Sunday, February 13, 2011

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day

Yesterday we went to Target as a family. It was my intention to purchase some fun cute Valentine cards for Chloe and Pearl to give to their classmates. Boy was I disappointed with the selection. Perhaps it was just because I waited until the last moment, but I really saw nothing worth buying. However, we needed something, so I grabbed a few boxes of different things.

Later that evening I remembered that I saw some Valentine Templates over at MCP Actions website and thought I would play around and see if I could come up with something. As it turned out, I was able to put some lovely portraits from last weekend to good use. The templates were easier to work with than I thought they would be.

I finished them off and printed them up in little time and I think they turned out pretty cute. I hope the girls' classmates like them.

Also today, I took some pictures for a nice young man. His mom said he needed some "head shots" and I was happy for the opportunity to practice my photography and editing skills. I really like this shot the best although we got several real nice ones. I used one of the new actions from Florabella and I think they really gave it that special finish.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Hair Do

I am always looking for fun hair-dos for my dark-haired beauties. This week Chloe has been asking for hearts in her hair. So I turned to one of my favorite websites, Adopt A Do to find inspiration for Valentines' dos.

This is a variation on the Hanging Heart hair do. I decided to do the heart in the back instead of the side, so that I could put the rest of her hair in a ponytail. Then I used some red mini clips purchased from the local drug store for an accent. You will need a topsy tail to create the top of the heart, but I have had success making one with a piece of wire. There are more Valentine hair-do ideas on her site as well. All the instructions are shown on easy to follow videos.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, February 07, 2011

This and That

I had a fairly productive weekend. What I mean by that is, that I planned to spend it with my family and do nothing other than relax and take pictures of them and then perhaps post a bit to the blog.

Sunday didn't quite live up to expectations as the Superbowl brought some unexpected surprises our way. I had planned to take a picture of Chloe with her American Girl Doll and then later a picture of Pearl with her American Girl Doll. But thanks to the Superbowl, there were kids galore in the neighborhood and they seemed to think my house was the cool place to hang out. So Pearl was otherwise engaged.

Therefore in an effort not to leave her out of this post, I will include a picture of something she created earlier this weekend. She made a three storey Lego house complete with car and a bald man. The home is fully furnished. There is even a computer and table.

Happy Monday! Now I am off to work while the kids enjoy the day off. Sorry Dad.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

All Caught Up

Yesterday I wanted to dig up an old lens that I hadn't had much luck with in the past and give it another shot. My not-so-trusty 85mm 1.8 had been tucked away unused since I started this hobby two years ago. To further the matter, I had been getting stuck in a rut with my photography. I was learning some things in Photoshop, but my pictures weren't improving the way I wanted them to. I was content and complacent with my 25-105mm lens. I became lazy with the eaze of a zoom lens and this baby takes the sharpest clearest pictures, so I was satisfied. The only downside was that the widest aperture is 4.0, which doesn't allow for those amazingly creamy soft backgrounds. Although, I had discovered that when I used the 105 end of the lens and kept my subjects away from the background, I could get some lovely blur. Macros are stunning too.

The 85mm was my first prime (non-kit)lens and the vast majority of my pictures were blurry. I even ran some comparison tests and the test shots came out blurry too. But now, I was longing for that bokeh (amazing blurry effect) and I thought I'd give my prime lens another go around.

It was rough at first. I had a fabulous picture that I just won't post because I don't like the crop. I just couldn't get far enough away from my subjects to fit it all in.

This was also an opportunity to scout out my local town for good photographic venues. There are more great places around here than I even considered. Who knew the local museum had such great spots. Too bad it's only open 3 hours/week. I might even go searching some more today.........maybe even during the Superbowl, when I will have the whole road to myself.

Well, that's too much rambling. Here's what I shot with my newly appreciated 85mm lens.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Blue Lily Go Pro Workshop

Well, as usual I am still a bit behind in the blogging world. But now that I have a moment, I am going to tell you what I did last weekend. It was AWESOME.

In case you don't know who Blue Lily is, I will just have to say that they are the most amazing husband and wife photography team, artists, geniuses, gods. OK, so maybe I am getting carried away, but you get my drift.

They hosted a workshop in a BEACHFRONT house in sunny SAN DIEGO, just to teach me and 11 other attendees how to launch a professional photography business, or at least, share ALL their most important secrets with us. Now, I don't plan on going pro anytime soon, but I do want to step up my game for a possible post-retirement second career.

After giving us the scoop, they set up several photo shoots for us to learn and build a portfolio from. After all, who's gonna hire you to take wedding pictures if you don't have any wedding pictures to show? I think there's a chicken and egg analogy in there somewhere. Fortunately, we have this mystery solved, as a wonderful married couple of 5 years, graciously agreed to done their wedding attire and let us shoot away.

Thank you Wendy and Tyler for the most incredible weekend packed full of information and delivered with a humorous style that kept me laughing and awake. Here are some images from this adventure.