Granny Boot Camp ended with Jacob's mom and little brother Nathan (2) spending the week-end. It's great fun to teach the little ones about hens and horses.
The child shows no fear.
The blogs that I follow have inspired me to learn more about photography. I've always had a passion for taking pictures, starting as a young kid using mother's square box kind of a camera. Once I had my teaching job, one of the first splurges was a used Pentax Spotmatic 35 mm SLR. I still have it and it was faithful, full proof, and my best friend. One pal I hung around with spent a summer shooting cowboys at rodeos--in the arena, while they rode their bucking horses and bulls. I was never brave enough or fast enough to get in the arena. MJ's aim was to sell the photos to the cowboys. So she'd shoot the photos then we'd go home to her basement darkroom and develop the photos. I dragged that heavy Pentax to England and Ireland along with a little point and shoot, taking over 400 hundred Kodachromes. On our last trip to England, I went digital and the Pentax has been retired.
Today I use 3 cameras: two Olympus point and shoots and my Canon EOS Rebel that I absolutely love. But sometimes I long for the days of the old Pentax. At one time I understood f. stops, focal point, and aperture settings. Today I seem to rely more on the automatic features. Some of my best macros shots are taken with the little Olympus, though. I want to buy a macro for the Cannon and maybe even a larger telephoto. Currently I use the 75-300mm that I bought with the camera to take pictures of birds, but I could use a bigger lens. With the digital age came the ability to edit our photos. I use Picasa for my collages, but rely on iPhotos to do other editing. I have Photoshop on my work laptop, but it is far too advanced for me. When we get our basement finished (We are finishing 1900 sq. ft. of basement--one large room with a craft, sewing, library area. I haven't blogged about the project, for who wants to read about drywall and paint, anyway), I hope to set up some sort of little photo studio. Enough of the narrative. Here is my week in photos:
I want to photograph flowers with a black background. So I did a bit of an Internet search. Simple. Use black velvet as the background and the camera's own flash. I set a box on my dining table and laid the black fabric over the box. Only instead of black velvet, I bought black fleece because it was cheaper at $8 a yard instead of the $15 a yard for velvet. The two, however, are not the same. The fleece does not have the sheen, richness, or texture as velvet, so when fabric is half off, I'll buy the velvet. But the results weren't too bad. I need more practice. My lovely Gertrude Jekyll, my only David Austin, looks near perfect. Any one have any suggestions on how to improve my shots?
I call her The Sleeping Mermaid. I bought her years ago at the Renaissance Fair. She is just a plaque that I had hanging on our fence at the old house.
I found this Lenox teapot at a junk store for $35. Had to have the rest of the tea set. The other pieces I found on Replacement.com. No flash, so the gold edges are a bit out of focus, giving an interesting effect.
Hot Papaya. Shooting the garden after dark will give a black background, too.
This alum is amazing. I'll add more photos of it later.
Try shooting your garden at night. The sprinkler had just shut off, so the garden was shinny and wet.
I nearly stepped on Peter Rabbit. I went back into the house to get the camera, expecting little bunny to have left the area. But he was still there, frozen in place. We have quite a few cotton tails. When they are threatened, they freeze in place until they feel it is safe to flee and then they make a mad dash for their home in the neighbors' wind break, running as fast as their little legs can take them across the pasture.
Rabbit on the Run
And that was last week. We'll see what this week brings. What are your photo tricks and challenges? For you all inspire me.