Thursday, August 21, 2014

My First Wedding . . .

My photography journey has taken some interesting turns over the last several months.

When I decided to learn more about people photography, I assumed I'd be learning about, and practicing, newborn photography. I've always enjoyed kids (Thus 18 odd years driving a school bus) and the chance to snuggle babies, craft cool setups, and make lasting memories made newborn photography a no brainer.

The one thing I knew for sure that I would never photograph was a wedding. After all, if a baby just won't settle down for a photo shoot you can always reschedule for another day. Not ideal, but not the end of the world either.

Weddings on the other hand, have no room for error if you want to give the bride and groom the very best. It's not like you can ask them to redo their first kiss because you missed it when you were fiddling with your settings or had your head turned the other way at the very moment dad broke into tears watching his little girl walk down the isle.

Nope. Weddings would never be for me.

Of course, as we all know, never say never. . .

I just gave Ryanne and Zack their photos, prints, video slideshow and wedding album. It was an honor to capture their wedding and I'm grateful they allowed me, a total newbie, to do it.





Rather than tell you about their beautiful day I'm going to show you instead:



Who knows what the next part of my journey might bring???

I can hardly wait to find out.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Photographing Kids

Photographing kids is not something I've done a lot of when you consider I have four grown up kids of my own.

When my kids were young there was no digital photography, only film. Film was expensive and we were on a budget so tight it would squeak if you so much as looked at it sideways, therefore, very few photos were taken of my kids.

When I got my first digital camera my kids were getting older, the majority of them teenagers and the last thing they wanted was for me to take their pictures!

Which is why any photography I did was of the natural world. It never talked back. . .

That changed last summer.

I was able to visit my youngest sister Sabrina about six weeks after she had her first baby. I had a great DSLR that my mom had given me and it seemed like a no brainer to try out a few posed baby pics.

 Meet Damian my youngest nephew . . .


That very first 'photo shoot' kindled a new love of portrait photography and kids are a big favorite for me. My own kids are even older now, so I have to be a little more creative when it comes to finding models to practice on.

A few weeks ago my sister Tamara and I headed out to the Wordsmithy writers workshop in Moscow, Idaho, but I had a little time both before and after to point my camera at a few borrowed grand-kids, as well as sneaking in a visit to Sabrina and Rob's to catch up and snap a few more photos of the adorable kid who started it all . . .

Damian . . .


(I love it when I get the perfect light!)



And Tamara's grand-kids, Celina, Kayden and Avery . . .



Aren't kids just the cutest things??

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Friday, August 15, 2014

I'm not the Only One getting Older . . .




Our sweet Jada is going to be 10 this fall.

Her muzzle has begun to grey, she loves to sleep in, and she no longer rips the stuffing out of her furry friends.

She comes when I call, doesn't take bites out of my potted plants as she races by, and loves, loves, loves a good snuggle and a scratch behind the ears.

She is a joy to have around.

Some days though, I miss the puppy years . . . I just came across this post which I wrote in my first year of blogging. Eight years ago!

Check out what Jada was up to back then . . .  Carnage !!!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Macro Photography . . . on the Cheap

I've been taking pictures for several years. In the beginning I had an inexpensive film camera, then was given an much nicer Canon SLR, although I had no idea what that meant, and still used it on automatic, as a point and shoot. Once digital took over, I went back to small point and shoots.

One day, everything changed. My mom gave me an Olympus SLR for my birthday and this time I knew what that meant . . . It took me a few years before I was brave enough to shoot in manual,  until, two years ago, I took a course on DSLRs for beginners. I was hooked.

Right from the beginning, my natural instincts were to shoot things as closely as possible. I very badly wanted a macro lens but with a with the price tag hovering around $1000 that wasn't going to happen! One of my instructors mentioned using a zoom lens zoomed all the way out gave you somewhat of a macro feel and my love of zoom lenses was born . . .

The last year or so I've fallen for photography in a big way. It is fast going from hobby to passion and my longing for a macro lens has gotten stronger and stronger.

Looking at all the amazing macro shots wedding photographers have been posting lately hasn't helped either . . .

I still don't have $1000 lying around though so what's a girl to do???

Enter my newly acquired macro tubes! I've heard about them over the last year, but for the life of me could not figure out how they worked until I stumbled across this Youtube video . . .



Ohhhh! Now I get it!

I was on Amazon minutes later, but they still ran at least $60 or more and after all the equipment, workshops and software I've been collecting, even that was out of my price range.

Enter Mininthebox. For $32 including shipping, I was the proud owner of  a set of extension tubes.

Whoo Hoo!

I saw the mail carrier deliver a small box this afternoon and I was out there opening the box at top speed. I had those rings on my camera in short order, anticipation humming through my entire body.



And then I looked through the view finder. All I could see was a big white blur. I switched out lenses and tried different combinations with the various rings. Still a big white blur.

I looked in the distance. A big white blur. I looked at things a bit closer. A big white blur. What a letdown!

I sat down and wrote an indignant email to the seller, telling them I wanted a refund as their product was defective. I sent it. Then it occurred to me to Google how to use them . . .

Yeah. I wasn't doing it right . . . Arghhh. You have to get really close to see anything in focus, because, you know, it's a macro lens.

For crying out loud!

I still can't seem to get it to work with my favorite zoom lens but it does work with the inexpensive 2nd hand 50mm I bought from Julianne. (Thanks Julianne!) It struggles a bit to focus, but as I started to do a bit of research, it seems that's common with macro photography. It looks like I'm going to have to learn to focus manually.

There's going to be quite a learning curve as the area in focus is tiny and finding it's a challenge.

None of which matters, because people . . . I can now take macro photos!!!

Here are some from my first attempt:


 


 








I've got a 10th anniversary shoot on Monday night . . . I see macro shots of their rings in my future . . .


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's time for Another Adventure!

I just checked in with West Jet. In a little under 20 hours I should be winging my way to yet another adventure!

I'm a home body. There's no doubt about it. In my day to day life I believe traveling more than 15 minutes to get some where is just way. to. far. Just ask any of my friends who don't live down the street.

However. I love adventure and travel. If I can travel and find adventure with my sisters, all the better!

There have been numerous adventures over the years. In the early days, when our kids were very young, it usually involved long cold trips at Christmas time and basement floors strewn with pillows, blankets and toys galore. Gingerbread houses were decorated, reindeer were fed and food fit for kings came out of Lisa's kitchen.

As the kids grew older and money was slightly less tight, I began to go on different kinds of adventures. The kind that didn't involve my kids.

Lisa took me on a three day cruise one year that took us from Vancouver to Victoria to Seattle and back again. What an eye opener! I would do that again in a heartbeat!

There were trips to the States, adventures in Vancouver, (Granville Island!) an epic trip to China with Tamara and sometimes Lisa or Tamara would come my way and we'd seek out adventure here at home.

I haven't yet had much chance to adventure with my sister Sabrina, in large part because she's so much younger than I am, but . . . one of these days!!!

I'm sharing my newest adventure with Tamara and I will say, it's not for everyone. We'll be attending Wordsmithy this weekend. Most people upon hearing where we are off to say,(very heartily) " Good for You! I wouldn't do it but . . . good for you!" (I'm pretty sure most of them go away shaking their head thinking " she paid money for that? And calls it a holiday???)

What?! Doesn't everyone want to spend a week end attending writing lectures and doing homework?

No???

I haven't been doing much writing in the last few years and that was certainly apparent when I sat down to do the homework that had to be handed in late last week. I've got some seriously flabby writing muscles and I sure hope they'll hold up through the weekend.  Have you ever tried to write 25 non cliched similes or metaphors???  No? Give it a try. I guarantee you'll have a bit less hair by the time you're done. I've got the comb over to prove it.

It'll be quiet here and probably on Facebook and Instagram as well, unless we find free wifi as we go, but not to worry, I've got my camera bag fully stocked and I will be sneaking in practice time every chance I get, so you'll all get to share in the adventure when we get back.

In the mean time . . . why not take a bit of time to search out adventure yourselves this week? It really can be found where ever you are . . .













Baby octopus. Yum.


 photo Dragonflight Photography





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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Goodbye Garden Party

Nine years ago I started a business I'd been dreaming of for most of my married life.

A few months ago I said good bye to that business and, because I like to go all out no matter what I do, I threw a goodbye party in the garden where it all began.

 I thought it might be bittersweet. Hard to let go. Painful even.

It has been none of those things.

The best part of my business has always been my garden and I haven't lost that. If anything, my garden has become more precious to me, as it is once again a place of refuge, rather than  a portfolio of my style and skills.

Which is a good thing, because the crop of weeds I had growing didn't say a whole lot about my style and skills . . .

As a matter of fact, my next door neighbor, while commiserating with me on my inability to get ahead of those nasty opportunists, confided that she occasionally fantasied about getting out her rototiller!

Thankfully, my sweet husband okayed getting in some outside help, and Shyanne powered through both the front and back gardens in a two day long weeding marathon.

Which means the rototiller can stay where it belongs . . . next door! Whew . . .

Flowering has already started to slow down so I had every gardener's lament on my lips as the guests arrived "You should have seen it last week!"

Along with, "Have a glass of wine and something to eat!" of course . . .

I am so thankful for everyone who came and celebrated the end of an old dream and the beginning of a new one.

I had the loveliest time with all of you. My only regret is that I couldn't snuggle down into the sofa in the gazebo and have a long, leisurely visit with each and every one of you.

Perhaps what's needed are a string of intimate, one on one parties . . .

There's still  a little wine left.

If you couldn't make it, here's a virtual party. I wish I had more shots of the actual party, but, I was so busy enjoying it, I forgot to document it . . .

The sign of a successful party rather than a neglectful photographer???

Ahem . . .

Enjoy the party.








 
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