Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Playing around with pictures

So as some of you already know, I really really like the site and read her everyday. I already blogged once about a recipe I found on her cooking page, but today I was looking at her photography page and wanted to give what she suggested a try. Actually, it's what Jodi Friedman of MCP Actions suggested, since she wrote the article today. I'm kind of hoping she'll come and look at this post and tell me what she thinks! :) The article I'm talking about is here.

And for those of you who don't want to go over there and look at that, the article was about the "Rule of Thirds." I've heard that it's much more pleasing to look at a picture that isn't completely centered, but for some reason I always center my pictures anyway. So I thought I'd take a picture similar to the picture that Jodi plays around with, and do some of the same crops, and see how it goes. Maybe I'll be able to convince myself that I really should start not-centering things anymore.

Playing outside 1
Here's the original. Very much centered, as you can see. Her eyes are in the top third though, which is a good thing according to Jodi. I like that her eyes exactly follow the line where the grass and trees meet. Maybe that's just me though?

Playing outside 2
Trying to get Lily in the right third of the picture. Obviously had to cut of most of her legs (which is probably why it wouldn't have occurred to me on my own to crop it like this - getting the whole body is good, right?), but I actually do like how there is a sense that you can follow her line of sight farther. And see how long her cute hair is getting in the back.

Playing outside 3
Here I tried to get Lily's line of sight right in the middle of the picture. But because I didn't want to cut her head in half (I thought it looked funny) her eyes are almost back in the middle of the picture, instead of the right third. At least, I think. :)- I kind of like it all the same, though it does make her head look kind of huge. I do like it better than the original, actually. It's more artistic to me.

Playing outside 4
In her next example, Jodi went in really close, so I did too. I think it's cute, but I also think I need more megapixels in my camera to get this close. :) The grass and trees are starting to look a little funny.

Playing outside 5
Next Jodi tried some square crops. Her first was like this, with her subject to the far right side. I personally don't like how the grass seems more important than Lily, but that's probably the Mom in me talking.

Playing outside 6
This is too close for me, even though it's not quite as close as Jodi's subject was in this crop. To me it emphasizes too much that Lily doesn't grow hair on the side of her head yet!

Playing outside 7
Vertical. Lily's head isn't as far right as Jodi's example, but that's because I don't like cropping out her soft fluffy baby hair in the back. It still has the same amount of open space though - I like it. I like how you get a little more of the ...grr can't think of the word... depth! Depth of the picture with the grass running back to the trees behind her. (Sorry, pregnant brain!)

Playing outside 8
I'm not really liking this one. As Jodi says of her example of this crop, "there's no place for your eyes to go. " And going in this close, as least for me and this picture, mutes the really pretty green of the grass into a duller shade, and I don't like that either.

Playing outside 9
Well, with a higher megapixel camera again, or just starting in much closer when I originally took the shot, this would probably be a lot better, but it looks too grainy/pixelated to me. Plus her skin just takes up so much of the space. It's not my favorite.

So, um, in conclusion... I don't take half bad pictures with my point and shoot, but I could point it a little better. I'm definately convinced that my pictures don't always need to be exactly centered. I think my favorites of all the crop is this one:
Playing outside 2 
the very first crop I made. I like that you can see more of her body, and still follow her line of sight out into more open space than the centered original. I decided I also like the picture right above this one, the very last one I did with Lily so close, just because it's really sweet, but visually it's not as appealing to me as the others.

For those of you who actually made it all the way to the end, Thanks!! Your comments would be appreciated (esp. Natalie, since you're a photographer now and all, and I love your photos!). And I'll do another post soon with more pictures of Lily that aren't all the same. :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pay It Forward

The first three people to leave a comment on this post will receive, at some point during the year, some homemade goodies from me or a little special gift. You won't know what it will be or when it will arrive, so you'll never know exactly what to expect.  The catch is that you must participate as well. Before you leave your comment, write up a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going. Then sit back and anticipate the arrival of your goodies/gift! Please submit in an e-mail or on the comment, your address, if I don't have it already. Remember that only the first three comments will receive a gift from me, so be quick!

I got this idea from my friend Stephanie, and didn't read thoroughly enough, I guess, to realize that I was supposed to write this blog before I commented on her blog. However, as I'm still the only person to comment on it, hopefully she'll forgive me. I don't know why people aren't commenting on her blog, I think it's an awesome idea. So I hope people take the opportunity to comment here and Pay it Forward on their own blogs!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Recent Happenings

Lily has decided that she is a climber. Well, she decided that awhile ago, probably, but as of yesterday, she has a new conquest: our dining room chairs. :( Of course, this doesn't make her unhappy, just the parents who have one more thing to worry about. It's pretty cute, if I'm being completely honest. She sure is proud of herself once she's standing up on the chair, too.

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Half-way there! (please ignore the brown spot on her bum, she sat in something... lol :) )

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So happy! She got the Rummikub tiles Mommy and Daddy were trying to play with.

So, in pregnancy news, I'm almost 23 weeks, which is just over 5 months. I'm feeling him kick all the time now. It's still weird to me that with Lily I still hadn't felt her kick at this point. It's also weird to me that everything about this pregnancy is so laid back compared with Lily. By this time with Lily I'd had 3 ultrasounds, I think, and many Dr. appointments. So far with Michael I've only had two Dr. appointments and 1 ultrasound, which should be the only one. It's weird, but I am very grateful that Michael's so healthy and doesn't need all the extra attention.

I had a huge chocolate chip cookie craving a little while ago, and I tried to resist, but it didn't happen. So I ended up making like, 4 1/2 dozen cookies. I didn't eat them all the first day... but I'm not going to admit how much I actually did eat the first day! Let's just say between me, Ben, and then when the Adams came over for dinner a day or two later, (and yes, probably mostly me) they didn't last more than 3 days.

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For anyone who's wondering (cuz I know everybody is), I don't really have a special recipe I use - but I HAVE to use Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips. I usually just use the recipe on the back of the package, and they are sooooo good. They're basically the most expensive chocolate chips at the store, but I'm a chocolate snob... sorry. Actually, I'm not sorry. They are so worth it. Try them. You won't go back. And just stock up when they go on sale. Oh man, I want cookies now just talking about them. Oops.

The park 003
Lily enjoyed that I made cookies. She was being really clinging at the time, so it was hard to put her down, thus she kept getting samples. Lucky her!

Last week, and the week before that too, actually, Ben, Lily and I all went to the park. I found this park on the shore of Lake Washington in the Jaunita Bay area, and I really like it. It has a nice boardwalk over the lake for bit, some good shore that looks like it would be fun for Lily to splash in this summer, lots of picnic tables, lots of swings and playground stuff for Lily, and Lily's favorite, lots of ducks! So Ben and I wanted to have a picnic awhile ago when it was so sunny, so we grabbed some Subway after I picked him up from work, and went straight there before it got too late. It was lots of fun, and Lily enjoyed everything: the swinging, just lots of walking (which she is always up for) and watching us feed the ducks. Getting her to sit still for the picnic part was kind of hard, so we had to rush through that part. Here are pictures!

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I know you can't really see Ben that well, but I like how the sun silhouettes him. It was a very pretty day.

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Looking up at a seagull. She thought all the birds she saw there were ducks.

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I saw this photo and my first thought was "Who's that big pregnant woman in the background?" Duh, it's me! I guess I'm not used to seeing myself from the side like that - my ponytail threw me off too. It's so short!

The park 042
This picture is kind of dark, but I like it. She was so happy to be at the park.

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Ben said I needed to put one of myself in here, so here it is. I like the sky. :)

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I actually really like this one of us.

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Lily right after going down the slide. She's not really into the slide yet, but Ben was pretty excited. :)

We really really enjoyed the sunny days we were getting for awhile. I hope they start coming more and more frequently. That would make me happy. :)

PS - Tell me if you like my new background. Ever since I found out I was having a boy, I've been wanting something blue. I found this, but I don't know if I'm going to stick with it. ??