Thursday, April 21, 2011

A knight and a fairy princess

If you've been around my children for any length of time you know that they often exist in their own little world.  Grace spins elaborate stories about fairy princesses and knights and Ethan happily plays along.  A few days ago the warm spring sunshine got the better of me and I asked the kids if they wanted to go play in the field near our house while I practiced with my 85mm a little.  They readily agreed when I told them they could wear dress up to play.  Grace wanted to wear her zebra shirt because it matched her new tutu we made last week perfectly.  I suggested the boots over Grace's choice of purple sandals because I knew there would still be mud.  Ethan was ecstatic to wear his Batman getup in addition to his knight's helmet and sword.  It's really impossible not to have a sword if you're a knight afterall.

We hung out for almost an hour in the field behind our house laughing and playing in the sunshine.  I didn't really pose the kids since all I wanted to do was practice nailing focus with the 85mm which is very different from my 50mm.  With a camera pointed at them so often I don't like to force them to pose for me every time.  I told them to play and do whatever they wanted to do and just have fun.  Every now and again I'd ask them to look my direction, but otherwise I got my practice in and we all had fun. 

My kids are so used to my camera that they don't even pay attention to it anymore.  And with the 85mm I am far enough back that I can capture them doing their thing without their getting their attention which makes for fun candid shots.

By the way, the capes were made by my inlaws for the kids for Christmas.  The Batman cape is worn pretty much every day.  He wore it to Safeway yesterday twice (I went three times for 6 bags of cheap sugar!).  I made Grace's new tutu last week with some friends as I showed them how easy they are to make.  She picked the colors out for this one because apparently I picked the wrong pink for the one I made her 4 years ago. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

What a difference a year makes!  While I've downgraded from my ambitious Project 365 to a much more reasonable Project 52 I still find myself picking my camera up pretty often.  Almost every day, but not quite.  I'm mostly inspired by light so when the lighting is perfect I get itchy fingers and run outside with my camera without paying attention to what I'm wearing or the fact that everybody else is eating dinner.  I see the way the light is falling on some leaves or tree blossoms and I am out the door!  But since my yard and daily activities are pretty regular I find myself taking similar photos as last year and it's interesting to compare them and see my growth.  Turns out that practicing something every day does indeed bring improvement.

Take today for example.  Remember this photo from last year's Project 365?  I know a lot of people really liked it.  It was taken on April 5th last year, just a little over a year ago.
I just took this one 30 minutes ago while my kids ate hotdogs and were watching Mulan.  I see improvement. 
Here's another one from last year.  I took this last March of the lilies on our side yard with the setting sun as backlighting.
And here's one from two weeks ago with a similar subject and lighting.  You may confuse this with a jungle or large shrub but it's actually our backyard grass.
Here's one of Boo I took last March:
And here she is again last month:
 Here's a photo of both my kids I took at the end of last April:
And here's one I did of the two of them last week:
I'm excited to see where I am a year from now, progress is always exciting!  

Doo Doo Doo Batman

I can't believe it's been a month since I've posted here.  Apologies!  For now I'll just share this fantastic drawing of Batman that Grace made at school today.  It's a little hard to see, but she drew white stars in the blue sky because it is night time.  She made it for her brother which warms my heart.  They really do love each other despite all the usual sibling warfare.  I really wanted to share it so I did some Google searching to figure out how to scan with our behemoth all in one printer and now that I've figured it out I'll be going scanning crazy!  Hope you're looking forward to that :)