Archive for the ‘books’ Category

It was my birthday over the weekend, and I’ve been blessed with some really amazing family and friends.  The actual day was on Saturday and my boys treated me to breakfast and took me out to dinner.  I spent the day with extended family on Sunday, and on Monday I hung out with my girlfriends for dessert.  It was a great way to celebrate getting older.

One of the gifts I received was an amazing macro lens for my camera.  I’ve wanted a macro for a very long time, but the price had me not seriously considering it for a while.  I was very, very surprised to receive one as a gift. It’s well beyond my skill-level, so I have lots of learning to do, but I wanted to share a few pictures I’ve taken.

some of my metal stamps


tiny pink flowers

tiny bee

rain drops on grass

I am so excited about the potential to get really nice pictures of my jewelry. I love being able to take pictures of nature too. And it’s supposed to be a fantastic portrait lens.

I have some books coming from the library that I hope I’ll be able to use to learn more about using this type of lens well.  I am definitely having fun with the practice shots!


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For weeks, I’ve had all these ideas swirling around in my head for different designs I want to work on and things I want to create.  Yesterday, I sat down for a few hours and did some work in the afternoon and then again after the boys went to sleep.

The results?

I was stumped.

Just about everything I touched did not work out according to plan.

I’ve had this idea for a new metal flower to compliment the daisy I created for Use the Muse III (featured in my header).  What I came up with was not at all like I envisioned and very disappointing.

I tried to work through some ideas for those fantastic custom tile beads.  Those didn’t even make it off the drawing board (so to speak) before I had vetoed them.

I played around with the disk beads too with mixed results. I have an idea, but I don’t know if it going to work into a bracelet or a necklace or get tossed aside like my other ideas.

All-in-all it was a disappointing time.  And I think a lot of it was due to my putting too much pressure on *succeeding*. I have to tell myself (and I’ve been repeating it all day) that it’s a process.  Doing something new, trying to think “outside the box”, or at least outside my box, is not going to be met with instant success.

Not having things work out the way I envisioned them is not what I’d hoped for, but it is a step in the process of getting to something that will work and that I’ll be happy with.

I haven’t given up.  In fact, I have another plan of attack (could I be using any more clichés??) for my metal flower that’s probably going to involve the dissection of some poor, defenseless tulips. I’m looking through one of my new favorite books from the library – Wire Style by Denise Peck – and getting some ideas for my other projects.

I will work through this.

What I did fall back on was a kit that I bought from Scott David Plumlee back when I took his class a few months ago. At the very least, it let me feel like I was accomplishing something creative.

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One of the things I hope to do on this blog is some book reviews. Right now, it’s just for me because I don’t expect much traffic to the site, but I hope that one day it’s helpful to other people as well.  I feel the need to mention that this is a book I borrowed from the library.  I don’t own it. I didn’t get it for free.  I’m not benefiting in any way by talking about it.

I shot my very first wedding last weekend.  I’ll share some pictures when I get up the courage to edit them.  It was for a friend of a friend. My friend knew that I love taking pictures, do it a lot, and have a pretty good camera. Her friend was getting married, was on a budget and needed a photographer.  And that’s where I came in.

I agreed to shoot the wedding to step waaaay outside of my comfort zone.  I shoot kids, my kids, in very casual settings. I’m happy with many of the pictures I take. I’m shockingly pleased by a few. I’m pretty much a point-and-shoot sort of gal. My friend assured me that this was a very laid back couple who would be thrilled to have wedding pictures. A photographer for their event was kind of an afterthought.

Anyway, after all the arrangements were made, I logged on to our local library and reserved about every photography book I could. I skimmed through most of them and Step-by-Step Wedding Photography by Damon Tucci was hands down the best reference I found. If it looked like I might photograph other weddings, I would purchase this book first.

The book starts with the very basics of shooting a wedding and progresses chronologically through the entire process from the initial consultation to the post-production.

But what I appreciated the most about this book is Damon Tucci’s approach. Unlike many of the other books I looked at, he travels light.  He seeks to get good lighting and settings by using what’s available instead of hauling a bunch of equipment.

This is a great approach for two reasons.  For me, I don’t have any equipment except for the camera, a couple basic lenses, tripod (which I borrowed) and speedlight.  It’s not an ideal scenario, but he works with it.

I also think the light approach is more realistic for today’s couples. There is a desire for more and more shots in different settings, and if you have to set up equipment for each location, then you lose a lot of the spontaneity and a lot of time, which is a precious commodity on the day of the wedding.

I highly recommend this book. It was a great resource for me as a beginning photographer, but I also think that experienced photogs just getting into the business of wedding photography would find vast amounts of valuable information.

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