Sunday, January 25, 2009

This Steady Gaze

He looks kinda tough here. And he thinks he's kinda tough. And sometimes, I even think he's kinda tough. Don't tell him, but he's a softy.
But boy oh boy, this one melts me.
We've been without the man of the house this weekend. The little man of the house (colson) and his mama are going to be celebrating as we get to pick up Daddy from the airport in the morning.
Steady Gaze

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Self-Portrait; The Modern Stay-at-Home-Mama

This isn't my only pair of pants that are wearing out at the knees. I take great pride in this as it's proof of the time I spend on the floor with the under-3-foot population that dwells in our home.

Signs of a Modern Stay-at-Home Mom

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ferocious Dino-Monser-Boy

In case you were wondering what I do all day, here is a insider's look. It's dangerous business, being a mommy to a 3 year old boy. Look at this threatening monster:

Scary Monster

Love that tail.

Ok, not so scary, after all. Just one cute little boy, pretending to be ferocious.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sneek Peak

Anna, Hope you don't mind that I'm sharing your beautiful daughters with my blog readers. They are both just too adorable. It's so fun for me to photograph them. Here are a few favorites:



Avery - 2 mo.



Good Morning



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Photography 101 - what i've learned.

For those of you that may be interested from a photographers point of view, i wanted to give a brief description of some of the settings and angles that I shot these last 3 pics at. I have ugly carpet, and didn't want to shoot my baby sitting on it when i saw this lovely light pouring in through our sliding glass door and bouncing off our dark-wood coffee table. So I pushed the table up to the window and set Lewis up there, facing the window. You can see it's the only light source. Look how it's illuminating his front but there is a deep shadow behind him. This creates great detail, especially in those back wrinkles! If I would have used a flash here, there would be no shadows to accentuate those sweet baby details. I think I even turned off the lights in the room behind him so that it wouldn't be shining on his back. See how creative you can get with just the lighting? Oh, this is a North Facing window. Note: North facing windows are magic for soft light. Try it out. As you can tell, looking at this pic, the window was to my right.
In this picture, I was shooting right into the window light. It created these highlights, the window was almost all blown out and you can see the detail it makes. I love the belly button.
And this one was also shot into the window. This is how you can make a sillouette when shooting with the light source behind your subject. Here you can see some highlights on those piggies, which I adore.
My ISO was up to 500 on these. That's pretty high and can create noise (or blur, or kinda specks, grain! That's the word I'm looking for. The higher the ISO, the more grain). But the ISO can help in low light situations, so that's why mine was turned up pretty high.
My aperature was set at 2.2. This is what sets this lens apart. It can have such a low aperature option, going down to 1.4. This has to do with how much light the camera lets in when the shutter goes off. think of it as a small window letting in pinlight vs a huge window illuminating an entire room...this lens lets in lots of light by opening up bigger than most other lenses. That's why this lens is the indoor/low-light king. of course it doesn't have to let in that much light, you can adjust according to your preferences, because the more wide open you turn your aperature (the more light you let in) the greater the depth of field will be. It can really blur out your background, or if you prefer, you can shoot with a higher aperature and get the background in focus as well. The reason it's great for people is that it can place the person in focus and blur out the background and there's no competition for what you want people to see when they are looking at your photograph. If you wanted to do more nature landscape scenes, however, a higher aperature would be good so that it could get the whole scene in focus.....does any of this make sense? or does anyone care? hmmmmm,
I'm trying to think if there is anything I could say that any of you would be interested in. How about questions if you are.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

One More for Tonight, I Can't Help Myself.

Look at those wrinkles! This child's extras are my pride and joy. I just love a baby I can grab onto.

Love these Chubby Sides

Oh, Edible!

Oh, Edible!

She's Crafty...

....well, not really. Just a Crafty wannabee.


After numerous redos because I was accidentaly putting ugly holes here and there (it looked like it was moth-eaten already), oh, and I was almost done with it when Colson decided to pull out my knitting needle, undoing all that work! Which was ok because, once again, it could use a total makeover, and even though I finished it on my upteenth try, it still was quite wider on one end than the other. I was going to give it away, but I don't think it's gift-worthy. I need to hone my skills a bit more.

Anyway, here I am showing it off:

First Scarf...imperfectly, perfectly homemade.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Due to Popular Demand...

From the Husband:

My boy

I think he thinks he's innocent here. And I think he's got me fooled.

Keeping up with Lewis

There is this thing going around. It's called project 365. The idea is to take a picture of yourself everyday for a year. It doesn't have to be of yourself, thank goodness, because that wouldn't happen. Some people ask random strangers if they can take their portrait. I would love to do this....but can you imagine me, with my boys, running around town everyday trying to find a random person who looks interesting to photograph? I'd be juggling. It wouldn't work. But it does sound fascinating. Then there are those that, of course, document a year of their child(ren). I would most likely do this. It's a fun way to get a year in the memory books and a great way to improve your photography skills. I'm convinced the best way to improve is to snap away, as much as your circumstances allow.

Seeing how I basically do this little project anyway, I thought it might be cool to start calling it something. Project 365 has a ring to it. We'll see. I definatly don't think it's worth pressuring myself over...

now that that rant is over with...

I thought you might be interested to know what Lewis is up to.


He's so cute. He's been in the "teething business" as you can see, as of late. It's a good thing, because he's about to out-eat his brother. He's a better eater than Colson ever was. Somehow, it makes me, as a mom, feel like I'm doing something right. But I know that can't be true. It's also nice to not have to force things down his throat. Last night we had split pea soup. Lewis couldn't get enough. Colson was literally gagging his down. What a wicked mother I am, I wasn't about to conger up anything different for the boy; he's getting bigger. He needs something other than Pirates Booty. (If you've never tried Pirates Booty, I highly recommend it).

Lewis is also doing his best to keep up with his brother. It makes a Mommy proud to watch these two.

Trying to Keep up

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Outlaw and Tinker-Bell

Last night Colson came into our room. It was just past 3am. He had suited himself in jeans fit with his holster and six-shooters. He was ready...

Ready for what? who knows? He was ready for what all boys are ready for when they're sportin' six shooters in holsters.

So today, this is what we be done doin' 'round 'ere.

Stick 'em up

He fits the roll pretty well....look at those mean eyes. A Real Scary Outlaw!

Mean Face

But here's the part I love the most. When we were in Medford he found a little TinkerBell toy amongst the toy rubble. From then on, it's hardly left his side. He puts her "safe" in his pocket when we go out. He protects her from dragons. Today he was calling her his "princess" and yesterday, i have no idea where this came from, but he came up to me and told me to feel her legs. haha. I keep asking him questions about her but he gets vague and silly and I have no idea what he starts talking about. It's rather funny, and strange, and super cute at the same time. My little rough and tumble cowboy has a thing for Tink.


Monday, January 5, 2009

What's In My Camera Bag?

I've been getting lots of questions about what kind of equipment I use to take photos. KC bought me a Nikon D80 in February. The accompaniment to this bad boy is the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens.

While the camera has aided me tremendously in taking better photos, there has been a lot of things aside from pushing the shutter button, that have helped me bump up my photography skills. Since getting the camera I have been studying photography like a mad-woman. I'm starting to understand the basics: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. This understanding gives you an abundance of creative control over the pictures you are taking and lets your style come through rather than relying only on the camera to determine your settings. I could still be taking horrible pictures with a nice camera. It takes time to learn how to get results, and I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface. I'm taking tons and tons of pictures, almost everyday...I'm bound to get something good when I do that, and I'm taking note of what works and what doesn't. This saves me time as I grow. And will help me to deduct what will and won't work without having to experiment at every angle and setting.

I'd like to share with you a couple things you can do that have really helped my picture quality.

The Rule of Thirds: Google it. It will help automatically with your composition. It will make your photographs more pleasing to look at. We usually place our subjects in the center of our view when taking pictures. STOP! The Rule of Thirds will change your picture taking. Of course rules are meant to be broken, but having a good understanding of the Rule of Thirds is crucial and something I didn't do until I got my new camera.

It's all about the lighting. Another thing that I realized when I had my old Sony Cybershot was that turning off the flash does wonders for a picture. And now I hate using flash. I will not (generally) even take a picture if the lighting is not good enough without a flash. There may be a time for me to introduce a bounce flash or a light off-camera but now is not that time. I'm learning too much as is using the available light and letting those shadows really detail my subjects (ok, we all know I don't have subjects, just 2 little munchkin boys). When using flash it makes faces look all ghostly white and it takes details away. Basically, it's not too nice to look at, usually.

So, turn that flash off and start noticing how light travels across a face creating highlights and shadows. Notice that when you are outside and the sun is shining down from directly above your head how it makes people squint and creates shadows under eyes and noses and chins, very dark, sharp, and unattractive shadows usually. Now think about the kind of shadow you get on an overcast day? Clouds create a much softer light and you can use this light no matter what time of day it is. The way the light hits and creates highlights and shadows is such a huge part of photography. There is a lot more I could say (and more I can't) about lighting....There are books written on lighting; I have a lot more to learn! My best pictures right now are taken in relationship to a window in my home and the way the soft light runs across my boys' faces.

Lastly, Hold Your Camera still. This is obvious, but if you aren't thinking about it, it's easy to not do it. When trying to get crisp pictures, it will do no good to have your camera moving all over the place. Even small movements can create blur. I remember trying to get pictures of Colson when he was a baby and realizing that when I could put the camera on the floor or the table and take the pictures they were so much better. Then when he turned into a tornado it was getting impossible to get pictures of him because he was always moving around so fast. that is where a camera with a fast shutter speed can really make a world of difference, but if I can't hold it still when I'm taking the photo, not even a fast shutter speed can help.

These are some of the important things I have, and am, learning about in the world of photography. It's so fun to learn and something you can improve on not matter what kind of equipment you have.
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Friday, January 2, 2009

Story of the A-maz-ing "A"


Boyhood is a most complex and incomprehensible thing. Even when one has been through it, one does not understand what it was. A man can never quite understand a boy, even when he has been the boy.-- G. K. Chesterton


Earlier this week while visiting with a friend in her new home (that was freshly painted, mind you) Colson came up the stairs and found us chatting as he said, "I drawed an A!" He lead us down the stairs to a big letter "A" on a living room wall, marked in Sharpee Black. He was so proud and said, "It's an A-MAZing A!"

Moral of the story: teaching your children how to draw will also involve teaching them where they can draw, and sometimes they don't listen. and, leaving Sharpee pens unattended with a 3 year old is temptation they cannot bear.

Jenni, thank you for your sense of humor.

Colson's New Trick

so, apparently I've got to keep my eyes on this little new skill.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cousins take II

I'm not sure what happened to the pics a few posts down, but this ought to do it.

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