Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy List, Week 22

Macro Water Droplets

Happy List, Week 22

1. Fresh berries. There was abundance at a good price at the grocery store. I foresee tasty snacks.

2. Photo Flood. It feels like it has been awhile since I've seen these good people. Even though I was worn out and dehydrated, I still had fun.

3. Days Off. I must be trying to recover from this season in spades... I've spent a couple of my days off just being totally lazy and napping whenever I felt like it. It was great.

4. Cooking. I don't do enough of it and I should be fancier, but when cooking for one, the inspiration sometimes slides.

5. Introspection. I'm not solidly sure that this is a good thing overall, but it is probably good for me to think on many things.

6.  Thunderstorms. When I'm home, I really love a good thunderstorm. The flashier and boomier the better. As long as it doesn't knock our power out...

7. A Good Night. Time spent chatting/catching up with a friend, at another friend's cafe. An hour or so turned into five. Time flew by in an instant and good times and good food was had.

I've had a rough week so I'm surprised I made it over 5, but not quite until 10. Here's to next week...

Monday, May 26, 2014

21/52 - Photo Project 2014

This was a quiet week for me in some ways, and I didn't pick up my camera much either. I did make it to the Zoo and wandered around Clayton, trying to see it through a different eye.

Here's the winner - eye contact with the lion:

May Morning at the St. Louis Zoo

Close runners up:

Exploring Clayton    Exploring Clayton

I'm not 100% sold on this choice, so by the end of the year, I may change my mind completely. But for now, I'm standing by this choice.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy List, Week 21

Macro Water Droplets

Happy List, Week 21

1. Facebook. About the only time of year that Facebook does good is when it is one's birthday. Hearing from people from all stages of my life on my birthday does a world of good.

2. Birthday Dinner. My parents are awesome cooks, so sometimes its nice to cook with them versus going out to a restaurant. Steak, roasted potatoes, asparagus and a chocolate cake with raspberries and walnuts. PERFECT.

3. Time Off. I know this keeps popping up on this list, but I don't always get 'regular' time off and am now trying to get it when I can. It's nice.

4. Books. I'm in a book club now, and it's nice to get back into books, despite how busy I am. There is a stack of books by the bedside table that is only getting taller though (book club book comes first).

5. Camera time. I've not had much of it, but I took a hot sticky morning walk around the Zoo. And promptly came home and made the official winter to summer switch of closets.

That's about it. I'm not having as bad of a week as I did last week, but I'm still not back at my cheerful self yet.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

20/52 - Photo Project 2013

It has been quite the week. Photographically, it's been rainy, dreary and not really inspiring me to pick up the macro lens and get wet. Luckily, on Thursday, the storm cleared. Sometimes, the best skies are the ones post-storm, so I decided to see if Midland Ave really does go all the way from University City to Maryland Heights. Guess what? It does. :)

I spent a good hour and a half waiting for this sunset and I was rewarded not only with beautiful colors but a handful of boaters becoming obliging silhouettes against a sky.

Tough, but this is the winner - dramatic red flares on the clouds:

Creve Couer Sunset

Close runners up:

Creve Couer Sunset    Creve Couer Sunset    Creve Couer Sunset

I may change my mind by the end of the year, so check back at the end of the project to see if I change my mind. :) 

I have some time off this week, so I might break out the trusty Tamron lens and hop over to the STL Zoo for some fun animal shots! Too bad it doesn't have early morning kid-free hours. ;-) Just kidding. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Happy List, Week 20

Macro Water Droplets

Happy List, Week 20 

1. Camera time. I snuck some camera time Saturday morning. I'm really enjoying the macro processes more and more.

2. My macro lens. The 100mm f2.8 lens I have is wonderful. I'm getting better at using it.

3. Time off. I had Sunday off and it was needed.

4. Friends. I'm starting to have time to work on my exhibit and their help and advice is invaluable.

5. Free time. I'm starting to have more free time which I plan to thoroughly enjoy.

It's actually been a really rotten week, and I'm not in the best of moods. I had to reach a little for this one. These days/weeks are the reason I have this. To remind myself that no matter how bad today was or yesterday or whenever - that there was still good within the week.

Monday, May 12, 2014

19/52 - Photo Project 2014

So, I've gone to the Botanical Gardens twice this week, so guess what this week's winner is? A macro.

It was a seriously tough decision... but this was finally the winner:

More Saturday MoBot Macro

Runner's up:

More Saturday MoBot Macro    More Saturday MoBot Macro   More Saturday MoBot Macro   More Saturday MoBot Macro   More Saturday MoBot Macro

And if I hadn't gone back again on Saturday, this would've won:

Missouri Botanical Garden - May

I can't say that I won't do more... it's really fun because it's challenging. I don't get the shot the first time and sometimes the shot is hard to see. Now that I have more time, maybe I'll find some urban decay to shoot. :) 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Macro Water Droplets

In case you haven't noticed, I'm obsessed with water droplet photos again. At first, I was obsessed because it was a whole new world and I had just discovered how to do it. Now, that I *KNOW* I can do it, and do it handheld, I'm trying to focus on (no pun intended) composition instead.

For several Saturdays (and one disappointing Wednesday) in April/early May now, I have taken advantage of my unfortunate new early wake-up time of 5:30 to make it to the Botanical Garden at 7:00am. No matter what I had planned later that day (i.e. work), I made time for at least an hour or so of camera time.

I think my persistence has paid off, yes? Here are some of my new favorites:

More Saturday MoBot Macro   More Saturday MoBot Macro   More Saturday MoBot Macro   More Saturday MoBot Macro    More Saturday MoBot Macro    More Saturday MoBot Macro   More Saturday MoBot Macro   More Saturday MoBot Macro   More Saturday MoBot Macro    More Saturday MoBot Macro   Macro May Water Drops   Macro May Water Drops    Macro May Water Drops   Macro May Water Drops   Macro May Water Drops   Macro May Water Drops  

More Saturday MoBot Macro   Macro May Water Drops

Lately, I've been trying to capture the nearby items within the water droplet, which takes patience, focus (literally and camera-wise) and did I mention patience? I choose to shoot macro handheld because I don't have patience for the tripod. Plus, think of the things I would miss because of the crazy angles I find to take the photos from.

And, in the most recent visit, I captured myself! You can "see" me in the reflection which was quite fun! (photos #2 and #9 above).

I look forward to photographing more water droplets during this spring! Practice makes perfect, yes?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Happy List, Week 19

Macro Water Droplets

Happy List, Week 19

1. Clean laundry. Thanks to my previous life, I have a lot of clothes because sometimes I wouldn't get a day off for over two weeks. But this was starting to push my limits.

2. Clean sheets. It's the little things in life.

3. Fresh food. I haven't had a cupboard/refrigerator this bare other than getting ready to move in a long time.

4. New recipes. I had found a few recipes to try and had printed them out, but haven't had a chance to cook them yet.

5. Camera time. I had a lot to do at work this week and even on the days off, but I made time for camera time - that's what's so important to me.

6. Day(s) off. Finally had some hard-earned days off... I had forgotten how lovely a day off could be.

7. Beautiful weather. I didn't get to experience it much this past weekend but the weather is continuing to place nice.

8. Naps. I've apparently been sleep deprived for awhile. Monday, I nearly fell asleep at my desk for the first time in ages. Tuesday, I slept hard after lunch.

Yeah... most of my list comes from Tuesday. But there was a lot to be happy about!

Monday, May 5, 2014

18/52 - Photo Project 2014

I'm practically obsessed again with Macro Water Droplets. I've been to MoBot three times and last time I've not been past the beds who receive a wonderful sprinkler shower in the early mornings. I haven't even seen the newly restored Japanese Garden. But each time, I was stealing time from a busy work day - getting up early for some photo time.

I had about two hours of good macro time with an overcast diffusely lit sky before getting some great rays of sunshine. It was really shaping up to be a lovely day by the time I left and spent the rest of the day inside my work building.

I actually prefer macro water droplet shooting when it is overcast - less potential of blown out highlights.

I'm proud of myself, though.  I'm better at estimating shutter speed than knowing instinctively what aperture to shoot at. Saturday, I focused on using Aperture Priority and I really liked how my pictures came out. Still learning and loving it!

Now that I'm done being wordy, here's my favorite of the week:

Macro May Water Drops

I am so pleased with how this turned out!

And several runners up - it was tough.

Macro May Water Drops    Macro May Water Drops    Macro May Water Drops    Macro May Water Drops    Macro May Water Drops  

I don't know what I love more - other flowers in the water drops or the water drop within a water drop. A lot of new looks for me!

I can't wait for the flowers to change - I've been shooting tulips, daffodils and pansies... what will be planted in those well-watered beds next? Stay tuned... these won't be my last macro pictures of the season!