Mar 28, 2008

Robbie's March Video Highlights

I've been meaning to edit some video is my first video post. Robbie was pretty excited about the whole egg coloring experience.

Last Christmas

Right after Christmas we went to Oregon to visit my family. This was my very first attempt to put anything on YouTube...and mysteriously 22 people watched it. I wonder if they felt ripped off after waiting for the download - there really is no big pay off at the end. No one goes "endo" or does a 360.

It was more of an experiment that helped me decide to return the digital camera I had just gotten. A Canon 5D would of course be my preferred camera but is not what I would call pocket sized. It also doesn't do video.

This camera was tiny - which is what I wanted so I could carry it in my pocket. On the downside it limited video clips to ten seconds. And a Murphy's Law would dictate - if anything good happens, it will happen in the 11th second. And it did...again and again that day.

When we got home, we went back to Costco and traded it in for a slightly chunkier, but much smarter pocket camera.

Is it any wonder I do so much laundry?

Between the dirt, the dirty shovel and the snotty nose - its more than I can keep up with. Then add food and I'm up to my ears in laundry.

This is the face that says "don't tell me i have to come in already!"

Mar 21, 2008

A Rare Find

Toby and I were a debate the other night about how (I feel) it's unfortunate that the world is getting to be a tougher place for small business to compete since huge corporations have the power to snuff out the little guy with money, political power, pressure, etc. We were talking specifically about the decline of independent farms and cattle ranchers (wake up - I am almost to the good part).

Toby, of course, did not agree with me at all. He's an avowed capitalist and ...well, if you know Toby you don't need the long version of the story.

The debate didn't go anywhere but I am happy to say I found one little niche on the web where you can still get hand-made (in the U.S.A.!) products at affordable prices.

It is called Etsy and it is an online marketplace for the cottage industries, artisans and small businesses to sell their items.

I stumbled on it by chance when I was reading about my new camera bag - which promises to change my life. On Etsy, I found a matching clutch that I can clip to my camera bag to hold my keys, cell phone, lip gloss, etc.

As if that weren't cool enough - I found a clothing designer in Washington that will custom make me a (super cute) dress for about the same price you would pay at Macy's. Dresses never fit me right because I am super short. Petites don't work either because I am a bit too long in the torso for the waist to fall in the right spot. I am pretty excited to find an excuse to need a dress.

Mar 18, 2008

The Other Side of the Camera

As photographers, Kim and I commented to each other that we never seem to be IN any of our photos from vacations, birthdays, etc. Mostly we don't mind. I don't think either of us really love to be in front of the lens. But, we thought it might be nice to have some photos of ourselves in Hawaii so we made a point to shoot each other every now and then. Last night Kim emailed me two she took of me. She's managed to make me look good when i was sweaty, blinded by the sun, windblown and generally - looking like a troll (I am not kidding - I have seen other shots taken of me on the same day by another photographer not ten minutes later).

Thanks, Kim. It was fun traveling with you.

Mar 17, 2008

Personal Work

Personal work sounds a bit like an oxymoron...but in photography it is a critical part of being a well rounded photographer...or so I recently learned. I got into photographry because it was fun. I got into doing it for money because I wanted to buy more equipment for my hobby. Then it snowballed until the only time I picked up my camera was when I was being paid...and my personal work became completely non-existent. 
The recent workshop I attended has fired me up again to do more personal work - which explains all the new posts of late. Here are a few photos from date night...yes I packed my camera around then too. Fortunately for you, I am selective about what I actually post on the web!

Mar 16, 2008

The Cheesecake Anniversary

Forget the paper anniversary, the gold, the silver. We have a new tradition to put on the books. This year we celebrated with Cheesecake takeout party while we stayed at Hotel Monaco for a date night.

Happy 6th Anniversary, Toby!


Robbie has radar - or something like it. He can hear the sound of an airplane before any of us. Whenever he does, he calls it out at top volume and starts looking for it in the sky. AirPane!! He's still working on the "L".

Shave Ice (No, I did not forget the "D")

Possibly one of the best things about Hawaii was one of the most unexpected. I don't like snow cones or slurpees, in general. When we were in Waikiki a shop clerk told me that since we were staying on the North Shore we HAD to go to Matsumoto's for "Shave Ice". They don't go in for the "Shaved" ice...apparently an extra D is just pretentious but Shave Ice is a staple of the Hawaiian life.  The clerk said that Matsumotos would be easy to find by the line of people going out the door. She was right. 

Let me say that the Hawaiians are really on to something with the way they make Shave Ice. The ice is ground finer and holds the syrup more evenly. They also put a scoop of ice cream in the bottom of the cup so that the syrup that does drop down flavors the ice cream. Heaven!

We were just about to snap shots of each other under the sign when this friendly Filipino tourist said "You want some company?" and jumped in with Kim. Th
en they had us pose with their whole family.

Even Adam Sandler and the cast of 50 First Dates are fans.

Hawaii 3

On our second full day in Hawaii we went touring the North Shore and in Halie'iwa (Holly-Avuh) we came across a church BBQ fundraiser called "Many's Huli Huli Chicken." We had never heard of Huli style chicken but it was pretty darn good. The only thing disturbing were all the other chickens clucking around our feet while we ate outside.

That...and the Ace Hardware sprayer they were using to apply the huli sauce. You know - the kind you'd use to spray pesticides or stain your deck.

Hawaii 2

We learned to weave grass at the PCC but we got their too late too see any exhibits.

Hawaii 1

I finally finished processing the few digital photos I took in Hawaii. 

Here we are at the Kahuku Grill having our first Hawaiian meal after the plane ride, checking in, changing clothes, etc. 

Kim and I share a dislike of processed cheese - but I was too hungry to care whether I picked it off or not.

The weather has been better lately but not quite spring. Robbie wanted to play outside but the ground was a bit muddy from a recent sprinkle. He played on the porch for a while - scooping dirt out of a flower pot with his tractor.

And then - when he got some dirt on his hands he held out his hand and said "mess" while waiting for me to come take care of the problem. He has a very condescending way of doing this, like he's ordering a servant to fetch something.He's started doing this a lot lately - especially when he's eating. 

This from a kid who still doesn't care if his diaper is full to bursting with things much worse that potting soil.

More Wide Angle Fun

Part of what made me want an even wider lens was the great shots that another photographer I know gets with his wide angle lens. He uses it a lot in portraiture which (in classic portrait school of thought) is a no-no because of the distortion. I think he uses it to great effect....but you can judge for yourself: Ed's work

This is an example - in my very humble location (my unfinished front yard) of what is so cool about going wide....

Sup-ah Dup-ah Wide!

Our sixth anniversary came just recently and while I was away at my workshop Toby picked up me a super fun present - a wide angle lens. I currently have a lens that goes pretty wide but this one is even wider...supah dupah wide! Unless you want the whole room in your picture, you have to get pretty darn close to your subject. This creates some funny warping effects around the edges of the frame. Totally fun for a toddler. Robbie greatly enjoyed letting me take a picture and then let him look at it. He was also fond of showing me his toys so that he could then look at them on my LCD and say "Trat-er" (tractor) or "James!".

Robbie laying on me watching TV. I took this myself - gotta love the capability of wide angle.

Mar 12, 2008

Don't Say Cheese

I am so glad I haven't forced Robbie to smile for the camera - even though I've taken a billion photos of him. Now that he can start to understand basic directions like "hold up your stickers" he will do it without breaking into a crazed Charles Manson smile like so many kids are programmed to do. It's a long way from being the perfect model but at least he doesn't have that Pavlovian response to a lens that (as someone who photographs a lot of people) drives me crazy.

Just Like Mom

Recently Robbie has discovered how to say (ie: Beg For) chocolate. I'm not sure which came first - learning the word or deciding it was the single greatest flavor on earth, but he's mastered the word and has learned that the flavor can be applied to everything.

Before bath time it's "chot-lit!" meaning "put some of that sugary syrup in my milk, please". After dinner it's "chot-lit!" meaning "hey get one of those Healthy Choice fudge pops out of the freezer for me please!" This morning it was "chot-lit" which I could only understand must have meant "give me chocolate, not breakfast Woman!".

We compromised.

Yep, that is chocolate syrup on pancakes. It only took about a teaspoon. I think I'm going to rename chocolate syrup to "Get-your-toddler-to-eat-syrup".

A boy and his trains

Its been entirely too long since I posted - I am sorry!

I'll just jump right in with the latest pictures, taken yesterday morning while Robbie was still in his sweet SpiderMan (or as he says "spuh-man") jammies. Everyone who knows Robbie already knows he loves trains! He has many of the engines and cars in the Thomas collection - thanks to two overly indulgent parents and some help from "Grummy" and "Grumpy".

Over-indulgence aside, I can't feel too guilty because he does play with them every day without fail. He never gets tired of them.
I recently started trying a reward system for good behavior that involves stickers. The problem was I didn't want stickers all over my furniture so I bought two metal boxes perfect for holding trains....

Every time he does something without having to be beaten...I mean...asked forty-five times, he can pick a sticker. We have a wide selection but he has a one-track mind and likes to run through all the stickers in one collection (see if you can figure out which) before trying any others.

He's been good...a lot.

Robbie and his new favorite engine, James.

Putting James in "the Box".