Monday, April 30, 2012

Do the Monkey - Favorite Photo of the Month

How is April over already? I'm thinking this might all be part of an elaborate April Fool's Day joke being played on me by my boys and I'm really sitting at April 1st.  I'll get back to you tomorrow and let you know if I'm right.

But, I'm going to go ahead an hedge my bets here and still post a favorite from last month, whichever month that might have been.

This is from my nephew's wedding. I'm one of six siblings and this was the first time in too many years that this many of us and our respective children are all in one place and we were celebrating every minute. That's my dad in the pink shirt leading the dance.... whatever move he would make (mostly silly - they're doing the monkey here) everyone would mimic. So. much. fun.

I got up on a chair (thankfully, I'm not a heels kind of girl) and took this shot. This is my favorite for so many reasons, as you can imagine. I know we'll all cherish it and the memory for a very long time.

Linking up with Click It Up A Notch

Click It Up A Notch

Sunday, April 29, 2012

P52/Week 17: "White"

I've committed myself to participating in a photography project called Project 52, where each week there's a challenge to take a photo with a particular theme and enter it on the group Flickr site.

My oldest nephew, Joey, was married this past weekend. He's a real sweetheart through and through and has always been a considerate person. I never imagined, though, that he'd be willing to schedule his wedding to have perfect timing for my photography project. Because, what goes more perfectly with a wedding than a 'White' theme?

P52/Week 17: "White"

Friday, April 27, 2012

The 'Burgh

The boys and I made a trip into the city today after their banjo lesson. We parked on the North Side and tried out the new under-the-river subway that takes passengers from the North into the downtown area. It was exciting for the boys to head down the gradation into what we could only assume was the beginning of the underwater portion of the trip. Obviously, we could only see walls and lights.

The trip is very short, but does a great service in allowing us to park reasonably and get into the city to wonder around without any time limits. 

This is the new downtown station, called Gateway, where we came out from the Subway. Loved the structure. That's Nico and Enzo in the lower right inside the structure looking over the rail.

This was taken at Point State Park and has been on my photos-I-want-to-take list for a long time. Makes me so very happy:

These are in the same area under the tunnel. In the summer these river rocks are the base of a large pool, but, right now they're wide open and left for our interpretation.

Very fitting that they complete a heart shape. <3

This is in front an historical mural in the subway station.  I couldn't resist:
I wanted to try more, but they told me it was "sort of embarrassing" as the station filled with waiting passengers, so I granted them amnesty from my twisted brand of torture.

My muses, my models:

Purple Rain

Sometimes my favorite part of a photo is what happens behind the camera.

We had just arrived home from somewhere or other. We were between rainstorms and the sun was shining brightly on the wet everything. We walked into the door and Nico commented, "Mom, the light is really nice out there and the raindrops are big on the flowers. Do you want to take some pictures?"

I guess I think out loud about this stuff often enough that it's permeated into his train of thought and put him on the lookout. I love it.

Here's what he inspired:

This one is called "Purple Rain."  Get it?
Update: This photo was entered and featured for the P52/"Weather" challenge. Here's the link to see it amongst the other photos that were chosen.

And, so the pink shrubs wouldn't feel unappreciated...

Linking up with Simple Things Sunday

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sweet Shot

The boys had their last (scheduled) class with Mr. Ryan, who has taught them everything from 'The History of Food' to leatherworking, metal working and most recently wilderness survival and Aboriginal skills. Basically it was: Fire, tools and being outdoors no matter the weather... it's no wonder they LOVED every minute of his classes.

I caught this shot while they were working on the challenge of boiling water for 5 minutes. Sounds ridiculously easy right? Not when you're the one gathering the tinder and wood; creating a structure to hold the pot over the fire; Starting the fire and then maintaining it at a considerable-enough level to make and keep the water boiling, but without spilling over and putting the fire out. They were also to leave no trace in the woods that they had been there.

Yes, they made Mr. Ryan proud.

Linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Sweet Shot Day

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sweet Shot Tuesday

Not sure how Tuesdays keep happening so quickly, but like every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, they do.

So here's another sweet shot for the occasion.

I stole the boys away while dinner was in the oven tonight, with wonderful Jt at the helm, and went to get this shot. It didn't take too long, so after we were done, I agreed to stay a few minutes to allow for some rolling-down-the-hill time. Least I could do for my always compliant little models.

We all came away with grass-stained knees.

Linking up at Life with My 3 Boybarians for Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Sweet Shot Day

P52/Week 16: "Perspective"

I've committed myself to participating in a photography project called Project 52, where each week there's a challenge to take a photo with a particular theme and enter it on the group Flickr site.

This week's P52 theme is Perspective. I actually have it ready to go and it's only Tuesday. Partially because we're going away this weekend and I knew I didn't want to delay it, but mostly because I actually had a clear idea of what I wanted for once. Yay, me!

My idea came from this graphic, seen on the ever-enlightening Facebook:

I liked it, so I guess it stuck with me long enough to inspire this photo:

P52/Week 16: "Perspective"

With 'perspective' in mind, I thought, some people see them as weeds, others see them as gifts or wish-granting dream makers. It all depends on perspective.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Photo Feedback - The Banjo Picker's Ball

It's been a few weeks since I've put myself out there for feedback. Only because of time limits, not a lack of interest, so I'm happy to be back in the fray and look forward to hearing what I need to hear.

This photo is from a gathering of banjo players, that we went to on Palm Sunday. It was in a basement, so was dark and cramped, but it was oh so fun. I got lots of dud photos from the shoot, but most of the good ones were of my Enzo, who must have been in a decent light and far enough away to allow some variety in my shots.

I liked the way the other players on the left and the wood pillar on the right framed him and was one of the few without shadows on his face.  Candid shots are really where I could use some advice. When I prop my boys up for photo shoots, I feel like I can get a few decent shots. But, candids present so many lighting, framing and other challenges. I'd love any advice in addition to feedback on this particular photo.

Thank you in advance.

Mom Tried It

So, what do you think?

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I entered the Epiphanie Camera Bags + Zenfolio Picture It photo contest!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

There's a Light in the Barn

Considering today was anything but a Simple Thing Sunday, it's nice to end it by looking at these photos. They were taken at Succop in the wonderful barn, just like this wagon. The light in there was just perfect and beautiful.  The boys were working on turning dog bane into rope and I must have looked like I really love the stuff because I never stopped clicking the shutter.

While these photos aren't terribly interesting compositionally, I do love the look of them with the rich wood and glowing light.

He was seriously aglow

I'm linking to Simple Things Sunday.

Friday, April 13, 2012

P52/Week 15: "Movement"

I've committed myself to participating in a photography project called Project 52, where each week there's a challenge to take a photo with a particular theme and enter it on the group Flickr site.

The theme for P52 this week is movement. I 'spose there are harder themes for a mother of two boys. 'Stillness', for example. No, not a lot of effort to come up with this one. In fact I'm feeling a little bad that I didn't have to do a session with the purpose of creating it, it just happened.  I was considering trying a pan of them riding their bikes, but, I was editing these photos and I quite like them.

I haven't yet entered it on the Flickr site for the group, just in case I change my mind, but, I thought I'd get the movement photo and a few others up here anyway.

This is the one I'll enter

All of these photos are from a day in the woods as part of the boys' class in Aboriginal skills.  Their instructor hiked and hiked and hiked us into the woods (at a pace not conducive to taking thoughtfully-composed photos, I might add, which is why I tie it to the word 'Movement').

I did manage to get a few interesting shots and enjoyed the hunt. I didn't pay attention at all just trusting where the leader took us.
After about a half hour of hiking, he stopped and told the boys that it was now their task to get us back to where we started, without going back the way we came.

I like how they're all looking off to the left. I wonder what caught their attention?

Along the way, he pointed out various edible plants and asked the boys to surmise various shelter possibilities if they were in a survival situation. They did really well and yes, they did get us back to civilization and ultimately my computer. It was a fun experience.

Update: I ended up using the photo from last week of the boys and Pritzy running toward the house as my entry for P52's Movement theme.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SImple Things Sunday

Only in a universe of Momographers (Capital M) is it perfectly acceptable to post a photo blog entry titled "Simple Things Sunday" on the following Wednesday.  Only in a world where we're all in the same boat can I post a photo of dying Easter eggs, while the rest of the world is already eight Facebook entries past those obligatory images.

But, that's where I am and it's who I am. Thank goodness, because it's been a heck of a week. But that only makes those smiles brought on by something as simple as mixing Easter egg dying colors all the more meaningful and worth noting.

So, I'm sharing this on Simple Things Sunday:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sweet Shot Tuesday

Here's a quick entry with my Sweet Shot Tuesday submission.

This was taken at Succop Nature Conservancy. The light in this barn was beautiful. Soft and glowing. I couldn't stop taking photos the whole time I was in there. I told our host that he could make some extra side money by granting wedding photogs entry into that barn. (Weddings are held at the conservancy all summer.)

I'm linking up here:

Sweet Shot Day

Monday, April 9, 2012

P52/Week 14: "Home"

My photo was featured for the Project 52/Week 14. The theme was "home."
Here was my entry:

P52/Week 14: "Home"

You can see the Flickr entry here.

I'm so thrilled.

With this week's theme, my thoughts were to get the boys playing in the front yard. No problem, right? I went out, with their enthusiasm in a perfect place, since apparently they were due for some running races. They had a lot of fun, but I met nothing but problems. Many   Most   All of them in my head. Couldn't frame the house in a flattering way; It would have been easier to recite pi to the 25th place than it was to figure out what to do about the splotches of light and shade in the yard; and my internal dialogue of self deprecation was louder than the barking dog at the boys feet.

Here's the best I got:

P52/Week 15: "Movement"

I do see it now, with sweet Jt's help, that it is a nice photo. (Thank you, Jt <3) I do love the many feet off the ground.

But, feeling discouraged at the time, I headed toward the house figuring maybe I should go for the family-around-the-Easter-table shot for the week's theme. But, then I glimpsed the details of the house as I came closer. The window that showed the reflection of the neighbor's beautiful white window, the door (I love doors) and the mailbox. I settled on the mailbox with the window reflection and had the shot.

Sessions like this can really dampen my enthusiasm and have me thinking I'm getting nowhere with this. Feeling like I'm moving at a snail's pace in my improvement. But, it sure does help to get the encouragement of having my photo featured with the many beautifully-composed entries for the week. Just a little nudge to keep me in the game.