Thursday, May 31, 2018

100 Day Project

"If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you."  -  Les Brown

At first, I planned to take pictures of anything I found beautiful, not necessarily flowers.  But my project #seebeautyhere has evolved into flower and nature pictures, a majority documenting my yard coming back to life after a long winter. 
I knew the project would be a stretch for me to keep up with...

The first thirty nine days I posted a picture on Instagram every day.  Then the weather turned warm outside with a lot more things to do.  I have taken pictures most days but my posting on Instagram has become a little sparse...

I have learned a few things in the first 50 days or so:

I love the morning light.  The morning light is muted, soft with no harsh shadows.  Sometimes there are bonuses like dewdrops, or even raindrops, for added interest.  I also love how the angle of the light shines through the trees in my backyard making the most lovely bokeh backdrop for flowers.

Learn more about bokeh HERE.

Shooting in manual mode isn't scary.  Really.  Manual mode is just a dance between the aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

In the past I would normally shoot in Aperture Priority Mode.  I chose the aperture, or f-stop, so I can control how much of my subject is in focus and what the bokeh looks like.  I also put the ISO as low as possible for the lighting situation, always under 400, so my images aren't too grainy (I think they call that 'noise' now.)  So the only thing left to adjust for manual mode is the shutter speed.  I started looking at my camera's internal light sensor and moving my shutter speed up or down as needed to get an exposure close to what I like.  The big secret?  If the image is close to the correct exposure I can fix it in Lightroom.

It can't always be perfect.  Taking pictures everyday and then editing them is time consuming.  I don't spend as much time on the 100 Day Project pictures as I normally do with pictures for my blog.  Guess what?  My project pictures look about like my blog pictures.  I have realized I spend way too much time second guessing myself about little things in an image when editing. 

The key to getting images I like...take a lot of images.  I have a lot more photographs this year than I did  last year at this time, and more images I like.  Taking a lot of photographs, looking at them close and figuring out what worked and what didn't, is one of the best ways to learn how to create photographs I like. 

A 200mm picture doesn't look like a 60mm picture.   My 60mm macro lens broke a few weeks into the project.  My 60mm is my go-to lens, being without it forced me to use a different lens.  I have a used 200mm-70mm f2.8 I bought a few years ago but didn't use it much because it is so big and heavy.  I also didn't like how far I had to stand away from my subject.  (The minimum focus distance is about 5 feet.)   When using the 200mm while my 60mm was broke, I was reminded it has great bokeh at f2.8.  The 200mm also brings the background closer to the foreground, 'compressing' the image.  I have read that before, but now I really see it and understand it better.

My 60mm lens is now fixed and the big lens gets put on almost as much as my 60mm.

Learn more about lens compression HERE

It doesn't always work out as I planned.  Sometimes I take crappy pictures...and that's okay...because I just love taking pictures.  Although at times I can get a little irritated if after an hour or so of work I don't have any good images.  But I am slowly learning about letting go of the outcome and just enjoying the whole process I love so much.

It is a practice, this photography thing.  A practice I will not always get perfect, but I will love every step of the journey...

Summer is definitely here!  I will be taking a blog break for the month of June and part of July... Enjoy your summer! 

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day and stopping by!
Have a great day!


Thursday, May 17, 2018

What Are You Looking At?

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."  -  Lewis Carroll 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Very Windy Day

"Anything you can't control is teaching you how to let go."  -  Jackson Kiddard

It was a very, very windy day last week when a friend and I went to Cox Arboretum to find some spring blossoms.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

I Judge A Book By It's Cover

"Your assumptions are your windows on the world.  Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in."  -  Isaac Asimov

I hate to admit it...but I do.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


"The difference between school and life?  In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test.  In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson."  -  Tom Bodett

"I like the contrast." Megan, my teenage daughter, commented after I showed her two photographs I took of ranunculus flowers.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

April Fool's

"We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance."  
 -  Japanese Proverb

Mother Nature played a late April Fool's joke on us.  

Thursday, March 22, 2018


"There's just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on.  It makes you believe you're special."  -  Carol Rifka Brunt

Croquet wasn't going to be on the to-do list this past Wednesday.