Archives for category: Project 365

Yesterday I finally got a new camera. I have been wanting a better camera for a long time, and really needing one as well. I finally outgrew my old Nikon D60 to the point where I disliked using it as I was so frustrated at how limited I felt with it. I got some great photos from it and I am thankful for the years of service it provided me, but it was time to move on. I upgraded to the Nikon D300S. I absolutely love the Kino brand and I have played with Canon a little and I personally know I will always be loyal to the Nikon brand. I picked up my camera during my lunch break at work yesterday and rushed home to play with it, only to find I had to charge the battery before use. I need to remind myself that I should always check directions first. After the battery charged, I attached my lens and started snapping away. I found there is a very, very big difference in this camera and my old one so I know that it will take some getting used to. Luckily I had plenty of time to practice today. A co worker of mine invited me to Sherman Gardens in Corona Del Mar as her art class was having an outing there. It was a beautiful location and I found plenty of things to photograph. I even met a guy who was shooting with a brownie camera and I was really interested to learn about this camera. I had heard about them but never seen them. His camera was from the 1920’s and he had the manual which helped him learn to use it. He let me check out the camera and now I have convinced myself that this would be a fun toy for me. I am toying with the idea of trying to shoot with film.

This afternoon I was able to assist a fellow photographer friend and some portrait sessions so it was really great practice for me. I have to say that I am far more comfortable with the camera at the end of today than I was yesterday and I know that every time I use it, I will be more comfortable and continue to improve in my skills.

I used a picture I took today of the koi pond they have at Sherman Gardens. I wasn’t expecting to get spectacular photos while I adjust to my new camera, but I was happy with some of the photos that I did get today.

Last night everyone turned their clocks back an hour as it was daylight savings. It was so nice to have an extra hour of daylight today and I look forward to more hours of daylight over the coming months. I wasn’t sure what to do for my photo of the day today, but decided to capture a picture of our alarm clock in honor of daylight savings time. I am sure by next weekend I will feel a little more adjusted to the time change. I know that tomorrow will be along day as it will feel like I woke up at 5:20 versus 6:20.

 However, I have such an exciting week that I am hoping the excitement will keep me alert. Tuesday I get to attend the Sandy Puc and Jerry Ghionis tour and I am so excited for this. I purchased my ticket last May and I have been so excited for the tour to arrive. I really respect both photographer’s work so I am sure that I will get a lot from the event. This coming weeekend I am attending the USPG 11 event, and I am looking forward to that as I haven’t attended before. The location is a really nice property in Temecula/Murrietta and the them is country glamour/enchanted fairy. I did an enchanted fairy shoot with a little baby last month so it will be interesting to get some photos with adults as the fairies. I am really excited as right now the ratio is 30 photographers to 20 models and I have not been to a group shoot that had such a great photographer/model ratio. I am hoping this will allow me to practice working with models more and not having to joust for a good position/angle. Sunday I am taking a class to learn how to make a bracelet. I am really excited to see the final outcome as I signed up for the class last month. I am ready for a good week and look forward to sharing my finished products from my upcoming events.

Today I attended a meetup called Flowers and Frogs and it was in a very rural part of Corona called Dawson’s Canyon. The host of the event owns 20 acres of poroperty (I’m still in shock) and it was all rugged, practically undisturbed land. There were a couple of juniper trees growing on their hill, which to me looked close to a mini mountain, and they estimate the age to be close to 200 years based on the size. There is a creek that runs a little below their house and it was interesting that the land on the side of the creek not used has no flowers growing whatsoever and the side where they have the house and do use has an abundance of wildflowers. The theory is that the flowers are opportunists so when grading, etc is done, the flowers move in, where as the untouched land grows nothing as nature does it’s thing. They are thinking that the land on the other side of the creek has hardly been touched and it was so amazing to think that the land could have been traversed by who know who or what a long time ago and has been relatively untouched since then. There were so many poppies and the hillsides were scattered with large clusters of golden colors where the poppies grew.

When the sun finally made it’s appearance, the poppies really opened up and they were stunning. There were so many other pretty flowers and I had a great time photographing all of the natural flowers we came across. The creek was literally filled with polywogs and it was so hard for me to restrain myself from catching some.

We did see quite a few frogs frollicking about and swimming in the creek.

All in all it was a great day. I met some wonderful people both at yesterday’s meetup and today’s meetup and I am really grateful for those opportunities. I really look forward to attending future meetups.

Yesterday I attended a meetup at the Santa Anita Racetrack. It was the first time the track was holding a photographer day and there were 200+ photographers in attendance. They provided you credentials, breakfast and a Q&A session with Joe Talamo, an extremely accomplished jockey at only 21 years old, Bob Baffert, one of the top racehorse trainer and Benoit Photography, the sole photographer for this racetrack and other racetracks in Southern California. I had watched Jockeys the one season it was one and I was addicted to that show. I knew nothing about horseracing, and I still know pretty much nothing, but I find it an exciting sport and love anything that has to do with horses. We got to the track for the morning workouts, and the light was so nice, even though we were there an hour into the morning workouts.

 

We shot for the duration of the morning workouts and then the breakfast buffet was ready. The Q&A took place towards the end of the breakfast. When they opened up the Q&A, no one wanted to go first so I volunteered, which still shocks me as I normally am so shy. However, after attending more and more groups and talking to people I don’t know, it has drastically helped me come out of my shell. I still have my shy moments but I wasn’t nervous about asking a question at all. I asked Joe what his favorite horse he’s ridden to date is, and I honestly can’t remember all of the horses that he mentioned other than one, Showbiz Kid. Understandably it was hard for him to pick just one. I asked Benoit Photography once the Q&A was over and the crowds had cleared out if they ever allow anyone to shoot with them for experience. SInce you have to have licenses and credentials and so many restrictions, they don’t allow people to shoot with them. Also racetrack photography is very cutthroat (as all photography industries are) and therefore they don’t hire outside photographers either as they like to keep their information private. However, yesterday they were allowed to take 5 people for each of the first four races out to where they normally shoot from and I was graciously allowed to go. I got to go out on the second race and was able to take the two people I had carpooled with as well and that race happened to be on the turf. So we got to walk across the dirt race turf and shoot the turf race from the inside rail on the dirt track. I can’t imagine that there are very few times that you are allowed to do that unless you know someone at the track or are able to be hired there. I was so grateful for the opportunity. Since I was shooting in manual and the lens I chose to use (an old film lens) was manual focus only, none of the shots I took from that viewpoint came out and I was bummed. But I will always remember the experience and will always be thankful for that. I was also so grateful for the generosity of the owners of Benoit Photography, Joe Talamo and Bob Baffert. I truly hope this event becomes an annual event, if not more frequent, as I would definitely attend again. This has also reignited my passion for horses and I am hoping to be able to find a way to be back around horses. If I can find people who would want me to photograph their horses, it would be even better. Here are a few of my favorites from the first part of the day. I plan to post many more pictures when I have had a chance to go through all of them and do some editing.

 

 

 

Tonight we went up to a park by our place as the hubby wanted to shoot some hoops and I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather and get some photos. By the time we decided for sure what we were going to do, the sun was fading fast. I grabbed some quick shots of the sunset as it was so pretty. I only wish I had snapped some shots sooner but at least I got something. I am also going to use this as my 52 week project, since the week’s theme is express yourself. Right now I have a huge range of emotions with all of the struggles we have going on with finances, etc so this kind of matches how I feel on the inside. But the sun sets each day and every morning it restarts itself, recharged and bright. That is how I view each day as well, a bright new promise and a fresh start from the day before.

This was yesterday’s photo as I am late posting on here….again. My husband wanted me to snap a shot of his beard, so I obliged. I used my camera phone which blinded him in the process. I need to figure out a way to control the power of the flash.

Tonight’s photo is straight from the camera. I wasn’t in the mood to edit and didn’t want to go lazy style and snap a photo with my camera phone as I so quickly jump to in a pinch. I never liked gin and tonic until recently. This is one of my hubby’s favorite drinks and one night I had a sip and I was hooked. Now I can occasionally be heard requesting he make me one of these drinks.

 

My husband is super creative and I wish that I was half as crafty as he is. He likes to make centerpieces for our holiday meals and he makes them all for scratch. For Easter, he decided that he wanted to create the outside of the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid after he was crucified. He had the rolled away stone in front with an angel standing guard. He showed me the picture he used for the inspiration of this project and I have to say that I am so impressed with how closely it resembles the photo. I always look forward to what he will do for each holiday.

Tonight’s photo is also week 2 of a personal 52 week project I am working on. My son turned 15 months on Friday, I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown by! This past weekend he got to meet his 2 year old cousin and after that visit, he has decided that he now should be walking. He walks on his own about 90% of the time now and it makes me so proud to see him growing up and realizing what he is capable of. He also loves to draw so whenever we need to occupy him, we give him some paper and a pen or pencil and he just goes crazy. It amazes me that he is able to do this already, but perhaps this is just a mommy’s pride. I look forward to the many years that we have to see him continue to grow. My heart is so overflowing with love and I never could have dreamed I was capable of loving anyone as much as I do him.

My father is a kind, gentle, caring, patient and loving man and tonight we had a reason to celebrate him, his birthday. My family all enjoyed yummy dinner followed by a homemade cake made by my mom and some ice cream. We all watched The Bachelor, you know you have a good dad when he watches that show on his birthday. Dad, I love you very much and I am so thankful for such an incredible dad. I hope this next year is even better than the last!