Sunday, October 27, 2013

See You Next Fall

Lately I've become obsessed with Photoshop. So I've been going through my old photos that have been stashed away and gave them a little make-over. So this entry will be an illustrated blog.
When I think of the fall I think of warm colors.  I love warm colors and the cold crisp air this season brings. There’s nothing quite like it. I love taking my daughter out for walks and just feeling at peace because my surroundings are so beautiful. I want to soak them up and embrace them like this.
          Around Halloween I go back to my roots to a special place few of us are privileged to know. It’s a little place called Apple Hill in Northern California. This orchard has been around since before I was in Kindergarten, which is surprising considering how many folks have up and moved out of the Golden State in my day. 

            Apple Hill is the place you go to take your kids and enjoy the outdoors without having to campout. There’s a playground, a fishing hole, a place to ride ponies, a market to buy those delicious orchard apples, the Fudge Factory and you can also enjoy a yummy sandwich and scrumptious raw apple cider.

            Back when I was a wee lass Apple Hill had acres of pumpkins ready to be plucked. I’d roam free searching for the perfect pumpkin to carve for Halloween (and believe me, I took my pumpkin carving very seriously). I’d always try to find a pumpkin with a perfect scar, so my Jack-o-lantern would be more Halloween-like. I can’t explain why, but I would check out Halloween children’s books and figure out what kind of face I was going to carve that year. And I always looked forward to scouring through those acres of pumpkins at Apple Hill. I remember one year we made the trip up there to that special orchard and BAM! No more acreage of pumpkins to scour. There was just a tiny corner with a few pumpkins already picked sitting on stacks of hay.  My childhood joy was shot that day, but even so, Apple Hill still holds a very special place in my memories. 

            When I got older we used to go to Apple Hill around Christmas to one of the tree farms and select the perfect pine to celebrate the holiest of Holidays (well, it may be equal with Easter, if the you take the giant special bunny out of the equation). So Apple Hill somehow found its way back into my life.

            It seems like fall passes into winter too quickly. The leaves turn and then WHAPAP! They fall to the ground, loose their lustrous color and everything dies or at least looks dead. Then you know winter is here and it’s too far to count how many days till summer comes again. If you couldn’t tell I’m not a fan of winter, or rather I’m not a fan of the cold. A little chill is nice; a frozen white winter turns me into an ice sickle (accept I don’t want be outside or even leave the house). I become the winter hermit. Christmas aside, the cold isn’t enjoyable to me. There’s the anticipation for Christmas, which is almost better than actually celebrating Christmas. After I open my gifts, it’s all over. All that’s left is three more months of blistering coldness, two if I’m lucky. Then its allergy season, and then YAY! Summer’s back! Pull out the bikes and the hiking shoes. I’m going outside again! Until then I’ll be your friendly neighborhood hermit. See you next fall!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Too Adorable

Okay, this is just too cute to not share. This video was taken when she was only 6 weeks old, she apparently already knows she's adorable...
Vine videos are all the rage these days, so that was my first one. I'm sure there will be plenty more in the future. If your asking yourself what a vine video is, its a 6 second video that is usually funny or interesting. I'll go ahead as say this one is both. Haha.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Refurbished Hobby to Capture that Cutie Pie

My little girl is 7 weeks old this week, which means I basically haven’t slept in 7 weeks. It’s not all bad though, sometimes she’ll sleep for four hour stretches and its luxury. Other times she wakes up every hour and wants to eat.  That’s pretty much when I feel like I’m being tortured.  The thing is she’s sooo dang cute I can’t even be mad about it.  Being a new mom has its ups and downs. No sleep would be the downside, but the upside is when my daughter looks up at me with those big little eyes and talks… And by talking I mean cooing and gurgling at me. It’s the cutest thing to watch. She’s inspired a new hobby in me, and by new hobby I mean old hobby taken out, dusted off and ironed out. Photography is a lot different today than it was when I was a kid. Twenty years ago photography to me was taking my box 35mm camera and snapping photos of the sunset. And I'd never know how the photo's would turn out until the film got developed. I'm sure my daughter will one day respond "What? You had to wait 2-5 days to look at your pictures?" Today photography is all about Photoshop and digital image clarity. My camera today gives much better image clarity than my old 35mm did back when I was a kid. And it's more fun to mess around with Photoshop than spend hours in a black room developing photos and hoping whatever I shot would turn out great (not that I spent time in a black room, but I had my fantasies that one day I would).
My daughter has become the subject, or rather the victim of all my rigorous picture taking.  She’s now used to the clicking of the camera and actually gives me smiles and coos on cue, instead of looking strangely at this weird black thing in my hands. The problem with being the photo taker is there’s never any pictures of me or even my whole family. So it’s awesome when a third party volunteers to take some portraits of all of us (thanks Trudy!). It’s also nice because my husband complains less when someone else is taking the photos. Usually when I’m the one taking the pictures he usually mutters something about he had to go and ‘marry a film major photography person.’ I had fun playing around with Photoshop and was really happy with the results. Their professional quality and I may just blow all my savings on printing these puppies out. Their way good, I’ve missed my calling in life, or rather… may have just found it. Trudy took the first photo below, and I took the liberty of photoshopping it (the second photo). And yes, there's nothing sexier than a man holding a baby!

Its amazing what digital photos allow you to do! Below is a quick hue edit that adds a little something more to the photo. Granted not all photo's look great with this effect.

Below are a few of the photos I’ve taken, as you can see she is just too adorable to not photograph. I won’t post too many at the risk of being one of those parents who can’t stop showing photos of her kid to the general public. Haha. But these are my favorites of the thousands I’ve taken of her already. The first is just the raw photo, no edits. The second I made the colors a little softer.

       Another thing I’m great at is putting pictures to music for special occasions like weddings or other random reasons for needing to put photos to music. It makes it fun to watch and creates a mood to go with the photos. Here is just a little tidbit of what the videos look like. 

All in all my creative side is coming out now that I have more spare time to think between the feedings and diaper changes (naturally!) I'd love to start working on projects for hire, its something I love to do and its real easy to photo shop with a sleeping babe in your arms. It just takes one hand! I have been learning to do a lot of things one-handed lately :)