March 28 - 87/365


28-135mm lens @ 65mm, f/5, 1/15, ISO 400

I had read about some special exhibits temporarily on display at the US Botanic Garden in Washington, DC, and was hoping to make it there this weekend. I actually managed to convince my husband to come along with me, and we were able to enjoy a gorgeous display of ~5,000 species of orchids in the garden. Some of the plants on display were the more common varieties that you see on display at your local nursery. But some were very different than others I had seen in the past. There were tons of colors, different sizes, shapes - so many to look at! It was hard to choose a favorite photograph from the ones I took of the exhibit, but I chose this one because I really liked the color and shape of the flower. I will try to post some more on Flickr soon.


March 27 - 86/365

18-55mm lens @ 25mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO 100

I've been keeping this train station shot in my bucket list for a while. Today, I had the time, and the lighting was right, and better yet, the train station was not running a full schedule, making it a great opportunity to photograph. This is actually a local public transportation train, but what I really like about it was that they designed the building to look like an old train station. I'm not sure when it was built, but I like that it looks more vintage. Thought this would work well for the monochrome March theme, too.


March 26 - 85/365

18-55mm lens @ 41mm, f/5, 1/5, ISO 800

I enjoyed a date night with my husband tonight. We decided to go see a movie, and for some reason, I decided to bring my camera with me. I didn't get any shots inside the theater [I've been wanting to try something like that] but I did spot this tower of gumball machines outside the theater in the mall. I loved the colors, the shapes, and the repetition.


March 25 - 84/365

18-55mm lens @ 45mm, f/5, 1/25, ISO 800

My husband and I went out with a large group of friends tonight to celebrate our friend's birthday. Our friend, who is part Korean, loves to take his friends to Korean BBQ restaurants. If you have never been to one, it is quite an experience! Kind of like the Melting Pot, but with lots of meat on a grill. At the very end of our meal, the waitresses brought out platters of sliced oranges. I decided to make this the photo of the day because I liked the contrast of the bright orange against the blue and white plate.


March 24 - 83/365


28-135mm lens @ 135mm, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO 200

 This past Sunday was a great day to get some yardwork done. I spent a good few hours of my afternoon that day pulling dead flowers and weeds and such from the flower beds around our house. The added bonus from doing this chore was that I discovered these beautiful little flowers next to our daffodils behind our backyard fence. Aren't they pretty?! They are super tiny but I absolutely love the little blue stripe that runs through the star shape of each flower. I had wanted to take a photo of them that very day, but I became distracted by other chores and next thing I knew, I had lost my sunlight. So today the sun was shining and I got a photo of my new favorite flowers!


March 23 - 82/365

50mm lens, f/1.8, 1/20, ISO 100

 I didn't have much time to put into my photo tonight, but I ended up taking a picture of my makeup tray. Definitely part of my daily routine! I do like how the 50mm lens worked for this image, though...


March 22 - 81/365


75-300mm lens @ 75mm, f/4.0, 1/125, ISO 1600

My husband has two passions - guitar and soccer. He has always played, and excelled, at both as long as I've known him. While he used to play on up to four soccer leagues per week, busy work schedules and such have cause him to limit himself to only two teams a week, both of which play games on the same night. It had been a while since I had attended one of his games, and since he was only playing in one game tonight, I decided to tag along and try my hand at some sports action shots for my picture of the day. Let me just say that while I never thought sports photography was easy, I definitely have a new-found respect for the photographers that do such an amazing job and capturing all those amazing action shots at sporting events. Of course I realize that part of my difficulty in obtaining "perfect" images tonight was the indoor lighting, my use of a telephoto lens that only has a maximum aperture of 4.0, and the fast movement of the players. Even with upping my ISO setting to 1600 and taking the photos at a shutter speed a bit faster than the lighting allowed for, hence the grainy quality and slight blur of the photo, it still wasn't good enough to fully freeze the action. But I made the best of what equipment I had to work with, and did manage to get a couple shots I was decently pleased with, including this shot of my husband making a dash for the goal [which he did score on, by the way :-)].


March 21 - 80/365

50mm lens, f/3.2, 1/15, ISO 200

After my self-indulgent day of taking photos at the zoo, today was spent catching up at home. Errands. Yard work. Laundry. Blah. But part of the work I did on our yard was trimming some of the beautiful blooming forsythia bushes in our back yard. I felt a little sad cutting off these pretty flowering branches and throwing them straight into the trash, so I grabbed a few branches out of the trash and brought them into the house to put in a vase. Instantly brightened our kitchen table! And made for a good "subject" for today's photo.


March 20 - 79/365

75-300mm lens @ 300mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 800

The photography guild that I recently joined had their first group outing for 2010 on Saturday. Our destination - the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. It was a great day, not just because the weather was gorgeous and it was the first official day of Spring, but also because I got to spend a few hours focusing on my photography. And the animals were so much fun to watch. I had such a tough time choosing one photo for the day, but this monkey was just too irresistible. I will try to post a few more photos from the day on Flickr soon. 


March 19 - 78/365


50mm lens, f/3.2, 1/125, ISO 200

Two points to make today. First, I finally caved and bought a 50mm prime lens. I have been wanting to get one for a while, and while they are very affordable, I can't buy every gadget I want at the same time, affordable or not. :-) So I held out on this one for a bit, but finally went ahead and got the lens today. It. Is. Awesome. I tried just a few shots at the full open f/1.8 setting, but the picture I ended up choosing for today worked better at a smaller f-stop setting. My second point - I realized after I took a picture of the crocuses on Wednesday that I should have taken a different picture that day. It was St. Patrick's Day - the best picture would have been of a clover. So I took one today instead of some clover in my backyard. Usually I hate clover - it's a weed I have to kill so it doesn't take over my grass - but today, I was happy to see it there. :-)


March 18 - 77/365


18-55mm lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, 1/2, ISO 800

A cool shot I've been wanting to try for a while... my husband playing his electric guitar with his fingers flying over the fretboard.


March 17 - 76/365

18-55mm lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 100

I was so excited to see the first "official" sign of spring when I left my work building Tuesday afternoon - crocuses! I knew I wanted to get a photo of them before they disappeared, so I brought my camera with me to work the next day and made sure to snap a picture when the sun was shining on them in the afternoon.


March 16 - 75/365


18-55mm lens @ 18mm, f/5.0, 1/3200, ISO 400

I went out for a little walk around my neighborhood after work today. It finally felt like spring! With the sun shining, I thought it might be fun to play around with the idea of taking a "self-portrait" using my shadow. The photo ended up working particularly well for this month's monochrome theme.


March 15 - 74/365

18-55mm lens @ 50mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO 100 w/fill flash

Spring is almost here.... flowers are almost in bloom and trees are starting to bud. And since we just started Daylight Savings Time, there is more daylight at the end of the work day for me to get out and take some pictures! Ironically, because it was overcast and raining today, the light in this picture had to come from my camera flash. But warmer sunnier days are ahead!


March 14 - 73/365


18 - 55mm lens @ 34mm, f/4.5, 1/15, ISO 800 w/fill flash

The church I grew up attending hosts an annual Italian dinner fundraiser benefiting the Youth Ministry. I can't remember how long my family has been attending this dinner, but I do know the one reason we keep coming back almost every year - the meatballs. They are amazing! Some special recipe that may or may not be secret, but regardless, so yummy! It's fun time overall. They decorate the catholic school gym with red, white, and green banners, play Italian music, and have a collection of wine bottles covered in candle wax on each table. They have used some of these bottles for so many years there is TONS of wax on them, creating a neat effect that I tried to capture here. And the food was just as good this year as I always remember it being!


March 13 - 72/365

75-300mm lens @ 300mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO 400

Today was super rainy. We were supposed to go to a St. Patty's day event, but with all the rain we were expected to get [and we definitely got it] we decided not to go. But the constant rain made it tough to get outside to take some pictures. Luckily, one of the birds that has a nest in one of our trees decided to brave the rain and perch on top of a bush in our yard for a bit. I was lucky that he stayed still quite a while, giving me a chance to set up my tripod and take a few shots. If you look closely, you can even see the rain drops coming down on the little guy.


March 12 - 71/365

28-135mm lens @ 56mm, f/4.5, 1/100, ISO 400 w/fill flash

A girl can never have enough jewelry! A few of my favorite necklaces, some of which have some sentimental value as they once belonged to my grandmother.


March 11 - 70/365


75-300mm lens @ 205mm, f/5.0, 1/40, ISO 400

While I still didn't feel well today, I did manage to take some photos from my window at home. I had a few frustrations with getting a clear shot with the telephoto lens, even with using a tripod. Obviously the problem was my shutter speed, and I think the base of my tripod wasn't wide enough to provide enough stability when the mirror flipped in the camera. I could have used a higher ISO and a faster shutter speed, but I didn't want too much noise in the image. Luckily, I got it to work!


March 10 - 69/365

28-135mm lens @ 109mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO 400

Since I was feeling a little under the weather tonight, I wasn't feeling a whole lot of inspiration other than hanging out on my couch resting. Thus, I was again left to photograph an item in my house. Hopefully I can get something outside tomorrow.


March 9 - 68/365


28-135mm lens @ 28mm, f/3.5, 1/500, ISO 200

After a rough day at work, I decided when I got home that I wanted to get out on foot and take a few photos. So I went to the historic downtown area of the town we live in and wandered around Main Street and the river side park that is next to it. I got a couple cool photos, but really liked this one because of the interesting patterns on the white brick wall. I guess there used to be vines growing on the wall, but they must have torn them down because all that is left now is the patterns you see here. It worked particularly well for this month's monochrome theme, too.


March 8 - 67/365

28-135mm @ 50mm, f/4.5, 1/5, ISO 400

A shot of a few of our pansies that survived the crazy winter that we had.... pretty hearty little flowers! Can't wait for more flowers to pop up soon!


March 7 - 66/365


28-135mm lens @ 56mm, f/4.5, 1/6, ISO 400 w/fill flash

Here it is... my latest cake masterpiece! I spent the past two weekends taking an intermediate cake decorating course to learn how to make lots of pretty flowers which ended up being used to make our final cake. I learned how to make chrysantemums, apple blossoms, daffodils, violets, pansies, lilies, and more! I just took a picture of one of the flower clusters from my cake for today's photo, but will be posting a few extra on the other blog soon. Needless to say, it was difficult for me to cut into the cake tonight... but as good as it tasted it was well worth it!! :-)


March 6 - 65/365


28-135mm lens @ 135mm, f/5.6, 1/2, ISO 800

I had some opportunities to take some other photos today, but had held out because I thought we would be doing something with friends tonight and there would be more photo opportunities there. But unfortunately my husband wasn't feeling up to going out because of his recent illness, so we stayed home, and I was stuck with things in my house for inspiration once again. While editing photos, I noticed the tangled cord of my computer mouse and thought it would provide some nice contrast for another monochromatic photo and gave it a shot. No pun intended. :-) Not bad, but not an ideal monochrome photo, either. Need to keep working on those monochrome editing skills.


March 5 - 64/365

28-135mm lens @ 60mm, f/4.5, 1/25, ISO 1600

I've been struggling with my inspiration for photos lately. Mostly because I've been at home every night taking care of a sick husband. And being at home each night staring at the same stuff can drain your inspiration. I chose to try taking a photo of my husband's guitar effects rack because it is kind of interesting [and super complicated!] but also because I was hoping it would be an easy photo to transition to black and white. One of the Project 365 groups I belong to is incorporating themes into each month's photos, and March is monochrome month! While I love color, I like that this will help encourage me to try looking at what photos will transition well to monochrome which means they need to look like they have good contrast to begin with so that the features will jump out. I thought this effects rack would provide good contrast, and it did, but I think I am going to need to refine and adjust my monochrome transition in the photo editing software to maximize the final result.


March 4 - 63/365


28-135mm lens @ 28mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO 100

Since the sun was finally shining today, I went for a brief walk after work today around the golf course behind our house. There were some beautiful clouds that made for some pretty views, and enhancing the color saturation for this photo helped the pretty colors in the sky pop a little bit more. Looking forward to when there will be leaves on the trees in a few months!


March 3 - 62/365

28-135mm lens @ 135mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO 800

Lacking inspiration tonight. The dinner menu included homemade pizza [so yummy...] and of course you can't have pizza without beer. Well, you can, but it's not the same. :-) And one of my favorite beers is Yuengling, manufactured in Pennsylvania at America's oldest brewery. To make the image a bit more interesting, I added a little bit of texture, adjusted the coloring for a warmer feel [counter top was off-white] and added a lite vignette.


March 2 - 61/365

28-135mm lens @ 50mm, f/4.5, 1/13, ISO 100

I spent most of my evening tonight making flowers out of icing for my current cake decorating class. We are learning how to make apple blossoms, shown here, lilys, mums, violets, and other flowers which we will be using to decorate a cake in our final class on Sunday. So you can guess what Sunday's picture has a good chance of being.... :-)


March 1 - 60/365


75-300mm lens @ 300mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO 100

So I actually had an entirely different photo I was planning on using for today's photo. I felt good and relaxed all day since I had taken the photo before I went to work this morning. Then, because of my super busy weekend, I had to run to the grocery store tonight, and on my way home, the most beautiful full moon was staring right at me through my car windshield. Dang it. How can you have such a beautiful moon and not attempt to capture it? So after unloading the groceries from my car, I set up my tripod and camera and trudged outside into the cold to "shoot the moon." Needless to say, I didn't go back and choose my original photo from this morning over the moon shot. :-)


February 28 - 59/365

18-55mm lens @ 39mm, f/5, 1/30, ISO 200

Sunday night, the end of the 2010 Winter Olympics. I have really enjoyed watching the Olympics this year. Of course I enjoy some events more than others, but I think I enjoyed watching them a little more this year than I remember in the past, especially the skiing/snowboarding. Of course the big topic of discussion for today was team USA's narrow loss in the Men's Ice Hockey medal match. Personally, I don't understand why we were playing Canada for the gold medal when we had already beat them once. I know there is some intricate system for matching everyone up, but I seriously don't get it. While we didn't get the gold here, our team seemed to do quite well overall, taking home 37 medals. Another 2 years until the Summer Olympics in London!


February 27 - 58/365

28-135mm lens @ 75mm, f/5, 1/200, ISO 1600 w/fill flash

Today I was one of three ladies who hosted a baby shower for one of my best friends, Tracy. Her baby boy is due to arrive in the end of April, so the shower was a little early, but it was one of the only weekends that would work for everyone. Such busy schedules to work around! My primary role for the shower was, you guessed it, dessert! I made a cute baby block cake and some baby cookies which we handed out as favors to all the guests. Check out the cake on my other blog! This picture was one of my favorites from the afternoon. I love how the afternoon sun was reflected on Tracy's face from the Dr. Suess book. I was doing my best to work with the available light that afternoon, and I was really happy with how the photos turned out. Best wishes for your last 2 months of pregnancy and for a healthy baby boy, Tracy!


February 26 - 57/365

28-135mm @ 44mm, f/4, 1/125, ISO 1600

Remember how I mentioned that I had to pick my husband up from the airport yesterday? He had been on a week-long business trip. His first stop was New Orleans, LA, where he got me some cool souveniers, including these beautiful Mardi Gras masks. How cool and beautiful are they? While part of me wants to tie one on and wear it for fun, I think I will hang them up in our house instead, and I've already got the perfect spot for them. :-)


February 25 - 56/365

28-135mm lens @ 60mm, f/4.5, 1/30, ISO 1600

This was a busy day. Actually, it has been an insanely busy week. I am currently working hard on making a cake for my friend's baby shower on Saturday, and thus have been spending almost every night this week after work making and decorating the cake. But tonight I had to take a quick break to pick up my husband at the airport. Sensing this might be my only chance to take a picture that didn't involve icing or cake, I brought the camera along. And of course I had to stay in the car in the pick-up lane at the airport, so I took this photo while I was waiting in the car. After making some adjustments in brightness and contrast, I'm loving the way this turned out, especially the little bits of reflecting color coming from inside the airport.


Running behind....

It has been an insane couple of days! A husband to pick up at the airport who is now sick, a baby shower I hosted and made a cake for, another cake decorating class, and everything else that is typically part of a busy life. I am on top of my picture-taking, but way behind on the blogging. Some of the pictures are almost ready to upload, so look for lots of catching up tonight! But just wanted to let you know I am still here and keeping up with my 365.... :-)


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