Frank Sinatra was a Guru

I skipped yesterday’s lesson (this feels very reminiscent of my high school days).  It was on depth of field.  I feel like I understand DOF pretty well. I’m for sure no pro, but I got the basics down.

Today’s lesson (Day Eight for those of you playing along at home), was about the “Exposure Triangle”. AKA- ISO, shutter speed, and aperture all coming together to make a perfect picture.  I am not allowed to use the Automatic function. I  supposedly have the knowledge, so now I no longer have an excuse to be lazy.

Psshhhaw… like I ever needed an excuse for that.

I waited until late this afternoon for this lesson. The front window in my living room faces West. The sun pours in through it, creating areas of shade and sunlight all around the room. I knew that would be my best shot at putting the lessons to work.  The lighting combo is like NY- If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.  Of course, if old Blue Eyes had failed, he only had to cross the river to go back to Hoboken. Arkansas is a much further trip.

For reference, this is how the lighting looks naturally with no adjusting on my camera:

Isn’t Oliver a sweetie pie? Sweet as he may be, those alternating bands of sunlight and shadow were not. Getting that all balanced was more of a challenge than I would have imagined. And before I could balance it out, this happened:

Teddy and Paco decided Oliver was looking a little too comfy, and they had to fix that right away.

After torturing Oliver for a minute, Paco ran off to destroy a fly that made the wrong choice of coming into our house. He was standing in front of our living room window. This is how the lighting looked before I adjusted my camera:

The lighting was behind Paco, causing his face to go into shadow. It took me several attempts to adjust my camera, but I finally worked it out.

I feel… mehh. It’s ok. At least it’s not terribly overexposed or underexposed. I tried a different angle, and got this:

It’s kinda a six-in-one-hand thing. Neither picture is terrible, but they are far from great. I guess I could have tried to take pictures in better lighting, but I wanted to push myself to make up for playing hookie yesterday.

Maybe tomorrow will be better?

PS- Paco is still chasing the fly. Only he has worn himself down and has found an easier way to do things. :

I’m thinking he gets his lazy gene from his mama.

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I Don’t Speak French

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Even though I was feeling a bit under the weather with a chest cold (or maybe it’s just allergies? Either way, I coughed a LOT), we still managed to escape to the mountains for a day trip.

We went to Morrillton, AR and spent Saturday on Petite Jean Mountain (pronounced “Petty Gene”. My mom laughed at me the first time I called it “Pah-teet John”. Apparently, the Arkansans don’t like French much.) It is my absolute FAVORITE day trip around here.  There is so much to see there, and I always leave wishing we could have done more.

Unfortunately, with me having a chest cold going on, we didn’t get to hike near as much as I would have preferred. But, I did manage to get in lots of pictures for my sixth day of lessons. The lesson was on aperture again. I think I really nailed it:

Just for fun, we took a few pictures that were the same as a few we took two years ago. I couldn’t believe A) how a few days of lessons can make such a huge improvement in my technique, and B) how much my family has changed in two years. My little monkey is growing up so fast. 😦

Let’s compare, shall we?

My family- 2009.

Us- 2011. (Does anybody know of any way to make time slow down???)

I should probably put down the camera, and save Tommy. -2009

Poor, Tommy. I still have to choose between him and the picture. -2011

After seeing the newest pictures, I was shocked. Firstly, because I actually like my hair shorter. (Whoda thunk it?) Secondly, because I have gotten much better at understanding the functions of the camera. I am really happy with how all my pictures came out.

I gave James my old point and shoot camera to keep him occupied on the trip. He took some super cute pictures, but this one was my favorite

I think he really captured his parent’s knack for wearing shirts that were in style twenty years ago. We are the epitome of fashionistas, right?

What does everybody think? Am I doing all right? Getting better? Getting worse? Should I grow my hair back out? Keep it short? Get a new wardrobe?