{POTD} What is Lazy Eye?

As we are bombarded with Back to School advertisements, I think back to a year ago when CJ was all excited to be starting Kindergarten.  Finally he would get to go on the school bus like his big sister.  He was even excited about going to the doctor little did he know his excitement would soon turn to tears from vaccinations.  But something else came to light as he was getting his Kindergarten physical.  He was having trouble seeing the Eye chart.  At first I thought it could be all the nurse’s walking in front of him as he tried to make out the shapes or the impatient nurse trying to administer the exam. Considering both my daughter and I wear glasses, I decided to take him to the eye doctor.  Better safe than sorry.

We soon learned that CJ has Amlyopia or commonly known as “Lazy Eye”.  I have a cousin who has a severe lazy eye but I never really noticed it on CJ until the Optometrist pointed it out.  Then I noticed it all the time.  The Optometrist recommended a pair of glasses for CJ, an Eye Patch and some Vision Therapy.

While doing my research on Vision Therapy and eye patches, I learned that traditional eye patches are devices that are taped over the child’s good eye.  And can sometimes be difficult to remove because of the adhesive.  I thought to myself there has got to be a better product out there.  Because as a Mother I know, that if there is pain involved, the child is not going to be too willing to wear it.

So I kept searching through countless pages on the Internet.  Page after page held the same type of traditional eye patches.  Until I came upon Anissa’s Fun Patches.  A Grandparent invented a unique but simple eye patch for her Granddaughter, Anissa.  This eye patch slips over the arm of the glasses and onto the nose piece to block the vision in the good eye.  No adhesive is needed whatsoever.  Credit Card in hand I order a five patches.  I was quite pleased with the product.  And they even sent CJ a Christmas card and a Free eye patch in December.

There are days when I still have to fight CJ to wear his patch, but this is an easier battle than what I would have been fighting had he had to wear the traditional eye patch.  And here is the puzzle we completed tonight as part of his Vision Therapy.


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{POTD} Sun bathing Flowers

Its been a little over a week now since I originally took this photograph.  I had originally captured this photograph in color with my digital camera.  But once I got back to my digital darkroom (aka my computer) I realized how stunning this photograph would be in black and white.  What makes this photograph stunning in a monochrome tone is how the light falls on the photographic subject, the flowers. 

The sun was just beginning to rise as I snapped this photograph of the flowers.  You can see shadows on the ground as well.  Areas of light and dark are what you want to capture when composing a good photograph in monochrome.  After doing a little cropping and adding a frame, I knew I wanted to save this photograph for release on a Monday for the Monochrome Weekly blog meme. 

 

 

If you would like to purchase products featuring this photographic print, I have made them available for a limited time in my Cafe Press Shop.

  

 

 

Summer Vacation – Telling Your Story

Whether your getting ready for a summer vacation away from home or a weekend trip close to home, you plan all the things your going to need for the trip.  For instance, a week at the beach house, you might bring bathing suits, towels, sun block, and something for the sunburns, just in case one gets too much sun.  And of course you will want to bring a camera to capture those moments.

What story do you want to tell with your photographs?  What is unique about this summer trip?  By taking some time to plan your photographic story, you will end up with more photographs with the “wow” factor and really capture the spirit of your summer trip.

To tell any good story, its needs four elements.  Plot.  Character.  Setting.  Details.  This holds true for photography as well.   Here is how you can incorporate story telling while taking photographs.

  1. Plot – What action is taking place?  Is there a tension or conflict in the story?  What is important to the story?  Perhaps this summer trip is a family reunion.  Or the first trip for a toddler.
  2. Character – What is unique about the person you are photographing?  I know I have an uncle who loves to entertain the kids at Christmas in-between opening presents.
  3. Setting – What is important about your surroundings?  What is unique?  I know someone who traveled abroad and they had an outdoor shower with an amazing view.  Her husband took a wonderful photograph of her using the shower and the view just beyond.
  4. Details – What are the little details that help tell the story?  Like the bucket the children used to build a sand castle on the beach.  You could compose a photograph of the discarded bucket by the sand castle with the children playing on the beach in the distance.

Once you have arrived at your summer destination, here are some tips for capturing your summer story in pictures.

  • Leave the camera behind.  If you’re going to be there for a week, leave the camera behind for the first two days.  Spend this time just enjoying the atmosphere with your family.  If you do this, once you do whip out your camera, your family will probably be more cooperative with you taking pictures and may be less prone to whining about you being behind the camera all the time.
  • With your camera packed away, take the time to make some observations about your surroundings.  This will help you plan out your shots when you do have your camera in hand.
  • Choose the day, time and location for your photographs carefully.  Take the photograph we mentioned earlier of the bucket the children used to build the sand castle.  This photograph will have more “wow” factor at sunset with less people on the beach versus the middle of the afternoon when the sun is high and there are a lot of people on the beach.
  • Be prepared to come back when the timing is right for that perfect photograph.

Here’s one story I have captured this summer.  I have digitally scrapped this story and it was easy to do since I knew ahead of time what I wanted to photograph.

Create multimedia digital scrapbooks for free at Scrapblog. Print your creations into high quality keepsake books, soft cover books, greeting cards, and post cards.

Scrap pages were created at Scrapblog.com

You can have better photographs by thinking about the photograph you want to capture ahead of time.  And don’t forget to get yourself in the photograph.  These techniques can also be used for capturing those photographs for Summer Stock Sunday hosted by Robin over at Around the Island.  Click on over to see more photographs on this Summer Stock Sunday.

Do you have past summer vacations on video, why not have them transferred over to DVD.

iMemories - Preserve Your Memories on DVD

Plenty on the BlogHop

Welcome fellow BlogHoppers!

I hope that you will take a few moments to look around and enjoy my desert way of life.  As you can see, I love taking photographs.

If your new to my blog, I hope that while you are here, you will take a second to sign up for my RSS Feed

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To learn a little about me, just click here.

Just last weekend I participated in a World Wide Photo Walk and you can view some of those photographs here and here.

And if you’re looking for a Give-a-Way, just click on over to my website and enter.  New winner chosen every Monday.

Now I’m off to do a little Blog Hopping myself.  See you in you’re comments!

Fix It Friday #21

Another reason to love Friday’s? Fix It Friday’s over at i heart faces. Every Friday they will post a reader’s photograph for others to show off their editing skills. This gives me an excuse to purposely learn something new in Photoshop Elements or try my hand at digital scrapbooking. Or in today’s case, a little of both.

Original

Original

 Cropped and Picture Noise Reduced

Cropped and Picture Noise Reduced

Pse 7 Embossing Effect

Pse 7 Embossing Effect

My Scrapblog

Click here to view more or to try your hand at editing this weeks photograph

Click here to view more or to try your hand at editing this week's photograph


It’s finally here…

Thursday’s Thirteen!  I have been waiting most of the week to post these photographs from the Photo Walk I went on this past Saturday.  If you missed it, you can go here to get caught up on your reading.

Thank you for taking the time to view my photographs.  As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated.  Now if you would like to join in on this Meme or just want to check out the other blog participants there here it is…

tt01
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Mozy.  Have you backed up your computer?  Highly recommended.  I literally cried the day my computer crashed and I lost hundreds of photographs that were irreplaceable.  i high recommended Mozy.  I have never had a problem since I started using their service.

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{POTD} Wordless Wednesday

Walking about the neighborhood some time back, I came upon this empty lot and my eyes were drawn to the “Keep Out” posted on the joshua tree.  My first thought was that there was nothing there to go in to.  And then it dawned on me that the birds who call that joshua tree home must have posted it.  So there you have it, my Wordless Wednesday, complete with about 100 words or so.

If you would like to see more Wordless Wednesday, click on over to the home of Wordless Wednesday.

Today’s post here on the “This Desert Life {in pictures}” blog has been brought to you by:

{POTD} The Star Flower

If you read my blog regularly you should be a subscriber, then you know I took part of Scott Kelby’s 2nd Annual World Wide Photo Walk this past Saturday.  For those who are not familiar with Scott Kelby, he is a Photographer as well as a Master of Photoshop.  I hope to learn many things from his website over the next 30 days as I was granted Free Access for a month to the many tutorials he offers.

I took 154 images in about an hours time.  When I got home Saturday morning, I quickly organized them and picked out my favorite for submission for the contest.  Monday, once I had had some sleep, I began to go through the photographs again and found more jewels hidden within the digital files.  When I saw this one particular photograph, I was drawn into the image by the vibrant reds and thought how wonderful it would be to debut this photograph on Ruby Red Tuesday.  This flower really stands out from all the others in the background.  Definitely the Star Flower in this picture show.  I hope my audience finds this digital photograph pleasing to the eye.

Now I invite you to click on over to the home of Ruby Red Tuesday at Work of a Poet and view the other amazing photographs bloggers have submitted and don’t forget to leave some comment love.  And if you enter, we’ll be kind and love you too with our comments.

{POTD} All Photographs are Monochrome {Weekly}

Since the beginning of Photography, photographs have been recorded in black and white.  Originally, a photographer would open the lens and expose the film to light.  The film would simply record areas of light and areas of no light.  It wasn’t until the recorded image was processed in the darkroom that color would be introduced onto the photograph.   This still holds true for digital cameras today.  The sensor inside your digital camera, like traditional film, is also sensitive to light.  When you press the button on your digital camera, the shutter opens and exposes your pixels on your sensor to light.  The sensor then assigns a value (1-256) to each pixel to indicate the brightness of the scene captured through the lens. 

 

Understanding how my camera records what I see has helped me to better understand how to photograph a good black and white photograph.  Through my new found knowledge, I am looking at scenes through my lens in a whole new light (pun intended.)  Just this past week we had some monsoon storms pass through the desert and weather is always an eye catching image to photograph, at least for me anyways.  Here is one of the photographs I composed for my submission to Monochrome WeeklyTell me what you think.

 

 

To view more Monochrome Weekly photographs, click on over and check them out.  And if you would like to submit your black and white photographs, then add your link to Mr Linky on Ailene’s site as well.

 

{POTD} from Scott Kelby’s 2nd Annual World Wide Photo Walk

Desert Greetings one and all.  Today I had the privilege of participating in the World Wide Photo Walk and met a collection of wonderful people.  We gathered as the sun rose in Palm Desert, California at 6am.  The temperatures were already in the upper 80’s and steadily climbing.  We finished our first half of the Photo Walk just after 7am and the sweat was already taking over.  Next stop on the Photo Walk, Starbucks – just 4 blocks up the road by motor vehicle.  Yes we wimped out and sought the cooling comforts of air conditioning.

Once inside we took over a hallway on the way to the facilities.  Seven of us sat down with coffee and got to know one another.  Amongst us we had a lawyer from Santa Monica and her mother from Palm Desert.  A grandfather from Sun City.  A writer from the LA Times.  A student (sorry I didn’t catch where she was from.)  And once again I was reminded of how small of a world we sometimes live in, a teacher from Yucca Valley (where I currently call home).  I say its a small world because this teacher taught my daughter six years ago while in Elementary school. 

I enjoyed getting to know this collection of people who share my passion for photography.  I am looking forward to seeing the works of art they captured on our brief walk.  And looking forward to getting together soon for one of our own Photo Walks once the temperatures become tolerable again, perhaps in October.

Now it is time for me to seek some rest as I have been up since 2am and have a Photo Shoot this evening for a Fundraiser Event in Cathedral City.  But before I go, I will leave you with this photograph I captured.