Visit With Our Nephew

We’ve been talking all summer of how we need to get together with our nephew, Lars.  He’s just a short hop up from us, as he’s in LA working an intern job over the summer.

And this last weekend, was the weekend we made it happen.

Lars told his uncle (hubby) that he was free to come down to San Diego for a visit and we could not have been happier.

It was time well spent.

And yes, he made that killer shot!  Way to go Lars!

As the sun started dropping, I thought it was the right time to get some of those golden hour shots.

The aperture was changed to blur the background or to give a shallow depth of field.

While he carried on with his uncle, I shot…

…and snapped…


and snapped some more.  I’m not very happy with my shots and like hubby said.  I should have put the camera on auto for some of these or at least changed the aperture.

But overall, I’m happy he was willing to let me snap away and glad to have these pictures for memory lane.

Next time, I hope to have a better grasp of all the things I’m learning in photography class.

This shot (of all of us) was taken in manual but with a higher aperture (a bit larger depth of field).  I wish I would have had kept this setting for the above shots of Lars.  Another lesson learned.

But the good news, we had such a great time and that’s what matters most.

Blessings – Debbie

First week of Photography Class

The first week of class went so much better than the “beginning” of my first day (Last Mon, the 20th) of school.  See the post following this to read all about that.

After my class last Wednesday, the hubs and I hit the road for a short business trip.

While the hubs went to work, I studied the lesson, read a couple of chapters in the book and set my camera to the right settings.

When hubby left for work the next morning, I sat in the living area of our room waiting on room service.

While I waited, I took some practice shots.

Once the room was clean, I put the do not disturb sign on the door and left the room.  It was just me, my camera and a very happy heart.  I could not wait to start taking pictures (for practice)  in the lobby.

This is the first thing I saw that begged for a shot.

This statue rested on a coffee table in a sitting area.  I thought it made for a great subject, so I shot it too.

As soon as I shot the above statue, the battery in my camera died.

It’s the exact moment when I realized I not only forgot to bring my spare battery but I also forgot my battery charger.

It’s the moment my heart sank, the moment when I realized all the hundreds of shots I wanted to take would not be taken.

It was a moment when I found it difficult to forgive myself for leaving one of the most important things of my camera equipment behind.

I believe it will go down in history as another lesson learned the hard way.

The shot below was taken (outdoors) during class yesterday.

This is one of the 3 shots I used for our lesson (in class) on reciprocity.  Reciprocity is a really cool exposure tool for photographers.  It was fun for me to not only understand it, but to put it to work and understand it all the way around.  Good stuff!

Last week, we studied:

  • Pixel Dimensions of our cameras
  • Metering
  • Digital Workflow
  • Color Management Procedure
  • Digital Processing Procedure
  • Bit Depth
  • Resolution and RGB
  • Color Temperature
  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • White Balance
  • Exposure Bracketing
  • Exposure Light Meters
  • Reflective Light Meters
  • Bracketing
  • Reciprocity of Exposures

I would like to journal the things I study each week so that it’s here for my future records. And I think it will be fun to look back on each week to see how far I’ve come.

Blessings – Debbie

I Could Write A Story

I could write so many little stories about my first day back to class.

  • Road Block – As I arrived for my first day of class, I was rerouted to another street, only to have that street blocked off by construction workers upon my arrival…
  • Angels Watching Over Me – The Angels watched over me while a great big S.O.S circled over my head…
  • The Good Samaritan – The Good Samaritan watches on with the Angels as I got out of my car, on the road that was blocked off, trying to ask the construction worker where I should go to get back on that road.  All the while the construction worker threw up his hands, shook his head at me and got back into his truck…
  • I Could Have Cried – When I didn’t know which way to turn…
  • The Good Samaritan Part II – The Good Samaritan stopped me on my way (on foot) back to my car.  After exchanging a few words he said “follow me.”  I spun my car around as I fully trusted him to lead me to the right place.  Bless that nice man real good…
  • Twenty Five Minutes Early – The twenty-five minutes early vanished quickly from the time I initially arrived on campus.  This story would take 25 min + a lot of unpleasant memories to tell…
  • Late – I was just shy of arriving to class on time.  I hate being late for anything.  And I’m not happy that I missed the opening of class.  At least I know how to get to the proper parking lot from the back of the campus, thank you nice man…

After all of that, I’m pleased to announce that I have such a great feeling about this semester.  Our professor is amazing!  He’s down to earth, funny, I “get” things when he speaks and most importantly, I feel relaxed in this class.

I’m ready for the ride of my life and I’m dreaming “BIG” this semester!

You may (or may not) laugh with me.  But I have a little something to share about my very first non paper book experience.  I’m pretty stoked to have this non paper book on my dandy little iPad.

For the funny part.  I have not used my Amazon account in like forever (I always use hubby’s account). So last evening when hubby was ordering this book on my account, I got all flustered saying “we need to check the shipping address as we have moved several times since using my account.” Hubby to me “honey, it’s being delivered, right this second, straight to your iPad.” I laughed so hard my side hurt. I love my new way of reading!

I will say it took me a little while to warm up to the idea of starting my class and not having a “tangible” book.  I have to admit, I was a bit nervous trying this “new to me” way of reading.

I come equipped with a dash of stubborn, hubby likes to say I’m a little spicy at times like this.  But I’m ever so thankful he comes equipped with so much patience and kindness and those two things are the keys to get me to snap me out of that little stubborn spicy streak.  I continue thanking him for “coaxing” me to get set up with my books on the iPad.

What a great choice!

Blessings – Debbie

I Have A Dream

I have a dream to be all that I can be, no matter where my passion lies.

I have a dream to exceed the expectations I have for myself.

I have a dream to be a great photographer one day when I grow up.  I like to think I’m always growing.  And I like to think of life as one great big growing up experience.

We can dream and keep on dreaming – or we can do something about that dream.

Now that I’ve exhausted photography books and a little two-day photography workshop, It’s time to bring out the big guns.  In other words, It’s time to go back to school.

There comes a time when it’s time to stop dreaming and turn that dream into reality.  Now is the time.

In fact, today is my very first day of school.  And on this very first day, I have a lot of things running thru my mind before I start class.  Things like – What will I learn today?  What will my very first assignment be?  What will I walk away from class holding on to the most?

Would you like to know the most exciting part for me?  I think it’s the anticipation of the weekly assignments.  I’m ready for a challenge as I stand behind the lens.  And ready to take some fun and exciting shots in the days ahead.

Dare to dream, face your fears, challenge your passion and turn those dreams into reality.

But Don’t Stop Dreaming!

Blessings – Debbie

At The End Of The Day

As I sit and reflect over the day, I can’t help but feel just a wee bit happy.  Could empty laundry baskets have something to do with it?  Or could it be that the ironing is all up to snuff?  Maybe, just maybe it was the invitation to join the hubs for a special lunch date.  My absolute favorite part of the day, hands down.  Perhaps this great feeling has to do with all the above.  Either way, it’s been a great day and I’m ready for the weekend.

All work and no play is no fun.  So I mixed it up by taking my camera out for a spin in the yard.  I wanted to try a few settings while things down below were blanketed with shade, complements to the clouds that rolled in.

Behold!  I spied tomatoes growing in our yard!  Who knew?  We didn’t plant them.

I thought they made a great subject, so I shot them like so.

I tend to avoid dead flowers in my shots.  However, I found the vibrant yellow that popped from the flowers that once bloomed, to be a good thing.

Be bright and bold!  Live life to the fullest!  Bloom where you are planted!  It’s what the  flowers have to say.  They can teach us a lot.  No?

One last shot – I don’t claim to know my So Cal trees.  But I wonder if this is a sweetgum.  Thanks to my girlfriend from TX to provide the info on it.  It’s the leaf that first caught my eye.  Then that fruit sort of a thing begged to be in the shot too.  So there you have it.

My photography classes officially begin Monday.  I’m so excited, I’m about to pop!  I can’t wait for my first “real” assignment.    I’m thinking that assignment and much much more will make the blog, so stay tuned.

Blessings – Debbie

Where Is My Camera

Pretty much, that’s the question I ask when I don’t have it when I need it.  So the cell phone had to do for today.

It was a beautiful Thursday morning for a hike with “the girls”.  The sun was shining, the flowers bloomed and conversation flowed from one harmonious stream of thought to the next.

Somebody discovered this impressive Dragon Fruit or pitaya (flowering fruit) cactus.  It’s impressive because it only blooms during the night and only lasts a day.  I learned that in full production, these guys can have up to 4-6 blooming cycles per year.  It was pretty exciting to catch it on our hike this morning.  Where’s my camera when I need it?  Perhaps there is a lesson in there somewhere.

Onward and upward to Starbucks we walked.  The light that awaited was an iced mocha, topped with whip cream.  I can’t imagine the goodness any other way.

It was a nice place to rest and the camaraderie in our circle of friends is priceless.

Once we were back to the comfort of our neighborhood, I had the privilege of visiting with my neighbor Rhonda.  We also put our heads together on a task she is working on.  I hope I’m able to help her out.

I also enjoyed the labor of love in the landscape surrounding her home.  Each twist and turn is pleasing to the eye of the beholder.

This passion fruit vine frames her patio.  It’s hard to express the beauty as I don’t have a picture other than this.  But it’s remarkable and noteworthy.  Where was my camera?  Let’s not talk about that right now.

The vista or “the scenic view” from her patio is magnificent.

Thursday is a special day of the week.  A time to connect with neighbors and friends, which turns our day into extraordinary.  I consider myself blessed.

Blessings – Debbie

Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer finally reached us So Cal folks.  But, we’re not complaining.  It’s just that the ac runs a bit longer during the day and…well, it feels like summer minus the humidity that we’re accustomed to on the east coast.  Not bad at all if you were to ask us.

I don’t know about you, but certain seasons evoke memories of seasons past.  The thought of summer brings to mind the good ol beach days back in “the day”.  I think of flip-flops, sundresses, cool drinks, sunglasses, bonnets, vacations and so on.

And for me, when the heat of last week rolled in,  all I could think about was getting my nail tips done in yellow.  Yes, that’s what I felt like doing to celebrate this brief hot spell. It’s the little things, right?

When hubby noticed my yellow nail tips, he asked “what’s the occasion?”  Why, “it’s SUMmer” I replied.  It’s the time of year for sunflowers that boast the brightest yellow and to me, the essential part of summer is all about yellow.  At least that’s how my thinker thinks.

So today, I used a pottery purse that I made last year as a prop.

I snapped a couple of pictures for memory’s sake.

Summer without yellow would be like autumn without orange.  This could be a clue for an upcoming nail color.

In other news:

Nutella would be proud.  I used this pic (the one I took yesterday) to make a puzzle on my computer last evening. Although I prefer working on a real jigsaw puzzle, this was still fun.

Nutella in the house has been my dearest food friend for the last two days.  So much so that I don’t see this product in our home when the jar ends.  It’s going to be a sad day when it’s over.  Sad let me tell ya.  As “they” say “everything in moderation” – but I can’t seem to get a good moderation grip on this guy.  So sad.

There are more fish fry.  And life will go on happily ever after as I plan to make that a brief memory.

Blessings – Debbie

I’m Not a Breakfast Person – Or Am I

It’s Tuesday already.  But the thing I can’t get away from, is that the weekend and Monday went rolling by so fast.

We celebrated the beginning of our weekend (Friday evening) by enjoying a nice little dinner outing with friends.  It was one of those meals where dinner was sandwiched between appetizers and dessert.  It was an evening we walked away filled with a happy heart and tummy.  What a great way to kick off the weekend.

As Monday morning rolled around, hubby said,  “I could use another day with you.”  I wish I could say that he was able to take off the day.  But alas, he had meetings to attend and there was work to do.

Speaking of work, my chore was to do a little food shopping.  So the list was made, the shopping complete and the cupboards were stocked with all things good.

But something creeped into the home and into my tummy for the very first time.  An item that, for whatever reason at that very moment, begged to come home with me.  And at that very moment, I turned into a compulsive shopper.  I just “had” to have it.

Can you guess what fills this Tbsp?

Is nutella not the greatest thing ever?  Go ahead, you can say “I told you so.”

It gets a little tempting tricky, but measuring it is key.  I don’t even want to discuss the trouble I would be in if I didn’t carefully measure it out.

There is (no more, no less than) two tablespoons slathered over this slice of bread.

With a banana on top.  I ate it open-faced, just like this.

I consider this an amazeballs type of meal.

And I can see breakfast in my future!  I’m not a breakfast person, but let me tell ya, this gets my attention.

Happy Nutella Day!

Blessings – Debbie

Oh Snap

Good Saturday afternoon!  I’m having a great week in our little corner of the world.

Oh Snap – It’s what I do.  I’m known to stop what I’m doing the moment something catches my eye.  Especially when my camera is in tow.  I could use a shirt that says – Caution!  I make unexpected stops.

So today I thought I would share a couple of pictures that have not made it to the blog this week.

The White Rose – So pure

And the Dragonfly – Last weekend, while visiting (on the phone) with my mom.  I snapped a few pix of this dragonfly.  I love his/her bold color splashed in front of the greenery.

While I love the lens (50mm F1.4) I used to capture both of the shots in this post, there are still more lenses on my wish list.  The problem?  I still don’t know the exact (telephoto and macro) lens/lenses to buy to do the job I want to do.  I hope to get those questions answered in my upcoming photography class.

Until then, I’ll continue snapping whatever catches my eye.

Blessings – Debbie

When Girls Get Together

It’s a great day when girls get together.  And this was one of those days.

We hiked…

Many thanks to Terrell for the idea this week!

What a pretty place.

We stopped for pictures.  What a beautiful mommy/daughter moment…

…friends need pix to remember too…

…it turned into a photo shoot…

…fun times were had by all…

…I gotta tell ya, a smile does a heart good…

…and so does coffee by the water…

…we enjoyed our visit…

…and the view…

…and hiked some more…

…we spied cuteness.  I had to take a pic.

When all was said and done, a few of us thought it necessary to have a little lunch outing to top off our day.  My salad from Nordstrom Cafe.

Would you like to know something really neat?  I got to ride in an electric car for the very first time!  I’m still thinking “how cool is that?!”  The first thing I recall is how quiet it was when she started it.  Many thanks to Rhonda for such a sweet ride!  P.S.  How cool is my edit job on the license plate?

I give this day a “100%” thumbs up.

Blessings – Debbie

Pass The Tissues

The tissues are piling like snow drifts and I’m *achoo* sneezing in groups of five instead of three.

This is the scene next to me as I recline on the sofa.  Why do I need a fan when it’s 74 in the house?  Good question.

I mentally told myself I was almost better this morning, but my body is telling a different story and so is my squeaky voice.  The truth is in there somewhere.

I believe hubby knows the truth.  He called to see if a bowl of chicken noodle soup sounded good.  He also asked if my favorite pumpkin muffin sounded good to me too.  And it did.

Soon he was home with a yummy bowl of soup.

A baguette

and my favorite pumpkin muffin in the world.

And some good stuff from the drug store to help me get some rest.  Once again, I told myself, I feel better already.

Achoo x 5.  Please excuse me while I grab another tissue and prop my feet up for another nap.  I’m getting better, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Blessings – Debbie

My Happy Place

Hubby and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary last evening.  This is a shot of us after dinner.

And after 13 years, I never thought it could be possible for love to continue to grow as much as it has.  I love him more today, than all my yesterdays.  And I feel so blessed that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

He has a way of making me smile and he adds light to the darkest of night.

For our anniversary dinner last evening, he took me to Jake’s in Del Mar.  This was the view from our table last evening.

It is such a fun atmosphere and one of our favorite places to go.

The next two pictures were all I could get of the sun as it peaked thru the clouds.

It was pretty to see that shimmer across the pacific.

Shot from our window seat.

After two yummy hours of dining.  We took a little stroll out by the beach.  We took a few pix of us.  And as we walked hand in hand back to the car, I felt at peace and at one.

And no matter where we are, my Happy Place will always be right here with him.

Blessings – Debbie