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Well, then I have just the post for you! My very first post for Free Homeschool Deals is up right now!

Learning Photography in Your Homeschool for Free <— That’s the link right there! Click it! Yay!

This just might be the shortest post ever here, but I am so excited! Please read it, use it, and share it! Please and thank you! Exclamation points!!

Beauty

I bought these carnations to add some beauty to our table when we had some friends coming over for lunch. They lasted a full two weeks before they started to wilt. The thing is, I really liked the way they looked when they wilted, so they are still on my kitchen windowsill. Best $2 I’ve spent in a while.

I thought I would share the beauty.

Lightning Round Two…Sort of

Last week we had a couple storms roll through that had major lightning. One was around midnight and I just did not have the energy to get out of bed to capture it. The next one blew in in the middle of the day. I grabbed my camera and shot over 700 frames before the sky opened up and dumped very. cold. rain on me. For the record, I had taken the camera back inside already and was closing up barn doors and chicken coops. Everyone was fine.

I almost didn’t unload them from the camera because I thought I had nothing, but I was glad I did when I found this gem:

I do believe I have discovered a new obsession.

You can see my previous shots here.

Photographing Lightning is Fun!

Last night my husband walked past our back door and saw this:

beautiful-sunset-sky
1/30 second f2.8 ISO 1400

In addition to lovely clouds, we had a lightening storm all around. I’ve always wanted (and tried several times) to get photos of lightening. Never could do it.

Last night I grabbed the tripod and started trying to get some shots. Setting the camera to Auto mode gave me a shot that was like grainy daylight:

test-shot
1/4 second f1.8 ISO 1600

Not exactly producing stellar results. So I switched to manual, closed the aperture down to f10.0 and slowed the shutter speed way down to 5 seconds. I didn’t set the ISO (mostly because I forget about that setting) and it was set at 400 from previous shooting.

Then, I just kept clicking hoping for a “lucky” shot. This was the first shot that made me squeal:

lightening1
5 seconds f10.0 ISO 400

After that I didn’t mess too much with the settings, just kept snapping.

lightening2
5 seconds f10.0 ISO 400

lightening3
5 seconds f10.0 ISO 400

I wish I was positioned better for this one, the lightening bolts were AWESOME, but the lit up cloud is pretty, too.

lightening-in-cloud
5 seconds f10.0 ISO 400

After 80 shots, I had these 6, plus 3 other cloud shots that were decent. I was ecstatic, which is nice considering the last few times I’ve picked up my camera, I’ve set it back down without taking a single shot.

All that was done for editing on these shots was some cropping & resizing, that is about the extent of my Photoshopping most of the time. I tried learning all the different, awesome tools in PSE 8, but found I would just rather get it right in the camera than mess with it after. So it’s been a long haul with lots of cruddy photos and a few gems, but worth it to me.

What is something you’ve always wanted to take a good photo of?

Around My Yard In Photos

soon-to-be-a-bloom

tiny-peaches

lone-lilac-bloom

evergreen-berried

silver-penciled-rock-rooster

All photos taken Sunday, May 22, 2011.

9 Things I’ve Learned About Photography & Myself

Family

1.  I like photography.

eggshells

2.  I like real life photography.

silly-kids

3.  I love crisp, clear snapshots of life with my family, my children.

Pearly Whites

4.  I love LOTS of photos

Idyllic

5.  I love shooting things that stand still. Like flowers, spider webs and mushrooms.

lego-horse

6.  I LOVE shooting wide open! And I know what that means now!

DSC_0039

7.  Playing with light is super fun!

1-23-10

8. I enjoy playing with SLOW shutter speeds and want to do more of that. Soon.

First Intentional Blooms

9. I really, really like shooting flowers. Like, really.

Flowers for My Mama

flowers-for-my-mama2

flowers-for-my-mama3

flowers-for-my-mama

flowers-for-my-mama4

Last year I took two photos of my Mom’s daffodils. Then that night a storm came through and the daffodils were no more. They remain two of my favorite shots and I’ve wanted to get some more.

This past weekend I noticed Mom’s daffodils had bloomed, this year rather profusely. Again storms were predicted so I made the point to go take some photos. This year I was shooting with my 50mm 1.8, aka the Nifty Fifty.

AND

I’m mostly shooting manual these days! These were all shot manual with only one adjustment in Photoshop Elements before resizing/adding text! I’m feeling pretty comfortable with manual. I’m still working on the manual focusing. I’m only focusing manual, except in action shots, so I’m slowly getting better. Probably due to the sheer number of photos I take to make sure I get a clear shot.

So, Mom, here are your daffodils. If I knew how to ship them and have them remain viable, I’d do it. Unfortunately, I do not. I love you.

Shooting Manual – Light on a Chair

chair-light

Andrew picked a pair of these chairs out. I liked them, but not to the extent that Andrew loved them. In this light though, I’m in love with them.

This is the chair I sit in to read my Bible and pray each morning (well, preferably morning, sometimes afternoon, rarely evening). It has become a favorite spot.

Purposing to Find the Beauty in Everyday

tutu

Last Monday I said I was purposing to find the beauty in everyday with my camera for the week. I’m happy to say that I actually remembered to do that a few different days. I’m finding it good on many levels.

lego-horse

It’s good for my soul to seek out the good, pure, lovely and meditate on those.

spoon

It’s good for my eye to learn to see things more clearly.

little-artist

It’s good for my heart to see the precious in the middle of the messes.

188.  Nephews and nieces

189.  Safe roads for travel

190.  Convenient library hours

191.  Children growing in confidence with their reading skills

192.  Walking into a clean toy/school room and knowing I didn’t have to clean the mess that was there prior.

193.  Children getting excited to clean house for guests.

194.  Jobs done right!

195.  A precious pastor and his wife

196.  Fellowship with like-minded believers

197.  Being gently challenged

198.  Little boys wanting to buy penguin movies with his own money

199.  Little boys who say “I want a pet penguin.”

200.  Little sisters enjoying big sister’s sweet attention

201.  An “old-fashioned” thank you note for something small

202.  A reminder that cards can brighten any day

203.  And that is never old-fashioned

204.  Sunshine!

205.  Feeling a need to be in His Word (a deep, pressing desire that one as only heard of but never experienced need)

206.  A growing passion for more

207.  Excitement

208.  Sweet little ones who curl up in bed with me in morning’s light

209.  A quiet household

Here’s to a week of more of the same, but uniquely wonderful, everyday beauty blessings.