Monday, June 30, 2008


We took the kids to see Wall-E yesterday afternoon. I loved it so much, I had to blog about it! It was just such a great movie. If you get a chance, see it! It will make you think about how you treat the Earth....I guarantee. Also, how you treat yourself.

.....and it is a love story as well, so the girl in me loved it all the more for that!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Photo project assignment #1

So, as some of you may know, I am taking a photography class. I just received my first photo project back from my instructor with the comments and critiques and wanted to share them with everyone.
Photo 1 Objective: Use the rule of thirds to create as much emphasis as possible on your subject .

“This is your daughter Emily. Great shot! I love the angle. I really like not only the angle but how you have taken off, sort of fragmented her and didn’t have to plunk her right down in the center of the frame. You made a composition out of her hair and her eyes, the shape of her face; which I love. I like how close in you are and how you’ve really filled the frame. Beautiful, candid little moment here. Her eyes are just so sparkly, and it is just a beautiful, relaxed facial expression. Very nice color. It looks like you were in the shade here. You have some really nice, even, diffused lighting on her face. I think it looks great! Good exposure and nice, sharp focus. Very great start!”

Photo 2 Objective: Use slow shutter speed to convey motion.

“Okay, this is really good. Definitely fulfils the requirements of the assignment. Now, the next thing I would say for you to do is pick a different subject. Now that you know how to do the technique, now put that technique to use and just challenge yourself to do something a little more creative because I know that you can based on picture number one. You can do it with several people, one person, try the panning effect. Now it’s just a matter of utilizing the techniques, but good job on this.”

Photo 3 Objective: Use fast shutter speed to "freeze" subject.

“Oh wow! Water dripping off your house…(reading my photo description) a very cold day in January provided the elements for this picture…I used a very fast shutter speed to capture the water droplets that were falling and freezing on the bushes. Yeah! Perfect job! This is definitely more creative subject matter in terms of the assignment. Probably a little easier to get creative with this one at first though. Love the lighting, color. The composition appears strong. Looks great!

Photo 4 Objective: Tricky backlighting situation.

“We’re working with backlighting here and you’re exposing for the person’s face. This looks good. I think you could brighten her face up a little bit in Photoshop, but I think the exposure looks good and the background has some detail. I think you could just brighten up the face a little bit, either with your dodging tool or sometimes you can go in and manually select the reds in selective color and move the bottom slider up a little and you can brighten up the facial tones a little. That’s my secret. Selective color and then select the reds. Very nicely composed. I always say it’s good, especially in the beginning, to take 20, 30, 40 different shots per subject, always experimenting with the frame. Don’t be afraid to tilt it or do something wacky."

Photo 5 and 6: Student choice.

“I love these last two shots here. I really love the one of the leaves. It just looks like an abstract painting. The colors are just very rich and sort of unusual…very striking. I love the one of the rose, it’s just a little more familiar to me, but again, both of these are technically very strong..”
Final Comments
“Okay, fantastic start for this first project. Your in great shape. Just remember keep experimenting as much as possible. Challenge yourself on the subject matter, experiment with fill-flash, and we’ll see you again next time!”

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Have you ever thought about what you would do if you could go "Back to the Future?" That was a truly great all-time movie, not only for us 80s' geeks. I recently thought about "McFly's" trip back in time when he visits his ancestors from the old west and meets his great, great grandfather. How awesome would that be?? I would love to go back in time to spend time with my dad when he was young.
I can't even imagine what life was like for my 9-year-old dad as he climbed into the family's truck and drove himself to work at the local dairy farm, milking cows for $.10 a day. Having to provide for the family as my grandfather was seriously injured, my dad would take every penny he made home to my grandma so she could use it for groceries. Move ahead a couple of years to age 12, when my dad was working at the local movie house. I could listen to how the crowd would cheer him on when he walked down the aisle to pull the curtain for the movie to start. Or, I could watch my young father working like a man in the hay field from dusk 'till dawn but never slowing down for a minute and being asked to come inside at the end of the day and share a meal with the farmer and his wife.

I could move ahead another few years to age 15, when my dad and a couple of his cousins traveled across the country in a beat up car that none of them thought would make it to the next town, let alone California. I could listen to the stories and tales they would tell each other as they were camped by the side of the road each night on their week-long adventure out west. Can you imagine letting your 15-year-old child do something like that today?
Once in California, we move ahead again to my 16-year-old father working in the great outdoors for a local tree mill. Each evening, all the men would gather around a campfire and cook their meal while they reflected on their day's work, laughed, joked and just shared the joy of being able to earn a decent living. My father, being one of the youngest, was still highly respected because of his dedication to his job and his unquestionable reliability. Are there many 16 year olds today that could be this dependable and reliable?
With Father's Day coming up this weekend, I can't imagine blogging about anything else today. My father is my first true hero...someone I look up to and respect more than anything on this earth, next to God. He has always been the strength and backbone of our family and I am so thankful that God chose him as my dad. Make sure you tell your dad how much you love him this weekend....and all the weekends after.

I love you, Dad!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Myrtle Beach '08

Here are a few pics from our trip to Myrtle Beach this weekend. We always have a great time when we go down there. Can't wait to go again!

Minigolf waterfall.
Sea oats.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer time!

Sidewalk chalk ROCKS!!

Camping, fishing, swimming, cookouts....all that summertime fun.