Portrait: Egg Dog!

Annnnnnnd we’re back (I think)! Barring any complications from crazy busy weeks, I think we can get this blog up and running again! Woot! So let’s dive right on into it with this hilarious dyed Easter egg. :)
This past weekend, we had an epic party. It consisted of 1) eating tasty snacks, 2) playing an Arrested Development trivia quiz (the Never Nudes Unite, my team, ended up winning by TWO points! COME ON!!!!!), and 3) dyeing Easter eggs!!! Wow… it was a full night. I believe no one even had a chance to think about getting bored. So this picture obviously comes from the Easter egg part of the evening. This is my friend Ali’s egg! Ha… I love that it looks like an egg dog, especially with its tongue sticking out like that!

Portrait: Peeking out from the shadows

Wow. It has been a long time since I last wrote in here. I got really sick last week and being sick does not make one want to post pictures or do anything at all for that matter. I regret to say that it’s probably going to be pretty patchy for a while still though because I have some family/personal matters to take care of over the next few weeks. Sorry blog friends…
But wait, what am I doing?! There’s a picture of a cute kitty right here! :D This is my friend’s kitty Georgie who is just freakin’ adorable with her HUGE eyes and all her puffy fur. I love her in this picture peeking out of the shadows to see what we are all up to. Shy friend! I also like the way this picture turned out. I was shooting with a REALLY low f number because Georgie’s kitty friend is all black and I was trying to let in all light possible to capture him and Georgie. So I love how only her little face is in focus and everything else is in varying degrees of blurriness. Happiness I’d say. :D
Hope you all are well!

Portrait: Yeppers… Let’s get hitched!

This weekend, I had the honor/pleasure of photographing my friends Paul and Pearl. They are getting married next year and they wanted a few pictures to choose from for their “Save the Date.” So we went up to Chautauqua this weekend to see if we could snap some good photographs! I was a bit nervous because it was my first time taking “engagement” portraits and I was worried that we wouldn’t get any fun pictures for their “Save the Date.” Luckily for me, Paul and Pearl were easy going and fun and I think we got some good shots – including this one which occurred after Pearl “fed” Paul a piece of grass… Hilarious. We of course got some more serious and romantic pictures too to make for an eclectic set of pictures for them to choose from. I hope they pick out a good one! :D
As for me, I know that there are definitely areas for the budding portrait photographer in me to improve. I think that I need to move around more to capture one shot from a variety of angles because I noticed as I was going through Paul’s and Pearl’s photos that I would capture one of their faces but not the other’s. I think it would have been interesting to see the contrast of the other person’s face in a different picture. I also just want to get better in general at determining good places in Boulder for portrait photography. Chautauqua is not the best place for afternoon portrait photography as the subjects are either backlit to the extreme or squinting into the sun. Hrmmmm…. more research…. more portraits… yessssss…. I hope you all had good weekends. I had a spectacular one! :)

Portrait: This is my home

Cobalt and I have been going on a bunch of mini photography trips with our SLRs (I say this because he’s been working with his film SLR lately! Exciting! I can’t wait to see how his pictures turn out!) lately. Basically, we just get slightly out of Boulder and then stop whenever one of us finds something interesting to photograph. So here is Cobalt surrounded by the glorious mountains of Colorado…

A softer side

I think this one works best if you are a bit farther away from your computer screen. Hey… better for your eyes anyway, huh? Anyway, I LOVE this picture. It turned out so neat. Looks all old or something. Or looks like I just paused a movie on an old VHS… Anyway, I’ve been messing around with this new technique to take softer portraits. Used to be that you smeared vaseline on a lens filter and then used that filter to make your portraits softer. That just sounds messy to me. So now people use nylon! I went a bit overboard with this picture and I actually put my nylon black stockings over my camera lens as if it were getting all dressed up to go out. Apparently that’s a bit much since Cobalt is so dark. Though I kind of like the grittiness.
As much as I like the drama of the above picture, I think it is a bit much for your every day “soft” portrait. I tried it again with a nylon “ped” that you get at a shoe store (got new shoes last weekend!)… This makes for a much much more subtle effect…
You can barely tell that I am any softer…. ooooo the subtleties… It was a lot of fun to play with this nylon. I found that if I stretched it differently across my lens, I could get more or less “soft” tones. I also found that this is one of those types of photography that doesn’t work so well with the backlit subject. You’ll probably see some more of my “soft” attempts in the near future. Yay! Fun new camera techniques!!!

Portrait: What kind of freak hot sauce did you just give me?

This weekend I went to the Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show in Albuquerque, NM with Cobalt and his sister. Basically, people come from all over the country (and a few people came from outside of this country) to compete for the tastiest/spiciest hot and barbecue sauces. And then once the judging is over, the public is allowed to come and sample all the goodness/hopefully buy people’s products. Cobalt has gone many years in a row but this was my first time. I went as his personal photography assistant, photographing him eating various spicy foods and then his reactions (I also got to eat my fair share of spicy deliciousness…). This is by far my favorite of his reactions to some crazy hot sauce called the Green Flash. Yikes! Watch out! Apparently this one wasn’t even as hot as another one he tried from Jason’s Mom Hot Sauce which was so hot, it gave him the hiccups for the rest of the show. Geez… Intense. Poor Cobalt…

Portrait: Oscar Party!

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had great weekends! Did anyone else watch The Oscars last night? Cobalt and I got dressed up all fancy and went to an Oscars party where we ate delicious fancy hors d’oeuvres and drank fancy drinks. It was a fancy affair all together, as you can see by this picture of my friend Danielle! I think the fact that everyone got all dressed up for the evening was the best part of the whole party. My friend Jennette and I broke out the cameras and went around the party taking pictures. So fun… so fun… :)
As for the Oscars themselves, I was a bit sad that Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit didn’t win best supporting actress over Melissa Leo and I was sad that How to Train Your Dragon didn’t win anything, as I thought it was a fantastic animated movie. It was crazy to have actually seen all 10 Best Picture nominations in advance. I spent much of the evening giving plot summaries of the lesser known movies (127 Hours – good even with the fact that he has to cut off his own arm sometime during the film; Winter’s Bone – good though gritty, the lead actress was amazing; The Fighter – different/better (in my opinion) from The Wrestler in many ways; The Kids are Alright – the kids really are all right but the parents… :-/; etc.) Anyway, if I could make a recommendation for you guys, I would suggest the animated and live action short winners. The animated winner was The Lost Thing and it is spectacular. It is creative and the animation is neat. It was my favorite of the shorts but I was really surprised that it was also the favorite of the academy. Craziness. The live action winner was God of Love and that one is also really funny and light hearted.
Welp, I’ve talked your ears off about movies…

Portrait: I feel like there was something else I was supposed to do…

Wow… Happy Monday everyone. That weekend totally flew by for me… and now for another crazy week at work! Anyway, this is another picture of Janet from her “photoshoot” last week. We both thought this one was pretty portrait-esque and thus it earned its spot as my Portrait Monday picture. Janet and her friend Meghana are pretty much my favorite people to work with when I want to practice photography because they are totally fine being silly while I work on a specific kind of shot/pose. In fact, this is one of the few pictures in which Janet is making a normal face. Hilarious. Thanks for being awesome guys, makes taking the pictures even more fun(ny). :)

Portrait: Up Close and Personal

This picture should be called “Someone got a new lens this weekend…” because well, that is what happened. Yes. I bit the bullet and finally let myself get a new lens. I have been wanting this lens FOREVER and I decided to take the plunge. So now I am a proud owner of a Fast 50 mm lens for my DSLR! Yay! It’s a f/1.8 which is amazing to me because my zoom lens has f/3.5 and that is what I am generally used to. Though I did play a little with my mom’s manual focus lens, which goes down to f/2.2. Anyway, quick explanation: Really low f number = you can let in a lot more light to your picture (better for indoor photography) “but” you lose a lot of depth of field (ex: my eye is in focus but my ear isn’t). There are quotes around that but because sometimes that is a good thing. The loss of depth of field can make for a pretty cool effect when only the thing that you want in focus is in focus and everything else is blurry. Of course, it is not as good if you want to take a picture of a whole landscape or something. So… something new to play with, my camera friends! You can play with the f stop on your point and shoot cameras too. Just put the camera in the AV mode and it will let you set the f number (or aperture). Then it will adjust everything else for that number of your choosing so you still get a fantastic picture. :) If you’re really brave, you can put your camera in M (for manual) and then you can adjust everything (shutter speed, ISO, f number, etc) on your own. I do that for my DSLR pictures but not for my point and shoot.

Anyway… enough camera lessons for today (though I am sure more can come later). Let’s talk about this picture. So yeah… it’s funny. This picture is taken with my new lens on my DSLR but Cobalt actually took it. Nice work, Cobalt. I love it. :) And I love you. Awwww… Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Portrait: So Cold

Soooo… it’s been pretty cold here recently. I think we hit a record last week of -17 degrees F one morning. Bleh. Craziness, that’s all I have to say about that. This picture was taken a few weekends ago before it got ridiculously cold. Though with the wind chill, it was still pretty nippy outside! And poor Cobalt! I dragged him outside so I could take pictures. I like this one a lot. I like his hood and the way he is looking down. I also like the tree in front of his face. I am not really sure why. :/ One thing I am sort of conflicted on is the amount of space I left above his head. I was thinking of cropping it but then I decided to just leave it. I think it makes the picture better, especially with the twigs that are out of focus on the top. Thoughts?