Saturday, August 29, 2009

Time warp!

I love autumn! Always have. But this year the fast approaching season change seems so out of context. As I've said before, we are just now getting the warm dry weather we expected all summer, but next weekend is Labor Day. Then school starts. And usually, cold nights, frost in the morning, yellow leaves on the trees, and brown fields of stubble fading into the stark grey of winter are not far behind. So, we are off to enjoy a late summer hike as a family. Gotta get going while the getting is good.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Finishing out the summer!

Having a lot of trouble with Blogger today - uploaded photos 5 times before it worked, and now things are deleting off the page faster than I can control. But I'm going to give this a shot anyway.


Summer has finally gotten hot and dry - and school is just 12 days away! Even the evenings are warm, when normally I'd be watching the weather closely this time of August expecting our first frost any day now. I'll take the warm evenings and smile - all the longer for my basil to grow. It is going to be a small crop this year because I didn't get it in until half way through summer. Bad me. But this heat spell is helping.


It really is the first heat spell we've had. The front field is still green - even after being hayed over a month ago. The National Forests have not been above a "Moderate" fire danger, which is something I haven't seen since moving her. And my columbine are still putting out some blooms. I almost never have columbine with holly hocks. But I've got holly hocks now too - here is one of them:

In the warmth of the evening, J and his friend slept outside last night. So fun for them!
They were prepared:
Yep, an abundance of knives is just what you need to survive out in the wilds of our back yard.

And a fire built in an old washing machine tub.;"

Did you know that this is a way the National Forest Service is recycling. They use the tubs for new fire pits at campgrounds. We don't partially bury ours so we can move it around the property as needed.


J and his friend had a fire in the evening and then again in the morning - the first course of breakfast is sausage cooked over the open flame. Yummy! Then they came in and cooked eggs too!


Then I made them do the dishes, which they managed to make into some fun!


Oh to be young again, where everything has the potential to be joyful!


We're making the most of these last days of summer!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

That glow!

Since Montana is "the Big Sky state" you would think it would be the skies that are so impressive. And often they are. But this time of year what I find so wonderful is the beauty of the landscape at sunrise and sunset.
This photo was sunset last night on with the glow on the barley fields and grazing lands just east of our home. There is a golden pink tone to it all, and I just love it!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Complicated Relationships

Sometimes relationships are complicated. And trying to capture that in a photo is my goal. My good friend asked me to take these mother/son photos. This particular mother/son relationship is complicated - VERY COMPLICATED!
The love is obvious! But because I know them, I know there is so much more.
But most important is that the love is there - despite all the other junk.
I wish all my photos could tell the stories of all the junk covered by love.That is what draws me into photography - photos that tell stories.

Push-ups in the Creek?

We did a quick (24 hour) trip camping, just the three of us. Tons of fun! We always go short, because, well, because that's the way Andy likes it. J and I would stay for days, but Andy does not like to get home on Sunday and then go to work on Monday, so we always start on Friday afternoon and come home Saturday evening. It works for us. I've taken my new camera off of the automatic mode, and am in straight manual. That way I'll learn more and more about photography. Every new situation is a learning experience. So, some of these photos are only so/so. Not to be making excuses or anything, but they are all learning experiences! We had a blast! And couldn't you just fall into those bluer than blue eyes? Oh my! They make me dreamy! I never saw so many butter flies and moths, but fortunately almost no mosquitos. Amazing! Often, when taking photos, my feet looked like this (or sometimes in even more water!). It was cold! The rocks were slippery! But it felt good to tromp around in the creek!

I love this photo because you can see the shadows of the seeds that are in these berries. These berries were all over the place.

J spent as much time in the water as he possibly could - he has always always always loved the water. He brought a tube, tied it to a tree, and belly surfed in the cold water!
When not snapping photos or making meals I sat on a little island in the creek and read a book much of the time. Talk about relaxing! Ahhh!
More belly surfing from my little water bug!
Andy got in the water with J - they played quite a bit in the creek, but no fishing this time.
Andy even did some push-ups in the creek - not what I planned to do in the creek. I think I'll stick to dipping my feet and reading or taking photos.
It was so fun to just relax all afternoon and then again almost all of the next day!
More than anything, it was great that this guy got to have some fun with his momma and papa!!
Today, Sunday, it is drizzling and not great for camping. So, I'm glad we're weird and come home on Saturday evenings, because I'd hate to be packing up a wet tent and cleaning up from a muddy camp.
Two weeks and one day until school starts. We're hoping to make the best of it with lots of playing and doing until then!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

He's great!

It's been awhile since I focused on my guy. He's still the GREATEST! Just so you all know!

Right now he works so hard every day to make things work for his clients and for us financially!

But he still takes J camping, and puts up with me and all my antics.

Couldn't ask for a better guy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

All Over The Place!

That is what this post will be. Just the way it is.

First, I have done some scrapbooking (very little) in the last month, and here is the result. I scrap-lifted something from Lisa Dickinson and came up with this:

NEW SUBJECT: I've been using my camera in manual mode more. I'm figuring if I wanted to use it only in auto then I should have just bought the best point and shoot I could find and saved myself some money. I'm using some tutorials from 2 Peas photography board and enjoying it. I'm also shooting my images raw and then doing better processing of them on the computer. Takes a few extra steps, but seems to be worth it.

NEW SUBJECT: Went on a big hike with J and his friend yesterday. The boys did really well together, but J struggled with a couple of things. He fell off a rock and scraped himself up pretty bad, which was so sad. He tried so hard not to cry in front of his friend.

Then another thing happened that he found to be mortifying, but so embarrassing that I will not post it here. And he was so afraid his new friend, who he really likes, wouldn't want to be his friend because of that. It broke my heart to see him so stressed out. And believe me, it was indeed something humiliating and embarrassing, but not something that J did wrong. Fortunately, this boy is a real "man of good character" because he just showed love and friendliness to J through the whole day. This is a friend I am hoping we can keep around for years to come. Based on how he acted yesterday, I think he would be a great guy to have J go through adolescence with - good Christian boy with the character to prove it!

NEW SUBJECT: Well, sort of a revisit of an old subject. I seem to be pressed with photo shoots coming up. I've got two this week, and an appointment to talk about a third (Senior Photo). Very exciting, but also daunting because I'm struggling to stay caught up on the photo processing part of it all. Need to get my rear in gear for that and dedicate some time to it.

Enough for today. Lots to do besides sit at the computer and play.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back lighting

Earlier this week I ran across a bit of a tutorial about shooting photos with back lighting. It is here, and I think it is worth checking out if you want to improve photo taking.

Now, the photos I'm posting here are my first attempts at using the metering techniques I've learned, so there is lots of room for improvement. But it is fun to be learning!

J agreed to be my model one evening and did a pretty good job, although he really just wants to make funny faces and have me photo those. Me, I'm not so into crossed eyes, tongues sticking out and noses wrinkled up in my photos - even in my practice photos. So, these are what we got(you can tell he's working to hold back those funny looks!):

I'm not satisfied with the amount of red/magenta in these photos, as the above photo highlights, but I'm also working on learning to adjust the hue/saturation. If I ever get my screen calibrated it would really help. But, that costs money, so it is delayed until other priorities are met. There is always something I want, and I'm learning to go on anyway and do without. There's lots to learn that way.

I think he was actually doing a wolf howl in this one. Yeah, that's my boy!

Thanks for looking! If you have any gentle input to help me learn more, please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stay-cation photos: Last Part - the Adults

I'll just jump in here with this final set of Stay-cation photos. All comments about photos are above them.
First, and most important to me is my man - the guy with the big smile. He wasn't able to join us on all our activities, but it was great when he could be with us.
John in the background here (he's the one I have the least photos of)
My dad (Grandpa Gary):
Uncle Daniel:
Uncle Jacob, who J still talks about:
Grandma Nell, laughing at how her glasses steam up at the geo-thermal areas of Yellowstone.
John again! Looks like he and Peter are making the same facial expression. I wonder what they were trying to do.
Jacob, excited about seeing Bison for the first time:
Grandpa Gary and Grandma Nell in the Lemar Valley:
My youngest sister Elizabeth and I:
Michelle at Palisades falls:
Grandma Nell reading to Miss D.
Aunt Stacy (she's camera shy too!) hiking along the Yellowstone River.
Miss D loves the attention of Grandparents!
Auntie Elizabeth with the young Mister:
Uncle Daniel getting ready for the float down the Madison (he got very very sunburn this day, but it was a fun trip):
Uncle Jacob - not sure what he's doing:
The newly wed couple: Jacob and Elizabeth:
Jacob provided all the boats for us to use on all these water excursions! Thank you Uncle Jacob! We love you!
Daniel giving his beautiful daughter a ride!
It was fun to have all those wonderful activities for our Stay-cation with our family. I am thankful my family was able to gather at our house - and that we had the resources to accommodate their needs as they traveled. It was a crowded house at time, especially when we are used to just the three of us being around.
Next up: Hopefully some photos from a lesson I've been taking, and maybe by the weekend a scrapbook page or two - if I get my scrap room clean!