Monday, August 30, 2010

Tuesday Tip....Backlighting and sun flare...

A lot of beginner photographers are given the advice to shoot a subject with the light coming from behind the camera, lighting up the subject.  And maybe many of you (I know I was when first starting out) are pretty intimidated to shoot into the light.  Once you practice enough and get the hang of shooting into the sun or another light source, you will find that you can create some stunning images!
When taking a picture of a subject with the sun behind, you will most always need to use fill flash to light up the subject's face.  Backlighting is wonderful in the way that it separates the subject from the background! 



Although in the picture of this aspen, I did not use fill flash....  In this case I bumped up my ISO a tad, and overexposed it by 1 stop.


It is really difficult to take a picture in automatic settings with your subject being properly exposed with a bright light behind it.  Your camera will want to expose for the bright sky and it will leave your subject dark unless you are using flash.  Using automatic settings, your camera will take what it THINKS you want it to take....but to get the picture that YOU want, you will usually have to use manual settings.
I am also a big fan of sun flare in pictures, but I do recognize that it is not desirable in all situations.  When I go out on a photo shoot with you, I will always be watching for an opportunity to get an awesome picture with sun flare! 


Friday, August 27, 2010

It's a date!

I decided not to wait until the weekend to go out together!  My got a sitter last minute and decided to take off :)  Thanks for watching the kiddos Julie!  We didn't do anything grand, but it was fun to just get out and be together....definately something we don't do often enough! 
We did a little shopping before going to Tempe Town Lake to check that out.  I hadn't been there since the damn burst, so it was pretty wild to see it all empty!  And I realized while there, that how ironic that we ended up that is where he proposed to me!  We were sitting on the wall with our feet dangling over the edge on the lake side, and he was so scared I was going to drop my ring in the water!!  Whew...could you imagine! 

IMG_8313 Frans climbed down to the bottom of the 'lake' to get some pictures of the mud....

I love the reflection of the bridge in this one!


From there we headed downtown where we hoped to end up at Pizza Bianco.... but after much walking, we found out they are closed for a week for their 'summer vacation'!!  I was a little annoyed!!  who just closes for a week!?  I got over it tho :)  But I have heard great reviews about their pizza....has anyone else been there?  Maybe next time we are down there we will have to check them out...
and a self timer portrait!  the ground was the only place to put the camera! IMG_8380

We ended our date with dinner at Chili's before heading home.  Fun fun!!

And I can't end the week without a recipe :) 
These are "Almost Candy Bars", and let me tell you....they are to die for!!  And you know me, I am all about easy, and these are definately easy!  But having them hanging out on the counter all week taunting me wasn't such a good thing!  But they are perfect for school lunches, or last minute company...


you will need:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag chocolate chips
1 bag butterscotch chips
1 box of devils food cake mix
1 stick butter
coconut (optional) ( I say optional, because I don't like coconut!)
Mix (room temp) butter and cake mix together until crumbly, then spread on the bottom of jelly roll pan.  sprinkle choco/butterscotch chips on top, and coconut, then drizzle all the milk on top.  bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.  so so so so good!!  Let me know if you try them and what you think!
Have a great weekend everyone!  Cooler temps are coming our way!!  I think it's only supposed to be 98 on Sunday, so it would be a great day for the lake :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary...

Wow.  Has ten years really gone by since we said "I Do"??!  It is amazing to me how fast time is marching on!  Happy Anniversary to my hubby, I have sure been blessed with him in my life!  We will celebrate this weekend, I'm just not sure yet what we will end up doing! Maybe head to downtown to eat and explore....
sorry for the bad picture!  I don't have a scanner, so I had to take this with my camera.  (with my camera is still in the shop, and I'm hoping that it's just the mirror that they had to fix...will find out today!)  I don't think we have changed much in the last ten years, what do you think?

Blog anniversary

And to add to the celebration, check out this sweet deal....if you book your wedding with us between now and September 2nd, we will add a free engagement session to your package!  ($175 value!!)  You must mention this blog entry for the deal, and time is limited, so you must act fast!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This little girl....

This little girl is going to be what keeps me smiling today! 

dirty licorice face and all :) 
My camera is off to the repair shop this morning :(  There is something wrong with the mirror.  And I am just crossing my fingers and will say a prayer that it is not a major ($) fix!!  And if you have a session scheduled with us soon, don't worry....we've got you covered !  Although, if it is a major fix, maybe this will be the excuse I need to upgrade to the Canon 5D mark II!  Or maybe that one's still a dream....!
Although maybe that dream will be closer than I think if I keep saving like this...


This was a few weeks ago now, but it has been my best savings trip yet!  I am finding it harder and harder to buy things that aren't on sale, or that I don't have a coupon for!  It has been a challenge at times, because it does take so much time, but it is definitely worth it!  What's been your biggest savings in one trip?  I have only gotten this high once, but it seems like my grocery bill has been cut almost in half since I started!
Happy hump day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I heart faces weekly photo challenge..."beach fun"

This weeks photo challenge over at I heart faces is "Beach Fun".  This was one of my favorite pictures of our trip to San Diego a few years ago.  How fun to enter it in this contest!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Tuesday Tip...Night time Deep Blue Sky...

  We have been asked many times, how do you get the Deep Blue Sky pictures in your night scenes. It is all in the timing. See you next week for the next tip.
 Just kidding of course.
  It is all in the timing though. Too get the deep blue in the sky with a night scene first you need to take the picture at night. After sunset there is about a half of an hour where it is still bright out. Towards the end of that half hour it starts getting pretty dark out but if you look at the sky you will see that it is still pretty light. What you need to do is wait until the sun goes down below the horizon far enough that it is dark outside but still a hint of light still in the sky. (when I say a hint of light, I mean just a hint. The sky at this time will look dark to your eyes probably.) So now the sun has set and we have waited half an hour. It is looking pretty dark out and now you have about fifteen minutes to get your night time blue sky photo. If you wait more than that there will be no light shining into the sky from the recently set sun to light the sky blue and your sky will turn out black.
  You will need a tripod or some thing to set your camera on to compose your image. You will not be able to hand hold the camera for this because of the slow shutter speed you will need.
4x6bridge print
 For this photograph of Tempe Town Lake I used our 5d with a 17-35mm sigma lens @ 17mm. I held the shutter open for two seconds with an f-stop of 9. I had my iso at 400. I could have gone with a higher iso and lower f-stop so I could speed up the shutter but I wanted the lights from ASU stadium (on the far left of the image) and the tall buildings next to it in focus and the bridge as sharp as possible.
If you have a question regarding your camera or photography in general, feel free to ask it here, or shoot us an email!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

re-group day....

Growing up, when us kids would start to get major attitudes going on, because we'd been running too much, or dad would make us stay home for a while and "re-group."  Although, it must not have been until we were older because I sure do remember being plain old "grounded" too!  :)  Well....that was one of those days around here today....we "re-grouped!"  and it was good.  The first week of school always leaves everyone tired and cranky, and with that comes attitudes and whining and the whole works!  It wasn't intentional that I stayed home with the kids from church...we kind of overslept!  But it did feel good to have a day where there was nothing that had to be done, and there was nowhere that we HAD to go!  (although I did make a dash to target because we were out of diapers)
We just kind of lazed around and ended the day with a bike ride to grandma and grandpa's house  :)  We took a quick dip in their pool, had a short visit, then made our way back home again.  Everyone loved it, and i'm sure we were quite the site on the road!  We finally all have working bikes, and I can't wait for the weather to start cooling off and we can enjoy it even more!


what is something that made your weekend great?
Have a great Monday everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

food-ie friday...

I just have to post this recipe for this taco salad on here that my friend Dayna shared with me.  This salad is a big hit in our house, and it's the perfect meal for anytime!  And I didn't think it would be good as leftovers because I thought the chips would get too soggy....but the romaine lettuce keeps it crunchy :)


Try it out and let me know what you think!
you will need:
1 1/2-2 lbs gr. beef
taco flavored doritos (crushed)
red pepper (chopped)
green pepper
zesty italian dressing mix (i use two packs)
big bag romaine lettuce
ranch dressing
brown your hamburger, add italian dressing mix. in large bowl mix everything together and mix in ranch to your desired amount!  So simple and so so delicious!
We have made it through the first week of school...and I think it went pretty good:)  Even tho Alanys tried to claim she was sick on Wednesday.  I overheard her telling Lindsey that she likes playing on the swings, but she didn't like singing her ABC's twice!  She went to school that day....and after school, she told me she was glad she went! 
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

summer's end....

Last Saturday we headed up the hill to Flagstaff in the middle of the night wee hours of the morning.  We left at 3 a.m. and dropped Frans off around 5:30 or so at Kendrick mtn.  He spent the day looking for elk trying to get pictures.  He didn't have much luck getting pictures, but he saw quite a few, and got some great video coverage :)
I think the girls and I covered just about the whole town of Flagstaff while garage sale-ing (with NO luck...grrr....)!
But I cheered up in no time at the park!  I mean, who couldn't smile watching this girl?!  I can still hear her excited giggling! :)
Cute Kierstyn...


IMG_1512 I
was quite peacefully laying here reading my book until these two wild girls kicked me right off the sleeping bag!

Lovely Lindsey...

After spending the morning at the park, we went to "Bearizona" in Williams.  The kids were so excited to go there, but I was a little disappointed at how little there was to actually see.  We saw some burros, and some Bison and a few bears, but the bears were far off.  It's been many years since we drove through "Bear Country USA", but I thought I remembered it being 'more'.  Have any of you been there?  And if so, what did you think?  And I was a little disappointed to find out that they charge for each person in the car, instead of a set rate for the whole carload.  Oh well...the kids still enjoyed it, and now we can say we've 'been there, done that'! 


At the end of the park, there was a 'walk through' area where you could see baby cubs, a fox, etc...All we could see were these two cubs playing!

My girls :)

Alanys and Kierstyn....tough girls with their tattoo's!


After Bearizona, we headed back to Flag to join Paul and Kendra and kiddos for pizza in the park for supper.  It was so awesome to be up in the cool pines and out of the heat!  It was a great send-off to summer!
Made a quick stop in a field of flowers on our way to pick up Frans...


IMG_1639 my beautiful girls ( I'm just a little biased!) Toni and Alanys....



It rained!

WHOOOO-EEEE!  Hiking this morning, I could have practically swam up the hill!  At 5:00 it was 77 degrees and 84% humidity!  Can you say disgusting!?  Although there was a pretty good breeze at the top, so it made it actually kind of chilly :) 
Finally all the black clouds produced some rain over our house around supper time last night....and it actually was still raining pretty hard when I hit the sheets at 11.  We have gotten teased so many times this summer, so it was fun to actually get the rain here.  And the kids were loving it outside!  Such a nice break from the sweltering heat :)
Anita, this wagon has provided more hours of entertainment around here :)
Alanys the lucky one who got to be the "pusher"!  I have tried many times to get rid of this broken jeep, but every time I put it in the garbage pile, the kids haul it back out!
Excuse me missy-poo, get over here!  I guess teaching her to play in the road maybe isn't one of the best ideas!
But she was having a ball!


Today is going to be another "purging" day around here... I said that when school starts, I was going to go through each room in my house and CLEAN it!  Yesterday I tackled the girls room, and it took me a few hours, but man does it feel good to have that room done!  When I was done with that I went through all the girls drawers, and cleaned out my little storage/garage sale bin.  As a result....I ended up with two BIG garbage bags of garbage, 3 bags to send to goodwill, and one bag of stuff for my sister to rifle through.  I love purging!!! 
Now to just get these bags out of my house :)
Next much dreaded office :) 
Happy hump day!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday's Tip....Fill flash...

Back on August 3rd, on my blog about how to "take a better picture", I mentioned using fill flash.  A few of you had questions about this. 

---Appreciate the info Jenny - now can you explain the fill flash on the camera to me?

I will try to explain this the best that I can!
Fill flash is used to supplement existing light in a scene.  It's generally not the primary light source (as a flash often is in low light situations) but fills in light where natural light doesn't go.  It helps to eliminate shadows cast by facial features (under eyes, noses, chins) especially when light is shining down from above.  It will also help to add a "sparkle" to the eyes of the person you are photographing. 
In most point and shoot cameras the main button to look for will be the
one with the lightning bolt (flash) on or near it. Press this multiple
times and it will cycle you through the different options for flash (on,
off, automatic, red eye reduction are the main four). Some point and
shoot cameras even have a ‘fill flash’ option that ramps back the
strength of the flash a little which is ideal.

Some more advanced digital cameras will allow you to experiment with the
strength of the flash you use. This will enable you to tailor your
flash to the situation you’re in.
Rieno posted this question:

--Can you force all cameras to flash if it tells you it is bright enough without a flash?

Posted by:
Reino Kuoppala
Reino posted this question, and then called us and we walked him through how to use fill flash with his point and shoot camera. 
When he tried to pop up the flash with the camera in the automatic setting, the flash popped up but did not fire when he took a picture.
Then we told him to set his camera on manual, so he set his aperature at 1/60th of a second, and his f stop was 5.6.  He then popped up the flash again, and with the camera on manual settings, the flash fired this time.

Notice the flash filled in light on the plants, without having to "blow out" the background.
Thank you Reino for the pictures!
Hopefully this helped you!
Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Monday, August 16, 2010

And they're off....

To School!! 

The girls were soooo excited for the first day of school!!  Yesterday I overheard my 8 year old telling my 9 year old..."This sunday is taking was too long to be over!!" 
On 'meet the teacher' night last week, Alanys' kindergarten teacher gave her some 'magic confetti' to set by her bed the night before the big day.  She loved it, and it was right there on her pillow next to her as she fell asleep!
Here is the poem that goes along with it...
The night before school is exciting and fun.
There are always so many things to be done.
Your clothes are ready, your backpack is too.
Your classroom is full of fun things you will do
There are so many questions that go through your mind
All types of thoughts of every kind.
But sometimes we all get the jitters down deep
And that makes it hard to fall fast asleep.
So i've made you some magic confetti, it really is cool
it will help you be rested and ready for school.
Just place the confetti next to your bed
On the night before school starts where you lay down your head.
The confetti will help you sleep through the night
and you will wake up in the morning fresh and bright.
I'll place the confetti near my bed, too
And remember, I just can't wait for school so I can see you!
I thought it was really cute.  She was actually not one bit nervous until this morning.  I can't believe she is in school now.... 
And I don't think Toni was nervous at all...My big 1st grader!
Kierstyn is in 3rd grade.  She was not liking me and my camera when we got to the school today!  She was so worried that everone was gonna laugh at her getting her picture taken!
Silly :)SCH2
And do I really have a girl in 4th grade??!  Crazy how time is just flying right along!
Some new shoes and a few new backpacks....they're all set!  I hope they have a great year!!
I should have it pretty easy this year with only two home with me during the days....but so far today, my baby has cried all morning and I have had to hold her!  Now she is zonked out in my arms. she sick or just tired?  
Happy monday everyone!

Friday, August 13, 2010

On my plate today...

MMmmm....doesn't this just make your mouth water?  My new breakfast of choice lately...multi-grain waffles with a little bit of syrup, fresh strawberries, and topped with whipping cream!  I actually  have a hard time with wondering what to eat for breakfast!  Is anyone else like that?  For years and years I usually went without eating at all, or just having a bowl of cereal, but I can't do that anymore!  So I will have waffles, or oatmeal, or toast and occasionaly a bowl of cereal.  But what are some other easy ideas?  I'm all about quick and easy in the morning! 

I'm also always open to some quick and delicious dinner ideas/recipes. 
Last night we had some awesome southwest meatloaf!  If you haven't tried this, you should! 
you need:
1 1/2 lb. hamburger
2 eggs
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1/2 C. salsa
1/4 C. ketchup
1/4 C. BBQ sauce
salt, pepper, and season-all
Mix together and bake in muffin tins for 15-20 minutes @ 450 degrees
so easy and the kids all love it too!
What's going to be on your plate tonight?
Happy Friday the 13th to everyone!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

goggle guy and Taryn....

I ran across these pictures of my friend Andrea's little boy Flynn, and just had to post them.  He was so funny waddling along with his goggles!  This swimming was serious business!  And no matter how hard I tried, I could not get him to crack even the tiniest smile! 
First he's got to scope out the situation before he heads into the water.....Untitled4

ok, coast clear, but all that tired me out!  too funny... :)
And another one of Miss Taryn....

I finally figured out what the problem is....she's scared of Care Bear!!  So we called it quits and tried again the next day....


So now the question is....Do we try again for a smiling picture?  Or do I settle on this one as our final?
 What a little bugger she is being with our LAST picture!  Here she is each month....(click on it to see it bigger)
This was a fun project!!  And I only got behind a couple times :)