The Fourth of July

It was a wet 4th of July weekend, but I still got to spend some quality time with my wife and kids. I volunteered to work the 4th of July, but it was only until 6:30 PM so the sun had not even gone down yet. I met up with Jen, then kids, her dad and brother and her brother’s girlfriend to shoot off some kid friendly fireworks. After we got home that night, we decided to have an impromptu sparkler party at the end of the driveway with the kids. Shooting at night is really hard, and I was just using an auto setting so I could get a shot of Jen and the kids.

4th of  July

As promised, I said I would be posting blogs with more photos in them. I have already taken the camera on a few random sessions to snap some pictures. I’m still learning how to mess with the ISO, shutter speed and a few other mechanics that come with photography. I have been trying to use the manual settings more, than just a point and shoot auto setting. I’m happy with the result so far.

LolaWhat I am learning is how important photo editing is. There are a ton of things that go in to making a picture look more professional than amateur, and I’m barely scratching the surface on this. The photos I’ve added to this blog, have all been editing, but I’m still learning what to look for during the editing phase. It’s a lot to take in, but I feel like I can already tell a difference in photos I’m taking with the manual setting.

One of the things I’m trying to avoid is losing quality. The picture of Lola above is ok, but I feel like it’s not incredibly sharp. I think I lost a little quality when I was touching it up, because of the vibrance and saturation settings. Again, it’s hard not to just click “auto tone” or “auto color” in photoshop, but I want to learn how to make pictures great!

I’m also learning how to just go out and take pictures. I guess there is no excuse for “interesting shots” when it’s all about what you make it and how you shoot it. I would much rather be in the mountains or on a trail taking photos, but I had to make due with my front and back yard. The photos still came out pretty decent I think.

Spinner

I think this is my favorite shot. I should have posted a before and after picture to show how it looks raw. I think the green and blue look really cool in this shot, but a professional photographer may notice a handful of things that are off. What I also liked with this photo are the little dew drops on the leaves. Again, I think I lost some of the detail when editing, and that’s something I need to figure out how to not sacrifice, but I really like the colors.

gardenThe combination of pink and blue in this one are cool, but I can’t get over the fact that I need to power wash the hell out of the shed, and probably the rest of my house. I noticed before saving this, that the plants had a little blur to them. I don’t know if they were swaying a little or if I just bumped my hand a little when taking the shot. Regardless though, I think this one came out ok. I can tell too, that the little gnome is looking more pink when it should be red. Maybe I’m just being too critical, but it’s catching my eye.

One of the hardest shots to take for me, are ones of the kids. They do not really understand “hey smile at me for a minute,” and Ricky has this signature squint when ever he looks at a camera. I was able to snag a shot without it though.

Ricky

I think this photo would be a little cooler if it was straight black and white. It has a bit of a sepia tone to it, which is ok, but I think black and white would fit it better. It’s kind of funny, but to the left of his left ear, there is a red storage thing. There actually was a green basket in front of it, but using the stamping tool, I was able to photoshop it out. I would have liked to do it for the clothes basket over his right shoulder, but that would have taken  bit more skill.

This is probably my second favorite shot, and one of the better pictures of Ricky I think I’ve taken. Jen and I were talking yesterday that we cannot believe he’ll be starting preschool in like a year. He’s getting so big, and loves playing Five Nights at Freddy’s with Jen. It’s pretty funny.

So that’s all going on here. I only have one week left on the Adaptive Desk before I move over to the Service Delivery team. I’m excited, because this was probably the last holiday I will work for the foreseeable future. I’m also excited to have weekends off. I’m happy with the upcoming changes, and life seems to be falling in to place more and more.

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