My ten year old DD is all about cheerleading! These are a couple of pics from about 3 months ago at a Peewee football game. Don't have the settings anymore, but I couldn't get the colors like I wanted - so I converted them to b&w in PSE4. Let me know what you think!

Basketball pictures

These are a few pictures from last night's game. I have a love/hate relationship with our gym. I love it because I can sit right down next to the court, and I hate it because the lighting STINKS! I took over 100 pictures, and most were too soft to save. These were all shot in Tv mode, ISO 1600, first one was ss 1/400, f1.8, the next two were ss 1/250, f2.5. All were done with 50mm lens, wb set to fluorescent, cropped and sharped in PSE4. HHCC Please! Thanks for looking.

Yippee! It's "Sports" week!

I love sports photography! I like to look through DH's ESPN magazine, I'm usually the only Mom in the dentist's office digging through People and Redbook to grab Sports Illustrated, the sports page is one of the first sections of the paper I read - all to look at the photographs! I really, really, really want to get better in this area, so I welcome all HHCC. This photo isn't a new picture, it was taken back in the fall, but it's one of my favorites of DS. I like this photo, messed up wet hair and all! It was taken right after a victory (Freshman team went undefeated this year!) I don't have the settings for this, but I know it would have been taken in TV mode, with 75-300 lens, probably on 800 ISO. I look forward to seeing everyone's sports pics this week! Thanks for looking.

Last day of "Water"

This challenge was really difficult for me. I may have to revisit the water theme in the summer when we're going to the lake and pool, and slip n' sliding! Anyway, these are a couple of shots I sat up today. I didn't get exactly what I was looking for, but I'm somewhat happy with them. Settings were AV mode, f5.0, ss 1/1250, ISO 400. Lightened a little bit in PSE4. HHCC appreciated! Thanks for looking!

Sikes Lake

How many more days until the "sports" theme?! "Water" is kicking my butt! :) I'm looking forward to this weekend when I'll have a little more time to play and hopefully be more creative. This week I've just had to grab my camera and shoot out of the car window, which doesn't make for the best of compositions! Anyway, I saw a few of these guys over by a small lake, so I pulled up and got a few shots. I know, you can't see much of the actual water in the picture, but it's there! This was shot in TV mode, ss 1/500, f9, ISO 400, 75-300mm lens. CC please! Thanks!


I really didn't like this photo when I shot it, looking in the LCD it was really blah. But after I opened it up on my computer, I could see that I caught some reflections of the tree branches in the water and it started growing on me. I'm often blown away by gorgeous images that I've seen on 2peas of beautiful reflections, and I would love to capture something like that. I really want to learn to look for those reflections, and see them before the shot, not just catch them as an accident. Settings were TV mode, f4, ss 1/500, ISO 400, 50mm lens. CC appreciated!

Archer County

I am really struggling with this week's theme! We just don't have any "pretty" bodies of water here in north Texas, and I haven't been home to set up any creative shots, so you just kind of take what you can get! I was on the road yesterday, and had my camera with me, and saw this little creek. It was the most water I saw all day! Of course, I was shooting from my car, so I didn't have time to change my settings, but it was AV mode, f4, ss 1/4000, ISO 400, 50mm lens. CC appreciated, thanks for looking!

Okay, it's kind of a stretch for this week's theme...

But there is water in the picture! I haven't had a chance to try to take pictures with this week's "water" theme, so here's a shot that I took back in December, and one that I played with during the Orton frenzy! I know the water's a bit blown out, but let me know what you think. CC appreciated!

It's frozen, but it's water!

This sort of fits this week's theme! This is a picture I took a few days ago when it was still icy here. I recently deleted all the images off my card, so I don't have any of my settings on my last few pictures. I know I was in AV mode, ISO 400, and I was using my 50mm lens. CC appreciated. Thanks for looking

Playing around in PSE 4

Well, I've been trying to do the Sweetcheeks sepia and caramel conversions, but I can't seem to apply the directions to PSE 4, so I pulled out my Photoshop Elements Book by Scott Kelby. This is with the sepia conversion from the book, and I also applied the vignette instructions. I know it's over the top :), but the only way I'm going to learn is to jump in and start playing! Can't remember all the settings on the photo, but I know it was AV mode, ISO 800, 50mm lens. Thanks for looking!

Two from the City Park

These are a couple of shots I got today at our City Park - nothing special. I'm ready for some nicer weather, so I'm not always shooting against gray skies! The first is a tower in one of the climb-through structures, converted to b&w in PSE 4. The second is of some monkey-bar type rings. I deleted the images off of my camera before I got the settings! I know they were in AV mode, ISO 400, 50mm lens. Thanks for looking.

School Bell

This is the old school bell that is outside of the elementary school here in town. The bell was moved from the site of the original school building in the 60's, but before that it was used not only for school purposes, but to announce news, call a town meeting, tell of a birth or a death, etc.
I tried the Orton technique on this picture to "jazz it up" some. At first I didn't like it, but it's grown on me a little bit. Settings were AV mode, f11, ss 1/500, ISO 800, 18-55 mm lens. CC always appreciated! Thanks!

PO Box 33

Keeping with the "My Hometown" theme, this is the post office box where my parents received their mail for more than 50 years. My mom still receives her mail there. Even though I haven't gotten any mail there for 21 years, I can still do the combination! When I was a little girl, I loved when Mom sent me into the post office by myself while she waited in the car - I felt so grown up!

Both shots were in AV mode with my 50mm lens. 1st shot, f13, ss1/20. 2nd shot, f3.5, ss 1/250. Converted to b&w in PSE 4.0. CC appreciated!

Clay County Courthouse

The city that I live in is the county seat, so the county courthouse is here. This is a wonderful old building that is quite a landmark. You can see it for several miles out of the city in all directions. It used to have a clock tower, and efforts are underway to restore it with the tower. Settings were AV mode, f13, ss 1/400, ISO 800 ( I forgot to change it!) 18-55mm lens. Thanks for looking!

My Orton Attempt

I've really been enjoying everyone's Orton technique pictures, and wanted to try it myself. I'm not sure that either one of these pictures has enough light or color to look really nice, but they're all I had! I'll have to take some more pictures with this technique in mind. Thanks for looking!

Wintry Weather

We've been having lots of sleet and ice for the last two days, but the birds have just been hanging out in it all! I love redbirds, and I was lucky to catch this guy perching, they're usually pretty skittish, and I can't get anywhere near close enough to take a decent picture. The photo seems a little grainy, but part of that noise is actually sleet. My settings were AV mode, f5.6, ss 1/1250, 800 ISO, 75-300mm lens, 300mm focal length. I'm beginning to see a pattern - I shoot nearly all of my pictures in AV mode at f5.6! I think I'm in a rut! :) Anyway, cropped and border added in PSE4. CC appreciated! Thanks!

Hamilton Building

These are some pictures I took a couple of days ago, all in auto mode with my 75-300mm lens. This is an older office building in a nearby city that has some odd architectural details. On the 2nd picture, you can see that the window is outlined with swastika and sun cross images. At the very top of the window is a yin and yang symbol. Around the corner (3rd picture), you can see an Indian in headress sculpture, those are all along the top of the building. I've tried to find some history on the building, but really haven't found much other than it was built in the early 1920's. This is in a North Texas city with roots in ranching and oil, so I don't really think it's a Nazi connection! I realize these pictures aren't very good technically, but I think it's an interesting subject! Thanks for looking!

Becca and Ryan

This is cheating a little bit, because I actually took this picture a few weeks ago (it was my Christmas card picture), but since we're introducing ourselves, I wanted to include this. This is Becca and Ryan, my 10 yr old DD and 15 yr old DS. They're great kids, and I'm so happy to be their mom!

Funny story about this picture - I took this in a field next to a car dealership. It's right off a farm-to-market road heading out of town. We were out there about 30 minutes, and I got some great shots leaning against some trees and what not. When we started to leave, a man in a pickup truck that had been parked at the dealership office started driving through the field toward us, and I worried a little bit thinking maybe it was someone from the dealership that was not wanting us to be out there (it's all one big piece of property). Anyway, he drives up and says "If you guys want to take pictures out there, that's fine - but you need to know all those trees are covered in poison ivy so be careful!" I had no idea! I called my husband who's an EMT and he said "Don't you know what poison ivy looks like?" Obviously NOT! Anyway, we rushed home, and I got the kids and myself in a quick shower, washed all our clothes, wiped down the car and everything. Then I uploaded my pics so that I could compare pictures of the ivy to pictures online, and sure enough - it was poison ivy! Luckily, we all had on long sleeves and pants, so we didn't break out!

Since it's been awhile, I don't remember all the settings. I know that I shot this in AV mode at f5.6, ISO 400, but I don't remember the ss. Then I converted to b&w in PSE2, (before I got PSE4). Let me know what you think, I'd love some CC. Thanks for looking!

Me, Myself and I

Yikes! I'm never in front of the camera! I really need to make a conscious effort to be in more pictures - I'm conspicuously absent in most of my scrapbook pages! My DH, Mike, took this picture for me, but I set it up for him. AV mode, aperture 5.0, shutter speed 1/80, ISO 800 (it's a little grainy). I did a little bit of cropping in PSE4, bu it's pretty much SOOC.

Out my front door

Finally! I've been having a heck of a time trying to get this picture posted. The Peas on the Photography message board came to the rescue. Thanks guys!
Anyway, the setting for this were AV mode, 1/60, 5.6, 400/ISO. Thanks for looking.

Okay, I just wanted to see if I could figure out how to post a picture! It wasn't too hard after all. This is a picture I took on Christmas Eve of one of my favorite ornaments, a redbird perched on a branch. The settings were Aperture Priority, shutter speed 3 seconds ( I used my tripod ), Aperture 5.6, and little bit of cropping in Photoshop Elements 4.0. The things I like about this picture are the backlighting, and how the glitter around the edge of the bird catches the light. The things that I don't like so much are the soft focus, and the darkness of the picture. I suppose I could have lightened it up a bit in Photoshop, though. Anyway, this is a special ornament to me, redbirds always remind me of my dad.

First time for everything!

I never really thought that I would have a blog! This is really cool!

This will be a photo blog - a place to post pictures, participate in photography challenges, and hopefully learn a little something along the way. I've been interested in photography for a couple of years, and this past summer I finally took the plunge and purchased a digital SLR camera. Some of my pictures are good, but a lot of them still are very, very amateurish. I really want to raise my photography to the next level, and the only way I'm going to do that is to put my efforts out there and get some constructive criticism.

My main subjects are my children, even though they usually run and hide when they see Mom coming with the camera! I really love to take sports pictures. Both of my kids are active in sports, and that gives me a great opportunity for practice. I also like taking nature pictures, although living in North Texas doesn't offer a lot of nice scenery, it's pretty flat and boring around here!

My goal is to be able to look back in a year, and see significant improvement in my photography. I'm going to challenge myself to explore, look at things in a different way and take chances!

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