Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Going-Away Get-Together

On Saturday we went to a Going Away dinner for my friend, Susan. 


Her soon-to-be husband, Chris, lives almost five hours away, so she has been planning to move there after the wedding. She has also been hunting for a job for when she moves there! Well, she recently was hired by a fantastic company, and she starts in less than 2 weeks. So the big move is now TOMORROW! 

Hahaha

That's better!

Susan & I met at a production team meeting for a show at our local theater. I was engaged at the time. She had just moved to Baton Rouge. She had called & asked if she could volunteer, and ended up being my co-stage manager for The Producers! I had already stage managed quite a few productions at BRLT, but it was something i learned as i went. Then, Susan came along! With a master's degree in theater management, Susan taught me SO MUCH.  She made me a better stage manager.

The dinner Saturday night was so much fun! Mainly because it involved some of my most favorite people, and a LOT of laughing. Laugh until you cry laughter...


Laugh until you ache laughter...


Laugh until you pee laughter...

{notice Susan's photo bomb! ha!}

Yep! We had a lot of fun! I hate that Susan is leaving us, but loved this excuse to get together again! It's been too long!

 Susannah & Lauren

 Oh, how i have missed these two! Lauren & Danielle (on either side of me!).

 Friends Evan & Sara

 Newlyweds Aaron & Danielle 

 Lauren & Dan! Finally got to meet Lauren's new man & ya'll - they are two peas in a pod!

Lauren, Megan, Susan, Lauren & Danielle - beautiful women, inside & out!

Anyway, I will definitely miss Susan's crazy self, but I am excited to see her again soon for her shower in March & her wedding in August!! And y'all - i am SO happy for this girl. She deserves true love, and i believe she has found it in Chris. :)


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Photography Practice: right in my neighborhood.

Yesterday i really really wanted to get in some photography practice. I took Fievel outside, tied his leash to the steps, and snapped a few. :)

 Whenever we go outside, Fievel is entranced by everything around. He gets focused on every noise, every sight, so that if a squirrel runs by he won't miss it. Haha. Therefore, he has NO desire to look at me - no matter what i try to do to get his attention! Ha!

Typical Shih Tzu face... underbite & all!

After awhile, he was over it & ready to go back inside. He's an inside dog as much as he would like us to believe he is not!

My view...and in black & white.


Oh hi, Fievel. 

This next one is my favorite. There is bokeh in the tree, and i am becoming obsessed with bokeh. Haha. And even though Fievel is turned away... i like it. 

I got tired of practicing on Fievel (which i am sure he was thrilled about!), so i brought him inside & decided to walk the neighborhood to see if i could find anything interesting to photograph. 

Now, we live in a trailer. Which means...a trailer park. (It's just what we can afford at this time in our life! Hopefully a house one day soon-ish!).  And you just don't see people taking photos in trailer parks. At least i haven't! In fact, two cars passed me while i was walking and i know they were thinking - what in the world is she taking pictures of out here?! Ha. 

But... i really want God to open up my imagination when it comes to photography. I even began praying that. I have always had a great imagination. When it comes to writing and music and plays. Why can't i have that when it comes to taking pictures? You know? So... i hoped to find something neat to capture. And here is what i got. I realize it's nothing extraordinary! But... it's a start. :) 


 Our photography teacher was telling us how trees are cool this time of year - kind of creepy looking, haha! I saw these and had to agree. 



I don't know what those are, but they were fun to photograph. Here they are from another angle.



And can you believe it?! Repetition, right here in my own neighborhood! Ha! 

Really enjoyed this. It's just a matter of opening your eyes & really seeing what is around you. I love it. Good times. :)

 And back home sweet home. :)


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Photography Class #3

I talked about my first photography class here, and i kind of got into what we learned in our second class there, too. This one is about our class this past Thursday. 

We spent a lot of time going over homework from the week before. I am kind of embarrassed to show you these... i felt like 2 of them were really bad. Haha! Oh-well. 

This was our homework: 
1- Two pictures using the Rule of Thirds. 
2 - One picture showing creative use of repetition.
3 - One pictures showing creative use of reflection.

Oh, man. Oh, man oh man. Let's start with the two that were embarrassing, shall we?! 

1 - Showing REPETITION. 
 HAHAHAHA! I laugh every time i look at this one! I'm not laughing at my beautiful model, Ashley, although her big grin does make me happy. :) I love her! But i laugh because this is SO NOT what i needed to do for my repitition photo! Big fat FAIL! LOL! He did say some good things about my settings being exactly what he would have used. I am sure he was scrounging up for some sort of compliment. ;) 1/40, f/1.8, ISO: 1600 (dim church lighting... i had to).

So here's how this went down. Repetition. I was under the impression that he wanted a model with our repetition photo. The examples he showed us had a bride walking among some tall columns, and another example showed a guy sitting at the bottom of some steps. I kept racking my brain for what to use for my photo. I mean... i see repetitious things all the time, but while i'm driving down the interstate. Not like i can pull over & take a photo! Plus i don't normally have my camera & a model with me on my way home from work. ;) As i was putting my stuff in the car for church Sunday morning, i thought - "THE PEWS!!" and ran inside for my camera. Decided to put Ashley in them. But - it's more like - why is there a girl in a pew? When she could be looking down or she could be on the back row, looking to the side, or even just with a more serious look, not grinning. I decided to just turn it in anyway, i mean - it's all i had! 

NOBODY ELSE had a model in their repetition photo! Haha. Yeah. At least everyone is cool in that class! I would have been mortified if this were high school. ;)

These are better... 
 Nobody else had a model!

 Still cheesy, but ... at an angle? I like it better. 

This is my favorite pic of the bunch, but you can't see very much repetition, which was the point of the photo. 

WHEW. Now that we got THAT one out of the way!!! :) 

2 - Showing Reflection
Notice I am saving the better ones for last. So maybe after you read this post you will forget about these! I was slightly embarrassed about this one, too, but Aaron actually liked it! 

I will add that this one was done LAST MINUTE at work the day of the class. I thought i was just going to skip it because i didn't have time to find something to do a reflection photo with! Then, at work, we have these dark doors that show your reflection well, so i thought it was worth a try. Grabbed a coworker & here we go! :)

He actually liked it! HAHA! He said normally the foreground is in focus, and background blurry, but he kind of liked how my focus was on the reflection instead. He did say it looked like a pic from an pro-life ad... like - she's going in for an abortion and having second thoughts! Haha! Omg. That's awful. But true. It does look like that. Thanks a lot, Aaron.

I took this one too. I liked it. Looks like she's checking herself out! But i asked the opinions of others on which one to turn in, and i was outvoted. ;)
Both of these are: 1/200, f/1.8, ISO-100. 

3 - Rule of Thirds #1
 1/13, f/1.8, ISO: 400

His only critique on this one is that it is slightly out of focus. Which bums me out. I thought it was in focus in my view finder, but once i put it up realized it's not completely in focus. But that was my problem as the night went on, simply because it kept getting darker. He talked to me about shutter speed, and losing light, and all that good stuff. :) 

But what a sweet mother/son duo! My first photo shoot outside of my hubby & dog. :) Ha!

He liked it other than that. And i got a lot of help on some of my issues. Another girl had the problem i do with getting her meter in the center, so his answer to her kind of helped me.

 4 - Rule of Thirds #2 

1/4000, f/2.2, ISO - 800

No idea why i didn't have my f-stop at 1.8. Anyway, this one got a two thumbs up! :) YAY. His only critique is his hair being cut off, but otherwise he thought it was a really great shot. :) Yay. The thing about his hair being cut off, though. Aaron cuts off heads & hairs & other things all the time, sometimes he critiques that on your photos & sometimes it's fine. Like tilting the pic is sometimes okay & sometimes too much. So.. i don't really understand when that is good & when it's not. And, no, i didn't ask. Haha.

After that we went into EDITING! And i did learn a few things. :) Not much. But it's a great start, for sure! And i will be shooting in RAW. Which, i had never known only changed your editing. I thought it changed the actual picture taking. Crazy. It just makes editing easier, basically. 

So there you have it! And on Sunday we are going to the Rural Life Museum. REALLY bummed about missing church. The class was originally from 2-5 but later had to be changed to 9am. :( And i love my church, y'all. But oh-well. So we don't have homework this week. Rural Life on Sunday, and then class on Wednesday. YAY!

I am sad it's ending so soon. I have so much more to learn! But feel like I've definitely off to a good start. :)


Friday, January 25, 2013

5QF

Today i will link up with Mama M for Five Question Friday. You can too! If you want! I actually contributed a question this week! A first for me. Woohoo! Guess which one???

1. Do you embrace or dread snow/cold weather days?
EMBRACE! I am not sure that i would if i had temps in the teens or below zero's - or even twenties! Our level of cold is 30-40 degrees, and yes... i do embrace that. It doesn't happen often around here, though! ;)

2. Which game show or reality show could you totally win?
I think Wheel of Fortune. But my mom REALLY could! But i usually solve the puzzle at home. I might lose my luck when i got in front of the audience though! :)

Oooh! Family Feud!

3. What is your preferred climate?
Which one has the pretty 70 degree weather? Where it gets cool at night and never gets humid? California-like!

4. What do you buy every time you walk into the grocery store, no matter what?
It seems to be Chobani Yogurt. Yep. Addicted. :)

5. If you see a spider/bug in the house, are you brave enough to kill it or do you call for your hubby?
Haha - i normally have to get him to do it. Unless it's TINY. Like a gnat. 

Your turn!

Monday, January 21, 2013

This Weekend, I... {v. 13}



This weekend, I had a day date with my sweet husband. We wanted breakfast at Another Broken Egg, but the wait was too long. Would have been worth waiting for if we weren't trying to catch an early matinee. So we went to La Madeline's for breakfast instead. It was delicious. 


This weekend, I FINALLY got to see Les Miserables. Have been waiting patiently for Brad to take me! We both loved it. I already knew the story, but haven't seen it on the stage (which i know is a crime, being the theater junkie that i am!). Absolutely loved the movie. Some things I didn't get... like the casting of a couple of roles. But it was still so good! Anne Hathaway & Hugh Jackman were amazing. I thought most of them were. I also really really loved Samantha Barks as Eponine. Read this article about her audition process! Love it. She beat out some a-list celebrities for that role! Well deserved! 


This weekend, I began obsessively casting the Baton Rouge Little Theater version of Les Miserables in my head. That's always fun! Although auditions aren't until probably MAY! So curious who will get these roles here locally! So excited we got the rights to put on this beautiful production!

This weekend, I went to Barnes & Noble with Brad after the movie, and we bought the book Les Miserables (go figure!) & the book Safe Haven (they showed the preview & so i wanted to get the book!). Then we went to Walmart for groceries and got the Les Mis soundtrack. (Yeah...it was about $6 bucks cheaper at Walmart.)

This weekend, I practiced photography on my friend Ashley at church! I know that is odd...it's because I have homework for photography class that i was trying to accomplish! :) When i got home, Brad was a good sport about letting me practice the Rule of Thirds. 
Just look at those baby blues! I love him!! Ooh, and look at the bokeh! Otherwise... well, i need some more practice. :o/

Ooh, and the weekend is not over! We are off today!! YAHOO!

How was your weekend? Link up with Syndal & Sar

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Project 365: Week 3

Yep. It's still happening. Maybe third times a charm??? 

For those who haven't been reading, this is my THIRD attempt at trying the pic a day thing. I post them on Facebook, but like to do the weekly synopsis here. I couldn't keep it going the last two years i tried it, but the one i read last year was so entertaining, that i had to give it another try. :) So far...i'm sticking with it. 

I do realize it's only January. ;) 

So here is my week 3 in photos! 


Once again, I'll spare you the long commentary like I do it on facebook. But here it is in a nutshell! 

Sunday, Jan 13. I made the perfect chicken, and tried roasted cauliflower. SO GOOD! 

Monday, Jan 14. My boots came in!! Mom got me these for Christmas, but they didn't fit, so she returned them &  had them shipped to my house. I LOVE THEM! I've been asking for boots for like 3 years now. I know that's sad. But these fit & I love them. And yes, i posted a full body pic of myself. Ain't no shame! (Expect me to be skinnier in the next pic though! I lost 2.2 pounds this past week!) :)

Tuesday, Jan 15. Tried the new restaurant by my work. It's called Uncle O's. They have another one somewhere in Baton Rouge, but I've never been. ANYWAY - this is quite possibly the best salad I've ever had. AMAZING! The owner came by my table (impressive!) & I told him that i might have a problem. As in, i will want to go there more often than i can afford. Ha! I have already been back once with plans to meet a friend there on Thursday. Yikes! 

Wednesday, Jan 16. Met my friend Tonya for lunch! My long-lost work buddy!!!! SO thankful to get to sit with her & catch up. So much going on in her life, and i am always inspired by her constant faith & perseverance. Amazing woman of God! 

Thursday, Jan 17. Photography Class #2! We used our photographer's wife Jency as a model. :)

Friday, Jan 18. Stopped at the fruit & veggie stand for some goodies! :) 

Saturday, Jan 19. Day date with my love! Breakfast at La Madeline's, and the movie Les Miserables, finally! Then Barnes & Noble & Walmart. Lovely day! 

That's my week! Stay tuned! I might keep this up a whole month!!!! 

Hope you all had a lovely week! :)

Sunday Social.

Sunday Social

Linking up with Ashley for Sunday Social. :)

1. Top 3 favorite kinds of food. 
Southern
Mexican
Cajun

2. First 3 things you do in the morning.
Turn off snooze, pee, jump in the shower. 

3. Last 3 things you do at night.
Take out my contacts, wash my face, make sure my alarm is set.

4. 3 TV shows you never miss. 
Parenthood
Grey's Anatomy
Law & Order SVU

5. 3 places you want to visit.
Hawaii
Greece
London

6. 3 people you can always count on.
my hubby
my parents
my sister


Happy Sunday, y'all! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Photography Class #1 & 2

So my first photography class was last Thursday, January 10th. It was everything I hoped. :) 

The class has about 15 ladies, most of us in our late twenties or early thirties. There are a handful in their fifties and one girl who is maybe 19 or 20. Most are like me - love photography but are not solid in the manual settings. There are 1 or 2 who are at the VERY beginning stages (just got their DSLR this past Christmas) & there are one or two who i think should be in an advanced class haha. But the majority of the class is about where i am. They are all nice, and i look forward to getting to know them more. 

I was SOOO GLAD my friend Mandy agreed to take the class with me! She has a Nikon & hadn't learned to shoot in manual yet. She is learning fast & I personally think she is a natural! :) 
We learned some things I had already knew, but it definitely helped to reinforce some things, and to make me more confident that i actually was doing things right! We learned about aperature, shutter speed & ISO. I have a clear understanding of ISO, and a pretty decent understanding of aperature. My shutter speed has been a struggle for me. I know what it is - just always had a hard time getting it how i wanted it! But some things definitely clicked for me in class, and that was an awesome feeling! He also went over that little meter in your camera. 

This is our teacher, Aaron of Eye Wander Photo, helping Emily to find a setting on her camera. I like that he went around to every camera to make sure we knew where certain settings were, and even showing us things about our camera that we didn't know about! 

At the end, we each took turns getting photos of Aaron's wife, Jency. She is supposed to be taking the class so she is a great sport about being a model for us! I also took this one of her feet. I thought it was a cool shot on the camera but not so much when i uploaded it to the computer. Haha. 

So, homework. This was our homework & the pics I used. In our second class, he brought up each of our pics on the screen & critiqued them in front of the class! I was nervous! HAHA! But it was great feedback. He liked a lot about my photos, but also gave me some great advice to make it a better picture. I am a lot more worried about my homework for next week, though! Will tell you what that is at the end of this post.

So this was our homework & what I turned in! 

1.  Creative Use of Great Depth of Field
{1/2500    F/4.5    ISO: 100}
The clock tower at LSU. He liked this pic. He liked the greenery to the left & bottom left. He said he may have backed up & got in more greenery. He told me some other stuff but it's all a blur. Which is sad. I should have recorded his comments! Haha.

2. Creative Use of Shallow Depth of Field
{1/30   f/1.8   ISO: 1600}
He loved the bokeh, which was purely accidental. :) I like this picture, even though it's just of lenses. Haha! I am just now realizing i could have brought that ISO down! It was up from something Aaron was showing us in class, i think! Oops. :) Or maybe i left it that way on purpose - our living room is kinda dark. Who knows!?

3.  Creative Use of Fast Shutter Speed (to stop motion)
{1/3200    f/4    ISO: 200}
This might have been Aaron's favorite. He liked the composition. The way your eye moves up towards the left (is what he said - but harder to explain that in writing! LOL.). He liked the splash at the bottom. He liked this pic. YAY! Haha.

4. Creative Use of Slow Shutter Speed (to show motion)
{1/5    f/5    ISO: 800}

I had all my pictures done except this one, and i thought it wasn't going to happen. I wanted to go to a fountain outside & it just kept raining & raining. I could have done something with water at home (don't know why i had water stuck in my head!), but i thought it wasn't going to rain Wednesday so i thought i could get a good shot then. Maybe water or maybe cars or someone on a bike. Well, it rained Wednesday. Go figure. Wednesday night we went to dinner with Chris & Ellyn (Brad's cousin & his girlfriend). I brought my camera in & ended up telling them about this last pic i needed for the assignment! Ellyn had a glass of wine, and i thought a cool pic might be of her drinking her wine - her glass blurry to show the movement - but the rest of her in focus. This is what i got. He asked me how many glasses of wine she had to drink. ;) Haha. (For the record, she only used the one glass!!) 

Anyway...it's my least favorite of the four, but i was pressed for time! It's not horrible! But not GREAT at all. LOL. She's cute though. She was a good model for me! :)


It was really so much fun & I am SO excited about this class. Can't wait to go back! Except... this week's homework is more challenging than last. This week, we learned about White Balance & the Rule of Thirds (which i know pretty well!), and some other things. 

So this is our homework:

1 - 2 Images creatively using the Rule of Thirds 
2 - 1 image creatively using repitition (like stairs or columns)
3 - 1 image creatively illustrating reflection (such as a mirror or a puddle)

Then it says: Incorporate these 3 elements into 3 out of 4 of your photos: Texture, Shadows, or complimentary colors (those are three things he discussed in class). 

I don't even know where to begin! Incorporate ALL THREE into three out of four of my photos? Or just ... what? I can do the rule of thirds pictures, but i would like a different model besides my husband and my dog! LOL. I mean... seriously. Maybe a coworker will be my model on a lunch break?!

And i know what he means by repitition - just gotta think of a place that has that - and then use it in a way other than our examples in class - b/c i feel like i'm just going to copy him! 

Once again - comments/feedback/encouragement welcome.