Monday, November 24, 2014

Day 275; Cinderella's Castle

Today we got back from our vacation to Disney World. It was great to get away and visit such an amazing place. I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I would have liked, but this one of Cinderella's castle lit up at night was one of my favorites. The original blue color of the castle was pretty in real life, but seemed a little fake in the picture. I really loved the drama of the black and white effect instead.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 274; Colors of Cards

 Late last night I got back from spending a week in Texas for the national rabbit convention. Next week I'm leaving again for Florida, so I won't be posting much this month. I wish I could post more, but I'm not sorry I'll be in Florida while my hometown is forecasting highs in the 30's with snow this week. The subjects of today's post are a bunch of thank you notes and envelopes which were in a box on my desk. I loved the lines and texture which you typically don't associate with such bright colors. I liked the shorter, longer crop as it helped make the vertical lines less overwhelming.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 273; Black and White Branches

This is another photo from the creek yesterday. These branches (part of a beaver dam?) looked coolest in black and white, which showed off the lighting and lines. I also liked the contrast of the angular branches with the soft ripples in the water.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 272; Creek Crop

Today I took my little brothers on an expedition to a creek near our house. I needed a couple buckets full of sand for a project and it was a good excuse to go play in the sand and get some photos. This one had some great colors and textures present though it didn't turn out as well defined as I would have liked. I cropped it to a more unique aspect ratio which was less busy than the original 8x10. Also, this photo looks a lot better if you click on it to see it in a larger size.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 271; Library Lines

I took lots of pictures on the University of Chicago campus. This is one of my favorites. The sculpture on the left marks the spot where the first controlled self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was created. The domed structure at right is the Mansueto Library. The lines in the modern design of the library and the concrete surrounding the sculpture interested me and looked best in black and white.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Day 270; Color on Campus

Yesterday I was in Chicago visiting the University of Chicago campus. I can't beleive I'll be heading off to college in just a couple years! UChicago is beautiful, and I could definitely see myself going there. This path was through one of the many little parks on campus and was quite charming. I didn't do much editing since I loved the warm fall colors already present.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 269; Black and Blue

This black grid thing was part of the packaging for some socks. I liked the lines it presented, and decided to compliment the lines with some color. The shirt I used had a little texture of its own which just added to the look of the grid. A dark vignetting effect tamed the bright blue and drew attention to the black lines.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day 268; Elijah's Eyes

This photo is fairly simple. It's a portrait of my brother Elijah. It turned out pretty interesting, as it focused on his nose and left his eyes out of focus. I liked the black and white to draw the attention to the lighting pattern and smaller details.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Day 267; Californian at Convention

This was a great weekend spent at the Iowa State Rabbit Breeders Assoc. State Convention. I didn't have many chances to take photos for my blog, but I did get some photos of my sister's Californian rabbit. This rabbit won Best In Show for youth three times over the course of the weekend and will be going to Texas for the national convention. This cool little photo backdrop was set up by some friends of ours, and was used a lot over the weekend. I liked the fall colors of the setup and complimented those with a dusk effect. While this isn't the type of photo I usually post, it is nice to take photos which are important for the subjects and not as much the artistic merit.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 266; 'Tis the Season?

Most people aren't thinking of Christmas just yet. But I'm working on a 4-H project where I'm going to build collapsible Christmas trees, and had the prototype set up by my desk. The shiny tinsel was the perfect subject for today's photo, even if it's no where near Christmas time yet. I turned down the lights and used my on camera flash to get the most dramatic an festive lighting pattern.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 265; Barking Up the Wrong Tree

I'm no tree expert, so I can't tell what type of tree this was. All I know is that I have always loved photos of bark and will continue taking them. This has been a pretty slow season, with cloudy days and not much good lighting outside. Hopefully it will clear up and I'll be able to capture some of the fall colors developing outside.
Also, I realize the post titles have been pretty cliché recently. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 264; The Path Less Traveled

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Those are the final lines in Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken," one of my favorite poems to date. This particular path was in the woods at the State 4-H Camp where I was at the State Council Retreat last weekend. This is actually one of the more popular paths, as it leads to the swinging bridge, my favorite part of the grounds. The sun coming through the leaves left an interesting lighting pattern which looked calm, warm, and earthy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Day 263; Sunrise at Camp

This weekend was our State 4-H Council retreat at the Iowa State 4-H Center Campgrounds. I didn't have much time to take photos as I was busy working with the other Council members. I did get out on Sunday morning before sunrise to take a few shots in the surrounding woods. I discovered this area my last time at the camp, and I decided to revisit it. The morning light was quite lovely, but I enhanced it a little to make the colors pop more.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Day 262; Cat's Eyes

The good news is we have cats again! We got two kittens last Sunday and the whole family is enjoying having some house pets for a change. The bad news is the cats don't like being photographed. At all. They refuse to sit still and hide when they see the camera coming. I finally got this shot which came out of the camera blurry, boring, and downright bad. With some editing I wanted to make a very unconventional, artsy shot. I cropped to a more interesting angle, applied black and white effects, then did an HDR effect which made the photo look somewhat like a sketch. I'm going to keep working on it, and hopefully I'll get some really good cat photos taken in the future.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 261; Into the Void

I'm switching back to color today with this shot into a bright pink cup with convex spots on the sides. I loved the color of the cup and the interest the dots provided. I had tried taking pictures of the shadow and of the sides of the cup, but it turned out that I liked this angle directly above the cup the most. I was shining a small light through one side to get a more dramatic lighting pattern than the standard overhead light provided. I used slight vignetting to draw the eye into the center of the cup and away from the edges.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 260; The Brace

If you're reading this you may or may not already know about my brace. I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back which has completely changed my life since I developed it in 2011. I got a back brace pretty soon and had to wear it 24/7 for a very long time. This year I've been working on regaining my strength and am no longer dependent on the brace. I brought it out again today to take some macros of the many details which it is made up of. This photo is of one of the many velcro portions. The brace itself is black, so I used a black and white effect to minimise the yellow colors from my light source.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Day 259; Charm of the Camera

Today's photo is of a tiny camera shaped charm which my sister got me for Christmas last year. I usually wear it on a silver necklace, but today I set it on a plaid hat to use as a backdrop. I liked the shiny silver threads in the hat which caught the light from my flash. A simple black and white highlighted the textures in the charm and hat.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 258; Looking Lens

My brother Elijah agreed to pose for me today. Granted, it took a little bribery. Either way, I got some really neat portraits but this was my favorite. I liked how the eyes were really the focus of the image and how he used his hands to frame his face, adding interest. I thought a black and white effect was best for the simplicity of the photo as it drew more attention to the various details of his face.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Day 257; Palm Flowers

Today's photo is pretty simple. I put some little white flowers in my hand and snapped some macros. I liked the lines and detail of the hand as the background and the interest and pop of color from the flowers. I didn't really edit it much, only adding a thin black border to set off the softer sides.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Day 256; Tiny Teeth

In case you haven't figured it out yet, there aren't really teeth in this photo. This is a macro of a plant, though I actually have no idea what kind of plant this was. I only know that it was small and dead. You didn't really notice the tiny burrs when looking at the plant, but when you zoomed in for a macro they looked really fierce. I wanted to draw attention to the detail in the image, so I opted for a black and white edit.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day 255; Three Seasons of Leaves

Today there are three photos, or rather, three versions of the same photo. The first is the original out of camera shot. I liked the lighting and details, but felt it needed a little something more. Second is a black and white edit which I really liked because it drew attention to the veins in the leaf and the lighting patterns. It also gave a classic look to the image. This second edit is probably my favorite. The third image is mostly just for fun. I took the black and white image and applied a galaxy texture from to the whole photo except for the one leaf in the foreground. This gave a very unique look to the photo which I really liked.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day 254; Looking Through the Fence

"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something." ~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit 

I've looked at a lot of things in my life, and will continue to look at many more. But me looking at something is always different than someone next to me looking at the same thing because we're going to perceive it differently. Today's photo is of a bridge I have seen thousands of times, but this time taken through a chain link fence. I messed around with some different angles and depths of field, but liked how this turned out with the bridge in focus and the fence blurred. When editing I wanted a very dramatic look, so I applied black and white and softened all the areas except inside of one of the links in the fence.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 253; Macro Clover

You are probably wondering where I've been. It's been almost two months since I've posted, but I do have pretty good reasons. In July was my county fair, then I had a couple weeks to get all my projects for the Iowa State Fair, then I had one day off before my first day of school. I've been in school for a week or so now. I wanted to get a feel for how busy I was going to be before I got back to the blog. I'm pretty sure I should have time to post again now. But enough about me and my excuses. Today's photo was not the brilliant comeback photo I had wanted. Since my last photo was of a red clover, I thought it would be nice to come back with a different take on the same kind of flower.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day 252; Clover Blooms

It feels good to finally be home again. I've been working to teach my brothers about photography and get their photos taken for the county fair. So far they've been doing really well, but since they were using my camera all day I didn't have too much time to take photos myself. I did get a few, one of which was this shot of a red clover. Hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day 251; Fences and Foals

I just got back this afternoon from the 4-H vet science camp. It was so much fun, even though it rained practically every day. Thankfully it was nice when we toured the dairy farm, vet med school, and horse barns at Iowa State University. These foals were one of my favorite parts of the tour. They would come right up to the fence for the kids to pet.

"A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence." ~Pam Brown

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 250; Chicken On a Hill

I'm back from State Conference! It was SO much fun. I've had a nice relaxing day home today, before I leave for a 4-H camp tomorrow where I will be a counselor-in-training. While I'm still here I'm posting a photo of one of my brother Josiah's hens. I don't really like chickens in person, but I've always liked the way they look in pictures. For this particular photo I layered "cinerama" and "dusk" filters to get the look I wanted.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 249; Noah in the Dark - Funny Face Edition

My brother Noah is a little ham. He likes to make funny faces, and was not in the mood to cooperate, even though I'm leaving tomorrow morning for state conference. I won't be able to post for the next three days, and possibly not on Friday either. For this shot I used a small light to illuminate his face but leave the background in the dark. I wanted a sweet smile, but he was not in the mood tonight. I still think he's adorable though.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day 248; The Silver Butterflies

I like butterflies in real life, but don't like to wear them on jewelry or clothes or anything. Usually. But I do love this hair pin, even though I haven't been able to wear it for a long time since I cut my hair short. I put it on a light yellow pillowcase for today's shot. I really like the detail in the pin, and wanted to bring attention to that with a black and white filter. The Holga effect was a good fit for this shot, since it added some drama to the lighting which was otherwise somewhat flat.

"Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies."
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 247; Black and Lace

I really love lace, though I don't wear it often. There are white lace curtains over the windows in my room which I see everyday but don't really look at. If you really look at lace there are some very interesting patterns and textures. For this photo, I laid the curtain over a blanket and took a close up of the threads which make up the lace. I love black and white, and especially with the high contrast in this shot.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 246; Noah and Thalia

I love my brother Noah and my horse Thalia, and especially like watching them together. Today's photo is simply a snapshot taken while Noah was walking Thalia around this afternoon.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day 245; If the Shoe Fits

This year I'm old enough to run for our County Fair Queen. I ran for (and won) Junior Miss a couple years ago, which is simply the younger age division of the Fair Queen. I'm very excited for this opportunity, and have been working to find my interview outfit and formal wear for the evening. I did finally find the dress a couple weeks ago, and it's a very pretty black mermaid-style dress with very little embellishment. I love glitter, sparkles, and the like, so I knew I wanted very bold shoes. I fell in love with these black peep-toe heels covered in glitter as soon as I tried them on. Since both the dress and the shoes are black, a black and white effect made since to eliminate the yellow hues caused by the lighting available.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 244; Beaded Bracelet

My county fair is just around the corner and I have been starting to put together my 4-H projects. Yesterday I finished this bracelet made from safety pins and glass beads, and have been working on the paperwork today. The beads are shades of blue and white which are very pretty in person, but not so much on camera. Thus, black and white was the direction I went in. I used a combination of a Holga and Infrared to get the look I wanted.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 243; The Not-So-Ugly Duckling

Ugly is one of the last adjectives I would use to describe our new ducklings which just hatched out this morning. We brought this one inside right after it hatched for a photo shoot in Noah's hands, and it has since gotten fluffier and even more adorable.  The duckling is black, so in order to fully appreciate the details of its feathers I opted for a black and white effect.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 242; Wood from Retreat

I had the most amazing time ever at the State 4-H Council retreat last week and cannot wait to work with all the great youth selected throughout the year. There weren't really any opportunities to lug around my camera, but I did go outside before breakfast on Friday and got this shot of the mulch around one of the trees. The early morning light and the great texture of the wood chips appealed to me, though it didn't turn out as dramatically as I had imagined.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 241; On the Grass

This photo was actually taken a couple weeks ago. Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for a State 4-H Council retreat and won't be back until late on Friday. I'm going to miss both Elijah and Noah and the rest of my family so I wanted to bring out this cute shot before I left. It was actually Elijah's idea to make it look like he was giving Noah a monkey-back ride, but getting Noah to cooperate was difficult. I did love how it turned out though, especially with the texture of the grass in the background.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 240; Inside the Iris

Irises are a very popular type of flower where I'm from. My mom has some bearded irises which are blooming right now. I take pictures of them every year, but wanted to try something a little different today. I turned the camera to get a different angle and zoomed in on the inner portion of the blossom. I altered the saturation and exposure slightly to truly represent the brilliance of color I saw in real life which didn't necessarily transfer to the lens.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 239; Techno Petals

We've been having beautiful weather lately so there're all sorts of flowers blooming outside. My mom has a comple peony bushes in the yard which are full of blossoms, one of which is featured in today's photo. And no, they're not blue flowers. I tried out some new techniques today. Below you can see the original image. I first applied an infrared black and white filter, then added a blue tint. I loved the blue, which I felt gave a modern, techno feel to the image.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 238; Zebras

Zebras are one of my favorite animals. I love the great contrast between their black and white stripes, and highlighted it with a Holga effect just as I did last year after our trip to the zoo. To make sure the focus was on the zebra on the left I added a focal soften.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 237; The Elephants' Wrinkles

On our trip to the zoo I got several cool shots, so I'll be posting a few more. Today the subject is an elephant. Elephants are interesting photography subjects both because of their enormous size and multitude of wrinkles. The elephants' color was affected by the dust they were covered in, and I complemented this color with a Dusk effect from

Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 236; The Butterfly House

When we were at the zoo yesterday we visited the butterfly house, something we didn't get to see last year. They were all lovely, but most wouldn't hold still. This little guy was the least active and thus the most photogenic. I was hoping he would spread his wings so more of the brilliant blue color would be visible, but unfortunately that didn't happen. I still liked the textures in both the tree and the wings, as well as the bright colors.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 235; Forest Park

My whole family is on a bit of a vacation in Saint Louis for my brother's birthday. Tomorrow we'll be going to the zoo, but today we had a picnic lunch and visited the art museum. Today's photo was taken in Forest Park when we stopped to eat before going to the museum. I thought it was neat that you could see the skyline behind the trees. I took other photos from angles I liked better, but unfortunately they didn't turn out. I did like the colors and lines in this shot.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 234; Charred Wood

We had a bonfire outside the other day, so tonight I took a picture of the left over charred firewood. Since it had been burned there wasn't much color left, so a black and white effect simply enhanced the contrast present.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 233; Lines Interwoven

Today was my last day of school - yay! Hopefully I'll be a little less busy now and be able to take photos every day again. But for now, I'm using a photo I took at the hotel the night before my AP test. This image is a close up of the decorations on the blanket. The interwoven lines of gold accents were very pretty, and interesting from a textural standpoint. The main fabric was a kind of greenish color that looked really good in person, but didn't turn out in the original photo. Because of this, I liked the black and white effect the best.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day 232; Noah and his Bunny

My brother Noah likes to come out to the barn with me each day to play with the baby rabbits. This little black Dutch in particular has been a favorite recently. A couple mornings ago I had Noah sit on this pile of boards so I could take a picture of him with his bunny. He still squints his eyes when I ask him to smile, but I still love this photo. I especially liked the texture the boards provided in conjunction with the stripes on his shirt. To highlight the the details of the image I used a black and white effect.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Day 231; A String of Crosses

I'm out of town tonight so I can take the AP US History test early tomorrow morning. Studying for that and regular finals has made this a rather crazy couple of weeks. Today's photo is the bracelet I wore today placed on my favorite scarf. I really liked the texture and color of the scarf, but really liked the extra interest of the bracelet.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Day 230; Pig on the Move

This time of year means feeder pigs are on the farm once again, and they are just as cute and sweet as ever. This one started trotting up to me as soon as I went out to their pen. To edit, I used a faded Dusk effect, which I felt played off the brown and pink hues already present in the image.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Day 229; Sherman (Again)

It's been a while since you guys saw any pictures of our puppies. Actually, since the last photo (here) we've sold Sherman's brother and sister. But Sherman has stuck around. Today while I was out trying to take photos of flowers, Sherman kept vying for attention. He especially likes belly rubs, which is what I was doing when I snapped this shot. The sky has been really overcast all the time lately, so the original out of camera shot was rather dull. To fix this while editing, I increased the saturation in the grass and lightened the exposure so details in Sherman's dark coat could be seen.