Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Photography Class Homework #3

I will be the first to admit that I was not happy at all after our first class. For at least two weeks I referred to the photography class as "that stupid [censored] class that Amanda made me take." Photography is much harder than I would have thought -- and there are so many elements to it that I never knew about until it was pointed out to me.

Take white balance for example. If you look back at my last homework, the babies were sort of bluish-gray. I never noticed that until I turned in my homework last Tuesday and our teacher critiqued it (not in a bad way of course, just in a matter of fact way). That blueness was due to the white balance being off. Last class was about white balance, so this week's homework was to work on white balance. I think that my babies have much better color this week! A few of the pictures are still a little off, but overall I think it's much better.

This past weekend we took the babies to Aldridge Gardens and let them roam free for a little while so that I could do my homework. Here is this week's homework:

All in all, I think that my photographs have gotten better. And, I hate to admit it, but I think I get better photographs on manual exposure than on automatic. Originally, I had said that I would do my class homework but that I never expected to ever use manual exposure instead of automatic other than for the class. I'm thinking that -- at least for natural light photos -- I'll probably be using manual exposure instead of automatic. As much as I cursed the class, and as much as I cursed Amanda for coming up with the idea of even taking the class (sorry, Amanda), I think I did learn a few things. Over the past week, Gary has made several comments or asked questions about photography that I've been able to answer. I've found myself looking at photography blogs and wondering what settings were used. . . . I'm noticing things now that I never would have noticed a month ago.

Tonight was supposed to be my last class, but our teacher is free next Tuesday night and has offered a bonus class! So, I'll have one more set of homework next week, then I'm out of school for the summer.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Banana S'Mores

Yesterday I was looking through a cookbook that Peggy gave me for my birthday when I ran across a recipe for Banana S'Mores. Knowing how much the babies love bananas and sweet things, I thought that would be a perfect dessert for everyone. So, last night I made the banana s'mores to have after dinner. Here's how they were supposed to look:

And here's how mine actually looked:

Oh well.

We served them to the kids in the peels first, but they weren't really sure what to do with the peels -- except to try to eat them. . . .

We eventually just dumped the bananas, chocolate, marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs onto their trays and took away the peels. The kids demolished their desserts, with each baby eating an entire banana with toppings. . . .

Unfortunately, this was AFTER their (first) baths.

The kids absolutely loved this dessert and most importantly, it was easy to make (and not completely junk food). Gary liked it, too. Here's the recipe if anyone wants to try them out (you can click on the picture to make it bigger):

Friday, July 24, 2009

Baby Proofing. . . .

The last round of babyproofing started with Henry (finally -- the first at something!) figured out how to open the door on the dresser. He has acted very courteously so far and hasn't slammed anyone's fingers in it, but I imagine that it is only a matter of time. Not long after that, Henry figured out how to open and close the drawers. I got more and more worried about them slamming fingers -- or worse, heads -- in the door and drawers. So, this past Sunday night, we were saying that there had to be something we could do without buying overpriced baby proofing stuff from Babies R Us to use until we trusted the babies with their new opening skills.

And that's when Gary had a stroke of genius. . . .

Good thing we don't use the drawers for anything we need frequently!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Photography Class Homework #2

Last night was our third of four photography classes. I might be starting to understand this a bit more, but nowhere near feeling comfortable with the manual setting on my camera. We'll see how this goes. . . .

Anyway, my homework for this week was to take pictures (1) freezing action, (2) with a wide depth of field, and (3) with a shallow depth of field (not all at the same time, of course). Here are the photos I took "freezing" action:

Here are the photos I took with a wide depth of field (in other words, everything is in focus):

Here are the photos I took with a shallow depth of field (i.e. the background is blurry):

In case you're wondering, above, Rosemary was actually eating my homework. . . . I had to take a picture of that!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Birthday Party!

Many of you probably know that for years before I had the babies I taught group fitness classes. I actually had a stress fracture in my foot when I got pregnant with the babies, so I was not working out then. I got the go ahead from my ortho guy to start working out again about the time I found out I was pregnant. My doctor told me to wait to start back until we saw the baby's heartbeat. But then we saw three heartbeats and I was told to cut it all out. . . . I keep intending to go back to teaching, but I just haven't. If I did I would miss seeing the babies when they wake up in the morning, and I'm just not ready for that yet.

Anyway, I taught at two gyms, both YMCAs (formerly SportsFirst): Vestavia Xpress and Mountain Brook. At the Vestavia Xpress I always noticed that after my class, there would be some people sitting at a table drinking coffee as I walked out on my way to work. Sometimes these folks would actually be having breakfast. Being as I'm drawn to food, I started talking everyone this table, and eventually I became part of the "breakfast club" -- and found some truly wonderful friends at that table. About every month there is a party to celebrate something -- usually a birthday, but also the occasional baby shower. Since I had the babies I've been going every now and then for breakfast on the way into work, but this past Saturday we had a party and I brought the babies.

I was a little surprised to see that this was not a normal breakfast party -- it was a birthday party for the babies!!! They loved seeing everyone and had a great time. I forgot my camera, but we took some cellphone pictures. Here are the babies having some cake. . . .

And here is Henry opening his gift (a workbench with tools that he LOVES):

Rosemary did not disappoint. She tore into her cake with the same enthusiasm she did with her first birthday cake. Rosemary had to have a good scrubbing afterwards!