Monday, July 30, 2012

This little science experiment was super cool for a couple reasons.
1. I had everything on hand.
2. It's super easy and the kids can prep it with you.
3. It takes a while for the colors to blend, so it isn't over right away.
4. They will remember it. Like for real. I can say "yellow and blue make green" 20 times, but now they have seen it. They watched it happen. They KNOW yellow and blue make green.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Today we went to Turtle Beach, but we got lost on the way there.  So we decided to go to Hanauma Bay, but we got lost on the way there too.  On our way to being even more lost, we ended up in Waikiki, and I am so happy that we did.  
That beach is PERFECT for the kids.  There is a break wall, so there is essentially no waves and it is super shallow.  It rained a bit, but we were already wet, so who cares.  
I took my waterproof point-and-shoot Chris bought me a couple of years ago.  I decided just to play with it, I never even looked through the view finder, I literally just held it out and shot.  I even let the kids take a few pics.  We ended up with some really candid, super fun shots, that show perfectly the kind of carefree morning we had.  
Who would have figured two little gingers would love the beach so much? 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rainbows and Butterflies

Ellie has been sleeping for the past three nights.  I feel like a million bucks.  She is acting like a million bucks.  Well... a million bucks for Ellie.

I have been back in my running routine, which has been sporadic since we moved in to the new house.
That makes me feel good.

It is really easy to eat healthy in Hawaii- because we couldn't afford to go out to eat even if we wanted to.  HAHA.  No seriously.

Carter is such a boy now.  He is so sweet and lovable, it is hard to see him as anything other than a baby, but he is getting to be a big kid.  He is SO smart.  I have been spending extra time doing workbooks and reading, and it is crazy how fast things just click for him.   Workbook- that is Carter's idea of playtime...

Chris' schedule so far has been pretty comfortable.  Easy compared to the sea duty.

So all in all, things are chugging along around here.  We are finally starting to settle into day to day life, and really ready to get out and explore the island.

I guess, with a view like this from your backyard- you have to adjust eventually.

Photography Friday- Aperture

-Aperture is the little f/# in your camera.
-Aperture is how big or small the hole is in your lens, or how much light you are letting in.
-Small number (1.4) = big hole, lots of light.  Big number (22) = tiny hole, little light.

-Aperture works with reciprocity     with your shutter speed and ISO.
-The size of your aperture affect the depth of field, and background blur.  (Large aperture=big blur)
-Depth of Field is much smaller with bigger apertures.

The pics of the left are F10.  You can see some detail in the background.  You can also see their whole faces and all of their hair are in focus, (with in the depth of field.)
The pics on the right are F1.8- you can see how it blurs the background, and really isolates the subject. But, if you enlarge it you will see how tiny the depth of field are.  Only their faces and eyes are completely in focus.

So, aperture has a lot to do with how you design a photo.  If you stuck your camera in auto, or even "semi auto" AV, you can't control your background blur, depth of field.  Things that photographers should really love to do.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Camera Roll

Chris bought me an iPhone 4S (LOVE) so I am finally on Instagram.  
All this means is even more pictures of my kids, because I can never have enough, really.
I am going to try and upload once a week 
Here is what we have been up to:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Motion Blur

Shutter speed, ISO, and aperture all work together.  Reciprocity.  And it depending on how you want your picture to look, depends on which one you pick to set first (then the other two just follow suit.)
More into that later.

In this case, I wasn't going for portraits.  Ellie yelled, "take a picture of me bouncing," and I was all, "don't have to ask me twice."  So my point was to freeze them in the air (without a flash because they were in an enclosed trampoline.)

 When you are shooting a person reasonably still, you want your shutter to be at twice your focal length of your lens. So if you are shooting a portrait with a 50mm lens, your shutter speed should be at least 1/100th.  If you are shooting kids on a trampoline even faster.

Always keep the "safety zone" in mind to keep motion blur out of your pictures.  If you are in low light situations, open the aperture, increase the ISO, but don't slow the shutter past that point.

Sometimes motion blur is cool, but there is nothing more frustrating than getting a picture home, putting it in the computer, and finding the people aren't crisp like they should be, simply because you were shooting at a speed to slow.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Photography Friday- Go Manuel

The first step in taking a great picture:  get off of auto.  You can not control what your picture is going to look like if you are handing control over to your camera.  You need to control your depth of field, shutter, lighting, color, hue, saturation, white balance, and composition.  Auto can't and won't do this for you.
Nearly every photographer I know shoots in auto or "semi-auto" setting, then plugs the picture into photoshop and spends hours editing.
If you take the picture right the first time, the only editing you do will be for fun, to play- not to correct what could have been done in camera.

Here are two example.  The first pic is fully auto.  I took a pic of a crabby little boy who didn't want a camera pointed in his face:
The lighting is harsh, too bright, created glare on his face, and shadows on the background, the background is unattractive and doesn't do much for the photo, it is not evenly lit, or lit for mood.  It is ok, I guess, if all you are looking for is an image to document what a person looks like.  But what if you want more?  What if you want to take an image of what you see when you look at that person?

That is no problem if you are shooting manual.  So adjust your settings and snap.  Same crabby little boy.  Same room, same lighting, same position.  The difference is I took control of my camera.  

Put your camera in manual, and play around. 
More tips to come.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The universe has been talking to me. It talks to you too, right? Right?!

We moved once at our first duty station, from apartment to house.  Then again to second duty station.  Then again to third duty station.  All in five years.  
So ever since or very first move, I have had this thing.  I can't settle.  I can't make myself at home.  I never paint, why would I, when I know 18 months later I am going to be painting it back to white and my husband most likely won't be there to help?  I unpack in record time, then let anxiety take hold of me every time a new item comes through the door.   Every time we get something new, all I can think of is it is going to be another thing for me to pack up in a few months.  
Every time we move I have to pass out all my plants herbs I have been tending to, only to buy new pots, and new plants when we get to the new home.
I am NOT settled in Hawaii.  We unpacked in record time.  We have been in the house five weeks now.  Everything has found a home.  The walls are plastered in preschool art work.  It looks like a home- but I haven't decided on that yet.  
But the universe is trying like hell to convince me. 
I have been stubborn, and cheap, and refused to buy new planters.  Really it is getting old.  But after spending a small fortune in basil I decided it was time to cave and go pick some up.  I spent fifteen minutes fighting with myself in the garden center.  "I want those nice pots, I am not dropping that kind of money to throw it away again in the next couple of months." Back and forth.  Really annoyed and pissed and just an all around bad attitude.  So I pick up two, grab some basil and chives, and decide that, is enough.  This will never be home.  And I am not trying to make it home.  It is a vacation spot.  I am on a three year vacation.  
On the way home, Chris turned right instead of left and said he wanted to drive around the block to see the neighborhood (he is such a grandpa.) And wouldn't you know- there sitting on the lawn for garbage was seven HUGE planters, full of Hawaiian flowers.  I stopped and knocked on the door and asked if they were throwing them out.  "Yeah, we are PCSing, you know how it is.  Do you need help loading them in your car?"
I have to say, my backyard looks pretty damn home-y.  
Touche, Universe. Touche.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Photography Friday's

Untitled Untitled
(Taken with iPhone, through a funnel, no filter, no editing)

Being a photographer isn't about the most expensive camera, lens, or editing software.  It is about being creative, and knowing how to use your tools.  

I am going to start doing photography tips every Friday, the manual way.  
Hope you enjoy.

PS.  I just received my permits, and I am officially registered with the state and IRS.  Which mean.  Ashley Langtry Photography
is officially in business in HAWAII.

Health, Happiness, and CHEESE
♡, Ash