Can't remember if I've posted this one before or not (after 2 1/2 years of blogging, I sometimes forget what I've posted and what I haven't).
That photo was taken in my Mom's front yard, the very moment that I decided to go to college.
I was 19 and Ross was just 3 or 4 months old.
Amazing to me to have on film what is probably one of the most defining moments in my entire life.
I had friends who grew up thinking that college was simply the next step after high school, but I just didn't really grow up with that mentality.
So going to college was a huge thing for me.
I never scrapbooked this photo before though because it's just a really lousy quality photo.
I've refocused a lot in the last year or so though, in that I want to make sure that I am scrapbooking my best quality memories and not just my best quality photos.
And I'm really glad to have scrapbooked this one.
Ok, and answering a few questions:
1. I started taking digestive enzymes with every meal about a month ago. I've got a really weak stomach (just like my Dad) and was having problems with heartburn and indigestion whenever I ate anything more exciting than oatmeal or cottage cheese. I noticed a HUGE difference the first day. I don't even feel like I need to take them with every meal now. Had spaghetti for dinner last night and no heartburn (that's huge for me). The brand I take is Rainbow Light Advanced Enzyme System.
2. I'm behind on emails because I picked up whatever germs my kids have been passing around (I've got a 101 degree fever and a nasty cough). Sorry if I owe you one - hoping to get caught up here soon.
3. I typically do most of my photo editing in Adobe Camera Raw now (I shoot RAW) and sometimes add a few actions in Photoshop CS3 from Totallyradactions.com (those are my favorite actions right now, in particular "Oh Snap", "Boutwell's Magic Glasses" and "Blur & Vignette", all at decreased opacity).
4. My 5D is on the way to the Canon Repair Center because a can of hairspray (I think it was hairspray) exploded on it.
5. The photography class I'm teaching this weekend at No Bare Pages is sold out (because they don't have anymore chairs). But if you don't mind bringing your own chair, you can still sign up (541 535 2702).
6. Still planning on starting my online photography classes here in the next few months (I promise). The web guy I am working with is planning on having the site up and running here in the next few weeks, but a few things have set me behind (two weeks of sickness in my house and a huge and earlier than expected deadline with Creative Imaginations). As of right now, the best timeline I can give is sometime between mid-April and early June. Will keep you all posted though.
She didn't want anything to do with her cake last year.
This year, she was all about the cake.
I made the hat (used a little pre-made hat as a template).
Grandma Cracker (that's what Annie calls her Great Grandma) and Grandpa Leroy got Annie her first big girl bike.
Courtney Lee & Baby Brooke.
The dress is from Gymboree.
Annie & Cousin Dan.
Annie & Uncle Jamey.
Annie giving Papa some love.
Annie & Baby Brooke.
Trying to use my wide-angle lenses more often (this is a 24mm f1.4).
I love how it picks up all the surrounding details (like Grandma Misty trying to get out of the picture and Coley blowing up a balloon).
I shot everything (including yesterdays post) with my old Canon 20D camera (my 5D is in a box, ready to send to the Canon Repair Center), a 50m,m f1.2 and the 24mm f1.4 that I mentioned above.
It took me a long time to get used to my 5D but now I'm having a tough time going back to my old 20D.
I used to think that a 50mm lens on my 20D was the perfect combination (a 50mm lens on most digital SLR's which have a 1.6 crop factor is actually an 80mm lens because 50 x 1.6=80), but now, after shooting with the 5D, which does not have a crop factor (so my 50mm lens is really a 50mm lens when it's on my 5D), I really, really, really miss it.
Also, my 20D doesn't handle high ISO's very well (lot's of digital noise), so I downloaded a copy of Noise Ninja, which I'm really happy with.
My luggage tag (found it at a little shop out in Ashland, Oregon).
Where to begin?...
My trip to Anaheim started out with Annie, locked in the bathroom at 6am while I was getting ready to leave for the airport.
I arrived in L.A. 4 1/2 hours late due to fog and mechanical problems.
My luggage didn't arrive with me though (it went to Denver).
A couple of gals from the Oasis helped me pack kits for my classes the next day (you gals saved me - thanks).
Got to my hotel room at about 10:30 pm and was back at the Oasis early the next morning to teach a photography lecture (and one of my suitcases...thankfully, the one with my clothes, was sitting down at the hotel front desk when I woke up).
Somehow, my 6 hour photography lecture turned into a 7 hour lecture (perhaps I am a little long-winded?).
I washed down a piece of pizza and a digestive enzyme (I have a weak stomach) with a bottle of Coke on the car ride to the Creative Imaginations pre-show party.
Did a few make-n-takes, visited a bit and then headed back to the Oasis for another class (and my second piece of luggage with my class supplies arrived while I was gone).
I think we wrapped up just a few minutes after midnight.
A really long day, but a really great day (you gals are the best - Karen & I are already talking about my next trip).
I was at the show all day on Sunday and Monday.
It's fun just walking around, seeing all the new stuff and getting to catch up with people that I only get a chance to see once or twice a year.
I took my camera with me to L.A., but decided that I didn't want to take it to the show, so I left it in my luggage at the hotel. When I got to the airport, I opened my luggage to grab my camera (so I could put it in my carry on bag) and almost started crying when I realized that something in my bag had leaked all over it.
I didn't have time to do anything but wipe it off and throw it in my carry on.
I tried to use it yesterday, but it's definitely broken.
Thankfully, I have my old 20D to use while I send in my 5D (not sure it's fixable though).
Annie was up half the night with a fever and is having a rough day today.
She sat on my lap all day long (even while she napped).
the funny thing is that I accomplished more today (with her on my lap) than I normally do with her at school.
Finished up my artwork for CHAS 08, which would normally feel like a huge relief, but I've got a proposal for CHAW 09 due in a 4 weeks, so I just have to keep plugging away.
Took this shot of Courtney Lee last year while we were in California.
I spent the first couple days of our trip teaching at the Scrapbook Oasis and the rest of the trip at Disneyland with Josh and the kids (I've got a couple of old posts about that eventful trip here & here).
Here's what I never posted about though...
I had scheduled a family shoot with the phenomenal, Tara Whitney while we were down there.
My excitement about going to Disneyland for the first time ever, paled in comparison to my excitement about having pictures taken by Tara.
We have a total of three family pictures (one we had taken on Halloween at our church in 2006, one my Mom took at Thanksgiving in 2006 and one that my step-mom took this last December).
We needed some family pictures.
So the last day of our trip, we loaded up everyone in the R.V. that we borrowed from Josh's parents and drove to Huntington Beach to meet up with Tara.
I was giddy the whole drive there.
Tara called a few hours before we were supposed to meet and I was surprised to find that she sounded like a man (I had never heard her voice before).
Actually, she sounded like a very hoarse man on his deathbed.
She had strep-throat and she was really upset because she wasn't going to be able to do the shoot.
I cried when we got off the phone.
But then I sucked it up and decided that I was a decent photographer and that I really wanted to spend the last day of our vacation down at the beach with the kids anyhow.
And so we did.
About 30 minutes after we got there, I was thumbing through the pictures that I had taken so far and decided that I was a poor excuse for a photographer in comparison to Tara Whitney.
And so I started to pout.
And then I started to get cranky.
And then everyone played on the beach while I sat and felt sorry for myself.
And then I finally got over myself, took some more pictures and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.
What I didn't know was that Josh had a wedding ring in his pocket the whole time and was planning on proposing while Tara took pictures.
And it was going to take more than a photographer with strep throat to thwart his plans.
Unfortunately, my poor disposition was enough to thwart his plans though.
That's probably my favorite picture I have ever taken of my Mom (that's her on the right and my Aunt Kelly on the left).
My Mom hurt her back really bad at work awhile ago (she works at a juvenile detention center here in town) and although she's tried just about everything she can to prevent it, she has to have surgery.
Her surgery date got moved up to today.
The good news is that my Aunt Kelly and her girls are driving from Utah to be here.
And there's no one in the world that can make my Mom laugh, like my Aunt Kelly.
Had a lot of questions in regards to the new borders at ScrapbookPictures.com (which I'll talk about in a minute) and also about the post-processing on the photo below.
The image on the left is straight out of the camera (no editing).
I turned off all the processing parameters on my camera about 6 months ago.
When you purchase a camera, it comes with processing parameters already set, meaning that the camera is set to automatically increase the contrast, sharpness, saturation and color tone of your photos (which is nice because it automatically improves the appearance of your pictures without any photo editing).
You can adjust the processing parameters on your camera to your own preferences (so you decide the contrast, sharpness, saturation and color tone of your photos) or you can turn it off completely so that it doesn't make any adjustments.
It was hard for me to turn off the processing parameters because it meant that my photos wouldn't look as good coming straight out of the camera, but I finally decided to turn it off because I didn't want my camera making processing adjustments straight across the board on all of my photos (I want to make those adjustments myself).
That said, I don't advocate turning off all of the processing parameters on your camera unless you are shooting RAW and are really committed to post processing (and if you can bear for your photos to not look as good straight out of camera).
The photo on the right is a combination of things.
1. I shot RAW and adjusted the white balance, exposure, brightness, contrast and clarity in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw)
You can view the borders from your shopping cart, so here's the steps:
1. Set up an account (if you don't have one already)
2. Add a photo(s) to your shopping cart
3. Go to the shopping cart
4. To the right of your photo(s), under the "options" category, click on the text that says "view border".
5. It will open a box that shows your photo and to the right of your photo, you will see a place where you can choose an inner or an outer border (you can add up to two borders on the same photo). If you are only adding one border, it doesn't matter if you select "Inner Borders" or "Outer Borders", they will look the same (if you are adding two borders, just experiment with which one looks better as the "Inner Border" and which one looks better as the "Outer border".
6. If you click on the icon that says "click here for Narratives", it will take you to all the borders I have designed (new and old). The borders beneath the Narratives icon are free borders designed by ScrapbookPictures.com. The Narratives borders are on sale right now for $.29 each.
7. You can scroll through all the borders and click on any of them to see what they look like on your photo.
8. If you want to change the color of the border, click on the "Pick Color" text (below where it says "Inner Borders" and "Outer Borders" and click on the color of your choice to see what it will look like.
9. Then click on the button that says "Save Crop & Border" (you can crop your photo here too) and you're set.
I know the site can seem a little difficult to navigate at first, but once you get used to it, it's a breeze.
My hope is to keep adding new borders on a regular basis now (I'll post here anytime I have new ones).