Monday, January 30, 2012

Part 1 - My Weekend "Photography Mentoring"

This past weekend, I met with local Photographer Adam Turow, for the 2nd session of my photography mentoring. For this session, we met outdoors at a nice historical park called Jockey Hollow, which is part of the Morristown National Historical Park System.  It was a 'warmer day' at 48 degrees. As soon as I got there, I realized the reason he wanted to meet up there. Even in the Winter time, there are plenty of great subjects to photograph!

Adam taught me about lines, texture, composition - and about how to line yourself up & really "think" about the shot before you take it.
I also learned to shoot in "Aperture Priority" mode which I will admit, I never used before Saturday. I always had my camera on full manual up until then thinking that was the only way to go. I love the idea of "Aperture Priority" for outdoor shooting with "non-moving" objects. It's still manual for the most part, but you don't have to worry too much about the shutter speed. I liked loved it.

I also learned how to frame a shot, use my exposure composition setting and white balance setting. [Edit 2/1: I truly meant to write "exposure compensation" setting - but somehow ended up writing "composition" & I just caught it. I guess that's what happens when I multi-task! *Sigh*] 

I really learned how to use my histogram after each shot to see if I got it 'right'. Histogram is amazing once you learn how to read it. I learned soooo much! It was well worth every penny!

Jockey Hollow has some really great historical buildings, structures, outdoor scenery & pretty views. I would love to go back there in the summer time when everything is in bloom.

Here are some of the photos I took. There's a lot. Brace yourself. Sorry! I will also admit to using Lightroom to process most of them - just because I am a Lightroom addict. So as a result, none of these are SOOC.

So I have to ask ... Which picture do you like? 
 I am going to do a smaller follow up post on Wednesday about the Wick House in Jockey Hollow. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

{Attempt at a} Self Portrait

Project 52 - Week 4 -  Self Portrait

I have been participating weekly in "My 3 Boybarians" Project 52 challenge. I don't think I like the way I did this week's photos .... But it is what it is right? Better luck next week! This week's theme is "Self Portrait".

I love when other bloggers do the 'self portrait' thing by taking their picture in the mirror with their own camera. So I decided to try it. Perhaps I should have googled a tutorial on this first. Here are some of my attempts. Don't laugh.

I really need to learn how to smile. 

Last week's challenge - P52/Week3 - I dreamed a dream.
P52/week 2 - Made with Love
P52/week 1 - Resolution

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Julianna is 20 Months Old

Julianna is 20 months old! (OK so I am a few days late with this...) Time is sure flying! I haven't posted her "milestones" in a couple months - but thought I should since I will be printing off the second year of this blog as a book like I am doing with her first year!

Some cool things Julianna is doing lately:
  • Running & climbing 
  • Climbing & running & climbing & running (You get the picture, right??!) 
  • Mesmerized by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & Kung Foo Panda.Yes, we let her watch TV while we get ready in the morning - Don't judge. {GASP!!! Bad parents!!} 
  • Feeds her dolls & her stuffed animals with a bottle  
  • Eats nicely with a fork and starting to eat off a plate  
  • She can stack about 6 - 7 blocks (very meticulously, I might add)
  • She can point to all her body parts when you ask her to. We ask her "Where are your ears?" and she points to them. 
  • Walks up & down stairs with some help 
  • Obsessed with throwing away garbage in the garbage can - if she sees the littlest piece of paper on the floor. She picks it up and puts it in the garbage (Yay! We have a neat-freak kid!!) 
  • Points to pictures in a book when they are named (Show mommy the doggy - and she points)
  • She has many names for our dog Pepper. None of which are" Pepper". 
  • She just got a new pair of shoes in size 5.5 
  • She is wearing 2t or 24 month pants .... and 2t shirts, but could easily fit into 3t shirts. The kid is tall! 
  • She colors & draws a straight line 
  • She only says about 10-12 words, but she does put words together like "Hi Mommy" or "Hi gahhhh" (Pepper) or "There's Shwee!" (Shwee is binkie)
  • Yes, she still has a binkie. I really need to put an end to this soon. 
  • Follows directions like a champ! She understand pretty much everything we tell her or ask her to do. This blows my mind! 
  • She likes to run through the house naked after her bath now 
  • Loves to flip through books and enjoys all the pictures and points to them on each page, especially animals. 
  • Plays hide & seek or Peekaboo with us 
  • Imitates everything we do! (Cleaning!! Yay!) She helps clean up after dinner; she puts her fork & bib in the sink (Ok, so we pick the bib out later- it's alright).
  • She is VERY independent lately- wants to do everything herself. *sigh* 
  • We are trying to teach her yes & no - but we aren't having luck yet 
  • Julianna is a good eater. Some of the food she likes: chicken, beef, fish, any fruit, yogurt, cheerios, rice & beans, pasta, cereal, toast, eggs, milk, cheese, and the list goes on. We do not give her fruit juice or any candy or sweets really - aside from the occasional ice cream when we eat out for dinner. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

I dreamed a dream ...

I dreamed a Dream ... Project 52 - Week 3.

This is my third week of participating in the "Project 52" photo challenge over at My 3 Boybarians... This has been a lot of fun so far! This week's theme is "I dreamed a Dream". I honestly thought I would need to skip this week because I couldn't come up with anything good at all. Total blank. Then it hit me. This is all about how I interpret this, right? It doesn't have to be this grandiose idea necessarily. It can be a teeny little dream for just me.

So my "dream I dreamed" is this... to be a better photographer!

For my birthday recently, my husband gave me 4 hours of mentoring sessions with a professional photographer. I loved the thoughtfulness & creativity of this gift! I met with Adam Turow this past Wednesday night for my first 2 hour session. I learned soooo much about my camera's abilities and what the possibilities for me are. I asked a lot of questions and really understand so much more about my camera's settings.

 I shoot in manual already, but mostly just mess with shutter speed, fstop & ISO. Well, on Wednesday, I learned exposure compensation, white balance settings, auto focus modes, spot metering, how to read a histogram, picture style settings, lenses that would be good for my purpose (THIS ONE is now on my wish list), shooting in RAW vs JPG.... etc... It was awesome information overload!

So many things are bouncing around in my head, I can't wait to use it before I forget it! Good thing I took detailed notes. This was the best gift ever to help me strive towards my dream of being a better photographer! The next session will be a walk-about shoot in a local historical area. I can't wait to go shoot outdoors with my new knowledge! (Once we warm up a few degrees).

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stickers, books & coloring ... oh my

I am so thrilled! Julianna is loving books, crayons, coloring books & stickers lately!

I thought she might be a little young for stickers- but NOPE, she loved them from the minute we introduced them to her. She just can't get them un-stuck from the sticker book initially - she hands them to us to lift up a corner for her. She sticks them on her hand, on our hand, on the sofa, on the dog, on the floor.... you get the idea.

She also loves to color with crayons. This makes for a great combination when we go out to eat. Some crayons, a coloring book and stickers go a LONG way to keep her busy. And goodness knows, she is that age where keeping her busy is soooo imperative for Mommy & Daddy's sanity! If you are a parent, then this is nothing new to you... we all know crayons & stickers = happy {busy} child!

Sticker book trance. 

She loves her Disney-Princess sticker activity book- the kid carries it around with her everywhere. 

"Ahhhhhh..... stickers"

Julianna also loves to flip through several colorful books that she has. One of her favorite books is called "A color of his own".
 She loves the bright colored animals in here and looks through this book over & over {and over & over....}

Yes... my child adores the binkie with the tether thingy attached. It just hangs there. 
It makes her happy... not sure why the dangling tether is so awesome but she likes it that way. Odd child. 

She also loves  this Richard Scarry book too that Nana gave her! 

What book does your toddler love? Does he/she like to color or play with stickers too? 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Made With Love
Project 52 - Week 2

This is my second week of participating in the "Project 52" photo challenge over at My 3 Boybarians... This has been a lot of fun so far! I love going to the linkies over there and seeing everyone else's shots. {When I have the time!}. This week's theme is "Made with Love". I had a few ideas in my head - but decided on the one I am posting.

My Great Grandmother on my dad's side (Julianna's Great Great Grandma) made this little knitted bunny for me when I was a baby. This bunny is about 40 years old. I forgot all about him, until we had Julianna,   and my mom found him and gave it to us for Julianna.

Bunny was in bad shape, pretty dirty from years of sitting around in some box or shelf... so I threw him in the wash, and sure enough, he came out quite clean. Clean enough for me! Now, the wizened bunny sits with the rest of Julianna's stuffed animals that watch over her while she sleeps. Julianna does like to play with him too & she holds him by his ears.... of course.

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...

I took a ton of photos the other day in the park and felt the need to show one more of my favs here. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So much for Winter... at least for one day!

Last year, this time, we had about a foot or more of snow on the ground and were right in the middle of several rounds of repetitive snowstorms, cold and misery. Blegh.

So far, this winter, we have had no snow (except for that freak 16 inches on October 30th!). This past Saturday was 59 degrees and gorgeous. Was it really January? Oh well, I won't ask "Why?", I'll just take as many of those days as I can!

We took full advantage here and went to the park. Julianna could not really run around too well last time we went to the park 2 months ago, and she was very shy about exploring on her own. Not Saturday. She was running all over, climbing on the jungle gym, swinging on the swings and having so much fun!

I even met another "Mama-razzi" in the park that takes as many pictures as I do. We had a fun time talking about cameras & kids while we pushed our daughters on the swings. I hope to run into her again! She was very cool!

"Mom, I'm having so much fun!" 


"Come on Mom ... Let's go over here" 

Hello there!! 


Friday, January 6, 2012

Project 52 - Week One

As I browse & read blogs, I often see a lot of daily & weekly photo challenges. Most seem interesting but also seem like they are time consuming and who has that time?! Not me.

Over at LIFE WITH MY 3 BOYBARIANS, she is hosting a weekly photo linkup called "Project 52". This is one of my favorite photography blogs. I have learned so much just from reading her tips & tutorials. Basically, it's one photo a week for a year. She gives out the weekly challenge ahead of time and you take your photo up to 7 days before... and then post on that Friday... and link up on her blog. You interpret the challenge to be whatever you want. This sounds like a lot of fun to me! 

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

This week's challenge for Project 52 {and the first one} is Resolution

I don't like to declare "New Year's Resolutions" typically. But I will sort of kind of declare one for this year. I do need to lose weight. This is a cold hard fact. I just do not fit into any clothes at all comfortably (with many mountains of un-wearable clothes pushed to the back of my closet) and when I look in the mirror, I want to cry. What kind of photographer can I be if I myself do not even like to be photographed? I cringe if I run into someone I haven't seen in a long time b/c I am paranoid they will think to themselves "WHAT happened to her??". 

I have known for a few months {years} that it is time to lose weight - but I just could never pull the trigger. Then with the holidays, I knew I would not have the mindset to do it. I never used to be like this. I never used to have such a weight problem. Never. Then I hit 30'ish and it was downhill lol. Life happened. Metabolism stopped. I worked out and ate great for many years, (even trained for a fitness competition in my 20's), so it's not like I don't know what to do. What to do has never been the issue. For me, it's mental. Like a drug habit I can't kick. It's about motivation and being the right frame of mind. It needs to be the 'right' time. Well, now is the right time. 

I will be doing Weight Watchers. That has worked for me successfully in the past ... let's just hope I can get my mind into it and stay that way. It's really just a matter of eating good. {Easier said than done}. But it helps me to write everything down & keep track. Wish me luck. Here are my resolution photos. 

Please follow "First Time Mama" on Facebook (go to the right column and "follow") 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Memories, Dreams & Reflections from 2011 ...

One of my favorite photography blogs RAMBLINGS & PHOTOS by Ashley Sisk  is having this fabulous linkup to reflect on favorite photos from the past year. I love this idea... and of course I love going through all my photos from this year to see how I have grown as a photographer, mommy & wife! Enjoy and leave me some feedback on your favorite picture. Or feel free to check out Ashely's link-up and share some of your own  incredible pictures...


I Love You
My husband & Julianna. I previously posted this a few days ago, but it's still my favorite of them, so it was worth another look!

Winter Wonderland 
October ... in NJ ... we don't normally get snow. We got 16 inches.

My baby's first birthday!

Jake & Julianna. They are 3 weeks apart...

I Was Inspired... 
This was one of the first photos I loved that I took with my new DSLR back in May.
 I realized how much fun aperture could be! And a 1.8 50mm was in my near future...

Spring Fever 
Cherry Blossoms signify springtime. Period.

Travel or Vacation
Vacation in the Outer Banks, NC (Nags Head)

Summer Days the park

A Day In My Life 
My day winds down when Julianna is in the bath... she loves her bath. This is my incredible life. 
I wouldn't change it for the world. 

All Smiles
This girl's goofy faces always make me smile! 

 Autumn Harvest 

Family or Home
This is my home. We live by the largest lake in NJ. Love it during the warm weather months! 

This was from m y good friend's baby shower a couple months ago. 

Let's Do It Again...
Can't wait to go to the pool this summer again - Frog Falls! 

I Miss You 
A picture of my grandmother who passed away 3 years ago. 
It was not a picture from the past year, but I still think about her every day, so I figured this still qualified

I just love my daughter's beautiful eyes!

Dress Up
Julianna all dressed up in her pool outfit ready for a swim

One of my favorite close-ups

One of my favs from our Christmas photo session! 

My favorite memory
Daddy & Julianna at the beach

Don't Ever Change
I love everything about my little girl. I love that we say "Touchdown!" - and she raises her hands in the air! It makes her so happy and makes us laugh with joy! I never want this part of her to change! She's so much fun & brings out a special part of me that I never knew existed! 

Just because... So there! 
One of my favorite pictures from this year. (Clearly from Christmas time!) 

Hopes and Dreams
I didn't want to put any personal or serious 'hopes & dreams' ... so I decided to show something fun here. 
I am wanting my NY Yankees to win the World Series in 2012! 

Happy 2012! 

Please follow "First Time Mama" on Facebook (over on the right, and click "Follow") - Thank you! 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...