Sunday, August 29, 2010

Playing with Preston

Friday night we headed over to Michael and Laura's; we hadn't played with Preston since school got out so we were way overdue.

Preston just turned two and is TOO cute! Say "Cheese"!!

These shots are a little grainy because I had to enhance them on iPhoto to brighten them up. I had the ISO up again and the shutter speed a little slower (between 1/8-1/13). I'm really glad that all of our friends let me take pictures of their kids and flaunt them on the world wide web...Thanks, guys!

We're babysitting Miss E tonight, so you can count on an Ellie post coming up!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where My Pitches At?

Neal and some other KPMGers (and alumni) play in a softball league on Monday nights. It's been hot as Hades here so I haven't made it to too many games as a cheerleader but wanted to support this week since it'd been a while since I made an appearance. Here are my favorite shots from the night...

Kept the aperture low, the shutter speed fast, the ISO high (like 1600), and the flash off for all of these. I really love the light in all of these; they may actually be some of my favorite pictures that I've taken...

School has started so the blog has slowed a little (okay, a lot comparatively). But I'm definitely still trying to use the camera as much as possible. I've accumulated some good "assignments" so I don't run out of blog material. I'm excited to experiment a little more with the camera, too!

Neal's team name is actually "Where My Pitches At?"; all of the girls have different pitch styles on the back of our shirts. When we cheer, we shorten it just to Pitches!! Let's go Pitches!! Hahaha!! Funny, no?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Berre Babes!

Last night at Betsy's "First Day Feast", I seized the opportunity for some new material. Betsy's babes are too.darn.cute.


and River:

Betsy and her mom lovin' on generation 3! He was probably doing something totally adorable here...

Just like last night, I had to slow the shutter speed down more than I thought I would. I forgot about the great gift of ISO until later though. Thank goodness--it's a miracle worker. I bumped it up a little on these to get the right light, and a couple still came out darker than I wanted. I just really don't like using the flash...It's a thing of mine.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day Feast

My friend Betsy is such an amazing stay-at-home-mom/friend/Christian woman around. Each year she hosts a "First Day Feast" for all of her teacher friends (and coaching husband) to feed their hungry bellies after a long first day back. She had everything decorated so cute!!

We all had our own placemats with our names in chalk. Isn't she so creative?! I had to slow the shutter speed more than I thought and definitely had to mess around a little with all of the settings. Settings were around 1/25 and f/5.

Stay tuned this week for some great pictures of Betsy's precious kiddos and Neal's softball game. It's been a busy day! I'm off to hit the sack now. The first day excitement is wearing off; I forgot for a minute that I have to get up and do it all again tomorrow.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Workin' at the Car Wash!!

Neal and I got out early this morning and enjoyed the nice cool(er) weather. Got the car nice and shiny...I liked the look of the suds.

A little product placement on these? Maybe...
Got up nice and close (and down and dirty) for both of these; the shutter speed was set to 1/125 since it was so light out, and the aperture was low, f/5.3 for the close up. Nothing like a little water from the hose to cool us off once it started to get hotter.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

See Jack Smile

Meet Jack. Jack is THE happiest baby I've ever seen. Maybe ever. He never takes a bad picture, and that's pretty good for a little guy!
He's pretty irresistible!

We had a girls' night out last night. We went downtown to the W for dinner at Craft. It's Restaurant Week here, and Craft did NOT disappoint. For $35 you got a delicious three course meal. I had diver favorite! You can see Heather's pics of the food (and more precious pictures of Jack) here.

Here's a group shot. No wonder Jack's smiling here...he's surrounded by pretty ladies!!
That's Lauren, Jill, Heather, Jack, me, Camille, Joy, and Scottie. I'm so lucky to have such a great group of friends here! We miss you, Julie!

The first shot was with a flash, with a shutter speed around 1/25. I decided to go with the flash on the first picture because otherwise I'd have to slow the shutter speed waaaaaay down to get it light enough. Slowing the shutter speed is always a bad idea when photographing sweet babes because they don't do well with, "Hold it...hold still...okay, now say cheese!!" The second shot was actually taken first, and can I just say the 'enhance' button iPhoto is definitely my friend!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Got a Feeling!!

Today my district held its annual "pep rally" to get everybody pumped up for the new school year. This year we performed a "flash mob" and everybody danced before the keynote speaker. Ever seen 7,500 teachers dancing to Black Eyed Peas? It's...ummm...interesting.

Are you ready to move??

Coming from Panhandle, my first Convocation blew my mind. There are literally 3x the number of people in this church than there are in the town I grew up in!! What??? And now they're all doing the same dance moves? That's just insane. Keep in mind that this picture only captures a small portion of the sanctuary...

I actually had to turn the flash on for the second shot. I had the shutter speed at 1/50 and the aperture set to f/5.6. I wouldn't have been able to get a clean enough shot without the flash, either because of all the movement or because of how dark it was...

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Almost That Time Again...

Time to start gearing up for school. It's seems crazy that summer is already over. I headed up to school to work in my classroom and started with quite a mess. I had a long way to go...

It's crazy to me to think that in about a week these desks are going to be filled with rowdy, pre-pubescent, nervous but in a "I-don't-want-anyone-to-see-how-scared-I-am-because-I-want-them-to-think-I'm-cool" kind of way, 7th graders. I'm also excited and nervous; I still have a long way to go before I'm ready, but I'm not going to stress quite yet...I've still got a week in the empty room (thank goodness!).
And because I just can't's Miss E showing some 'tude!! Ugh! How cute is that Little Stinker???

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Tonight was Book Club, my favorite night of the month. Scottie hosted, and since she lives down my street, I always ride the ol' cruiser down to her place. That's quite a picnic in that wicker basket, no?

I love Book Club, and my girls, and my neighborhood, and brie, and being able to cruise on my cruiser. The picture was set at 1/200, f/8, edited in iPhoto.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Last Summer Outing??

It's almost over. I can't believe it...summer vacation is coming to a close. How did it go so fast?? Neal and I haven't had a lot of chances to go out on the boat this summer so when Bruce came up with the idea to take it out to Ski Shores for lunch, we jumped on the idea and in to the water!

This is just another reason why I love Austin!


I used to get the collage of Neal's flip. I used the direct sunlight White Balance setting and had the ISO on 400. It was a really bright day out (see those blue skies?) so I had the shutter speed set to 1/150 or higher.

Oh, summer, I wish you'd stay forever!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Heart Austin

I love Austin. It's one of my favorite places. Not only is family here, but I have some of my favorite memories in this city: college days on South Congress, getting engaged on Lake Austin, getting married here, cruising the drag (shopping the drag), the food, the people...everything about this city makes me smile. I love when we get to come visit.

Today Becky and I went down to the UT campus to check out the "Our Body: The Universe Within" exhibit at the football stadium. It was fascinating; the body is an amazing machine. And the campus? It was pretty empty, but still so...HUGE.
Doesn't this get you excited about college football and FALL TEMPERATURES?!

But since it's still a bajillion degrees outside, we decided to venture to another Austin staple, Sno Beach for snow cones!!
All of these were taken in the shutter priority mode with a really fast shutter speed (around at least 1/125 if not higher) since it was so bright out today.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Nerd

I'm thinking about starting a series that includes all things "Around the House." Once school starts, taking a picture every day may prove difficult because I may not be able to come up with very many creative ideas for the POD. Anyway, just an idea I'm toying with since tonight I just started taking pictures of books/shelves...all different angles.

I just want to point out that at one point I found a book by Candice Bergen right next to Gone With the Wind. Two classics? Funny.

I focused on the shutter priority mode with these. No flash; ISO around 400. Different shots had different shutter speeds depending on the light, but overall fairly quick.

Fancy Feet

Last night was Matt and Anna's wedding. It was GORGEOUS! But I only had my clutch, and there were people that were being paid to take pictures already there with their big fancy cameras so I didn't bring mine. Again, a learning experience because I totally regretted that as soon as the dance party started. But I did have the trusty iPhone. Andi showed me the Hipstamatic App, and I had to have it. It's totally rad. It's the very first app I paid for, that's how much I wanted it (which is funny because my brother totally gave me a real Holga for my birthday one year).

I've been kind of fascinated by feet lately. I know it's weird, but I find myself staring at feet when I'm people watching just as much as the rest of the person. And I think they make great pictures. Maybe I'm crazy, and feet are terrible subjects, but I like it, and it's my blog, so there!! Just kidding. A little.

Again, these are only iPhone pictures, but I still like them. I was seeing in my head different pictures and freezing them like a picture would; I kept wishing I had my camera to freeze them for real. I'm still learning more and more about me, and really, wasn't that the whole point of this whole experience? Maybe the next wedding I go to, I'll just suck it up and bring the darn camera. I'm sure there will be plenty more opportunities...

Friday, August 6, 2010


Meet Hanz. Doesn't he just look like a Hanz? I spent a couple of hours with Andi this evening and snapped a few shots of ol' Hanz here.


I found it really hard to get a good shot here because I needed a fast shutter speed to try to even get a picture at all, but they all came out too dark. I tried all sorts of different settings but couldn't find the "right" one. It was also frustrating because what I saw through the viewfinder did NOT come out...the natural lighting was amazing, and the picture I saw in my head was so freaking cool. But we live and learn.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Big Yawn

After being out of town for a week, I needed a good dose of Miss E. In just a week, she went from sleeping/crying/eating/pooping all day, to a sweet-smiley-cooing-alert-sitting-in-her-bumbo little babe.

Taken with a fairly quick shutter speed (around 1/25) and a low f/stop (4.5, the lowest I've gotten to on my camera, actually) and a high ISO--1600. Okay, and I actually can't take credit for this one either because I was way too busy loving on this sweet girl to take any pictures. But I did bring the camera and Neal was all over it!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Family Time & Guest Photographer

Sorry about the unannounced hiatus from the blog, but I was so caught up being with my family and too exhausted at the end of the night (or morning, whichever way you look at it) to blog. My brother-in-law, Mark, got a hold of my camera on Monday night, and I ended up with 217 pictures on my camera.

This first one I just think is cool. He looks like an invisible man. All Mark did to shoot this was shoot into the light with a low f/stop and a quick shutter speed (1/5). The ISO was set to 100. Cool, no?

We stayed up until 4:30 on Monday; we talked, laughed, cried, argued, and laughed some more. It was a hard day and a long one; and I can't help but think that Mary would have loved to have been there. No doubt she'd have had a hard time going to bed before the rest of us.

And since Neal won't let me take any pictures of him, I'm including two of him tonight. Because I like him, and I think he's cute.
Thanks for taking over the camera, Mark, and documenting this time with family. Neither pictures or words can do justice to the love that I have for my family. Until next time...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Grandmother, the Storyteller

I love when I have the opportunity to be with my family; it doesn't happen nearly enough. My grandmother, for anyone who has not been lucky enough to meet her, is a rockstar. Even with a broken hip, she still is the star of the show. She is the best storyteller because (like my sister and my aunt Mary) she has the memory like a steel trap. And she's done everything!! So her stories are always the best. So in a crowded room, she even gets the young ones crowded around her.

And she always makes you laugh.

I took these using the automatic settings without the flash (my family talks and moves too much to put it on manual to expect to get a good shot--it's too blurry).