Good photographers spend a lot of thought and energy on the background of their photos - sometimes as much as they spend on the subject itself. The most amazing subject matter can be overshadowed by a distracting background. There are a lot of ways to avoid this, such as changing the angle of elevation of the camera (go high or low), circling around the subject, eliminating extra light sources, etc. I work pretty hard at this myself.
Here I used the background to enhance the picture, with the edge of the glass almost disappearing into the dark cabinetry behind it.
Channeling some Joey Tribbiani tonight. We have a book called ABC3D, which is a pretty cool hand-made book with different 3D renditions of the alphabet. It is basically a pop-up book for grownups. The U is pretty fabulous.
At five weeks, little Sarah is pretty little and snuggly. I was torn between continuing to hold her myself and handing her off to
my husband so I could take her picture! My photographer's instincts
were just stronger, I guess. This picture is just the tiniest bit out of focus, but I loved the softness and slightly desaturated nature of the scene.
This is Jim. I met him at a swing band concert this afternoon. We talked about music and local bands, dancing and style. Sharply attired in his zoot suit and fedora, he agreed to pose for a quick picture...because I asked! I am getting a little better at doing that these days.
He is quite the character, and a very kind man. My day was definitely brighter for having met him. I imagine that is a big part of the fun of being a portrait photographer - connecting with someone's story, even for just a brief moment.
A soft, mostly out-of-focus shot is about all that is possible in my garden these days. The tomatoes didn't tomato, the peppers didn't pepper, and the herbs all died except for the basil, bless it. A few zinnia are still gamely flowering, which provides a nice tonal contrast. Better luck next year!
Long exposure + action + flash can sometime equal interesting results! My flash is set to fire at the end of an exposure, rather than the beginning, so action is stopped at the end of the exposure, and motion blur follows, rather than precedes, the subject.
In the first photo, the unmoving background (including black boots and jeans on the right side of the picture) was burned in for the whole 1/8 second exposure, whereas the dog and ball just streaked by at the end. The motion was stopped by the flash, but since the dog and ball were only in the scene for a fraction of the exposure, the background comes through much stronger, and the dog appears ghostly. The second photo is just for fun.
I had a total do-nothing night at home tonight, and just mustered up enough energy to take a picture of the oil diffuser across the room. It is a pretty thing. The oil is slowly creeping up the reeds, and I was glad to be able to catch the tonal differences with some simple ambient light.
My ancient stove has the broiler in a drawer underneath the oven door. It took me nearly three years to get up the courage to try to use it, and I don't think I will ever get over putting food in the kitchen equivalent of a sock drawer.
But I really like cheese toast, so I'm glad I overcame my fear!
Bad lighting courtesy of my ugly kitchen fixtures. My flash got cranky at the heat coming off of the open broiler drawer, and went on strike, so this is all ambient.
It is that time of year again, when our cats start getting cuddly in the cooler weather. Tonight the "kitten" came up for some cuddle time and assistance with burr & stick removal. I startled him awake with my camera and took a quick shot.
In other news, my special new baby girl cakes turned out much better tonight! Although, the lighting in my kitchen is just horrendous, and no amount of manipulation in RAW could help. If I hadn't vowed not to use Photoshop on my blog photos, it would look a lot better right now!
Our Bible study group has two new baby girls to celebrate when we meet tomorrow night, so I thought I would make some extra-decadent treats. I always forget how little red food coloring you really need to make pink! I will have to adjust when I make the rest of them tomorrow.
This picture isn't great, because I had a hard time getting the focus right on the high-gloss frosting. And we wanted to eat it!
Sometimes I think that it is Apple's world, and we all just live in it. The iPad below is just visiting, but we have plenty of other devices around the house! In other news, I figured out how to post large pictures again. Wahoo!
Today a fun new family entertainment spot opened up in Topeka - Going Bonkers! It is an arcade/jungle gym/restaurant for kids of all ages. I enjoyed taking pictures at the Sneak Peek tonight. This little girl is enjoying an ice cream cone while hitting mice over the head. I can relate to that, since we currently have a mouse in the house that I would love to get rid of, and I'm always up for ice cream!
Canon 5D Mark II Canon 24-105mm - f/4 47mm - ISO 500 1/40s - f/4
Several morning glory plants have been growing out of the crack in my sidewalk for months and months, and one of them bloomed for the first time this morning. It is amazing how truly little is necessary to sustain life. Not a perfect life, as you can see by the scars and gashes on the leaves, but a beautiful one nonetheless.
I think every woman manages to collect jewelry boxes over the years, and I certainly have my share. However, the jewelry and accessories seem to always end up strewn all over the dresser instead of neatly put away in one of the many beautiful boxes.
Some good friends recently bought a house that had seen better days. Their purchase included several decades worth of household goods, which they have been cleaning out for weeks. One of the coolest rooms is the two-story greenhouse at the back of the house, which currently resembles a scene from the second Jurassic Park movie - after the research facilities had been abandoned for years and the jungle crept back in. It will be amazing again...with a lot of work.
I did some promotional work for a local event venue today, shooting a beautiful reception for their photo archive. The room was perfect to the last detail - the jewels scattered across the table for the guests of honor. It is going to be a magical evening.
Canon 5D Mark II Canon 24-105mm f/4 65mm - ISO 400 1/15s - f/4
I was helping a friend paint her new house tonight, and had to take a break for a picture of the action in the next room. They were using a laser level in the dark to tape off vertical stripes in preparation for painting. It isn't a great picture, (the blur on the left is the family dog), but the room was completely dark except for the laser level and I was holding the camera in my lap on the floor during a long exposure. It was just a fun scene to capture.
This fortune was laying on the living room carpet. I don't even know the last time we had Chinese food. So I took it as a sign of what to do for today's picture.
I'm baffled at what happened to the background directly behind the fishing pole. It was a wooden board, set almost vertical, so I don't know why the part behind the pole is all blurry and the part above the pole is sharp. Maybe it was some trick of the flash bouncing off of the shiny metal part (sorry, I don't know my fishing pole anatomy). Strange. Nikon D90 Nikkor 18/105mm f/3.5-5.6 58mm - ISO 200 1/13s - f/5
I made some roasted tomato and tomatillo salsa today, which involved a lot of chopping, baking and peeling and produced somewhat mixed results. I was working from several recipes, which meant I wasn't really following any of them. It ended up being a bit too strong on the onion and lime flavors to my taste. But I had fun doing all of the prep work, and will probably make another attempt soon. The lighting was all ambient from my small kitchen window. It has a metal awning over top of it, so I don't normally get much light in through it. However, my white car was parked right in front of it, and was bouncing some light right into the kitchen for me!
Our church is starting a new study program called "In Christ" which will connect the congregation through a reading plan, journal and sermon series. It officially starts tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to it!
I once had a friend named Ning, a Chinese national who was in the US to further her education. Her English wasn't so good, and my Mandarin was nonexistent, but we struck up a friendship and enjoyed getting to know each other. When it was time for her to return to Shanghai, she gave me this beautiful silk scarf in farewell. I have unfortunately lost touch with her, but the scarf is a warm memory of our friendship.