Pizza Waterfall

I’ve been carrying my camera around with me most days for the last week. Even if it doesn’t go to work with me, I’ll have it within an arms reach while I’m home. I challenged myself to take a photo everyday this week to help me with my “photographer’s choice” prompt for the #2017project52. I got some that I like, but having my camera on Friday night was the best idea ever.

We usually grab dinner with friends on Friday and met up with the Mohns for pizza that night. (Impellizzeri’s, you never disappoint.) The kids were all over their dad as he had been traveling for work that week, which lent itself to some cuteness. And some big laughs for the adults at the table.

I actually did end up choosing my #2017project52 image from this particular night — I plan to share my favorite on Wednesday when I regularly post. But in the mean time… enjoy the “pizza waterfall.”

alvarez - Great! Beautiful mastery of lights! What to say about looks! I love your treatments that make your work recognizable.
Thierry A

Week 12: Let There Be Light | 2017 Project 52

I love being on the lookout for the type of light that draws me in like a moth to a flame. Thing was… it just wasn’t happening this week.

You can’t expect to be blown away every week, but least I try to be.

I had a few different approaches to finding light that inspired me. My eye was pulled towards harsh shadows and deep contrast. I kept inching toward windows to see how late the sun would stay up. But mostly I looked for directional light — that’s my favorite kind of light for converting my images to black and white.

let there be light

Settings: f/3.5, 1/320 sec, 35mm, ISO 500
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

And that’s what I settled on. Directional natural light from a window. My deaf dog takes to staring out the front bedroom window often, looking to see if there are any strangers to bark at. (And since there’s a house being built across the street, there is plenty to bark at.) I tried a few different point of views: I stepped back, got close, shot from the side, but ultimately settled on the view from above. (Fitting since that was last week’s prompt, no?)

I’ve taken several pictures of her doing this over the past couple years, but I still love to capture it. I think I like this POV best because it’s a view I see often, as I try to peek over her head to see what is going on outside. And her curiosity keeps me laughing as she’s nearing nine years old and acts like a puppy most days.

I love the strong light on her face and the shadows that grow down her back. And the curtains add a textural element, offering lines to lead our eye down the image.

My best work? No. But definitely something that’s a part of my everyday and makes me smile.


Week 13: Photographer’s Choice
due 03.29.17

In the Project 52 group I was a part of last year, “photographer’s choice” was a prompt that I was always excited about and scared of. I liked the idea of a wild card week… but the prompt occurred every eight weeks. But I think it’s a fun prompt to keep us excited to share our favorites so we’re going to have a photographer’s choice every 13 weeks to finish off each quarter.

Anything goes — you find the subject, the light, the story that you want to share with us this week! My personal goal is to take at least one photo everyday this week (a little daily project inside our weekly project) and then pick my favorite to share with the Flickr group. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your photos to share only one each week, I found a few articles that may help you think about the composition and elements of your photos and linked them up below. But really… I usually pick the photo I can’t stop staring at, or the one that makes me really excited. But choosing only one photo is part of the project, the part that helps us think about our work and help us grow as photographers.

7 Tips for Choosing Your Best Photos Fast
How to Choose Your Best Photo in a Series — Every Time
How to Narrow Your Vision and Find a Voice

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2017project52 so that we can find your work and give it some love!
Have questions about 2017 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the Flickr group description. Please join us!

Part 3: Cruising Into an Oasis | My Favorites

I had a goal for our Caribbean cruise this year: photograph the shit out of it. The thing was… I didn’t.

While I took a lot of photos, with both my Canon and my phone, I just wasn’t as inspired as I thought I’d be. I really thought I was going to carry my Canon everywhere with me… but I talked myself out of it a lot. It’s a heavy camera, and a heavy lens, I’m not in love with my travel bag, and sometimes you don’t feel safe carrying around a camera of that size when you’re surrounded by water.

But while I disappointed myself with my lack of motivation, I still had my phone with me. And I pulled it out and took a photo of anything that made me pause, even for a second. I shot with intention, wanting to feel gravitation towards something… and I walked away with a lot of favorites from our trip.

I never know if Mike hates or loves that I take as many pictures as I do — I know that photography isn’t as important to him as it is to me. But by golly he cheers me on, waits patiently for me, looks for me when I silently walked away and will give feedback on anything I put in front of him. And I love him for that.

To read more about our cruise on Oasis of the Seas:
Part 1: The Ship
Part 2: The Islands

Week 11: From Above | 2017 Project 52

I’ve been on the go so much the last few weeks that I spend every minute I can at home. I am a home-body – it’s my most favorite place to be. I love the someone I share it with. I love the doggins. I love to cook in my kitchen. I love to cuddle up with a book on my couch. And I love going to bed in my comfy bed. So, naturally, I had to push myself to get out shoot.

I had a few ideas that included walking bridges and parking garages for our “from above” prompt… but those didn’t happen. The weather turned cold again (what is up with these temp swings?!) and while I know the perfect way to bundle to keep warm, the idea of being out in the elements and risk having snot run down my face was a turn off. So I ditched those ideas and settled on a new one: a snowy walk in the woods.

I walked down the hill to where the waterfalls are hidden (I took my transitions photo at the same place) to poke around Monday evening. I’m always hesitant to explore on my own… telling myself that when I think nothing bad will happen, I’ll end up taking a spill and crashing my camera or my teeth into a rock… but I believe those hyperbolic scenes make me more aware of where to put my feet, what steps not to take.

I ventured out into the creek, inching closer to the waterfall to get some pictures from above. I climbed up a small hill to see if there was anyway to get to the larger waterfall below for an interesting point of view. I marched over huge rocks that were topped with bright green moss and fresh show. I wore a bright red hat so that in case I fell and had to scream for a help a neighbor could more easily identify the fallen human.

Hey, if anything I’m a realist.

from above

Settings: f/4.0, 1/250 sec, 35mm, ISO 1000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

My waterfall and mossy rock photos were fine, but I kept coming back to this image. There’s a jut of rock that overhangs the creek bed below the first, smaller waterfall, and trees grow crooked out of it. The trees are what got my attention — and lately I’ve been taking pictures of whatever calls to me — so I ventured over, finding my footing as I went, letting my boots sink into wet piles of leaves, getting a little closer to the edge… and no Brookes were harmed in the making of this photo.

But I liked what I saw. I used the tree on the left and a broken root on the right to frame the scene below. The water ripples and reflects light as it continues on, showing how bright the evenings are becoming. The creek bed is green in some places and black in others, where moss, mud and rock live beneath a few inches of icy cold water. There’s composition and there’s movement in this image. And it looks a lot further down every time I look at it.


Week 12: Let There Be Light
due 03.22.17

The basics of photography boils down to four things: aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure. Or in the most simplest definition of those four things: light. And how light is captured can impact an image greatly. It can create contrast, add depth, set the mood… it is the greatest element to master as a photographer. With daylight savings taking place the past Sunday, let’s go out into the world and let the longer days be our inspiration. (Deepest apologies to my friends who are in the Southern Hemisphere… it was good while it lasted, no?)

Bonus Challenge: Take your photo using the monochrome setting on your camera, or with the intention of converting it to black and white. Pay attention to different kinds of light (full, directional, open shade, rim, etc) and how it contrasts on your subject. When you remove color from your scene through you camera or in post production, how does the light look different? What kind of light do you prefer for black and white images?

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2017project52 so that we can find your work and give it some love!
Have questions about 2017 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the Flickr group description. Please join us!

[SOLD] Kelly Moore Bag | “Kate” Camera/Laptop Bag

This camera bag has since sold. Thank you for your understanding.

I have a thing for camera bags and I always look to see what’s new, especially when it comes to Kelly Moore bag designs. The moment I saw Kelly Moore’s “Kate” camera/laptop messenger bag, I knew I wanted it. I liked the style, the canvas fabric, the sandy/almost olive color and I thought it would be a great bag to use for work — I could fit in my laptop and my camera. Truth is, I barely used it. It just isn’t the right bag for me. And I’ve hung on to it for almost three years. So it’s time to part ways with it… and I’m hoping that one of you will love it.

I purchased “Kate” in 2014 and used it less than 10 times so it is like new. It’s a unisex design, so it’s a great messenger bag for both women and men. The bag does include a padded basket, which is removable, and four dividers so you can create the best housing for your equipment. The hardware on the bag is really nice; both the padded cross-body strap and hand strap are also removable and the brass lobster hooks swivel so it never gets tangled up.

If you’d like to take a closer look at the bag, Kelly Moore has this bag available right now on their website for $199 and features a video.

Kelly Moore "Kate" camera/laptop messenger bagKelly Moore "Kate" camera/laptop messenger bagKelly Moore "Kate" camera/laptop messenger bagKelly Moore "Kate" camera/laptop messenger bagKelly Moore "Kate" camera/laptop messenger bag

Dimensions & specifications for Kelly Moore’s “Kate” camera/laptop messenger bag:

  • Outside dimensions: 16″(length) x 5″(width) x 11.5″(height) 
  • 1 front zipper pocket on flap
  • 1 large front zipper pocket with credit card/cf card organizer 
  • 1 large zipper pocket(10.5″) 
  • 1 side pocket
  • 2 snaps for flap closure
  • 3 Padded, removable, adjustable Velcro dividers, creating 4 sections inside bag for gear
  • Exterior walls & bottom of the bag are padded
  • Removable Padded Basket

This bag was sold in May 2017; no other inventory. Thank you for your understanding.