Friday, April 30, 2010

Sacramento - I Heart Faces Photo Walk Preview

Only 9 spots left in the June 5th, I Heart Faces Photo Walk! Did you see there's a prize for one lucky photo walker?

It's not too late to register!

We'll be visiting this wall.

And this wall.

We'll find a few more along the way!

I'll also be walking my monthly PhotoWalkWithMe on May 8th at 9AM. I'm thinking nature, river, flowers. Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Behind The Lens: Angie Wagner

I love watching people's photography talent improve. Angie is one of those people I've watched. I remember the first time she posted a photo of her son that took my breath away! I knew then she had begun to master her camera!

Please meet my a friend and photographer, Angie Wagner.

What sparked your interest in photography?
When I started scrapping in the late 90's, I got a lot more interested in photography. I discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005, and my interest grew. I got my first dSLR (a Canon Rebel) in 2006. I took tons of pictures to get the perfect shot, but everything was on auto until just this past fall. I decided with the release of Get Me Off Of Auto, that I wasn't happy just getting lucky whenever I got a great shot. I wanted more great shots. I wanted control.

My pictures have changed so much since I got the confidence from GMOA to take control of my camera. Controlling aperture has made such a dramatic difference in how my photos look. This is a great example of how I used a wide open aperture to get this dramatic look. I used the smallest f/number the lens would allow. Before the book, I was afraid to touch or change anything. Not anymore!

What makes you happiest about your photography?  
I love being in control of my shots. I love the variety I'm getting. I love the editing process. I love taking pictures for other people and having them be so excited with the results.
What camera do you use?  
I now shoot with a Nikon D90. I bought it while I was still shooting on auto. Now that I don't touch any automatic settings, I would like to upgrade to a Nikon d300s.

 I used the rule of thirds to make the crop more interesting and dramatic. This is one of my favorite pictures. I was thrilled that I chose the right aperture to keep the entire fishing pole and line in focus.

What is your favorite lens?  
My favorite is definitely my 50mm 1.4 with the 85mm 1.8 being a close second.
What have you learned that helped your photography most?  
I've learned not to be afraid of my camera and all of it's buttons!

I chose just the right focal point to get his eyes sharp. That was the goal. I absolutely love being in control of focal points!!

How has your photography changed since reading Get Me Off of Auto?  
My pictures are more dramatic and more crisp. I am not afraid to take chances and play with settings. I am a better photographer and GMOA and Katrina are the reasons for that.  Thank you so much, Katrina, for sharing your knowledge and love of photography! My thanks to DesignerDigitals for making this all happen.

What are your photography goals for 2010?
I am in the process of fulfilling my dream of having my own photography business focusing on kids and families. Katrina made that possible! My goals are to finish my website, increase my business, and continue to grow as a photographer. I want to get faster at deciding on settings and setting up my shots.
You can find more of Angie's great photography on her blog And1Makes4

Thanks Angie for such kind words! You are truly talented!

Get Me Off of Auto and my GiveItYourBestShot tutorials are on sale through the weekend at DesignerDigitals! 

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

A Speed Bump Along My 365 Project Path

I lost my phone.

Let me rephrase. We lost my iPhone.

I haven't cried over it. Yet. I expect it will sink in today.

We've looked everywhere. We've retraced steps, cleaned out drawers, moved piles, searched cushions.

We are almost certain we know what happened. At a restaurant for dinner. Ian playing with the phone.  I didn't carry my purse (because I often leave it behind) or have a pocket. Shea carried my phone in. When we left, we are both certain that we must have just walked away. Me thinking Shea had it. Shea not thinking about it because it's my phone.

We went back. They don't have it. I sent their corporate headquarters an email. It's been routed to all of their managers.

We wait and continue to look in all of the places we've looked three or four times already. I am beginning to feel sick.

I'm sick over the loss. I'm sick over the expense. But most of all...I'm sick that some of my 365 photos were only on my phone. A busy April meant several photos taken with only my phone. A busy April meant I didn't download according to my usual routine.

A lost phone means those photos are gone.

I started 365 in February 2008. I've never missed a day. Now I won't have proof of that. Now I'll have these little spots of nothingness. Yes, it's not the end of the world or cancer. But I am still missing them.  Those of you on the 365 journey with me will understand. There are other things too. Like the collection of funny things Ian says in my notes. Mileage records (sorry IRS). And probably a few things I've forgotten about. It is my photos I am aching for.

It's a speed bump. And I am sad.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Puppy Photography not my strong suit, but I'm working on it! He is a mover!

Who can resist that face though?

Any puppy shooting experts out there? I can shoot babies, toddlers, even 4 year old boys, but the puppy has got me stumped!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reflecting The Story Behind The Photo

39mm | ISO320 | f/4.0 | ss 1/250

Sometimes I love how the story and the photo fit together so perfectly. You can read the inspiration on the DesignerDigitals blog and find the credits in my DesignerDigitals Gallery.

My photo was edited in Lightroom. I adjust the Temperature, Exposure, and Black Clipping just a tad and then added the Creative-Direct Positive Preset to add a little punch to the color. It's been a go to preset for me lately. I like to keep it simple.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Sunny Day Photo Trick

50mm | ISO 100 | f/2.8  | shutter speed 1/125

I have artichokes! At least four at this point. One is almost ready to pick, three others tiny, but growing. They make me feel like an accomplished gardener, although they didn't really require much. Perhaps I shouldn't admit that here?

I was in the garden today in bright sun and needed to document the progress. I need to remember what it looked like before I pluck it from the vine and eat it for dinner!

With the bright sun at my back I stood in front of the artichoke plant. It's about 3 feet high and three feet wide, so I leaned in. With my body casting nice open shade over the artichoke I snapped. It works in a pinch!

Do you have a trick for creating or finding open shade on a sunny day?

I Heart {Photo} Walks

I love walking with my camera. The location doesn't really matter. The weather doesn't matter so much.

I've walked with a whiny four year old, a wonderful group of women from across the United States, friends, family, by myself and with a dear friend around one city for three days. I've been in the company of point and shoots, big lenses, small lenses, skilled and novice. My walks have gone on for miles, 3 blocks, and sometimes just around my house.

I have walked beside the Alamo and public art. I've photographed grunge and glitz, but probably more grunge. I've walked three Capitols in three days. I've spent time in a cemetery. I've seen a lot through my viewfinder.

June 5th I'll be leading the Sacramento  I Heart Faces Photo Walk Across America. I look forward to meeting new people and being joined by old friends. My plan is to share some of my favorite photo spots around my neighborhood and find new ones seen through fresh eyes. I'll have tips if you want them.
There are limited spots, so please join me soon if you want to be part of the fun! I'm leading one of only two spots in California! Did I mention there are prizes?  I hope you can walk with me. You can go directly to the Sacramento registration page or read all of the details at I Heart Faces.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Two Moms, Two Cameras

Two moms. Two cameras. Three days in San Francisco.

We've taken more than two photos! What an experience spending your time with no one asking why you are photographing something. No one impatient as you move the dinner plate to just one more angle before you actually eat.

An incredible moms' weekend away. I have many photos to share and we still have a full day of adventure before us! Just a taste of our trip so far.

Shoes in China Town

Balcony with a view.

Hello iPAD (someone please notify Santa)

Documenting dinner.

If you could have a weekend away with a good friend and your cameras, where would you go? What would you photograph there?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Photographing My Garden

70mm + 36mm extension tube | ISO 400 | f/2.8 | ss 1/500

Ugly plant, beautiful flowers. Lately, carrying my camera into the garden has been my favorite part of "gardening."


If you guessed high ISO and slow shutter speed for my breaking the rules image of Bear, you were right! ISO of 3200 and shutter speed of 1/30th of a second, hand held while supporting it on the floor.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Breaking The Rules of Photography

At the advice of my sister, we've given Bear his very own sock. It was like a doggy drug! He madly tried to rip it apart, which was a nice alternative to puppy teeth biting my toes!


This photo breaks every rule about camera settings I've ever taught. Sometimes you just need to capture the moment with what you have in your hands! Any guesses on my ISO and shutter speed? I shot with my 70-200mm lens at a focal length of 120mm. I'll post the answer tomorrow!

What I Learned At The Cemetery

I knew the 9in90 photowalk was going to be a challenge. No room for error. No do-overs. No checking the histogram, no adjusting and reshooting.

The first photo was the most difficult. Making the choice to start somewhere.

The more we walked the more I wanted to show the life in the Old City Cemetery. People tending plots, work crews weeding, flowers growing, people wandering through on a slightly sunny Saturday. There is so much history and color here.

They are all straight out of camera (SOOC).

A few things I am taking away from this photowalk:

  • slow down to see your photo and think through your settings
  • know your subject, I really wanted my wide angle lens to show the context of the setting, but had chosen my 70-200mm lens instead
  • wind is not your friend when shooting flowers
  • stop and just listen
Did you join in the 9in90? I'd love to see your photos. Link me here or share in the Flickr PhotoWalkWithMe Group.

On another note, did you notice the strange thing I did with my photos? Completely out of character for me!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sneaking Up on the Photo of the Day

200mm | ISO 200 | f/3.2 | ss 1/200

This little boy will no longer look at the camera. No amount of bribery will encourage him. He'll let me take his photo, but refuses to look at the lens. When I found him playing in the garden with his new backyard safari set, I grabbed my longest lens and snuck outside. I crept closer and closer, shooting as I went, undetected. He was deep in conversation, most likely reenacting Man Vs. Wild.

I normally advise shots from eye level of children, but for this one I was standing on our back deck, above him. Shooting down put his feet and the rocks and his tools of the trade in the shot. A quick Lightroom conversion to black and white (desaturated and upped the blacks) ensured he was the focus amongst the competing colors.

Do you have a stealth technique for shooting your subjects in action?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

More Senior Photo Goodness

Senior poses are a bit more fun than what I can accomplish with a four year old. I think I need to borrow more teens for photo shoots. 

If you think the first two look lopsided, you are right! We were on the side of the hill because that's where the flowers were the prettiest! I wish we had a video of all of us climbing up there, laughing, and my butt sliding venture down the hill after. Ok, on second thought, I'm glad we don't have a video.

I Love Senior Photos

Why? Take a look.

In case you don't see it:
1. She looked at the camera without being bribed.
2. She smiled without making a goofy face.
3. She could be directed to pose, although she didn't need much.
4. She was willing to try multiple shots in multiple locations.
5. She wore clean clothes, and kept them that way.
6. I didn't need to clone out anything hanging from her nose or stuck to her face.
7. She willingly got up before dawn so we could get the best light.
8. It was her idea.

You are beautiful Kylie! It was so much fun to shoot your photos.

Let me know if you'd like to see more?!

9 in 90 Photo Walk With Me: April 2010

I'm shaking things up this month.

Saturday's photo walk will start at 800AM at the Old City Cemetery at 1000 Broadway in Sacramento . We'll meet inside the front gate and then wander through the cemetery together. The cemetery is full of beautiful flowers, trees, and statuary as well as California history.  I'll be available by phone or text if you are joining us late and want an exact location.

Parking is limited. The Cemetery suggests you park across the street at the Sacramento Works building.

Ready for the shaking part?

We will be taking NINE photos in NINETY minutes! That's it! No more, no less. You can take one every ten minutes, or bunch them together, or stretch them out. The idea is to SLOW down. Look for your photos, think them through more. We can even talk about what you want to capture before you click.

I hope to see you there! If you are joining in another location, let me know!

Don't forget to post your nine photos to our PhotoWalk With Me Flickr group!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Photo Walk With Me: April 2010

We're walking at 8AM this Saturday! Location to be announced soon.

This month's walk is a completely new challenge for me. I'll post details on Thursday!

The Results of our Roadtrip

Why would you load a four year old in a car and drive 2,945 miles over nine days?

Here is the reason.

Ian asked us for a brother. We thought a dog was a good alternative! A boy needs his dog. Why Denver?

I am so luck to be connected to a wonderful group of women at DesignerDigitals. When Jennifer told us her puppy was expecting, we all waited in anticipation. We got to hear play by play as they arrived. We chatted about it every few days. Shea and I had been talking about getting Ian a dog, but conversations with Jennifer sealed the deal. Her puppies would be ready to leave her house during Spring Break. They are small dogs. They don't shed. And who can deny they are cute!

We were excited about traveling too. Five states, two we had only been to the airports in, one we'd never visited at all, and one we'd only seen parts we didn't like.

Ian was a great traveler. Upon our arrival in Denver, he picked up the phone and said, "does this hotel have room service?" A true traveler.

We extended the trip a bit to see this

Our little side trip meant we were able to swing through Central California and spend time with our families for Easter.

Bear enjoyed playing in the backyard with my family, rarely stopping!

He did give me one nice pose though.

Now I need to work on picking a photo a day. THAT will not be easy.

This Blog Needs A Post

I'm at my desk looking at over 14gbs of photos. Still on my cards. My card reader literally broke apart last night. No uploading anything until I replace it today. I'm not putting the four year old in a car or taking him to a store, so we wait for dad to return from work first.

There are a lot of photos.

Any guesses how many photos we took? Or how many minutes of video?

It was a great trip. We are happy to be home. And the puppy? He's making himself right at home!

Which photos do you want to see first?


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