The Progression of a Holiday Nap

Easter, the sugar rush, energy in abundance.

Cut off the sweets! Crash, naptime!

This young lady got all dressed up for pictures but did not quite make it. The sleep bunnies came before we could get started.

Lydia-4 Lydia  Lydia-5Lydia-6Lydia-8


Happy Easter!


Warmer Weather is Coming!

I have been feeling a bit antsy lately, couped up inside, not to willing to go out and hang in the 30 and 40 degree f weather any longer. The calender says Spring has officially arrived, the weeds and the Lily’s sure seem to know it is here, but the spring time temps have not. I am longing to get outside, feel the warmth of the sun, visualize the colors and sounds of nature and shoot.

I was letting our 150 pound furball of love in this afternoon and heard a couple of crows fussing about across the street. Being curious I went out front to see what the commotion was all about and saw our friendly neighborhood Hawk perched in a tree across the street. I must admit my pent up energy had me running to get the camera and the long lens in hopes that I would not scare the majestic beauty away as I gingerly made my way through the brush to get a closer view and hopefully some shots.

The crows scattered, but the Hawk remained:


It did not seem to be phased at all by my presence. I even made some extra noise to get it to turn its head into the frame. As I moved around to find the best angle through the branches and brush, it did not flinch.



A closer crop


Making my way around to its side, up a tiny hill and through some thorny bushes, shooting through some small branches which provide only a slight distraction in the frame I managed to get this shot which is a set up for the next picture. This is the uncropped version:

Hawk-17To put things into perspective, I was using a 200 mm prime on a 7D. These are at f4, 1/400th, iso 100. I have not really used this lens since October during Sandy. I forgot what an incredible piece of glass it can be. This is fully cropped in.


Talons! Makes you truly appreciate how these birds of prey get their food.

I moved up and around a bit closer to see if I could grab a better profile angle. Angle was good but the branch was a bit interfering. l am not complaining though, adds to the natural habitat feel and it was even kind enough to look into the lens in a very quizzical manner.       Hawk-26

I have been experimenting with black and white recently, trying to find out what works and what does not. Mainly I have just been decreasing the saturation in the photo rather than an actual b/w conversion. Each has its own qualities and in the end I would think it all comes down to personal preference. I tried some different presets, a green filter looked the best but end the end I stuck with the desaturated version. Looks a bit cold and Wintery.


There is a full moon tonight, though I am going to wait till it gets warmer out. Soon enough, warmer weather is approaching!

Thanks for stopping by! Till next time…

The Pointe of the Matter

I have been wanting to try a particular lighting style for a couple of months now and since we are in the middle of competition season my subjects have been a bit busy. This is the first time I have tried using a couple of lights with grids to point the direction of the light towards specific areas of the frame. For my first attempt I would say not too bad, but I am no where near where I want to be with this. (I am not counting the ten minutes my daughter gave me a few weeks ago, but that was a good starting point). There are still a few too many shadows and the lights are not concentrated exactly where I need them to be. So next time I will try one grid and a different modifier. But that is what this journey is all about, experimenting, learning and improving with every opportunity you get.

One more competition to go then a little refresh before recitals then nationals in July. The big question is who is going to be the next volunteer to join me in my quest…….

Remember, my daughter gave me a whole ten minutes, but ten minutes was enough for me to get a baseline to start from.

First attempt

This next young lady is one of the dancers at our school and she happened to see a couple of those pictures of my daughter and decided to be a willing participant in my education. If you have been following along you know that I am very intrigued by the art of Ballet. When you are young however, Ballet and Pointe are separated because of the difficulty involved. The faces on these girls after their pointe classes says nothing but pain. But they love it!

 We had a moment during the session where we were doing a bit on lacing up the shoes. Without further ado…

The delicate nature of the ribbon made to secure to those who its given,

Ribbon presentation

Wrapped around and placed for beauty and grace,

The Wrap

But satin can be slippery, uncooperative,

Not Cooperating

At times frustrating and annoying,


Give me some strength!

Little Break

In the end it is about the love of dance,

A little love

For now the knot complete, it is time to be…

It all works out

Up on Pointe!

On pointe

And on all pointes…..

Back Bend

Thanks to my dancer for being the star of this post. For great personal inspiration I must give a shout out to Jordan Matter. I have been following his work recently and it has certainly motivated me. Jordan released a book a few months ago call Dancer’s Among Us. If you are interested in dance at all I encourage you to check it out.

Thanks for stopping by, till next time!