Monday, February 24, 2014

Updates and Changes

Whew!  What can I say except that I've been slacking for the past several months.  This winter has not motivated me at all to do photography very much.  However, my granddaughter, who is 11 years old has been bitten by the photography bug already.  She is a very creative child and loves all types of arts and crafts, including photography (she loves still life at this time), crocheting, and painting with acrylics.  Here are some of her photos.  She is using my Canon Power Shot SX120.

I think she is doing very well for her age.  She picked up so many things so quickly as I have started teaching her.  However, with the photography, she pretty much has picked that up on her own with just a little guidance.  Imagine what she can do with her talent by the time she is an adult!  This last photo above, of course, is my little Jonah.  My granddaughter is much more able to get down low to his level to take good shots of him.  Currently this is my cover photo on Facebook.

Okay, back to the update and changes.  First of all, I moved in with my son and his family this past June.  In August, I believe, I was able to buy my first DSLR camera, used, from a good friend.  It is a Canon Rebel EOS T3i and I love it.  The only problem with it at this time is not because of the camera itself, but because I don't have any extra lenses so I am limited on still life photos and macro images which I love to take.  This winter has really interfered with my photographic motivation, however, because I just do not want to go outside where I might end up on my backside unable to get back up.  Spring cannot come soon enough for me.

This winter I was able to take my first semi-pro photo shoot with my new camera.  This one was very impromptu and in our home so I didn't have to go outside anywhere.  The subjects created their own backdrop using a wintery vinyl tablecloth and a bed sheet.  We set up the top of an artificial Christmas tree and decorated it to add more interest along with some wrapped packages.  Amazingly, the photos turned out very well considering the way we used regular table lamps for our lighting.  The subjects, a mother and daughter, sat on the floor on the bed sheet with the tablecloth hung on the entertainment center behind them.  I don't have their permission to post the photos here, but I was pretty happy with the results. Here is just a tidbit of what the backdrop was.

 I tried to get Christmas family photos of both of my children and their children but that didn't turn out so well.  My daughter didn't want to do it, and my daughter-in-law didn't want to use the same backdrop; and we didn't have all the kids at home.  My son wasn't cooperative either so that just flopped.  Maybe this spring we can all do something together.  Last summer I also had the chance to take semi-pro photos of the grandkids in this big old tree in our back yard.  They turned out pretty well also.  Sadly, the tree is no more.  It was already splitting at the trunk and was a hazard in the yard and to our electrical wiring, so it was cut down shortly after the photos were taken.  

This winter I did get the chance to work on improving photos of flame such as in candle light.  Here are the results.

The candle photos were taken with the Canon Rebel EOS T3i and if I remember correctly, at 3200 ISO without any flash.  I also did not use a tripod for these, so I am pretty happy with how they turned out.

Painting with acrylics has taken up a lot of my weekends this winter.  I was given several canvases to paint on which I never really worked with before.  Here are a few of the winter's painting results.

I wasn't too happy with the canvas above as it didn't have the right 3D result I was trying to get.  My daughter was happy with it, however.  She has been wanting me to paint something just for her so that was it.  I had practiced beforehand with notebook and crayons and got the result of the picture below.  I decided not to go for the rays of color in the painting, however.  But in the crayon version, I got the 3D look I was after.

I have never, ever painted a horse, or any animal before.  First I had watched some painting videos on YouTube and one in particular was of a horse.  Secondly, I looked through some horse head paintings and found this one by Arthur Braginsky which I used as a base for my horse.  It isn't the same horse and isn't nearly as good as the original, but for a first try, I was happy.

The painting below is back to what I do best, I think, which is abstract.  Don't ask what this is because I don't know.  I am not even sure which side is up on this one.  But I had to choose so I could sign it and I decided it looked somewhat like a flower and there was this purple strand below that looks like either a stem or ribbon hanging below the flower portion, so that is how I chose.  I painted this in two settings, as I also did with the horse painting.  

For now, painting, reading, and occasional photography takes up much of my time.  The grandchildren are home schooled so I have been busy helping with that as well.  Also, much of my spare time goes to watching Bible study videos by Chuck Missler on YouTube.  Changes in the past months have been huge, and I am busy, which I cannot say for myself previously.  It's a good thing.  However, come spring, I hope to be back to photography and making graphic designs as well.  Until next time...