April 26 - 116/365


28-135mm lens @ 65mm, f/5.6, 1/6, ISO 200

I spent a bit of my afternoon working on a project for my photography club. We were given an assignment for this month to come up with an image that represents a "universal theme" and contains elements of good photographic composition. Can you guess which theme(s) I tried to represent? The main theme of this photograph was supposed to be "temptation". Being a chocoholic, I am constantly tempted by sweets, but knowing I should choose a healthier option. I staged the photo and used a tripod to capture myself being caught up in temptation.


April 25 - 115/365

28-135mm lens @ 135mm, f/5.6, 1/20, ISO 400

Today was one of those busy days full of errands and such, lacking inspiration for pictures. There is a storm blowing in, so I went outside to try and see if I could get some trees in motion or something like that, but ended up with this photo instead, pretty much SOOC.


April 24 - 114/365


28-135mm lens @ 130mm, f/5.6, 1/15, ISO 1600

My first infant "session"! Actually it wasn't much of a session.... more like a few minutes of me grabbing some photos of one of my best friend's newborn baby. But it was still my first experience photographing babies, and since little Kyle was sleeping most of the time that we were visiting him, that made him pretty easy to photograph. Isn't he adorable? He is only a few days old, but I am glad a got a couple photos of him before we leave for our trip since by the time we have a chance to see him again he will be almost a month old! Congrats again, Tracy and David, on such a beautiful new addition to your family!


April 23 - 113/365

28-135mm lens @ 130mm, f/5.6, 1/8, ISO 400

The countdown to our trip to Germany and Austria is on! Just a little over a week before we head overseas, provided there is no more volcanic chaos.... So we have started getting some of the last minute details ready for the trip. And one of the most important details for an overseas trip? Money. I found this nice stash of Euros that we had never exchanged back into US Dollars after our trip to Italy/Greece last year, so it will definitely be helpful this time around, too. Kind of looks like funny money, doesn't it? So much more colorful than US Dollars!


April 22 - 112/365


28 - 135mm lens @ 80mm, f/5, 1/250, ISO 200

I got one final run in today before I run my first 5K on Saturday. While I went for a short run today, I ran almost the full distance on Tuesday, so I feel pretty confident for the big run on Saturday. After I finished my run, I grabbed my camera and perched it on a box outside and chose my settings with a timer before jogging ahead. So yes... that is me. :-) Guess I will have to rely on someone else to capture a photo of me during my run on Saturday!


April 21 - 111/365


28 - 135mm lens @ 70mm, f/5, 1/15, ISO 400

I think this photo pretty much speaks for itself. :-) Abiding by the instructions on the back of an EL Fudge cookie....


April 20 - 110/365

28 - 135mm lens @ 122mm, f/8, 1/10, ISO 400

Another flower photo, but I couldn't help myself. These beautiful little bluebells called to be photographed. I added a soft focus effect and a burgundy color layer to enhance the blue color, as well as lightened the photo. I love the ethereal feel in the end result.


April 19 - 109/365

28 - 135mm lens @ 80mm, f/5, 1/15, ISO 400

I love to bake, which I know I have mentioned before, but I also love to cook. I'm one of those cooks that does better when I have a recipe to go off of. I might deviate or improvise a little bit, but I usually stick pretty close to the recipe and thankfully am pretty good at following directions. So if the recipe is good, the meal is usually good. Tonight I spent my evening trying out of a new recipe for tomorrow night's dinner. The recipe was a play off of a traditional recipe - eggplant parmesan. The twist was that instead of fried breaded eggplant, the sliced eggplant was broiled and then wrapped around a filling that contains ricotta, parmesan, and swiss chard. The coolest part of the recipe? The amazing colors of the swiss chard! Such pretty colors, I had to snap a photo. And by the way.... the recipe was fantastic! Although nothing tops a classic....


April 18 - 108/365


28 - 135mm lens @ 135mm, f/14, 1/40, ISO 100

With the warm weather in full swing here, it was only a matter of time before the grass cutting was reinstated. We finally got around to mowing our grass late this afternoon, and the yard looks so much better now!


April 17 - 107/365

Canon Power Shot SD600

Today's photo was a bit of a cop out. I had a super busy day and never had the right opportunity to capture a photo until it was almost time for bed and I realized I hadn't taken anything. Oops. So I decided to take a quick shot of my camera with the newest lens in my arsenal that allowed me to take great low light photos at my cousin's play the night before : my 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. It's so tiny but was a life saver the night before.


April 16 - 106/365


50mm, f/2.5, 1/60, ISO 400

I finally had the chance to photograph some people. And even better, people in action! My cousin, Katie, was the lead role of Dorothy in a local community theater production of "The Wizard of Oz" [as if the photo didn't give the play away!]. The youth theater group did a fantastic job, as did my cousin in her first ever stage performance. My entire family was able to attend the show to support her, and I got enjoy capturing some of the funny scenes throughout the play. On a side note, having the 50mm prime lens with the extra wide aperture really helped me maintain the quality of my photos, even though it was a bit difficult being stuck in a seat in the audience and not being able to zoom in on the characters. Congrats again, Katie, on a job well done!


April 15 - 105/365


28-135mm lens @ 50mm, f/7.1, 1/100, ISO 200

So at least I took a photograph of something other than a flower today, although this wasn't the shot that I had envisioned taking. Today is Tax Day in the US, so I had this grand idea of taking a photo of the post office with a huge line of people, all anxious to get their taxes postmarked before the end of the day. I drove by the post office, but there was no line. And there were too many cars because of an accident. And the people were.... boring. And uninspiring. Bummer. So I figured I would take a shot of the mailboxes that also probably saw a LOT of action today.

I also tried some new color layering effects on this image described on iffles, using additional dark red and black layers. I'm not sure what I initially knew what these layers would do to my photo, but I love the end result. It makes the blue of the mailbox pop so much more than just sliding the saturation bar. Definitely something I will be playing around with more in the future.


April 14 - 104/365

28-135mm lens @ 44mm, f/4, 1/20, ISO 800

It is tough right now to take photos each day that don't include flowers or some green or budding plant in them. I'm fortunate that the previous owners of my home planted lots of different flowers around our house, and I could probably fill two weeks worth of photos with them. But I don't want to have nothing but flower photos, even though I love them. I want to try new things. Broaden my perspective. So today I tried to take a photo of something else. I spent a while trying to photograph the golfers that frequently pass by my backyard which overlooks the 18th fairway of a golf course. But they wouldn't cooperate. And I tried photographing birds behind my house, but they wouldn't cooperate either. So.... I ended up with another photo of something green - a vine that has been working its way up one of the rails on my deck.


April 13 - 103/365

28-135mm lens @ 132mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO 800

Rain today, which doesn't make for good photo ops outdoors. Except when it stops raining just for a little bit and there are still rain drops on beautiful spring flowers. :-) A shot of an early blooming azalea bush in my front yard.


April 12 - 102/365


75-300mm lens @ 300mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO 1600

This bunny has adopted us. Well maybe not us, but it has certainly adopted our backyard as its new home. Every day I see him/her in our yard and as long as he/she doesn't eat any of my flowers or herbs, I think we can remain on good terms. Today when I spotted the bunny in our yard, it seemed pretty relaxed and settled in for a bit, so I crept around to the back yard and laid down to get as close up of a s hot as I could. The shot would have definitely been better and crisper with a tripod, but I needed to stick with minimal equipment so as not to scare the bunny. And I'm happy to say that my new friend did sit perfectly still for our whole "session". :-)


April 11 - 101/365

28-135mm lens @ 95mm, f/5.6, 2", ISO 400 w/tripod

I spotted this tree on an evening walk with my husband this evening. I'm not really sure what kind of tree it is, but the blooms on it look like mini-carnations - so pretty and fluffy! The glow and contrast provided by a street lamp behind the tree really caught my eye, so after our walk I went back outside with my camera and tripod to get an image of the back-lit tree. Little digital editing was done, so the image is almost straight out of the camera.


April 10 - 100/365

28-135mm lens @ 115mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO 400

We spent some time this afternoon doing a spring time ritual - washing the cars of the winter grime and some of the spring pollen. Lucky for me, my husband loves to make our cars nice and shiny. I just help out here and there to make the process go along faster. I took a few images at the car wash of our cars and my husband washing them, and this was by far one of my favorites.


April 9 - 99/365

18-55mm @ 34mm, f/4.5, 1/800, ISO 100

With spring in full force right now, I have been feeling inspired to take photos of flowers and pretty colors every day. But I figure this would get boring and probably be less creative. So instead of photographing flowers, I decided to showcase the beautiful spring weather we have been having by shooting the sky instead. It was a slightly windy day today, so the clouds were clipping along and changing shape every few minutes. I took quite a few sky photos, but ultimately liked the composition of this one the best. I also tried using my polarizing filter to enhance the blue background.


April 8 - 98/365

 18-55mm @ 43mm, f/5, 1/30, ISO 800

My day consisted of work, running errands with my husband, and dinner out at a Mexican restaurant. Not too many opportunities in there to take a fun picture. At least nothing that occurred to me at the time. The only photo I came up with today was this one. The photo was taken at the Mexican place we had dinner at. There was a nice fish tank at the front entrance, and if my husband had not made me feel rushed on my way out the door, I probably would have slowed down and taken a crisper, better shot. But not every day can be perfect, right? :-)


April 7 - 97/365


18-55mm lens @ 35mm, f/4.5, 1/2, ISO 800

Remember iffles's theme for March? Monochrome? Well while this photo does happen to work with last month's monochrome theme, it also works for April's theme - Portraits. I don't believe I will be able to do too many portraits for the month since many days I don't have anyone to photography except my husband, who's not exactly keen on having me take tons of photos of him. But today I decided to tackle a photo I've wanted to do for a while - a self portrait of me with my camera. It's not perfect, but I'm happy with the overall effect and you get a peek of what I look like behind the camera. :-)


April 6 - 96/365

50mm, f/5, 1/10, ISO 800

Decided to play around with a jungle gym in my neighborhood. I ultimately ended up laying face first on the ground to get this shot. I love the depth of field I was able to achieve with this lens.


April 5 - 95/365


50mm, f/1.8, 1/100, ISO 400

I've been trying to train for my first 5K "race" the past few weeks. I say "race" because I have no intention of actually racing anyone except myself. Actually signing up for a 5K is really just motivation for me to keep running to keep myself in good health. So today I offically signed up for my very first 5K and also went for a 2+ mile run in my neighborhood. The Garmin watch and my MP3 player are invaluable in keeping me going during my runs!


April 4 - 94/365

18-55mm lens @ 43mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO 200

Wishing everyone a blessed and happy Easter!


April 3 - 93/365

28-135mm lens @ 50mm, f/4.5, 1/2500, ISO 200

This picture pretty much speaks for itself. My photography group had organized a group outing to photograph the cherry blossoms in DC. I was worried the blossoms would be too far past their peak, but they were wonderful. This photo of the Jefferson memorial was one of my favorites from the day.


April 2 - 92/365


18-55mm lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, 1/30, ISO 800

My husband and I had the chance to spend an evening with my family celebrating my brother's birthday and doing some Easter preparations. And of course, Easter would not be complete without some egg dying! Even though it is kind of silly, we still have fun doing it. Today's photo was of the best egg of the night. Not necessarily because it was the most beautiful or the most artistic, but because it was the most amusing. Sadly, I had to have someone explain it to me - apparently the chicken on the left is kicking a soccer ball towards the chicken that is "guarding a goal" on the right. Yes, that red line/squiggle is a goal. Don't think that second chicken will be a very good goalie since the only thing sticking out of his egg is his feet. :-)


April 1 - 91/365


50mm lens, f/2.8, 1/1000, ISO 800

Have you ever seen those photos some people have in their portfolio that show detailed birds in flight, or super close ups of insects? I've always wondered how they got those photos and figured the likelihood that I would ever happen to catch a bird/insect/etc at just the right time [and get it to stay still for me to capture] was pretty slim. Well today was my day. I went out in my backyard to check on the growth of a few new plants and two bumble bees practically smacked into me while in the middle of mating. Not liking bees, even "tame" bumble bees, I started to dash back to the house. But luckily, I stopped to watch them for a minute, and not long after, the female shook off her male mate and landed on a tree branch. And of course the male, not happy about being shoved away, hovered in front of the female, just waiting for his chance to pounce on her again. Lucky for me, I dashed into the house to grab my camera, even taking time to switch to my 50mm lens, and those bees were still there. I got as close as I could to them without scaring them off, but still needed to crop the photo a  little bit to really show off the bees. I love that I was able to capture this moment in nature, and can't believe I was actually able to get one of "those" photos that I have always admired in others work.


March 31 - 90/365

18-55mm lens @ 18mm, f/14, 1/500, ISO 800

Today was beautiful outside. Beyond beautiful. The first gorgeous spring day after days and days of rain. And the trees are really starting to bloom, including these behind our house. The buds on these trees have a slight pink tinge to them, so I wanted to capture the blue sky, pinkish tree buds, and the beautiful day.


March 30 - 89/365

28-135mm lens @ 44mm, f/4, 1/25, ISO 800

Do you remember my upcoming trip to Europe that I mentioned before? Well we are leaving for Germany in just over a month, and one of my major thoughts about this trip was how to pack my gear. When I went to Italy and Greece last year, I brought the Canon brand backpack you see in the background. I got this pack as a gift when I got my Canon dSLR. It's specifically made for holding camera gear, which is great, but it's not really good for holding much else, such as guidebooks and other day pack items. And it's a bit heavy.

So I decided to make a new bag for myself that would be lighter and easier to carry a few pieces of equipment around while sightseeing, plus a little room for a guide book. So I bought a lightweight canvas bag from Target and hand sewed some padded inserts for the inside. I also made some padded dividers with velcro on the ends so that I can customize the inside depending on what equipment I want to carry that day. I'm really happy with how the bag turned out and even got to give it a "test drive" over the weekend! Can't wait to bring it to Germany....


March 29 - 88/365

28-135mm lens @ 53mm, f/4.5, 1/8, ISO 800

I would have rather spent my evening thinking about a creative or artistic photo to take. But instead, I spent my entire evening rescuing files from my portable hard drive. That black piece of junk next to my computer. I am happy to report that I got the drive working again, and ALL my photos have been transferred to the laptop. Yea! But in order to get all those photos off, I had to hold the power cord into the drive VERY tight. Not moving a muscle. For over an hour. My fingers were hurting - I sure love my photos.....

Tonights ordeal also made me remember that I haven't burned my photos in too long. And it made me wonder... how many copies or "backups" is enough? I'm starting to think after this latest episode that 3 would be good. One on a hard drive. One on a CD/DVD. And maybe one on an online backup source. Any thoughts suggestions? What works for you?


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