Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fort Ebey

This week we went to see Fort Ebey State park. I've been wanting to go see it for a while, since last summer as a matter of fact when we went to Fort the pouring rain. That trip wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, I had a walking boot on and was about 3 months pregnant at the time...did I mention it was raining? 

Anyway, it WAS NOT raining this weekend. In fact, it was perfect for a sea side stroll/hike, just enough heat to make the wind coming off the water nice and refreshing. It was a great day for picture taking, and again I have to say, I actually haven't included ALL of the best shots...I just couldn't overload you with anymore...There were soo many good shots, but while *I* love to look at all these pictures of my kids, I understand that they tend to blur to I tried to edit down the numbers...and I still have far too many...Oh well... you can scroll past them ;)

Anyway, it's a great "park". I put that in quotes because it's quite large and spread out. There are a bunch of different little dookits. There's the beach and gun battery, where there is camping allowed, there's the Prairie part as well as a bluff....there are crops actually being grown and harvested on the land as well. 

Fort Ebey, is also on Whidbey Island, which is but a 30 minute ferry ride from the Mukilteo ferry dock. In fact, we spent more time in line (45 minutes) waiting to get to the toll booth than we did on the ferry. This was our very 1st ferry ride as a family. So it was quite exciting.  
 We took the beach route, the buggy was pretty much not even an option so Allan put her in the pack and I carried the bag. We started out toward a small lake near the beach, then up through the land and down this perilous switchback hill down to the beach. Once we got to the beach it was pretty easy going for us since there was a loop back to the car w/o having to follow the switchback hill back up THANK God because that thing was crazy...had I realized we weren't having to go back up it, I'd have taken a picture at the bottom of it. Suffice it to say, I was THRILLED to realize we didn't have to retrace our steps.  

Kayleigh loved it, she spent most of the time either chattering into Allan's ear smiling away; or sleeping...Liam loved it, but then he loves to walk, and any time he's allowed to climb something, run or throw something he's a happy camper..You can only imagine how excited he was here where he could do it all! 

After we were thoroughly tuckered out from the hills and the beach we decided to try our luck at the Bluff, where there was more ability to use the buggy. Which was a twofold plus. One, while a 15lb baby isn't TERRIBLY heavy, she seems to gain weight exponentially by the minute. Two, she is a red head...and it was sunny, and we had no hat. No matter how much sunscreen I slather on her I worry about her fair skin. 

The cool thing was this was also where crops were being grown. I have in all my *cough...cough* years, have NEVER actually SEEN wheat. So that was very cool. I'd also never seen a cabbage's plant they are large bushy odd things I'd never had guessed a cabbage was under all the "fluff".

Liam had fun running along the very dusty, rutted farm road...playing scarecrow in the "wheat" which was really just tall grass since he couldn't actually go into the wheat. I think his favorite part though was near the end he'd found that he could hang on Allan's arm and drag and it didn't hurt, but it sure did LOOK funny, and kicked up quite a bit of dirt. Add his now FILTHY clothes to his "dirt shiner" and  he was quite the epitome of a the old saying that a boy is nothing more than "Noise with dirt on it."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Volunteer Park

So, after a few days of summer like weather this year, while the rest of the country melts in 100+ degree heat we have had rain, and fog, and nastyness..until yesterday. FINALLY! So, we packed up the kiddos and headed out. We ended up at Volunteer park, it's nestled in a residential area of Seattle, it houses the Asian Art Museum and well as some walking paths which made it perfect for us because there was enough to take pictures of and yet not so rugged that we'd have to either A) carry  Kayleigh, who's getting heavy. Or B) Worry too much about injuring my ankle further before surgery next month.

I've made a few different sets of collages here :) We just had soo many good photos. Believe me when I say this is just a drop in the bucket. I could have posted way more.

So I made one collage solely dedicated to the views we had of the Space Needle and city...and then threw in a pretty good shot of a plane shows of Allan's zoom and tele converter...I think he was at 400mm there ;) Most of the city shots were taken from the water tower at the park. it's over 100 steps up so I push Kayleigh around the bottom while the boys took the trek up...from what I hear it was one heck of a climb! 

I sometimes wonder how I ended up with SUCH a photogenic kiddo. Unless he's making a goofy face or is mid blink you just can't take a bad photo! (shoot and even some of those are classics!)

Then of course there is the Bug. In one of my favorite outfits on her because of her red hair...The yellow just compliments her. :) She slept through a LOT of the walk etc and we didn't bring her out of the buggy until later into the outing for not as many different "poses" but, then she is only 4 months, it's not like she's going to be striking a pose and be leaping in the air for us like Liam!

Allan and I both love Macro shots...and taking pictures of flowers gives us good reason and opportunity to use this effect. One of the coolest plants we saw this time was the "living stones" they are found in South Africa and really do look like stones! See for your self (lower left photo of collage) 

Anyway, yet another fun day out. If you are ever in Seattle, I'd highly recommend the park to you. Especially if you enjoy Asian Art,  flowers and views. Other neat things, in the summer they have a wading pool that's open daily, it was open when we were there, but we didn't bring towels or anything to wade. They also have a large playground, and the building that houses the Art Museum is a BEAUTIFUL Art Nouveau style. 

I Heart Faces Weekly Challege: Water

Due to the lack of summer here in the PNW, I haven't been to the pool/water park etc so much this year so there weren't a lot of recent shots involving water. SO, I dug into the archives. And AH_HA! I found this gem. It's of Liam a couple summers ago on his FIRST time to the water park. He had a blast, and it was just after I'd acquired my First DSLR camera, so I was all about capturing the moments!  This is typical of Liam, carefree and goofy. Though while in this photo he was dancing through the water, now he's karate chopping his way through it...Sigh, they grow up too fast!

Go on over and check out some other great shots @ I Heart  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Capturing Moments.

Here's a "bad" shot from Kayleigh's 4 month "shoot".  As a photographer, trying to get "the shot," a shot like this would get put into the do not edit pile. As a MOM I love this kind of shot. These are the candid, unposed, spontaneous moments caught on camera that make the mom in me go, awww...that reminds me of WHY I get up in the middle of the night. The moments that make being a mom worth it. Having a giggle with my baby. Sometimes, I need to remind my photographer self, to let the mom in me take over. Because, these are the moments I want to capture for my clients and for myself. The real emotion, real moments. Anyone can pose a baby to look cute. Because lets face it; babies are cute. But capturing the personality, the shared MOMENT between mom and baby. Those are the pictures we moms look back on years down the road and remember. It may not be the typically, perfectly cute, posed shot. But what it is, in infectious. I don't know what she's laughing at...but I want to laugh with her.

So here's my captured moment. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Taking "sleeping" shots with a flash

Okay, so EVERY parent, esp us moms LOVE to take pictures of our babies sleeping. There is just nothing more cozy, more peaceful than a child at rest. For me, at least I like to take pictures to PROVE that it happens. My 6 year old is a whirlwind and sometimes it's hard to believe he actually stops for those 8+ hours of sleep...because goodness knows, he doesn't stop any other time.

Anyway, the issue is lighting. After all, sleeping doesn't tend to take place in full daylight...well except for nap time, but that's not the issue here.  I love the night time shots, the they've been asleep for 4 hours and I'm trying to capture that full on sleep with abandon pose that I see checking on them before I go to bed. So it's dark.

But unless I have granite hands or a tripod, on top of a motionless subject (which is possible, they are sleeping...) I am going to end up with a grainy, or blurry shot of SOMETHING.. so then you think, OH. here's where I use my flash! but, then you worry about a flash RIGHT at the face of your sleeping child...ooooh, yeah, can we say startled awake? SO what do you do?

YOU BOUNCE IT. That's right...I take pictures of my kiddos sleeping, or anytime really when I NEED a little bit of flash but not a lot..But, I am too broke, and too cheap to buy special flashes that bounce off the ceiling or wall instead I use whatever I can find around me, and the out comes are interesting. And I have some shots to show :)

These have NO editing...I know, I rarely show my SOOC shots but here we are.

This was with my flash, my lovely daughter decided to play nice and not wake up yelling at me over the flash ;) It's quite harsh with the lighting, doesn't look peaceful, and the hard shadow across her chest is a bit much.

So then I grabbed a piece of paper, and too the one on the right using the paper to bounce the light off the wall next to the crib (to the right).

I just hold it at an angle in front of the flash about a 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch away from the flash

It's so much softer, and not much correction is needed. Most of the flaws we can see in the flash shot are missing naturally in the shot with my trusty diffuser.

So there you have it, next time you want to take a shot of your children sleeping, bounce the flash off the wall...the flash doesn't go RIGHT into their eyes and you get a better shot over all w/o a tripod or extended exposure.

I've also been known to use my baby girls socks to diffuse the light a bit. A white sock works best of course, but experiment. Because I've also used pink, yellow and lavender socks and have found that they add something too in that they color the light. But most of all have fun!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


So, always up for a contest, and getting my photos out there I am entering this photo into Shutter Speed's Photo contest. It's their first contest, and I'm always up for helping a fellow blogger and photographer gain traffic.

When I heard the topic I knew what shot I was going to pick. I know it's not the "typical" shot you'd think of when the word "playful" is bandied about. HOWEVER, this shot makes me laugh every time. In fact it's my wallpaper currently. It's like my daughter is peeking over the edge of the picture saying, hey mom! Hey, for a 3 month old that's not too shabby! In all honestly, I was playing around with the idea of a sun flare, and this came out, I love it. I love the colors that make me think of a hot summer day by the pool, I love the comedy of this little baby in the sun...It just makes me smile, and I'm not really 100% sure why. But then, that's often the best part of photography.

I hope it makes you smile. While you're smiling head over to Shutter Speed and check out some other playful shots!