Saturday, June 27, 2009

Foreman in a Tomato Field

Foreman in Tomato Field
I haven't been posting that many pictures of the girls lately. That should be changing since we are going on vacation next week and I am taking my camera. I purchased a couple of new lenses and some fun software so that I could make the best of my time on vacation. Consequently, I was out in the fields looking for a subject to shoot.

I remembered a tomato field I shot a few weeks ago and figured that the fruit might be red by now, so I stopped by again to practice at sunset and was lucky enough to stumble upon this tractor parked in the field. To my astonishment, a passerby stopped to see what I was doing. As it turned out, he was the foreman of the field and had worked for this company for over 20 years. He said that the tomatoes would be going to the Del Monte canning facility next week. I asked if I could take his picture and he obliged me, although he engaged me in a lengthy conversation about matters I cannot recall. Afterward, he offered me a watermelon to take home to my family and I gratefully accepted.

This is my second HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo attempt. It is three separate exposures merged into one picture. It could have used at least two more exposures, but I couldn't figure that out in time. You can click on the image for a larger view. Just pick "all sizes" from the top menu.
I purchased my first DSLR in February this year. It is a Canon 50D and I have several lenses. My new fave is my 24-105mmL by Canon, although I am expecting a Sigma 10-20mm to arrive in the mail tomorrow for my upcoming vacation. I use Photoshop CS4 (where I am really a beginner) and Lightroom 2. This past week I purchased some really fun software products including "Topaz Adjust-bundle" and "Photomatix". These provide HDR and simulated HDR effects. In order to produce an HDR image, you need to take multiple exposures (auto exposure bracketing feature on my camera) and then use a tone-mapping software to merge them. I am having so much fun playing around with this new hobby, but I better get some more sewing patterns designed to help pay for it all!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Here is a picture from today. This is on our way out the door to Grandpa's house. I hope everyone reading this had a great Father's Day and had the chance to build fond memories with your family.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Couple More Pictures from Oceanside

After a day at the poolside, we went out to dinner with our vacationing friends from Portland. We walked to the harbor in Oceanside and dined at a nice little fish place by the water. I took these pictures during and after dinner.
Oceanside Harbor at Sunset

Oceanside Harbor After Sunset
I was lucky this second shot turned out at all since I was handholding the camera in the almost dark. Can you spot the seal?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Finally Some Pictures from Last Weekend

Fun with water cannons

Joy with all the gear

Skipping to Dinner

A rare willingness to pose

Pure Joy

Friday in Oceanside

We packed up the car and headed south for a long weekend to visit with our friends from Portland. It is so nice now that the girls are old enough to have fun without continual intervention on Mom and Dad's part. We arrived in Oceanside on Friday morning ready to spend much of the day by the pool. As in previous visits, Pearl, Chloe and Joy instantly hit it off and began playing as only the "under 6" crowd can do. Even though their tastes are vastly different, they have one mutual interest, fun.

I am still sorting through my pictures from the weekend and just got around to editing a couple last night. Unfortunately, these first two shots don't include Pearl and Joy, but just wait, there are many more to come. These shots were taken after lunch, when Pearl and Joy decided that they had had enough of swimming and were ready to move on to other activities. Chloe begged me to let her keep swimming and it was just too hard for me to resist. She had the pools (both the large one and the kiddie one) entirely to herself and it was fun to just watch her splashing in her own little world. I think she was even playing "Hide and Seek" with an imaginary friend. Chloe Splashing Water
Chloe with Feet on Deck

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Sepia Tone" for I ♥ Faces

This week's challenge over at I ♥ faces is "sepia-toned". I shot this photo of Chloe tonight in our driveway. She is clutching our reluctant yet patient cat, Marty. That's what he gets for trying to hone in on all our photo shoots.

Stay tuned for images from our fantastic playdate this past weekend in Oceanside. To see other submissions in this category, click here .

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Park at River Walk

Last weekend we decided to head to the park to enjoy the nice June weather. I told the girls that if they posed for a few pictures, then they could play all they wanted on the playground. I was so distracted by how beautiful the day and surroundings were, that I forgot to try some more creative poses and angles. So, here I have regressed to my older style of taking pictures, just point and shoot. Next time, I'll have to work on that.
Copper-winged Bumblebee
Chloe and Pearl on the Way to the Playground
Ground Squirrel by River
Pearl & Chloe by Pond
Pearl by River Rock
Pearl & Chloe at the Park at River Walk
Pearl & Chloe on June 6th

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bumblebee at River Walk Park

Today was unseasonably cool for the California Central Valley in June. In addition to that, the sky was filled with beautiful white fluffy clouds. The sky was even blue, which is a rarety as we have the second worst air quality in the nation.

We took the girls to a nice park and enjoyed the morning playing and taking pictures. I have a lot of pictures of the girls that I promise will appear in the next post. For now, I just couldn't resist sharing this lovely copper-winged bumblebee with you. I have another picture where his wings are shimmering in spectacular fashion. Stay tuned.

Bumblebee at River Walk Park

Friday, June 05, 2009

Tomato Field on a Rainy June Evening

Here's another one I practiced with this evening. The clouds were too heavy to provide the sunset I was hoping for, so I emphasized the field instead. If you look closely, you can even see the green tomatoes. Maybe I'll get some shots of the girls tomorrow.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Sunset Over the Almond Orchards

There were a few clouds in the sky this evening which is rare for June. I used the opportunity to practice taking pictures and give my new tripod a workout. It wasn't really as nice as I was hoping for, but a little bit of playing around in Lightroom and Photoshop made this picture a lot more impressive. I used two different exposures and then layered the images over each other, using the sky from one shot and the greenery from another.
Sunset Over the Almond Orchards

Monday, June 01, 2009


Peepers is my pet cockatiel. I purchased him as a baby when I was a college student 24 years ago. That was the same year I met my future husband. 24 years is elderly for a cockatiel as their average lifespan is 10-15 years. Some have been known to live into their 30s.

Peepers loves paper towels and feet and will serenade them while spreading his wings and bobbing his head up and down. The only word he can say is "Peepers", which is actually quite impressive, when you realize that birds don't have lips. (Well, maybe it sounds more like "ee-ers") He can do cat calls and other whistles, but he really likes to laugh when I am laughing. He's kind of like my verbal shadow.

I don't think I have ever taken a picture of him before today, so I am thankful to the folks at I♥ to offer this week's challenge to photograph our pets.


If you would like to see some other pets and contests, stop on by I ♥ Faces by clicking on the button below. If you want to see only the pet entries, click here.