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No Greater Love



Cousins

This is a photo of cousins.  That in itself, if you have cousins, speaks volumes to the context of the image.  I have cousins, but I did not grow up with them - and though miles have separated us our entire lives I always thought about what it must be like to grow up with them & what it must be like to have instant best friends from birth.  I was jealous and envious of people I met that were close to their cousins in miles.  I loved hearing stories about my husband and his cousins growing up.  What fun they seemed to have had.  I have witnessed my own cousins, via social media, spend endless nights together hanging out, and doing fun things that I wish I would have been a part of.

So, having said that - this image makes me laugh & brings tears to my eyes, but of joy because my children get to experience this.  My kids get to know what it's like to have their cousins around, to be friends with them, to enjoy and love them throughout their childhood - building a bond that will carry them beyond their youth in into adulthood.
Look at these sweet, funny light hearted young people...can you see it?  Can you see why I would have something to be jealous over, something I missed......yet when I look at this image, I am not jealous - I am happy & proud.

Project 52

During my break from the photography business I thought I'd just sell all my equipment and when I pick it all up again, just buy new stuff because certainly in six years all my cameras will be "out dated"!  My husband, however-talked me out of it and made some good points about the costs and what not, so I decided NOT to sell my camera bodies or my most used lenses.  But what am I going to do with them, I use my iphone when we are out and about as a family.  I rarely ever bring my big cameras with us, unless we're on vacation!

Well that's just it, I aim to bring at least one of them with me - when I am out and about-from now on.  I have been looking online as well, for a great photography challenge to sort of get myself out of the rut & maybe help me look at the world in a different way.  I found a few 52 week photography challenges, but I don't know if I will have the time to do weekly blog posts.  I don't know, I really don't want to set myself with a schedule-this is part of the reason why I stopped doing it to start with.  I also want it to always include my family, another reason why I stopped doing it.....

So I guess, I will just use the one I found & see where it takes me.  (got it here)  Wish me luck!!

Does anyone want to do it with me?

THE CHALLENGE LIST
Story: Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is the first compositional rule most photographers learn; but most don't know why they learn it. The rule of thirds is amazing for telling a story. Tell a story using rule of thirds.
Technical: SOOC
Straight out of the Camera. No Photoshop. Shoot a compelling image and post it without edits. No cheating! (Be sure and save the image file for the end of the challenge!)
Artistic: Land
Your inspiration this week is land. This could be a landscape, or an image inspired by the land in some way.
Story: Mirror
Tell a story using a mirror.
Technical: Ten Shots
Shoot 10 shots of the same subject. Each shot should be from a different angle, distance, and focal length. Share your favorite image from the set.
Artistic: Candy
A throwback to one of the favorite weeks of the original challenge. Your artistic inspiration this week is candy. Since this is the advanced challenge... you can't actually use candy in the scene.
Story: Forgotten
Abandoned was a very popular week in the original challenge. For the advanced challenge tell the story of something forgotten.
Technical: One Shot
Imagine that it is the last frame on a roll of film, and you have to nail it. For this challenge only take one shot. No deleting, no 2nd shot. The honor system is in play.
Artistic: Still Life
Your inspiration this week is Still Life. A couple of pieces of fruit on a table won't impress in the advanced challenge though... so really be creative.
Story: Perspective
Perspective for the purpose of this challenge is the relationship of objects in the scene. If you really want a challenge this is a good chance to use forced perspective.
Technical: Split Tone
Split Tone is an editing technique where the shadows are toned one color, and the highlights a second color. Split toning is often used with color grading in the media to give a scene a desired look and feel.
Artistic: Orange
Your inspiration this week is orange. Either the color orange or an actual orange. Or both.
Story: Golden Hour
The golden hour is the hour before sunset or after sunrise when the sun casts amazing golden tones. Find a way to use the golden hour to tell a story.
Technical: Panning
Use the technique of panning to capture a subject in movement. Panning is using a slower shutter speed while following the subject with the camera to create the sense of movement in an image.
Artistic: Hard
Your artistic inspiration this week is hard. Hard is both an adjective and an adverb. Interpret this how you wish.
Story: leading Lines
Leading Lines are a very important compositional element that every photographer needs to master. Use leading lines to tell a story. No train tracks.
Technical: Loop Lighting
Loop lighting is one of the most used portrait lighting techniques. Shoot a portrait using loop lighting. If you don't have an off camera flash setup, get creative with how you light your subject.
Artistic: Purple
Your inspiration this week is purple. Purple is the color of royalty, magic, and mystery.
Story: Back Yard
Tell the story of your immediate surroundings. Give us a glimpse into your daily life.
Technical: Sky Overlay
Sometimes the sky just doesn't cooperate. This week replace the sky in your image. If you need a sky to use in the replacement, search flickr.com for an image to use under Creative Commons Licensing.
Artistic: Soft
Your artistic inspiration this week is soft. Just like hard earlier in the challenge, soft is both and adjective and an adverb. Interpret this how you will.
Story: Geometric Shapes
Triangles, squares, and circles. They are all very strong compositional elements in an image. Find a way to use geometric shapes in your storytelling.
Technical: F/8 Portrait
Shoot a portrait using an aperture setting of F/8. Since this is the advanced challenge, be sure to find a way to isolate your subject other than shallow depth of field.
Artistic: Green
Your inspiration this week is green. Green is the color of life, nature, and hope.
Story: Toy Story
Not the movie! Tell a story with toys or about toys. (Kind of like the movie...)
Technical: Light Painting
Put your camera on a tripod at night, open the shutter for 30 seconds, and paint your subject with light. Flashlights, LED strips, and even laser pointers work great.
Artistic: Communication
Your inspiration this week is communication. We live in the age of endless communication, so there is inspiration everywhere.
Story: Portrait as Landscape
Shoot a portrait that is posing as a landscape. Tell a story of the subject using the landscape around them. Fool the viewer.
Technical: Water Drop
Photographing a water drop is a mix of lighting, macro, and patience. There are plenty of ways to pull this off, enjoy figuring it out!
Artistic: Family
In the last challenge you shot a family portrait. This time use family as your inspiration. Since this is the advanced challenge no people can be in the image.
Story: Frame Within a Frame
Another classic compositional tool is to frame the subject within the frame of the image. Use this technique this week to tell your story.
Technical: HDR
HDR is the technique of combining several photos of the same scene but shot at different exposures to create an image with a High Dynamic Range.
Artistic: High Key
High Key was one of the most interesting during the last challenge. Last time it was a portrait; this time it is back as inspiration.
Story: Stranger
Tell the story of a stranger. Try using their environment to really inform the viewer of their story.
Technical: Stitched Panorama
A stitched panorama is an image made up of several smaller images stitched together during editing. For an added challenge try using the Brenizer Method.
Artistic: Low Key
Low Key is the opposite of High Key. Shoot an image where most of the tonal range is on left side of the histogram.
Story: Balance
Balance is the compositional technique of giving each area in a scene equal visual weight. You can achieve balance using color, tone, or juxtaposed subjects.
Technical: 50mm
Learn to sneaker zoom! Shoot an image using only the 50mm Focal Length. Either use a fixed 50mm lens or set your zoom lens to 50mm. Since this is the advanced challenge make sure the image is compelling.
Art: Water
Your inspiration this week is water. Interpret this how you will.
Story: Colorful B & W
Tell the story of a colorful scene. Because this is the advanced challenge, no flowers. Do it in Black and White.
Technical: Levitation
Levitation is part camera trick and part photoshop. Create an interesting levitation image this week.
Artistic: Music
Your inspiration this week is music. This is wide open so have fun with it.
Story: Movement
Capturing and creating movement in a still photo is a challenge for every photographer. Use movement this week to tell a story.
Technical: Magic ND Filter
Use an ND filter combined with a shutter speed of 30 seconds or even longer to create your image. Try a waterscape or even a busy landmark to see the magic happen.
Artistic: Cold
Your inspiration this week is cold. Interpret this how you want.
Story: Landscape Foreground
Many stories are based around portraits, but landscapes can have stories also. Tell the story of a landscape by using the foreground as the subject and the background as the scene.
Technical: Shaped Bokeh
Bokeh was one of people's favorite weeks. This year take it a step further and create a scene using shaped bokeh.
Artistic: Bodyscape
The human form has been the study of art since art was first inspired. Your inspiration this week is the human body.
Story:Blue Hour
The Blue Hour is the hour after sunset or the hour before sunrise when the sky is dominated by amazing blue and purple hues. Use this to tell your story this week.
Technical: Full Edit
Use the SOOC shot from the beginning of the challenge and re-edit it to it's full glory. If that shot isn't available feel free to re-edit any of your past work.
Artistic: Fear
Fear is your inspiration this week. Find a way to show fear in a way that your viewer feels it.
Story: Your Story
Tell your story.


Photography is in my Heart

It's happening.....

My O


J&E e-Session

These two beautiful people will be getting married this year.  I can't wait to witness the grace & beautiful of this wonderful couple as they say their I DO's........