Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Photography and F/Stops

Tuesday night we had our last photography class and I hated to see them come to an end. There are other classes that I definitely want to take, but for now I'm going to practice what I've learned. The class was very informative and I enjoyed the mix of people. After the class last night, we decided that we would continue to meet together and practice what we have covered. Hopefully we can all take the next class together.

Many of you have commented that you want to take a photography class some day, I encourage you to do it! I have learned so much about my camera and photography. I'm so glad I did it! It was well worth the cost of the class.

These photos are straight from the camera. I don't recall ever posting photos straight from the camera before because when shooting in Auto I always had to edit and correct them in some way. As much as I hate to admit it, there really is a difference when shooting out of the Auto mode.

The class last week was on learning to shoot in the Aperture Priority mode... the dreaded f/stops. A simple way for me to remember it is that Aperture Priority controls the depth of field or what is in focus in the picture. The lower the number the more blur you have in the background, the higher the number the more you have in focus. This has always confused me because when I look at illustrations explaining f/stops, the aperture openings look as though it it ought to be the exact opposite of this. I still can't wrap my mind completely around that part of it.

I've been making good use of my time at the nursing home while sitting with my mother-in-law, I've actually read my camera manual and it was easier to comprehend after taking these classes. I've also been reading through several of the photography books I have.

I look forward to spending more time behind the camera and less time in the books!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Flowers and an Update

There hasn't been much time these past few weeks for me to blog or for reading your blogs. My mother-in-law had her shoulder surgery and I've been sitting with her pretty much day and night since then. She was so frail at 86 pounds, we were not even sure she would make it through the surgery, but she did. We were also concerned that she might starve to death before she could recover, but that hasn't been a problem either. She is eating and drinking and doing very well. She is tiny, but she is one feisty lady. Three years ago she was put on hospice for failure to thrive and I was told that she was dying and would never come off hospice care. I didn't believe them. We started feeding her at meal time as often as we could and she started gaining weight. She gained to 101 pounds and was removed from hospice. It was a huge victory for us! We are once again feeding her for every meal and she is doing great. It is time consuming and for right now it is my life. Seeing her happy and laughing tonight makes it all worthwhile.

I've still been able to make it to my photography class but I've not had much time for taking pictures. Last week I didn't have time to do my assignment and so far I haven't had time this week either. I love the class and have learned so much about my camera. I've been using the time in the nursing home to read photography books and even read my camera manual!

The yard is a mess and I need to do some serious gardening, but there is no time or energy for that right now. I sometimes make it home right before it gets dark and I have just enough time to grab my camera and get a few pictures. Some of my favorite summer flowers are in bloom right now and every once in a while I catch the hummingbirds at the feeders.

I'll be very glad when things return to normal, I miss being home, and I miss visiting you all!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Confession is Good for the Soul

I love taking pictures, especially nature pictures and I have a thing for cameras... I have several of them.

I have two DSLRs and several point and shoot digital cameras , (four of them to be exact). My confession is that I had never shot any of them out of the Auto mode before last night. I didn't know how.

Auto has worked very well for me, but I always had to do some tweaking and editing on my pictures before printing or posting on my blog.

All of that is changing, because I am currently taking a photography class. The first class was last night. I enjoyed it a lot and learned so much about my camera. Hands on training is definitely the best way for me to learn.

These shots are the first pictures I've ever taken that was not in the auto mode!

I went to Forrest Park this morning and took most of these pictures there. I'm usually not too crazy about the flowers on hosta, but I love this deep purple flower. It was just buzzing with bee activity.

I've become so accustomed to taking my pictures in the auto mode and for the most part I was happy with them, so I was a just a little uncomfortable when I told the instructor that, "Auto is my friend", and his response was, "It's a stupid friend".

I guess no serious photographer takes pictures in Auto. I don't want to just take pictures, I want to be a serious photographer. So I leave my comfortable friend, "Auto", behind and strive to know how to operate my camera and take better pictures.

If anyone lives in the Indy area and is interested in taking photography classes, might I recommend Indy Photo Coach. The instructor I have is excellent, (even if he did insult my very good friend, "Auto"). Just what I learned about my Canon 50D last night is worth the investment in the class and we have really just scratched the surface.

On a sad note- I'll be away for a few days. My mother-in-law will be having surgery tomorrow on her shoulder that was injured in a fall a couple of months ago. It has been re-injured and the bone is no longer in the socket. She is in the end stages of Alzheimer's and weighs about 90 pounds. There is a chance she might not even make it through the surgery, and if she does make it, the next couple of weeks will be very difficult for her. We are concerned that she will stop eating again and lose even more weight. It is very sad to have to put her through this surgery but we have consulted with the surgeon and those responsible for her care and we feel like it is necessary.

Please keep her in your prayers.

White River Gardens Reflecting Pond

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dragonfly Pictures

Here are a few of the dragonfly pictures I took at White River Gardens yesterday!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I had a wonderful day today. I spent several hours at White River Gardens and Butterfly Exhibit. The zoo and the gardens are together and for the price of admission you get to enjoy both. I had planned to walk through the zoo but it was packed today. They literally had to close the parking lot at one point because it was full. Thankfully most of the people were at the zoo and I was able to enjoy the gardens at a leisurely pace. The butterfly exhibit was a bit crowded though but it was still fun.

We finished off our day in Indy with a stop by the Chocolate Cafe. Hubby and I shared Chocolate Eruption Cheesecake. Oh, wow, was it ever yummy!

I'll be sharing some of my pictures from the gardens over the next few days. I spent most of my time trying to get pictures of dragonflies at the garden ponds.

I hope all of my American friends have a wonderful 4th of July celebration!

Question Mark Butterfly on the Hummingbird Feeder

This morning I was outside cleaning and filling the birdbaths when I spotted this butterfly on the hummingbird feeder.

I'm going to White River Gardens and the butterfly exhibit today. I can't wait to be in a building filled with butterflies!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Yesterday was a gloriously cool day and I spent just about the whole day in the yard working for a while then stopping to rest and take pictures. It was a wonderful day! It was made even better when I finally spotted a monarch in the my flower garden! I've been waiting and watching for them!

I've seen a lot more hummingbird activity in the last couple of days. The female is more bold than the male. She comes to the smaller feeder near the patio and the male prefers the one that is farther away.

My son and I removed two trees from the yard yesterday. One was a maple tree that was planted about five years ago. It was not healthy and was quite ugly. The other was a Bradford pear tree that was not in a good location and was not healthy either. It agonized me to remove trees but it was really for the best.

I've really enjoyed the cooler temperatures these last couple of days, I hope it last a while longer!