Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Fresh Air and Sunshine

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Our Disney Training Plan continues! We’ve walked these kids all over town, practiced wearing Linc and Finn in different carriers, worked to break in new shoes, discovered Evan’s new sandals give him blisters, tried different combinations of kids in the stroller, and caught a ton of Pokemon. Because it turns out PokemonGo is a really great incentive to get a reluctant 8-year-old out of the house. Our town has lots of pokestops and plenty of gyms, so if we’re willing to put in a couple miles it’s pretty much guaranteed something exciting will happen in the app. I am fine with this plan. My new sneakers have proven themselves to be both light-weight and comfortable, my portable phone charger works great, and my legs are showing some definite muscle definition. WHO KNEW walking was good for you? WHAT A TOTAL SURPRISE.

As a photographer, it kills me a little when we’re in an amazing location and my kids are in…not the best outfits for pictures. I want them to be comfortable and be allowed to express their own preferences. I also want to take pictures I can hang on my walls. But as far as real life goes, this is accurate.  No children wear spotless neutrals ALL the time.

The next time we went walking, I brought my film camera. I’m super excited to see how this exact same photo looks on Kodak 400. It’s hilarious that after all the money and time I’ve spent on digital photography I am most into my $26 film camera right now.

p.s. She doesn’t have a scrape on her forehead. It’s barbecue sauce. I didn’t ask any further questions.

I will never stop being amazed by how much happier I am when I’m getting a daily dose of fresh air and sunshine. I mean, I’m not ready to throw out my Zoloft quite yet, but my stress level being down means the whole house is calmer. I few more weeks and we’ll all like each other so much our Disney trip will be extra magical.

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Sit Back & Relax

Friday, April 28th, 2017

April shower are just about over and that means I’m excited to get my May flowers into the garden in the next couple weeks!

Wayfair sent me two unfinished wood Adirondack Chairs to customize so I could put my own spin on them and add them to our backyard patio. I’m still in the process of cleaning the space up and getting our garden ready for spring and summer. Nature does not want to cooperate. I don’t want to plant anything until I’m sure it won’t freeze. I can’t do yard clean up if all the leaves are wet because it’s been raining for days. I can’t paint chairs on the patio if it’s pouring. And also (this has nothing to do with nature) it’s hard to make my garden dreams come true if my handyman (aka husband) is always gone on work trips.

But between rainstorms and travel, E got the chairs together and out to the garage and I got them painted and accessorized.

The chairs are solid wood and really sturdy. They came in long thin boxes and it took E a little while to put them together, but they are definitely not coming apart again. (They almost ended up living in the basement though, because they baaaaaarely fit up the stairs.) They’re very generously sized, with wide armrests perfect for resting drinks.

The idea of painting in between every one of the slats with a brush was exhausting, so I went with the easier option. I bought 3 cans of the yellow and used 2.5 of them to cover both chairs. I used painter’s tape and some old paper to define the stripes I wanted to paint. To be totally honest I just did my best guesstimate and it turned out FINE – the screws on the back of the chair made it easy to line up the tape and I was trying to finish during naptime so finding a tape measure wasn’t going to happen.

How fun are those colors? Our outdoor seating is dark brown with beige cushions so that bright pop is going to be so cute out in the yard. Our old wooden table fell apart over the winter so we’re in the market for new patio furniture table too, but these will be perfect for sitting and relaxing with snacks and a glass of wine or a beer now that it’s finally warming up.

And today it is FINALLY nice out, so I moved the chairs to the yard where I can keep an eye on Linc’s dirt digging work while I enjoy the sunshine. I picked up a couple of throw pillows to make them even cuter. I got super lucky and found these at Big Lots – aren’t they perfect?

Linc definitely approves of the new chairs.

And now that the sun is shining I can mow that crazy grass. I’m so happy it’s finally time to sit back and relax in the yard!

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My Week(336) in iPhone Photos

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

I can’t believe I am still doing this, even after falling behind, even on weeks that are super boring, even though when I started I had ONE KID and was pregnant with Caroline. The blogger friend who inspired it hasn’t blogged in years. And yet I refuse to give it up – it’s like the longest baby book in the world.

Sunday:

Feeding baby goats is fun even if you’re a cool 8-year-old

Baby snuggles, front and back

We are SO GLAD it’s spring

Monday:

This is a good look

Selling some of my favorite baby wraps

Unicorn helmet is life

Tuesday:

This is why I usually wear him

So far, the Caffeine eye cream and the Niacinamide are fantastic

I’m being attacked by balloons

Wednesday:

Eight today!

Sup, frog?

Linc has to ALWAYS be touching someone

Thursday:

Rainy day walking

Super excited to be at the doctor, I guess

I don’t know what’s happening here

Friday:

Skillz

Everyone loves Bumpa

Oreo cake was requested, Oreo cake was purchased

Saturday:

Still 8, and I still can’t believe he’s so old

They made hand puppets out of the silverware sleeves

Bubble bath + tub jets = LOTS OF SUDS

We turned off the heat in the house, which means I’m putting away the winter coats but also wearing a sweater all day because it’s actually still pretty cold. But the trees and flowers and blooming and that means winter is OVER. I had forgotten how dirty children get when they’re out in the garden. I should buy stock in a bubble bath company.

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It’s Baby Goat Season!

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

I love baby goat season.

I think the only thing I love more than baby goat season is Linc feeding baby goats.

The place is Beltane Farm in Lebanon, they let you visit, tour, and taste cheese from 11-3 every Sunday in April and May.

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Photography: Making The Most of a Convenient Location

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

I wanted to take some photos of Caroline in her new princess dress last week, but it was dinner time and Multicultural Night at school so my timeframe for this magical photo shoot was about 7 minutes. I live on a teeny tiny lot in a city neighborhood, so meadows and forests are in short supply. We do have an empty lot across the street, but most of it has been turned into a community garden (the vegetable kind) by a church.

But the weather was warm-ish and the sun was shining and my model was cooperative, so we popped across the street to borrow their grass, figuring we would just be making the most of a convenient location.

And we found a beautiful field of crocuses!

But it wasn’t actually that magical. It was just a little square of flowers between a driveway, a dead spot, and the church’s mulch pile. Here’s the cell phone pullback shot of Caroline in the same location:

 

There are several tricks you can use to maximize a less-than-ideal location if it’s all you have to work with. I knew when we went out to shoot I would be trying to disguise the background so I choose my 85mm f/1.8 lens, which is a medium length and is good at separating the subject from their surroundings. Once we found the flowers I decided to shoot at about f/2.2 or f/2.8 so I could include a good slice of the photo in focus – I wanted to be able to get Caroline’s whole profile in focus instead of just her eyelashes, or her whole body as opposed to just a sleeve.

Here are 5 more pieces of advice to help turn a bad spot into a good spot:

  1. Light! The sun is starting to go down and partially blocked by some of those trees, which means a great glowy kind of backlight instead of harsh overhead shadows. If the sun had been coming from the opposite direction I would have shot the other way (which would have been unfortunate, because there’s pavement the other way).
  2. Work your angles. I took a lot of these photos from overhead with Caroline crouching down, which includes a lot more grass/flowers and a lot less background. You can also get super low yourself, and shoot straight across the ground – you’ll end up with fewer distracting background elements.
  3. Get close. Fill the frame with your subject instead of trying to get too much of the environment. Yes I wanted to capture the crocuses, but having her hold them or shooting the flowers on their own is a good option.
  4. Horizontal vs vertical can be your friend. I shoot horizontally 90% of the time, but in this location I didn’t have a lot of space to work with. To create some variety in my shots, I took a series of photos vertically. Sure, she was standing almost next to a dirt pile, but because the photo is narrow you can’t see it.
  5. Don’t say cheese. Almost none of these photos have Caroline looking at the camera. Instead, you’re looking at what she’s looking at – her hands, the flowers in front of her, etc. Let your subject guide the viewers eye into the foreground instead of the background.

 

If this was a client shoot instead of just a fun session for Caroline, I would have taken the extra step in  post-processing and fully removed the fence posts, dirt spots, and blue trash can from the background of a few of these. It’s not a hard fix in Photoshop, but I’ve gotten in the habit of using only Lightroom to edit my 365 photos or blog photos, just because it’s so easy.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Making the most of convenient locations

 

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