It was the perfect summer afternoon. The water was on and she was ready...
For the I Heart Faces Best Face of 2013 Photo Challenge:
Well, whaddya think? Does he like me? :-) My sis thinks this image is kind of creepy but I say it's only creepy if you look him in the eye (which of course I made the mistake of doing). Love Mr. Lincoln!
(Photo credit: my awesome friend Heidi of Heidi O Photography)
Anyway, this picture of Honest Abe and yours truly was taken during a photowalk in Bloomington, Illinois with my group of Mom friends who love photography as much as I do. We get to talk photography and life, eat fabulous food (Sugar Mama Bakery...lordhavemercy!), take pictures, and just plain have a good time.
Ever been on a photowalk before? No need to be a "real" photographer and no need for a fancy camera! It simply means that you find an interesting location and walk around and take pictures of things and/or people that you find intriguing. Here are my favorites from the walk:
This second one, sadly, was right next to the back entrance of a florist. Love all the textures.
Now this one--is it too corny?
And finally, I'll come clean and say that the style of this final picture really makes my heart sing.
It's the reflection I saw in the window of a camper shell that was lying abandoned in an alley.
Gritty, kind of confusing, black and white. Love.
Alas, these are my most recent pictures from the Land of Lincoln. I hope he likes them. :-)
...because I was given the opportunity to present a framed print of the photograph below, that I took last fall, to Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor! The photo was taken at our county courthouse where there is a statue of Abraham Lincoln located in the place he once stood many, many years ago.
When Justice O'Connor received the print, she studied it carefully and said "Oh! I really like this! I think I'll hang it in the Supreme Court." Goodness gracious, can you imagine if she actually does hang it there? Wow, wow, wow!
And as if this honor wasn't enough, I received a signed copy of her latest book, "Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court".
Justice O'Connor, who was the first woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, is incredibly down-to-earth, unpretentious, and quite hilarious; truly a remarkable woman. Needless to say, this middle-aged mama never expected to experience something like this when she first started getting serious about photography 2 1/2 years ago!
For a few pictures from her visit yesterday: http://www.pjstar.com/photos/x935160678/Retired-Supreme-Court-Justice-Sandra-Day-OConnor?page=0
So yes, I had to go to court--and I'm so glad I did!
Yes!! It's one of my favorite days of the year! Pi Day! Yep, that's Pi. As in math. As in the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter of a circle. As in 3.14159... And today is March 14, or 3/14. Get it?
Anyway, like it or not, Pi plays a very important role in photography because Pi is used to calculate the area of a circle. Area=Pi x Radius^2 (e.g. the area of a circle equals Pi multiplied by the radius muliplied by the radius).
Um, yeah, ok, you say?
Well, what about photography is circular? Why, it's the opening of our lens shutter, which is otherwise known as the aperture. Now granted, apertures aren't perfectly circular but as any good mathematician would do we can certainly use a circle to approximate the area of the shutter opening. Besides, the more open a shutter is, the more circular it becomes.
And why is aperture important? Aperture plays a major role in how much light enters the camera, and it controls how much of a picture is in focus, and it can make or break our bokeh.
There's a lot of math I could go into, but I'll spare you. Just know that when you look at the way photographers designate an aperture, such as f/5.6 or f/22, there's a Pi buried in there!
Grab a fork and dig in!
So remember that awhile back I posted the shot below on my Facebook page? I promised to write a blog post about how I got the shot, so let's get to it!
(Canon 7D, Canon 55-250mmIS @123mm, ISO 100, f/5, 1/8000 sec.)
One clear, sunny afternoon I noticed that the dusting of snow on our deck was melting. Little puddles of water everywhere. With the sun shining on them from behind, the result was breathtaking: a spectacular sea of diamonds.
Lawd-have-mercy, what's a girl to do with all that gorgeousness? Let's just say I couldn't get my camera fast enough since 1) my rule is that you should never wait to capture a moment of beauty if your camera is within shouting distance (as in, 'Honey, please be a dear and bring my camera NOW!") and 2) it wouldn't be long until those diamonds ceased to exist at all.
I snapped the zoom lens on my camera, sat on the floor in front of the patio window, zoomed until I found a pleasing composition, picked a pretty puddle to focus on, and started shooting. Then I decided I wanted a shallower angle so I laid my poor middle-aged front-side on the cold, hard floor. (I ain't gonna lie: photography rule #3 is that you do what it takes to get the shot.)
If you're wondering why I chose my zoom lens, there are two reasons. Because I was sitting in my house and not actually on the deck, I needed the extra reach that the zoom would provide. But I also chose it because I know from experience that zoom lenses (or lenses with long focal lengths) give us the perspective that the foreground and background of the image are closer together than they actually are (a term some call lens compression). And I knew from experience that this closeness combined with the shallow angle at which I took the picture would give me the great bokeh I wanted.
Now go ahead and raise your hand if you've never heard the word "bokeh" before. Bokeh is a Japanese term for the out-of-focus parts of a picture that our brains find pleasant. As in "oooh, look at that beautiful bokeh!" or "I don't know about that blurry stuff but it sure is purdy!" (Who knew, right?) Many, many photographers are always on the lookout for good bokeh opportunities.
Anyway, without getting too technical, that's the simplest way to describe how I 'got the shot'. I then converted it to black and white mostly because, well, I just plain like black and white. Good stuff.
And finally, here's another of my favorites taken during the session:
(Canon 7D, Canon 55-250mmIS @55mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec., no focal point)
(Did I mention I LOVE intentionally out-of-focus pictures? I think that's because it's what my world looks like when I'm not wearing my glasses/contacts. But that's a post for another day.)
Please comment, "like", (links at top) or share if you've learned a little something new today!
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