Saturday, February 26, 2011

365 Project -- #50-56

I really felt like I was just plodding along with my photography this past week.  Rain all day Sunday, dreary clouded week...  Getting ready for my trip to Atlanta was my bright spot of hopeful dreams--warm, sunny, 70s, aaahhhhh.

By way of explanation, since I'm in Atlanta this weekend, I put this post together early, and have just auto-published it.  Since I won't be back until next week, and I wanted to be sure to get this week's images up on time, I took a few extra images from Tuesday and Wednesday and I used them for Thursday and Friday.  (Thank you for being merciful.)  I am still sticking to the rules, and have been--and will be--taking photos every day.

My week started out with food, and ended up--again--in my back yard with my macro lens.  In fact, all of these images were taken with my macro lens (except Danny's chemistry experiment).  I just love that lens!  It brings out a fascinating, hidden world.

One more note--Since I'm away, I won't be able to visit your blogs right away.  Please leave comments (I covet them!!), and I promise to visit you once I'm home.

[50] February 19 -- Belgian waffles with apples and syrup

[51] February 20 -- Sorting the beans

[52] February 21 -- Chemistry experiment

[53] February 22 -- Winter garden life

[54] February 23 -- Dormant onion

[55] February 24 -- Sage in winter

[56] February 25 -- Winter fence line

I hope you've had a much better week of finding things to shoot than I had.  And a shout-out to all you southern folks--please post flowers, and birds, and grass, and sun!!

Living life; capturing life.


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Indeed My Heritage

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SOOC and B&A -- Backyard Nature

In the past several months, I really believed that I had learned many wonderful blogging and "computerese" acronyms:
  • dh = darling husband
  • sahm = stay-at-home mom
  • btw = by the way
  • imo = in my opinion
Although those are for blogging, and instant messaging--oh, I'm sorry, I mean IMing--the photography world, it seems, also has some interesting camera-ese, acronyms:
  • B&W = black and white (this one is easy!)
  • DOF = depth of field
Then I discovered a new one when I came across these four little letters:  SOOC.  Huh?  But, I fancy myself an intelligent individual and living anti-proof of the proverb You can't teach an old dog new tricks.  It took reading just one post and studying a few photos for me to realize that the images I was looking at were Straight Out Of the Camera.  (You photographers are all rolling your eyes at me, because of course you already knew what it meant.  But please bear with me, typing it out here is a helpful part of my learning process.  Honest.)

So I decided that I would post two SOOC images, with B&A (before and after).  So without further ado, and with a hint of pride in my "voice," here they are.

SOOC -- Brussels sprouts heart

Post edit -- enhanced color

Okay, I really should have written down what I did to make it look like this.  Plus, I've edited it just a little more than I normally would have.  Here's what I remember, using Lightroom3:  I increased exposure and blacks, decreased the clarity, really bumped up the luminance, and vignetted the image (darkened around the edges).

And look!  Another heart shape for February's Project 365!  I obviously set up the leaves for this shot.  Story:  On our back yard patio, there is a pile of dead vegetation from my autumn garden.  Yep, it sat all winter, and the pile was revealed after the snow's demise.  And a Brussels sprouts plant was lying on top, so I broke off two leaves and created my masterpiece.  *grin*

SOOC Number Two:

SOOC -- Receding snow

I do like the above image; the snow is so sparkly!  The sun had shown its face briefly, which was very nice since the wind was whipping my hair every which way and I was freezing.  Fifty degrees doesn't feel warm when the wind is blowing 30mph!

I edited the image two different ways.  The first, below, is a black and white edit, deepening the blacks and adding clarity and sharpness to show off the snow's sparkles.  I then added a dark vignette to draw the eye toward the sparkly snow.

Post edit -- b&w

For the second edit below, I used a Lightroom pre-set which removed much of the green in the grass, but gave a boost to its saturation.  It also enhanced the blue of the snow, which I "oomphed" with extra clarity.  I then added a light vignette to offset the sharpness and richness.

Post edit -- enhanced color

I like aspects of both edited images--the sparkle of the black and white snow, and the rich but slightly dreamy feel of the enhanced color image.

Even a wind-whipped afternoon can produce some greatly satisfying time in the "editing room!"

Living life; capturing life.


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Indeed My Heritage

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Scripture and A Snapshot -- Boundaries Established

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Scripture & A Snapshot!

You have established all the boundaries of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.
Psalm 74:17 nasb

My woodland hydrangea lies dormant, waiting for spring's warmth to bud once more.  The Lord will soon bring thawing and spring, for flowers and grass to bud and bloom and grow.

Living life; capturing life.


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Indeed My Heritage

Saturday, February 19, 2011

365 Project -- #43-49

Since I was dealing with a cold last week, Ellie (my Canon 40D) sat most of the time.  I did pull her out, and even get outside for some pretty neat shots, every day except one.  As I "hibernated" last Saturday, my first photo was a shot of opportunity.  Danny had come down into the cave (aka, basement) while I was editing some images.  He sat down and grinned at me, and since my camera was right there...  The "turban" on his head is a king-size fleece blanket used by whoever is cold at the moment (usually me).  The image really doesn't do justice to the height of that thing.  lol

[43] February 12 -- Danny.  Almost 18.  Homeschooled.  Future surgeon.  :)

[44] February 13 -- Melting snow on our patio

[45] February 14 -- Garden bench awaiting spring

I was fiddling around with the grain setting in Lightroom3 with the above image.  I don't mess too much with my images, except for b&w/color, and the general corrections.  But I do like this one; it's almost like a pixel painting (for lack of a better description).  :)  Plus I like the fact that I trudged outside in my slippers (no coat) on actual grass spots to snap the shot.  Let's go, Spring!  (I added some grain to the below image as well.)

[46] February 15 -- February skies

[47] February 16 -- One shoe in the garden

So in visiting your (and others') blogs, I happened upon a "challenge" photo.  Is it once per week?  Or per month?  I find it challenging enough to take a photo every day, so I haven't been paying attention to the special challenges.  Anyway, I filed away the fact that people were taking photos of hearts and heart shapes.  And as I was outside this afternoon, I saw a few of those heart shapes.

I must confess I didn't pick up my camera on the 17th, so I'm posting the images below for the 17th and the 18th.  (Thanks for letting me fudge a day.)

[48] February 17 -- Heart leaves {muted tones}

 [49] February 18 -- Heart of snow and grass

I hope you've had an awesome week of shots!

Living life; capturing life.


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Indeed My Heritage

Friday, February 18, 2011

Like a Leaf

I spent some time a few afternoons ago exploring the yard around my home.  Curiosity--and slightly warmer weather--drove me outdoors with my camera, Ellie, and her lovely macro lens to see what we could find.  Oh, and find is just what we did--all sorts of amazing bits of God's thawing world.  :)

Snow melts from hidden autumn

I noticed that autumn's leaves, buried under winter's snow, revealed themselves through the melting ice.  And in each leaf--though long dead and browned--I found a strange beauty, and a lesson from the Lord.

A single leaf, resting on crystals of ice; fallen, trampled, buried, revealed.

Leaf from coral bells, retaining its marmalade colors

Even though these leaves are beautiful, a reflection of God's natural world, they no longer live, cut off from the plant or tree that sustained them through warmer months.

A lesson from the Lord came as I searched my beloved concordance:  leaves, leaf, leafy.  And I "happened upon" the following verses:

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on Your name,
Who arouses himself to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us
And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.
But now, O LORD, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 64:7-9 nasb

I do not endeavor to "preach" or even to "teach" here, but to simply share His Word.  I leave you with this final image of another leaf, curled and withered on the snow, and a reminder that I was withered, taken away by my iniquities, but now--oh this beautiful thought!  The LORD is my Father.  I am the work of His hand.

{worthy of a blog header}

Living life; capturing life.


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Indeed My Heritage

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back Yard Thaw

When I feel comfortable running around outside in a jacket, well, then there's a spring thaw going on.  :)

Melting snow on the patio

Y'know, there are so many great photographers out there, but anyone can grab a camera and search for something to shoot.  And when you look--sometimes you really have to look--a new world opens up.  Each crystal of snow, every grain of sand in the concrete, one blade of grass still standing after the snowstorm.  Just look.  Enjoy the marvelous world of a spring thaw, close up.  :)

Melting snow -- edited to look like...?

Macro =  dead plant pushing up through the snow
From Afar = a beaver's den (that's what it looked like to me!)

Dormant woodland hydrangea

The sidewalk is revealed

I love the shot above not only because my eye meanders down the sidewalk, but also because I know that the sidewalk curves only slightly.  But the snow reveals Danny's best effort to clear a "one-lane" path along the front of our yard in the days following our blizzard.  :)

Living life; capturing life.


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Indeed My Heritage

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Scripture and a Snapshot -- Snow Like Wool

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Scripture & A Snapshot!

He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes.
He casts forth His ice as fragments;
Who can stand before His cold?
Psalm 147:16-17 nasb

The snow on the window certainly looks like wool!  It blew through the outer screen and stuck on all our windows during the recent blizzard.  It really felt like He threw the snow at us, casting the fragmented ice all around us.  He is an awesome God.

Living life; capturing life.


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Indeed My Heritage

Saturday, February 12, 2011

365 Project -- #36-42

This week, I focused on shooting with my macro lens.  I haven't felt like getting out--it's too cold plus I have health issues/headcold--so it was indoor photography for me.  And I realized as I was adding images to this post that almost all were about FOOD.  Yum.

[36] Feb.5 -- Whole-wheat spaghetti swirl

[37] Feb. 6 -- Garlic bulb

[38] Feb. 7 -- Bread's beginnings

[39] Feb. 8 -- Winter tomatoes

[40] Feb. 9 -- Tea and honey

[41] Feb. 10 -- Tea and Hawaiian honey

[42] Feb. 11 -- Bird's nest at dusk

The last image is proof that I did indeed step out onto the back patio to capture the nest in our tree, just as the sun set over the mountain of snow beyond.  The bird who built this nest pulled blue plastic "threads" out of the winter cover of our swimming pool--which makes for one very diligent bird, and one interesting bird's nest.  :)

Living life; capturing life.


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Indeed My Heritage

Monday, February 7, 2011

Photography Lessons at the Riverwalk

There is this really neat place along the DuPage River where you can sit on benches and people-watch, enjoy a dandelion fountain, even walk along the river on winding red-brick pathways.  The Naperville Riverwalk is also a great place to take photos.  And it's where my friend Janeen and I met last week--the day before the blizzard, to be exact--to teach and learn a few photography lessons.

"S" curves and curves in general

 Diagonal lines and focus

The Rule of Thirds, and the "sweet spot"

Perspective (worm's eye view--or almost)


Just so you know, the Riverwalk is nicer in the spring and autumn for color, and summer if you love people.  Okay, it's nice in the winter if you don't mind the cold.  After our really quick photography lesson, it took me about 20 minutes of alternately holding each hand in front of the car heater before I started feeling warm.

Living life; capturing life.


visit my family blog!
Indeed My Heritage