It’s me…

again, and again, and again …

selfie_bw_after  selfie_bw_before  self-portrait  my51stbirthday  watermark mishap 1 So what’s one more…

who's-there-self-portrait

Whew, week 1 done.
Next up, week 2, traditional landscape… I sure hope it warms up just a tad.

Until next time,
Maria

The Assistant

…or in the cook’s kitchen, the Sous-chef.  And in my kitchen… mostly the dishwasher, with the added perk of getting to lick the beaters 😉

After the shopping, after the decorations, after the Christmas Day festivities . . . I spent a day “assisting” my daughter in creating some of her Christmas edition Cupcakes.

Of course, before being dessert for family and friends, these culinary creations get to be my subjects…cupcake-collage

Wishing everyone a Happy Holidays and Cheers to a New Year.

Til next time,
Maria

Back to Basics

Welcome to Back to Basics! I’ve decided to start a new category where I have given myself permission to take a step back (darn Throwback Thursdays is already taken) … The underlying premise is that all that information & equipment I’ve been collecting to help me improve my photography, my art, has grown into a mountain of sorts that has become just too daunting to tackle.  I get just so far and then seem to lose ground. . . so it’s back to basics… back to all those things that got me hooked on this hobby of mine.  Although still a bit in the planning stages, one objective is to keep things simple & spontaneous (or is that two?)  So here it goes . .

A simple prime lens and my dogs seems like a good place to start…

pcpNothing like just goofing around . . . capturing the moment.  I’m sure over the years, I have introduced my “boys,” but in case you missed it:  Left is “Serious P” aka Parker. In all seriousness he has the personality (and voice…really!) of Winnie the Pooh’s Eeyore. Center, well that’s Charlie.  We don’t think he’ll ever grow up… he’s our very own Tigger!  Right, well that’s Parker again and his best attempt at trying not to be so serious.

Til next time,
Maria

 

The Art of Food Photography

Food blogs are booming! I’m guessing the photos of the food have something to do with it! Let’s face it, seeing something that looks scrumptious is going to make you stop and take notice.

So my daughter made another amazing creation that consisted of baked merengue, cherries, chocolate and whipped cream…assembled into a magnificent (gluten-free I might add) cake of towering proportions!

Layered and ready for it’s close-up, it was my turn…

huh? doesn't appear quite so towering here
huh? doesn’t appear quite so towering here
scale?
scale?
Regardless of the photos, it was delicious!  Guess it's a good thing this is a photo blog and not a food blog
Regardless of the photos, it was delicious! Guess it’s a good thing this is a photo blog and not a food blog

So what did I learn… that it’s an art to make food look as good as it tastes and 1) A must! Plan your set up beforehand. As I tried to find a place to photograph this creation, the cake was warming up and starting to look more like the leaning Tower of Pisa. 2) Lighting. Almost all the natural light I had was just about gone. I think I would have preferred a natural light for food… 3) don’t forget to take a shot of the serving. This cake was just as pretty inside as out…but I was to busy devouring my slice. . . yum!

I almost forgot… you can find the recipe on Top with Cinnamon’s blog http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2014/07/three-years.html

Still a slice in the fridge … time for desert!
Til next time,
Maria

2B+LR=Awesome

I’m so glad I had more rose images ready to go so I could jump right into today’s 2B tutorial.  I’ve been using Lightroom (LR … from this point on) for over a year maybe two.  I love it for its photo editing.  It still has me a bit baffled when it comes to maximizing the catalog and photo management capabilities ~ but I’m learning.   And today, thanks to Kim and 2B, I learned an awesome way to produce layouts that is so super easy for blogs or printing.  This is a definite KEEPER!

2B_LR_ awesomeI call it 2B+LR=Awesome 🙂

 

 

Another side to Ellis Island

A few years ago, a friend and I took our kids to New York and to Ellis Island.  The main hall was immense and there were plenty of  items and photographs in the black and white of that time documenting its history.  What I did not know was that there was another side to the island.  The side where some immigrants entered but for some that is as far as they ever got.  The Hospital side.

A couple of weeks ago, in class, the photographer of the week was Stephen Wilkes.  The photographs were from his collection Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom  http://www.ellisislandghosts.com.  Continue reading “Another side to Ellis Island”

New Project

My new project is setting up a studio/work space.   Challenge #1:  My new room has red walls.  I know, I can paint.  In addition, it also has a three-sided ceiling which poses some limitations.  I really like the room and its red walls, so I am thinking about hanging sheets, a curtain-like effect.   One plus, the room does get more natural light throughout the day.  The red walls also pose a challenge when working on my photos; I am usually limited to working at night with the lights off to avoid any red color cast.  All things considered maybe it would be easier if I just painted.   Challenge #2:  A very tight budget!   I’ve gotten a few creative ideas from http://www.diyphotography.net.  Any additional comments/ideas would be welcomed!  I’m glad to know I am not the only photographer out there that just can’t pick up their B&H catalog and start ordering. 
 
I guess for now it’s a good thing I like to shoot a lot of macro ~ it doesn’t take a lot of space and I already have almost everything I need.   I think I’ll give this a try:  http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html 
courtesy of strobist.com

I’ll be sure to post my success/adjustments/failures to hopefully help anyone else out there trying to get great indoor shots on a tight budget.  And while under construction, I’ll be taking advantage of the beautiful fall season and continue shooting mainly outdoors.