Parents, if you want wonderful pictures of your children, never teach them to say "cheese"! Please learn from my mistake or you will have thousands of photos just like mine - squinted eyes, scrunched up noses, clenched teeth, and an image that just screams "say cheez!!!". Join me while I search for that one perfect shot that doesn't conjure up images of dairy products. Oh, and unless you like that *messy* look, you'll probably want to clean their faces before you snap away. I never seem to remember myself.

An imporant sidenote is to make sure you document your life! Recording the little details of the who, what, where, when, & why makes for wonderful stories and captures your life for years to come. Because if you are like me, you'll forget it all 5 minutes later!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Play Ball! {RP Post}

Little league had it's opening ceremonies this past weekend and we are off to a great start! We now have 3 favorite teams in our house - the Mariners, the Rangers, and of coarse the Yankees.

Monday, April 28, 2008

POTD - Week 18: Water

This week's theme has kept a poem running through my head all weekend - Shel Silverstein's "Lazy Jane".

Image from a NY Times post here

My kids love this poem and it is driving me nuts!!!

Anyway, here is my take on the theme water:

"Oh my bleeding heart, my achy bleading heart..." Sorry, bit of a word change-up there, but thanks to a certain thread on 2P's another annoying phrase keeps running through my head!

Bit of shutter speed fun.

Bit of shutter speed and zoom fun. (Tryin' to get into that creative zone.)

Bit of childhood fun - who doesn't love to blow those "wishy flowers" as my son calls them.

What, oh what, could he possibly be wishing for? He certainly wouldn't tell me for great fear it won't come true. Great, now I gotta play detective so he isn't crushed when the wishy flower fairy doesn't grant his wish!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Where's the Creativity?

I've been feeling a bit stifled lately. I've had little time for embracing creativity - which I really need. Creating [anything] is a big emotional outlet for me and I haven't allowed the mojo to flow in quite some time. So now when I think about being more artistic, it is a bit intimidating and pretty much frightening.

I tend to favor photos that have lots of color, saturation, contrast, and have personal meaning to me. Essentially documenting my children's life and the things in our immediate world. But I feel like this results in snapshot-type stuff. I mean, how could I NOT cherish a photo of my children? That is what a good mom does, right? Still, I LOVE the more artistic side of photography and that is why I fell in love with photography so many, many years ago. But I haven't gone in that direction in eons. And I want to get back there.

I want to think about the images I capture. I want to explore techniques. I want to push myself to be more insightful. I just want to try. And I want to enjoy it.

So I think I'm going to start doing this POTD thing twice a week - once with my typical image on theme staying in my comfort zone, and once with a (hopefully) more creative and outside the box {for me anyway} image. Trying new stuff. Exploring. Taking my time. Growing. Maybe I can then find out where the creativity is. Here's my first try at it today.


Canon 10-22mm lens, f/16, 1/50, ISO 100

Ok, I need to spend a lot more time thinking about and working on the conceptual stuff as the image content per se isn't necessarily out of my box. I hope that will come back to me over time. But I certainly did more creative stuff to it today than I usually do to any of my images so for now I'll focus on the techniques and processing skills to create some artistic images!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring Break has come and gone {RP Post}

And not much was done. Just a day trip to NYC, a playdate for the kiddos, some yard work, starting on house projects, and lots of sunshine to play outside. No trips to Greece or tropical islands or anywhere that required more than 20 minutes of travel, but a nice week anyway.

Monday, April 21, 2008

POTD - Week 17: Children

I love quotes, inspirational messages and the artist/poet/writer SARK. This is one of my all time favorites:

How To Really Love A Child

Be there. Say yes as often as possible. Let them bang on pots and pans. If they’re crabby, put them in water. If they’re unlovable, love yourself. Realize how important it is to be a child. Go to a movie theater in your pajamas. Read books out loud with joy. Invent pleasures together. Remember how really small they are. Giggle a lot. Surprise them. Say no when necessary. Teach feelings. Heal your own inner child. Learn about parenting. Hug trees together. Make loving safe. Bake a cake and eat it with no hands. Go find elephants and kiss them. Plan to build a rocketship. Imagine yourself magic. Make lots of forts with blankets. Let your angel fly. Reveal your own dreams. Search out the positive. Keep the gleam in your eye. Mail letters to God. Encourage silly. Plant licorice in your garden. Open up. Stop yelling. Express your love. A lot. Speak kindly. Paint their tennis shoes. Handle with caring. Children are miraculous.

I do believe I was showing my children that I really love them by letting them do this on my patio! :-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

R.I.P. {RP Post}

Rainbow Neptune, 2005-2008. He was a beloved Beta fish, joining our family on a hot summer day from a birthday party N went to - this was the party favor for the guests. He brought much joy to the family and asked for little in return. We only hope that he is a peace in his final resting place, inside the Dora Band-Aid box, nestled in a special place in our yard. His memory will always hold a special place in our hearts.

POTD - Week 16: Guess This

My children are on break this week so we took a little day trip. Can you guess this place?

Ok, I'm assuming you are able to quite easily guess this! Not very subtle clues I suppose, but hey I was able to make our little adventure to NYC fit the theme! :-)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sign of Spring {RP Post}

It looks like Spring is finally arriving! We have been waiting for this for sooooo has been a long winter and it is good to be able to get outside and enjoy some warm sunny days.

Another sign that it is Spring is our calendar. My how it is filling up very fast, and our kids aren't even that "over scheduled". It looks like we will only have 1 or 2 afternoons a week that are free. The boys get home from school at about 4:00, and then one evening they have TaeKwonDo, another day it is gymnastics for M (thankfully in the morning) and then baseball practice for J immediately followed by a quick jaunt across town for N's baseball practice, yet another evening is another baseball practice for N, and N will have 2 baseball games every weekend while J will have one game every weekend. Good thing we are taking a break from swim classes! Throw in the numerous spring b-day parties they've been invited to, a cub scout activity here and there, and oh yea some house/yard work and there isn't much time to do anything else! Looks like that spring daze is going to last a bit longer.

Monday, April 7, 2008

And now a Bear Scout {RP Post}

N had his annual Cub Scout Blue & Gold Dinner and Awards Ceremony this past weekend. He has progressed from a Wolf Scout to a Bear Scout. He is very excited about this, especially because one of his den mates told him that as Bear Scouts they get Swiss Army knives. Um, I'm not too sure about this...I don't want to see what nine 8-year old boys will do with Swiss Army knives!

In other news, M has moved out of her crib to a big girl bed! So far so trips in and out of bed before she finally falls asleep (knock on wood!). J is doing well and our dog Samson seems to be recovering well from his cyberknife radiation treatment that he received last week. That's it for now...back to my Spring Cleaning (anyone interested in the 18 garbage bags of clothing that I have earmarked for Goodwill)!

POTD - Week 15: Natural Light

Although I love the clean fresh look that natural light offers, I don't get a lot of natural light in my house. Which is amazing since we have a ton of big windows. However today there was a bit of good light shining in my office and once I let my dd wear my headphones, I had a subject to play with! Thank you Laurie Berkner, the queen of kiddie tunes. :-)

I used my Sigma 1.4 lens on all of these. I ran the Color Pop Slut action from Pussycat Superstar (sweet name, huh?) on the portrait orientaion photos and Aly's Color Boost on the horizontal photos. The first one does have a very light texture on it, my first time doing it and not sure I'll do it again. Photoshop kept locking up on me! I think I like Aly's action better as the skin tones are much more accurate. The color boost is fun, but a little too orange for my liking.

I just want to thank everyone for their kind words last week about my dog. He received 3 days of the cyberknife radiation treatment last week and seems to be fairing well. Hopefully the tumor will start to die off and all will be good!