Friday, March 28, 2014

Weather Schizophrenia

From walking in the DRY evening taking some photos, to suddenly waiting under a tree for 15 minutes for Nick to come and rescue me from a torrential downpour, to the entire world going grey and foggy with it being almost impossible to see out the car windows, to brilliant golden light bursting through, I'm convinced the weather just threw an equivalent of a tantrum.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Photography 365 Project: (Days 78 - 84)

And suddenly I remember it's Tuesday and now it's late and I'm tired.  Thus, here's a very short recap of my week in photos.

Wednesday's shot was grabbed in the car between Burger King and dropping Nick off at Life Group so that I could go have a coffee date with my mentor.  I found out my hours at work are a bit later every Wednesday starting in April.  This is only going to destroy my life in terms of juggling work, teaching piano and then church group.  Thankfully summer holidays is coming soon and it won't matter.  In the meantime, Wednesdays just got a lot less appealing....

Thursday is brought to you by my caffeine addiction.  This entire week is a bit of a fog, but I can tell you that from the window sill that the cup is sitting in, I know I was in the training rooms at work that day teaching!  Other than that, not much of interest stands out in my memory about this day.

Friday's shot sums up my mood that day perfectly.  Nick thinks the fact that it's out of focus adds to the look.  I think I was not up to trying again by the time I got it on my computer and realized it was slightly blurry.  It's been a rough week.

Saturday evening was games' night downtown with some friends.  These are a couple of the custom-made pieces Nick is working on for them.  Before heading over there, we went and saw a matinee showing of Divergent.  It was pretty good.  Other than the fact that we booked our tickets for the wrong theatre, had to madly drive to the next city over, get our scene points refunded and then madly drive back just in time to catch the next showing.  We were a little late for games night after all that!

Sunday I started another online photography class - Composition and Creativity.  This week's assignment is to have your subject take up no more than 25% of the entire frame.  You're going to notice a theme for the next few pictures I'm sure!  Sunday was also the day God had mercy on my energy levels.  I was completely and utterly drained.  But then Nick got sick on Saturday night.  Nick NEVER gets sick.  This is the second time in 5 years that he's come down with something of significance.  It meant that we didn't go to church and we didn't have a family over for lunch that afternoon.  Then, to add to this, his work dinner called and cancelled, so he didn't have to go out that evening.  Thus, I called and cancelled my coffee date for that evening as well.  So instead of having four social engagements in one day between the two of us, we stayed in bed ALL DAY and made ice cream sundaes.  In bed.  Because why would you make them in the kitchen?  I feel SO much more ready to do life after that much needed day of rest.

Monday Nick got to hang out with his sister for the day while I worked, but then my last piano student of the day texted and asked to move their lesson to Wednesday, which I was more than happy to accommodate in this case because it meant I could jump in the car that evening and drive with them back to the ferry.

Tuesday I blogged (obviously).  I spent the evening teaching a couple students, having a phone date with a dear friend, and practicing for worship team this coming weekend since one of the pieces that I have never heard before in my life has extensive piano parts throughout and I cannot find any tutorials online.  So I'm figuring it out by ear, matching it with the audio file I have, and then transposing what I figured out into the key of B (which has 5 sharps just in case anyone was counting).  Needless to say, this one song is going to be the death of me.  Thankfully the other 4 are pretty straightforward and familiar!  And now I'm going to bed.  Or at least... heading in that general direction.  Maybe.  Tomorrow's photo may be of coffee again...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Photography 365 Project: (Days 71 - 77, with a twist)

This post is going to break my weekly tradition a little bit because it's my blog so I can do whatever I like ;).  I want to share with you a bit of my love of editing.  As much as I enjoy shooting, what I really love is settling down at the end of a long day and doing some "adult colouring".  This is where I feel like I have the most expression as an artist.  Some might call me a heavy editor, and that's okay.  Maybe I won't always be this way, but for now, it's where photography comes alive to me.  

Some of the photos below were "fine" SOOC (straight-out-of-camera), and that's what the aim should be.  But I like adding my own touch when all is said and done.  However, at least one of these was completely bad SOOC and was a definite "rescue"!

Wednesday I was feeling uninspired and didn't end up finding something I actually liked until pretty late that evening.  I'm still trying to have each photo represent my day in some way, shape, or form.  Pretty much anything to do with music or piano is a pretty safe representation most days!


EDIT:  Trying to bring out the detail and control the blown highlights.

Thursday I grabbed my photo before I even got to work.  The bus drops me off in front of this little pub and I walk around the corner to the office each day.  I have had my eye on the red door thinking it might make a good daily, but I found out that if I don't get it first thing, they have a large sign put out in front during business hours.


EDIT:  Playing with the crop and adding a soft grunge feel.

 Friday I had a long walk to visit someone after work and took a bunch of shots on my way back (as I didn't want to be late on the way there).  I was too embarrassed to ask the person walking their dog if I could take a shot of their gorgeous husky, but I was apparently not too embarrassed to lie down on the sidewalk to get at dirt level for this.  I called it new beginnings because it feels like Spring is finally coming, but also because it feels like this day marked a lot of personal new beginnings in my own life:


 EDIT:  Cropping out the sidewalk and giving it a soft, rich feel.

 Saturday was our "back up day" since the maternity shoot I was doing for a friend got rained out the previous weekend.  Unfortunately, it was still absolutely pouring this weekend and she's due in less than a month, so waiting longer didn't seem wise.  I pushed, and pulled, and hauled, the furniture away from our patio doors in our living room and used them as a backdrop for a few images before heading over to the studio to do some more traditional shots there.


EDIT:  Cropping to avoid chopping her at the knees, converting to black and white, bringing up the shadows to hint at her features, and filling in the edges darker to act more as a frame.

Sunday we went for dinner and games at our friends' place, and I gained a greater appreciation for all people photographing young children.  This little dude would NOT stay still.  The only reason I pulled off the shot below was because he ended up playing "peek-a-boo" with me for a minute or he would have been off the chair before I could lock my focus.  And no, there was no time to worry about white balance in this instance!


EDIT:  Black and white because of the two contrasting light temperatures of the warm kitchen lights and the cool daylight outside.  It also worked well to make the grain more tolerable as I had to shoot at ISO 8000, and fully wide open to get the shutter speed I needed to freeze this guy in motion:

Monday was the longest, most tiresome day I have had in a very long time.  Coming home to my husband was pretty much the only good thing that happened that day it felt like.  There were other good things I'm sure, but none felt so wonderful as being home finally.



Tuesday (today), I called in sick to work.  Around 1:30 this morning I was awakened by a massively sore throat and a stomach ache.  Never have I been so happy to be coming down with something after Monday.  Emotionally I needed a day at home.  On top of that, my foot was acting up worse than usual from the walk on Friday and the shoot on Saturday, and I really should have rested it.  But those two things wouldn't have been enough to make me call in sick.  Actually getting sick was the perfect solution to a much needed day of rest.  Thanks body (and God!).  Nick brought me Starbucks and lunch in bed around 2pm, when I finally got up.  (Though I had been up every few hours texting and emailing work since I had to get my poor coworker to cover for me in my absence).  While Nick was on the phone this evening, I went out to the kitchen and pulled out the vase (okay, who am I kidding - juice pitcher) holding the dried remnants of my Valentine's Day flowers and practiced free-lensing.  That's where you pull off your lens and hold it about a centimetre away from the camera and shoot.  You have to be really careful to keep dust and particles from getting on the back of the lens or, worse, on your camera's sensor.   I was a little stressed about these risks, but love the results.


EDIT:  A flip and only minor touch ups.

Now it's off to watch one show and hit the hay so that I'm ready to embrace my inbox and voice mail at work first thing tomorrow.  Especially because I JUST remembered again that I need to be up at 5:15am since I start early as it's my every-other Wednesday tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Photography 365 Project: (Days 63 - 70)

Last Tuesday I posted my Day 63 photo of our fish.  However, I ended up taking a photo later that night during our Ice Cream Adventure that I want to use instead for my daily.  Rather than going back and editing the original blog post, I'll just do a second Day 63 here.  Generally uplighting someone's face isn't ideal, but since this was a spur of the moment snapshot, I'm not going to bemoan my lack of flash fill too much:

Wednesday was one of my "long days" that I have every other Wednesday.  I got up around 5:30am, and headed into work for 7:25.  I left at 3:25 to head out to a neighbouring city to teach a batch of piano students who I just couldn't say no to even after I had moved away.  (Hence, my jaunt down there twice a month).  Nick picked me up from the last house and we drove directly to Life Group, and finally I returned home around 10pm.  This was a very welcome sight.  (Okay, I left the camera card at home, so I ran into the house, shoved a card in the camera, ran back down, and then took this shot.  How else do you think I got our light on for it!  Haha).

Thursday night I had to prep for a Friday potluck at work.  I thought I would take the less expensive route and make something vs. chipping in for the Chinese food like most people did.  Wrong.  I didn't realize I had to double the recipe, so in the end, I maybe saved $3?  And the silly salad took over an hour to make (partially because I kept getting distracted).  However, we did get leftovers out of it for dinner, so I suppose that makes it worth it :)

Friday I was feeling pretty tired.  Not sleepy tired, but life-weary tired.  Over-extended, and dealing with emotional situations.  The Lego Movie was the perfect solution.  Until the end.  When it made me cry...

Saturday morning (aka, still pretty much Friday night after the late movie), I decided I wanted a day off of shooting daily.  The trick?  Take a picture after midnight, go to bed, and wake up later on Saturday morning with the full day off.  This photo is what is commonly referred to in our household as 1-2-3-4 o'clock.  It is a dreaded time.  Nothing good comes of this hour.  It usually means that it's WAY to late, I should have been asleep long before, and I will pay dearly when 6:00am rolls around.  Or, if it's 1-2-3-4 o'clock in the afternoon, that means that my work day isn't even half over yet and I've got ages to go until I can curl up and relax at day's end.  In this case, I woke up to a rain fall warning later on which meant the maternity shoot I was scheduled to do was postponed.  A wonderfully restful day followed, so staying up til 1-2-3-4 o'clock was completely fine after all.

Sunday was Daylight Saving Time.  The problem with this was that we forgot until 2am, which suddenly became 3am.  After surviving church on very little sleep, Nick and I came home and relaxed.  I made the awful mistake of taking a 3-hour nap in the evening, which meant that Monday morning was a rude awakening, but oh, that nap felt soooo good.

Monday felt like our true first day of Spring.  It was sunny and warm and lovely.  We would have gone for a picnic in the park for dinner that evening if I didn't have 4 piano lessons to teach.  Instead, I worked til 7:50pm, which happened to be the EXACT time Nick had to leave to go out for guys' night, so we didn't see each other much at all.  Given that we just had a weekend together, I'm not complaining, though :).  Monday evening was quiet and relaxing (and when I wrote most of this blog post!).  It also was the perfect opportunity to catch up on some of that sleep I missed due to that ill-planned nap Sunday night!

Tuesday was a pretty busy day at work between a flood of emails, auditors, and training.  However, I managed to grab a moment for myself while a student was finishing her exam and snap this through the window:

One more month and we'll be at the 100 mark!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Let's go on an Adventure!


Are you tired?

Do you want to go on an ice cream adventure?


We took the long route - at Nick's suggestion:

Arriving at our destination:

Waiting for our snacks and ice cream:

Arriving home, where nick flopped right back on the couch and I came to blog and finish my ice cream much slower than him!

Photography 365 Project: (Days 57 - 63)

Wednesday was a beautifully sunny day where you could "almost" get away with just a vest and no jacket.  It was the perfect kind of day to go for a walk with a coworker to grab a free McDonald's afternoon coffee.  Little did we know the snow was on it's way again.

Thursday I took a picture of one of the hospitals I work at.  In some ways I feel like I'm saying goodbye to everything I take a picture of.  Not because I'm planning on quitting my job any time soon, or anything like that.  But because I know this is probably the only year (in the near future) that I will take the time to document every single day.  I know I'll keep the book I'm going to make for years to come and look back at this stage of my life.  It makes me wonder what kind of photos I would have taken if I had done this as a child, a teenager, when I was away at school, at my last job, etc.  It makes me appreciate how even though it feels like I will be in this job FOR.EVER. sometimes (in a restless, yet still so thankful sort of way), that I know it's just a stage in my life like everything else so far has been.

Friday I was feeling a bit uninspired.  I wasn't really sure what I should take a picture of and I knew my time with the camera was limited before I had to hand it off to Nick for the evening.  A quick 20 minute walk on my lunch break led me to this chatty fellow right near the place where my good friend and I usually meet for coffee weekly.  He was more than happy to pose and talk to me while I took his photo.

Saturday was tiring.  I got up early to be at my hair dresser's when they opened and enjoyed a free coffee from Timmy's in order to survive.  Later in the afternoon, Nick and I were both on the worship team at church.  While nothing "terrible" or "bad" happened, sometimes working with certain people's personalities just exhausts you, so I was a bit of a grumpy, emotional mess through most of practice and the service.  It probably didn't help that I had JUST fallen asleep for a quick nap and then it was suddenly time to go.  I'm not fun when I wake up.  But having Nick there drumming brightened my day a little bit.

Sunday morning involved playing at two more services and then a quick trip to grab some Vietnamese food and go home and crash.  I was still a bit of a grumpy mess, so I was more than happy to sit in the car taking pictures of the rain while Nick grabbed the food, and oh so happy to go home and have a nice, long (4 hour) nap and watch t.v. for the rest of the evening.

Monday morning I snagged a ride into work as Nick accidentally forgot to pick up a portion of the footage he needed for an edit this week.  Since it was pouring out, and since I was still pretty tired, I was more than happy to climb into a warm car, stop at the Tim Horton's drive-thru and chat with Nick on the ride in (vs. getting up early, standing in the rain, and transferring buses all the way down town).

Tuesday (today) I woke up feeling exhausted.  In some ways it was a long day, but now that I sit here at the end of it, I feel like I still have some energy left (obviously since I'm on here editing my finished blog post, taking down a photo, and adding a new one).  My fish at work is acting weird, so I spent FOR.EVER. cleaning out the tank with a little cup running back and forth to the bathroom.  I decided to take all the little fish home and give him his space.  So one ice-cream bucket, one bus, one train, one car ride, and three traumatized fish later, we know have some additional buddies in our home tank.  I really hope Bacon doesn't jump out in protest again...