Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Photography for Sewers at Sewing Summit

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I had a fabulous time at Sewing Summit this year.

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Can we all just geek out together right now? I met Heather Bailey (like the Heather Bailey)! She’s just as beautiful, inspirational and genuine as she is creative. I love her even more after spending time with her.

Of all of the keynote speakers of all of the conferences I’ve been to, she’s the first to actually participate in the conference. It shows how invested she is in the sewing community. I love that.

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Photo by Merrick

 

Friday night we had an impromptu baby shower for Miranda and her soon-to-be baby girl. I made my classic poopy clutch (diaper & wipes case) in nude patent leather and some itty bitty pleated harem pants out of a vintage knit. I made up the pattern as I went, so I’ll be sharing more details on how to make your own later.

Next time I get pregnant (this is no announcement, but I am baby hungry) I’m going to invite a bunch of sewing bloggers to give me gifts. He he.

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What would a conference/baby shower be without a photo booth? I hadn’t planned on this, but since I was teaching a workshop on photography, I had lights, remote, tripod and camera. All we needed was some kind of backdrop!

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Merrick, Miranda, Leanne

 

A heck of a lot of silliness ensued as the hours waxed later and later.

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Miranda, Miriam, Erin, Katie, Me

 

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Baby hungry much?

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Sylvia, me, Miranda

 

Silliness aside I had a great time gleaning a few tips on sewing with leather, finding that balance lives where the unicorns live and learning to adopt centimeters in pattern drafting (and sewing).

My presentation went well. I had slides with notes, but of course I misplaced my notes right before the class so there were a few key tips that I forgot to touch on (always happens).

Here’s a re-cap of the slide portion of my 2-hour presentation at Sewing Summit. Sewing-summit-photography-01 I may be many things, but there’s one hat I don’t wear. I’m not a professional photographer. When asked if I’m a photographer, I correct and say, “I’m a photography enthusiast.”

Sewing-summit-photography-02 That said, I do know how to use my camera in manual mode. It never leaves manual mode unless someone else is shooting my camera for me. I’m going to share with you some things that I’ve learned about photography that I picked up in my college photography class and with nearly 7 years of blogging.

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DIY: The Studio

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Over the weekend I worked my tail off painting the office/studio white. It was originally a buttercup yellow, which didn’t jive well with my plans for being the computer/photography studio. It was a ton of work, but I’m really happy with the room! I have yet to really organize it and make it look pretty, but I thought I would share with you what I did.

Maybe you can do something similar, too?

I just used a basic bright white (no pigments added) for the paint in a satin finish. Come to think of it, I probably could have gone for a semi-gloss, but what’s done is done. With the white paint already on the walls, it took all of two seconds and $10 to create a virtually seamless white studio.

I realized that the corner of the room was really going to be the best place I’ll have in the room (and the house) for lighting and space for a permanent photo backdrop, so I set out to buy some plywood and paint it white for a little platform. Lo and behold, while I was browsing Ikea’s As Is department, I came across their corner table top in white. It’s a much warmer white than I’ve used on the walls, but for $10, my work was done! I may recover this thing with a white vinyl in the future, but for now, it works.

Now I’m just struggling to get my dual monitors to have the same white balance. It’s incredibly hard to process my photos with the screens so different from one another. I’ve spent hours trying to calibrate them to be exactly the same, but my iMac’s screen is natively darker and warmer than the LED monitor. Chris doesn’t notice, but it’s a crazy difference to me. I need to get over it though.

I also had a heck of a time trying to get Felix to sit still for more than half a second so I could snap a couple shots of these adorable kiddos. Finally a little Mac plug kept him occupied enough. Penelope was accommodating, though.

I’ve been through so many different photography backgrounds in the last two years!! Let’s see what we’ve had:

  1. Ugly closet doors.
  2. White curtains on a rod.
  3. Grey yardage sewn to a curtain rod.
  4. White unprinted vinyl tethered to the ceiling.
  5. White walls and a white faux floor.

I think that last one should do the trick. I hope.

 

Thrifty: Shoes & White Balance

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Yesterday I talked a bit about how I need to go out of my comfort zone a bit more when it comes to clothing. I do have some pretty awesome out-there clothes.

Like these shoes for example. Sarah thrifted them and gave them to me. They’re ridiculous and awesome at the same time. They’re also pretty dang comfortable, yet I’ve only dared to wear them once. I’m definitely going to wear them again and show you. Promise.

Also, have you noticed the all-over-the-place white balance around here? Maybe I’m the only one that’s bothered by it? Well, I lost the white insert to my Balens cap, so I’ve been winging it. Until today, when a nice package arrived on my doorstep. I ordered a really cheap white balance lens cap
from Amazon for $11. I highly recommend it.

The white balance on this sucker is a bit blue. But I think I’m okay with it (this is straight out of the camera). Thoughts?

Have you found any cheap tools that have changed your life? I’d love to hear about them.

White Balance Lens Cap Review

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I’ve got some exciting stuff to share with you soon: A ginormous giveaway & the big reveal of Penelope’s & Felix’s room. Their room is coming along quite nicely (well, that is if Penelope will ever stop destroying it long enough for me to clean it up & take pics of it). I’m also excited to share with you my new toy: White BAlens Lens Cap. This (besides my wireless remote), might be my favorite camera gadget so far.

I took 5 minutes to find this white balance in Kelvin. BAlens did it in 10 seconds.

I’ve never been happy with the white balance presets that any of my Nikons have had to offer & the auto can get so frustrating when in mid-shoot you have different color corrections. It’s especially annoying when batching photos to find the colors all over the map! Seriously, I’ve spent hours editing poorly exposed/balanced photos before. It’s misery.

Almost exactly two years ago I took Nicole’s table top class, where she emphasized heavily on shooting in manual & mentioned manual white balance. Since then, I’ve gone completely manual when shooting and I’ve been using my Kelvin setting for white balance. I’ve been using that for the last 1+ years and it’s MUCH more consistent than relying on presets. I’m sort of getting the hang of it, but I’m nowhere near consistent enough; especially when in dark situations with multiple light sources.

I forgot to adjust my white balance from earlier in the day. BAlens fixed that.

 This little lens cap has seriously solved all of my problems. Not kidding. You can see a huge difference in these photos, right? I sure do. No matter what, the BAlens is going to be consistent. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Unlike a greycard. It’s also pretty seamless to use this while capturing fleeting moments.

The lens cap is always with you – as long as you have your lens that you bought the cap for, at least . You just turn on your camera, follow your white balance preset instructions & take a picture with your cap on. Then you take the cap off & shoot away. It’s genius.

This is close, but still too orange/red.

I love that I don’t have to worry or guess anymore to find the correct color balance in low/artificial light settings. No matter the light source, this thing helps my camera properly adjust for the lighting & gives me perfect skin tones every time. That’s huge. I hate it when my pictures make me look like Snooky.

Since using the BAlens cap, I’ve cut down on  my photoshop time by 90%. No joke. SO worth the $45-65 price. This is the least amount of time I’ve spent in photoshop since I started blogging. I have better things to do with my time – like nap with my kids. Or actually do the laundry. What’s your favorite photography gadget?

BAlens provided by Photojojo – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

This Weekend

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We had a great weekend! What did we do? I don’t know – lots & lots of cuddling with the kids. I got some adorable pictures of Felix & Chris, I have to share with you. Chris just loves to play with Felix (and Penelope!), and there’s nothing sweeter than to watch him be completely silly with them.

I was playing around with my white balance settings & showing him photos every once in a while. After I showed him the first set of pics, he said something about being bald & went back to playing with Felix. This time, he was singing a song – a song that he made up. Eu sou careca – I am bald. He’s hilarious.

Little did he know, I was capturing his goofy moment on video. HA! That’s the best part about having a DSLR with vid capabilities! He thought I was slowly framing my image, but I was recording every bit of that funny song of his.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve shared pictures & info on baby Felix, I thought I’d share a few stats with you. He’s a chunk-monster! AKA the Feli-monster. He’s 20lbs (95th percentile), 28 inches long (off the charts for his age) & his head. . . oh his head is WAAAAAAAY off the charts. He’s got the average size head of an 18 month old, which explains his difficulty sitting up. He still hasn’t reached that mile marker yet. It’s getting a bit frustrating that he still wobbles in his high-chair, but he’s getting there and I’m more than happy for him to take his time. I’m just glad he’s not like my younger sister was and walking at 7 1/2 months.

Also, this video makes my heart melt. I still need to remember to shoot horizontally when I’m in video mode, but you get the idea. He just lights up whenever I talk to him. Do you see that cute gaping smile at the end? He’s got me wrapped around his tiny little finger.

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