Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 11 of 2011

What a fabulous idea! I am joining up with the ladies at Naptime MomtogClick It Up a Notch and Click.Pray.Love as we post our top 11 photos of 2011. What a great little photographic review of our year. 

We really had a fabulous year! It's hard to believe that tomorrow will be the start of the New Year! I am really looking forward to all 2012 has in store. It's been a year since my husband bought me my D7000 and the start of my pursuit of photography! I've gained a lot of knowledge and feel as though my photos have improved significantly. I started this blog in the spring and have had several people schedule photo shoots and photography projects. I can't exactly tell you where this year will take me, but I am really looking forward to finding out! 

And now, my top 11 of 2011!

This was January ... after the first big snow of the New Year. It was one of my first opportunities to test out my new camera! 

Our two beauties snuggling one February morning. 

Giving some sister-love in Key West. 

Forever leaping, flipping or twisting.

Capturing the soft spirit of our oldest...

... and the brightness of our youngest. 

I love their joyful expressions as we celebrated A's13th birthday in Philadelphia. 

An early fall photo shoot at the barn with M showing some horse love.

Our day at the pumpkin patch. 

Our weekend in Pittsburgh for the girls' first Steeler's game.

And finally ... one of my favorite photos of the year. This was just a few weeks ago as we celebrated M's 11th birthday in NYC.

Naptime Momtog

Now it's your turn: 

Here’s how it works:
-Go through your images from the past year and pick your favorite 11 images of your kids or pets.
-Post your top 11 pictures on your blog or Flickr account starting December 28th through January 4th.
-Link up at either Click it Up a NotchClick.Pray.Love or Naptime Momtog.
-Put the button on your post.  If the button is not there you will not be eligible to win. 
Head on over to one of these three sites to check out the prizes.
Hope you all enjoy your New Year's celebrations, 
however you choose to celebrate. We always enjoy 
staying home with our girls and a few close family 
friends and bringing in the New Year together. 

Stay safe and have a Happy New Year!! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Creating shaped Bokeh!

Cool, right?!  

This is a photo I took of one of my small Christmas trees in our 
family room! 

I've come across several blogs, especially now during the holiday season, that feature shaped bokeh. I'm always up for learning new things and finding ways to play around and experiment with my camera. The possibilities are endless and
 I just HAD to give it a shot. It was really pretty easy and so much fun. I've included a little tutorial below so you too can give it a whirl! Go ahead and add a little extra pizazz to your holiday photos!!  :D ha ha

The first thing I did was to create a few different shapes. My husband bought me a Cricket last year for Christmas and I LOVE it!! I've found so many uses for it throughout the year
and now, another!  I picked a few favorite shapes, set my size to 3/4" and cut. But not to worry ... if you don't own a cricket, you can still make shaped bokeh. Just use a shaped paper punch or trace a shape onto paper and use an X-Acto knife to cut it out. 

Next, I measured the circumference of my lens (I used my 
50-mm) and cut a strip of black paper to that length. (The 
black paper prevents light from seeping in.) I then taped it into a circle that I could fit over my lens. 

After this, I  cut a circle top to fit over it. In the center I cut out a square which is where I taped on my shaped cut-outs. It is far from perfect, but I was still able to achieve the desired effects. 

I used my 50-mm lens set to f/1.8. This allows the maximum amount of light into the camera, allowing for a shallow depth of field. Simply stated, you can focus in close, but the background will be out-of-focus.

Start snapping away! Don't be afraid to try different shapes. The more out of focus you make it, the larger the size shapes. 

And here is my pup, always a willing model.

Go on, give it a try!! You know you want to!  ha ha

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas! 
We're having a wonderful time with family and friends. I'm also enjoying these precious days off from school. It means a little less running and craziness for us which is certainly welcome!  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Project 64: Silver.


project64 button

Christmas Card Photos

I was privileged to have very good friends of ours ask me 
to photograph their children for their Christmas Cards this year. They have three talented children and they wanted to highlight one of the sports that they each excel in. 

First, the horse-lover. 

Next, the football star. 

And last, but certainly not least ... the softball player. 

Our last session included all three of them together.

Thanks to the "Z" family for allowing me 
to be part of your Christmas! 
Happy Holidays! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Project 64: Black

Wow!! It's been awhile since I've posted!! 
It's been so crazy as of late, I'm 
not really sure if I'm coming or going. 
Anyway, I wanted to take a few minutes to post to 
Project 64 this week. 

My daughter's birthday was this past Sunday. We
 decided to take her to the Big Apple.We had the 
most wonderful time ... Christmas was 
definitely in the air! 

For my black entry, I took this photo of the Empire State Building when we first arrived.

There really is nothing like being in New York City 
at Christmas time! 

Hope you are all having a great week and
 getting that shopping done! :D 

project64 button

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge Finale

It's hard to believe this is the last week of the Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge! I can't tell you how much I've 
enjoyed this challenge. It's opened my awareness to nature's 
spectacular colors, textures and foliage. 



Not only have I taken pleasure in photographing nature's spectacular display, but it's so interesting seeing
 autumn in so many of your corners of the world. 




I've gotten to "meet" so many of you for the first time as 
well as learn more about others. Thanks to all of you who have stopped in and for your kind comments. 



Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge

I've heard word of a winter photo challenge...dare I hope?!

Thank you again to Rebecca, Kristi and Alicia for graciously hosting and challenging my perspective. I can say I 
definitely have grown in my photography and have a 
newfound appreciation for the beautiful season of Autumn. 

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