Blog Hop – Favorite Kid Photo 7/28/2009

Welcome all you Blog Hoppers to my This Desert Life {in pictures} blog!

I hope that you are enjoying your time in the blogosphere.

If you’re part of the Blog Hop then you already know that this week’s Theme is Favorite Kid Photo.  I have to say it was hard to choose a photograph that I have not already displayed here on my blog.  If you look around a bit, you will see that I love Photography with a capitol P.  You can see some on my work displayed here in this post.

One of my goals with my blog besides sharing my life in the desert is to help others learn how to take better photographs.  Just the other day I wrote a post on Summer Vacation – Telling Your Story.  Here are some other helpful photography tips as well in this post.

Without further delay, may I present one of my favorite photographs.  This is my son CJ and that’s his daddy holding him when he was about 6 weeks old.  We went camping in Joshua Tree National Park for the weekend with my cousin and her family.  Naturally with a baby we we’re the first ones up and I just happened to have my film camera in hand when CJ displayed this wonderful smile no I don’t believe it was gas.

Well I am off to do some Blog Hopping of my own now.  Don’t forget to leave a comment as I will be leaving many a comment for all the other blogs I visit on this week’s Blog Hop.  And if you’re not already part of the fun, there is no better time than now to start having some fun.

MckLinky Blog Hop

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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

What’s in the sky?

You can’t have a summer in the desert without monsoon storms and you can’t have the sky without airplanes flying around.  Last week while I was outside watching the skies, hoping to capture some photographs of the storm rolling through, an airplane happened to be flying overhead. 

 

 

To see more photographs from Sky Watch Friday participants or to submit your photograph, just click on over with the banner here AG00090_

 

 

 

A great source for photography gear so you too can take wonderful photographs for Sky Watch Friday!

 Digital Cameras at B&H Photo

{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.

 

{POTD} Ruby Red Tuesday Style

Sitting at my computer late Monday afternoon, I’m reading blogs via Google Subscriber and I start reading blogs about Ruby Tuesday.  Oh snap!  People are blogging about Tuesday and I haven’t even given a thought to Monday nights dinner let alone take something o of the freezer.

As I rummage through my pantry, the first thing I see are canned goods.  Dark red kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes.  Do you see a theme building here.  I’ve got all the makings for some Taco Soup.  Normally I opt for the no cooking options during the summer when its 103 degrees outside, but my family loves this recipe so Taco Soup it is!

Slow Cooker Taco Soup ready to cook

Slow Cooker Taco Soup ready to cook


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Click on over to see more Ruby Red Tuesday offerings

Click on over to see more Ruby Red Tuesday offerings


MckLinky Blog Hop

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{POTD} Monochrome Weekly

Haven’t really had a chance to go out and shot in Black and White this past week so I thought I would have a little editing fun for this weeks edition of Monochrome Weekly.

The Greyscale Take Over

The Grey-scale Take Over

If you would like to try your hand at black and white photography, then set your camera to black and white and shoot.  To post your photographs, click on over to Monochrome Weekly.

{POTD} Blog Hop Photo Fav

This week Mr. Linky is hosting a Blog Hop entitled, “Favorite Photo.”  My Favorite Photo from recent photographs has got to be this one I snapped this past weekend at Legoland.  My family and I were waiting in line to get on a ride.  My son was bored standing there so he asked me for the map of the park.  As he is looking at the map he is trying to decide which ride to go on next.  This is one of those moments when I am so thankfully I looked like  geek and had my camera hanging from my neck.

CJ reads the Legoland map

CJ reads the Legoland map

MckLinky Blog Hop

Click here to enter your link in the blog hop and view the entire list of entered links…

{POTD}Thursday Thirteen Edition #26

Thursday creeped up on me quickly this week.  Right now I am recovering from a rush drive down the hill to do a little shopping.  First I had to stop in Kohl’s, mott to see if I could find some amazing deals.  A few weeks ago my friend was able to score two KitchenAid Stand Mixers at around $60 each on the clearance rack.  I would love to find such a bargain but alas it was not meant to be for me.  I did find a pair of boots I have been eyeballing for awhile but their $60 plus price tag always stopped me.  Wednesday I found them on the clearance rack for $12.99.  Found a purse that was normally $52 for $25 and a pair of shoes for my son, on clearance of course, for $6.99.  During checkout I scored another $15 off my total for being denied a credit card.  Can we say an early Happy Birthday to me!

Then it was on to Costco before they closed.  I had less than 30 minutes to grab what I needed.  Shopping at Costco is a big deal for me because its approximately 65 miles one way to the nearest Costco.  But it is worth it.  I have insulated cooler bags I put all the cold stuff in to keep chilled on the drive home.  Very important since this is the desert and where Costco is located, it gets to be about 120 degrees or more during the summer days.  The only good thing about the high temperatures is that it drives all of the “Snowbirds” elsewhere for the summer.

So here are thirteen items I purchased at Costco last night.

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Some of those thirteen choices don’t look all that healthy now that I am puting them all on display on my blog.   In my defense, I usually buy my fresh fruits and veggies from the local markets.  If you would like to see what other bloggers have posted for their Thursday Thirteen, click on over to Thursday Thirteen and check them on out.  And while your add it, why don’t you join us.  Wishing you a scent-stional Thursday Thirteen!

P.S.  If you missed yesterday’s post, click on over and be sure to Enter my first Giveaway.

{POTD} 6/19/09 Friday’s Flowers

Friday is here at last.  I survived one week {so far} with the kids home.  Will I make it through the entire summer {that remains to be seen}.  Today my kids, daughter’s boyfriend and I are traveling down to the Los Angeles area to spend the day with my mother and step-dad.  I figured I would travel today and visit early for Father’s Day so that hubby can have a Father’s Day at home without having to travel and deal with traffic.  Though he seriously owes for the diabolically that occurred on Mother’s Day {but that was last months story}.

So for today I will take a break from my on-line blogging friends and spend some quality time with the family while snapping pictures of the kids in the pool.  Sorry, I will not be getting into a bathing suit this summer season.  I leave you with a collection of flowers to remember the spring as summer is only a few days away and that means the summer heat will be on and the flowers will be gone.  Have a scent-sational

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