Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Flurry of Posts!

Now that I'm on break from school, I MAY have more posts than usual for awhile. Today I will post a few of my favorite photos. Just a little taste of what I've been working on. You may notice that most of my photos are of my son. He, of course, is my favorite model :). He has been one of the biggest inspirations to improve my photography skills. I LOVE being able to have great photos of him without having to pay a fortune!

I've focused most of my attention on capturing candid moments of people, particularly children. And although I most enjoy taking pictures of people, I want to improve my landscape and still life photography. I have much respect for photographers who can turn an outdoor scene or a plate of food into a work of art! It's a skill I have yet to master.

That being said-on to the photos!

These two photos show my attempts at forced perspective. I have found this skill to be particualarly hard to learn, but I'm getting better! The hardest thing for me is trying to get my three year old to hold still long enough to get the shot the way I want it! Model: Brandon

One of my specialties! Motion photography. It seems easy enough, but to catch a kid in motion on a bike, running, chasing a ball, and have a CLEAR photo-is tough! I've worked and worked on this skill and think I'm pretty good at it. Model: Melania

These two photos are indicating a lesson I've learned over time. While I knew how the second photo would turn out, I took it anyway, just to have a clear picture of my son cheezing it up with his pumpkin. But the first photo can be difficult to take if you are just starting. I know it was for me! To capture that, I turned off the flash, but to accomplish a clear photo-be prepared to hold steady! No flash means you are more likely to come out blurry with the slighest of movements. While the picture has room for improvement, I think it's a good example of how to take a picture in the dark! Model: Brandon

Here's some examples of the most basic and perhaps most important lesson I've learned on my photography journey! CHECK YOUR BACKGROUND! Always make sure that your background isnot busy or distracting from the subject. I mean, who wants a porta-potty in their pumpkin patch pictures? In the second shot, I feel the ambulance distracts from the subject, my son checking out pumpkins. The last photo wins in my book! A background that fits the subject and doesn't take away from the focus! Note-some of these MAY have been taken by my hubby. Model: Brandon

These aren't perfect by any means, but certainly an improvement for me! I have trouble with pictures in the dark and catching a face in the light provided (candle, firework, etc). But these two are good ones, catching the subjects in the light! Models: Brandon, Gail, Alex

This is an example of two things for me. ZOOM and PATIENCE! One thing that I found gets great pics is to zoom in close to your target! When I take pics of animals (or kids) I zoom in close, wait, and snap snap snap! One of them will turn out good! If you are patient enough, you will catch the perfect pose! Model: Zoo Atlanta gorilla

This picture IS edited with lilghting adjustments, but
the ZOOM was natural and effective! Models: Brandi, Alex

These are just a few of my fav black and white photos. It's taken a lot of practice and patience to get clear black and white photos, not blurry ones! Models: Brandon, Melania, Jack

So that's it for today. I hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something from my trial and error! Comments and advice are welcomed! Please also check out my flickr account with more photos that I love!  I will probably post more pics this week of other topics and subjects!

Note: All photos taken with Canon PowerShot SX110 IS. Photos are not edited, unless noted.  Also, I'm not a professional, I'm very much an amatuer trying to get better and teach others what I've learned. Any mistakes I make doing that is unintentional and I appreciate any feedback!

"Do what you love."


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Under Constuction

As you can see, my page is a work in progress. The new purpose of this blog will be to give me an opportunity to share my passion for photography. I'm hoping to post a project that I've worked on during the week. I will pick a photography skill or topic to focus on and make a related post. That is the plan anyway. My life is very busy and I have a lot on my plate (as can be read in previous posts), so I will try this out and see if I can commit to a weekly post, or if I will have to make adjustments.

Once I am up and running, I will welcome advice and constructive criticism on my work. I want to get better and I recognize that hearing what others enjoy or dislike, as well as recieiving input from accomplished photographers is a great way to grow.

Although it is not an option at this time in my life, I would love the opportunity to take pictures as a job and share my talent with others. It seems to me at this time that I may be only wishing on a star, but who's to say it couldn't become a reality someday?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chasing Stars

I am changing the theme and purpose of my blog. New updates and design to come soon!
Thank you!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let's begin with a follow-up on last blog. It was a bit whiny I think. But I needed to vent, and that's what I did. I'm over it. Thanks for listening!

I'm feeling much better now. I passed my midterm with a 99! And now I'm back on track with my studying. In other words, things are getting back to normal! I'm not stuck on tunnel vision in relation to school and I can focus on all the cool things going on!

First, Lonnie started high school this year. He's also playing football. So far, he seems way more into school than he did last year. He says it because he was tired of being in middle school and because he's excited about football. I hope this lasts. Last year was a real struggle, for all of us. I know I'm more excited too! High school can be so much fun and I want him to enjoy it. And I love, love watching the kids play sports. I've missed it. Every Thursday, starting in September, I'll be on football field. YES!!

Additionally, my niece Britni has decided to take up volleyball. I'm super excited about this news, since I was a volleyball player in high school! Britni has been playing rec softball pretty much since I met her. She's great at it, but I'm glad to see her trying something new! I am a big supporter of her, but unfortunately have only been to maybe 2 of her games all these years. I'm hoping that I can make some of her volleyball games! I think she will love it and be great at it!

Another change this year is Shawn going to a new school. He's got a lot of opportunities this year and I hope he takes advantage of them!

The number one word to describe my feeling about this year is EXCITED! I just see so much good that can come out of this year for all the kids and it makes me super happy! There's more on the horizon as well, but I'll save that for another blog! Can't wait to share what this year brings!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Balancing Act

It's been awhile since my last post. I've been super busy with school and also super stressed. My main focus the past couple of weeks has been school. When I started this quarter, the class was down for about a week. This caused me to get very behind in the class requirements. I don't like to be behind and I've been playing catch up the whole time. I've had tunnel vision in my pursuit to get on track. This class is not hard, but being behind has caused it to become hard (at least in my perception). As a result of this tunnel vision, other aspects of my life have suffered. This is the reason for my blog title, Balancing Act.

So as I've mentioned in previous blogs, in addition to being a student, I'm also a mother and stepmother, a wife, and I have a full-time job. As anyone in a similar situation knows, when you focus too much attention on one aspect of your life, others suffer. This has happened these past few weeks. I've focused on school and therefore, neglected my role as wife and mother particularly. While I've continued working, I don't think my work completion has been lessened by this focus on school. And as my stepsons have been away from home most of summer, they have not been bothered by school much.

My husband has made complaints about the lack of attention and time spent with him. I certainly cannot argue with him, it is true that I haven't spent much time with him due to school commitments. My son, in his own way, has also complained this week because my days off have always been devoted to him, and this week they have been devoted to school. Although I know their complaints are valid, I find them frustrating because I feel a lack of support. But if I truly, humbly and honestly look at my actions, I would see I have no reason to feel that way. I have been selfish and need to find a way to make it up to them and myself.

I know that I've never been good about this balancing act, even before I had so many roles to play. I have found myself neglecting friends and co-workers due to focus on other aspects of my life in previous years. My concern now is how to fix this habit and not let it happen again. I know this week will catch me up with school if my family can give me just this time for that. But how do I make it up to them?

I'm glad to have gotten this off my chest, perhaps I will feel calm soon. As of right now, my brain feels like mush from so much studying and I can't think what else to say or whether this blog is well-written or even makes sense.

More to come I'm sure...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just Keep Swimming

Well, things just keep moving. I've been a little stressed this week looking at everything on my plate. I have 3 weeks left in class and a whole lot to prepare for- two chapter tests, a final exam and an exit exam. They all fall right behind each other or on top of each other. In addition, I have social events planned this week that I have to put aside my school stress and be apart of. One is my mom coming up for a visit and two a memorial day bash with Kenny's family. But despite any feelings of stress, things just keep moving along. I try to remember that when I get stressed, little mantras that help me stay focused.

"This too shall pass"

"Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be"

"Just keep swimming"

And somehow they all ring true and help my racing heartbeat and fast breathing return to normal. Even though at this particular moment, with Lonnie's Modern Warfare game and Brandon's squealing in play ringing in my ears and the adrenaline pumping from my recent homework, I'm not feeling what you would call calm. But I'll get there, soon...

I'm thinking hot bath and a good book, maybe even an alcoholic beverage and I'll soon be back in a blissful state. That is of course, if Brandon will allow it. He's been fighting going to sleep and has been coming down stairs several times during the night. I'm not sure what's going on with him. I'll keep you posted. Ugh, there's the stress again...let me return to that hot bath, blissful place again...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Let's Get It Started, YEA!

Well, here it goes. First attempt at blogging. Not really sure why I felt the need to do this. Just a random thought I decided to act on. I think it's for me to vent and get things out of my head, more so than sharing my life with the world. My life is really not all that interesting, at least I can't imagine that it is to someone that's not living it. My life certainly has it's ups and downs, but it's a good life. These days I'm pretty busy and though I'm always tired, I'm glad to have lots to do.
Currently, I have several things going on. First, I'm a wife, mother, and stepmother. That keeps me busy enough. My three year old keeps me moving and my 15 year old pushes all the wrong buttons, as teenages will. The husband and I are in a good place- after three years of marriage, still trying to figure out the best way to live together. So far so good.
Next- I work at a inpatient psychiatric hospital. I've been there almost 8 years. While I love my patients and still have the passion to help them, I'm not a huge fan of my job right now. There's been too much change in a short period of time and not all for the best. Dealing with some of my co-workers is one of my major stressors. I'm sure my venting will occur sometime during the life of this blog. I would really like to move on to something else, for sanity if nothing else, but there are good reasons to stay. One is the schedule. I'm off most of the week and get lots of time with my son. It will be hard to find that in another position. Second reason to stay is the company is paying for my schooling, which is next on the list.
School. I'm taking classes to meet pre-requisites for admission into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. I just started this quarter (Spring '10) and have a long road ahead. Due to the requirements and time frames of the school- I'm able to take one class a quarter. I'm currently in a math class. It's going well. If I'm admitted into the program next fall and finish on time, the whole process will have taken 3 years.
So those are the three major things going on in my life right now. Not to mention a recent lifestyle change in the realm of dieting and exercise. I try to work out at least three times a week and have changed my diet to low carb. I'm doing fairly well and have lost 7 pounds to date. This is something else I will keep you posted on as I journey through this life.
Lastly, I will sometimes share my photography here. This is another passion of mine that I am trying to foster in my spare time, limited as it may be. I have come a long way since I began back in middle school. I've taught myself several techniques and know without doubt that my skills are much improved. As I stumble through the photography world and learn more, I will share my adventures.
To get on with this, I'll just share a small excitement that I had this evening. I do not like to let my son go to sleep with the tv on. So, when he insists, I will let him watch tv for 30 minutes to an hour before bed every now and then. After that time, I turn it off, read him a story and tuck him into bed. Tonight was a night he wanted to watch tv. So I got him ready for bed and turned on Elmo. I figured it would give me a chance to finish my homework before I tucked him in for the night. While finishing my homework, I heard him get up. I figured he was putting another dvd on to watch. I was wrong. He turned off his tv and dvd player and went to sleep! When I went to check, I couldn't help but smile. He did exactly what Mom wanted. I couldn't ask for a better Mother's Day gift than that!