Saturday, January 24, 2015

Photography Challenge - Day 11

Yay for simple challenges! ;)  If you want to join me on the challenge, buy Courtney's book and learn some awesome photography tips/lessons.

Day 10 - Clear the clutter

And here are the edits.  All the pictures below include my straight out of camera image (left or top) and my edited image (right or bottom).  I used my Canon EFS 50mm lens to take all of the photos.  I'll list the details of each shot below if you are interested.

One day last week, Mackenzie wanted to play on the computer when she got home from school.  She wanted to play on a website that she's played here and at school - 
She and Meredith sat at the computer together for 2 hours!  They did calendar, letter, number & color games and probably more.  They had a lot of fun and gave me the chance to photograph them and complete a challenge! ;)

This first picture is how I started taking pictures of them and then I completed the challenge by cleaning up a bit.
50mm   f/2.2   1/25ss    ISO-1600

See, so much nicer!  My white balance is off in most of the pictures because I'm still learning to adjust that, but in general I like that I captured this moment with the big girls.

50mm   f/2.2   1/25ss    ISO-1600

50mm   f/2.2   1/30ss    ISO-1600

50mm   f/3.2   1/20ss    ISO-1600

50mm   f/3.2   1/25ss    ISO-1600

Day 12 is actually complete, but I still have to edit photos, so it might be a few days before I blog about it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flashback Friday - all dressed up

I'm not sure the year of this picture - but it was before Mackenzie was born, so 2007 or before!
Brandon and I attended a Gala so I had to buy a fancy dress and Brandon had to rent a tux.  I thought of this photo because we are attending another gala this next weekend and I went dress shopping two weeks ago and saw this EXACT same dress!  I guess it's still popular 7 years later, but I bought a different one. ;)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Photography Challenge - Day 10

I have actually completed a few of the photography challenges, but I'm a little behind in posting them.  I started this "30 day" challenge a year ago.  If I just focused on one aspect each day then it would probably go faster, but I like to work on each challenge over a couple of days or at least find the right setting to complete the challenge.  Add in life in general and this is taking me forever to complete!  However, the timeline isn't important to me - the improved skills are.  Because I've been shooting in manual mode for the last year and learning new things, I've come to realize, that I need a better camera to accomplish my photography goals.  That will have to wait until next month for my birthday, but it's those realizations that have kept me to this challenge. 

If you want to join me on the challenge (but maybe at a faster pace!), buy Courtney's e-book and learn some awesome photography tips/lessons.  Or go to her website - I promise it's awesome if you want to learn more about photography.

Day 10 - Histogram

This lesson was more about assessing your picture after the fact by learning about histograms. I did actually do this challenge in one sitting over the course of about 10 minutes while we were doing preschool with Meredith.  Below are the photos I took.

And here are the edits.  All the pictures below include my straight out of camera image (left or top) and my edited image (right or bottom).  This time I added an image of what my histogram looked like.  The key is to not lean to the right or left of the histogram.  You'll see why based on my photos. ;)  For the first two pictures I used my  Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens and then I realized I wanted to do the challenge properly, so I switched to my Canon EFS 50mm lens.  I'll list the details of each shot below if you are interested.

You can see based on my edited photo, that this was fairly balanced.
24mm   f/4.5    1/40ss    ISO-1600


This was one with a great balance - not much editing between the photos.
24mm   f/4.5    1/80ss    ISO-1600

Way too over exposed - could not save it! ;)  This was when I switched lenses and I don't think I checked my meter before snapping the picture.
50mm   f/2.0   1/40ss    ISO-1600

This picture has a great balance and unfortunately, I think I messed up during editing, because the colors look to bold (almost fake).  Oh well, lesson learned.
50mm   f/2.0    1/400ss    ISO-1600

I really like this photo of Meredith.  She talks while cutting, just like Mackenzie did, so her mouth is open.  The picture has an okay balance and I didn't have to lighten it too much. 
50mm   f/2.0    1/320ss    ISO-800

A little dark.
50mm   f/2.0    1/320ss    ISO-800

This one was ok too. I had to lighten a little as you can see in the edited photo, but it works.  This was when Miranda was finished playing. ;)
50mm   f/3.5    1/160ss    ISO-1600

This one was a little over exposed, but I was able to save it a little.  It's not a great photo in general (doesn't tell a story), but it works for the challenge.
50mm   f/2.2    1/40ss    ISO-1600

Onto day 11!

Monday, January 19, 2015

365 photo challenge

I decided to re-start my 365 photo challenge at the beginning of the year.  So far I've done great!  Of course it's kind of like my blogging, in the beginning of the year I remember to blog/take a photo every day, but as the year goes on...not so much.  Anyways, for now I'm remembering to take photos.  I'm trying to take photos with my big camera, not my phone camera since that's where I want to improve my skills.

With that said, I've updated my 365 blog with the new pictures for 2015!  I've only edited photos through the 9th, but I have taken a picture every day.  I had fun going through my past pictures I posted over a year or two ago.  Miranda & Meredith were so small!  Mackenzie too, since I started the 365 blog around her 4th birthday.

Go check out my other blog (top link on my right side bar) and join in the fun yourself! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Swinging fun with the two littlest

One day during our beautiful December weather (maybe even November?), the little girls and I stopped by the neighborhood swingset on our way home from swim lessons and lunch. 

Meredith said she didn't want to be pushed very high because she was scared.  But then I showed her how her feet shadow could touch the swing shadow and she had to swing higher to make it happen!

And, just a little more convincing to get her "head to touch the bar"!  It was actually a little warm on this day with the sun beating down on us, so we only stayed for half an hour, but both girls had a lot of fun. 
We have swings in our own backyard, but apparently they aren't as fun as the swings in the neighborhood! ;)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Perfect shirts!

I found these shirts on the internet...

I think these fit my girls exactly! ;)  We are constantly telling Mackenzie to stop being bossy.  Of course, she's like that because she's the oldest and she has to "oldest children" for parents!  The middle shirt applies to Meredith on multiple levels!  And Miranda has already proven many times over that rules don't apply to her - preemie, milk allergy, walking late...

I'm thinking I need to order some or figure out how to make them with my cricut!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Flashback: January 2010

Five years ago I was taking pictures of this sweet little girl!

She still likes to make silly faces for the camera!  Mackenzie is the same age in this picture as Miranda is right now.  I think they look a lot a like when I see baby pictures, but when I see them all right now, I think Miranda looks like Meredith.  I can't wait to see if they look similar when they "grow up". :)
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