Saturday, December 31, 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad 12.25.11

My last post of 2011 is a picture I took on Christmas Day using my new macro filter set. I used it to take a picture of a salad I made with spinach, strawberries, feta cheese, homemade candied walnuts and raspberry pomegranate vinaigrette (not in this picture). I decided to give food photography a try and I must say it is a challenging aspect of photography. My goal was to capture the festive colors and the details and I think I managed that with the macro filter. I am proud of my first try. If you want to see some amazing food photography though, check out Jaymi's stunning photos at Live, Love, Travel.

Have a wonderful evening and see you in the new year!

SOOC Shot
Settings: ISO 800, 35mm, ss1/25, f/4.5 (full manual, tungsten wb, macro filter)
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Linking up to SOOC Saturday, check out the other SOOC shots!
SOOC Saturday


Friday, December 30, 2011

Favorite Photo of the Week: Sandpipers on the Beach 12.29.11

I can't believe there is one more day left in 2011. As I reflect on the year that has been, I can't help but get excited for the year to come. Christmas Day was the one year anniversary of me owning my DSLR, but I didn't really find my true passion for using it until I stumbled upon Courtney at Click it Up a Notch and found the help I needed to switch over to manual mode. It has been almost five months and I have been throughly changed by the experience. I am inspired, full of excitement for the possibilities and a desire to learn and grow. I have big photography and blog plans and goals for the upcoming year that I cannot wait to share with you!

Part of the reason I am so excited is the new photography gear I got for Christmas. A bunch of little things and one big thing that will aid in my photography journey. One of my favorite presents is a rain sleeve for my camera. Living and photographing in the Pacific Northwest presents some challenges when it comes to weather, specifically rain. My brother's girlfriend got me a rain sleeve for Christmas and on my recent trip to visit my dad in Astoria I used it every day (it was very stormy)! I loved that I could get out in the rain and the wind without worrying about my camera and it is so easy to use. Did I mention I love it :o)? I also got to use my Lens Pen Cleaning Kit I received for Christmas when the lens got wet from the rain drops. It allowed me to captured two of my favorite shots from the week.

The first is of a ship coming in on the Columbia River at Fort Stevens State Park (my favorite park in the area). I did a crop and a clean edit. The second was taken at Del Ray State Park the next day of the Sandpipers who were persistent in their search for food despite the weather. They would run out in a little pack when the waves rolled out and then back in when they rolled in again. They continued this pattern until some of them stopped to rest. This shot was taken with my zoom lens, rain sleeve and a little inspiration from my brother's girlfriend. Another clean edit, but no crop this time.

I hope you are looking forward to the upcoming year as much as I am. Let the 2012 journey begin!

Settings: ISO 200, 43mm, ss1/80, f/9.0 (full manual, cloudy wb)

Settings: ISO 400, 250mm, ss1/160, f/8.0 (full manual, cloudy wb)
"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential."  - Ellen Goodman


Linking up with the link ups below. Be sure to check out the other favorite shots!
the long road    Happily Mother After  and then, she {snapped}

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good to Wow Edit: Happy New Year! 12.25.11

I cannot believe the Good to Wow Challenge is coming to an end. I only started participating in September, but I have gained so much from this challenge and from Jill, Ashley and the other participants. I will miss it, but I will use what I have learned to continue to grow as a photographer in 2012! Now here is my edit for the Happy New Year prompt, just a clean edit then a color change through the white balance sliders in Lightroom. Below that a collage of my edited shots from the challenge (on Monday I will do the same with the SOOC shots). Since I have only been participating for 4 months I didn't have to choose and was able to include them all. 

SOOC Shot
Settings: ISO 800, 28mm, ss1/20, f/4.0 (full manual, tripod, tungsten wb)

Edit Shot
In Lightroom

Edited Photos Collage
Made with Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker
Click to Enlarge
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein

Linking up with Good to Wow: Edit. Check out the the Happy New Year photo edits and end of challenge collages!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Custom Holiday Bokeh 12.28.11

It has been rainy, windy and stormy in Astoria where I am visiting my dad. We still spent some time at the beach and exploring the area, which I plan to post in the next few days. But until then, I decided to experiment with some custom bokeh I have been seeing everywhere. The perfect rainy day project. I followed this tutorial and this tutorial and had to experiment with the size of the cut out because my kit lens only goes down to 3.5 in aperture. I ended up with a star stencil (the second to the smallest size) and black construction paper. I found it worked best when I manually focused without the construction paper cover, then put it on top and turned it until I liked the look. I also found that the less in focus, the bigger the bokeh and the bigger the shapes. Here are my results, taken into a mirror with the reflection of the tree in the mirror and the window. Processed in Lightroom with a clean edit and some cropping. I can't decide if I like the shapes bigger or smaller. What do you think?

Settings: ISO 1600, 50mm, ss1/8, f/5.6 (full manual, tungsten wb)


Settings: ISO 200, 46mm, ss3.2sec, f/5.0 (full manual, on tripod, tungsten wb)
"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." - Hal Borland

Linking up with the link ups below! Take a look at the other amazing photos and enjoy the end of 2011!
 Live, Love, TRAVEL  Live and Love...Out Loud and then, she {snapped}  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tones on Tuesday #15 12.27.11

*I apologize for the delay in getting this linky open this morning. I am visiting my dad and the internet connection is a little slower than I remembered.*

I hope you had an enjoyable holiday! I apologize for not visiting your blogs as the holiday consumed my time. I did have a chance to look at your amazing photos and pick a few to showcase! Enjoy and see you in the new year!

Ana at Wonderland
The softness and sparkle of the light hitting the sand is lovely. The monochromatic look adds to the beautiful overall feel of this ethereal photo. Thank you for sharing Ana!

I am a big fan of Kristy's work. I love how her style is so identifiable and soft and lovely. This photo captures a unique view of the holiday season. Thank you for sharing with us Kristy!

Can a photo look quiet? To me, this one does. The snow, the dog waiting patiently and the texture applied all give it a quiet, peaceful feel. Thank you for sharing Lili!

Be sure to grab your this button if you were showcased! (button for linking up can be found after the guidelines)


Now it's your turn to share your photo with altered tones. Here is the guidelines for Tones on Tuesday:

  • The basic idea is to share one photo where you have altered the tones. Such as a black and white, sepia toned, selective coloring or colored photo. Feel free to share the original and edit, or just the edit.
  • Please share a photo that you have taken and edited yourself.
  • If you have more than one photo in your post please indicate which one if for Tones on Tuesday.
  • Please link up with your permalink and not your blog address.
  • Attach the Tones on Tuesday button to your post
  • Leave comments for the other participants, share the love :o)!
  • Have fun!
Disclaimer - By participating you give Scattered Horizons permission to share your photo on this blog. Photographers will be given credit for their work.

This is what this time of year is all about! I hope you have had the opportunity to be with your family and enjoy this time of year. 

Settings: ISO 800, 23mm, ss1/50, f/4.0 (full manual, tungsten wb, tripod)
"Family faces are magic mirrors.  Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future." - Gail Lumet Buckley

Joining the link ups below. Be sure to check out the beautiful shots and join the Tones on Tuesday link up found further down!
  Sweet Shot Day


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Project 64: Merry Christmas Green 12.23.2011 and Good to Wow SOOC: Happy New Year! 12.25.11

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday! This is my first Christmas as a blogger and I must say I have never experienced a holiday quite like this one. The past couple of Christmases have been tough for me and have left me with some ba-hum-bug feelings that did not have me all too enthusiastic about this holiday. Then I stepped into the holiday as photographed by the most amazing photographers! I was inspired and awed and dare I say anticipating the Christmas season :o). The photos and ideas and sharing that happened in this community are just amazing. So let me say thank you for helping to get me in the holiday spirit and thank you for sharing your talent. I hope the new year finds you and yours happy and healthy. I cannot wait to see what I can learn from you in 2012!

I hope these two photos give back a little of what you have given me! This first one is from a local house that sets lights to music that my family and I decided might have to be a new holiday tradition. It is such a fun experience! I only brought the point and shoot, set on auto, as I wanted to focus on the experience and being with my family. It felt strange to shoot without my DSLR, but it was worth it :o). After opening this in Lightroom and doing a clean edit and a crop I realized it was a great match for the Project 64 color of the week - green.


Settings: ISO 200, 7.7mm, ss1/8, f/2.8 (point and shoot, auto)

project64 button

This second photo was shot with my homemade bokeh set-up and some pieces from an amazingly fun game I got the family for Christmas (another tradition we have). The game is called Konexi and it a cross between Scrabble and Jenga. Not only is it a fun game, but it makes a great photography prop! I chose to do the word "LOVE" to represent my wish for the new year. I wish that you have love, share love freely and find something you love!

Settings: ISO 800, 28mm, ss1/20, f/4.0 (full manual, tripod, tungsten wb)

"A new beginning is perhaps the best time to say…
It’s so nice to know you…
And here’s wishing our friendship
continues to grow in the days to come." - Author Unknown

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Favorite Photo of the Week: Sparkling Silver 12.21.11

As I mentioned last week, I have been enjoying my newly discovered bokeh obsession. I love the softness and the feel that bokeh gives to a photo. I decided to play around with some self-made bokeh and a clean edit. I love the result with the sparkly ornaments.

I have been horrible at visiting and commenting on your photos. I hope to get back to my regular routine in the next week or so. Until then, I am enjoying the inspiration I get from your photos and promise to tell you personally just that as soon as I can! I hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy a relaxing day with family and friends!

SOOC Shot
Settings: ISO 400, 32mm, ss1/6, f/4.5 (full manual, tungsten wb, tripod)

Clean Edit in Lightroom
"Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you…Thinking of you this holiday season!" - T.A. Barron

Linking up with the link ups below. Be sure to check out the other favorite shots!
    Happily Mother After  and then, she {snapped}

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good to Wow SOOC and Edit: Ornament Tradition 12.21.11

I am completely out of sync when it comes to my shooting and posting schedule. I am determined not to let that deter me and plan to make every effort to get back on track before the new year. Luckily, school is out for winter break so I just may have a few moments to accomplish my goal. Unfortunately with all of the last minute things I had to get done before the break started I missed the link up for the SOOC shots for the Good to Wow Challenge: Holiday Traditions. I guess I will just have to post them here, along with the edits :o).

I love traditions! I love the history, the meaning and how they bring my family together. Sometimes I think I love them a little too much, but I am learning to be more flexible :o). This week's prompt at the Good to Wow Challenge was traditions and I had to think about which one I wanted to feature with my photos. We as a family have a many that I enjoy - picking out a Christmas tree together, getting an ornament every year, making candy and cookies and watching "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve (I just started this one last year). I decided to go with getting an ornament every year as it has gone on the longest and holds the most meaning. Since my first Christmas I have received an ornament each year. Something that represents who I am or commemorates the year. It started with a lamb from my grandmother and each Christmas Eve I get a new one. As I put them on the tree I am flooded with memories of people and places and events. I love that even more than the ornaments.

For my photos, I took one of the first ornament given to me and a more recent one that reflects my love of children's books being that I am a teacher. I used a high aperture number to get the starburst effect. In processing I did basic setting edits and added rounded corners in Lightroom. For the first photo I also used Gimp to add the green color block. In the second photo I cropped to allow the ornament to fill up more of the frame. What do you think and what are your traditions? Thank you for stopping by!

SOOC Shot
Settings: ISO 400, 43mm, ss10 secs, f/29 (full manual, tungsten wb, tripod)

Edited with Lightroom and Gimp

SOOC Shot
Settings: ISO 400, 50mm, ss8 secs, f/29 (full manual, tungsten wb, tripod)

Edited with Lightroom
"Christmas- that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance- a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved." - Augusta E. Rundel

Linking up with Good to Wow: Edit. Check out the the Holiday Tradition photo edits!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Project 64: Silver 12.21.11


I love this new aspect to my Christmas this year - capturing the feel of this time of year in photographs. The sparkle, the lights and the joy are my favorite parts of the season. My goal was to convey that through this photo and to showcase the color of the week at Project 64: silver. I set up a string of lights on the wall covered with batting, set ornaments on a mirrored plate and snapped. In processing, I upped the blacks, fill light, clarity, vibrance and saturation and lowered the contrast to give a bit of softness. Finally, I added a tiny white vignette. I think the effect is a bit of magic, and isn't that what Christmas is about :o)?

Settings: ISO 400, 32mm, ss1/6, f/4.5 (full manual, tungsten wb, tripod)
"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer, and more beautiful." - Norman Vincent Peale

Linking up with the link ups below! Take a look at the other amazing photos and enjoy a bit of magic!
project64 button Live, Love, TRAVEL  Live and Love...Out Loud and then, she {snapped}  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tones on Tuesday #14 12.20.11

Welcome to Tones on Tuesday! Welcome back to those of you who are returning, I am so glad you're back! To those of you linking up for the first time, I am so excited to meet you and see your photos. I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season and that you are much more prepared than I am :o).

Now onto those showcases from last week...

Leovi from La Fotografia Efectista Abstracta
Beautiful vibrant tones, lovely texture and lines. I love how it looks like water. Thank you for sharing Leovi!

I am jealous of the snow! I also love the soft tones, the cute expression and the overall feel of this photo. Thank you for sharing with us Emily!

Jennifer at Fotoplicity
I am inspired and in awe of the light in this photo. The glow is just stunning and I get the feeling that the girls feel the same way. Thank you for linking up Jennifer!

Be sure to grab your this button if you were showcased! (button for linking up can be found after the guidelines)


Now it's your turn to share your photo with altered tones. Here is the guidelines for Tones on Tuesday:

  • The basic idea is to share one photo where you have altered the tones. Such as a black and white, sepia toned, selective coloring or colored photo. Feel free to share the original and edit, or just the edit.
  • Please share a photo that you have taken and edited yourself.
  • If you have more than one photo in your post please indicate which one if for Tones on Tuesday.
  • Please link up with your permalink and not your blog address.
  • Attach the Tones on Tuesday button to your post
  • Leave comments for the other participants, share the love :o)!
  • Have fun!
Disclaimer - By participating you give Scattered Horizons permission to share your photo on this blog. Photographers will be given credit for their work.

My photo this week is actually from last week. My last day of work before break is today and I have big plans to catch up on Christmas shopping, relax a bit and of course take pictures :o). Until then, here is a shot of a village we set up for Christmas. I wanted to capture the soft glow. It turned out a bit dark SOOC so I lightened the tones in Lightroom, cropped it and there you have it. 

Settings: ISO 100, 90mm, ss1.0sec, f/4.5 (full manual, on tripod, tungsten wb)
"The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting  empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas." - W.C. Jones


Joining the link ups below. Be sure to check out the beautiful shots and join the Tones on Tuesday link up found further down!
  Sweet Shot Day

Friday, December 16, 2011

Favorite Photo of the Week: Holiday Bokeh 12.13.11

It is quite possible that I am developing another obsession. I have only tried it once, but I love capturing bokeh! The process is fun and the end result is beautiful. I expect to have more bokeh shots to post next week. What is your current photography obsession?

Can you guess what my favorite photo of the week is? That's right, it is a bokeh shot :o). Decorating and working has kept me from taking more than a few photos this week, so if you have been following my blog you have seen this photo before. If not, here is my first ever attempt at bokeh. I set up a table with a mirrored plate in front of the tree and then added the blue candle. In processing I did a clean edit with the basic settings. I also did another edit you can see here. The color combination and the softness are what make this photo my favorite. I would love to know your thoughts and your current obsessions!

Settings: ISO 800, 44mm, ss1/10, f/5.0 (full manual, tripod, tungsten wb)
"The word "bokeh" comes from the Japanese word "boke" (pronounced bo-keh) which literally means fuzziness or dizziness." - KenRockwell.com

Linking up with the link ups below. Be sure to check out the other favorite shots!
the long road    Happily Mother After  and then, she {snapped}