One of my favorite traditions is picking out a Lladro each December to present to my lovely wife on our wedding anniversary. One of the sculptures I presented to her a few years ago was known as A Mother’s Embrace. So with today being the day set aside to celebrate motherhood, I put the appropriate Lladro in front of my camera and grabbed a few shots.
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | Bulb: 156″ | f/22 | ISO 100 | RAW
When capturing the shot, I decided to go with a longer exposure – roughly 2.5 minutes. Since my lighting was simply the ambient light peaking its way into the basement through the window well, the longer shot allowed the image to be illuminated and give me the shadows I was hoping for.
While reviewing the photos in Photoshop, I desaturated the RAW photos to make the photo a black & white, but I didn’t like how it looked. While it made for a great contrast between the background and Lladro, it didn’t help distinguish features of the mother or baby. So I settled on adding a little more saturation to the photo, increasing the exposure and then adjusting some levels before settling on my final photo (as seen above).
Now, enough talking about the photo mechanics. The purpose of the photo is to celebrate moms, and specifically my wife – who I feel is the best mom to our three wonderful kids. We have great kids, which I know is a reflection of the great mom they have in their lives.
I can only claim credit for taking the photo. My son was the creative director. He came up with the idea, built the Lego tree and book, selected the character and packed them up for our weekend trip to St. George, Utah. Upon arrival at Snow Canyon State Park, he reassembled the tree (the trip had not been friendly to the fragile display) and set the photo up in the sand dunes. He even titled this blog post – Lost in an amazing book.
The sun was high in the sky and casting very harsh shadows on the world below. Since I didn’t have one of the portable light reflectors (or blockers), my creative director ran to the van to grab his brother’s pillow and held it strategically over the area so I could get the shot. I think we were both pleased with the final outcome, though a little shadow from the tree would have helped the photo (I think).
Canon 60D | 100mm Macro Lens | 1/320 | f/6.3 | ISO 800 | RAW
I don’t recall why I had the camera set to ISO 800. It definitely was bright enough. I think it was because I was using the flash on occasion to help light things up and reduce shadows, but when I found the shade (i.e., my son’s pillow), I forgot to bring the ISO back to 100. In Photoshop I made a few adjustments to exposure, blacks, saturation and levels, in an effort to bring the guy under the tree out more.
Anyway, I am very proud of my son for serving as my creative director, and I hope you’ll look forward to a few more of the Lego shots he arranged during our trip and asked me to photograph.
I learned about this week’s The Daily Post at WordPress.com’s Weekly Photo Challenge before I packed my kids and I up for a trip to Houston, Texas. So as we spent the weekend with my wife checking out parts of Houston, I was looking for a fun capture for BEYOND.
The moment came when my daughter was enthralled with the size of her lollipop. I think it’s every kids dream to get a lollipop this big – and it makes it difficult to look BEYOND the lollipop to see what else is going on around you.
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 1/640 | f/16 | ISO 2000
(NOTE: I am not sure why my camera was set at ISO 2000. I guess that explains some of the graininess I’m seeing in the photo.)
After some fun checking out the Downtown Aquarium in Houston (including two rides on the Shark Voyage Train), we took a breather to grab a snack. This was her snack. I wish I would have been that excited about the large pretzel my wife and I got to share.
Earlier today, my family and I returned home following one of the best family vacations we have had in a long time. Tomorrow morning I get to go back to work and play catch up on the six business days I missed while playing in San Francisco, Disneyland, Cars Land, California Adventure, LegoLand, San Diego and St. George.
As expected, I carried my camera with me everywhere I went. Okay. I’ll be honest. I carried as many as three cameras with me – my Canon 60D, my GoPro HD Hero 2, and my iPhone. What made this vacation so different from all the others we’ve taken, is that when we got home, my kids and gorgeous wife were in 90% of the photos I shot. Usually I have a bazillion “artistic” shots on my SD cards, but not this time. And you know what? I was okay with this.
Wifi at the hotels was pretty hit and miss. I didn’t want to have to pay for it. This prevented me from sharing many of my hi-res photos during the trip, but allowed me to focus on having a great time with my family. With my iPhone, I was able to check my email and saw the Daily Post at WordPress.com’s weekly photo challenge topic – Silhouette. A trip to a San Franciscan beach gave me the perfect opportunity to meet this challenge, and I am very excited with the final outcome.
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 1/1000 | f/11 | ISO 200
I am strongly considering printing this as a 16×20 canvas printing and hanging it in my daughter’s bedroom. I think this simple photo highlights the innocence and freeness of childhood, with the beauty and splendor of the beach. My daughter loves the beach and collecting shells. This beach yielded a few dozen sand dollars – perfect and unbroken. I have another photo to share in a subsequent blog post, but for now, I share this for silhouette.
We spent two nights at the St Regis Hotel in Park City, Utah this weekend for my brother-in-law’s wedding. Saturday morning, we spend a good three hours playing in the pool. I, of course, had my GoPro with me so I could try to get some really cool shots. I used the setting that shot 10 photos in one second, then pieced this photo together of the jump.
I learned a little late, that there is a split second delay from hitting the button until it snaps the first photo. Plus, you wouldn’t think that in such a short period of time, the camera would move, but I found that each photo was off just a little, so it didn’t mesh together as cleanly as I would have liked.
Overall, it was a fun time and a great wedding. Hope you enjoy the photo, and I’ll share other outtakes from the pool on my Carltonaut Facebook page, so be sure to follow me there, too.
I usually don’t reach out to others to ask them to vote for my photo when it’s in a photo contest, but I really like this photo of my daughter that I snapped at a wedding last year and think it is a great candid portrait.
I know there are a lot of great photos out there, but I hope you’ll help a fellow amateur photographer out and click on the link to vote for this photo in Pictureline’s weekly photo contest.
Thanks in advance to all those who’ll take a moment to vote.
When I saw the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge topic for this week, I was determined to capture it while on vacation. So when we swung by the pool, I whipped out my GoPro and shot some underwater shots. The two subjects in this photo come from one person – my 3-year-old son’s two feet.
GoPro | 11mp photo setting | 1 photo every two seconds
I simply set the camera to take a photo every two seconds, then followed my son walking through a shallow area of the pool. He was clueless about me taking photos, so I guess this is more of a candid shot!
Last month I got a GoPro HD Hero 2 for my birthday. It wasn’t until today that I was able to test it. We went to St. George for a family vacation and I was very excited to hang out in the pool with my kids and test my GoPro. But the 44-degree temperature and the continuous rain, the hotel pool wasn’t an option.
So we headed to the Washington City Community Center and hung out in their aquatic center for a few hours. It made me nervous to have the camera in the water, but once I got over that, I tested out various modes and settings – all in preparation for my wife and my trip to Hawaii next month.
The WCCC had a large water slide, but my daughter was pretty nervous to ride it. We went up to the top, and had to take the walk-of-shame back down when she changed her mind. But a little later, she wanted to try again. So up we went – and this time, it was a go. You can watch the video on my Facebook page.
The next time we went down the waterslide, I set my GoPro to take 1 photo every 2 seconds. So from the top to the bottom, we ended up with 20 photos that fit nicely into this compilation.
GoPro | 11mp setting | Photo every 2 seconds
Needless to say, we all had a lot of fun, and the waterslide was everyone’s favorite part.
My son is so proud of his Lego Battleship, the USS Utah. He built it last summer and has been trying to protect it ever since from siblings, friends and neighbors. He’s also been adding little enhancements, and of course, more guns, to his ship ever since.
Yesterday he took it to school to present at his talent show, and apparently it was the talk of all his class. Even the art teacher of the school stopped in to see his battleship. The talent show almost didn’t happen, because two weeks ago, his younger brother dismantled the upper part of it, and there was quite the explosion at the house when Andrew got home from school and saw the devastation. He was able to rebuild it.
I have been thinking about photographing different parts of his battleship to share on the blog, and last night I put the rubber to the road and took some photos. I used black cloth that I had grabbed from my church building library’s free-for-all. The black drapes worked very well, and now I think I need to go get some other cloth colors for future photos.
Here is what I put together from some of my other photos of the USS Utah.
Manual Settings: Canon 60D | 1/200 | f/16 | ISO 100 | Canon Speedlite 430EX II
You can check out more photos from the USS Utah on my Carltonaut Facebook page.
I guess my son loved the photos, because I showed them to him this morning before he headed off to school, and moments later he decided to destroy it so he could rebuild it anew. It is now in pieces all over the living room. I guess in a few more months, I’ll have to photograph his next battleship. Any suggestions on the name of his next battleship?
Originally, I wanted to get some shots of my oldest son jumping to shoot a basketball into our new hoop we bought a couple weeks ago. But when that didn’t work out, and my older son was sick in bed tonight, I asked my younger son if he wanted to jump off the ottoman and let me take a few shots.
He agreed, and we got some great shots. Here’s my favorite, but you can check out some of the outtakes on my Facebook page photo album.
Canon 60D | 18-135 lens | 1/60 | f 4.0 | ISO 800
My wife was a little embarrassed about the laundry in the background, and I am sure no one would have noticed it unless I pointed it out… so I guess the cat is out of the bag on that one. Oh well.