Monday, August 25, 2014

The New Abode

Our friends Hannah and Dustin recently moved into a really cute new place. Last night they had us over for nachos and to play Small World. Everyone is going to have to get use to me being behind a camera lens... because I just can't put it down.

The nachos were great, Small World was great (although I didn't win - which rarely happens - so whatever) and the company was, as always, outstanding.

Can't wait to do it again sometime. Stay tuned because Hannah and Dustin said they would let me take couples/engagement photos of them... even though they are already married. Maybe we will call them anniversary pictures!

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A Good Place to Start is Somewhere

My neighbors Tiffany, Nathan and Jaylenn welcomed their new baby girl into the family today, Paislee (such a cute name!) and I was fortunate enough that they let me snap a few pictures of them YESTERDAY. I didn't want Tiffany to walk too far so we just stayed in our backyard, which ended up turning into a picture perfect backdrop.

They let me fumble around with my camera, which I still don't feel qualified to be holding, but lo and behold, we got some nice shots after about 20 minutes of messing around.

Thanks again Tiffany and Nathan! I can't wait to take some more pictures of the family with the new baby girl.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Helping a Brother Out

Acey and Stacey have been doing some really neat things recently. Check out their website and see for yourself. I am always happy help a brother out when I can. Usually it's just contributing a doodle here or there. And... Acey is so flattering, just about anything I draw he is happy with. 

Since I am currently a little frustrated with photography, picking up a pencil is quite relaxing and enjoyable. I have been thinking about combining the two... just haven't got there quite yet. Stay tuned!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Still Feeling a Million Miles Away

I have had my new camera for 3 days and becoming a photographer feels further away then ever. Still randomly guessing at what my aperture/shutter speed/ISO should be. Continually reading stuff online... I'll get it. 

 I seriously need some humans to let me take their pictures.

I took around 150 pictures when I got off work, these last two were the only ones worth saving. I like the can in the grass but I couldn't get the mountains how I wanted them. It's really tricky shooting into the sun... I think next time I try to photograph Mount Tom it will be in the early morning light instead of the evening...


      Discouraged, but not Defeated

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Let Me Photograph You - It's For Free!

Have you ever thought you knew something... and then quickly realized that you knew absolutely nothing? This actually happens on a daily basis for me. So why was today any different? Well it wasn't. That's exactly how today went down. I bought a really nice camera. The body came in the mail today. I thought I knew something about photography, then quickly realized I knew close to nothing.

I guess that was the small, very small difference, I knew "close" to nothing. Gotta give a girl at least a little bit of credit.

When I turned on my Canon EOS 60D I couldn't get it to focus. My first thought was honestly, "I need to go to the optometrist." Then I became a little panicked, being in denial about my eyes spontaneously going bad, it had to be the camera was broken. I did buy it used, so maybe that's why the first person returned it.

So what did I do? The same thing that any 20-something would do. Googled it. I can't even really say "my generation," because it seems 7 year olds as well as 70 year olds would do exactly the same thing... Humankind would be lost with out Google. It's sad really. We are all idiots - not just me. I digress. 

Thank God for Google or it would have taken me a lot longer to learn about the "Viewfinder Adjustment Knob." One problem down. And hey! Maybe I don't need to get my eyes checked after all!

So at least things are in focus now. But then comes the whole exposure thing. What's aperture again? ISO? How does shutter speed work? Instead of Google this time I go straight for the jugular - YouTube.

It's amazing what you can learn online. My dad changed my breaks from YouTube and I haven't gone on a down-hill break-less rampage yet! Maybe my photography future is promising after all?

There must be a point where the YouTube stops sinking in. After watching 20+ videos you would think I would have figured something out, but I'm still totally guessing at what the ISO should be and what the aperture should be. And I didn't even get distracted by cute baby animals!

Can you tell what hen is my favorite? Sweetie. She's the friendliest. Ok... getting distracted by cute baby animals.

This afternoon was a little humbling but I am determined to become a photographer. Regardless of deleting 99% of the pictures I took today, I think the 1% came out pretty dang good.

I know art is subjective and despite the self-deprecating tone of this post, I'll be honest, I'll say it, I'm pretty happy with my first batch of photos. And my lens new lens is still on it's way!

I'm happy with them mostly because I KNOW I have a lot to learn - but - the photos aren't half bad! So I'm going to really, super, totally, rock with some more practice.

Speaking of, what I want to get into is portraits, lifestyle, family photos, baby photos, engagement photos, senior pics and eventually... weddings! Calling all people! Let me photograph you! And as my dad has always said "It's for free!"

This is the good life.

Sweetie on my knee.

Tea and hamburgers?

From the back yard.

Hiding hens.

...and the swamp cooler STILL leaks?!  

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Are you the kind of person who listens to a song or an album over and OVER again? To the point where everyone around you wants to either take a hammer to whatever instrument is exclaiming the, in their words, God awful noise? Or worse, take a hammer to you? - for causing such ear bleeding agony?

I am. That's me. I gladly confess. And you know what, I think I have always been this way. I love listening to songs on repeat.

I remember when I was a kid, Acey and I had bunk beds and he kept a ghetto blaster boom box right next to his pillow. I remember climbing the ladder to his top bunk when he wasn't home and putting my No Doubt CD in, sitting cross legged and listening to it over and OVER while reading along the lyrics and memorizing them. I did this also about a year later to Spice Girl's groundbreaking hit album "Spice." I'm sure I logged hundreds of hours pressing repeat on "Spice Up Your Life" and "Wannabe."

So I don't think I can account for every song I have ever been obsessed with, but I can name a few. Especially as of recently.

About a month or so ago a friend of ours introduced me to Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox. OMG I am so obsessed. I freaking love them.

It started out gradually at first. I began showing anyone how would step foot into our house Postmodern Jukeboxes rendition of Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop." Then came their rendition of Lorde's "Royals," then Selena Gomez' "Come and Get It..." and from there it spiraled. I bought their album on iTunes and it has basically been playing non-stop.

It's actually playing in the background now. The video posted directly above is what I am currently going cray cray for. Watch it for yourself and try not to tell me the lead singer, Von Smith, doesn't just down-right melt your heart! Go on, try!

Talk about heart melting, below is Puddles Pity Party belting out "Royals." This band is seriously amazing. Please Postmodern Jukebox! Put Bishop, California on your next tour! (Ha... I'm lucky enough to get my friends to read this blog - it would be a serious pipe dream that anyone from the band would even stumble upon it on accident. Regardless, I will continue my rant.)

Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop"

Selena Gomez' "Come and Get It"

Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" (Seriously - Love those pipes! Mitchell Jarvis - if you are reading this - Thank you - you are a god.)

Really people, the list goes on and on with this band. The main front lead singer, Robyn Anderson, hits a home run in just about every single song. I could post every video of theirs because I love them all so much, but what you should really do is go to YouTube and watch them yourself. Or better yet, buy their amazing album for only $9.99 on iTunes. I know, I know, I should be getting paid for how hard I am repping this band, but I just want to share my excitement with the many MANY people that read my blog (clearly sarcastic).

Moving on. Bless Phil's heart for letting me play the below video on a nightly basis. I know he loves it too, I mean who wouldn't, but I'm sure after the nth time, he has had his fill. Again, try to tell me you watched this video and didn't just absolutely fall in love with Emma Stone! It couldn't be done! I love her. 

Blessing Phil's heart yet again. He has seen this next one more then he would like to admit, but hey, that is one of the perks of living with Julianna Marina Aseltine! Endless amounts of musical fun! Maybe my tastes aren't as refined as the next persons but there is something about all these videos/songs that literally make the little carbon and other elements in my body go into a dancing hizzy. It's amazing. 

The guy that sings Elsa's part. Genius. 

I don't exactly know what makes me love this next video so much: the KRNFX guy or the shaking camera at the chorus or the guy with the long hair or the mesmerizing female singer. They are all just so good!

One more Walk off the Earth goodie:

This last video I actually, and truly wish I could say I hadn't watched as many times as I have... but she is just so endearingly annoying!

If, on the off hand chance, that you actually made it through this entire post with out getting sucked down the wormhole that is YouTube, nice work!

I just wanted to share some of the videos/music that I am currently obsessed with and if I just ruined the past 20 minutes of your life... well according to Lt. Quincannon of the 2013 box office smash hit Gangster Squad, "Two things you can't take back on this job, kid. Bullets out of your gun, and words out of your mouth." Go ahead and add "hours of wasted time on the internet" to that list.

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