Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nature Walk

I really enjoyed being able to get out in the woods a couple of evenings this week. All the forest critters seemed to be out enjoying the perfect weather right along with me. This entire week was a perfect first-taste of summer. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Moment

I spent the weekend up north visiting family. It was a wonderful visit, but very difficult at the same time. My grandpa has been progressively getting worse due to Alzheimer's and Parkison's. This will likely be the last time I get to see him. Hospice was brought in about a month back, and his decline is progressing quickly. While it was nice to have some alone time with my grandma and my aunt (who lives with them), it was so hard to see papa in the state he's in, and to say my final goodbyes.

After my visit, I headed home feeling sad and drained. Only 20 or 30 minutes into my drive this eagle swooped across the road in front of my car and perched in a tree beside the road. I quickly found a spot to turn around and pulled off of the road to get some pictures. He sat there for a good 5 minutes while I leaned over and got some shots through the passenger window. I was afraid to get out of my car for fear of scaring him off. What an incredible, majestic bird. When he decided he'd posed long enough, he took a leap and soared off into the distance.

There is no correlation between the eagle and the situation with my grandpa. Yet, for some reason, I found it so comforting. I left that encounter feeling that everything will be alright, and I was so appreciative to have that moment.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Finally Did It!

I finally did my first family photo session. I was a nervous wreck about doing a photo session, and have been putting it off for some time now. But finally, I accepted the fact that if I want to do portrait photography (and I do!), I need to actually TAKE PHOTOS OF PEOPLE.

It is so much "easier" to take photos of birds, flowers - things that have no expectations for how they will turn out. But I had the next best thing - good friends. My best friend and her family have wanted some family photos, as they really don't have any family portraits. It was a great chance to practice. Here are the results:

They have such a beautiful piece of property at their new house that we did the shoot right there in the stunning wooded yard.

It was a great experience for practicing settings, and learning what I'll have to work on "remembering" for each shoot - such as closing my aperture a little when people are not all on the same plane. I usually shoot with it pretty wide open, so I have to remember to adjust that.

I also have to remember to keep the shutter speed pretty fast with the kids. There were a couple photos with the boys playing with bubbles. I got some good shots, but their flailing hads are a little blurred. They were okay shots, and their faces were clear, but would have been better with hands that weren't blurred.

I got a couple shots I really love, and some that I see what I could do to improve. But the best part of it was just that I got over that hurdle of doing my first session. For me, building my comfort level with directing the family and doing the shoot will be the hardest part. And that, is only overcome by lots of practice.

Saline, their cat, even came around to ger her photo taken. She meowed, and seeked attention, then hissed, swatted, and ran off. True Saline style.

So that's it. My first photo session. Lots of room to grow, for sure. Constructive critiques and honest opinions welcome!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Weekend

What a beautiful weekend. Sun shining. Birds in song. Families gathering.
And a walk in the woods.

Just a simply perfect weekend.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Since Flowers Seem To Be The Theme Lately....

I thought I might as well add these two other shots I have. I took the first during my flower-photo trip to the park a couple weeks ago, and the other yesterday. The clarity of these shots is some of the best I think I've acheived thus far. A couple of my faves. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rain Falling on Petals

You know we've been having some pretty nice weather if even I am happy about a gloomy rainy day. Sometimes, it's just the thing. :)

I'm pretty happy with this photo, though the bloom in focus and the droplet are not as crisp as I'd like. The light was very poor due to the storm clouds, and the breeze was making the branch sway. I had to raise my shutter speed and ISO more than I would have liked, and I would have preferred to decrease my aperture a bit. I think it would have been a litte more crisp with a smoother background.

However, I do love how the colors turned out and, ultimately, I really like this shot. I may have to go back out on a sunny day with a mist bottle and play around with the petals and drops a little more. :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Birthday To My Beautiful Mumma!

Today she is 49. Beautiful at 49. Enough years to have the experience to guide me in life and offer advice, yet enough youth to understand me and offer a shoulder to lean on and to be one of my very best friends. My beautiful mother.

Each year, each holiday, each special occasion, now reminds us to appreciate each other and our time together. It was just two years ago, only three months before my wedding day, that we were faced with uncertainty and apprehension beyond words. Mom needed an aortic replacement, and she needed it now. It was due to a heart condition we have that we have been monitored for for the last fifteen plus years. We knew this could one day come, but I guess somewhere deep down I never thought it actually would. Especially not before my wedding, RIGHT before my wedding.

In the weeks leading up to the surgery, we were sure to make moments, memories, fearing they could be our last.

We had our first Mother/Daughter Mystery Trip. I took her to a surprise location with surprise activities - Grand Haven for shopping, beach time, lighthouses, and a sailboat cruise - a tradition that we now continue, trading off surprise-planning duties yearly.

We went to the local metropark to spend a sunny afternoon laying in the grass, watching the birds, and taking photos together.

We made arrangements that no child wants to make with their parents - the dreadful "just in case" arrangements.

Then surgery day came. And went. And she was still here. She was in pain, but she was still here, and getting better every day. Still here to guide me, still here to be a shoulder, and still here as one of my very best friends. Still here to walk me down the aisle with my dad. And I hope I never take her for granted, because I know just how lucky I am to have her in my life. My beautiful Mumma. Thank you for every day.