Friday, September 28, 2012

Thursday Night Macro

The weather has been amazing.  This is by far my favorite season of the year and it has yet to disappoint.

The sun was just setting when I grabbed my camera and headed outside.

The more I use my macro lens the better I get at it, but I'm still learning a lot.  One thing I'm learning - which settings are the best settings for macro photos.  When I use my 50mm f/1.8 lens, I almost always keep the aperture set to 1.8.  It gives me the most blue and I love that.

With my macro lens, I started by keeping the aperture wide open at 2.8 (little number = large opening).  The larger the opening, the more light you get, the faster your shutter speed can be - this all adds up to more blur and a shallow depth of field. 

Take this photo for example.  I've learned to keep my aperture at 3.5 or higher when using my macro lens (anything larger and there's barely anything in focus), but still, not much of this photo is in focus.  Lesson learned - keep the number higher/smaller aperture.

Shooting with a macro lens has taught me to shoot in full manual mode - something I didn't even bother attempting before.  That was the best thing for me.  If you want to learn about your camera, force yourself into full manual - it's worth it.

ps.  Isn't this a great photo of my dad?  I love it.

This is another one of those photos that kicked my butt - definitely not enough of this little guy is in focus.  

ps.  I'm pretty sure I took my life into my hands when taking this photo.  Have I ever told you that I don't like bugs?  Like, at all.  I had to crouch in a field to take this photo.  That means my feet (though I was wearing tall boots) were just inches away from a bagillion bugs.  This is dangerous work, folks.  Don't try this at home.

I did a little better with this one.  Acutally - I think the only reason his butt is out of focus is because there was a leave between me and him.  Bummer.  I love that you can see how he holds onto the stem.  He's little stump feet are super cute.

Ah!  My aperture is killing me!  His legs are in focus, but his antennae are not.  Dang it.

ps. Again, taking my life into my own hands here.  He could have jumped at me at any second, but did I back down?  No I did not.

This weed/plant/thing and all it's crazy cousins are covering our back field right now.  When the light hits them just right in the evenings, it looks like the field is glowing.  It's actually really beautiful.

This is the one bug picture I wasn't scared to take and I got everything in focus that I wanted to be in focus.  Hmm, 1 outta 82 - not too shabby.  

The night of shooting came to an end as the sun was setting.  It was too dark to take any more photos, so I headed inside.  I think I'll add "wildlife photographer" to my resume.  Those bugs looked super dangerous, right?  That totally counts as wildlife.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Philly on My Mind

Last weekend, I headed to Philly for the second time in two weeks.  This time, I went to spend some quality time with my girl, Katie.  We spent a lovely time doing what we do best - talking and laughing and talking some more.

We started our morning with breakfast at a very lovely little cafe.  Katie order and iced coffee and when she was just about to stir it I yelled "stop!"  It was too cool looking, I had to take a picture.

I wish Charlie could do this.  This beautiful pup waited patiently outside while his/her owner got some breakfast.  Charlie would most likely be freaking out/whining/pulling on the leash.

We of course, headed to Anthro and even though I was there the week before, there was still so much to see.  This adorable little guys wanted to come home with me, but they slightly creep me out.  Adorable and creepy - it's a strange combination.

Katie and I really liked these hanging leaves at Anthro.

Aw, isn't she cute?  I sure think so.  Ah, I love Philly, but I love who I see there more :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Clover Market

A few weekend ago, my good friend Kristin and I headed to the Clover Market in Ardmore, PA.  We had never been before, so we weren't sure what to expect.  On our way there, we were discussing how we had been to some open-air markets before and had been disappointed by the small size and number of vendors.

When we drove past the Clover Market to find a spot, I can honestly say that we both squealed with joy.  It was huge!  There were 100+ vendors there ranging from printed goods to thrift store finds.  It was very fun.

Sticking to our usual pattern, we did an entire lap without making any purchases (with one exception that I'll explain later) and then we headed back to our favorites.  I grabbed a lot of business cards because I want to share with you the amazing goods that we saw.

When we passed Tadpole Creations, we just had to get a closer look!  Their handmade baby gifts are so adorable and very well made.

Kristin and I both being aunts, we spent a lot of time in this booth imagining our little nephews wearing their adorable clothes.  Seriously, I hope Charlotte's next baby is a girl!  I need an excuse to buy cute things like this!

This lovely booth belongs to Rogue Theory.  There techee sleeves are very well made and of the highest quality.  If I wouldn't have just spent money on a new iphone case, I would definitely have walked away with one of theirs.  They are really gorgeous.

These cards from Meera Lee Patel are truly beautiful.  I really loved this fox post card.  I don't think I could have actually sent it to anyone because I would have wanted to keep it all for myself!

Lina Bean was one of my favorite vendors that day.  The shop owner, Caroline Ritter, is so nice.  I only spoke with her for a few minutes, but it was clear that she was passionate about her work.  Her products are very lovely and very well made.  Plus, she's just super sweet and that's enough for me!

I found this beauty at In with the Old.  (Once again, nicest shop owner ever!) I got it for a steal at $28.  Seriously! That's awesome.  Thanks to a wonderful idea from Kristin, I'm going to turn this bag into my new camera bag.  It's three time the size of my current camera bag (which was three times the price).  It's too big for everyday use, but it will be perfect for travel.  I'll be able to fit all of my lenses along with my keys, wallet, phone, and general purse junk.

To give you an idea of the size, here's my camera next to the bag.  Can't wait to get to work on this bag! This was my one exception I told you about earlier.  As soon as I saw this baby I had to own it, even though we hadn't done a full lap yet.

Alright, I've saved the best for last.  I recently set a goal for myself - acquire some real art for my future home.  I've been pretty successful lately and now I have one more beauty to add to my collection.

This lovely piece of reversible art was designed by Wider Awake.  The two delightful people at the booth were absolutely wonderful and it made the purchases even more memorable.  I can't wait to get this lovely thing framed and on the wall so I can enjoy it every day!

Overall, Clover Market was a wonderful experience.  If you are within driving distance of Philly, I would definitely recommend going.  You will not be disaapointed!  I can gaurentee that I didn't do these shops justice in describing their wonderful products, so head to their websites for a closer look!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Each time I hears someone use that phrase I always think they are saying "playing ketchup."  It sort of grosses me out, but then I think of Cam.  That kid dunks anything and everything in ketchup.

Ok..onto the photo challenge...

It's always funny to see how Cam's toys end up.  They usually look like they've been through a hurricane.   This looks like the scene from Toy Story 3 when all the toys are recovering from a crazy day at Sunnyside.

Buzz's day wasn't much better.   His head has been on backwards for quite some time - which is strange because you can't even touch his head.  I guess we really can't complain since we got these toys years ago from Burger King or McDonalds.

I guess I could have gotten more creative and taken photos of a different animal, but this is my favorite animal.  My favorite, hairy, little lioness.

Charlie is 2 days away from being groomed.  I defintiely waited a little too long between grooming trips this time around.  Her nails are like talons and the hair on her nose covers her eyes.

Plus, I'm pretty sure her bears has food in it from the past 2 months.  Can't wait to see my baby without her old man eyebrows and that long beard!  Then it will be time for Skinny Fat Charlie.  I love Skinny Fat Charlie.

On to the next!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Farmer's Market

The weather has been so stinkin' awesome lately.  It makes me want to grab my field hockey stick and hit the turf.  It makes me want to carve pumpkins, drink some apple cider, and bundle up by the fire.  Seriously, fall is my fav.

The local park hosts a small market on the weekends.  Char, Cam and I headed there to get some fresh produce, play on the playground, and enjoy the weather.

It's funny to see Cam be shy around other people when he is so outgoing with us.  But I guess he's pretty comfortable around us.

Me: "It smells like poo.  Did you poop in your diaper, Cam?"
Cam: "No. It was you."

I think somebody gets his sense of humor from his dad.

This little monkey was all over the place.  It's hard to get a picture of him without there being a big ball of blur!

Getting ready to race his mama down the slide.

If he was longer, he would have won.

Can going down a slide make you go into labor?
I sure did hope so - but no such luck.

This is when I yelled "Ah! Stop moving!"
Seriously, so hard to get a picture of this kid that's in focus.  I think I need to teach him a new game.  We'll call it The Freeze Game.  The rules are simple: I yell "freeze!" and he freezes until I snap the picture.  Done.

Just when I think he'll never stop, he goes into a daze.  He was watching an adorable, little girl swing.  Maybe he was thinking of pick-up lines in his head.  Pretty sure all he would have had to do was look at her with those big, brown eyes and she'd never be able to say no.

It works on me every time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Inspiration Day Purchases

My trip to Philly last week was super fun.  I left with a lot of great ideas and a lot of great purchases.

A sheet of this lovely paper from Paper Source only cost me $5.  Add a $10 from from Ikea and voila! Instant art. Now I just need the frame...

This neon washi tape (also from Paper Source) was just too good to pass up.

I bought two of each bracelet from Anthro: one set for Charlotte, one set for Esther.  I'm loving neon right now, but I could never pull it off, so I'll just live my neon life vicariously through my sisters.

This card will never actually be given to anyone.  I love the design, so I'm keeping it.  It's going to live on my desk at work and make me smile - because I am so gangsta (duh).

I picked up this sweet calendar made by One Canoe Two at Paper Source.   

It will look so great on my desk at work and (since my desk can get pretty crowded) it's small size is perfect.

I pinned this doorstop from Anthro forever ago.  I've seen it in the store several times, but never bought it for some reason.  It looks kind of like Charlie and I just couldn't pass it up any longer.  Ever heard of a Border Terrier?  Most people haven't, so when I find something that looks even slightly like Charlie without being cheesy, I have to get it.  

Cam likes it.  I showed it to him and said "It looks kind of like, Charlie, right?"  He then showed it to Charlie and said to her "It looks kind of like you, Charlie."  She was unimpressed and walked away.  

Cam jumped into my photo shoot because he loves being a model I made him.  I wanted to test out the new backdrop fabric I bought and see how it would look with people.  Cam passed with flying colors since he pretty much looks good in anything.  Also, I have no idea what he was looking at in these pictures since there was no one else in the room with us.

I'm still working on getting my settings right so the gray backdrop doesn't have any yellow in it.  If you look back through the pictures in this post, you'll see that the backdrop is a different color in every photo - not good.  If anything, this gray has green in it, not yellow.  The photo where the color is the most accurate would have to be the washi tape photo, so now I need to figure out how to make them all look like that.

Hmm...guess I'll just have to make Cam come back and be my model until I get it right.