Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sunset Reflection

I'd just finished a late supper at a cafe with my family, and was just about to get back into the van headed for home.  My little brothers were throwing gravel into some huge puddles in the parking lot, causing rings to form where the rocks landed.  I got into the car, changed my standard lens to telephoto, then got back out and started shooting.

I found that if I got down on my knees, I could frame the sun in the water.  If I'd stood up, I wouldn't have been able to do that, thus creating an average photo that could have become very interesting with some experimenting.

With my telephoto, I had two advantages:  1) I could keep my distances from the boys splashing water, and 2)  sometimes my telephoto takes better photos than my standard lens, surprisingly.

Do you use reflections very often?  What do you use them for?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cool-Blue Bench

A few days ago, I went to a friend's salon to get my hair done.  I wanted to have the same hairstyle as Jamie Grace on her new album.  :)

Well, my Mama and I got there a few minutes early, so we had to wait for the stylist to open up shop.  In front of her place, there was a bench with paint peeling off the seat.  I'd brought my camera (just in case), so I got out of the car and started taking photos from the side and front.  I only had a few minutes, like I said, so when the friend arrived, I put my camera back in its case in the car and went inside. 

It was a cloudy day with not much sun, so the photos had a gray tint to them.  I edited the lighting and contrast in PicMonkey, then cropped it a little tighter so it only showed the sidewalk, and not the grass near it.  Then I added some effects to add to the color.

And, yes, my haircut turned out fantastic. ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Relaxing Sister

We were flying kites one day not too long ago with our grandparents, and had a brilliant idea.  After we ran out of string on the kite we'd put in the air, we tied another round of string onto the plastic holder.  Then another, then another.  We ended up tying 5 other lines to that original string!  That came up to over 700 feet of line!  We could hardly see the kite, much less the now-tiny string.

Little sister took a turn holding the string for a while.  After relaxing on the grass, she passed the line to little brother and sat up.  I was sitting behind her, taking photos of baby brother blowing bubbles through his little wand.  I thought sister looked pretty, closing her eyes and feeling the breeze.  This was the only photo I took of her in this pose.  I liked how it turned out.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sad-Eyed Dog

This is my cousin's Labrador.  He's a real family dog, a big baby.  And he'd stare at anyone with food, hoping for a handout.  He didn't ever get one though!

At one point, he lay down and gave his worn-out face.  I got down at his level at snapped some photos.  He just stared at something behind me the whole time.  The rug added a new depth to the photo, and he snuggled into it.  After a long day of people (we went to my cousin's party), he was ready to sleep.  It was really cute.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Grasshopper On Wood

Grasshoppers abound in our yard.  When I was a little kid, I would catch them in my hand (that required skill!) and dangle them by one leg.  Yes, I might have had PETA knocking on my door if they'd known, but they didn't... and I didn't know who they were back then (the good times, right?).  And besides, I was examining the grasshoppers.  Now, I photograph them.  And sometimes that requires skill.  Those little guys can jump off-screen in a split-second!  The one above did not.  It was about the slowest grasshopper I've ever seen.  Eventually, it did bound away.  But not before I snapped some photos really close-up.

It was about 2 or 3 in the afternoon when I took this photo.  Being able to see little hairs on the grasshopper is a little weird, yes, but kind of cool for a beginner-level DSLR like mine.

Tell me about the best macro insect photo you ever took!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Passing Clouds

I took this photo during the early afternoon on a slightly windy day.  The clouds were moving ever so slowly across the sky.  I'm really into skyline photography these days, so I go outside whenever I can.  Throughout the month, I've captured sun rays, storm clouds, and ordinary cumulus and stratus clouds.  I'll be posting some of those later on.  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Imperfect Apples

At our local market, we bought a bag of apples.  They weren't fully red, and didn't look like the near-perfect apples I usually see at Walmart. :)  But they were really tasty.  My Granny washed them up and set them on the counter-top.  The sun was shining through the window and onto the apples.  I'd been using my camera outside and, when I came back in, I took a few photos.  The contrast between light and dark, and the green and red were beautiful.

And then they were eaten.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tea Party

All the girls in my family were invited by our Grandma to a tea party at her Church a few days ago.  It was a wonderful experience because I remember going to annual tea parties when I was younger.

Before we moved to a different house, Mama would host "Tuesday Teas" for us kids.  She and one chosen girl or boy (yes, the boys in our family were invited!) would prepare all the necessities for the tea while the others took a 30-minute rest time.  My little sister plans them every once in a while now.  She's the little hostess in our home... she wants to open a Tea Room when she grows up!

The Church ladies brought all kinds of foods.  Cucumber sandwiches, grapes, banana bread, cake.  They also brought their teapots as table decorations.  One lady said hers came from England!

There were many different types of tea in little glass bowls, and big pitchers full of hot water sat on the table in front of us.  Everyone talked and laughed with each other.  We shared stories and talked about lots of things.  It was great to hear about when the older ladies were children and what they remembered.

The tea was delicious.  Little Sister had six cups!  I had three (using the same teabag twice). 
My Grandma stood up and talked about a Tea Room in a building she remembered way back when.  We girls helped hand out recipe booklets from the old business. I had the honor of drawing a name from a container to see who would win a beautiful bouquet of roses in a pretty vase.

I like tea parties.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tree Bud

I was at my Mimi's house a few weeks back.  Her backyard is covered with flowers...all of which she planted herself.  There are trees and bushes with white, pink and fuchsia buds too.  Whenever I go there, I'm sure to bring my camera along.  While I have my fair share of family conversations with my grandparents, I also take a lot of photos at their house!  It was a windy day, cool and sunny.  This was a flower on one of her beautiful trees.  I like the green background and how everything besides the flower is blurred.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Inside a Flower

While at the nature center, I found this flower growing alone.  It was so beautiful in that small patch of mulch by the sidewalk.  Ever since going through those younger kid science books Apologia has, I've been fascinated by the inside part of flowers.  It's the weirdest thing, you know?  Why not be only fascinated by the beautiful colors and the big petals?  But no, I'm intrigued also by the inner parts of them!  It's one of my "nature photography quirks," I guess. :)

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Puzzle Pieces

I've got to admit, macro is my favorite setting!  I love getting up close to something (that means eyes, jewelry, keyboards, instruments, etc) and just shoot.

Setting up this photo was simple... the pieces were already scattered across the table.  After uploading this photo to PicMonkey, I cropped it to get closer to the pieces, brightened the lighting, and adjusted the colors.

Have you ever photographed glow-in-the-dark puzzles before?  Try it sometime!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sun-Filled Petals

While going through my 2013 photo files, I came across an unnamed folder.  After scrolling through it for a bit, I saw this photo and decided to use it for the blog.  The photo was a bit too bright, so I darkened the shadows slightly.  Then I cropped it using the rule of thirds.  I like the blurred background, and lighting cast on the rose.
Please give me feedback.  What do you like/not like about this photo?  What could I have done better?

Friday, May 2, 2014

April Showers Bring May Flowers

If your town has a nature center or city garden, take advantage of the lovely Spring weather and get your camera gear out!  Or maybe you grow flowers in your garden or on your apartment window sill.  Either way, you can set your little point-and-shoot or heavy DSLR to macro and test out different angles and ISO settings.  Experimenting is a fantastic way to enhance your photography skills.

Lately, the photography website of my choice has been Digital Photography School.  I'm just waiting for Independence Day so I can try out the tips I learned for fireworks!  :)

But flowers work beautifully right now.  Comment below and tell me about your macro experiences (both good and bad)...or, if you're new to macro, feel free to ask me some questions.