Thursday, May 27, 2010

You Capture - Sky

Thursday, May 27

This week has been nothing but grey skies with intermittent black clouds dumping rain.  Until last night when I was tucking the kids into bed and looked out and saw this. 

Then I looked down the street and saw this.  I hopped in my car to get a better view of what looked like a beautiful sunset, but by the time I got there it was pretty much over.   I did have a pretty drive at least.

I made one extra stop on the way home when I saw the full moon.

I have to share the most brilliant sunset I've seen in a while.  I took this at the coast on Mother's Day weekend.

While I'm breaking the rules, I'll just add this one in from last month. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creative Exposure

Wednesday, May 26

These photos are for the "Creative Exposure" challenge over at Views Infinitum.

After I took a photography class a couple years ago I got very comfortable with the aperture setting on my camera.  Since then I have been slowly getting more comfortable with the shutter speed priority setting.   I didn't really notice any good movement opportunities in the last couple of weeks so I tried to get a little creative and I learned a lot.   One thing I learned is that choosing your shutter speed to get the amount of movement you want is all relative to the speed of your subject or your background whatever the case may be.    In other words there was a lot of trial and error happening for this challenge.   For this first shot it was very difficult to hold the camera steady while spinning around, so I thought it turned out pretty well.  (We were actually holding hands.)
In the shade on a sunny day at 1/20sec, f/10, ISO 100.

I think I should have made her horns for this next one.  Hard to cooperate right before bed.  It only took three people to get this shot.   I ended up having my husband hold up a black blanket behind here since the room wasn't completely dark.   One halo would probably look better, but the model had to go to bed.  I used a key chain led flashlight for the
Settings: 1.3sec, f/5.0, ISO 200 

Here are some of the duds.  I think a tripod would have really helped and if your shutter speed is too long your subject can end up looking like a ghost.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Elephants, Tigers, and Bears. Oh my!

Tuesday, May 25

On Sunday the girls and I along with two other families, got to go on a "behind the scenes"  tour at the Oregon Zoo.   It lasted over 2 hours and we got to visit, give snacks to and touch several animals.  I could probably do a separate post about each animal, but instead I'll link you up to the zoo's info page and just show a couple of my 200 photos.  If you want to go straight to the photo album (only 56 photos), click here
After it was all over, the girls suddenly realized what a special even this was.  They just kept saying, "Mom, that was so awesome!"  I know! 

First stop was our own personal show/feeding session/photo op with Chendra the elephant. 

Then I asked her handler to show me the end of her trunk.  
Then he told her to blow.  Doh!  I'm so gullible.  My first instinct was to protect my camera, but I wasn't fast enough.   Thank goodness for filters and I hope mine is OK after washing it with a wet wipe and drying with my t-shirt.  I also hope Chendra isn't sick, because I definitely inhaled some elephant germs.  At least I had my glasses on!

Then we got to meet Mo the Humboldt Penguin.  He walked right out of his habitat into the office to meet us.  My photos are a little blurry, but here he is giving Kyla's leg a hug.  Too funny!

Next stop was the bears.  We stayed a few feet away from the door and watched Amy, our guide feed them snacks.  Conrad the polar bear seemed so tame I would have pet him if they would have allowed it. 

I took a ton of photos, but the bars were really cramping my style.  I'm kind of glad they were there while meeting Jody & Vivian, the Sun bears though. 
They started fighting over snacks once and that was a bit scary.  Check out the long tongues and claws these girls have.

Here is Pete, a Black Rhino.  He was very sweet and loves apples, but watch out, you may get slimed!  We even got to pet this guy.

The Hippos, Bubbles & Poppy were also excited to get their snack.  They patiently stood at the gate with their huge mouths open, waiting for the apples to get tossed in.  It was so cool to see these huge animals out of the water.

We had a quick visit to meet Nikki and Mik, Amur Tigers and Kia, an Amur LeopardOne of the kids asked if why we weren't feeding them - can you say carnivore?  I didn't really get good photos of these guys and Kia was feeling pretty shy.

Last stop of the tour was a fun fish feeding session with the Sea Lions, Julius & Gus.

Well, I don't think I missed anyone.  Thanks again to my friend Amy, the zoo keeper and tour guide.  We had a truly unique experience and day at the zoo we will never forget!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Macro Monday - Can you guess?

Monday, May 24

These are both of the same thing.

Do you need a hint?  We went on a behind the scenes tour at the zoo this weekend.   I'm still working on the photos because I took around 200!  Don't worry I'll tell you the answer since I only know of two people who would try to guess.

It's a rhino!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Calypso Cat!

Friday, May 21

Yes, we now have a cat!   She's been here for over a week already and is totally adjusted to her new home and being a part of the family.   The girls only had to beg for two years before we ran out of excuses and finally gave in.  I was telling the receptionist at the vet about that and she said I that was just mean.  Well, you can't say I'm mean anymore, because look, I finally let them adopt the cutest kitty.

We weren't going to adopt until we returned from our vacation to the Carolinas in July, but this kitty was a stray found by a friend of a friend and she needed a home.  She loves attention and she is very playful so the girls are having a great time.  I think I need to get her some kitty tennis shoes.  The way she slides around on our laminate flooring is comical, but it must be frustrating for her have such furry paws.  The girls were supposed to have this long period of "cat training" to prepare, but that only lasted a week.  Kyla did clean her room along with all the cat supplies.  She was very concerned about finding a proper name.

It was a bit of a challenge to find a name that everyone liked.   Everyone had veto power, so after we were tired of saying, "I veto your veto!", we finally agreed on Calypso.  Only a couple of times have we called her Clutzo. 

I would like to officially apologize to Susan for slacking off on the whole blogging thing lately, especially when it comes to the topic of cats.  Here is a photo of Susan's beautiful cat, Whipped Cream, who we went to see at a cat show a couple months back.  Oh, and that is her son, holding the cat. 

Happy Friday everyone! 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You Capture - Depth of Field

Wednesday, May 19

I've really enjoyed being able to take photos with a shallow depth of field now that I've been using a dSLR.  Here are some shots from a tea/arts and crafts party that my 6 yo went to last weekend. 

I really should have put a penny next to the cake in this photo, because that's about how big it was.  This was the place setting for the dolls at the party.

There were all sorts of cute ornaments there.

Here are a couple more shots from the Yellow theme that demonstrate DoF nicely.

Click here to see more Depth of Field photos.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Macro Monday - Hangin' on

Monday, May 17

When your pink tulips are dead and dried but won't let go, here is what you get.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Last Weekend

Saturday, May 15

I feel like I'm always posting old news.  Just know that whatever you read here probably happened at least one week prior.  We had a lovely Mother's Day weekend at the coast with friends.  The weather was perfect.  We watched the sunset.

Went swimming.

Played in the sand.

Felt the breeze in our hair.

Played with friends.

And even got a little exercise.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You Capture - Yellow

Thursday, May 13

I still haven't posted my beach photos from Mother's Day, but the first two are from last weekend. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 10

One day late!   We had a wonderful time at the coast this weekend, but I forgot the cable for my camera, so here it is.

Hope all of the Moms and Grandmas had a good day.  We missed you!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

You Capture - more Spring

Thursday, May 6

I can't even remember if I took any photos this week, so these may or may not be the runner ups from last week. 

Sydney got her first pedicure at a sleepover and proclaimed it was "the best foot massage ever!"  Maybe I'll stay for that part next time.  ;)

Here she is abusing the springs of my couch.

Sorry I won't have time to make comments this week.  We are headed to the coast this weekend.  If you have any sun, please send some to Oregon.  Thanks!
Check out more Spring photos at I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Macro Monday - String art

Monday, May 3

It's not midnight yet so I can still call this Macro Monday.  Kyla brought home a cool piece of art from school, but I can't remember if it has an official name.  I happened to remember a frame I had that would leave a space between the glass and the art, so I immediately photographed it and framed it.   Wow that was record time and that is why I'm documenting it here.    Most of the kids' art gets stacked in a pile and may or may not be photographed and logged digitally onto  a Picasa web album so that I can recycle the original without feeling guilty.  Here is the string from a normal angle.