More fun with Christmas lights this week!
I wanted to try a double exposure this week with some lights. The problem (or beauty, depending on your perspective) with double exposures is they are unpredictable. This one didn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned it, but it was the best of the bunch. And with homework looming and my subject’s patience for my photography experimentation marginal at best, it was best to move on.
This is our little Christmas tree. It’s artificial, but we were just talking the other day that maybe we will try a real tree again next year. This tree has been moved several times and is starting to show its age. I love all the vintage ornaments we have on it from our childhoods. Every year when we unpack the Christmas decorations, they bring back memories.
You may see Melisa’s beautiful tree here!
‘Tis the season for bokeh!
I love capturing holiday lights in their many forms. San Antonio is big on decorating for the holidays; there are plenty of lights around the city this time of year. I love seeing them on the twisty oak trunks. It’s so beautiful at night, and makes an ordinary scene magical. I hope you are all enjoying the lights this time of year!
See what Melisa’s lights look like here.
We are balancing out last week’s post by visiting what after school looks like this week.
Our routine goes something like this: we almost always talk on the phone with my mom after school for about 15-20 minutes. I then give my daughter until about 4:15 to do whatever she likes. Then we start homework. Each week we get a homework packet on Monday, and all of the assignments are due on Friday (with the exception of math, which is about 20-25 problems due the next day). I really love this system because we can get most of the homework done early in the week and then just have the math to finish every night. By nature, my daughter is probably more of a procrastinator than I am, but we are working on that!
After homework, we have dinner, take a shower, watch TV, read and then go to bed. And that’s pretty much our after school routine! I’m looking forward to a week off next week for Thanksgiving!
Click here to find out what Melisa’s after school time looks like. I’m sure it’s busy!
Like most of you, our mornings during the school week are busy. School here starts a full hour earlier than it did for us in Arizona and that has been an adjustment. Gone are the days of leisurely breakfasts and watching The Today Show before leaving for school. These days we head out a little before 7 AM. Fortunately, my daughter has always been a morning person and I don’t have to fight with her too much about getting out of bed. Our “hustle” happens at the 10 and 5 minute warning marks. I don’t like to feel stressed and rushed in the morning; it’s just not a good way to start our day. I try to give us plenty of time to get to school and not worry about being late.
I bet Melisa’s mornings are busy too! Click here to find out what her family’s morning looks like.
The truth is, I get a lot of alone time these days.
Of course, “alone time” isn’t always “me time”. Alone time often means running errands, grocery shopping, laundry folding and all the other little tasks that somehow make up my days.
I love getting pedicures, taking photowalks, working out, taking a yoga class, or hiking when I find myself a pocket of free time. One thing I really love to do that feels completely indulgent and a perfect way to relax is go to movies by myself while my daughter is at school. I don’t do this as often as I would like, but as the year is winding down and the Oscar-worthy movies are starting to come out, I will try to go more.
Reading is something I make time for every day. And if I can have a cup of chai tea or coffee with my book, it’s all the better.
How does Melisa treat herself? Click here to find out.
One of the many things photography has taught me is to be more mindful and observant of my surroundings. I think photographers are always taking images in their mind, whether they have their camera with them or not. It’s nice to slow down on walks and notice the small, beautiful details that are around us. On a recent early morning walk around my neighborhood, I saw a few of these little mushrooms in my neighbor’s yard. My neighbors may very well think I am completely nuts when they see me crouching down on their sidewalk to take a photo of a mushroom or flower, but that’s OK with me. I’m perfectly fine being the “crazy photography lady” in the neighborhood. I don’t have a dog to walk, but I love taking my camera for a walk.
Let’s find out what Melisa discovered on her neighborhood walk! Her post is here.
This week we decided to focus on a photography technique. In case you aren’t familiar with this term, freelensing is a technique where the lens is removed from the camera and turned by hand slightly to achieve focus. I use an old lens I hacked or a Lensbaby to freelens. This is because when you remove Nikon lenses from the camera body, the aperture closes down and it won’t work as well (or you will need a LOT of light!). Freelensing or reverse freelensing (same concept, just turn the lens around so that the front of the lens faces the camera body) are fun techniques for macro photography too.
One thing I find interesting about freelensing is its unpredictable nature. You might get an image with a nice slice of focus or you might get an image that is completely out of focus, and where focus will fall is sometimes hard to predict. You might get some light leaks or flare. The images tend to be ethereal and dreamy, often film-like or vintage in appearance. If you are someone who demands tack sharp focus in your imagery, freelensing might not be for you! It can be a little scary to take your lens off your camera the first time you try it, but it’s fun to play with and a good way to let go of perfection.
I can’t wait to see how Melisa freelensed this week! Click here to find out.
You all may have noticed we had to take a little break from our project last week. That’s totally on me– our computer completely died on me last week! To be fair, this was a long time coming; the computer was elderly. After several hours on the phone with Apple, we were able to get it working again, but it became very clear that the computer was on its last legs. This led to us buying a new computer this past weekend. Good news, we are up and running again!
Anyway, this is how we roll these days, in a RAV 4 Hybrid. I seriously love this car and plan for my daughter to inherit it and learn to drive on it one day. We are a brand loyal family apparently, when it comes to computers and cars (and cameras!).
Click on over to Melisa’s post to see how her family rolls.
We love botanical gardens and make a point of visiting them whenever we are in a new city. We recently joined the San Antonio Gardens and I know we will be visiting there regularly. I love all the special events the garden hosts throughout the year and there is nothing better than a morning spent walking, exploring and of course photographing! My daughter likes to wear bright colors when we visit in the hopes a butterfly will land on her. She enjoys walking around the gardens with us, looking for butterflies, dragonflies, birds and lizards. Her absolute favorite thing to do at the garden is feed the ducks.
Light like this doesn’t lend itself to making the best images, but living in sunny environments has forced me to embrace direct sunlight. Life doesn’t always happen at Golden Hour so we have to work with what we’re given.
Please head over to Melisa’s post to see what the gardens are like in her area!
We’ve been back at school for a few weeks now, and we are definitely settling into a routine. Gone are the lazy summer days of sleeping in; we now get up before 6 and leave for school while it’s still dark. We have a nice view of the moon in the morning and I see the sunrise on my way home from drop-off. Although this early morning rising is not my natural inclination, I do find that it’s nice to be up early. I feel more productive when my day starts early and it’s actually cool now outside in the mornings which is so nice! I’ve been going for some walks after I drop her off and I can get to the gym earlier in the day during the school year too.
You might recall I was very nervous about sending her to a new school, but it is going really well so far. My daughter has adjusted nicely to her new school and made some friends. Drop-off and pickup are going smoother and she is always happy in the afternoon when I pick her up, despite a long day of learning. Her school is challenging her, but so far even homework has only been a minor battle. I guess we are in that sweet spot of getting into routine, but also still being excited for the new school year.
I hope the school year is going well so far for all of you!
Melisa’s daughter just started school yesterday! Head over to her post to see what back to school means for them.
We certainly had some wild weather this past week! Fortunately, San Antonio wasn’t hit nearly as hard as predicted by the hurricane. We got some rain and wind this past weekend, but fortunately not much in terms of flooding or damage. One nice side effect of that is the weather has cooled down, particularly in the morning. This morning it was in the 60s! For the past few days it’s been sunny.
While we were lucky in San Antonio, my heart goes out to those in Houston, as they were affected much worse than predicted. The flooding images coming out of Houston are heartbreaking and unbelievable. If you are interested in finding ways to help Houston, here is a great resource.
Head over to Melisa’s blog to see what’s happening on her side of the country!
I really like the front door we have at this house! The glass panes are pretty and let some nice light in. Across the street, my neighbor has a nice garden with a fountain and a beautiful crepe myrtle tree (you can see some of the pink blooms through the window in the photo). The architecture in this neighborhood is pretty typical of San Antonio I think. We live on a hill and most of the houses in this neighborhood have steps leading up to the front door, some of which are spiral-type staircases. The movers were very happy to see that our house just had simple stairs. I’m sure that’s challenging enough for them though! I’m looking forward to discovering more outside our front door by taking some walks around our neighborhood once it’s a little cooler. We’ll enjoy walking around the neighborhood at Halloween and Christmas.
And here’s a bonus image of the other side of the front door, taken on my daughter’s first day of school.
Please head over to Melisa’s post to see what’s outside her front door!