The dead of Winter CAN be beautiful!

Yea… I keep telling myself that! I really need convincing during winter time! Something I do love about this unappreciated season is the fact that if you dressed someone up SUPER COLORFUL and threw them anywhere outside, you’d get an awesome contrasty session! Stay tuned…. ūüėČ

Well first things first, I should probably fill you in since I haven’t blogged in 2 weeks. :/ Sorry guys! Im learning! Im learning!

Three really awesome things have happened to me this week (or did I happen to them?)!!!

  1. I got an 85mm 1.8 added to my bag! Now, I just need a couple more lenses and a new bag! ;P Silly girl!
  2. I am officially a member of Rock the Shot! Can I get a WOOT WOOT???! I am SOOOOO happy! EEEEeee!
  3. Keep Calm and Price On by Alicia Caine has arrived in the mail!!! HOH-yeah!  This e-book is going to guide me through pricing fairly (for myself and my clients) while portfolio building and the first couple years of being in business. Then, Ill be moving on up to Easy as Pie and Happy Place by the same author.

Do you know what this means??? I WILL BE  moving onto the next phase of business building in the next couple months! Charg-iiiiing!

Alright, alright… back to the dead of winter. While browsing in Rock the Shot forum, I ran across another photog sharing his¬†shoot that he did to kick himself out of the winter blues. Well, Im not super passionate about landscape photography and photographing “things” so I don’t take the time to practice on those kinds of subjects. I really have the need to capture people. Well, my friend in the forum sure did kick me into gear. I found his shoot very beautiful. The colors in his processing reminded me of brick and teal. I found myself going back to look just to stare at the colors more. Deep and rich and dark. There were a few things working against him in an effort to get a great quality photo (wind, freezing) but he pulled some emotion out of me and I was inspired. SOOOO I had to do my own “Winter Funk Booster Shoot”! Totally outside of the norm for me but I was on a mission to ‘capture the dead’!

Played with a little texture.

Bokeh wants to marry me! ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

Luh–huuuv the lines!

I think this one is my fav! Light pink with a texture!

Not sure what I was thinking here…

and the bald weeping willow. Id be weeping, too!

Happy Valentines Day!!!

DIY Rustic Photo Frame/Hanger

Now, the only reason that I’m blogging about this today is because the chances of my Dad checking my blog before tomorrow (noon) is little to none. He’s pretty old fashion and barely gets on his computer much less know how to use it. This is his late¬†late¬†late¬†late¬†late Christmas gift and he’s getting it tomorrow.

I thought of this idea (without Pinterest or any excessive blog obsessing) and had it put together within the hour. SOOOOO simple. Now, I’m not some major DIY queen so these photos don’t come with step-by-step instructions but I figured if I took a few detail shots, then you could figure it out for yourself- your own way. This was meant more for inspiration than guidance. What I will do is give you the supply list.

  • Rotten wood stick(s) from yard
  • other wood for base
  • little nails (or little nail gun)
  • itty bitty rope (mine was from a bracelet making kit from my 9 year old – shhh… she won’t miss it)
  • colored paper
  • elmers glue

And this is me getting my product photog ON (c’mon… lemme think what I want)…

HOT, right?

Here is the wrapped itty bitty rope…

add little love notes or reminders…

personalize it…

I can hear him saying that right now in a really obnoxious, manly voice. He would also wake us up with his head still on his pillow, hands behind his head, crowing (<—is that what you call it?) at the top of his lungs like a rooster! EEEEERRRRt er EEEEERT er EEEEEEEERRRRRRRR!!! Now, him and his wife are decorating their kitchen with roosters. Let’s all stop and say a prayer for her………………………………………… ūüôā Hah!

Don’t forget a photo. This will give you an idea of the size. Compare it to the 4×6…

About 11″ tall, eh? ¬†That photo was actually one of MINE taken in 2001 with my first 35mm¬†SLR that I got in 9th grade (1996)!!! It’s my bro-out-law! ūüôā

The base. Nailed from the bottom up, dead center…

I had to add an extra layer of base for stronger support because it was flipping over. Imagine those all colorful! OooOooOooo.

And here’s my favorite part about the frame…

Don’t feel like having all those things on it? Take something(s) out and roll it up a little for a more simple deco!!!

ANNNNNNND the mini. A-whole-nother frame. About 6 inches tall…

I hope you’re inspired and feeling antsy! Link me ¬†if you make your own version! I’d LOVE to see more!

Since, that was a version for my dad (raw wood, earthy, organic),¬†I’ll be bok with a colorful, ME version!

Much Love Friends!

Summer in January

What a gorgeous day here in VeeYay!

I had my two school kids home “”””sick”””” (sure. uh huh.) so I took all the little groms outside for some fresh air. I’m always looking for the cooperative kid to have a session with…. but you know what???? That’s NOT what it’s really all about. It’s all about doing well with the completely uncooperative and doing exceptionally well with the cooperative.

Today, I focused on Kingston. You’re probably thinking Oh EASY! He’s photogenic.¬†That’s partially true. He is photogenic but he is not easy to photograph. He’s a rambunctious toddler who has me chimping at my settings frantically. I shot full manual today and was more than satisfied with the kighting I had. With the sky being partially cloudy, I had fantastic lighting for moments then harsh lighting for moments. Below are a couple from the session. To see the rest, you’ll have to come like me on my Facebook (if you have’nt already).

Hope everyone got out for fresh air today!

Much Love…¬†Liz

dPs: 15 Minute Photo Challenge

A few years ago, I registered and subscribed to dPs (Digital Photography School). Now, they send me emails every week with a list of articles of photography tips and techniques. They have numerous authors of the articles with links to their sites and the information is endless once you’re in there. Well, this weeks email contained an article called “A 15 Minute Exercise to Improve your Photography in 2012” by Darren Rowse (founder of dPs, I’m pretty sure).

Read HERE to see what the exercise entails. No worries. It’s a fast little read.

Simple and inspiring, right? Now that you know all the steps I took in order to do the excercise, I’ll explain why I considered it a challenge. The first part requires me to sit for TEN MINUTES!!! So 10 of the 15 minutes of the exercise is sitting and looking! NO snapping! Do you have any clue what kind of overload that creates in someone who thinks too much, over analyzes over analysis and has the attention span of a 2-year-old? Yeah… you can imagine me outside, freezing, turning in circles, watching where the light is falling, hoping that the¬†pretty little red cardinal in perfect lighting will be sitting in the same spot in 10 minutes. This was for sure a challenge for someone like me!

Well the ten minute torture was over and it was time to have some fun…….. but only 5 minutes of fun! So I spent the first 30 seconds running to get my tripod like I was on Amazing Race ¬†and the next 30 figuring out how to make it work because its broken! One minute GONE! ¬†Here’s a pull back of what was in my view and had decided to work with while in the torture chamber…

Looks like a real nice guy doesn’t he? Well, there’s been a few times that he’s almost been punched in the face for jumping out and scaring the crap out of me when passing by. I mean, he’s life-size! Probably taller than me (most things are) and when you forget that he’s there, you’ll have something coming for sure~ and so does he!

Notice that the eye on the left is a mirror? Remember my last post? SELF PORTRAITS! Wooooooh Doggie…..

Bring it on, matey! I’ve got my eye ON you! Literally.

Self Portrait: Total Doozy!

Well, I guess it wouldn’t be fair if I only shared the photos that I feel like came out well, right?

Iv’e had it on my mind for the past month to attempt a self portrait. I read a little bit about them and heard that they are pretty difficult. Well…. THEY WERE NOT¬†KIDDING! What a mess!¬†

So here’s what I did: I set up my tripod, set my self timer, set my focus (hardest part) and ran to my seat, next to a window, in front of the brick wall in my living room. It was raining cats and dogs outside so I wasn’t getting an incredible amount of light. Now, here’s a look before I tell you everything that I thought about AFTER I gave up…

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Now, what’s the most obvious doozy about the photo? My blown out cheek, the focus falling on my shoulder or maybe the fact that I have no clue how to model and look like I’m about to fall over sideways and go to sleep?

How about this one?

Image

The focus fell on my collar bone and the hair beside my neck (eeeerrrrgghhh!) and because of my crop, you cant tell that I’m leaning back in my chair. The composition is just all wrong! And once again, I have blown spots.

and let me just put the cherry on the doozy cake for ya….

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Nothing is in focus! *big fat tongue fart*

 After the shoot, I recollected all the things I could have done better.

1. I could have helped my bad lighting by using my reflector and and metered to even lighting so that I wasn’t over exposed on the left and under exposed on the right. With that, I could have reduce grain from such a high ISO by reflecting that really bright light back onto me.¬†

2. I could have locked my 2 year old in a cage so that he would stop kicking my tripod and chasing the dogs in circles around me. That would have helped things be still for better focus in camera and in my brain!

3. I could have set something up where I would be sitting and focused on that at a more closed  down aperture so that it was impossible to miss focus. 

At least I got my white balance correct! Sheesh!

I have a long way to go and I’m dragging you all along with me! ūüôā

Self portraits? Im going to tackle you down and win this challenge then wave you in front of everyone I know like a flag!