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

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

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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

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

{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} Precious Moments

My friend Jen over at Shutter Sisters is celebrating her son’s eighth birthday today.  Indeed the years do seem to fly by as your kids get older.  One day your baby girl is celebrating her third birthday with new toys and the next she’s old enough to entertain and babysit her younger brother.  And next week she’ll be 16!  In a blink of an eye nothing is the same.  Thank goodness we have the ability to capture those precious moments on film so that the memories can live on a little longer.

Tori celebrates 3

Tori celebrates 3

Indeed those days of childhood do pass quickly.   So what moments in time have you frozen?  If your not already a Shutter Sister, click on over there and give them a try.  I’m positive you’ll find it a rewarding experience.

A moment of silence please…

Well I sold my current digital camera yesterday on eBay. I have been wanting to upgrade to a better camera since I began taking the NYIP Complete Photography Course. But in order to do that I needed to sell what I had.

I’m not all that sad about selling the camera because I know what I’m about to get is soooo much better. I am sad because I will be WITHOUT a digital camera for a week or so till I get my new camera. This task is most challenging for someone who loves snapping candids and composing photographs. But, ohhh, just image all the wonderful images I will be able to create with my new camera.  I will just have to amuse myself with my new lessons I have just received from NYIP and make note of the photographs I wish to capture with my Rebel.

Alas, I will bid a farewell to my old camera, as I pack it up to be shipped across the country. I hope that its new owner will delight in the pictures they have captured.

Aloha Kodak! And ALOHA Canon! 🙂

What is the most photographed subject in the world?

No, the answer is not Obama.  It’s people!

Everywhere you look there are people.  People on the cover of magazines.  People on the front page of the newspaper.  People splattered all over advertisements.

People buy cameras to take pictures of other people.  Parents are goo-goo over their newborn children and so they take many pictures of just about anything their baby does.  Then there are the holidays, when families come together and everyone is taking pictures of everyone.  And let’s not forget that just about every cell phone bought today has a camera integrated into its electronics.

What I don’t get is why my daughter and her friends are constantly taking crazy pictures of themselves, up close or at weird angles yet she objects so strongly to me taking pictures of her.  And heaven forbid I suggest to my family that we have  a “family portrait” taken.   I wonder how a person who loves taking pictures (that would be me) ended up with a family who would rather I not take pictures of them.  The only exception would be my son who still thinks its cool for me to take pictures.  Give him time and I am sure he will be like his older sister.

I ask you readers, what do you photograph the most?  Share your answers and pictures

Picture of the Day 5/13/09

Happy Mothers Day - love CJ

Happy Mother's Day - love CJ

Mother’s Day morning as I quickly scarfed down breakfast before our road trip, I opened a big beautifully decorated envelope from my son CJ, who is 5.  Inside was a set of portraits taken at the school. Never even knew this pictures were being taken.

Now the business side of me can see what a great selling technique this is, what Mom is going to refuse to keep a set of pictures of their child so lovingly presented on Mother’s Day.  Then there is the loving Mother side of me who has to live on a strict budget to make ends meet and is scrambling mentally on how to pay the $45 required to keep this Mother’s Day gift from her son while showering him hugs and kisses for such a wonderful and thoughtful gift!