Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Capturing MY Child Through The Lens

POTD 093009 - Funny Face

I was beginning to panic. All of my pointers, tricks, tidbits were not working. All I was getting was the hand or the pout or the run and hide his head somewhere. No smiles. Not even with my longest lens.

Any other month it wouldn't matter so much. Take some photos of other things. Let him have a breather. But this month? Twelve days before my class goes live? Twelve days before I begin to teach people how to Capture Their Kids Through The Lens. Sure I could capture other people's kids quite successfully, but I was beginning to feel like a bit of a sham. Bribery, coercion. Nothing.

Oh, and to top it off. I needed 4 more photos. 4 photos to illustrate a point I want to make in Lesson #2 - Candid Moments: Light & Funny Faces. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

I thought for a brief moment of calling my guest photographers Myra, Melanie or Torm and begging for photos and advice. Help! THE TEACHER can't capture her own kid through her own lens!!

I could hear people asking for refunds already.

And then, as if I'd taken my own advice from Lesson #1 - Avoid the Cheese: Camera Settings & Conversation, it all came together. The perfect light. The perfect moment. And a little boy who was ready to pose and goof and smile and who REALLY WANTED to be photographed. What relief. Perhaps I should take my own advice more often!

Off to read the other four lessons, I might just learn something!

It Takes A Village...

to pick a photo of the day! I spent the weekend visiting my mom. Fun times! We spent Sunday wandering through the zoo so Ian could see elephants for the first time! He LOVED them, mimicking them for anyone who would watch! Returning home last night I sorted through and found a few I like but can't make up my mind.

Choice #1 - The Artsy Detail
Ian's feet in black and white - watching the seals!

Choice #2 - The Experience
Blue Poison Dart frog in the new Rain Forest Exhibit.

Choice #3 - The Action Shot
Ian attempting to feed the rays. His little arm was too short!

Choice #4 - The Sentimental One
Nosy was the elephant I grew up visiting. This little statue is in his honor. And look, 4 year old and almost one year old BOTH looking at the camera! As Ian says, "my best little cousin."

Looking at these it makes me wonder. Do you choose your 365 photos because they capture YOUR DAY best or for the BEST photo of your day? Thanks for casting your vote!

BTW - My real camera is headed back to me! It should arrive tomorrow. So excited to have it again and it only took 16 days! So much faster than expected.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dirt Makes Me Happy, Really Happy!

You know my camera makes me happy. My back up camera...not so happy. It's slow and lacks back button focus and a focal point larger than a grain of sand and takes 7 years to process photos once I take them. Seriously, I feel sorry for the pain I must be putting it through if I take more than two photos in a row. The little red light on the back just blinks and blinks telling me it is working.

My garden makes me happy. Very happy. In fact, today I found scientific proof of just that! Who knew?

So today I decided to take the old camera, new lens, and play in the dirt. Not so bad. Made me happier. I've been trying to get a good photo of these since they started setting. I just love how they look like little Chinese lanterns.

And then there was this. I didn't like knowing what it was up to in my garden, but it did make for a good photo!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Looking Back

I take a lot of photos everyday. You know this. I've been taking at least one photo a day for almost a year and eight months. I don't always take the time to do anything with my photos as I take them. I select the POTD and move on. Since my camera is now somewhere in Southern California I'm not taking as many. So today that meant a look back. I found some photos I love that I didn't even realize I'd taken. And I found some that I got a chance to play with and edit in ways that didn't appeal to me (or I didn't know about) last year. This is a favorite of the day. It is so him, even a year later! I like it much better than last year's version.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Touring California Via UPS

In November 2003 after driving all over Seattle my husband I purchased the Canon Digital Rebel. The original. It was over priced, had been on the market less than a month. We paid about $100 for the HUGE 256mb card since no card was included with the camera. We were in love. With each other and more importantly with the camera. It was a logical upgrade from our EOS RebelX from film days.

I loved that camera. Marathons, triathlons, more marathons, and my son's arrival in the world. All captured with its 6.3 megapixel digital sensor. WOW! 6.3.

Technology has changed some. In 2006 in celebration of our 10 year anniversary I was surprised to receive the Canon 30D. Instantly I was in love and threw my old love aside. Stuck it in a bag. Stuck it in the back of the closet. Only retrieving it when my hubby asked if I'd teach him how to take pictures.

Today I placed my beloved 30D in a box. Handed it to the kind man at the UPS Store and sent it touring California with the final destination of the Canon Repair Center. It needs to have the BOULDERS of sand removed from it so I can take a photo at an aperture fitting a landscape photo without having to photoshop a bunch of brown dust bunnies out of it. I'm excited for its return but until then I'm without a camera.

Or maybe not.

I dug into the depths of my closet. I placed a battery in it. Gave it a nice shiny 4 gig card. And began to shoot. It isn't the relationship I'm used to. The buttons aren't in the familiar places. Its menu lacks the intricacies I'd come to love. But it is an old friend. It feels light. It looks just a bit outdated. But it is the camera I have. So here we go. A few days testing this relationship to decide if we can make it work again. It won't be permanent. Just a bit of a rebound relationship.

It captured the first vampire sighting in our house.
And this sweet little face.
I may date around a bit though. Thinking of trying my film camera out again. Just needs batteries. And somewhere in this house probably buried deep in another closet is our old Pentax that is a simple relationship. Takes gorgeous photos but means you must do everything with it. No fancy dials or buttons or knobs and definitely no menu. And if those don't work I have a polaroid with one last roll of film!

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Completely Candid" Photo Challenge

I took 558 photos during Justin's 11:40:08 Ironman. Fewer than I expected as watching with both eyes, clapping and cheering became important. At the end of the day one photo stood out for me. One capture of the pure raw emotion before the race started. I think this says it all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A New Pet

POTD 092009 , originally uploaded by katrina.kennedy.

Saturday I cleared some garden beds to make room for winter veggies. In the process we discovered a tiny green caterpillar. Shea showed it to Ian thinking he would help squash it before we dumped the leaves in compost.


Ian wanted to hold it. And keep it. And so now it sits in our kitchen in a jar with leaves. He gets it out every few hours so he can "feel it tickle me." He even set up a little rock wall for it to climb. He talks to it and tells it stories. He was a little considered that it was missing it's mom and dad but has decided we are an okay substitute family.

I think we can handle a pet this size!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Unedited Moments

Watching 2,500 people swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles is an inspiring experience. Watching through my lens was AWESOME. Not in the overused word way but in the truly breathtaking way. I found myself shooting people I didn't know because the emotion was so raw and real and present.

I found myself playing with light and angles because the moment needed to be remembered.

Last night we had friends over to help celebrate my brother's achievement and I showed them all 558 photos I took. Unedited. None deleted. Just put them out there for the world. The blurry ones. The badly composed ones. Everything.

The pictures captured the moment. For me they help me relive the inspiration and emotion I felt at the time. For others they were able to experience the event from my angle, including the people who stepped in front of the camera as the shutter clicked and the blur of runners in front of the lens.

They didn't care. No one was there to critique the moment. They were there to relive it. Enjoy it. Revel in it. And that's what we did.
What are the moments of your life that can be left unedited?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'll Time You!

Growing up my little brother had a lot of energy! We used his energy to our advantage, asking him to get things for us or do things for us paired with "I'll time you Justin!" We would then count very loudly and he'd run like crazy. On his return he'd ask, "how much?" I remember often answering 6. Not minutes, not seconds. Just 6. He didn't know how much was how much anyway. He was happy as long as we added, "that was really fast."

He grew up, but his energy didn't go away. He continued to run. The distance just kept getting longer and longer. And today I realized something. I'm still timing him! I've watched him finish short races, marathons, triathlons and on Sunday his crossed the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin -- 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 run. He finished looking strong and happy.

And I timed him!

I'm so proud of his accomplishment. So proud of his dedication. And so proud he will finally be able to spend more time with us!

Photos to follow soon as soon I return from Wisconsin!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Lego Parenting Part 2

So every day Ian has continued to say, "remember, I'm working on my Crystal Sweeper." EVERY DAY. AT LEAST two times a day. It has been at least 20 days he's been working on it. It's really a good thing he doesn't have the concept of counting down completely.

I was waiting until I left for Wisconsin this weekend. I thought it would be a nice distraction for him. Hey, you have no mom for 5 days, but you do have A REALLY COOL lego set! Ahhh, such outstanding parenting techniques. Then I discovered it was going to cost me $20 more to buy it on Amazon than to drive 21 blocks to pick it up myself. So I drove. This morning. With a little boy in the back seat. The entire drive he said, "the Crystal Sweeper misses me. It has been SOOO lonely."

Did I mention that is the farthest I've driven in about, ummm, 3 months??!! I don't drive often, obviously.

Crystal Sweeper into the cart. The box is as big as he is! Crazy! How can tiny pieces of plastic I'm going to suck up in the vacuum cost so much?! He was thrilled though! He actually sat patiently as I wandered through the entire store looking at things I had no intention of buying. Weird. I don't shop very often. Well, except on Amazon.

We got home and that's when I realized my mistake. Buying it at 1030 in the morning meant hours before dad arrived home and there was NO WAY this little boy was waiting for someone else to put it together.

So TWO AND ONE HALF HOURS later, I completed the Crystal Sweeper. TWO books worth of Lego directions that take one page for the simplest ONE STEP and then cram 17 steps into another one page. I think they co-conspire with Ikea! I injured myself once, actually drew blood. WITH LEGOS! But wow, was that little boy happy with his mom AND his Crystal Sweeper. No crying. No whining. No asking for videos. Nothing but complete joy in our house! Complete joy and 5 bags filled with plastic parts that now are a crystal scooping machine! Here's to Lego Parenting!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Snapshot Saturday #6

Good Saturday morning! A three day weekend and 80 degree weather, who can ask for more?

Today I thought we'd join in a little fun from one of my favorite photography sites Digital Photography School. It is a HUGE resource for tips, pointers and perspective on everything photography related. You can subscribe to their daily email tips or follow them on twitter. And of course it is a great supplement to any classes you might think of taking (shameless plug).

Yesterday they posted a weekend self portrait challenge! I thought, perfect inspiration for our own challenge! Lots of great tips on taking them are included! So grab your camera find your tripod a reflective surface and let's see YOU! Once the light is a little better here I'll be doing the same. I'm also going for Saturday morning in the garden makeup, hair up, natural shot! So don't be too frightened when you see it!

Link me up here so I can see what you've taken! Have fun, can't wait to see you!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Lego Approach To Parenting

POTD 090209

It started with a haircut.

We told Ian that if he let Dad cut his hair we'd buy him a lego set. It made sense. Haircut $20.00 + $5.00 tip = $25

Okay, so the Lego set they started with was slightly more than $25, but the theory was the sets would get smaller and the haircuts easier. And they did. He now lets Dad cut his hair with no bribery involved.

Then it moved to naps and healthy food. One sticker for each occurrence. Set number of occurrences. Lego earned. Notice I said...EARNED! And then one day having endured a high fever or temporary alien abduction I blurted out I'll buy you the Crystal Sweeper IF you earn it by sleeping in your own bed for 10 nights and quietly resting in your room during naptime. So that is really 20 occurrences. The problem?

CHECK YOUR PRICES FIRST! Good gosh it is pricey! And now he's expecting it. And well, he did earn it. In fact, he earned it like 7 days ago but didn't realize it because we never actually made the sticker board. He'd just say every night as we went upstairs, "remember, I'm working on my crystal sweeper" and dutifully march into his own bedroom!

So I'll spend the money.

But now we've really created a problem! My four year old child has become a collector. A COLLECTOR! He just wants to acquire them! Does he play with them? Yes. Will he play with them more as he gets older? I can hope. Now he spends most of his time asking to watch so he can see what else there is. And he asks, "someday can I have the..." And we answer, "yes, someday."

I draw the line at the Millennium Falcon!


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