Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 2010 Photo of the Day Stats

I thought you might be interested...

1,334  Total photos taken
       1  Fewest photos taken in one day
   184  Most photos taken in one day
     43  Average number taken per day

50mm f/1.4 most used lens

f/1.4 most used aperture, followed in a close second by f/4.0

What Photo Sums Up January?

50mm | ISO 200 | f/2.0 | ss 1/80 | 20mm extension tube

I'm ending the month with brussel sprouts. Yes, brussel sprouts and macro photography have been my January obsession. A fitting closure to this month's photos of the day. We dropped by the farmer's market this morning at 730AM, vendors still setting up, light beautifully filtering in, not crowded at all. The perfect time to snap some photos, grab some more brussel sprouts and head home in time for yoga.


The side light really made this photo for me. The extension tube light me isolate the subject and lose the detail of the other brussel sprouts. A little fiddling in Lightroom and the Creative-Direct Positive preset completed it for me.

Do you have a photo that sums up your January? What colors are in it? What story does it tell you? Link us up if you'd like!

Want To Shoot The Moon?

When you try shoot the moon do your photos turn out like this?

The classic, I tried to shoot the moon, and it just didn't work shot. Two problems here, the UV filter on my lens creates a second shadowed image of the moon and I've overexposed, blowing out the moon's detail achieving a pretty bad photo.

So how do you shoot the moon with better success?

1. Grab your lens with the longest focal length.
2. Take off your UV filter, if you have one on.
3. Set your ISO to 100.
4. Set your aperture to f/8.0 (this is not the only option).
5. Set your shutter speed to 1/125 (this is not the only option).
6. Zoom out to your longest focal length
7. Focus on the moon, ignoring your light meter (it's going to freak out, indicating you are overexposed)
8. Recompose if you'd like.
9. Shoot!

Because of the amount of light from the full moon, you will have a fast shutter speed so hand holding is very possible. If you want a sharper image, place your camera on a tripod.

200mm | ISO 100 | f/8.0 | ss 1/125

There we have it! Detail. And because I took it with a low ISO and shot in RAW I can crop it closely and get this.

Want to see some amazing moon shots? Check this flickr cluster. So much inspiration!

How I Decide To Convert An Image To Black And White

The sun came out! In a tease of spring is near. The sky was beyond beautiful blue. Everyone was out and moving. You could feel the genuine joy to have sunshine back in our lives after so much rain and grey. You might be thinking, if the sky was so blue, why is your photo of the day black and white?

Sometimes it just happens that way. Something about the photo says black and white. Maybe it was all of the competing colors in the background. Maybe it was the classic feel I liked in this photo. Maybe it was converting it drew my eye right to a little boy's anticipation. It really is just a feeling sometimes.

30mm | ISO 200 | f/8.0 | ss 1/500

When do you feel compelled to convert your photos to black and white?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

One More Glimpse Into My Community

There are some amazing people I'm able to call my friends! You didn't think I only had four people in my community, did you? Can I introduce you to them? They all hold unique places in my life, and again, some I've never met! 

Brittany is close to finishing her degree in optometry, wife to a band teaching man (love that) and mom to  a super cute dog! I've loved getting to know her through her photos of the day. I'm hoping to meet her in New Orleans next year.

Sarah on the San Antonio River Walk, her husband has an eversion to cameras!

I met Sarah Danielle last year in San Antonio during a photo walk I led. She was carrying a Sony camera, and together we learned how to adjust her settings. Give me a Nikon or a Canon, I can use it with my eyes closed, Sony was a new one for me!  She takes such fun everyday photos and has committed to her own Friday photo walks. You have to see how she's sees the world!

Amy is one of those people I feel like I've known forever, though we've not met YET. She's got a house filled with boys, the youngest with the best hair, EVER! She is kind, gentle, and takes beautiful photos. And if, you look at her sidebar, she includes my name among some talented photographers. Honored! Thanks Amy!

So there are a few more of the special people in my life. Who are yours?

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Clean Approach To My Photo of the Day

I had a few photos chosen for today. One was cute with a funny story, the kind my mom comes to the blog for. One was more artsy with a story, the kind I like to capture.

But then...

I was cleaning my cupboards. Determined to rearrange. Put the spices where the baking supplies were, baking supplies where the spices were. I was throwing out old things. Expired things. Empty things. How do those get back in the cupboard? Consolidating duplicates.

Then I discovered my photo of the day. It was stuck in the back of the cupboard. Half full. The expiration date? January 2005!

50mm | ISO 400 | f/2.5 | 1/80

When did I get so old that I have a 5 year old box of baking soda? Really? 5 years old? I've moved since then. I've had a child in that time. I've cleaned my cupboards. I've rearranged. Seriously? 5 years old? I photographed it. Just to remind myself. I'm blaming the child!

Want to hide the clutter in your background? Use a wide aperture (small f/ number) and leave some distance between your subject and the background. If you are shooting in auto modes, you can try your portrait or macro modes to blur the background.

Any thing in your cupboards worth documenting?

Fix It Friday #42

You know me, loving a challenge! I gave I Heart Faces' Fix It Friday a try this morning.

Here's my take.

My steps:

You can see the original photo and more edits at I Heart Faces.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Should This Be My Photo Of The Day?

50mm | ISO 1000 | f/2.8 | ss 1/1000

I could number the flaws in this photo -- focus,  ISO too high, and on and on. I selected it for a very simple reason. THIS is our life. This is the crazy running, monster games played when preschoolers are released to the playground, precisely the moment we arrive for Ian. This is what happens when the girls see Shea, KNOWING he'll run with them, play with them, and talk to them. This is MY SON with his blanket in hand running to keep up with dad, matching his stride. You can feel the smiles on their faces, even if you can't see them. 

So many reasons not to be a photo of the day, but so many more important reasons to treasure this photo for a very long time.

Do you have photos that shouldn't be your photos of the day, but you can't refuse? Link us up!

Behind The Lens: Teri Argo

I'm always amazed by connections made via the internet. I'm amazed when someone you've never met feels like you've known them forever. Teri Argo is just that person for me! She is a talented photographer and a wonderful person. I hope to meet her soon! 

Teri took Your Life: Captured Through The Lens last year. I've admired her pages at DesignerDigitals for a long time. I love her family of horses and dogs. She captures them so beautifully!

What sparked your interest in photography?
The day the UPS man brought my Nikon D50 to my front door a whole new world opened up.  I picked it up out of the box and I haven't put it down yet. 

What camera do you use (okay, I know we know, but tell me more!)?
I use a Nikon D50, and feel like I am finally getting a handle on how it operates.  I also think I am getting close to an upgrade, but the D50 will always be close to my heart.  My lenses:  Nikon 50 mm 1.4 (my workhorse), Nikon 18-55 mm (kinda not working after my trip to the Grand Canyon last April), Nikon 70-300 mm, and a Promaster 100 mm 3.5 macro.

Taken for the Fill the Frame Lesson

What makes you happiest about your photography?
I love capturing the normal things around me in an unusual beautiful way.  I live in a very ordinary place.  The scenery isn't stunningly beautiful.  People will say "Wow, you live in such a beautiful place."  That makes me smile.

What have you learned that helped your photography most?
I can honestly say that learning how to shoot in manual has helped my photography the most.  The control it gives me is so creatively freeing.

Telling a story.   This was taken in Stehekin, a very remote community in Washington State.
These are the aprons from the kitchen at the ranch were were staying at.

What did you enjoy most about Your Life: Captured Through The Lens?
I enjoyed how you explained things and the assignments.  Your lesson on metering and exposure really helped me as I was learning to shoot in manual at the time.

Rule of thirds from your composition lesson

How has your photography changed since Your Life: Captured Through the Lens?
I shoot almost all of my shots on manual mode now.  I honestly really have to think about things when I put my camera on aperture or shutter priority and forget about program mode, I will have missed the shot by the time I remember how to do it. I am also using what I learned to mentor a high school senior with her senior project this year in photography.

This is one of my favorites I took during your class.  I was practicing continuous focus and negative space.
This image is also available in a great calendar Teri published!

What are your photography goals for 2010? or Any Projects for 2010?
I want to learn more about flash photography which means I need to get a speed light.  It all makes my head hurt a bit, but I find that I tend not take as many pictures if I need a flash and I don't like that.  So 2010 is going to be devoted to learning about the soon as I figure out which one to buy.  I also am continuing on with Project 365 in 2010.  This year, I might give myself more challenges by only using one of my lenses all month, or only allowing myself one exposure for each day.

You can see more of Teri's amazing photos, including the beautiful place she lives at  on her blog or in her Flickr Photostream.


To help Teri out with her goal to learn flash photography, I'm providing her with a copy of my next tutorial, "Let There Be Light." It will be available at DesignerDigitals soon!

Have I helped you with a class, ebook, or tutorial? Would you like to be featured Behind The Lens? Send me an email at katrina at katrinakennedy dot com.

Registration for Your Life: Captured Through The Lens closes tomorrow, January 29.

Collecting Photos of the Day For Inspiration

The last nine days, collected for inspiration. I look forward to bringing them together. Seeing progress.
1. POTD011910, 2. POTD012110, 3. POTD012010, 4. POTD012210 - Saved from the depths..., 5. POTD012310, 6. POTD012410, 7. POTD012510, 8. POTD012610, 9. POTD012710

My favorites are definitely the mushroom and the lego! Do you have a favorite?

How are you collecting your photos of the day?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Obvious Photo of The Day

140mm | ISO 200 | f/ 4.5 | ss 1/250 | 68mm macro extension tubes

The sun appeared today. Thank goodness. My photo of the day seemed so obvious. I love those days.

I've heard your requests! For those of you hosting your own photo walk, I'll post my words the day before mine. I like them to be a little bit of a surprise, so you can't plan out your walk too much! Thanks for showing so much interest! Watch for a post with more details!

Take a {photo} Walk With Me February 6th

I'm going for a walk, and I'd love to have you join me!

Every month this year, I'm walking somewhere with my camera. I'll announce about two weeks before so you can mark your calendar and join me!

During each walk we'll have a list of ten things -- adjectives, nouns, adverbs, techniques. Each walk's list will be different. As we wander our route, we'll search for those items. You can be literal. You can be figurative. You can use your camera phone. It's up to you.

The photo walk is about practicing our craft. Enjoying the company. And shooting.

You can ask me questions if you'd like. You can stick by my side or wander on your own. We'll have meet up points for those who wander at different rates. And we will, of course, end somewhere for a bite to eat, review of our images, and share tales of the walk.

My next walk is February 6th, 2010. We'll meet @ Old Soul Coffee Company 9AM, rain or shine.

Expect to see red, love and blurry on the list!

Photographing Four Year Old Treasures

50mm  | ISO 800 | f/ 5.6 | ss 1/60 | with 20mm macro extension tube

Ian's toys haunt every corner of our home. Some are more special than others. This, I count in the special category. One of the menagerie of plastic animals he loves to play with, insisting I be the mamma lion while he's the baby. Substitute elephants and giraffes and you understand the game.

I know this age will pass, but I want to remember the moments. I want to have visual evidence of what was special. Today was photoshoot for a lion. A tricky prospect, since they can bite! Any guesses where it was taken? An old, favorite spot!

What treasures do you want to capture in your house?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Texture Photo Challenge

This week's I Heart Faces photo challenge is textures. I love to find texture to capture in my photos and only occasionally do I add texture. For the contest I found some texture and added a little. This photo hangs LARGE in my dining room. I can just get lost in those eyelashes and his gaze. His fingers, draw me in every time. I'd love to have it printed on canvas, to up that texture feeling.

I used Lynn Grieveson's Photo Textures. After placing the texture, I used the Overlay blend mode at 60% opacity.

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Which Photo Do You Like Best?

Today I had six photos in the running for photo of the day. Six! I love days like that. Narrowing it down to six was easy. Choosing one, not so easy.

I enlisted the help of my husband, who quickly eliminated two. With four left, he said he couldn't decide because he wasn't there for the photos, he didn't know their stories. I understand that. Sometimes photos are so personal. 

That gave me an idea!

Why not ask the person whose stories were captured in all of the photos? Four year old, to the rescue. As he sat on corner of my desk, I asked Ian to select which photos he liked best. He pointed to two. One because it was a light saber, and the second because it was a pyramid.

My husband asked him, "which do you like the best, if you could only pick one."

50mm | ISO 800 | f/ 3.2 | ss 1/125
Without hesitation Ian touched his four year old finger to my previously clean monitor, identifying today's photo. I feel really good about his choice, knowing my photo of the day now has multiple stories to tell!

I saw this shot coming! As he built the pyramid, he would bend down to get a view of it from below. As he neared completion, I metered for the light and checked my histogram on a few test shots When he placed the last two pieces, I got into position to frame the pyramid with him behind. Using a widish aperture, I was able to blur him but keep the pyramid in focus. Since I was so close to the pyramid, any wider would have blurred parts of the pyramid.

There was a bit of natural light coming through a window behind and to the right of me.

Have you ever had someone else select your photo of the day? What criteria did they use?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't Be Fooled By Bad Light!

50mm | ISO 800 | f/2.2 | ss 1/60

The chopped veggies ready to go in the oven for roasting, looked too good to pass up. My husband set the pan down on the stove, turned the overhead light on and said, shoot.

I said, no, bad idea. Sure, the light bulb provides light we can see by. But it is ugly light. Not natural. Funky color cast. No good.

I pointed to the laundry room. He got a nervous, "are you telling me to do the wash" look.

Set it on the washing machine, I said.

I was eyeing the side light from the window. Natural light even on a grey day. Enough to get my shutter speed fast enough without bumping my ISO too high.

Captured. The laundry? Still left for him to do tomorrow. For the record, he knows better than using bad light, silly boy.

Do you have an unusual spot where you find the best light?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tell The Story Behind The Photo

50mm | ISO 200 | f/ 1.8 | ss1/2500 | Kenko 12mm Extension Tube

What you cannot see in this photo is a little boy with a stick. A little boy who discovered the joy of poking mushrooms to watch them topple over. A little boy who discovered the undersides were more interesting than the tops. A little boy who asked his mom to take a picture of them.

What you cannot see in this photo is a mom who was filled with joy to watch a little boy make a discovery. A little boy who, ten minutes before, wanted to stay inside. A little boy who reluctantly went the park. A little boy who didn't want to leave once he got there.

Our photos tell so many stories. Capturing  both the photo and the words to accompany it, is so important.


I took this photo using my new Kenko Extension Tube kit.  I shot with the 12mm extension tube attached to my 50mm lens. It took a little getting used to, but with nice light and just the right distance between the lens and the subject, I love the results I'm getting.

I adjust the white balance, exposure, blacks, brightness, and clarity in Lightroom. Added a Wow Preset Vignette and sharpened in Photoshop. I was tempted to convert it to black and white. Loved the way it looked in black and white, but really wanted to remember the color of the mushroom. Ian and I agreed the tops looked like pancakes!

Why I Changed My One Little Word

My original word was simplify. A word I've been working on for a few years. I carried it over from last year after struggling to identify a new one.

I realized something. My word this year needs to be Community. From the very core of who I am, I know this is my word. I need community. I long for a sense of community.

I started hot yoga last month, led by a dear friend, and felt the beginning of community. I've watched and listened to the tragedy in Haiti, thankful to be part of a community supporting and communicating with Christina. I have discovered a connection to dear friends, moms to four year olds, who provide community.

Without community, I could not keep my photo of the day project going. Knowing so many wonderful, beautiful, caring, thoughtful women exist in this community with me keeps me committed to it. I miss their photos when they don't post and assume the same of them for me.

Patricia | Mollie | Myra | Heather (in the back)

I want to share some of the wonderful people in my community with you. They are too talented and special to keep to myself.

Myra is such a dear, dear friend. We share so many things in common, we could have been separated at birth, and somehow sent to similar families on opposite sides of the world. I cannot talk to her on the phone, because our calls literally last for hours! I can peek in on her life through her photos!

If Melanie didn't live on another continent, I'd be at her house for tea and photos everyday. I've already arranged Ian's betrothal to her youngest daughter, Daisy. So be warned, Mom, we'll be relocating to England sometime in the future. Her photos keep us connected.

Funny, I've met people thousands of miles away, but Kimberly who lives within 3 miles of me, I've never met. I love her sense of humor and how she shares her families up and downs through her photos. I will meet her soon. I will. When we do meet, we will converse about her running, her three kiddos, and her vegetarian-bacon diet as if we've known each other forever.

Sharyn cracks me up. Seriously. We've never met, and I have no plans of visiting her in the winter! I love her photos and love her family. And yes, her husband was responsible for carving my husband's mustache.

Their blogs fill my google reader with such goodness. They are a part of my every day. They are part of the group I consider my community.  I'm so happy to introduce them to you!

Who is in your community that I need to meet?

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm A Photo of the Day Opportunist

50mm | ISO 800 | f/2.5 | ss 1/125

When the moment presents itself, I grab the camera.

Today while moving laundry to the dryer, I found this guy in the depths of the washer. I rescued him and   of course, the paparazzi then arrived.  50mm lens in hand. Light from the window to the right. Positioned him. Got level with his eyes. Shot a few different perspectives.

Something tells me I'll find him in there again someday.

What opportunities are you capturing?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Being Mom Is More Important Than POTD

Did you notice something missing yesterday? Did you miss it?

I had a great day. Took a few rainy day, grey photos. So, no, I didn't miss my photo of the day. Just didn't get to it like usual.

Yesterday the little man in the house had a VERY busy day at school and came home with a serious case of the cranks. Somehow that catapulted him into extremely over tired, crying at everything. We maneuvered him up to his bath. He got happier. He was showing me how he could put his ears under the water, when I asked if he could blow bubbles. Sadly, in his little mind that translated to blowing bubbles while keeping his ears under water. SOOOO. Immediately, water up the nose, unhappy boy. Three stories, a little snack, and water settled him down for sleep. I thought. Poor little guy. He was a bit needy. My nightly ritual upload, tag, view, edit, post to my blog, and post to flickr was nixed.

Being mom creates those moments.

That means two photos today! Both with a grey moody feeling! Any guesses where I took the tree photo? The second photo is obvious, I think!

Do you have those days being mom trumps everything else? I'm guessing your answer is yes!

Behind The Lens: Amy Kingsford

Amy Kingsford was a participant in Your Life: Captured Through The Lens at Debbie Hodge's website, GetItScrapped. She is this week's featured person Behind The Lens, a look at regular people with great lives and the beautiful family they call their own.

Please meet Amy! I loved watching Amy's personal style develop throughout class. I never realized she was NOT shooting with a dSLR, proving again, it's not about the camera!

What sparked your interest in photography?
My interest in photography first sparked when my grandfather bought me a camera for my 12th birthday, but it wasn’t until I started scrapbooking that my love for photography really caught fire.

What camera do you use? I use a Nikon P90, I am slowly working my way up to a DSLR, but I really want to become rooted in the fundamentals of photography before I invest in one.

Well I take a LOT of pictures of my son Caleb, and I guess what makes me happiest is knowing that I’ve captured the most important parts of his life! I love thumbing through my photos of him and remembering every single moment, and knowing that I’ll always have a piece of those moments to cherish.

Caleb in the Wildflowers- Katrina's explanation of aperature and depth of field, allowed me the abilty to gain control over what I wanted in focus, and what I did not, even using my point and shoot.  Since the class, this has been a key component in my composition.
What have you learned that helped your photography most?

Well there’s all of the technical stuff of course, like aperture settings and shutter speeds…but most importantly I learned the principles of composition…which I felt was really what my photos were missing.

Caleb Closeup- Your Life: Thru the Lens introduced me to the idea of filling the frame, which is one of the techniques I have applied most in my photography since taking the class.

What did you enjoy most about Your Life: Captured Through The Lens?
I enjoyed seeing everyone else’s photography--including Katrina’s. I’ve always felt that being inspired by the work of others, pushes us beyond our own creative "comfort zone," and opens our minds to a whole new world of possibilities!

How has your photography changed since Your Life: Captured Through the Lens?
Katrina’s class totally changed the way I look thru my lens! Before I was just randomly snapping at objects and events, hoping to merely depict a point in time, but now when I look thru my camera, I am able to tell a story and capture the treasured moments of my life the way they were meant to be captured! 

Princess Alexys-  Recompostion has added a drama to my photos that was absent before, if it had not been for this class, I'd never even have known the full meaning of this word, let alone the effect it would have on my photos.

Christmas Lights- I love how Katrina always provides excellent instances in which "breaking the rules" may get you exactly the effect that you want!
What are your photography goals for 2010? or Any Projects for 2010?
First off I’d like to get all of my photos organized! I am working towards that goal as part of the "Get It Scrapped Project," at Get It Scrapped!. Secondly, I am hoping to get involved in a Photo-a-Day group this year. And finally, I have a large photo collage I am working on for my great room, that I plan to circulate photos thru each year.


Amy's beautiful scrapbook gallery can be viewed at here and on her Scrappy Doo.

To help Amy with her 2010 goals, I'm providing her one hour of online chat on a photography topic of her choice! Congratulations Amy! Here's to a great year of photography!

Have I helped you with 
a classebook, or tutorial? Would you like to be featured in Behind The Lens? Send me an email at katrina at katrinakennedy dot com! 

It's not too late to register for Your Life: Captured Through The Lens! Lesson 2 will be posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Look In Unexpected Places For Your Photo of the Day

I was asked to shoot Olympic Marathoner Magdalena Lewy-Boulet tonight along with 30 area high school runners! A talented group of athletes. 

The photos were fun. Lots of hi, click, next, hi, click, next. In the midst of shooting,  I looked down and discovered my photo of the day.   They were shouting, "shoot me!" Magdalena's are on the right.

And in case you were wondering, her marathon PR (personal record)...2:30:19. Of course, she'd show up in running shoes!

I Just Discovered Greeblemonkey

Occasionally, as I wander the blogosphere, I stumble upon something that really fits me. I was enjoying my friend Sarah's photos when she mentioned she was entering a contest. I'm competitive. I'll admit it. As an uncoordinated clumsy kid I knew sports were not going to be my thing, so I grabbed onto other outlets, speech, poetry, writing competitions, you name it. I grew up. AND I CANNOT GET IT OUT OF MY SYSTEM. Now it is more about the process than the outcome (it is, it really is).

So long story short, Greeblemonkey hosts a monthly photography contest, so... When I read the word "Inspirational" as her theme, I knew I had to enter. One photo came immediately to mind for me. There was no hesitation.

My brother spent nine months training for Ironman Wisconsin. He didn't just complete it; he did it with a smile almost the entire distance! He was inspiring, as were all of the finishers before and after him. Such pure determination required, both physical and mental.

17mm | ISO 200 | f/5.6 | ss 1/100

Seems competition is a family trait.

Taken with my wide angle, 17-40mm lens in fading sun. I shot in Aperture Priority mode since the light was fading quickly and I didn't want to miss the moment while I fiddled with my exposure. I saw him round the corner literally three seconds before I shot this! In Lightroom I made tiny adjustments to Blacks, Fill Light, Contrast, Clarity and Vibrance (in that order). Added a Vignette and called it complete!

Bringing Photos Together For Inspiration

It is going to be a grey rainy week. Not the best for sparking photographic enthusiasm! When I know it's going to be a rough week, I like to pull my photos together. Seeing the progress of this years photo of the day project helps spark some motivation!

Can you see the mood of the last nine days? I was surprised how much it jumped out at me.

Your Life: Captured Through The Lens kicks off today! I'm so excited to help so many people on their photographic journeys! I want everyone to be able to capture the moments of their lives!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Of Course He Would Have A Cake

Almost every day, Ian asks us which holiday is next. Today I explained it was a holiday in honor of  Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday.  I explained civil rights in four year old terms. I showed him photos. I explained how different his world is because of Dr. King's work.

Ian then asked, "will he have a cake?" It's the same question he asks upon receiving any birthday party invitation. As we made the cake together, I knew exactly what my photo of the day would be.

50mm | ISO 640 | f/1.4 | ss1/320

Sprinkles delicately placed by a four year old hand. I think they are a bit symbolic.


I shot this will ALL lights off in my house. For candle photos I expose for the light around the flame, not the flame itself. Enough to illuminate the cake, but not blow out the detail of the flame.

In Lightroom I fiddled with Temperature, Exposure and Clarity a tiny bit, cropped it, upped my black a smidge to get rid of a reflection of the plate.

In Photoshop, I reduced noise a tiny bit and saved to jpeg.

I Heart Faces Week 3 "We Are Family" Photo Challenge

I'm not afraid to admit the order of things around here. We all know who is in charge.

Visit I Heart Faces to view more families more functional than my own!

Taken with the self timer, camera on a tripod at the request of the master of the house!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rainy Days Are Not Camera Friendly

40mm | ISO 800 | f/4.0 | ss1/125

Yes, rain and most cameras don't mix. I take mine out anyway. I protect it. I keep it under my rain coat. I shoot under protected places. Because, this girl has to shoot! While this isn't the most original image, it is my image.

On our way to the farmer's market this morning. We got there so early, the vendors were still setting up. No crowds. No pushing. Ian could peer at the squid in the fish market as long as he wanted. I enjoyed it completely. And THAT is what I'll remember when I see this photo.

I will admit to thinking, I wish Shea would stop using the windshield wipers so the water would be even.

I auto focused on the rain drops, and then switched my lens to manual focus before shooting.
Processed in Lightroom using the Creative-Aged Preset and adding a slight vignette

Shutter Sisters Treasure Hunt

Shutter Sisters is a daily stop for me. I love the inspiration and the supportive community. Today Sarah posted about finding treasures in your old photos. Explore them. Play. See them with a different eye. Process them in a new way. A rainy day grey makes this a perfect challenge for me today.

I dug through old photos. I have a lot. Seriously.  I've been shooting digital since 2003. It was a lot of looking!

I found this image. I was at their wedding as a friend, and of course I took my camera. I've always loved this image. Not for its quality or anything technically wonderful, it lacks in many of "those" ways,  but for the moment it captures.  Just after they had exchanged vows on the beach of Kauai. The better description would be, in the beach, as the tide moved in as their ceremony proceeded. I love their expressions. I love that they are holding hands, and making their way, together, through the sand and waves. You can't see all of that. But I know it.

I opened it in Lightroom. Adjusted the white balance, blacks, contrast and clarity just a bit. I cropped it to eliminate a stray head. Used a Wow Vignette and Creative-Direct Positive Vignette presets. Adjusted saturation and vibrance just a tad. And here you have it. Not perfect. But real.


And the original image. Shot in jpg, which limits how much I can play. I've learned some since they took their vows!

What treasures do you have buried on your hard drives?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Expressions When The Photo of the Day Inspiration Is Lacking

Saturday, waiting for lunch. I'm amazed at how big his mouth is! I'm glad he's around for a little entertainment.

I'm feeling a bit uninspired today. From past experience January and February are the most difficult 365 months. Darker days. Short days.

What are you doing to stay inspired?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Grab Inspiration Where It Presents Itself


Dark outside.

Not a single photo today. A day defined by a four year old in high maintenance mode. The poor little guy was unhappy about EVERYTHING from the moment he woke up.

I knew I had to get a photo. Wasn't excited about it.

In my wanders around the web I found this page by Anke. I knew immediately what I was going to do. I grabbed a bottle of wine, I needed a glass anyway. I set it up on the kitchen counter. Shot. UGLY. Too many colors, distracting lines, just didn't work.

My unmotivated self, perked up a little and I grabbed the black velvet I use for shooting babies. Off to the kitchen with it. Bottle and glass placed. Snap. Better. I called my trusty assistant to pour. And well, he missed the glass. And there you have it! My photo of the day.

Funny thing is, the bottle is over 5 years old. It seems I have an affinity for buying dessert wines at the end of wine tasting excursions. I'm not a huge fan. And I seldom think to actually drink them. Until tonight there were three unopened bottles in the fridge. They've moved houses, been shoved to the back reaches of the fridge, but still remained unopened! Next photo? It might just be the one we purchased in 1998 that was signed by the winemaker.

What do you have in the back of your fridge that might just make a photo of the day?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Behind The Lens: Anke Turco

Anke Turco was a participant in Your Life: Captured Through The Lens at Debbie Hodge's website, GetItScrapped. She is this week's featured person Behind The Lens, a look at regular people with great lives and the beautiful family they call their own.

Please meet my dear friend, Anke! We've not met in REAL life, yet, but have enjoyed many hours connecting through photography and scrapbooking.

What sparked your interest in photography?
Looking at other people's pages and noticing how wonderful some of those pictures looked. I just had to find out how to improve mine, so I started reading and playing and just got plain frustrated :)

What makes you happiest about your photography?
These days I can actually see improvement. When I get that good shot, I could start a little dance I get so excited

What have you learned that helped your photography most?
How to put everything together. All those dials and knobs are finally starting to make sense!

What did you enjoy most about Your Life: Captured Through The Lens?
Reading those lessons and being able to actually understand what it was all about. That to me was the greatest revelation. It wasn't about memorizing f stops but how to apply different settings to get the desired result. Then there was the artistic part that just blew me away. I mean for Katrina to take a shot of a pair of boots and make them look really interesting was amazing to me.

How has your photography changed since Your Life: Captured Through the Lens?
I haven't looked at photos the same way since. I have a completely different appreciation for what goes into the creation of a photo and I mean creation literally :) It is all about the person behind the camera and I admire that artistic ability so much. Now when I take a picture I know so much better how to approach it and getting the different settings together is so much easier. I still have a lot to learn and I pour over my lessons again and again, and every time I read them, they make more sense. But my pictures have definitely improved

What photography projects are you working on for 2010?
I am participating in the POTD at Flickr. I didn't quite make it last year, but this year I promised myself that I will stick with it. I get so much inspiration from looking at what other people photograph and how they do it. It also forces me to use my camera every day and look for that best shot to put in the gallery :) I will continue to take any class Katrina puts out there and learn as much as I can. I want to get to know my camera better too, which is a large undertaking.... I am having so much fun taking pictures, my family gets fed up with me at times when I stop the car to take a shot of something I find interesting, but actually my daughter is already following in my footsteps by pointing out pretty things to photograph to me. That just makes my heart happy!


Anke's beautiful scrapbook gallery can be viewed at DesignerDigitals and on her International House blog.

To help Anke with her 2010 goals, I'm giving her one hour of coaching via video chat on her photography topic of choice! Congratulations Anke! Here's to a great year of photography!

Have I helped you with 
a classebook, or tutorial? Would you like to be featured in Behind The Lens? Send me an email at katrina at katrinakennedy dot com! 


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