and I’ve been meaning to try it ever since. But, the truth is that I have to be feeling pretty dedicated to want to spend AT LEAST a half hour out in the dark to take these. So, I copped out. I mean, I decided to see what I could come up with in my backyard, where I could retreat to the warmth of the house.
2014-01-03_0003

 

I’m pretty pleased.

3 Little Monkeys and One Old Schoolhouse

I have a new toy. An external flash. I was going to wait until I mastered my camera more, but I felt like I was missing out on capturing a lot of fun moments with the very short days.┬áSo, I bought a cheap flash and I’m seeing what I can do with it.

My kids, Lena, especially, love to go play and jump on my bed right now. Our bed is huge, and it can be one of the only outlets for burning off some energy.

So, they jumped and I got to play with my flash. I am learning to “bounce” it, meaning have the light hit the ceiling, wall, or reflector to have the light diffuse back more gently. It’s a lot of trial and error at this point.

But, I love what I captured, because it reflects how much fun they were having.
2013-12-13_0001

2013-12-13_0004

2013-12-13_0006

Do you think she was enjoying herself?
2013-12-13_0003

Reed joined in on the fun…
2013-12-13_0007

And, I played a game where I got all 3 of them to jump together.
2013-12-13_0002

Yup, we had fun.
2013-12-13_0005

I also had the opportunity to take a friend out with me on another star photography adventure.
2013-12-13_0009

My friend made a comment about this looking like an older photograph. I really liked that idea, for a historic location, so I had fun with the post processing. On the left is the original, only lightened a bit and a plane trail removed. On the right is the edited version, made black and white, grain added, and the tone curve adjusted.
2013-12-13_0008

500 Star Fails

This is my 500th (public) blog post. I feel like that requires a bit of celebration! And a dedicated post… which isn’t going to happen. Maybe I’ll celebrate my 503rd blog post instead.
IMG_7463
My flashlight handwriting is AMAZING, thankyouverymuch.

Here’s Lena’s outfit from today. I need to get her to start an OOTD blog. That’s Outfit Of the Day, for those of you who don’t speak internet.
IMG_7409

The dress and pants were from my mom, but I love that she dug out matching socks and wore her red sparkly shoes.

(Insert text about our day here. Copy/paste usual Tuesday.)

After Aaron got him, I insisted on going to the grocery store and taking the dogs out. Things that need to happen.

Things that actually needed to happen:
IMG_7414

That was one of my test shots, but I love how it turned out. Can you connect the dots to find Orion? Taurus? Can you find the Pleiades? The Orion Nebula? The random plane trail? Sirius? Actually, I’m not sure if Sirius is in this one, so if anyone knows if that’s Sirius peeking out from the trees, that would be awesome. I actually know nothing about astronomy– thank you, Google.

The real reason I wanted to go out was to try out star trails. If you don’t know what star trails are, get ready to be amazed… and then go google it. I knew this would be more of a star fail, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right? I tried this with combining different shots in Lightroom.
star-trail1

The other method is to take one long exposure. I quickly tried this when I got home and I think I will try this again first. It’s just random branches, and you can tell I bumped the camera when I pressed the shutter, but you get the idea.
IMG_7460

I’ll be back out later this week to try again!

Tomatoes in Late November

Aaron’s family has a “hoophouse”, a type of greenhouse where they can grow some produce year round. The tomatoes are really thriving in there. We went out today to take a look and the kids helped their uncle pick some.

IMG_6354

IMG_6358

IMG_6360

IMG_6386

IMG_6395

IMG_6419

IMG_6423

IMG_6457

In case you wondered what it looks like at night…
IMG_6469

And, if you look really closely in this one, you’ll notice a ghost dog.
IMG_6472

P.S. I didn’t entirely forget about Imperfect Fridays, today. But, I did forget to take a picture for it! I will share that I got one of my nicer pairs of shoes completely muddy and gross today. Mud on the outside AND inside. I wore them to walk the dogs in a field, because they were all I had, and the last part of my walk was incredibly muddy.
IMG_6348

This was before they got muddy today, but you can see where this is going. And, just so you know how weird I am, I often take photos of my shoes while I’m out on walks.

Thanksgiving 2013

The internet is a bit slow, so please forgive me if I am unable to post tomorrow or Saturday. But, I’ll do my best!

We spent Thanksgiving with Aaron’s family. They have a family reunion with his extended family on Thanksgiving.

To quote another one of my children, “That’s all?!?” Don’t worry, there was plenty to eat. Gus just wasn’t impressed with what was on his plate at that moment.
IMG_6151

I love this photo of him. He looks at me like this often, usually when he is puzzled by something I just said.
IMG_6179

Aaron, his grandmother and Lena.
IMG_6166

After lunch was over, Gus and I snuck off to a little playground. This is a very small town, and as it turns out, they have an old fashioned merry-go-round. I saw a really awesome photo recently, taken on a merry-go-round and I thought it would be fun to try. We weren’t going quite fast enough, but you can get some idea of how it would look.
IMG_6199

Gus needed a nap after lunch, so…

Aaron and his brother played cards. These two are ridiculous together. If you’ve never heard Aaron get loud, put him in a room with his brother and a deck of cards.
IMG_6238

Lena played blocks with her great-grandmother.
IMG_6285

And Reed and I played Legos together.
IMG_6279

Because Aaron’s parents live in the middle of nowhere, I snuck out with my camera for a bit tonight after the kids went to bed.

IMG_6321

Have I ever told you guys how much I love night photography?

IMG_6337