Friday, December 31, 2010

December Photo Hunt

Here are my pictures for the December Photo Hunt. I really enjoyed the themes this month. Many of them came to me right away. Others I had to give more thought. If the photo was edited it was done in picnik. I haven't started using LR3 yet. All we taken in December except where noted - just one. I also used my kit lens for all the photo unless otherwise noted.

I'm not sure if the hosting site will continue on after this challenge. If not I'll find something similar to participate in. You can follow this link December Photo Hunt to see other entries. If you do be sure to check out Ashley Sisk - Ramblings and Photos. She has one on my favorite photo blogs.


1. Holiday Lights

2. Holiday Spirit - Lite 98 plays nothing but Christmas music during the holiday season.

3. Holiday Treat - Chocolate Crackles

4. An Ornament

5. Gift-wrapped Package - My Pandora bracelet!

6. Window Display - Our window (I wish I could redo this but we just finished taking down our decorations.

7. Winter/Holiday Icon

8. A Tree

9. A Tradition - Christmas pajamas

10. Something that says Noel

11. Something Precious - This is an old photo. Harvey seems to be growing up so fast. This was taken at just a few days old with my Sony cybershot before I knew anything about photography.

12. Something Peaceful - I used the new 50mm. This is SOOC (straight off of camera) except for straightening and a small crop. The histogram was a perfect bell shape and I cannot believe how well the white snow blends in with the white screen - at least here while I am composing this post. I'm proud.

13. Something Hot - The back of my snowman tart warmer.

14. Something Cold

5. Something Red

16. Something Green

17. Motion Blur - Harvey's reaction to the first snow of the year. Ha! This was an accident. The night before I had been practicing Christmas tree photos. I was a school/work day and I was in a hurry. I didn't check so I left my shutter speed really slow. I wanted to capture his reaction and I guess I did just that.

18. Black and White with Selective Color - not a fan of this technique but I do love my LR3 (I've used the trial before) so I have to love this picture. The selective coloring was easy to do. Maybe one day I will get more creative with this technique.

19. Infrared Photo - I LOVE this photo. This is my favorite out of all the photos I have ever given an effect.

20. Macro Shot

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas was perfect. It was a pure joy to see my son, Harvey enjoy Christmas. We celebrated at our home with my family for the first time. It was a pleasure to cook for everyone. We were all fairly healthy - my husband, Casey has sinus issues. We all got along great. We attended a Garden Festival of Lights at the local botanical gardens one night and another night we all piled in the car to look at neighborhood lights. Then we had snow Christmas day afternoon. Usually after Christmas, I feel sad, but this year I felt completely satisfied. It was a good holiday.

I received a lot of photography stuff this year. My mom and dad got me the 50mm f/1.8 along with a lot of accessories and an external hard drive. They also gave me their monitor to use for editing photos from my laptop. Casey got me a tripod and an external hard drive. He also got me a Pandora bracelet from him and Harvey. For myself I got Lightroom 3 and Scott Kelby's LR3 book.

I tried out the 50mm yesterday. I'm not sure what I think. It does well outside but inside the house I am struggling. I flipped over to my kit lens several times. It will probably be awhile before I figure out the monitor. I'm not sure how good it is to begin with but my laptop screen is sometimes difficult. I installed LR3 late last night and I have read the first 15 pages or so of SK's book. I have a hard time with storage organization so I want to get my hard drive set up before using LR3 so my work flow will be consistent and complete. I love the tripod!

I have been working on the December Photo Hunt. I am really excited about my photos for the challenge. I'm also working on Memories, Dreams, and Reflections - a look back at 2010. So those should be up next week too.

I plan to start my family blog for the new year. I really want a watermark before I start so after I get my work flow sorted out that will be the next priority. I don't think I can handle a 365 but I may do a 52 blog.

It's a good thing not much goes on at our house these winter months, I'm gonna be busy!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.


Monday, November 29, 2010

It feels good to be selected as a Favorite

Earlier this month I submitted my photos for the October Photo Hunt. As with any challenge I participate to push myself to be more creative. I don't expect my photos to stand out from the other entries. It is so interesting to see other's interpretations and to learn from other's comments.

This particular challenge does include Favorites and votes. The categories are divided up among several judges. The judges select their Favorites. From those favorites votes are counted. Two of my photos were selected as favorites. I came no where near collecting all the votes in my categories but it was a pleasant surprise to see my photo in the two favorite posts.


Jack O' Lantern

Friday, November 26, 2010

Before and After

Here are some before and after photos. They were all edited with Picnik.

This photo was from  a photo hunt challenge. I removed the branches at the top, the power lines, the stop sign, and the reflector sign.

This photo was much too dark. I lightened and brightened. I also removed the mail boxes and the stick from his had. I changed the view to portrait.

This is from the farm where we pumpkin picked. I removed the picnic bench and the tarp. I also tried to make the sun flair not so noticeable.

Ideally I would like my photos to be near perfect SOOC but I have a long way to go. Picnik is an online source for basic editing that has helped me get by without editing software.

Monday, November 1, 2010

October 2010 Photo Hunt

The October 2010 Photo Hunt is my first monthly challenge. I really enjoyed looking at my list of 20 items daily and pushing myself to take more photos of things I usually don't. I look forward to the upcoming challenges and hope to become more creative with the themes. These were all taken in October.

1. In Disguise - A Halloween skeleton.

2. Crisp - A dried up fall leaf.

3. Fall Colors - This was taken on the way to the coast for some saltwater fishing.

4. Jack o' Lantern - Harvey dropped and cracked his little pumpkin. Following the crack I made the mouth and added the eyes.

5. Shot From the Ground - The sunlight was in just the tops of the trees. Here, I am laying on the sidewalk looking up.

6. Landscape - I took this shot on three different days to get the composition how I wanted it. The colors kept getting prettier as the days went on.

7. Fall Traditions - Pumpkin patch 2010.

8. Books - Some of Harvey's favorite books.

9. Dining - Weekend lunch.

10. Child / Children - Harvey.

11. Faces Formed in Nature - This piece of drift wood will eventually be used to mount Harvey's first fish.

12. Tilt-Shift Photography - This is the farm where we picked the pumpkin.

13. B&W with Selective Coloring - Fall leaf.

14. Bokeh - This spider has been outside the window at work for weeks. This is the best bokeh I was able to get. Hoping to improve that technique after Christmas with a new lens.

15. Best Photo taken October 23rd - Clearly I didn't take many pictures on the 23rd. Harvey was trying on his costume for my parents.

16. Something from the Kitchen - I love my Henckels knives.

17. Something Vintage - This is a chair in the bathroom at work.

18. Something Creepy - The spider again.

19. Something Golden - My girl Julie.

20. Self -Portrait - This is me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Scavenger Hunt

Click below for Ashley's interpretations and other entries for the week:

Here are mine:

1. My Town - In my town we have these statues at various intersections and roundabouts.

2. Something Vintage - This is from the bathroom at work.

3. Tilt-Shift Photography - From the farm on our pumpkin patch visit.

4. Dress up - Halloween dress up.

5. Chocolate - Night time snack.