the sixteeth seven days

flying baby!

kissing the baby.

SQUIRREL!

handsome wink

baby paul

vivi's cloth bum

percy the pirate

freshly napped vivi

bunny hug

through the window

through the window

Now that Vivi’s mobile and opinionated you’re going to be seeing a lot more of the back of her head.

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the fifteenth seven days

the fourteenth seven days

the thirteenth seven days

the twelfth seven days

the eleventh seven days

(let’s just accept that the eight, ninth, and tenth may never happen)

the seventh seven days

the sixth seven days

the fifth seven says

the fourth seven days

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

Read more…

the fifteenth seven days

sunday.

harley and vivi

vivi and tiny gramma

monday.

tayden yawns!

Vivi attempting to poke tayden.

tuesday.

vivi overlooking her airport kingdom

wednesday didn’t happen, here’s why.

thursday.

vivi bedhead

thighs of POWER

friday.

toes in the grass

saturday.

on the loose in the buff

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the fourteenth seven days

the thirteenth seven days

the twelfth seven days

the eleventh seven days

(let’s just accept that the eight, ninth, and tenth may never happen)

the seventh seven days

the sixth seven days

the fifth seven says

the fourth seven days

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

Read more…

what I’ve learned (so far) from taking photos (almost) every single day this year.

Hey there, nice camera. What is that? A 60? A 600? What size card have you got in there? Have you figured out backlighting yet? Oh, you’re still shooting on the green square? That’s cool, I call the green square the Cody setting. He knows if he wants to use my camera and I’m not around to dial it around to that little hollow green box and snap away. But he also knows about the rule of thirds and not to cut people off at the ankles. I’m pretty impressed with what he’s learned so far.

He took this photo, he’s very proud of the non-ankle cutting and the thirds.

My ladies and me.

(50mm f/2.8 1/60 ISO 200)

He even held the camera straight, which is something I cannot do to save my life half the time.

This photo is kind of the perfect example of what I want to write about today, we’ll call it “What I’ve Learned From Taking Photos Every Single Day This Year” (Well, almost every single day, I can think of two that I missed entirely, today included. No biggie.) I have shot with my 50mm f/1.4 for probably 90% of the time this year. Every single photo from Paul’s birth, our trip to Florida as well as every photo I took in Utah last week (including Tayden’s birth) was taken with my 50mm. If you don’t have one, you should get one. A 50mm f/1.8 will run you about $100, if you can swing it, the f/1.4 has a much faster focus and a far more solid feel to it. If you can, take your camera into a camera shop, try them both out and give them a feel. If you like shooting big epic landscape photos I’ll refer you to my mom, that’s kind of her thing.

vivi and tiny gramma

(50mm f/2.8 1/500 ISO 250)

So you have your 50mm and if you’re anything like me you’re firmly rooted in the belief that the lowest f/stop possible is a must. Sometimes it is. But most of the time it is not. One of the biggest problems I was having in January were these adorable photos of Vivi where nothing was sharp. They looked good enough on screen but if you really zoomed in they were blurry. I was shooting with the lowest possible f/stop and what that meant was I had a VERY narrow allowance of what was actually in focus before everything else dropped off into bokeh (out of focus.) If she moved the slightest bit I’d focus on her eyebrow, making her eyes out of focus. Or if I focused on one eye but she was at an angle the other eye was out of focus. It was infuriating. If you’re far back from your subject low f/stop isn’t such a problem, but up close and personal it matters. Rather than shooting at f/1.4 I bump it up to my new favorite, f/2.5 and turn up my ISO (usually around 400) to compensate for the loss of light with the low f/stop. Today’s cameras are so great that you can get up into pretty high ISO before noise ever becomes an issue.

miss vivi and her chiclets.

(50mm f/2.5 1/800 ISO 320)

Suddenly all of Vivi’s eyeballs were in focus while the background stayed lovely and blurred (go ahead, click on ‘view all sizes’ and view it original. I DARE YOU.)

If you’re in the super bright sunlight and you shoot with Canon, keep your ISO at 100, Nikon 200. Adjust everything else accordingly. Nothing will give you better brighter colors right out of the camera as having your ISO as low as it can go for the conditions that you’re in.  Perhaps there’s a better way to take pictures of a dog attacking a tennis ball, but my parents seemed pretty happy with the way I did it.

Bailey

(50mm f/2.2 1/1000 ISO 800)

I bought myself a new camera in January. I didn’t make a very big deal out of it because I’m still convinced it’s the person running the camera that has more to do with how photos come out than the equipment used. I shot with a Canon 40D for years and after going to a Zack Arias workshop I decided to keep on going with my 40D until I outgrew it, Zack’s greatest bit of advice. I pushed that camera to its very limits, I know how everything works on it and I know its limits. The thing I outgrew the most was the ISO, the 40D can only make it to 1600 ISO, my new 7D can be pushed to 6400, meaning I can practically take pictures in pitch dark (not really, but it kind of feels like it.)

sleepy addie

(50mm f/1.6 1/60 ISO 4000 (I know! SHUT UP FOUR THOUSAND!))

If you want to get better at taking pictures, learn how to use what you have, don’t just keep wishing, hoping and going into debt for the next latest and greatest camera thinking that will make you better, it won’t. It will just make you a mediocre fauxtographer with overpriced equipment. Moving from my 40D to my 7D was like moving from a 3 bedroom townhouse to a 5 bedroom home. I have plenty of room to grow, and at times it seems like a little too much.

harley

(50mm f/4.0 1/320 ISO 200)

Learn to love your histogram. Speak its language. If your camera has one, use it. I use mine 80% of the time to tell me how I’m doing rather than relying on the preview. I used to use highlight alerts but that’s not the most reliable way to tell how good your exposure is. Here are a couple of articles that explain a histogram better than I can (seriously, I’ve tried. I’m awful at it unless you’re sitting right next to me.) this one does a pretty good overview of your in camera histogram while this one covers your post processing histogram.

Not every photo is going to be perfect every time, all that really matters in the end is that you’re there to take it and that you enjoy doing it.

POKE!

(50mm f/2.8 1/800 ISO 100)

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Overwhelmed? Yeah. Me too. The good news? I just typed in ‘histogram’ over at Clickin’ Moms and got 7 pages of results, which sounds overwhelming, but each question can be narrowed down to post processing software used, camera used, level of skill and just who asked or answered what. I know a few of you have signed up (I get emails when you do! It’s so exciting to see who’s drinking the learning about my camera cocktail!) but if you haven’t…

www.ClickinMoms.com

Get a free trial with the code ‘MOOSHTRIAL’

Ready to jump in viewfinder first? Get 20% off with the code ‘MOOSH20′

Hope to see you over there!

Thanks to Clickin’ Moms for having me as an ambassador and providing me with a membership to the Clickin’ Moms forums. All links to Clickin’ Moms are affiliate.

Read more…

the fourteenth seven days

sunday. (tutorial for the eggs here!)
silk dying eggs

monday.

Addie and Tayden

tuesday.

grandma flower's flowers

Tayden and Addie

wednesday.

bailey the flying sheltie dog

thursday.

the window

friday.

vivi and the coke
(She didn’t drink any or cut herself. I could tell one of you was worried.)

Bailey

saturday.

tayden's wrinkly head

tayden

funny face

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the thirteenth seven days

the twelfth seven days

the eleventh seven days

(let’s just accept that the eight, ninth, and tenth may never happen)

the seventh seven days

the sixth seven days

the fifth seven says

the fourth seven days

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

Read more…

the thirteenth seven days

sunday.

lunch

monday.

grandpa and maggie

sad vivi

sissy, 5 days to go.

tuesday.

miss vivi.

Addie watching my dad work

wednesday.

addie and the yellow dress

addie and the one pregnancy craving I had with her.

addie and the yellow dress

thursday.

Taking a pregnant pause at IKEA

Silk Dying Eggs

friday.

vivi's kicks

vivi swingin'

My dad's Flowering Pear Tree

Bailey

saturday.

addie coloring eggs

grampa swinging vivi

the twelfth seven days

the eleventh seven days

(working on the eight, ninth and tenth)

the seventh seven days

the sixth seven days

the fifth seven says

the fourth seven days

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

Read more…

the twelfth seven days.

sunday.

watching Addie blow bubbles.

monday.

beiber baby

tuesday.

Vivi being Vivi.

Cody's Birthday Cake

wednesday.

20120321_185022

thursday.

vivi in a tub

sleeping addie.

friday.

granddaugthers.

saturday.

overseeing the gardening at grandma's

Vivi’s twelfth week on babble.

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the eleventh seven days

(working on the eight, ninth and tenth)

the seventh seven days

the sixth seven days

the fifth seven says

the fourth seven days

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

Read more…

the eleventh seven days

Sunday.

cheerio hunting

nope. not touching this either.

Monday.

Vivi blockin'

Tuesday.

tuesday 11-2107
Addie's major award. (Look at the JOY! on her face!)

Seven Years, Two Months and 29 Days

Wednesday.

fluffy wink.

Addie getting a haircut.

Thursday.
miss vivi. (hiding)

miss vivi

addie kissing on the vivi

Friday.

spot the baby leg.

Addie's hair.

Saturday.

IT'S SATURDAY! -Addie

Pay attention to the lighitng when you buy your house, it is SO important.

(working on the eight, ninth and tenth)

the seventh seven days

the sixth seven days

the fifth seven says

the fourth seven days

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

Read more…

the seventh seven days

sunday.

nope. not going to touch it. no way.

building sandcastles

Watching the beach 20 floors below.

monday.

sunrise on the gulf.

swimming addie

bathing beauty

sandcastle builder

nope. not touching it. NO WAY.

baby buried in the sand.

tuesday.

addie

addie

sunset

wednesday.

if you lean, she leans.

babywearing daddy

vivi

babywearing cody

addie

thursday. (st. andrews state park)

babywearing cody

Addie.

My ladies and me.

friday. (seaside, florida)

Seaside, Florida

Doggie Water Station

Seaside, Florida Ice Cream Truck

My ladies and me.

Seaside, Florida

saturday.

Here’s the thing about Saturday. We left Florida at about 10pm so we could get a majority of the drive out of the way while the littles were sleeping.

Addie’s CVS acted up at 3am in Pelham, Alabama. She somehow ended up with vomit in seven different directions I didn’t even realize existed.

A room was rented at a very questionable hotel (seriously, so questionable) where Addie got into the shower fully clothed because I couldn’t bring myself to pull her clothes up over her head. Cody used an entire roll of paper towels to clean out the car, her car seat was thrown into a dumpster, a new one was purchased along with air fresheners at 4 am and we made it home around 3 pm.

I got into bed around 5 pm and DIED.

So…no pictures from Saturday, only vomit scented nightmares.

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The week was wonderful in every way imaginable (I’m choosing to ignore Saturday.) I’m so thankful I was able to spend so much time with my little family in such a beautiful place.

(Every photo taken with my 50mm f/1.4)

the sixth seven days

the fifth seven says

the fourth seven days

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

Read more…