photography

the last 72 (in photos)

a bunny and a glove.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

Addie at 8

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny and a glove.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

try some snow!

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

Addie at 8

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

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how to photograph a fistful glitter in the air.

I blame Ke$ha for making me want to go insane, go insane throw some glitter make it rain. There’s also P!NK who was all “Have you ever thrown a fistful of glitter in the air?” and I was all, “You know what P!NK? I haven’t, but I sure would like to.”

So I bought some glitter and did just that. (Well, I made Cody’s baby sister throw it. (And by “throw” I mean “blow” which brings this whole thing back to Ke$ha meaning maybe that girl really does know what she’s talking about.))

Here’s what to consider when you throw glitter.

A) You want to be far enough back so the glitter doesn’t blow into your expensive camera.

B) You want a nice wide aperture so you get more in focus, not just one or two flecks of glitter and a fingertip.

C) To have a wide enough aperture you need somewhere bright to shoot (which usually means outside which is good because who wants to blow glitter all over their house?)

D) Having something bright (like the sun) means you don’t have to set up external side lighting to highlight the glitter (which is what I found a lot of photographers doing when I did my “how to photograph glitter in the air” research. It’s totally fine if you want to do it that way but I’m kind of lazy and if the sun is willing to light stuff up for me? Go ahead sun!)

E) Finally, you want a nice high shutter speed so you can catch the glitter mid-flight. Too slow and you’ll wonder why you just took a picture of someone blowing into their hands.

I shot these with a Canon 7D with a 70-300 f/4.0-5.6 IS outside on a super bright and sunny day.

BUT. Guess what happens when you shoot at high noon on a super bright and sunny day?

If you guessed harsh shadows, pat yourself on the back because you would be correct.

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I fixed this little conundrum by moving her up next to my light colored house. BOOM. Instant reflector.

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(Isn’t she pretty? She’s single! Florida area! Call today!)

Another thing worth mentioning is that the f/stop actually went up an entire stop in the following photo yet the background became even more lovely and blurry. BUT HOW CASEY?

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Compression! In the first photo I was standing fairly close to her (well, as close as 70mm will let you stand, perhaps four feet?) In the photo above I’m standing at least 12 feet away from her but I’m zoomed in which allows her to be totally in focus while the background just blurs into lovely oblivion. This is why I shoot portraits with my 70-300 lens if I can, they’re so much more realistic and lovely and it’s also why I don’t need a 70-200 2.8L. Stand far enough back with a zoom lens and you’re going to get a delicious bokeh that rivals any low aperture lens at half the size and a quarter the cost.

ONTO THE GLITTER.

I shot this on AI SERVO which means if and when her hands moved while she blew on the glitter they would stay in focus. I also set my shutter to continuous release (which is *I think* 8 frames per second on my camera.) I wanted a nice wide aperture so I could get a lot of the glitter in focus but have her just slightly out of focus. Even though it was bright as dickens outside I moved my ISO up to 400 so I could get my shutter speed higher to catch the glitter in mid air.

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For the first set I filled her hands with just silver holographic glitter, not super fine but also not that scratchy crummy stuff we used in grade school.

How to Photograph Throwing Glitter

The second time around (once I was sure I knew I was getting what I wanted) I filled her hands with foil confetti stars as well as a fine holographic blue glitter.

How to Photograph Throwing Glitter
How to Photograph Throwing Glitter

More sparkle is never a bad thing.

Since I was zoomed in on her no glitter ended up on me or in my camera and thankfully it was a calm day so the glitter carnage on her was kept to a minimum as well.

I think that’s it! Any questions? Comments? Concerns?

My next big idea is to fill a balloon with glitter, blow it up then photograph it popping. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE GLITTER BOMB!? WHEE!

So there you go, Ke$ha and P!NK sang about it. I made it happen.

(animated GIF tutorial can be found here.)

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simplicity and our home at the end of the street.

The weather has been positively perfect around these parts lately.

One of the reasons I love the Midwest, endless clouds to the horizon.

At this moment our windows are wide open, a slight breeze is blowing through, the crickets are doing their cricket thing and Cody and I are both tapping out our tales by the glow of an old lamp, three feet apart from each other.

I love being here. I love having a house that is actually a home. Walls that have captured and absorbed so much laughter that you could probably hear it if you pressed your ear against them. Quiet little moments when you realize you have everything you’ve ever wanted or needed and all you had to do was fall in love and learn how to love yourself.

a lovely sunday evening

In my home my arms are never empty, there is always a warm body to hold, some of them bigger than others, a couple of them way more furry than the rest. I am never truly alone here.

I spent so much of my life lonely, even when I was surrounded by people. Now I’m whatever the opposite of lonely is.

Vivi and I take a walk everyday around our circle, we could not be more fortunate to have such a lovely house at the end of a lovely cul-de-sac. I wish every kid could spend part of their lives playing in a cul-de-sac. While the baby phase never lasts long enough, I’m relishing the chubby single finger hand hold phase. Vivi chokes bunny in one arm and holds my index finger with her other hand. We walk, she barks at all the dogs, tweets at all the birds and squats to pick every last dandelion she sees.

Sometimes she’s even wearing pants.

Shadow of a very loved bunny.

Safety first,  pants optional.

Vivi's dandelion picking service: A penny a pop!

Things have been pretty quiet around here, and yet they couldn’t be more marvelous.

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rad.

Today my camera and I took a ride on a cherry picker high above hundreds of happy beautiful people.

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Photographed color me rad in Indy, I love my job.

I love my job.

Want to run in a Color Me Rad? There’s still a bunch of races left this year.

Want the opportunity to photograph one? Check CraigsList (or equivalent) as the date of your city’s race comes close for a chance to apply, or email your portfolio and equipment list to Flo-Foto.

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we went to the library today.

Reading Alone

Reading Alone

Addie and Vivi Reading

Addie and Vivi Reading

We don’t go to the library enough.

I also haven’t been using my camera enough.

Learn how your camera works, then use it all the time.

Go to the library, read books with your babies.

It puts sunshine in your soul.

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cats in babyland.

Our cats joined us six months after Vivi joined us, which means they came into a home where there was no real risk of being attacked by a baby unless being shrieked at could be considered an attack. We never intended to rescue two cats, but when I went in to visit the one eyed cat I had my heart set on, I turned around to find a brown tabby curled up in Vivi’s lap as she sat in her stroller. He purred as Vivi grabbed at his fur and tugged on his whiskers.

hugging percy.

Vivi and her gaurdian cat.

Later we started to wonder if all the other cats at the Humane Society were rolling their eyes at him “There goes that stupid cat again, putting on a show for the humans.

Well cats, we fell for it because when we came back the next day to pick up our one eyed cat, Cody took one look at the brown tabby and said “He’s coming too.

Percy walked into our house and said “I LIKE IT!” and made himself right at home (on my face.) Wink on the other hand took to hiding under our bed, but it was cool. I dig cats who demand you win their love, which is probably why I’m more of a cat person, dogs give it up too easily.

fist bumps

Both the cats have always been accepting of Vivi’s existence. Percy constantly tries to rub up on her, I can only assume it’s because she’s warm, smells like milk and her chubby little fingers can really dig into all of his itchy parts.

Wink loves her from a distance, he waits until she’s busy then sneaks up behind her to make sure she’s okay.

a baby and her cat.

He never moves too fast around her and when she’s crying he stands guard until she’s settled down.

his disdain for her is apparent

Various cat parts have become standard issue in many of our family photos.

cat bomb.

cats. sheesh.

darn cat.

Vivi and Percy

These cats make us all outrageously happy despite the baby playing in the kitty water and the fact that owning cats makes the 5 second rule null and void.

Someday this baby is going to grow up and leave me.

Someday these cats are going to leave all of us.

Better enjoy it while I can, because I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything.

wink the guard cat.

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I’ll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories and experiences with you here several more times throughout the month before beginning over there full time in early July. This post is sponsored by Disney Baby.

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the one about vomit making me happy.

I told all of my friends to remind me of a certain incident that took place in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store back in September of 2010 if I ever started talking about wanting to get pregnant again. A few have already reminded me.

I have a sort of fuzzy recollection of the incident.

Frozen faux meat products, stomach churning, head spinning, holding myself up with the shopping cart, going cold, mouth watering,  vomit, aisle 3, calling Cody sobbing, so much vomit, strangers. Oy.

Not my best day.

But you guys, that was only one day. (Mostly because I never did any of the grocery shopping again or went out in public for another 7 months.)

This right here?

This is everyday.

AND IT’S WONDERFUL.

13 months 8 days

13 months 8 days

13 months 8 days

13 months 8 days

I’ll vomit in public any day for another chance at this much happiness.

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I’ll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories and experiences with you here several more times throughout the month before beginning over there regularly in early July. This post is sponsored by Disney Baby.

Read more…

all this babble blurbed.

I did it.
Four days.
Two hundred pages.
Six hundred and twenty seven photos.
One big, beautiful book.

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

It was worth every darn penny ($128 + S&H) to finally get this done. It’s amazing. I added in bits, pieces and quotes from my blog over the last year. We’ve all looked at it a dozen times and we’ve only had it for 14 hours. My mom and dad both have one and I’m already looking forward to making another one next year, and every year from here on out. If I’m being honest, if you’re going to get a book as big as this one (13″ x 11″) you should probably have some pretty good photos, the point and shoot and phone photos are pretty obvious compared to the rest (the Blurb bookmaking software tells you when a photo isn’t big enough or high enough resolution to fit.) Not big into designing a whole book yourself? You can have Blurb design it for you. My very most favorite thing about Blurb? They let me use the photos I already have uploaded to Flickr, no sorting and uploading from my hard drive necessary.

Get 15% off your first blurb book with code BLURBBOOK15OFF

This is not sponsored or endorsed by Blurb at all. I made the book on my own and paid for it with my own money, those links up there are affiliate links (which I did use when I bought my book, full disclosure) and I used the 15% off coupon just like you can. I mean, hopefully Blurb sees this and is all “YOU’RE AMAZING! BOOKS FOR EVERYONE!” but that isn’t really why I did this. You see those little girls up there looking at the book? That’s why I did this. You need to do it too, no sense in having all those wonderful pictures sitting on your hard drive or in the cloud where no one can touch them, look at them and enjoy them. Do it, do it, do it.

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