Good gracious is this ever overdue. Again, I apologize for the long silence there. Today I have a new photo to share with you and some fun news about Fredrik Backman. Those who know me and my book review history know I adore Fredrik Backman's work. He's absolutely astounding. Anyone who asks me for book recommendations can be fairly certain I'll mention his name. So of course, I'm delighted that his next book, BEARTOWN, is coming out at the end of April. In addition to that, the film version of A MAN CALLED OVE has been chosen by Sweden to compete in the foreign language Oscar category. I saw this film and just adored it—it's true to the essence of Ove and the man Backman created. Of course, I would have liked for it to be about three hours longer so they could have flushed out more of the delightful supporting characters from the plot, but it's a film. What can ya do?
On to New Photo Friday. Last weekend Rufus and I went to a dog fair in the area, so today's photo comes from that trip. I was quite smitten with this St. Bernard puppy. She was a bit resistant to having her picture taken, so I was delighted to catch this shot.
I've started setting up a mini studio with some new-to-me equipment I was fortunate to acquire. So you'll probably see some pictures from that new set-up in the near future.
One last little book tidbit—o.k., really it's a big, honkin' bite—for those in the Northeast Ohio area. Another author I recommend regularly and obsessively is Craig Johnson. Hopefully you already know he writes the Walt Longmire mystery series...which the TV series LONGMIRE is based on. He'll be at the Strongsville Public Library on Wednesday, May 24th. Save this date and register NOW. It's free, but I'm fairly certain the event will fill fast, so make sure you get your spot. I'm just thrilled he'll be here in the area. Hope to see you there.
Happy Friday, friends. Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday! If you're observing Christmas this weekend, I hope you're ready for the festivities. I'm not really, but it's going to happen one way or the other. 😉 I mentioned in last week's post that I would be doing a Santa Claus shoot last weekend and that's where my picture today comes from, although probably not what you'd expect. Because we were setting up the facility before sunrise, I was able to snap this shot outside in the parking lot at Lakeview Park where they have a lovely light display all over. I was tickled by this beach volleyball scene with gingerbread people. The volleyballs blink on and off so it appears as though they are going over the net. I shot this, obviously, with a long exposure so all of the volleyballs appear lit in the image except for the fourth, which was burned out. This is a crop of the original image and I realized when I cropped it that my focus was in the center of the picture, so gingerbread man is sharp but gingerbread girl is slightly blurry. That's my biggest regret on this image. The beach scene to the right of ginger-boy is sharp, but I removed that to declutter the image. What I really liked about it: I got the long exposure and the volleyballs all came out lit. I love the reflection in the puddles on the asphalt. And it's whimsical and fun. Festive for the season. I hope you enjoy it too. The technical details: I obviously shot this on a tripod. The shutter speed was 4 seconds, ISO 100 and aperture 5.0. I should have used a larger aperture setting and a slower shutter speed to get little miss ginger-girl sharper. I may go back another night or morning and try again. I'll also frame the picture to only include the volleyball part of the scene. Next week I'll have my end of the year lists for reading and a final new photo for the year. I hope you'll stop by and check everything out. In the mean time, happiest of holidays to you one and all.
Once again, I have to apologize for the delay since my last post. I am well-meaning, but somehow the days just get away from me. I have a number of odds and ends to share with you before I share my photo for this week. The first is the December Nerdy Special List. Those of you who have been following from the old blog know that I contribute to Pop Culture Nerd's monthly Nerdy Special List. The end of year list for 2016 is rather nice, especially if you might be looking for a last-minute gift idea. There are some great titles over there. Shelf Awareness had their favorite books of 2016 issue and I have two non-fiction reviews included in that list. And today is the last day to enter AudioFile's contest to win 6 months of free audiobooks in conjunction with their editors' favorites of 2016. I have three reviews in various categories for that issue. Check it out...and enter to win! I'm into my 2017 books now, so I'll be posting my favorites lists soon. Be on the lookout. O.k. so that brings me to this week's new photo. It comes from my photography class on Sunday where I was again working on lighting. I've been using the Cactus RF60 Wireless flash. In my set-up for this shoot I was using two flashes and the V6 transceiver. I have been quite impressed with the Cactus products. They've been easy to use and make the shoot go smoother, which is a plus for a photographer who's still mastering all this lighting business! In addition to the flashes I used a Godox softbox on one flash. I need to get a grid to go with my softbox, but for what I paid for it, it's a good, portable, easy-to-use diffuser. The kit I bought comes with the S-type bracket, but you can buy kits without that and pay a little less. My photo was taken with my Tamron 17-50mm lens at an aperture of 8.0. My shutter speed was 1/100 and my ISO was 100. So what's your favorite equipment that you use for lighting? Do you have any tips or tricks that you like to follow for lighting? Feel free to share with us. And share a photo if you have one today. I'd love to stop by and see it. Hope you have a great weekend. I'm going to help out with a Santa photo shoot. I'm sure I'll have fun stories and pictures to share after. Stay warm. Happy reading and shooting!
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you had a great week. We had a lovely week here in Northeast Ohio. I'm trying to soak it all up because I know it's not going to stay for much longer. *sigh* I've had an especially busy photography week, doing more work on my class project and taking some pictures of a Halloween house. I had hoped to post a Woollybear Festival picture this week, but I didn't end up staying long at the festival because it was SO crazy crowded. At least a half a dozen people told me Rufus looked like a woollybear. Too funny. Anyway, this weekend is going to bring some photography excitement for me as I'm going to be a second shooter at a small wedding. Cross your fingers for me, and pray I don't mess up. I'm a wee bit nervous.
JenSince I just posted about my project last week and I put the Halloween house on Facebook, I'll share a picture I took this week of my spider. She comes out every night on my porch and spins her web. I'm trying to capture her for a creepy-crawlies competition with our Erie Shores Photography Club. This one isn't going to cut it--it's not very sharp--but I'm going to keep trying. I shot this one using my 50mm lens at ISO 6400, aperture f1.8, shutter speed 1/100s.
MaddeeThis week Maddee has switched to her Canon Rebel, which she says is "the original model, actually, which shows how old it is!" She took this stunning image in Carmel, CA, just after the sun went down. She used her automatic setting and no filter. I love the clouds in this one! And that does it for another New Photo Friday. I hope you enjoyed our new photos for this week. Let us know if you have a new photo from this week that we can come and check out. In the mean time, I'm off to practice for tomorrow and try to keep from hyperventilating. Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you've enjoyed a good week. It's been a little rainy in my neck of the woods, but alas, summer has vacated the area. I saw our first signs of leaves changing colors. I love fall's palate, but I always mourn the loss of summer. To alleviate a little of my melancholy, I'm hoping to take Rufus to the Woollybear Festival this weekend. I also had an, um, interesting run-in with a possum this week. It wasn't pretty--for me, the possum is just fine. 😉 And I registered for Murder & Mayhem in Milwaukee this week. Anyone planning to be there, too? Should be a grand time. Anyway, we've got some fun photos for New Photo Friday, so let's get on with it, shall we?
JenI mentioned earlier that for my current photography class we have a special project. I've been working on that project and wanted to share one of my current iterations today. In the past three weeks this has already morphed quite a bit and I see more significant changes in the future, but thought I'd get your thoughts on it at this point. The theme of my project is "Love of Story," and I'm trying to evoke a comforting, reassuring emotion in reading. I'm using a couple of light sources and have been playing with their placement and power. The ring in the gutter of the book is a new addition and I am still working on getting the lighting on it correct so it creates the heart shape evenly in the shadow. I shot this time around with a 2.8 aperture, an ISO of 100 and a shutter speed of 1/160. When I go to work on it next, I'll be removing some of the clutter -- the post-its, the bookmark. My eventual plan is to have tea in the cup, but I want to get the composition right before I move on to that step. And obviously the lighting needs work so my entire background is not black and the highlights on the book aren't blown out. Other thoughts about things you like or don't like? All constructive criticism welcome!
MaddeeMaddee really loves taking flower shots. And she is sharing one with us this week for her new photo. This is what she told me when she sent the picture: "Taken with my iPhone, no filter. I just love the balance of rich colors and textures with the background faded out. I decided to start naming my photos for fun… this is Flower Candy." I love that name, especially since the flowers look good enough to eat! And there you have it from us this week. Do you have a new photo to share for this week? Let us know in the comments so we can stop by and see your work! All photos, all levels of ability welcome. Have a super weekend, friends.
Happy Friday, friends. And thanks to everyone who stopped by when I was off camping with Rufus. I'll share a post about our weekend on Monday. So much wonderfulness again this year—plus fun photos to share. And a special thanks to my fellow shutterbugs who still posted along with us even though I was out roughing it. You guys are fantastic! So now let's move on to this week's new photo!
JenSince I'll be sharing dog photos with you on Monday, I opted for a picture I took on Wednesday at the Prayers for Maria sunflower Field of Hope. I'm going again at a better time of day, but despite the challenging lighting, I managed to get this shot that I really love. I took this with my 18-55mm lens: 100 ISO, 5.6 aperture, 1/250 shutter speed. The little holes that some bug chewed out of the leaf are what attracted me to this flower, but I really love how the depth of field worked out in this one—both foreground and background. I also like the various textures in this shot. The area I still want to improve on is the lighting to get those colors to pop a bit stronger, but while last week I wasn't so thrilled with my image, this week I'm rather smitten with it. But you can still feel free to chime in and say what you might have done differently or what you think would have made it even better.
Maddee J.Maddee nailed the atmosphere in her picture this week. This is what she had to say about it: "I took this at Castello di Amarosa in Calistoga, CA. It’s a newish winery which is built to look like an old Tuscan castle. Super cool place for photography—I’ve taken literally hundreds of photos there. The only thing that’s bad about taking pix there is that there are always so many people around, so I work hard to angle the shot to not have people in it! While sometimes people are good for scale, I generally like artistic shots without people. Anyway, I adore their gargoyles at the front gate!" And there you have it. Our new photos for Week 4. Like usual, if you're posting a new photo today—or you posted one Wednesday—let us know in the comments and I'll be stopping by to check them out. I'm having so much fun sharing photos with you all. Thanks for playing along. Have a great weekend.
Happy Friday friends and photo lovers. I'm excited to share my new photo with you today. I had another great opportunity to take pictures this week: we went to the Lorain County Fair.
JenI actually picked a picture that wasn't my favorite. I'll be adding some of my favorites to the gallery soon (I hope), but in the mean time, I chose this one of the swing ride. It was a lovely day, but because I was working on stopping the movement of the ride, I used a 400 ISO with a shutter speed at 1/4000 sec. My aperture was 5.0. This time I was using a wider angle lens, my 18-55mm, with spot metering. I was happy with the dynamic range I got in this picture. I have a tendency to blow out the highlights in my sky in pictures like this, but managed to capture that well. I like the sharpness. I was able to stop the action. And I really like the bold colors. That said, I wish I wouldn't have cut off the swings on each side. Those pull the attention off the picture. And maybe if I was higher (elevated physically, not chemically) taking the picture, I might like the perspective a little better. I also wish I would have gotten the shot with some people on the opposite chairs. They are weighted all to one side, but all of the shots I ended up with had them on the same side of the ride I was taking the picture from. I did prefer the shots from this side of the ride because of the tops of the booths opposite. I was standing in front of game booths and they didn't have the same colorful appeal that the food booths and rides did. What else do you think I could have done to make this picture better?
Maddee JMaddee knew I would use one of my fair pictures, so she chose one of fake hanging farmyard animals that she took in a cheese shop at the Oxbow Market in Napa. I have a feeling I'm going to have fun taking pictures when I go to visit Maddee! Hers was taken with her iPhone and she applied a sepia filter.
Kaye B.Kaye sent me her photo for this week, but I want to encourage you to visit her site to see her picture. I'm trying to share the links both in the comments below and in my social media right now while the feature is still in its infancy. So I hope you'll toddle over to Kaye's Meanderings and Muses to see her picture. And she even used the theme for this week! If you've posted a new picture this week--even if it's not today--share your link in the comments so we can stop by and see it. And if you're considering participating, please join in. We'd love to have you. Don't feel you have to participate every week if you don't want to or simply can't. Join us when you can. We're celebrating our love of photography, no rules, just fun! Have a great weekend everyone!
Happy Friday! I hope everyone's had a nice week and are looking forward to the weekend. I'm excited to kick off the first New Photo Friday. My niece and I went to the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo on Wednesday, so my choice for this week's photo is coming from our photography day there.
JenI was quite excited with the pictures I got at the zoo. It was my first zoo visit with my new Canon: a Rebel EOS T6i. I'm switching from the T3 and boy is this an experience now. I shot all day with my 75-300mm lens. This picture of the grizzlies is with auto white balance, spot metering and a 5.6 aperture. It was a bit overcast and I wanted to get the action of the bears playing in the water, so my ISO was set at 400 and my shutter speed was 1/640--no flash. I was happy with the action I caught, but I was in continuous shooting mode, so there were some other shots I discarded. This was my favorite and I was especially delighted with the composition given I had to shoot from above the bears (you know, pesky things like safety and all that). I didn't crop this at all, but I did reduce the size for posting.
Maddee J.I'm delighted to have my friend and employer also participating with me in New Photo Friday. She's a bit of a photography buff, too, so she's going to be motivated to take pictures for the weekly feature as well. Her picture comes from another great photo op event--a fair, the Nevada County Fair to be precise. So from grizzlies to cows. Love the rich colors in this one, and that barn dance poster is great. If you're participating on your own blog, I hope you'll post a link in the comments. I'm going to work on getting a linking program before next week's post but for this week, just let us know where you are so we can come take a look at your image! And I'm interested in your feed back on my photo. I want to learn from this exercise, so what would you have done differently? What did you like? (Just a reminder to keep comments constructive. Anything cruel or inappropriate will be removed.) Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a look at this inaugural post of New Photo Friday. Have a wonderful weekend!
I know, it's not Friday. Most days I have a hard time remembering what day of the week it is. When you work from home (and don't have kids going to school or activities), those logistical details start to blur together. But today I do know it's Tuesday. I'm talking about New Photo Friday today to introduce you to this weekly feature and invite you to join along if you are interested. I'll have the first official post--first official new photo--this Friday. I'm starting this feature as a way to motivate myself to purposely make time each week to work on my photography. To look for new subjects and techniques, try new equipment when I'm able, etc. If you'd like to participate you can use this feature however you'd like. If you'd like to use it as a reason just to post a photograph on Friday, that's great. If you'd like to request feedback from your audience on your photo, super. I'll be talking about what I liked or disliked about my photo--I may not always post my favorites. I may post ones I was disappointed with for one reason or another and talk about what I might have done differently, or ask for suggestions on different ways to approach my subject. For me, I'd like it to be motivation and learning and improving. For anyone who participates, I want it to be what you would like to make it. Let's celebrate photography and just have fun with it--together! I've also had requests for specific topic ideas for each week. I, personally, have found I don't stick with those. I've tried to do the photo-a-day with given subject ideas, but I fall off quickly. For those of you who like that structure, I've made this list for each of the Fridays to the end of the year. You can use this for inspiration if you like, but please don't feel like you can't participate if you didn't use the assigned subject. Also, there will be people who are not bloggers participating. They will be submitting their pictures to me and I'll include them with my image. So if you'd like to participate that way, you're welcome to do so, I'll just need your pictures and whatever you'd like to say about them, ask about them, etc., by Wednesday evening to be included in that Friday's post. And if you're interested in participating that way, please send me a couple sentences about YOU with your first picture. I think that about covers it for New Photo Friday, but if you have any questions, please just drop me a line. And finally, I made this graphic you can use if you'd like. If you'd like me to send you the original image file or just code you can paste into your posts, give me a holler. Whether you're participating or not, I hope you'll stop by on Fridays to check out the photos. I look forward to your thoughts and insights.