Monday, February 28, 2011

Cullen | 6 Months

Seriously? how could he be 6 months already? This weekend was pretty hectic between his 6 month check up, my neice's basketball game (she won), shopping with my mom (woot), and visiting with families, I still managed to get some 6 month images done.

My secret? I set up my portable studio in my dining room on Friday night. Saturday morning before Tony was even awake, I was taking pictures, after my neices game, I took pictures, Sunday the same thing. Anytime that we were home and Cullen wasn't eating or sleeping or in a bad mood :) we took pictures. I love how they came out. It is impossible to pick a favorite so here's some that I love.

Oh and his stats are: 18 lbs 4 oz 26.74 inches long 18 inches head - he was in the 70%tile all around.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Home Updates & Gorgeous Light

We always seem to be doing little things around the house, in December we repainted our entire livingroom, I love the new colors. While we were painting the ceiling we decided that we wanted to put a beam up to cover the cracks that form (then go away) every year when the house settles and the weather changes.

Last week I organized a cabinet in my kitchen, ok you think it wasn't a big deal, but the cabinet was really horrible, it was so messy and every time you went to get 1 thing out, 3 things fell out on top of you. I bought a bunch of these and when I say a bunch I mean it, I probably have $200 worth of these things. but I love them!! They stack sooo nicely and fit well. I also got out my brother labeler and went to work. Now our Flour / Sugar / Brown Sugar / Rice / Pasta / Baking Soda / Powder / more Pasta / Coffee and other baking stuff has their own place. Its beautiful!

I also decided I would change my bedroom around. Ok so our bedroom is probably the smallest 'master' bedroom on the earth. It barely fits our king size bed and dresser. My husband always felt like there was only ONE furniture orientation that would work, and it actually took a little convincing on my part to get him to agree to try it a different way.

Our layout is like this. The door you walk in is on a wall with the door to the bathroom, there is only a little room between the doors and we put our dresser on it. Then the wall to the right is a wall of closets, no walk in closets for us, but they are generous sizes. In between the 2 closets we have a small LCD mounted. The next wall to the right has our window on it. Its a pretty decent size window, then the next wall is free, it is the only wall free, so that's where our bed was. It barely fit the king size bed and 1 small nightstand.

After much convincing I got Tony to help me move the bed under the window. We actuallly left a little gap between the window and our bed because we had verticle blinds - yuck - but whatever. just doing that made the room look and feel so much bigger. There is a lot more space around our bed and in front of our dresser. And an added perk. There is beautifuly light on our bed now. perfect for pictures of the boys!

Since then I've updated the window coverings, we now have a roman shade with grommet style panels on either side. I really love how it looks!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bathroom Renovation

So we always seem to be doing stuff around the house, especially around tax return time. This year we decided to take our return (plus a lot of our savings) and renovate our bathroom. We only have 2 full baths and the one off our bedroom is the one we mainly use. I hate how there are 2 doors that open into the space and cut off a lot of floor space, there is also a lack of storage and that is a big deal for me.

After speaking with 5 different contractors and getting quotes, we finally decided to go with Sonshine Flooring (I know flooring? well they apparently do kitchen and baths too!) They gave us a good quote and help with the design end as well so we are getting started. I put down the deposit on Valentines day and joked with Tony that, that was his gift :)

One of the first things that was on our list to get done was to put a pocket door between our bedroom and the bathroom. Like I said before there are 2 doors that open up into the bathroom, and we don't really want to get rid of one of the doors. It just doesn't make sense and wouldn't really free up any space in our bedroom. Plus we do like the access. So a pocket door was the best solution. I'm so excited about it! I think it will give it a cleaner look too.

A clean look with clean lines is really what I am going for. Our Cabinets will be a 'peppercorn' color in a cherry wood. We'll have one cabinet that will go floor to ceiling to give us extra storage. The top tower is going to sit on our granite countertop, and the counter top will be showing in front of the cabinet. It should look really nice! Plus lots and lots of storage!

Our tile is beautiful! We went with a creamy tan large tile for the floor and walls, and then I picked out a glass tile as accent. Then we sprung for the pencils (a type of tile) to set our glass tile apart from the wall tile.

The mirror will be framed in the same wood/color as the cabinets, and we're getting a recessed sink. I also picked out all of our fixtures (tub/toilet/sink) and we're going to do brushed nickel hardware.

They'll probably begin work middle of March. I think the Cabinets take like 4 weeks to build and that's the longest lead item so whenever they get here we can get started :). I'm also glad we're going with a contractor for tear down and install. Who knows how long it would have taken us to do it, 2 weeks is long enough!

I can't wait to start taking pictures!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet Valentines

I love it, I have 3 valentines this year! I'm so blessed!! I was actually on the ball this year and had some cool bookmarks printed for Caleb to bring to school for valentines. After all isn't February National Reading Month or something? The back is just the red/gray pattern with the gray heart in the center and the year. I really love how they turned out!

I even made a Valentine for Cullen, I just printed these as wallets and handed them to some family.

And because I was in the giving mood, I decided to give away a free camera. Well actually Cullen did. I bought this shirt for Cullen back in the fall, I'm sure you all saw the picture with the drool. yeah its one of my favorite shirts, but the time has come and it is getting too small. It would be a shame for a shirt this cute to just sit in storage or be sold for $0.50, so I decided to pass it on to another photographer. I hope in turn she'll take a picture of her little one wearing it and share that with me, and that when her little one grows out of it, she will pass it on again to another photographer. I hope I get to see a lot of cuties wearing this ultra cute shirt!

My True love bought me some beautiful Roses for Valentines. Of course that made me want to take out my camera. I had been wanting to try a shot like this for a while, so I jumped at the chance. And because he really truely loves me, he helped me out a lot with this picture. You should have seen the set up, I had the leaf clamped, the roses propped up, Tony had a baby medicine dropper with the water. My camera was on a tripod. I think we did pretty good for our first try at getting a rose in a water droplet with the macro. I'll have to try more of these for sure!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Canon S95 Review

So I've been wanting a tiny little camera that still takes rockin photos to carry around for every day use. I had my doubts that I would find one that I love and that is 'fast' enough to capture the quick smiles my 6 month old gives me, or the funny things my 3 year old does. I've gotten so use to my DSLR, its so fast and I feel like I never miss 'the moment'. but honestly carrying it on a playdate to the mall play place is just ridiculous. I use my phone or my ipod for those pictures and I ALWAYs miss the moment. I want a P&S and I want a good one.

In comes the Canon S95 - I've been researching it for a while and all stats sound good. I was still leary on the focus system and how long it takes from when you focus to when it actually takes the shot. that seems to be where I have problems. Well luckily a co-worker got one for Christmas, and as the office "photographer" he totally trusted me to take it home and play with it.

Here's my review for whoever cares:

First thing to remember is I borrowed the camera on a week NIGHT, so it was evening and pretty dark. The camera does work well in low light, but it does have noise. I can't expect a little point and shoot to have the same noise capabilities as my DSLR.

I love the size, and how it handles, I love how shooting in manual is pretty easy. The controls are definitely different from an SLR but that's kinda a given. I shot exclusively in Manual mode. I debated about shooting in RAW but decided to stick to JPEG cause I figured for a P&S I would probably not shoot in RAW (and cause I couldn't quickly figure it out lol).

It is definitely faster than my last P&S. I couldn't really tell if there were multiple focus points, I just used the center (very large) focus point. It bounced an orange light on Cullen that kinda stunned him, but I was still able to get his very quick smiles! so that's a plus!

It can't handle noise very well, at ISO 400 it is pretty noisey, but I guess that's to be expected a little. I wish it had a further reach zoom wise.

Oh and the weird thing is the ratio the image is in, its not in a normal 2:3 ratio, maybe that's a P&S thing? Its just slightly off.

Well I probably forgot stuff so feel free to ask questions, here are some images both SOOC (unsharpened) and then my very little minor edits (with USM).

ISO 1600 1/40 f/4.5

ISO 400 1/500 f/4

ISO 400 1/500 f/4

ISO 1600 1/200 f/2

ISO 1600 1/200 f/2

A couple thoughts:

What did I think of the shutter lag:

I didn't feel like there was much of a lag at all, I am use to focus/recompose, so I always half click the shutter to focus, then fully click to take the shot and it was almost instantaneous. Although when you half click to focus it bounces that orange light, Cullen didn't like that very much, but it seemed to be fast! It was weird how its live view, like as you change your shutter / ISO / Aperture it changes the exposure on the LCD, that was weird, and I did use the histogram to see exposure cause the exposure meter seemed weird to me. One more negative I remembered, was the exposure would look good on the LCD and the histogram would look good, but then when I got it into PS it looked darker and a tad underexposed, I'm sure that's the brightness of the LCD though and just would take a little learning.

how wide does the apperture open up?

f/2, but its variable so when you zoom it goes to like f/4.5 or something, oh and it only closes down to f/8, I thought that was weird!

Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions, I'd be happy to help. I'm kinda hoping maybe I could get this camera for mothers day or for my birthday this year. We are renovating our Bathroom (completely gutting it) so I'm not sure I could justify just going out and buying this. But it is a nice camera. I'm also going to wait and see if I can compare the Nikon Equivalent. I'm definitely not married to getting a Canon.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Snow Snow

This month started out with a huge snow storm! Even got a snowday off of work for it!! Of course when I saw the big puffy snowflakes I knew that I had to hang out a window and get a macro picture of one. It was just too good of an opportunity not to. So Tony played with the boys and I bundled up and determined to get a good image, I think I did manage, and I got this one!

This is the straight out of camera shot. It was definitely not an easy thing to do by any means, even with my pricey lens, it took a lot of stability and patience to get it just right!

A little later I decided to drag Caleb out to see just how deep the snow was, I'm pretty sure we had like 12-15 inches in our backyard built up. Caleb kept sinking down and didn't like how cold it was.