Wednesday, March 31, 2010

End of March

it is time for my monthly update on my goals.  I have found I think about them more since I have made a commitment to update monthly.

1) Adopt a child. (Become foster parent as part of process(?))

-No progress.  Except that we turned our 2nd bedroom from a computer room/junk room to a real bedroom. We did this because when hubby gets a job and we feel we can feed a child we will have a room.  To me-it's progress. baby steps.

2) Exercise regularly
-I have been walking more.  I went to a runners/walkers store and got some advice.  I now need to save for the expensive shoes I need.  I gave up on the possessed treadmill.  The weather is nicer and I am walking outside.

3) Eat healthier
-This, I have done about 80% of the time this month.  I have lost a few pounds. I slip up-but try not to worry about it-and do better the next day.  It is much harder when I am off work.

4) Minimize the clutter in my house
-Well, turning the junk/office room back into a bedroom caused some major furniture rearrangement.  We still have 2 things sitting in the way that need to be sold.  I went through a bunch of paperwork and my husband actually cleaned his closet.  He got rid of exactly 4 things. I'm waiting for more warmth before I tackle the basement-and yard sale.

5) Grow out my nails
-nope.  I think this one is a little too much.  I don't know why.  I just can't do it.  My thin nails break-and I can't afford manicures right now. I am also very stressed.

6) Pay off my own credit cards.
-I think the best I can say this month is I didn't really ADD to the credit cards.  We are really stretched right now with only 1 income and 2 income bills.   I did sell a bunch of old work books and made $100 or so.  That will go towards our balances. Oh-did I mention that in ONE WEEK the vcr, dvd recorder, shop vac, fish light, fish pump and Big ass TV's bulb blew AGAIN.  That sucker is NOT cheap.  Also, Insurance, cable, internet and water all went up this month. Permanently.  We have had to pay out of pocket for some medical expenses and things will probably get worse before they get better.

Overall-I think it's progress. Not as much as I hoped-and mostly in the eating and decluttering areas. But progress is progress.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bloggography Challenge: Exposure Compensation

This week's lesson was all about adding or subtracting light in your picture.  You can read all about it here.  Basically, it adds/subtracts light to adjust the automatic setting your camera picks when it reads the light, because it sets the setting according to the light it reads-which is not always the light for the actual picture you want.

I experimented with this a lot this week.  The weather was B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L!  We had been in the winter doldrums for what seemed like years-so this week's above normal temps and Sun (!!) seemed magical.  I took pictures of the sky, the first Spring flowers and my dog.  We got Dairy Queen, Italian Ice and went to the park.  I have dozens of pictures on my computer of the same image-all with different Exposre Compensation Values.  Here is the best of them (along with an incorrect exposure to compare it to) Oh, I shot everything in the "A" Aperture mode:

ISO: 800 Shutter: 1/640 Aperture: f 5.0 Exposure Bias: +.67
Correct Exposure makes this one look Sun-Kissed even though it is under a tree.

ISO: 800 Shutter: 1/80 Aperture: f 22 Exposure Bias: -.67 
Too dark

Here is another example.  From these I realized that adjusting the Exposure Compensation I could lighten and deepen colors:

ISO: 400 Shutter: 1/4000 Aperature: f5.6 Exposure Bias: -1.0
This picture of the sky is too dark.  It looks like Storm Clouds

ISO: 400 Shutter: 1/800 Aperature: f5.6 Exposure Bias: +1.33
This picture of the sky is too light.  The color washes out.

ISO: 800 Shutter: 1/1600 Aperature: 5.6 Exposure Bias: +.33
This picture is just right. 

Finally, took these pictures today.  These two pictures illustrate how just a small change in Exposure Compensation can make a difference.

ISO: 800 Shutter: 1/640 Aperature: 5.0 Exposure Bias: +.67
This picture is good...

But this picture is just a little better.  More color.  More definition.  Only one step up in Compensation
ISO: 400 Shutter: 1/320 Aperature: f5.6 Exposure Bias: +1.0

Monday, March 22, 2010

I believe I can Fly

What is it that dogs love about hanging their heads out the window?  Chloe likes to get up front as far as she can....sometimes her head is in front of the windshield and let her ears flap in the wind.  She loves it:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bloggography Challenge: The Exposure Triangle

This weeks challenge was to review "the Exposure Triangle" of ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed.
I understand each of these separately, however, how they impact and when/how to adjust each one for the picture I want at that exact setting is far from being easy or quick.  Also, setting up a shot so I get the image I want is hard-but I know that "photographers eye" will come in time-I hope.

I played around with each setting-both inside and outside.  I definitely need more practice and help in low lighting situations-I have a lot of difficulty NOT using a flash in those situations and getting a decent picture.  However, this weekend was nice and sunny-so low lighting wasn't as big a issue.  I took over a hundred pictures this weekend. These are the best of them:
This one I was playing with the Aperture.  All of mine with a smaller aperture-but they were all blurry because I just can't hold still long enough while it gathers enough light to take the picture.
ISO 200      APERTURE  f/9.0    SPEED 1/4

I was attempting stop-action via Shutter SpeedMy husband threw snow about 50 times that day for me (it took forever to get my timing down so his hand and the snow were in the picture.)
ISO 200       APERTURE  f/3.5    SPEED 1/2000

I also was working with shutter speed here.  Also, the ISO to get some brightness-but not too much.  
 ISO  800   APERTURE   f/8.0  SPEED 1/2000

Friday, March 5, 2010

Self Portrait

Thanks to the WannaBe SupahMommy I found a website that allows you to create word "clouds" or pictures.   Think of it as a alternative Self Portrait--
All I did was enter my blog url and it created this for me-I was able to manipulate the font and colors-and how I wanted the words (horizontal, vertical or random).  You can also just types in a bunch of words-or your favorite post, essay, paragraph, etc.  Be creative and have fun! Here is what Wordle created for me (click on it to make it bigger):

You can create your own here.