Monday, July 15, 2013

Lexi: chasing 21 months and almost catching it.

Lexi is no longer a baby.  She is starting to learn words at an increasing rate, and can be very proud of herself when she gets to say something she knows.  This is her smile while she is saying "Moooooo." (Say Moo with this face and you might sound like she does when she says it.)  It is easy to tell when she is tired or hungry, because it is about the only time that she fusses.  The rest of the time she is playing, exploring, smiling, or finding ways to get into mischief.  She is constantly showing new aspects of her personality such as her indifference to getting dirty but her great picky-ness about foods she will and won't try.  She loves to crawl into tight spaces and is always happy to have Nicholas or other friends join her in her new found hide-outs.  We feel so blessed to have our little princess as part of the family.  We will be sad when the mullet goes away though since she makes it look so good.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Maren's new camera

Maren has been wanting a camera a nice camera for sometime, and a pretty good deal on a refurbished Canon T3i showed up on the other day and we decided it was time to jump on it.  While it is primarily Maren's toy, of course I have spent lots of time playing with the new gadget in the family as well. Here are a couple of the early results, shrunk down significantly so you don't get the full resolution and after I have played with them briefly in Photoshop.
I really like this one.  The lighting down in the trees at the park was just right to lighten his face and with no too hard of shadows except on the far side of his face.  He also gave his best smile of the day for it.  The trick was to get him excited about turning his hat around which he thought was a fun game.  I was playing around with the aperature priority and got it to blur the background for me.  The lens is just the kit 18-55mm lens, but it seems to be perfectly capable of getting some very nice basic shots.
We went to the firework show in South Salt Lake this evening, and so I tried shooting those.  We got a cheap wired shutter remote on Ebay, and so this was shot with the camera on full manual in Bulb mode.  I would hold the shutter button until I thought I had the right number of explosions, and then let go.  I took a bunch since the camera was just on the tripod pointed at the sky and I didn't have to do anything but press the remote button, but most would get so much smoke that it really interfered with the fireworks.  It was fun though to try to compose the shot just by timing the on and off of the shutter.  I also like how you can see the last little sparks of a previous firework on the edges as well as the full trails of the others.  No editing here except for shrinking it.
This one is mostly to show the Lexi picture smile.  When we try to get her to smile, she will make this face for a split second before closing her eyes and looking away and shaking her head.  I caught her in process of closing her eyes.  It is funny, especially because when she isn't thinking about it, she actually has a very captivating smile, though she never will direct it toward a camera.  I ran this one through Photoshop too real quick before shrinking it.
This is as close as I have come to catching her regular smile, though she still refused to look at the camera for even a split second.  On this one and the first one of Nicholas I tried brightening their eyes in part since I thought they were too shaded, and in part just to practice doing it.  I used the dodge tool in Photoshop and just size the brush to be the width of their iris so I can make a single C-shaped swipe around the pupil.  I am reasonably pleased with the initial effort.

It has been fun having the day off from work with the family.  I even the 4th off!  But then I am back to the ER for the next 10 days, so I guess I had better enjoy it.