Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An update

Just wanted to let you know I didn't fall of the face of the earth! Two things went wrong this past week. One, I couldn't sign onto blogger from the computer where all my pictures are stored. No clue why, it made no sense. Did anyone else have trouble with blogger this past week? Two, my camera broke. The camera broke Sunday and we will need professional assistance to fix it. Depending on cost, this could take awhile.

But there's good news too! First off, I had a fabulous few days. I will share that below. Also, my hubby was planning on buying me a new camera for my birthday, which is Thursday. So, we may not have to worry about the broken one, but either way I'm camera-less for a bit. Lastly, over these past few fabulous days, I have gotten lots of pictures from family get togethers and birthday parties! So, I'll be able to blog and share those with you while we figure out the camera business.

Ok, so my fabulous few days. As I may have mentioned before, I work weekends. This means I miss out on a lot of things, such as those family get togethers and holidays, and birthday parties. Because normal people don't work weekends (lol), and they do these things when other normal people don't have to work. This is a downer sometimes. I try to focus on the fact that I get four wonderful days with Digger during the week that most normal people don't get with their little ones, and that lifts my spirits. This past weekend however, I took off all three of my work days and had plans every single day of it! And I loved it! I tried to soak it up and enjoy it to the fullest because it does not happen much! I will share more of these stories (with pictures)as the week goes on.

The fun started on Friday night. My stepson, D, turned 18! He chose to have his birthday dinner at Hooters. We had a good turnout and lots of fun! Saturday found Digger and I at another birthday party for his friend Mollie. She had a luau beach party! Lots of kids and lots of fun! Then Sunday, we were at Pat and Joe's, as we call it. This is Dada's aunt and uncle's house. They have lots of land for the kids to run around on and a pool, pool table, foosball table, music. When we have get togethers down there, everyone comes! Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews...you get the point. It's always a great time. Lastly, Monday, we made a stop at Dada's brother's house and let Digger and GeeGee (Digger's cousin) swim and splash in the pool on the porch.

So lots of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed being off work and being able to enjoy time with family and friends. I will post pictures and stories this week! Be on the lookout!

Happy Tuesdsay!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Better Photos- Week 2- ISO/Shutter Speed

WOW! I've got 22 followers (my lucky number) and over 1,000 page views! I'm so excited to see my blog growing! Welcome back to the veterans and hello newbies!

For the veterans, sorry I've taken so long to make this second post. I had a lot of trouble with the challenge and just recently figured out a way around it. Good thing I can go at my own pace! For the newbies, I'm following an article 12 Weeks To Better Photos. Recently, we discussed Aperture. This is Week 2- ISO/Shutter Speed. I hope you learn something and I would love it if you joined me on the adventure. Enjoy!

What I learned:
ISO- film speed, or how fast an image will be captured. The higher the number, the quicker the capture and less light required.
   Rule of Thumb (ROT):
  • ISO 100-200 Bright light and outdoors
  • ISO 400- Shade, Overcast, Indoors- lots of light
  • ISO 800-1600- Indoors, Low light, Sports/Action
The higher the ISO, the less time the camera has to make the image accurate. Therefore leading to more digital noise and a grainy-er (yea, so i made it up) picture.

Shutter Speed-how fast the shutter or little door in front of film or sensor operates. A faster shutter speed will freeze action, where as a slower shutter speed may blur it. On your camera, shutter speeds are seen as 60, 120, 1000, etc. These represent 1/60th of a second, 1/120 of a second, and so on. The bigger the bottom number, the faster the shutter speed. You will also see numbers marched with inch marks ("), this is for seconds. So 30" means the shutter is open for 30 seconds and 1"5 is 1 and 1/2 seconds.

  • Anything 1/50th or anything with inch marks, you should use a tripod or flat, stable surface to hold the camera steady. Use slow shutter speed to portray a blurred subject or surroundings.
  • If holding the camera, make sure shutter speed is at least 1/60th of a second. If you are wiggly, try setting the shutter speed higher for a clearer picture.
  • For sports or action shots, set the shutter speed at least at 1/1000th of a second. Faster shutter speeds will freeze the subject in action with less blur.
The Challenge

The challenge was to photograph running water over a surface. These challenges are designed for SLR cameras (which I don't have), but the authors do give you tips on how to use your point&shoot (P&S) cameras as well. I tried and tried, but was unable to photograph the running water in an adequate way, even with their P&S suggestions. So I tried instead to photograph some other moving objects to try to learn the skills. I was finally successful!

It took a lot of practice and playing around with my camera. Also, in order to really get the concept to sink in, I had to put my camera in Manual mode (AHHH, scary!). I'm so glad I did though! Once I played around a bit and figured out my camera, I was able to get some shots that made sense!

1/1600, ISO 800, f 3.5
My ISO was too high here, reason being -I was still learning how to adjust settings on my camera. However, there was a lesson learned! As stated above, a higher ISO can lead to a grainy-er picture, which it did. However, notice here that the shutter speed was set at 1/1600 which froze the action. Digger was shaking the stick wildly, but you can't tell, can you? The action is frozen.

1/500, ISO 800, f 3.5
Ok, so ISO still too high here, but lesson learned. The shutter speed on this one is 1/500. As you can see, the stick that is being shaken wildly is now blurred.

Here is another example:

ISO 800, 1/1600, f 3.2
Ok, so let's ignore the ISO we already know the lesson there. Focus on the shutter speed. The fan was moving at full speed when the shot was taken. At 1/1600, notice that the movement is frozen.

ISO 800, 1/100, f 3.2
The fan was still moving at the same speed. But at 1/100, notice you see the blur. The movement is not frozen.

Hopefully not overwhelming you, but there is a second part to this challenge. The authors then wanted you to put your camera in Manual mode and try to acheive balance with the settings. In order to acheive proper exposure, the aperture and shutter speed need to balance. Luckily, most cameras come with a meter that help you determine the proper exposure for your shot. As previously mentioned, I had to put the camera in Manual mode to get any of this to work. So this second part of the challenge was already accomplished. FYI-this section was shortened extensively by me to shorten this post as a whole. If you are interested in the entire article, please click here, and choose ISO/Shutter Speed.

Lastly, I wanted to give props to this post http://paperheartcamera.blogspot.com/2011/05/knowing-your-camera.html?showComment=1305326464611#c3887017167096106365. It was done by Audrey from The Daily Wyatt as a guest post on Paper Heart Camera (links below).  This article really brought home the concepts for this challenge and helped me get over my fear of Manual mode. I strongly encourage you to read it for inspiration or a refresher or alternative lesson on all the skills we've discussed so far, aperture, iso, and shutter speed. I would also encourage you to check out both of their blogs just for pure enjoyment :)

The Daily Wyatt

Photography love...
The Paper Mama

And lastly, my posts for You Capture this week. The theme was Busy.

Busy playing.

Busy laughing.

The result of being busy.

But at least this is all a fun kind of busy! Happy Wednesday! Have a great week!! Check out more pictures and blogs at the links below.

You Capture

Wordish Wednesday



the long road
Nicole's Random Blog Hop



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happiness Week 1: Cheatham Hill

Leigh from Leigh Vs. Laundry sent me an invite to her 52 Weeks of Happiness Photo Project. I had seen this on other blogs, but I never checked it out. I love the idea. So I'm very glad she sent me a link! Thanks Leigh! So, I'm participating today! Leigh is also trying to spread the happiness! So I encourage all of you to join in this project and focus on something happy!

Here it goes....

Something that makes me happy is spending time with my son. Just me and him. Bonding, talking, playing. I'm so blessed to be able to spend most of the week home with him. And recently I've realized that he will be starting preschool soon and this time we have together will be shorter! So I've been trying to make the most of it lately.

Last week, Digger and I went to Cheatham Hill. It one of my favorite outdoor places to be! For those of you not familiar with it, it is part of the National Battefield Park here in Georgia. It is the site of several battles that took place during the Civil War. There are monuments there to remember these battles and the people who died there. There are also locations that have trails through them and many use these trails for walking, running, biking, and horseback riding. It's very close to our home and a place that became special to Dada and I during our dating years. It is a beautiful and peaceful place, despite the battles that occurred there. Digger had not been there since he first learned to walk and I thought it would be a fun place for us to go for a walk and picnic. And so we did! And it was a very special, memorable, and fun day! Below are a few pics from the day!

This was also an opportunity to use some new photography skills and get to know my camera settings (which also makes me happy!). Some of the pics may be strangely colored or a little grainy because of this, but I learned a ton about my camera that day! FYI- Week 2 of my photography course will be posted tomorrow!

I so made him take this, but he didn't protest TOO much.

I mean flowers are kind cool to boys, right? Even if just to tear apart!

Brandon was a little whiny during this walk because I mentioned the word picnic. He kept leaving me! ALL he cared about was getting back to the picnic tables so we could start the picnic!

We found this little guy sunning at the picnic tables.

The best part of my day was when Digger actually started POSING for me! This never happens. And I got some cute shots out of it that make me soo happy :)

Oreos :)

And this just came out so much better than I expected! My sweet shot, maybe? There are so many fun shots from this day, it's hard to decide!

It was a good day!

Looking back at these pictures makes me so very happy! I can't wait to get back there. Being there makes me happy, but being there with my little guy makes it that much better!

Happy Tuesday! See you tomorrow!


Sweet Shot Day

Friday, May 13, 2011

Funny Friday #3

Happy Friday folks! I'm taking a break from Friendly Friday for awhile (if you really miss it, let me know). But for your enjoyment, here's another exciting installment of Funny Friday!


1) Scene: Digger and I were discussing the difference between heroes and superheroes. I was explaining that heroes could be anyone that helps someone else. A firefighter, a police officer, a nurse, even Mom or Dad. His response...

Digger: I like Mommas to be Wonder Woman, Dadas to be Batman, and boys to be Robin.


2) Digger: Knock, knock.
Me: Who's there?
Digger: Cargo.
Me: Cargo, who?
Digger: Car go beep, beep, vroom vroom!

Where does he get this stuff?


3) Digger: Momma, quit talking to yourself.

HAHA! Busted. I totally talk to myself all the time.


4) Here's a funny face for you to enjoy. This is the look I get when I want to take pictures and Digger has other plans.

Hope you all have had an enjoyable and funny Friday the 13th! See you next week!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WW-You Capture/Twisted Fate Challenges

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all the momma's out there! I hope you all had a wonderful day and felt loved and appreciated for all the hard work you do as a mother! I spent mine at work, unfortunately, but came home to surprise gifts and well wishes so it ended well!

So this week, I've got two photo challenges. For You Capture- I have Motherhood and for Twisted Fate Photography- I have Red. I struggled a bit with both of these. I'm not so good at the color photo challenges and the motherhood thing, well I didn't just want to be generic with it.

And I don't think I mentioned our struggles these past two weeks. A stomach virus made it's way to our house, it went through all four of us and also made it's way through my in-laws house. This consisted of much throwing up and general gross-ness. Once we made it through that, then Digger caught round two of it, diarrhea and more gross-ness. A few members of my in-laws house also suffered with this. It lasted a week for Digger. Then we are all feeling better and all join together again for a return to our normal routine. Then my nephew gets diagnosed with a stomach virus, pink eye and strep throat. Poor kid, right? And since we had returned to our normal routine and the kids were around each other...yep, Digger then got pink eye, as did my neice. So, as you can imagine, it's been a rough few weeks. As of today, we have all recovered and Digger's pink eye is clearing (just in time for his check up and shots...but don't tell him that!).

All of this rambling, has a point. I promise. To bring this all together, I found one photo that met both photo challenge requirements and sort of summed up our past few weeks!

We ate lots of chicken soup these weeks and MOM is always the one making it. So, red and motherhood combined for this one!

Here are a few other captures I made this week:

This red guy makes a regular appearence in our lives.

I took this using my new found aperture knowledge :) But it does represent a big part of motherhood-potty training. We used these little guys to mark our potty success calendar! It really helped get us on track or get us back on track! I also like that the subject sticker really catches the mood around here- "Really Improved."

I share just because I love it :) I accidently took this in landscape mode. But I learned something and so it was worth it! I love the way it stretches and distorts. And Digger just looks so happy to be out in the sun after being cooped up in the house, sick, for so long.

You think he learned how to pose for pictures from me?

Hope you enjoyed! Have a happy Wednesday! Check out more great pictures and blogs at the links below!


Wordish Wednesday


Nicole's Random Blog Hop


The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along. ~Margaret Culkin Banning

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty