Friday, September 10, 2010

Country Adventure

Earlier this week I had to do a bookbag drop at all the county schools for Copperhead Lacrosse. I knew I would be in the "backwoods" of the county so I brought my camera along to take some photos. At one point I was on this dirt road for 2 miles. I thought I might never make it home. Thankfully I did. And I even found a haystack for Whitney's wedding:-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Loyalty and Love

My heart broke when I heard the news that our family dog Pinocchio had been diagnosed with cancer. Pinocchio is the sweetest, most loyal dog. Every time I come home he starts whining and rushes out to meet me. He is definitely a member of our family. I will never forget the day I walked into the house and saw a dog sitting in our family room. It was quite a shock! The ten years we have been able to enjoy his companionship have meant the world to our whole family and we are going to enjoy all the time we have left with him. I went to my parents house this weekend and did a small photo shoot with Pinocchio and my sisters. Our 20 year old cat, Princess decided to get in on the action too! Here are a few pictures from the shoot.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


So apparently I made Trixie mad in the last blog by saying she never posed for pictures. She decided to be cooperative and pose for me even though her feelings were still hurt that I bashed her in my last blog:-) Anyway here are pictures of my Trixie shoot.

Outdoor Photography

When the conditions are just right I love shooting pictures outdoors. This morning I got some great shots because it was early and cloudy and the lighting was perfect. No harsh sunlight! My cat Gehrig is probably the most photographed cat in the world. I love taking pictures of him for several reasons. First, I love the colors of his fur. They are very distinctive and I feel like they just pop in pictures. Second, he is a good cat and will usually pose for me and sit still. His sister, Trixie on the other hand is a terrible subject because she is constantly moving and her fur is almost all white. She is usually just a white blur in pictures. I have learned a lot about photography with Gehrig's help. He doesn't get impatient like a person would and lets me take as many pictures of him as I want. I can use him to try different settings and options. This morning I let him outside to play for the first time in about a week. He was enjoying every minute of it. Here are a few of the pictures from the Gehrig session:-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baseball Photography

So I decided that May would be my photography month. I am out of school until June 7th so that left me with days full of plenty of time to focus on my photography. Somehow though it is May 26th and I have barely lifted my camera except for the numerous graduations and other events that have occurred. So when my husband and I went to the Braves game for our anniversary I was determined to take my zoom lens and get some good shots. It was the first time I took my Canon Rebel XSi to the Braves games so I was excited to attempt to get good pictures. Well it turned out to be the most exciting game ever as Brooks Conrad hit a game winning, pinch hit, grand slam. It was amazing. And I captured almost every moment with my camera. I feel that these were the best pictures I have ever taken. It was much easier to take pictures in sunlight than in a dark bar like I do at concerts. Which I get very frustrated with! Here are just a few of my favorite pictures from the game. They were all taken at 1/500 shutter speed, f/8.0 and ranged in ISO from 100-200.

Brooks hitting the grand slam!

Celebration at the plate!
Brooks thinking it was an out!

You can check out more pictures from the game here or on my Flikr!

Beach Painting

I painted a new picture that I gave to my husband for our anniversary. I didn't get to take step by step pictures because I was in a hurry to get it done! I tried to decide between a beach scene and a sunset scene. I finally decided on a beach scene. I used four different colors of paint for the sky instead of mixing different colors from just primary blue: Light blue, white, aqua blue and primary blue. For the ocean I used turquoise and aqua blue and primary blue. I used white for the birds and waves. I mixed red and white to create a pink and mixed it with copper and gold to create the beach. The hardest part was making sure to differentiate between the sky and sea. I had to make the horizon line blend with the sea without making it match. I was happy with the final result and my husband really loved it! Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Photography Challenge

I set a challenge for myself last week. School has slowed down a little so I wanted to concentrate on working on my photography. I have a great book, Understanding Exposure that photographer Josh Lamkin had recommended to me. I have read it in pieces but never finished reading the whole book. There are various exercises in the book and I would always get hung up at that point having so few options in doing the exercises. Or finding the time! Anyway, the challenge I set for myself was two fold: Thoroughly read at least 1 chapter in Understanding Exposure every week and a half and to not use the auto setting on my camera. I have a very bad habit of switching to auto exposure if I am taking pictures at a party where I have to get the shot really quick and I don't have a lot of time to get my settings correct. So on April 1st I spent the majority of the day doing photography. Once again my poor cats were my models. I decided to concentrate on my weakness which is correct shutter speed. So I tried a lot of different shutter speeds while they were in the sun and out of the sun and combined them with different ISO settings. I felt by just shooting hundreds of pictures that day I became more comfortable with the manual setting and learned more about what works.

So on Easter I put myself to the test where I took every picture in manual mode. The family was playing horseshoes so I was just standing to the side experimenting with different shutter speeds and ISO and also using my zoom lens to capture some close ups. There were a lot of action shots so that was fun to finally have a camera that doesn't blur the action. Unless you want it to! Although I will say one of the better pictures of the day my sister took while she had the camera in auto mode. A little discouraging!

However I felt really happy with the results of my experiments. I am now determined to not use auto exposure. It is really a learning process and I enjoy every minute of learning new things!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

First Solo Painting

I decided to attempt to paint my first solo panting. I took art classes when I was younger and recently went to a Sips N Strokes event. But I have never just painted all by myself with no help. So I went to Micheal's and bought some painting supplies. I set up my table in my library, taking the proper precautions to cover the floor! I used a picture I had taken of some flowers as an inspiration. I started of course with a blank canvas.

I then painted the whole canvas with thick, black paint to form my background. This was my favorite part because I knew I could not mess that up:-)

Next, I took a soft pencil and drew the design I wanted. Now this was one of the most challenging parts because I can not draw. Even though I was copying the flower from a photograph I had to do it several times before I had the petals the way I wanted them. I wanted it to look like the photograph with some of the petals very long and finger like and some of them smaller and chunkier.

That took me awhile and then it was time to mix my paint. Now this is also very fun! It does make me nervous though because it is so hard to mix the same, exact color again so I have to make sure to get the right amount I need. I used red, blue and white to mix this purple color.

Don't I just have the fanciest, most expensive palette you have ever seen? So I then began filling in the pencil outlines with the paint. This was pretty nerve wrecking. I messed up several times and it took me 3 days to get the petals where I wanted them to be. But if I messed up a petal too bad I just took the black paint and fixed it. So my purple shade did end up being a different one from the original. I had to repaint the whole thing at one point since I couldn't mix the right shade again. So when I was done it looked like this:

Well I knew it wasn't done yet because it looked too blank and boring. So I added some white details to the flower petals. I still don't necessarily like it but I don't want to do too much to it and ruin it. I have decided to be happy and content with my first attempt and leave it at that. I hope in time I will get better. We shall see. So here is the final result:

It's a good start and it makes me happy that I was able to move out of my comfort zone and attempt something that I am not good at. Next I am going to attempt a painting of a bunch of hydrangeas in a pot. We'll see how that goes:-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New (Old) Equipment

Well I am pretty excited about some new photography goodies I received.

Yesterday I was at my parents and telling them about an upcoming photography job I had taking pictures at a father/daughter dance. I was telling my Dad how I needed to go buy a tripod and lights. He got this look on his face-- Mysterious smirk. He told me to go to the bonus room which is our storage area and bring down the old, brown box. So I did.

I opened it and there were some cool lights. My dad said they were my Grandpa's. He used them as movie lights. I plugged them in and they are BRIGHT! They got hot really fast so I am not sure if they will be practical to use but they are pretty neat. I am not sure how old they are but they look pretty old.
He also gave me a tripod that used to be Grandpa's. It is very sturdy but not too heavy. I am very excited that I don't have to go buy one now. And I think its really cool that they were my Grandpa's. My dad also used them when he used to be in to photography. Family heirlooms are pretty special!


The title of this blog should be Attempted Artistic Endeavors!

My whole life I have had to deal with the artistic talents of my whole family: Musical, painting, writing etc. They are all extremely creative people. Well apparently I received my mother's gene which means I am tone deaf and un artistic. As I get older I realize that what I thought was artistic and creative doesn't have to be just one person's definition! In my last job I realized that planning leagues and creating programs was my way of having a creative outlet. Since I lost my job I found I was at loose ends and I really needed creativity in my life other than just planning meals. Although I will say I was very proud that after 2 years of marriage I learned to cook and found that I was pretty good at it! And I may share a few of my favorite dishes on here(Does that make me a frightening suburban housewife?)

Anyway back to my artistic journey :-) I decided to go back to one of my first loves which is photography. When I was younger I used to use my dad's Pentax camera to take pictures at Macon Braves games. I remember just trying to get that perfect shot and having to wait a few days to get the photos developed. I love digital cameras! I was planning on going to school to be a photographer until I was around 15 or 16 when I decided that I wanted to major in English. Of course once I realized that I didn't really want to teach I switched to Sport Management which is now my true passion. But photography will always be a huge part of my life and it is my chosen method of "creative outlet." And probably what I will end up doing as a profession when the sport industry burns me out in 10 years:-) So I bought a really nice camera with my retirement money(thanks Y!) and I have spent the last year trying to learn all I can about photography. Anyway this blog will be dedicated to artistic endeavors whether it be photography or my new attempt: painting.

Ahhh painting. I cannot draw a straight line! But I have decided to push my creative envelope and attempt to paint. We will see how it goes. But this is a time in my life when I think its time to jump out of my comfort zone. The thing about losing your job is it opens up a whole world of possibilities and options. So I hope you will join me on my artistic endeavors, whether they are failures or successes!