Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Photo Love

I haven't blogged about everything we did in January. That's probably because I spent so much time blogging about Christmas! Ha! Anyways, I thought I'd post my favorite pictures that I took in January. Some you may have already seen and some you may see again in another post.  Either way, they are some of my favorites.

Have I ever mentioned that Meredith LOVES to dress up?! ;)
Mackenzie's SIX!
Miranda's GOOFY!

Miranda crashed the tea party that the big girls had set up for their dolls!

Sisterly love!

My absolute favorites of Mackenzie's eye.  I bought a new camera lens and it has a macro focus so I tried it out on her eye! ;)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Flashback Friday: Meredith at 9 months

I've been going through my pictures of the girls to put in photo albums and came across this photo of Meredith at 9 months old (2012). 
I'm not sure if it's the chubby cheeks or the lack of hair, but I thought she looked a lot like her baby cousin Gigi.  Gigi is Brandon's middle brother's daughter.

I had to do a side by side comparison (or two)!  I used different pictures because I was trying to find one with the same angle and smile.

What do you think?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Miranda is 17 months!

I missed Miranda's 16 month post because of the holidays, but that's ok!  I love the toddler age so much more than the baby stage, so I'm glad Miranda is walking and moving into toddler-hood!  She is still super shy (just like Mackenzie was) around other people, but loves being with her family.  She usually talks, laughs, screams at home and is always super quiet and mellow when she's in her stroller.  Moms at Mackenzie's school always ask if she's always quiet and my answer is always NO!  Several times during the day I hear her yell at me "MOMMA! MOMMA! MOMMA!" I think she says it just to say it and doesn't ever need me to do anything.

At 17 months old, Miranda...
-has 10 teeth - 4 top, 2 bottom and all 4 first molars.
-sleeps 11 hours at night and takes one big nap for 2-3 hours.
-WALKS!!!  She finally gained enough confidence to let go of our fingers and walk on her own!  She will still crawl when she wants to get somewhere fast, but she does tend to walk a little more than crawl.
-loves playing in the playroom and discovering all of the toys.  She really likes Meredith's Doc McStuffins toys.
-wears size 12-18 month clothing and 4.5 shoe.
-words: momma, dada, Doc (as in Doc McStuffins), dack (either duck or quack), "puh" while pointing to the fridge asking for milk.  I think she is saying please, but any other time I ask her to say please, she signs it instead.
-signs  "eat" and "please" (those are the only ones I've taught her. ;)
-throws a fit whenever she doesn't get her way!  I'm not very fond of this milestone!
-loves to climb on her big sisters' beds.  She will move the stool to wherever she needs it in order to climb in.
-loves to eat anything and is no longer allergic to anything (not even nuts)!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Photography Challenge - Day 11

Yay for simple challenges! ;)  If you want to join me on the challenge, buy Courtney's book and learn some awesome photography tips/lessons.

Day 10 - Clear the clutter

And here are the edits.  All the pictures below include my straight out of camera image (left or top) and my edited image (right or bottom).  I used my Canon EFS 50mm lens to take all of the photos.  I'll list the details of each shot below if you are interested.

One day last week, Mackenzie wanted to play on the computer when she got home from school.  She wanted to play on a website that she's played here and at school - 
She and Meredith sat at the computer together for 2 hours!  They did calendar, letter, number & color games and probably more.  They had a lot of fun and gave me the chance to photograph them and complete a challenge! ;)

This first picture is how I started taking pictures of them and then I completed the challenge by cleaning up a bit.
50mm   f/2.2   1/25ss    ISO-1600

See, so much nicer!  My white balance is off in most of the pictures because I'm still learning to adjust that, but in general I like that I captured this moment with the big girls.

50mm   f/2.2   1/25ss    ISO-1600

50mm   f/2.2   1/30ss    ISO-1600

50mm   f/3.2   1/20ss    ISO-1600

50mm   f/3.2   1/25ss    ISO-1600

Day 12 is actually complete, but I still have to edit photos, so it might be a few days before I blog about it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flashback Friday - all dressed up

I'm not sure the year of this picture - but it was before Mackenzie was born, so 2007 or before!
Brandon and I attended a Gala so I had to buy a fancy dress and Brandon had to rent a tux.  I thought of this photo because we are attending another gala this next weekend and I went dress shopping two weeks ago and saw this EXACT same dress!  I guess it's still popular 7 years later, but I bought a different one. ;)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Photography Challenge - Day 10

I have actually completed a few of the photography challenges, but I'm a little behind in posting them.  I started this "30 day" challenge a year ago.  If I just focused on one aspect each day then it would probably go faster, but I like to work on each challenge over a couple of days or at least find the right setting to complete the challenge.  Add in life in general and this is taking me forever to complete!  However, the timeline isn't important to me - the improved skills are.  Because I've been shooting in manual mode for the last year and learning new things, I've come to realize, that I need a better camera to accomplish my photography goals.  That will have to wait until next month for my birthday, but it's those realizations that have kept me to this challenge. 

If you want to join me on the challenge (but maybe at a faster pace!), buy Courtney's e-book and learn some awesome photography tips/lessons.  Or go to her website - I promise it's awesome if you want to learn more about photography.

Day 10 - Histogram

This lesson was more about assessing your picture after the fact by learning about histograms. I did actually do this challenge in one sitting over the course of about 10 minutes while we were doing preschool with Meredith.  Below are the photos I took.

And here are the edits.  All the pictures below include my straight out of camera image (left or top) and my edited image (right or bottom).  This time I added an image of what my histogram looked like.  The key is to not lean to the right or left of the histogram.  You'll see why based on my photos. ;)  For the first two pictures I used my  Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens and then I realized I wanted to do the challenge properly, so I switched to my Canon EFS 50mm lens.  I'll list the details of each shot below if you are interested.

You can see based on my edited photo, that this was fairly balanced.
24mm   f/4.5    1/40ss    ISO-1600


This was one with a great balance - not much editing between the photos.
24mm   f/4.5    1/80ss    ISO-1600

Way too over exposed - could not save it! ;)  This was when I switched lenses and I don't think I checked my meter before snapping the picture.
50mm   f/2.0   1/40ss    ISO-1600

This picture has a great balance and unfortunately, I think I messed up during editing, because the colors look to bold (almost fake).  Oh well, lesson learned.
50mm   f/2.0    1/400ss    ISO-1600

I really like this photo of Meredith.  She talks while cutting, just like Mackenzie did, so her mouth is open.  The picture has an okay balance and I didn't have to lighten it too much. 
50mm   f/2.0    1/320ss    ISO-800

A little dark.
50mm   f/2.0    1/320ss    ISO-800

This one was ok too. I had to lighten a little as you can see in the edited photo, but it works.  This was when Miranda was finished playing. ;)
50mm   f/3.5    1/160ss    ISO-1600

This one was a little over exposed, but I was able to save it a little.  It's not a great photo in general (doesn't tell a story), but it works for the challenge.
50mm   f/2.2    1/40ss    ISO-1600

Onto day 11!
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