Thursday, March 31, 2011



This evening I went exploring for new places to take pictures.  I love doing that because you just never know what you'll find.  Tonight I was lucky enough to find these really cool rocks that were like curvy, flowing steps in the natural landscape.  I want to go back with a model other than my son.  Not that he's not the cutest little model ever but I have a vision for a picture on these rocks and it involves someone older than 5:)

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, ISO 200, f/2.5, 1/640, Auto White Balance, Spot Metering

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Son the Gymnast


Ok, so the picture is crooked but I had to post it anyway to brag on my son (because that's what we moms do).  I hate it when I take crooked pictures but it seems to happen to me frequently.  This is another one of those cherished memories that I don't really care about a silly thing like the picture not quite being straight.  What I care about is remembering that at 5 years old, my son could do a handstand on the parallel bars with minimal help.  He's been working hard on this and I'm so proud of him.  Seeing how far he's come from being a floppy little kid who ran all over the gym running away from his mom during "mom & tot" classes, to this.  This makes me look forward to seeing who he will become with his determination and willingness to work at something.

And on a different note, I have to say again how much I love the low light ability of the D700.  I've tried so many times to take pictures in this gym but it was just beyond the limits of my old camera.  I simply couldn't get a fast enough shutter speed to get anything other than underexposed blurry pictures.  Now, thanks to the D700 and it's amazing ISO range, I get to capture these memories forever.  Thank you, Nikon:)

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, ISO 3200, f/2.2, 1/320, Auto White Balance, Spot Metering.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Joys of Photography


When it's overcast outside or raining a little bit, what else is there to do besides take a nap?  While a nap is my preferred activity on any day, the best thing to do on a gloomy day is to go outside with your camera.  The light is beautiful and diffuse which allows you to enjoy all the rich, beautiful colors available.  And if it's been raining then you have the added bonus of fun little droplets on everything.  If I had a good macro lens then I would've really had fun with those droplets.  

So this morning when I looked outside and saw all the gloominess, realized it was misting and cold outside,  my first thought was that the Mesquite tree lied to me and winter is not in fact gone.  But then I realized that it was only cold by Texas standards (46 degrees-ish) and that Spring is truly here and the much needed rain came with it.  And then I got inspired and headed outside with a sweater and my camera.  And now I think I'll head out there again and see what else I can find!

Technical Notes: Nikon D700, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 400, Focal Length 80mm, f/5.6, 1/80, White Balance set to Cloudy Weather.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Boys


My boys love this old boat and always want to take it out on the water.  I have a hard time convincing them that's not a good idea!  I tell them it probably has holes in it.  So they search for holes and can't find any.  I tell ya, there's no arguing with these two.  They have an answer for every argument.  Maybe they'll be lawyers one day but for now they're experts at trying Mom's patience.  

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G, ISO 200, Focal Length 55mm, f/7.1, 1/60, Auto White Balance.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beautiful J


I had a portrait session today that included this beautiful little girl.  I love photographing kids because they're so natural and don't worry about things the way we adults do.  They make my job easy:)

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/160, Manual White Balance.

Saturday, March 26, 2011



Winter is officially done!  I know this because the Mesquite tree told me so.  When the Mesquites start blooming, that's the signal that Winter is done and Spring is here to stay.  And everywhere I look, the Mesquite is blooming.  So I guess the Mesquite tree has a purpose other than just to make great bar-b-que!  Although I deeply appreciate both of its purposes, I think the great bar-b-que is by far its higher calling in life.

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 200, Focal Length 80mm, f/5.6, 1/80, Auto White Balance.  In editing I applied a preset called NY Times Magazine which basically intensifies all of the colors in the picture.  While I was happy with the beautiful green in the original unedited shot, I like what this preset did to the background.

Strike a Pose


My model, um, I mean, my 5 year old, was really into posing for me last night.  Apparently I torture my kids frequently with the camera so now they've just embraced it and started striking poses for me.  That's a good choice.  The sooner they learn to just give up and go along with what mommy wants, the better:)

And those oh so noticeable bare spots in my son's hair, are from one of the many hazards of childhood.  Both boys were jumping on the trampoline together one night when suddenly they collided and my younger son's teeth went right into my older one's head!  It was disgusting and it was one injury I just couldn't deal with.  Normally I'm fine with blood, but what I can't deal with is skin in places it shouldn't be.  But obviously he's fine and now he has these cool scars to attract the girls:)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nothing But the Sky


Tonight I have nothing for you other than this picture of the sky.  There was a storm rolling in but half the sky was still clear as could be and lit up with a jillion stars.  The bit of light on the clouds was from the lightning that was flashing every so often.  I questioned my sanity as I walked outside, my metal tripod in hand.  But I needed a picture for today and a good photographer will do anything for a picture.

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 1600, Focal Length 28mm, f/5, 30 second shutter speed, Auto White Balance.  In editing I bumped up the contrast a bit and reduced the noise.

Good Neighbors


This isn't the world's greatest photo and the lighting isn't quite right, but the subjects are what make this picture for me.  The people in my part of Texas are absolutely the friendliest, neighborliest (I made up that word) you'll ever meet.  The man in the picture is our neighbor and the kids just love him.  As soon as they saw him come over on his golf cart last night they ran up to him and absolutely mauled him trying to climb onto his cart for a ride.  He took them for a ride which included a stop at his house for a quick snack.  And of course I couldn't tell him they hadn't eaten dinner yet and shouldn't have a snack because it makes all 3 of them so happy.  This is a picture I'll treasure for years to come.

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 400, Focal Length 80mm, f/5.6, 1/200, Auto White Balance

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Partying and Painting


Sorry for the late post but I was out partying and painting last night.  Or maybe just painting.  Have you ever been to those paint your own pottery places?  I had never been to one before because I assumed you had to be creative to gain entry into one of those places.  But it turns out you don't have to be!  I was invited to go with a group and I hesitantly went thinking my piece of pottery would turn into a hideous disaster and then I'd be banned forever from the group and from the store.  

There were so many blank canvases to choose from and they were all over priced.  So I finally settled on this bread tray because I thought it would at least be something useful that I could use in my kitchen.  I quickly decided on a solid color because I figured I couldn't mess that up.  And then I found that the store had all kinds of stamps that you can use to make designing idiot proof.  Or just non-creative person proof.  The next step was to find a coordinating color to go with the funky shade of green I had already picked.  I had to enlist the help of a friend who can actually match colors but she picked a nice red to go with my green.  I know it looks pink but I'm assuming it's supposed to dry darker because it was in fact red in the bottle.  I can't pick up the finished product until next week because they have to fire it and do whatever it is they do to it to make it look shiny and pretty.  But I'll post a picture of the finished product when I pick it up.  And now thanks to one innocent visit to the paint your own pottery store, I'm addicted and will be taking my kids there later today!

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 800, Focal Length 48mm, f/4.2, 1/125, White Balance set to Cool White Flourescent.  Did I mention that I love that I could take this picture indoors without the aid of a flash??

Monday, March 21, 2011

You Lookin' at Me?


This snake had his fangs removed and his mouth sewn shut but he still scared the begeebees out of me when he started giving me the eye!  Let me tell you, rattlesnakes are some seriously scary creatures. This one was being used to teach snake avoidance to the dogs at the training day we went to on Saturday.  If I had to pick just one thing I hate about Texas, it would be the rattlesnakes.  The first day I moved into our house here there was a rattlesnake in our yard and black widow spiders all over the back porch.  Which prompted me to think, "Why did I want to live in the country?"  Thankfully a good dousing of bug spray keeps the creepy crawlies at bay.  And the World's Best Mouser keeps the rattlesnakes away.  No mice equals no food for the snakes.  Which is a good thing because my two boys were so enthralled with this rattlesnake I'm certain they would've been bitten if the snake would've been able to.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Good Ending to a Long Week


After a fun but long week in Kansas City, I was very happy to be heading back to Texas.  Ok really I was just happy to be heading back to the warm weather!  It actually snowed while were in Kansas City.  Yuck!!  And then when I got back to Texas it was 86 degrees and I got a sunburn from being outside all day.  Or I guess you could say I got a sunburn from being unprepared and having no sunscreen.  But hey, it's March.  Who expects to need sunscreen in March?

I spent all of Saturday at a NAVHDA training day and had a great time.  I'm sorry to all of my non-dog friends, but my dog friends are always my favorite people to hang out with because they understand why I love my dog so much and why I love hunting with him.  That's something that non hunting dog people just don't get.  Combine a fun day in the field with my love of photography and that's just about a perfect day.

And now for the much anticipated Technical Notes!  I know you missed them;)
Technical Notes:  Nikon D70 (I didn't want to get my D700 dirty), Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G, ISO 200, Focal Length 200mm, f/5.6, 1/1000

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Crown Center


This is the last in my Kansas City series.  I had such a great time there this past week taking pictures.  This picture was taken at Crown Center which is a collection of shops, office buildings, the home to Hallmark, Kaleidoscope and most importantly the fountains.  This is such a cool part of the city and it's always been one of my favorite places.

Big Books for Big Imaginations


You should have no problem getting lost in these larger than life books.  I love, love, love these because they are the front of the Kansas City Public Library building.  The whole front of the building is made up of these awesome gigantic books.  I've never seen anything like it before but I think it's perfect.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kansas City Skyline


Did I mention how much I love Kansas City?  This is a view of the skyline at night.  The picture is taken from the Liberty Memorial overlooking downtown Kansas City with Union Station in the foreground.  I had so much fun taking this photograph because I so rarely get to take cityscapes.  My sister-in-law and I went out together and we had so much fun running around the city with our cameras.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Badminton Anyone?


If you've ever been to Kansas City, Missouri, then surely you've noticed some of the rather quirky and whimsical art displayed all over the city.  At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, there are giant shuttlecocks gracing the lawn.  They are a fun contrast to the seriousness and formality of the museum building.  And since they are one of the first things I think of when I think of Kansas City, I had to go photograph them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two Grouches


These are my two grouches.  There are 62 years difference between them and yet apparently they both look in the closet in the morning and pick out their Sesame Street shirts.  Personally, I think they're pretty cute!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Best Cupcakes Ever!



My little boy turned 4 recently.  Ohhhhh, it almost kills me to say that:(  But he did have a great birthday party which included the best cupcakes I've ever tasted.  And more importantly, the best frosting I've ever tasted!  My friend Molly is the genius behind these delectable little cakes.  The frosting is made from Ghirardelli cocoa and it was absolutely divine!  My 7 year old nephew who rarely speaks (ok not rarely but he's just so darn quiet) was absolutely compelled by the deliciousness to stop eating his cupcake and announce across the room to Molly that she makes good cupcakes.  So thank you Molly for bringing your fabulous cupcakes and your beautiful family to the party.  

And today my son followed up by eating the next best thing to cupcakes which were some delicious strawberries.  You can see he's totally thrilled with them!

My apologies for the lack of technical notes on the pictures but it will be that way all week.  I'm super busy this week and have barely had time to post my photos.  So I'm going to make things a little easier on myself and skip the technical notes for now.  Thanks for reading despite my laziness:)

Saturday, March 12, 2011




This little cutie pie is named Nike.  She belongs to a Weimaraner field trainer that I take Milo to sometimes to work on his hunting skills.  Nike is such a little sweetie and a miracle baby too.  She had an aggressive tumor in her mouth and ended up needing a partial mandibulectomy.  So now she's left with this adorable long tongue that hangs out the side of her mouth where she's missing part of her lower jaw.  I think it just adds to her character and makes her even cuter than she already was.  She's a little ball of fire and hasn't lost any of her zest for life.  Just don't tell her it's not normal to have your tongue hanging out like that;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Still Playing With my Camera


Today I spent more time experimenting with my camera in low light settings.  This picture is a pretty typical scene in the afternoon around my house.  Oscar loves to curl up on my bed all snuggled up in the comforter and basking in the sun.  He was mildly annoyed that I was in his face with my camera.  But isn't that the life purpose of a cat?  To be annoyed?

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, ISO 800, f/2.2, 1/60, Auto White Balance

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Giddy with Excitement!


Warning for my mom:  You will be bored to tears with this post and I already know you don't like the look on his face.  Stop reading and try again tomorrow.

Today, I am exactly as the title of this post suggests.  I'm absolutely giddy with excitement!  What could cause a grown woman to laugh, jump up and down and maybe even shed a tear of happiness?  A Nikon D700, that's what!  Yes, my hubby finally gave me the go ahead to order my much desired camera of my dreams.  He told me yesterday at 11 a.m. to go ahead and order it.  And by 11:01 I had it ordered with overnight shipping so that it arrived today.  Of course I met the UPS man at his truck this afternoon and asked him where he'd been all day!

For those of you who know me, you know that I don't believe in buying new camera equipment just for the sake of having the newest thing out there.  I believe in only buying what you need.  After all, it's not about the camera, it's about the person behind it.  Great pictures depend on the skill and talent of the photographer much more than they depend on what kind of equipment you have.  So what in the world possessed me to decide I wanted to spend that kind of money on a camera?

First of all, the sensor.  The sensor in the Nikon D700 is what's commonly referred to as full frame.  It's larger than the sensor on most DSLRs and it's almost the same size as a 35mm SLR.  That's what piqued my interest and prompted me to even start looking at getting a new camera.

The second thing that I discovered is what really convinced me to buy this camera.  It's awesome in low light.  You can really bump up the ISO without getting a lot of added noise.  On my D70 that I've had for years, I  couldn't use an ISO above 400 without getting a considerable amount of noise in my pictures.  And since I'm a natural light photographer, being able to take photographs with only the available light, even when it's not plentiful, is really important to me.

I'm beyond excited about getting out and seeing what this baby can do.  For today, I took some pictures in my living room which I usually detest doing.  I've never been able to take a picture in there without a flash....until today.  The above picture was taken in my living room, with the ISO all the way at 3200!  Wow, my D70 didn't even go that high!  I'm very pleased with the results.

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700 (I love that extra zero!), Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, ISO 3200, f/1.8, 1/100, Auto White Balance.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Momma's Boys...


...are usually fighting.  But I bribed them with ice cream to be still long enough for me to take this picture.  Then it was right back to wrestling and jumping all over each other on the trampoline.  Never underestimate the value of bribery as a parenting tool.

Technical Notes:  Nikon D70, Nikkor 28-80mm, f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 800, 62mm, f/5, 1/125, Auto White Balance.  In editing I sharpened the picture as I often do with this lens.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Building a Race Car


Before we bought paint at Home Depot a few days ago, we participated in their free kids' workshop.  It's a really fun little workshop they put on once a month where the kids get to build a little project.  And my Home Depot also gives out snacks for the kids and has pastries for the parents so that makes it even more fun!  This month the kids built a race car.  You always have to be careful around a 3 year old wielding a hammer.  But we all managed to walk away with no injuries this time.

Technical Notes:  Nikon D70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, ISO 200, f/2, 1/50, Auto White Balance

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tulips in Bloom


All of my little tulips that I planted about 3 weeks ago are now blooming!  I bought them at the nursery already sprouted and put them in little pots to use in my outdoor studio.  I didn't know how long it would take them to bloom but I'm pleasantly surprised that it happened so quickly.  It almost inspires me enough to burry some bulbs in my flower beds out front for next year.  Almost:)

Technical Notes:  Nikon D70, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 200, Focal Length 48mm, f/4.2, 1/1600, White Balance set to Fine Weather.

Saturday, March 5, 2011




I LOVE painting my walls because it's the easiest, cheapest way to give a room a facelift.  Except that I've repainted my living room wall 3 times in the last month because I can't decide on a color :/  So if you do it like that then it's not cheap.  But I've finally picked out a good color.....I think.  No really, no more repainting.  I finally picked a lovely shade of green that I really like and that added some much needed brightness and color to the room.    

Picture #63 is because I love seeing all those paint cans lined up and just imagining all the fun possibilities.  Picture #64 is the boys waiting oh so patiently for our paint to be done mixing.  By the way, if you ever take your camera to Home Depot and just start randomly photographing the merchandise, be prepared for some weird looks!

Technical Notes:  Nikon D70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, ISO 200, 50mm, f/2, 1/50 on pic #63, 1/125 on pic #64, White Balance adjusted in editing.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm a Farmer


Says the boy with a shovel in his hand.  The same boy who doesn't like to help his mom weed the garden.  But he does love to eat the tomatoes that his brother picks.

Techinical Notes:  Nikon D70, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 200, Focal Length 75mm, f/5.6, 1/30, White Balance set to Cloudy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I WILL hit that ball!


With the little league season fast approaching, my son and some girls from his class decided to get together to practice this afternoon.  He's always eager for a chance to get together with his friends outside of school and especially if they are his good friends J & R.  I brought my camera along and let the other mom pitch to the kids.  Everyone should just stick to what they're good at, right?  This particular picture made me laugh because of the look of sheer determination on my son's face.  

Technical Notes:  Nikon D70, VR Zoom Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G, ISO 200, Focal Length 72mm, f/5.6, 1/1000.  In editing I lightened & sharpened his face.  These baseball fields are positioned so the sun is directly behind the batter in the afternoon/evening so pictures are always a challenge.  There's always a shadow on the face.  And this lens is soft so I usually find the need to sharpen any pictures taken with it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

After the Swim


I took Milo to the pond today to go for a swim.  He needed the exercise and so did I for that matter!  Except I didn't swim so I guess I didn't really get any benefit.  After he was done swimming, he promptly went and rolled in the dirt.....and in something dead.  No day is complete without a roll in something if you are a Weimaraner.

Technical Notes:  Nikon D70, VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G, ISO 200, Focal Length 120mm, f/5.6, 1/100.  I used a preset called Monster Punch on this picture which is the same preset I used on the picture of Oscar the Cat a few days ago.  It's funny because I hadn't found any use for this preset prior to the cat picture and now I've used it twice in one week.