Archive: ‘Animals’

Look What we Found at the End of the Rainbow This Rainy Weekend!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

We were out for lunch this rainy Friday, walked out to the parking lot and saw this ‘baby’ under a car… wet, friendly, sweet and very lost.  She is about 5-6 weeks old and apparently got separated from her mama somehow.  So, my oldest son decided that he had a new pet and the rest is history!


You have to admit that there are not too many things cuter than a kitten!


(most of these shots are straight out of the camera but this one was edited in Memory Manger to darken the contract)

She has stolen all the hearts in this house,


including our dog who has taken on a new job as nanny!


…she has proven to Chris that she loves watching Sunday afternoon football (as much as I do!) so he says she can stay!


It rained all weekend…and even though our baseball games were all rained out that didn’t stop Evan from playing ‘baseball’ in the  driveway. I love rain photos – – just be careful not to get your camera wet!



img_8067 img_8072


Most of these baseball photos were taken with a high ISO 1000 because it was dark and rainy,  f stop 2.8 and ss 1/500 to capture the action.

The kitty photos were taken indoors with the ISO set to 2500, f stop 2.8 and a very slow ss 1/32, because it there was not much light coming in the window with such an overcast day. I generally don’t shoot lower than 1/200 with my kids but sometime you have to sacrifice clarity for exposure!


We had a happy relaxing weekend! Hope you did too!


A few Camera Mom Tips for photographing pets:

  1. Turn the flash off! This will avoid the green eye problem.
  2. Be patient and wait for your shot.
  3. Get animals interacting together when you can.
  4. It helps to have someone stand behind you to get the pets attention because you can’t tell them to look at the camera…or you can tell them but they won’t know what the heck you are talking about!
  5. Keep treats in your pocket (instead of candy!) to keep them interested.
  6. Get on their level.
  7. Pay attention to your background and move around to avoid complicated backgrounds.
  8. Get their face in the shot.
  9. Pets like natural light as much as people.
  10. Grab the shot when you can; unlike your kids you can’t redo your pet shots very well, once they run out of the room or under the chair they are gone!

Our Front Yard in the Summer!

Monday, August 15th, 2011


Remember the hot summers when you were growing up and your mom made you stay outside all day because that is what kids did back then? You grabbed the hose when you were thirsty and made mud pies and rode your bike to the drug store to get candy with your allowance. That is what my brother and I did when we were little! So you can imagine my surprise when my kids were playing outside in the heat this week and asked me for drinks and I said “Get the hose” and they had no idea what I was talking about! I had to show them how to get water out of the hose in the front yard! Then they said that the water taste funny! Could it be that my kids got this far being kids not knowing what hose water taste like?!



(keep the shutter speed really fast to get the water to freeze this shot was 1/660)

Our dog gets hot too so she hides in the ivy to cool off:


My photo-stories these days are all about playing in the front yard…


Baseball is ‘the game’ at our house – -  Finding last year’s lost ball in the bushes is always like finding a treasure!


….the dog likes finding  baseballs too!


The boys can’t get enough of it!


Photo Tips for Front Yard Summer Fun!

  1. You won’t get any outside shots you leave your camera inside on the kitchen counter! Don’t forget to take it outside!
  2. Look for the everyday stuff that seem like little things – -one day they will be the big memories.
  3. Don’t forget to photograph your pets too.
  4. Get the action shots not just the mug ‘say cheese’ shots.
  5. Set your camera on the sports setting if your kids are moving fast.
  6. Don’t make it real obvious that you have your camera –  just start shooting and they will act natural.
  7. Watch your backgrounds and get down on their level.
  8. Try different angles. Get lower than their level for some shots. I had to shoot ‘up’ for the ‘hose’ shots above to avoid the neighbors car in the background.
  9. Don’t stress!
  10. Don’t forget to bring your camera back in! It is easy to forget it and leave it outside on these long lazy summer nights.

The Nest

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Friday night I opened my front door and saw 2 birds flying away……a careful look and I saw this nest. It had one egg in it. I was so excited!

I am pretty fascinated that the birds chose to build a nest on the front door of our house with kids running in and out of the door all day long. That is a mystery to me! What really isn’t a mystery is why I still have my Christmas wreath up! (Actually it doesn’t have any Christmas stuff on it and is mostly just green with a few red berries!)

Saturday I looked and saw that there were an additional 2 eggs in the nest! The boys are calling those the twin eggs! For this shot I had to get on the ladder and do my best not to break my neck!


I believe that the bird is a house sparrow.  I have had a fun time capturing her sitting on her nest…I want so badly to let her know that I understand her job and that I know how she feels!  (note the plug for the lights…don’t think I will plug it in : )


She will be the most photographed bird on the block for sure. I can see the nest through our glass storm door with a great view from my computer desk. This photo was taken through the glass. Patience is key for sure…a  lot of waiting and being very still.

Dad comes by for visits and helps with the egg sitting.


ISO 1600, f-stop 3.0, shutter speed 1/200 the back light made this shot difficult.

From what I read, it will take about 10-13 days before they hatch or 11 days after the last egg was laid.

Yesterday we got up and saw that another egg was laid so there are 4 now! The one with the most speckles was the first one laid. They are white at first then they get the spots. They are so beautiful! And check out this great nest, very cozy!


This will be a fun adventure as we get to witness the ‘birth’ of these little birds. We will enjoy learning all about the house sparrow this summer. I read that they can use the same nest 4-5 times each season. Hopefully I won’t miss anything with my camera.  I will keep you posted as it all develops!

camera settings: for the close-up shots the f-stop needs to be higher to get more of the nest in focus, it doesn’t need to be too blurry. My auto button didn’t work well at all so I had to go with manual settings and then tweak a bit in post editing. 

Below is the post editing I did on the above photo.

original shot out of the camera:


after cropping and changing the contrast and making it brighter:


I have found that the contrast function is very important.

P.S.  Got up this morning to send this post and…..look what I found!


One more egg!!

Have a fun holiday!

A Boy and His Dog

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

One of the best tips I know for photographing teens is to include an animal.
It works.

If it is  their own dog it works best, but generally any four legged friend will do just fine. Try some different angles and…
just keep shooting.

I wanted some natural interaction here so didn’t ask for the pose but sometime it is just fine to ask for what you want!


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