A few months ago, we received notice from the school that all third graders would begin to learn the recorder. I think it becomes more of the curriculum in 4th grade, but my daughter has been practicing quite a bit and did pass her recorder test (on the second try!). I hope her new school has a music program. I played a few instruments as a child, and I would love to see my daughter play some too. It was really neat to see her practice to master the song; it started out frustrating with lots of “I can’t!”s and eventually we got to “I can!”.
Speaking of her new school (and our upcoming move), Melisa and I have decided to take a bit of a hiatus from this project to allow her to enjoy some family summer fun and for my family to relocate. We are getting close to our move now! It’s very exciting, but a lot of work. We’ll be back to this project as soon as we are able!
See what Melisa’s kids have been practicing here.
Who doesn’t love a long weekend? This past weekend we got one! Although the summer heat has been in full swing for a while here in South Texas, Memorial Day officially kicked off our summer.
We spent our Memorial Day swimming, barbecuing, watching movies, and just spending time together. We also took some time to remember those who have served our country and didn’t make it home. It really is a solemn and important holiday- it’s not just about barbecues and mattress sales! Although it’s difficult to think about fallen service members, it is so important, and important to us that our daughter understands what this holiday means. They should be remembered every day. I’m thankful and blessed to have my family intact and with me and I know not everyone is that fortunate. In my husband’s military career, we have had at least three incidents where this has hit close to home with the loss of service men and women at the bases where he was stationed. These stories always affect us deeply.
My daughter is still in school, so it doesn’t feel like summer has officially started for us here. This summer will be a busy one with our upcoming move, but I am definitely looking forward to more days like this.
See Melisa’s long weekend here.
I’m really not one to hang on to things. I don’t get too attached to objects and I generally try not to have extra “stuff”. This is largely due to how often we move; the simple fact is, the less stuff you have, the easier moves will be. So I have no problem with going through and purging things we don’t love, use, or need on a regular basis.
There are, of course, exceptions to this. While thinking about this week’s prompt, I realized I really haven’t handed down much to my daughter in terms of physical objects. Old toys and clothing have long since been lost over the years. I do have a couple of my baby clothes that I put on her when she was a baby (and, OK, I may have held on to a few of her baby clothes too). Somehow a few books have survived over the years and moved around with us. So many moms have a hard time going through their kids’ clothes when they grow out of them. This is hard for me too, but much harder for me is sorting through her old books and donating or selling them.
These books were gifted to me when I was a baby (so they are rather OLD!). I passed them down to my daughter. And although they are on the outdated, old fashioned side, she does enjoy looking through them from time to time. I’m glad to still have them on her bookshelf. Maybe she will hand them down to her own children one day.
See what Melisa has handed down here.
Melisa and I decided we were feeling a little blue this week. Well, we felt like photographing something blue anyway!
This little bluebird was on a chain that I wore when I was a little girl, and lately my daughter has taken to wearing it. It looks so cute on her; a tiny little blue detail in our lives these days. I love seeing her enjoying something I had as a child.
See where Melisa spotted some blue this week here.
Our last post was “wide open” and “closed down” is the opposite of that!
These are extremes I rarely visit with my images; using a very narrow aperture as we did for this prompt is just not practical for me in my day to day photography. The only time I really close down this much is to achieve a sunburst. I shot this image at f/16 with my 35mm lens. Using a closed down aperture is a great way to get sunbursts!
Of course, the sun must come out in order to get a sunburst! That is why we skipped last week; I knew this was the sort of image I wanted to get, and of course the sun picked that week to not shine at ALL! I noticed this spot on one of my morning walks in the neighborhood and knew it would be a perfect sunburst image. I loved how the sun was shining through the crepe myrtles by a tennis court just before 8 AM. I just had to wait for the right sunny day to capture that!
See how Melisa creatively uses a narrow aperture here.
When I first started out in photography, I thought every photo had to be taken “wide open”, that is with the lens opened to the widest possible aperture. I wanted the “blurred background” (as I thought of a shallow depth of field at the time); I loved the bokeh and creamy backgrounds that I thought were due solely to using the widest possible aperture.
This week Melisa and I challenged ourselves to again shoot wide open. I took my 50 mm lens, which has the largest possible aperture of all my lenses, and shot a few portraits of my daughter at f/1.4. What I didn’t realize when I was first starting out in photography (well, I didn’t realize a lot of things, but this was one of them!) was that while those soft backgrounds are indeed beautiful, it is so easy to miss focus when shooting that wide. In fact, while I was taking my images for this week’s prompt, I did have slipped focus on a couple of them. Even for the image I am posting, the focus fell more on her headband and less on her eyes! After years of shooting, I now know you can have a nice soft background without shooting wide open all the time, and my sweet spot for shooting now typically lies between f/2.8-f/5, depending on location and subject. More goes into depth of field than aperture choice, and anyway I don’t always feel the need for a blurred background anymore!
See how Melisa experimented with a wide open aperture this week here.
I love all flowers, but tulips are probably my favorite. I love how beautifully simple they are and the wide variety of colors they come in. I would love to have some in my garden, when/if we live somewhere where they can grow. They are a beautiful sign of spring.
Flowers are my second favorite subject to photograph after my daughter. They are always patient with me and I love photographing them and experimenting in my post processing.
(I prefer this image flipped vertically, which isn’t something I do often, and didn’t work for the featured image.)
Melisa is probably happy to have some flowers in her life after the long winter she has had! Her post can be found here.
My daughter is a dreamer, inventor, photographer, reader, writer and artist. I love all these qualities about her. I love how creative and funny she is. She is not afraid to try new things or express herself.
Although we try to keep clutter down in our house, we tolerate the detritus that comes along with her imagination, especially in her space. I’m really glad I have these images actually; we’ll be moving again this summer and it’s good to remember what her space was like at this moment in time, in this house. It will no doubt look different in our new home!
Click here to see what Melisa’s kids leave behind on their adventures.
It is definitely spring time here in South Texas. Some days it feels like we skipped spring and went straight to summer; we have had temperatures that have reached close to 90 on a few of those days! A little too hot for me for this time of year, but we’ve had our fair share of nice days too. And, of course, the good news is everything is in bloom. The bad news is, we have allergies to go along with that!
These red bud trees are all over the place. They scream spring time to me! I love their pink blooms.
I imagine Melisa’s spring is looking a little different than mine! Click here to see what spring looks like for her in New Jersey.
Although my husband’s work schedule and my daughter’s school schedule and homework can be very hectic, we always make time for some quiet family time before she goes to bed. Usually I will read with her for a while, and then my husband will come up to her room to talk with her and tuck her in. I love hearing her giggles from these conversations; they really crack each other up! They have a wonderful relationship and I treasure these times we have together as a family.
I know Melisa’s family has a very busy schedule too, but they also make time for each other. She how they spend their family time here.
My daughter loves to draw and I think she’s quite good at it! We have several of the books in this series (this one is 20 Ways to Draw a Cat and 44 Other Awesome Animals); they provide a lot of inspiration for her drawing.
Also, she recently got her braces removed and is quite thrilled to be able to eat popcorn again!
Check out Melisa’s kids’ art here.
I was on the lookout for fences this week!
Although it may seem random, there are creative ways to photograph fences. Flickr has a surprising number of groups devoted to fences as a subject. There are pretty and ornamental fences and gates around us, which brings me back to one of the reasons I love photography; it teaches us to observe the world in quiet and subtle ways.
This image is from our brief trip to Austin this week. The light wasn’t perfect, and this is a construction site, but I love how the colors of spring are coming through the fence.
See how Melisa found inspiration in a fence here.