Lifestyle Photography: Week 4 {the finale}

Part 1:  Thematic and Conceptual Shooting

For the love of the game, my husband does not think twice about heading out to the course even if the temps are 100+ in the afternoon.  He loves the heat.  And he likes the wide open fairways, as more sensible people are enjoying the air conditioned indoors, and are downing icy, cold drinks. 

Part 2:  Getting into the Picture

Aaarrgghh.  I won't even get into the challenges of this assignment.  Except for the dead battery in the remote trigger.  And the sun, which insisted on moving across the sky faster than I could finish.  And all the little things I noticed when I saw the images on the computer.  Did I learn anything?  Oh, yes.

Enjoying the morning sunshine in my driveway at 7 AM.  

Thank you to Brooke Snow and fellow photogs for a thoroughly enjoyable learning experience.  I'm sorry to see it end.

Lifestyle Photography: Week 3

Part 1:  Conceptual Contrast

This week, Brooke Snow showed us how to incorporate elements of contrast within the image.  We all want to have compelling, interesting photographs and this is another factor for me to keep in mind.

Shopping for Shorts for Larry, Android Phone, Vignette App

Even though I took this with the camera in my cellphone, I did think about the composition.  It was impossible to see the screen in the bright light, but in the end I thought the contrast of the reflections and the poster through the window was interesting.

50 mm lens

The human mark against the beauty of nature fascinates me.

17-85 mm lens

I waited for her to move into the patch of sunlight, taking advantage of the contrast of light and shadow.

Part 2:  The Decisive Moment

Slow down and wait for it, wait for it . . . 
Waiting for that decisive moment is truly a challenge.  I am so afraid that I will miss something special if I don't keep pressing that shutter.  But Brooke encouraged us to watch and wait, to only take three images (did she mean 30?) and post the best one.

17-85 mm

Her increasing ease in the water is a joy to behold.

This week, I did find myself thinking more, taking more time.  It's not always clear to me why I find a scene compelling, so this practice forced me to be more thoughtful and deliberate.  

Lifestyle Photography: Week 2

Part 1:  Point of View

Why did I choose to photograph flowers?  I have no idea.  It is not a strong subject for me, but I thought it would provide a lot of options for this assignment.   Let's just say, it was challenging.  And I learned a lot.  Such as, get bigger blooms.

Image 1 - First Attempt  {Lensbaby Composer}

Images 2,3,4 - Other Points of View

The Intruder - He inserts himself whenever he has a chance.  

Part 2:  Less is More

The Scene - We have rediscovered the joys of the dollar theater.  

Telling the Story in Three Images

Telling the Story, Part 1

Taking the plunge, flying by the seat of my pants, keeping mild panic at bay - this is what it felt like in my first week as a participant in Brooke Snow's Lifestyle photography class.

The adventure in learning began during a particularly full week, leaving me with barely 24 hours to complete the assignment.  I am not sure I have ever felt so squeezed for time, facing I project I had been eagerly anticipating. 

So Fathers' Day became crunch day.  We spent the evening poolside with our granddaughter, Piper.  I hope the  images help you see the fun, and the special relationship between her and her grandfather.

Character/Detail Shots

Character/Conflict Shots
This was hard to pull off.  These images convey some emotion, but I feel they lack the element of tension that conflict brings.  Something to work on . . .

The Pool is Open

hot sun

cool water

pink Minnie Mouse swimsuit

splash into summer 2011!

" Your joy will be like a river overflowing its banks!"
John 16, The Message

Tiny Dancers

little girls
tiny dancers in a line
like birds on a wire

some tentative
others confident
sure footed

unbearably dear
each and every one

Photo info:  android camera phone, vignette app
Had to use the camera that was with me; the other one was left at home.  

Breakfast of Champions

This is not my usual breakfast, but I do eat it sometime during most every day.  It's nice to realize it isn't a nutrition or diet buster to consume basic good food that also happens to be delicious.

You should try it!

Raw Fudge

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa (not a mix)
1/4 maple syrup (preferably grade B)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine in a blender.  Pour into a loaf pan.  Refrigerate until firm.  Cut and enjoy.

Variations:  Some like to add flaxseed meal, or almond butter, or other ingredients.

Notes:  Coconut oil can be solid at cool room temperature, so melt on low heat, if necessary.  I usually reduce the maple syrup to 3 tablespoons.  And I usually double the recipe.  It doesn't last long at our house.

Also, the fudge can be poured into silicon mini muffin pans.  Freeze and pop out fudge.  Store in freezer or refrigerator.

Coconut oil has many health benefits, so you can enjoy this decadent treat, free of guilt.

Some links you may find helpful:

Weston Price Foundation

Nourishing Traditions Cookbook

 Then God said, "I've given you
      every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth
   And every kind of fruit-bearing tree,
      given them to you for food.
   To all animals and all birds,
      everything that moves and breathes,
   I give whatever grows out of the ground for food."
      And there it was. 

Genesis 1:29-30, The Message

Girls Getaway

We whisked Kathy away for a special birthday celebration.

She had no idea until we showed up.

She is possessed with an extra generous heart, bubbling with fun.  So we tried to give her some.

You can see if we succeeded.

I was wedded to my camera for  most of our time together.

I poured all of the images into this video.  This was my first effort at a slide show/video of this sort.  It's pretty rough, and all of the images are straight out of the camera (no editing.)

Hope you enjoy it.

And are inspired to try something like this yourself.

I used Windows Movie Maker, a free download.

Creating this project caused me to relive the delights of the weekend, and to experience a renewed gratitude for all of the dear women in my life.

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
Proverbs 27:9

I am five now!

We had a birthday celebration this week.

Five years ago,this little one showed up three months ahead of schedule.  Teeny, tiny baby girl was a special guest at the NICU for only 51 days.  Woo hoo!

Holding Piper (five weeks old) for the first time.

Then came heart surgery, breathing challenges, sensory issues,  multiple hospitalizations. 

Look at her now!  Her mother is her greatest advocate, making sure she receives the extra programs and care her special needs require.

Big sighs of gratitude.

". . . I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . ."  Psalm 139:14

Love and Loss

My dear Aunt Aileen Foy Brundage died on February 21, 2011. 

One of ten children, with 21 nieces and nephews, she seemed to be everyone's favorite.  And each one was her favorite.  

She was stricken with tuberculosis when she was young.  Along with two of her sisters (one was my mother), she spent many years in a TB hospital.  She married for the first time when she was 40 years old.  Edward Brundage was a widower, a kind man, older man. 

She and my mother were very close, and they lived together for many years after the death of Uncle Ed.  The inevitable changes that aging brings was hard on them as they lost their independence and their roles changed.  

My mother Mary and Aunt Aileen

A trip to Rochester, NY in November was the last time my sister and I saw her.  She had declined a lot in the recent months, and I did wonder if I would see her again. 

Sadly, I did not.  We weren't able to attend the funeral, but we did write a eulogy which was read by my brother.  And in a display of how technology can enrich our lives, I watched the live feed of the service from my home in Texas, and felt connected to my grieving family.  And my daughter watched from Alabama.  

The simple eulogy below is not a record of her life, but our inadequate expression of the difference our special aunt made in lives of my sister and brothers. 

  Aunt Aileen and Mother

Dear friends and family,

We truly regret we cannot be with you to share in the celebration of the life of Aileen Foy Brundage..  If we cannot honor Aunt Aileen with our presence, we hope to do so with our words.

This is a room full of people who loved and cared about Aileen Brundage.  We want to tell you a little about how much she meant to us.

When our father relocated our family to Miami, Florida in 1959, we were suddenly many miles from all our relatives.  Later, Aunt Aileen told us she thought she'd never see our mother again.  Instead, we found ourselves looking forward to her long winter visits.  She truly was a bright light in our lives.  How she put up with four young children in a tiny house is beyond us.  But she loved us, played endless games of password and scrabble, and gave our exhausted mother a break.  

When she married Uncle Ed and came to live a few miles from us, we could not have been happier.  By this time, we had gotten over the shock of having to share her with someone else.   A few months ago, we came across their love letters, and discovered a whole new side of our Aunt Aileen.  Who knew she liked going to the pool hall, climbed a grapefruit tree, and sometimes went by the name "Scarlette"?  

Aunt Aileen had a delightful sense of humor.  She was amused by so many things, especially herself.  In fact, it wasn’t easy to get a good photo of her because she was always laughing and talking.

She loved wearing colorful clothing.  Pink and red together?  No problem.  Even better with orange.

We all know about her enthusiasm for learning, and how she kept a stack of maps and reference books by her chair.  Telling her a story about a trip would have her reaching for her atlas and mapping out the itinerary.

She had zest for life.  With her vibrant personality, she was engaged in life, and seemed to be wringing every little bit of joy out of it.

As the keeper of our history, she endlessly repeated  funny stories about us.  She probably never knew that she was communicating to us that we mattered, that we were important to her.  She was always interested in us and what we were doing.

And when our children were born, she began a new catalog of sweet stories, collecting more little moments that most people wouldn't care about. She did that for all of us, and we will miss it.  

The bottom line is, she loved us and we loved her.  One of our biggest fans has gone ahead, and we can just imagine what it will be like when we see her again.  She will want to know all about what we have been doing, where we have been and then will launch into one of her favorite family stories.

This is my favorite image of her, 
sandwiched between my mother and her little brother, Jack.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of one of His saints.
Psalm 116:15

Twelve Months Old

Vera is the darling daughter of Craig and Cheryl Callon.  I've had the privilege of photographing her several times in her short life.  On this day, we were celebrating her first birthday.

It was not as much fun for her as it was for us.

So we followed her lead.

But Vera was happiest with Mommy.  And who can blame her.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Running into 2011

Not looking back . . .

not stuck in regret for the past
or fear of the future.

Running into 2011
with hope and trust.

Happy New Year, Friends!

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
 don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Proverbs 3, The Message

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