About Me

My photo
Columbus, Ohio, United States
I'm a stay at home mom and wife with a passion for family, creating and photography. I'm a little bit quirky and a little bit odd, but that's what makes me...well me. I'm a jack of all trades. So check back often because, to paraphrase Forest Gump's mom "I'm like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Slow as a.....

This is how I've been feel these days. Maybe I need to drink more coffee. Like that is even possible.......

 My photo for this week's Macros Friday has no special story I guess. This is another photo taken at the zoo.  Jackson found it. He was enjoying the rain on a wall outside the Manatee house. D- and I were almost inside when I hear "Aunt Cindy hurry come here. Take a picture of this!" So I did. With all the exotic animals at the zoo, she gets excited about a snail. COOL!!!! Kids crack me up.

To meet Jackson and see more photos from our trip to the Columbus Zoo, check out We're going to the zoo. How about you?

For more great macros photos, check out Blogging from Bolivia's blog there are some great things there to see.

We're going to the zoo. How about you.

When the teens were in, one of our field trips was to the zoo. The Columbus Zoo is alway awesome to visit. It was voted #1 in the nation last year, so we are really proud of it. The weather was forecast to be overcast, but no rain. Yeah...right. Can you say torrential downpours. It began right after we entered the park and a light rain continued throughout most of the day. That didn't dampen our moods though. (Excuse the pun.)

These are my favorite animal photos I took on that day. We have a membership and go all the time, so I'm beginning to get a nice collection of animal shots. I can't wait to get a zoom lens so that I can get closer shots and not have to do so much cropping.

The older girls took off on their own right after we got in the park. I was a bit bummed with this decision to let them go, I really wanted to get some photos of them, but they had a friend with them and wanted to go off and be teenagers. Heaven forbid my hubby isn't the cool Uncle. I remember those days so off they went. It's like pulling teeth to get them to pose for me anyway, and when they are all together they have a tendency to bicker and snip all the time. I still had the youngest, and she loves to have her photo taken. 

We enjoyed hanging Jackson. She is the youngest of the three sisters, and until my son was born she was the youngest of 6 grandkids. She is constantly picked on by the older kids, so she is of course the tattler. It doesn't help that she is so small. She suffered from near renal failure a few years ago, and the medications that she has to take for the rest of her life are stunting her growth. So she probably won't get much larger than what she is, and looking at her it is hard to believe that she is 11. Since she is so small, she is treated like she is younger than she is. This has made her a bit immature for her age. She is a beautiful little soul though. She loves my son with all her heart and he loves her. They are thick as thieves when they are together. I have remind her sometimes that I'm the momma, and that she needs to enjoy being a kid.  I think she has always had to look up to others, and enjoys having someone who looks up to her. It won't be long though before Sage is taller than her.

 All these girls lead really sheltered lives. Their grandmother is raising them with the help of  my husband's youngest sister. She has three boys of her own, so the girls don't get to do much. So when they come to they visit we tend to spoil them, especially my husband. He feels guilty because we live three hours away so we can't help as much as he would like. So he tends to over compensate when they are up. I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful man.

There's still more to the story this is getting long and you must have to go to the bathroom by now. If you're even still here. I still have photos of the other girls and Jackson exploring new worlds at the Columbus Zoo, but for now I need to get to bed.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Before & After

I've found my newest internet addiction. Photo blog photography challenges. It makes me giddy just thinking about it. Don't worry facebook and flickr I'll never turn my back on you. How else will I keep up with my family and friends on the other side of the Mississippi, and edit my photos. ( No I don't have Photoshop, but that's a discussion for a later.) I was out skimming blogs for inspiration. I great page to visit is Ashely Sisk's blog. 

She's a total challenge junkie and has put together a  list of photo challenges. One for everyday of the week. It's awesome and diverse. I can't wait to check them all out. I've been practicing portrait photography lately. Since my hubby bought me a DSLR for Mother's day, I've been obsessed with mastering the camera. I've done macros, bokeh, and silhouette. I still love to shoot these style, but I've now moved the focus of my learning on to portraits. Th

I have a Cannon Eos Rebel T1i and the standard 18mm-55mm lens. The only accessory I have is a small tripod that's about it. So I'm building. As far as editing goes. I don't have photoshop or other editing tools. I mostly use picnik or gimp. I have a want list a mile long, but right now I'm happy with what I have. It doesn't matter the tools you use, but the vision you put in to it. I was excited to find Pixel Perfect Before and After.

This is just a shot I took in the backyard playing around. So I thought I would mess around with using a flash outside in the sun for portrait photography. This turned out really washed out, but I love the color of his eyes, so I thought this would be a good first shot for the challenge. Just to see what happens.


The first thing I did was turn the brightness down, and tweak contrast and strength. Next I  added a little saturation and warmed it up a bit. Then I added vignetting as large and strong as I could then faded it out. That added a bit of color around the edges of his face, leaving the center bright. He still need a bit of color though. Before that can happen I edited out some dirt and a scratch off his face, and did a light color boost on his eyes.  I added some Sepia tones to give his face some color and to add to a vintage feel to the photo. To finish it out I used the Ortonish effect in picnik, Raise the bloom to around 70%, lowered the brightness to around 10%, and faded the whole process out to 75%.


I've been inspired by {http://www.theworkshopworkbook.com/} lately. I love her children's photography and the editing that she does. I would love her workbook, but that will have to wait. Until then I hope to maybe win it.  Check out her site it is enlightening.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The First Day is Always the Hardest

My hubby travels Monday to Friday for his job. We've been together for almost twelve years (only 6 of those married), around year two he made the decision to go into the telecom industry. This included a lot of travel. I've had 10 years to get use to it, but now we have Sage to contend with. When D- is traveling regularly it is not a big deal, but D- has been on vacation the past 3 weeks. That is a lifetime to a 3 year old. Monday night was the first night post vacation, and little man did not want to go to sleep. We read several chapters in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mine-O-Saur a few times, sang some songs, had tickle wars, and he even asked me to take pictures. That's when I knew I was fighting an up hill battle. The whole time he was asking where's Daddy. It was breaking my heart. So I pulled in a photo of daddy and me. So we played name the family members, and finally I had to draw the line. He refused to let go of his Daddy's picture. When it was quiet I went in to check on him this is what I found. My heart melted......

the long road

Don't worry about the little man. By Tuesday morning everything was right as rain. The first night is always the hardest.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Macros Friday

I'm so happy that Macros Friday is here again. I woke up to a major annoyance today and I needed the Zen. One of my facebook "friends" decided to take it upon himself to alter and post one of my photos. The whole crap of "I love the shot, and it doesn't need to be changed" then why did I spend yesterday listening to you telling me how to edit my work. I tried to remain open to his suggestions, but his style is so opposite of mine. It really doesn't apply. Then this morning I woke up he had done two separate edits of the shot and publicly posted them without my permission. They were horrible, way over-processed. I was livid. Finally after a series of posts and message they were removed. His feelings are all hurt, but I was offended at his arrogance. So I guess that makes us even. Here is the photo in question.

He boosted the color so much that it looked like a cartoon. It was horrible.

But anyway the photos have been deleted, and the issue has been discussed. He's acting like a wounded puppy. Now must I remind him, I only know you on facebook. We have mutual real world friends, but he became my friend because I liked my photography. I don't think I've ever meet him in real life. If I have I don't remember.


Now with that off my chest. It's time for Macros Friday.

Here is another flower from my garden. I spend a lot of time photographing my yard. I recent quit smoking (again). So I have switched on addiction for another. So when I get stressed I set out and start taking photos. This is one of my hollyhocks. Like my daisies I started these from seed. I started with a few and have moved them all over the yard.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

I've been seeing this one around and been dying to enter it.

the long road

The only problem that I'm running into is that I never can decide on which one I would like to enter. So I guess I'll follow my gut instinct ( it isn't always right, but I follow it anyway). So the first one is for the contest the others are just for show. I hope you enjoy.

Black and white may not be typical for shooting lavender, but I thought that the ones that I shot in color were uninspired. All of these shot were shot in black and white, with very little editing.

I absolutely love lavender. The smell is so soothing. My husband laughs because all of my cleaning supplies are lavender scented. I remind him of how much I hate to clean house, and that the smell calms me and keeps me focused on the task at hand.

Lavender is a staple in my garden.

I also love to cook with lavender, although my hubby doesn't care for it. One day I'll have to share my Lavender cream phyllo pastry with lavender syrup. It is absolutely delicious.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shooting fireworks (part one)

I took all these shots over the course of the Fourth of July weekend. I had some of my friends ask me for the settings that I used to take them. These are the first in the series. Most of the shots here have very little tweaking in editing and no cropping. I included before and after to illustrate how little editing was done with these photos. This was the first Fourth of July I had my Rebel so I was excited to take photos of fireworks, I couldn't be happier with how they turned out.

The first set were taken out at Buckeye Lake. This is our usual spot to watch fireworks. Actually this is our favorite picnic spot. The dog gets to swim and Sage enjoys throwing rocks in the water here. I have gotten some of my best silhouette shots at this location.

Just remember location is key when shooting fireworks. The next two were the only shots I was able to get at Whetstone park. They are shot off from behind trees and we just haven't been able to find a great view place here yet.

The next fireworks installment I'll focus on cropping.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A new appreciation for the quiet life.

The teen invasion is over. Phew!!! It got a little rocky toward the end, but hopefully some of what I said to them about manners, politeness and respect got through to them. I'm not holding my breath though. All their fighting and tattling made me thankful for my quiet life and southern up bringing. Sniping and bickering was not acceptable by my family growing up, and would usually land you a beating, time-out or both (depended on my dad's mood). The week has also made me thankful that I have such a good friend with similar parenting views as me. Although theological we differ to the point of night and day, we are on the same page that manners and respect for all people and things is key to a child's development. Without these things a child's development is stunted and they will lack the necessary building blocks for a successful life. I think that so many parents in their busy lives forget the basics.Out and about this past week, I was amazed that my son, who is now 3, has better manners than most children older than him. He already says "please", "thank you", "excuse me" and "I'm Sorry" in the proper context, and often without needing to be asked.

Speaking of my best friends these are some photos I took at a play date a right before getting the girls.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Macros Friday

It's another Macros Friday. I still have a house full of kids (I love them, but I'm ready to have the serenity of the only 3 back in our house), and I have Sage's third birthday party on Sunday to get ready for. So I've gone through the archives for this one. I took this back in June this was on a day I was feeling a little girlie. That doesn't happen that often since I spend most my time with boys.

This is one of many Daisies that grow in my front yard. I started these from seed about 5 years ago and they take over my front flower bed in June. The first photo is for the contest.

There will be more from the daisies, but for now I better start breakfast. They all wake up hungry.