Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Linking up with Angry Julie Monday’s Wordless Wednesday
Go and visit the others. 🙂


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Lan Su Chinese Garden

Last weekend, my husband and I spent three days in Portland.  For Christmas, as our gift to each other, we decided to take a short trip without the children. It was a great, laid-back trip.  It’s nice to take a few moments and remember who it is that I’m married to amidst all the busyness of day-to-day life.

One of our activities was to visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown Portland.  This garden takes an entire city block and is just gorgeous.  We were very lucky to be able to take advantage of the unseasonably warm and nice weather for February. It was also fun because we were there during the celebration of Chinese New Year. There were several kids groups performing while we toured the garden.

Of course I brought my camera, but I was “lazy” for this trip and decided to keep my 1.8/50mm lens on the camera instead of switching to the more traditional kit lens.  It made some of the shots more challenging, but I actually loved the results.

I wanted to share some of the pictures.

river carved rock

There was one other thing that I was really fascinated about and took a lot of pictures with my iPhone. I plan talk about it at another time, but I’ll give you a little picture hint.

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I see this sort of thing all over the Internets, the weekly blog post of all the other interesting things in the blogging world.  One of my bloggy friends (Angry Julie Monday) started a weekly post of her five favorite posts from the week, and I think that’s a fantastic idea. I like seeing what everyone is doing, but at the same time, I don’t have the time to visit everyone’s blog.

So here you have it, the posts that I liked this week. I only have four this week, but I have other blogs I need to add to my reader, so maybe there will be five next week.

1. Artbeads.com Blog for Beaders

Swarovski Spring 2010 Color Trends

This is a fantastic post about the colors for Spring (I’m assuming this spring even though the post says 2011), and matching them up with Swarovski crystals and pearls.  I thought it was a great resource because it also includes complimentary colors.  Well done artbeads.com!

2. Strobist: Learn How To Light

After the Light: High-Pass Post Production

I like reading Strobist, but for the life of me, about 80% of it goes right over my head.  One day I hope to have any idea what they guy is talking about. 😉 But I thought this brief Photoshop tutorial was pretty easy to understand and useful.

3. Oopsy Daisy Photography Blog

{She . Reads}

I loved her quote at the beginning, and the photos reminded me to work more at my perspective and depth of field.  A simple, but great post.

4. Inspirational Beading

Inspiration Tip: A Deck of Many Things

This post was one of those “ah ha” moments for me.  A tip so simple, and yet, just outside the realm of what I would have thought to do. She’s a jewelry designer, but I think many others could benefit from this tip as well.  I’ll give a hint; it’s about keeping track of your many ideas.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little trip around the blogs I’ve highlighted this week. I hope to be able to gather some other fun posts for next week.  Thanks again to Angry Julie Monday for the idea!

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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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…I think I’m in love!

A few years ago I received this Nikon SB-600 Speedlight from my parents for my birthday. I’d asked for a different piece of equipment, but didn’t describe it very well, so I ended up with the speedlight. While I knew this was also something I wanted one day, I wasn’t really sure how to use it, so it never made it out of the box.

I’m shooing a wedding in just a couple of short weeks, and I thought if I could figure out how to use this flash, I might be able to work through some of my lighting issues in the church. I am so impressed with this flash!

I started taking some pictures of my little one in our bonus room at about 7:30pm. I just had one small light on and left the rest of the room in natural light, which made it pretty dim. My first shot was with the light directly at him.

I was so pleased with how well he turned out in the dim light that I started playing around with moving the flash to different angles. I didn’t keep track of exactly what I did because I was just having fun.

Then I put the 1.8f/50mm portrait lens on and really started enjoying the results.

Hopefully, this flash will give me enough light to get the shots that I’d like. I’m so nervous about this event. I’m just praying that I’m able to capture some good memories for the happy couple.

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I have been conceptualizing this blog for a long time. I signed up for the site probably close to a year ago and have been putting off starting it. I work on three other personal blogs, but I wanted to use this as an outlet for more of my creative side.

I’m a jewelry designer, photographer, web designer, and once upon a time used to work in more textiles (knitting, crochet, cross stitch). I’m not especially talented or “good” at any of these things. But I do enjoy them.

I’m generally a pretty analytical person. Give me some numbers, facts, data and let me go to work. I tend to try to approach art in the same manner. I want to follow the rules, do something that I know will work before I start it, stay “safe”.

You might start to see where I came up with the name Wild Vanilla. I honestly can’t even take credit for it. An author I’ve read had it as part of her website. It’s fitting for me though. I play it safe, like vanilla. But I also like to mix it up a bit. If you get me in just the right light, you can see that there is a bit of wild in there somewhere.

So hang on for the ride. It’s going to be pretty predictable, but worth going along because there just might be a twist or a turn in there somewhere.

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