So Many Treasures at the Park!

We haven’t been getting out of the house much lately. That’s partly due to the fickle weather we’ve been having. One day it will be beautiful and perfect, and the next it will be rainy and freezing. One day we’re using the air conditioning, and the next it’s the heater. Back and forth and back again. Oh Texas. I still love you.

I was really excited for a trip to the park as a family. The weather was nice, and the lighting was just the right mix of sun and clouds for taking pictures even without any shade.

Cady’s favorite part of the playground is not the play but the ground. She loves mulch, rocks, or even rubber– whatever it is they use to cushion the ground for kids to play on. She was digging in the pebbles, building what she calls “sand castles,” and finding all sorts of treasures like a shell and a dirty Capri Sun straw that she put in her mouth before we had a chance to take it away. It immediately went in the trash after that of course. She must have had quite a good time because she took a nap soon after getting home even though she had woken up late yesterday.

The leaf is the flag of her “sand castle.”

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Happy New Year!

New Years is one of my favorite days of the year. I love the promise and hope of a new year. So many possibilities! I guess it’s just fitting that New Years is also our wedding anniversary. Three years married on January 1st, 2012.

I also love making resolutions. I know I make overly ambitious lists, but that’s okay. I like to dream big. Daydreaming is one of my favorite activities. Granted, I don’t always keep the resolutions, but a lot can happen throughout the course of the year. Goals change.

With that in mind, here is my list for 2012:

~ Build my photography business and continue to improve my photography. There’s a lot that goes along with each of those.
~ Shoot daily. 365 project here I come (366 actually since 2012 is a leap year).
~ Also, once a week that daily photo should be a self portrait (52). That one makes me more nervous.
~ Organize my digital files. At least delete the ones I really, really won’t need ever. They can accumulate so fast and take up so much room, especially RAW photos.
~ Unsubscribe from emails from all the stores I thought I would want to keep up to date on the sales with but never ended up actually shopping at most of the last year.
~ Eat organic. This may have been on my list last year, and while I know I won’t be able to do it 100% with everything I eat, I think at least the food I cook should be.
~ Work on our new house. There’s still so much organizing and decorating to be done around here.
~ Blog more. That’s a big one. I lost my blogging mojo in 2011, and I need to get back some motivation, especially now that I have a new photography blog as well.
~ Take better care of myself. I get sick a lot more now that I have a kid, and I think it’s due mostly to the fact that I don’t have the best eating habits, need sleep, and need exercise.

We spent New Year’s at home just the three of us because Cady was really sick with RSV and under house arrest.

When she started feeling better, we took her for a walk in her pajamas to the playground for her first outing since the weather in Texas is surprising nice this time of year (often sunny with temperatures in the 60′s and 70′s). She seems so sad and lonely here watching the big kids play, but she got really happy once she felt like she was playing, too.

Cady so happy to get out of the house for the first time since getting sick.

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The new blog!

Woohoo! Thanks to Jessica at Southtown Creative I now have a snazzy new blogsite and a new photography site. I love the promises a new year brings. Planning and dreaming big are among my favorite things to do, so I’m excited to already have the wheels in motion. There were also so many times when I wanted to write about something that happened, but I was like, ehhh my blog is has been so neglected it’s like watering a wilted flower. Now it has new life. I may not post every day like I did when I was really active on my blog, but I think it will be better this way with more meaningful posts. At least that’s what I hope! I’ve got a lot of big plans for the new year (don’t I always) like a 365 (366 for leap year) project and some big surprises, so stay tuned!

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Good News

I know it seems like I’ve forgotten all about this blog. The truth is I’ve been anxious to return and have missed blogging quite a bit. I’m going to take the next two months to try to really really take it easy and take care of myself, so that I’ll be able to come back in the new year– with a new blog design! I’ll be working with a blog designer, and I’m very excited about the changes that will be happening around here. Happy holidays!

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New Photography Gadget

I got an exciting new toy yesterday, and I’m in love! We had an Amazon gift card that we agreed to split, and I couldn’t easily think of what to do with most of my half. I got a 5-in1- reflector right away, but didn’t know what else I wanted.

Also, it’s been bumming me out for a while now that I can’t take pictures inside, and since the weather has been horrrrrrrrible most days in Texas, we’ve been stuck indoors way too much for picture-taking. Well now I don’t have to only be outside to take photos nor do I have to settle for washed out flash photos. I didn’t get a Speedlite either. *drumroll please* It’s a Lightscoop!

Even though I’d like to get a Speedlite eventually, it just isn’t in the budget for the immediate future unless I’d like to sacrifice making other purchases first. Anyway, the Lightscoop is only about $30, fits on the hotshoe of my camera, and reflects the light from my built-in flash onto the ceiling! It won’t work with high/dark ceilings, and you’ll need a light colored wall just 3-4 ft away to do a vertical shot. It’s not meant to work outside, but I saw someone post photos of shots taken outside with it. It’s so great, you just never know! I would definitely recommend checking out the product site and the Flickr group where users have uploaded sample photos taken with a Lightscoop.

I took a bunch yesterday morning after taking it out of the box. These aren’t great photos since I just snapped away randomly to play with my new toy while Cady was going through her morning routine (milk and Barney), but I did a lot of before and after shots to give an idea of what a big difference it makes.

These are what the shots look like straight out of camera:

Lightscoop

Lightscoop

Lightscoop

Lightscoop

Lightscoop

Did I mention that I took these photos INSIDE while it was DARK and RAINING out? Yes, our prayers for rain in Texas have been answered, and I was still able to take photos in our home. Fantastic.

I played around with my settings a bit after initially taking photos with the exact settings on the instructions. It says to shoot wide open, but that can vary from lens to lens.

Just to note, I took these in room with yellow lights on, hence the warmth in the photos. I didn’t use the warm version of the Lightscoop. These were taken with the standard version.

P.S. I was even thinking these would be great for taking pictures of food for cakes since there’s never enough light when I try to shoot those inside!

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Trouble

Cady can be really good, but she can also get into trouble really fast. It had literally been 10 seconds that nobody was looking at her when she ended up behind the entertainment center. She was fine until Tim tried to extract her, and that’s when she fell and scraped her head.

Cady

The scrape has been getting better, but it’s been grossing me out when I look at her scab. I mentioned to Tim that it’s getting smaller. He said something like, yeah, little pieces of it are falling off and going everywhere (I assume he means like dust). EEWWWWW!

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Keeping It Simple

I haven’t written a real post in a while. I haven’t been in the mood to blog. It was just one thing after another I guess. Carpal tunnel issues that haven’t been healed, falling too far “behind,” and not liking my layout design. I figured I’ll try keeping it simple. Just post what I want when I want and not worry about “catching up” or anything else because I’ve really wanted to start again. I do have some stories I want to document before I forget the details. As for the blog itself, I’m not sure what my plans are for it yet.

Cady in deep thought about my blog. No, not really. She is just serious sometimes when she’s eating.

Cady

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RAW

Ok, so I know I’m way behind on this since I’ve had my camera for, um, almost a year now, but I finally made the switch to taking RAW photos, and it’s so much easier! I guess it makes a difference that I finally (kind of) learned to use the PSE that Tim got me at Christmas instead of relying on Picasa (although I’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg and making lots of newbie mistakes, I’m sure).

I was afraid to make the switch to RAW because it seemed so intimidating, and gave it so much thought that I even had a dream about it!

I decided to shoot in RAW + JPEG the other day to feel “safe,” and I realized RAW was so much better after just a handful of shots and checking them out on my computer.

My first RAW shot after editing:

Cady

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Boo Blogger

Everytime I go to a blog (even from my own dashboard or a comment on my blog), Google asks me to sign in, but no matter what, it says I’m not signed in. What gives? Anyone else having this problem? I really want to start blogging again, but it seems that Blogger and Flickr (for other reasons) are making it difficult for me.

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I Live To Click Giveaway

Oh wow! They’re giving away a MEGA giveaway at I Live to Click’s new blog launch that totals for $2100 in value of photography goodies!

http://ilive2click.com/2011/05/22/2100-mega-giveaway-launch-of-i-live-2-click/

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