Monday, May 31, 2010

Can You Guess What My Photo of the Day Is?

Most of our weekend was spent in the garden. I planted some, cleaned up some, weeded a little, and mostly sat and enjoyed the surroundings. Shea worked on the chicken coop palace the entire weekend. They will be very well kept chickens! I think it is up to code as an apartment if we ever need the extra space!

Most of my photos were from the garden of course. So it seemed fitting to pick one for a little quiz.

Any guesses?

I'll tell you tomorrow!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Enjoy Your Weekend

I hope you and your family are enjoying a great weekend together. We have been having a little bit of fun around our house!

Even if the under four photos require bribery! Today it was for the use of my phone.

I love how this weekend marks the beginning of summer! We're ready!

Friday, May 28, 2010

What If Photographers Posted Their Bad Photos Too?

You've seen the good photos. What if you could see the bad photos too? Would it help you overcome your reservations and doubts about your own skills?

I think, at the least, it would make you laugh.

You'd see the eyes that blink as the shutter clicks.

You might even see the out of focus shot. Even though said photographer teaches focus in Lesson #1.

In their collection, you might even find an overexposed photo.

Or underexposed

And you know they cover that in Lesson #3.

And perhaps you'll even see the expressions of their "cooperative subjects."

And don't forget the self portrait projects, gone wrong. Very wrong.

I don't think this is what said photographer intended in Lesson #5, Finding New Angles.

And definitely not this.

You know one thing though. Photography is a process. Sometimes it goes right and sometimes, well, it just doesn't. And that is the beauty of it all. 

Just in case your wondering about what the other lessons cover, click for more information about Your Life Captured Through The Lens. Registration closes at midnight EDT tonight! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Behind The Lens: Katrina Kennedy

I'm shaking things up for this week's Behind The Lens. This week I'm featuring someone you might know, myself. I realized I had never answered the questions myself, and thought I'd give them a shot!

What do I enjoy most about photography?

I love the challenge photography provides. I love thinking through all of the possible settings and angles to create an image. I love working to see if I can capture something as I see it and likewise, working to capture something in a completely different way than it presents itself. And, of course, I love recording the moments of my son's life.
50mm | ISO 800 | f/2.0 | ss 1/800

How has my photography changed since I started shooting a Photo A Day?
I started shooting a photo a day in February 2008. I shot mostly in Aperture Priority mode then and often used a rapid fire, shotgun approach. I've slowed down since then and I now shoot almost exclusively in Manual Mode. In those two years I have tested and tried every button and dial on my camera. I take fewer photos and have come to enjoy the process of finding my images. I love the visual journal of our life that has been created.

Picture of the Day July 31, 2009
50mm | ISO 400 | f/2.8 | ss 1/80

What camera and lenses do I have in my bag? Which do I use most? Why?
I shoot with a Canon 30D, in my bag I have:
Canon 50mm f/1.4

I use my 50mm lens more than my others. I love the quality images I can create in low light situations and the ease of carrying it around. It is a safer lens for me to wear everywhere I go as my wide angle lens happens to be at the perfect height of a little boy who happens to like to hold my hand! I do get the 17-40mm out more for outdoor shots despite the risk involved!

36mm | ISO 400 | f/5.0 | ss 1/160

What is the strangest thing I've photographed? 
I once took a picture of giant blister I got on my foot while training for a marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Great cause, ugly photo. I won't make you look at it! I've also photographed my brother's post marathon toes, again, not a pretty picture.

150mm | ISO 500 | f/2.8 | ss 1/100

Where do I keep your camera when you aren't shooting?
It is anywhere, but the bag! Right now it is on my bed upstairs where I just finished a photo shoot for a tutorial I'm writing. Typically it sits on the corner of my desk surrounded by the lenses I'm not using. I like knowing I can grab it and go with a moment's notice. I've left the house wearing my camera only to realize I left my purse behind.

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

What editing/organizing software do you use?
For almost all of my editing and organizing I use Lightroom 2 and the Lightroom 3 Beta. I do some noise reduction, sharpening, and spot removal in Photoshop CS4.  

50mm | ISO 200 | f/2.8 | ss 1/200

What do you love about teaching photography?
I love sharing my knowledge! I love helping people take creative control of their cameras. I love seeing them capture images in a way they didn't think they could. Most importantly, I like making the journey to record our moments easier. I think, as moms, the moments feel like they are flying by so quickly. It is so important to know how to capture them.

I hope you've enjoyed my twist to this week's Behind The Lens.
You can still join me for Your Life:Captured Through The Lens. Registration closes Friday, May 28th at midnight EDT.

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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Salad Extravaganza Day 3

Today was Shea's turn in the kitchen.

In choosing his ingredients he made the ultimate find in the garden!  Our first potato, a Yukon Gold.

And the first garlic of the year.

He presented it on a lovely white round fiesta ware plate. A nice change in my studio.

He created a completely decadent salad. The potatoes were a lovely addition to the tasty butter leaf lettuce. Croutons from homemade bread with a a bit of thyme from the garden. Difficult to say if it was better than SED1. Definitely wins on the decadent scale though! Dressing? Simply balsamic vinegar. Yum.

So which would you select for my photo of the day?

Photo of The Day - Capturing An Accomplishment

50mm | ISO 1000 | f/3.2 | ss 1/200

He is so proud of his new karate belt! He willingly held it up for photos, but notice he understands shallow depth of field so he knew just how far it needed to be so he's out of focus. Stinker.

He must have proclaimed, "I have my own belt," at least thirty times. And the belt? We could wind it around him almost three times. It seems he needs a size 000 instead of a mere 00!

Salad Extravaganza Day 2

Salad Extravaganza Day 1 was such a success, I was a bit intimidated on day 2.

I followed each of my self imposed rules:

Rule 1 - Use up the lettuce from the garden before it bolts.
I chose romaine.

Rule #2 - Add one additional ingredient from the garden.
I chose three. A carrot, a shallot, and a walla walla onion.

Rule #3 - Use one herb from the garden.
I happily chose cilantro. It is the first time I've been able to grow it, and I've tried many, many times!

I made a tasty Cilantro-Lime dressing for the salad. Much tastier than SED1's dressing. I added less water and oil than the recipe called for. Of course, I took the cilantro to my studio before chopping.

I added beans, corn, and peas with a few baked tortilla strips, and dinner was served. After its photo shoot of course!

I bounced a tiny bit of flash off the ceiling to add to the ambient light.

Our critique? Presentation and dressing were definitely better than SED1, but flavor and overall goodness didn't compare. It seems our romaine is a little closer to bolting than the previous night's butter leaf.

Tonight Shea is on deck for SED3. I'm looking forward to seeing what he creates. I'm guessing he chooses oregano for his herb. I think he may even try digging up a new potato!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Tour Of My Photography Studio

Would you like to see my photography studios? I have an expensive, professional set up. ; )

First, the kitchen studio.

Notice the $5.00 cutting board in the back. It is a great background and serves as a reflector in a pinch. The wooden cutting board can be maneuvered easily on the counter top. Light comes in from the window behind the set up. Not the ideal light set up, but we make it work. You've seen carrotscanning, a bell pepper, and a birthday cake from this studio. You've also seen one of my favorite shots ever from this studio.

Now onto the main studio, where much of my work takes place.

This is the location for my salad, cookies, a Lego, and yes, I get the laundry done here as well.

The side lighting works nicely for smaller subjects I want to photograph. I'd like to try a newborn shoot here. It's the perfect height and size for a little one. Maybe with it running, I could lull them to sleep.

So, you've seen my studio. Care to share your favorite/quirky studio spots?


Do you want to find out where your best "studio" is? Join me for Your Life: Captured Through The Lens. Each lesson combines technical camera information with composition information. Class includes hands on, step by step assignments and video lessons in addition to 6 printable pdfs. I've updated class since its first offering last year! 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Salad Extravaganza Day 1

The lettuce in our garden is about to bolt. It is time to eat lettuce. We've deemed it salad week. We are each making salads this week with a few rules. One thing from the garden must be used in addition to the lettuce. One herb from the garden must also be incorporated.

I was a bit of an over achiever tonight.

I picked a beet, carrots, and an onion from the garden. 
50mm | ISO 500 | f/2.8 | ss 1/60

I added in thyme, basil and oregano for the salad dressing, using a great recipe from Veganomican, one of my go to cookbooks.

I roasted the carrots and beet. Sliced the onion. Baked some croutons from left over bread Shea made. Tossed it in a quick dressing also from Veganomicon. I roasted a few pine nuts to add some protein to the mix.

And we had dinner. Almost completely from the garden.

50mm | ISO 1250 | f/2/2 | ss 1/400

I took the salad picture in my studio. My shutter speed could have been slower to get a lower ISO, but I'm happy with the result.

I'm not certain how I can top tonight's salad.

We Have A Winner

Cate is the winner of a spot in Your Life: Captured Through The Lens.
Wow! Gorgeous photos! I love the cow (or is it a bull?) drinking in the stream surrounded by snow (the snow covered fence posts are spot on in my book, too)
Class starts this Wednesday and runs for six weeks. Registration closes on May 28th.

Please post any questions you have it about it!

**Cate, send me an email at katrina at katrinakennedy dot com with your email address and your username at Get It Scrapped so we can get you registered!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Behind The Lens: Kathie Ostgulen

Imagine the person who, as soon as she opens her mouth, leaves you clutching your middle, bursting with laughter. The oh my god, I'm going to pee my pants kind of laughter. That is Kathie. I met her online and in real life at Disneyworld last year. I didn't need to see any attractions, listening to Kathie tell stories was entertainment enough! She paints amazing tales with her words and with her camera. 

When I was writing Get Me Off of Auto, I asked her to be part of the team. I wanted her spectacular photos to show off the steps in the book. I had no idea, she was shooting in Auto modes. What gorgeous results she was achieving! I asked to feature her in a special Behind The Lens, focusing on the wonderful photographers who contributed to the book. Kathie is the first of the three.

Her answers left me in tears. I'm so pleased to share her with you! 

What do you enjoy most about photography?
There is so much that i love about photography.  Of course there is the aspect of preserving memories, but it really goes so much further than that.  I think of a photograph as a gift,  the gift of a moment that can never be relived any other way, a special way to rewind your life!  There is also the joy of taking a great photo, a constant learning and challenging of yourself.  An extra special perk of photography are the relationships that you develop with others who share your passion....they get you!

I would never been able to get this shot on auto...the chapter on shooting in the manual mode helped me achieve this.

 How has your photography changed since Get Me Off of Auto?
Quite simply GMOA has changed my photography 180 degrees.  Before Katrina asked me to be a part of this project I was shooting 99.999% in the auto mode.  The few times I ventured out, I either took a photo that was completely black or white.  I read so many books and blogs about the exposure ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed come together to take the right photo.  I might as well have been reading a book written in a foreign language, I just couldn't put it all together.  GMOA made it so easy....for once there was someone (Katrina) who was speaking to me in a language I understood.  I went from auto to manual and have never turned back, I now shoot 90% in the manual mode with a little aperture or shutter priority mode thrown in when the situation calls for it, and I know what mode to use as the situation arises.  That still amazes me!!

Thanks to Katrina's chapter on shutter priority mode I was able to capture this camera shy squirrel as he bolted.

What camera and lenses do you have in your bag? Which do you use most? Why?
I shoot with a Nikon D90, in my bag I have:
   Nikkor 50mm f/1.4
   Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 Micro  (macro lens)
   Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8
   Nikkor 18-200 f/3.5-5.6

Lately I have been using my 60mm f/2.8 macro lens.  By the time I felt comfortable off of the auto mode, winter had set in where I live, which means most of my shooting has been indoors just practicing taking photos of the things around my house and of course my dogs.  Each spring I work about six weeks at a local greenhouse designing containers and that lens is perfect for taking flower photos.  I am looking forward to getting out with my 70-200 this spring/summer.

I have never been able to shoot and attain a true black background.   I can honestly say that GMOA allowed me to get this shot, one of my favorites so far.

  What is the strangest thing you've photographed? 
I don't know how strange this is, but I love this photo.  I was taking shots of some daffodils that my mom brought me and noticed that i loved how the stems looked in the bottom of a beer glass that i used as a vase.

Where do you keep your camera when you aren't shooting?
It is always handy.  I used to keep it in my camera bag in the closet, but noticed that I was missing too many shots.  I now just keep it on the sofa table in my livingroom with batteries charged!

After reading the chapter on Aperture Priority mode I was able to get just the right DOF I wanted for this photo of all that sugary goodness!!

What editing/organizing software do you use?
I use Adobe's Photoshop CS2, Photoshop Elements 3 and Lightroom 2.  So excited for the release of CS5!!  

It took me three years and Katrina's book to be able to take a photo of a red rose that actually looked red.  In all previous attempts the rose was either black or hot pink!!  I was thrilled when that happened, this was taken in the manual mode.

I love Kathie's photos! You can see even more of her work in her flickr pool and at DesignerDigitals. Don't miss Buddy, he is perhaps, the cutest dog ever! (Sorry Bear.)

I'm feeling generous. Pop over to Kathie's photos or scrapbook pages, leave a comment here about your favorite Kathie photo or page and I'll pick one lucky winner for a spot in Your Life: Captured Through The Lens. Post your comment by midnight, May 22nd. I'll post the winner on May 23rd.

Class starts on May 26th!

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.


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