March 30, 2009

Life with Big Dude...

Firstly, he's got my number (not that I'm all that hard to figure out). And he fully knows how to talk me into his schemes.

BD [on a Sunday afternoon]: So, do you want go on a drive somewhere to take pictures?

Me [no need to think about that]: Yeah, sounds good!

And from that point on I'm not hearing much, just gathering my stuff, throwing food at the boys, and picturing all the great pics I'll get from wherever we're going. Because Big Dude always knows the best places.

cajon pass-000001



cajon pass wildflowers-000001

So, of course, I'm barely paying attention as Big Dude says something about going ahead and taking the minivan this time and if the place is any good, we'll take the truck and the dog next time. I mean, I heard him and all, but I didn't stop to question why he wouldn't take the van. Here's why ...


I guess he had a little off-road adventure in mind. Go figure. Down below, it's the rocks on the left that he had in mind that he wanted to get to. The railroad goes right by them, but no hard paved road. Next time we'll take the truck and the dog. :-)


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March 28, 2009

How lovely are Thy dwelling places ...


How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Thine altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee;
in whose heart are the highways to Zion!
Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring,
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears before God in Zion.

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!
Behold our shield, O God,
And look upon the face of Thine anointed.
For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God,
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!

Psalm 84


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March 27, 2009

Texting Bee


Seen in the Sunday paper. Much amused us all. Artist: Dave Coverly

Oh, and it's Fix It Friday over at I Heart Faces ...

fix it 8 LR screen

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March 25, 2009

A Date with My Middle Dude







1. A coupon for totally free yogurt!!
2. Because the yogurt was totally free, I felt free to be a big spender and treat my favorite 9yo to a topping!! woohoo!
3. All funky perspective care of the weekend with my trusty rental fish-eye lens.
4. Additional funky-ness provided by Totally Rad Actions, which just happen to be on sale til March 31.

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March 24, 2009


frog hunt in the canyon-000001

I thought our hike was just going to be PE for the day. But, I'm pretty sure all that frog action means I can count it as Science, too. :-)

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March 23, 2009

Still Playing with Totally Rad Recipes

Here's another before and after example: (I have more TRA2 recipe before and afters posted here.)

ISO 100, 85mm f/2, 1/1250 sec, Canon Rebel xt

hailey servin-clairepool
Claire-ify 27%, Pool Party 75%, highlight and shadow separator (so very awesome to bring back in her darling freckles and details in her curly hair), very mild select-o-pop, and Warm it Up Kris 20%.

This image is also my kids entry this week for I Heart Faces - No Flash! There is probably no other single thing that I've done that has forced me to "see the light" (photographically speaking, of course) than turning OFF my flash. It's a course of action that I highly recommend for anyone wanting to take their photography experience to the next level.

As a contributing photographer at I Heart Faces, I'm not eligible to win the contests, but I surely enjoy playing along for the fun of it. Click the link below to go see other beautiful faces...

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March 22, 2009

There is no unrighteousness in Him...


The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the LORD,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and very green,
To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92:12-15

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March 20, 2009

Totally Rad Recipes

Boutwell's Totally Rad Actions are on sale til the end of the month. And after lusting after TRA's The Revenge for the last several months, I finally bit the bullet, pulled the trigger, bought the set. And ... I totally love it.

Over at the Totally Rad Blog, the Boutwells are hosting a "recipe" contest. I can't wait to see some of the entries and winners. I love seeing before and after images. I find them inspiring. Because I'm not so creative on my own. And because I'm a total copycat. ;-)

Anyway, I've been playing with a few "recipes" of my own. Here is some of the fruit of my hours upon hours sitting on my butt in front of my monitor leisure labor. My SOOC images are on the left or top.


It's fairly subtle, I think. My recipe, that is. I wanted something that would brighten midtones (Claire-ify is probably my mostest favoritest action in TRA2) and leave a slight pastel-ish toning over the image. So, my recipe is:

YinYang, Claire-ify (between 40-60%), Oh Snap! (adjust opacity), Faded Autumn (40-60%), Lux Soft (40-60%).

Here's the same recipe two more times...



On this last image, I additionally used Selective Pop and highlight and shadow separator (which were fantastic for recovering her darling freckles). The irony: for her pictures I had my in-camera saturation levels boosted, which is why the SOOC image is so vivid. In processing, I ended up, in essence, desaturating.

Here are a few more edited images, along with the actions I used:

YinYang, Faded Summer 15%, Oh Snap!, Yin, Dirty Lovin', Dirty Used Up, Burn Out 50%, highlight and shadow separator.


Flare Up, Dirty Lovin', Dirty Used Up 50%, Burn Out 40%


Wish You Were Here, Select Pop, P-O-S 65%.

So, there you have it. My first two days of playing with my new action set. Yes, the house is not as clean as it ought to be. No, the dog did not get walked. Yup, m'boys have been a little neglected. Certainly, my "recipes" can be improved upon. In fact, I'm sure this time next year (or even next month) I'll look back on these images and recognize their unsophistication and overdoneness. But, for now, I'm kind of pleased with my amateur efforts.

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It seems he grew taller overnight...

When did Eldest Dude begin looking at Nana eye to eye?

IMG_8075-Edit copy-bg


Oh. Well, that explains that. ;-) Whew.

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March 19, 2009

My Baby...

I hugged my favorite 5yo-boy-in-the-whole-world for the last time yesterday...

Brett's 6th bday-000001

Today I hug my favorite 6yo-boy-in-the-whole-world.

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March 18, 2009

The Canyon. Again.

Our Spring Canyon - blog res-000001

Here's a view of my 'hood from the vantage of a hill in the canyon...


The creek that runs thru the canyon. Mountain biking is HUGE in this wilderness park.


The canyon ends at the ocean. It doesn't "green up" like this every year. And the years that it does, it doesn't last long. But for now, I'm drinking it all in. Yummy.


photo notes: the last three images all taken with the Canon 15mm fish eye lens.

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inside the box.


Big Dude occasionally brings home big boxes from work. I keep them around til interest wanes.


Always keeping busy.

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March 16, 2009

WoW! Look who we ran into at the beach...


And Edward brought a friend or two (or five) with him. Perhaps you recognize him?

Marshall from f/11.

And Marshall brought his beautiful wife. Perhaps you recognize her?
Julie from Journey to Family!

And they also brought along their sweet children:

They don't blog yet. But when they do, I'm sure they'll have some hilarious stories to tell.

journey to family-000001

Julie is a fellow dork-at-heart, so we immediately attempted our self-portrait to commemorate our afternoon together. Which is even dorkier when you consider that we did have Marshall and his fabulous camera right there with us, and could have had a traditional portrait with a much better chance of correct focus and exposure. :-}


Never fear, though. Marshall wasn't merely idly standing by; he was capturing the essence of our goofiness.


'Twas a very fun afternoon. I can't wait til we do it again.

I'm not a betting woman, but if I were, I'd bet that you could probably find greater detail of our afternoon together at Julie's blog. She uses many more words than I do. And she's WAY wittier than I am. But, if for some reason, she doesn't tell you about the nice but desperate wedding photographer who bought a CF card from Marshall, or how our 9 year-olds were too shy to become buddies til it was time to go home, or ... well, if she doesn't, maybe I will. And be sure NOT to miss Marshall's stunning b&w ocean landscapes.

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