fall photo shoot

this past fall, our small group friends brad and lorna beth asked if i would meet them at minnehaha falls to take some pictures. it was a lovely october day and the trees still had some beautiful colors left on them. these are some of my favorite shots from the day.














brad and lorna beth have become very sweet friends of ours and i can't say enough good things about them. we are blessed to have them in our lives.

photo dump

quiet on the blog front does not mean quiet on the home front. people have asked if we think we will finish our upstairs reno before baby comes, and i think we will! we've had a small army of painting helpers this week, which is very encouraging. in pictures, here's life lately!

ben bought me a new lens as a birthday/mother's day gift. it's this one with the fabulously wide 1.4 f-stop. he made it a point to go together to national camera and try it out so we could use it the next day at a family gathering. he is very sweet to me.

he also gave me a card from our unborn baby girl for mother's day and my birthday. i wept. again, such sweetness.

i really like him a lot. :)

that family gathering was awesome. my niece hannah is such a fun, curious girl who is always on the go. apparently she doesn't like to have her diaper changed because it means she has to stop for a few minutes. if you declare that someone has a stinky diaper, she might blame it on her little sister ("baby") or maybe even grandpa ("gumpa").

and baby grace is growing into such a sweet little lady. she is a very peaceful and happy baby. our little girl is blessed with wonderful cousins on both sides.

although grace is super low-drama, she does strike a "woe is me" pose when eating. :)

speaking of eating, i got my inner foodie on to make bbq chicken pizzas with quinoa crusts. as much as i want to be on the quinoa bandwagon, i am just not impressed with it. the pizza crusts were a good way to use up what i have left, but i don't think i'll buy another bag.

here's a "before." this estate-sale stool is currently halfway through its makeover with the nursery as its final destination. stay tuned.

speaking of the nursery, i wish i could say i was going to miss that lavender, but that would be a lie. very thankful to my parents for their help applying two coats of primer to get it covered for the white paint i picked out!

we're up to the cabin this weekend—i hope yours is restful and fun!

k + t engagement pictures

good morning!

not long ago, i added some of my pictures to pinterest, and i've noticed a little more blog traffic since then. if you are new here, welcome! :)

ben and i are leaving snowy minnesota to jet off to sunny florida at the end of the week (!), but i've got one quick post before i go. my little sister is getting married in a few months, and this fall i took her and her fiance tyler out for an engagement shoot. (they were really gracious because i pretty much told them i was going to take their engagement photos for them. bossy older sister? perhaps.) they are a wonderful couple and we praise God for bringing tyler into our family. he is such a sweet guy who loves Jesus and my sister very much. he makes her laugh. just look at her face in these shots. and when it rained a little he gave her his shirt to keep her warm and went to get the car to pick us up. awww!

we had a blast. it was a perfectly hazy october day——not too cold, not too sunny, perfect for pictures. we walked along the river, visited the guthrie and its "red wall," and then ventured across the river to st. anthony main. here are some of my favorites!

signing off!

the end of fall

i really missed the opportunity to shoot any photos of our gorgeous minnesota fall. most of the leaves are off the trees now. but as sunday was such a lovely, warm day, i set out in the afternoon to do a little photo practice on manual mode. i gave myself the assignment of finding color amidst all the dead, brownness of pre-winter. here's what i came up with.

[something with vivid red leaves growing in the middle of our rocks? yes, we have purple rocks. maybe the former owners were vikings fans? who knows.]

[our neighbor offered to paint our storage shed for us this summer. i think he was sick of looking at it in its previous state. we chose this bright blue.]

[a tree in our front yard—no idea what kind of tree it is. i was flat on my back taking this shot up at the tree and ben came out the front door to ask if i was okay.]

i'm loving the camera. oh—also, ben downloaded trials of both adobe's lightroom and apple's aperture for me to try. i know a lot of people like lightroom, but i wasn't impressed by it—probably because i don't know how to use it properly. :) aperture, however, blows my mind. i used it to edit these three shots. i had been using iphoto, so using another apple program was pretty easy to understand. just my two cents for those interested in photo stuff!

oh, aperture.

what a fun tool you are. you take my pictures from blah to cool!

check out the little running man. (i wonder if some people are getting sick of me snapping pictures of them all the time. this guy doesn't mind.)

super boring picture, right? i used a high aperture number, which actually means a smaller opening, to get a greater depth of field. but what a terrible background—who wants to see our nasty bushes? WE WANT RUNNING MAN!

so a lower aperture number (i think i used 4) equals a larger opening equals a smaller depth of field. check it out. RUNNING MAN IS A STAR!

blurred background, focus on the subject. much better.

but don't even ask about shutter speed—my mind will get boggled in two seconds. luckily, the AV setting automatically sets the shutter speed based on the aperture selected. whew. full manual is still in a galaxy far, far away.

i learned all this in my first free natcam class, digital slr 1, which i took on monday. the teacher flew through the material, but it was a great class and i have a lot of "homework." i had signed up to take digital slr 2 next monday, but i canceled to practice more. i think i will have a better understanding of the concepts if i have more experience. expect to see more running man! i think he deserves a name...suggestions welcome.

a big day in my world


i bought a camera today. if you've been following me here, you'll know this has been in the works for a long time. last fall i started researching. i took on some extra projects at work and put in some overtime hours. knowing i was saving for a camera was motivating! ben helped with the decision, of course, and has been very encouraging and patient.

[i just did a little practicing tonight when we got home—especially with depth of field. fitting that it was a fitzgerald book on the top of my pile. it looks like canon is about to announce a new 60d, but oh well. such is technology. we're going on vacation soon and i'm ready to get learning!]

easter food

we spent easter at the home of my parents-in-law, and it was a lovely day. i made sure to bring my camera for more experimentation, and mary was kind enough to let me snap a few shots of her yummy food. i got some good shots of the kids, too, so i'll post those later in the week after i fiddle around with some editing in iphoto.
i hope your easter was beautiful!

a new p.o.v.

i'm currently reading digital slr cameras & photography for dummies (from the library). i'm only about 35 pages in, but i'm really enjoying it. i'd like to buy a dslr in the future, so i figure i better study up before i start looking. i'm having a lot of fun taking my point-and-shoot into manual mode and playing around. ben said my photos have been looking better, so i feel encouraged!

two photography concepts that particularly interest me are point of view and depth of field. i like the idea of using focus and blur as creative tools. the books/blogs also recommend getting up high or down low to take shots from a different-than-expected angle.

so i experimented some more. last saturday, a gray day, i looked out the window and the vines growing on the side of our shed caught my eye. the vertical stripes had potential...so i grabbed my camera and tried to think in terms of point of view and depth of field. here's what i ended up with.