Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 33

Psalm 23

 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 32

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 31

Chicago welcomes me with its first snow. It feels like winter in my heart...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 30

Waiting for my flight to Chicago. It has been six years since I was last there...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 29

Been busy, busy, busy. I wasn't able to cook 'real' food tonight. I had to run some errands before I fly to Chicago tomorrow. This is dinner =)...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 28

I've been really, really nice this year so I get to have an early Christmas present... from me =P. Hahaha! My pink Kodak Z6 didn't serve me well so I decided to try the DXG Luxe Collection 1080p HD camcorder which I saw at (Yes, too much surfing the web is expensive =P!) It has a 5mp camera too. What's wonderful is that it looks fashionable. It comes in several colors and I got the purple one. It even has a matching purse =). It looks like a slim cellphone. Yay!!! One less wish from my Christmas list =).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 27

Today is a very sad day. My aunt passed away this morning. She's my dad's only sibling and she was the one who took care of me when I first arrived in the United States. Another reminder that we do not hold tomorrow in our hands. We do know that there will always be an end but I guess when you love someone so much, no matter how 'prepared' you are for the loss, you'll never really still be ready. I still keep the keys to my Aunt's house which she gave me ten years ago. She would always tell me that I am welcome to stay with her anytime and even forever. I miss her already...

Day 26

Nathan's still sick and constantly wants to be carried. He can't seem to sleep very well since he's coughing a lot and has runny nose. Good thing he doesn't have fever...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 25

My midnight snack while cramming for an exam =P...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 24

Ever since I started my pathophysiology subject, I've been introduced to a lot of diseases, some I've never heard of, some I'm familiar with. The last chapter I read about fractures was an eye opener. It says that most fractures or falls were complicated by osteoporosis. Women are more prone to having osteoporosis but it is a disease that is preventable. At my age, increased calcium intake plus vitamin D and a more active lifestyle away from smoking, drinking and caffeine are recommendations to prevent osteoporosis. This awareness made me go to the supplements aisle first at Costco when we went there. I picked up a bottle of One A Day to at least augment what is lacking in my diet. I plan to live a long healthy life so I can watch my children grow =).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 23

There's still a freeze warning today because the temperature is still too low. But it's Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, known for the best day for best deals in the stores. John went to Walmart at midnight but wasn't able to buy anything because of the expected super duper long lines and the things he wanted were gone already =P. The sales are usually till noon so we hurried to Target at 10:30am and searched for the best buys we could find. Each boy picked his toy like an early Christmas surprise =). I was able to look around for doorbusters which were left from the morning's frenzy. I found character pajamas for Tristan and Nathan for $5 a set. Yay =)! Nathan insisted on wearing the spongebob pajamas tonight =). He's been coughing a lot and has a slight fever. He hasn't been feeling well since yesterday =(. But look at the happy face, always ready to smile when he sees the camera pointed at him =).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 22

The lowest temperature today is 19 degrees F. It's so cold! Yesterday evening I was looking at our neighbor's tree and was thinking of taking a picture of it today to show the beautiful autumn leaves. When I woke up this morning, all the leaves of the tree have fallen! I looked around and saw that the streets in our neighborhood were full of scattered leaves.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 21

It's been so cold these last two days we didn't get the chance to play outside. The kids are on Thanksgiving break this week. Tristan keeps himself busy by playing on the computer. I let him play 30 minutes at a time so he won't hurt his eyes. But sometimes I get too busy to keep track =P. But he's nice enough to remind me that his time is up and he will just play after he has rested. My Tristan is a good boy =).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 20

Nathan wanted to surprise Dad when he comes home tonight so he decided to make drawings. First he drew rainbows. Then he drew circles. Then he decided to draw his first 'portrait' =). Daddy was so happy... and so am I =).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 19

Smoked fish (tinapa) and tomatoes and a cup of brown rice for dinner =).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 18

We have so many tomatoes I have to think of recipes where I can use them so they won't go to waste. Egg with tomatoes for breakfast, tacos for snack, smoked fish and salted egg and tomatoes for dinner, etc., etc. =)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 17

We were out early today to go to the clinic to have blood tests taken for our annual physical. From inside the car the boys spotted a rainbow and Nathan was so excited to see one. It has been raining on and off. The temperature's falling too but I'm not yet ready for winter =P.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 16

The semester is nearing an end and there are so many projects to turn in, exams to prepare for. I feel like how spongebob looks like =P. Hahaha!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 15

I'm experimenting with catchlight. Nathan is my volunteer =P. Hahaha! I tried using the silver side of the reflector to get light from the window since we were indoor.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 12

Francis on his way to school which is right in front of the house =). Proud of the project the family made together; I cooked/made the clay and colored them; Dad assisted in putting the map together; Francis formed the elevations; Tristan and Nathan played with the leftover clay =). Francis wore Dad's shirt today =P.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 11

The finished product =). Just in time for tomorrow's submission. Yay!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 9

As I was washing the dishes this morning, I noticed the green plastic cup's reflection from the window light. I wanted to experiment since I'm interested to learn more about natural light photography. I got a plain background, which was a white styrofoam board, situated it beside the window and placed the cup on top of it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 8

The kids have no school today. It's Veteran's Day. We started making Francis' school project which is the topographical map of California. We had to make clay at home and these are the ingredients:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 7

Food brings back special memories. My favorite Grandmother (and I was her favorite too =)) would always look for chestnuts when it's nearing Christmas. My Mom would always stop the car and buy for her wherever she sees a vendor cooking fresh chestnuts. My mom loves my Grandmother so much. I do too. There is not one Christmas that I didn't eat chestnuts, not because I like them but because my Grandmother loves them. It's one of the things that keeps her close even if she has passed away already. It's my first time to cook chestnuts today. My eyes were welling up, as I remember...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 6

Meet Mr. Yena. He is Francis' first stuffed animal which we bought at Build-A-Bear at Ontario Mills Mall. Francis named him Mr. Yena. He's been with us since Francis was three years old. Francis will be nine years old next week =). You can see Mr. Yena on the bed, on the couch, sometimes in the car. The boys love him =).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 5

On my way to the bathroom I could smell the scent of men's perfume. As soon as I opened the door of the bathroom, the uncapped bottle of Cool Water welcomed me. Francis, my eight year old just finished taking a shower and he sprayed Dad's perfume all over himself. He really wants to be like Dad and smell like him too =).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 4

We had Sunday service at the Calvary Chapel Golden Springs today. After church, we stayed at the playground for a while and let the kids run around. As I was taking out my camera from my bag, I heard a little voice saying "Cheese! Cheese!" He was in front of me, wanting me to take his picture =). His name is Cyrus. I'm sure his mom takes lots of pictures of him and he's used to it and he likes it. I clicked the shutter =).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 2

I study everyday =). I love studying at night when the boys are already sleeping. It's quiet and it's just me and my computer. I usually sleep between 1:30-3:00am and wake up at 6:00am to prepare the boys for school and work.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 1

I asked my Nathan, "How old are you sweetheart?"

Telling a Story a Photo a Day

I decided to do a Project 365. There are so many things to do in so little time. I'm busy, busy, busy everyday. So I'm challenging myself to take one photo a day of something meaningful, something I like, something I'm curious about, something that makes me happy. I am sure that at the end of the project, not only will I improve my photography skills but I will see a story of beautiful everyday memories =).

Almost New

I upgraded to Canon 50d and added a "new" lens that I bought from craigslist. It's an ef 28-105mm. It has been discontinued but it has garnered great reviews. My husband's practicing his photography skills with the Rebel XS now =).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No Cheese!

     The subject does not need to look at the camera and say cheese to get a good picture. A good picture tells a story. It captures that moment in time when an expression is natural. Here is a picture of my toddler niece trying so hard to blow bubbles that she became cross-eyed. Haha =P!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shutter Speed = Motion Blur or Action Freeze

     The shutter speed helps in capturing motion blur or freezing action. The slower shutter speed would blur the motion of the object that is moving while maintaining the clarity of the background.

Motion Blur
18-55mm lens at 28mm
f/8 for 1/20 sec

Action Freeze
You can see the defined shapes of the water droplets at a faster shutter speed.
18-55mm lens at 55mm
f/5.6 for 1/500 sec

Follow the moving 'object' with the camera while pressing the shutter.
18-55mm at 30mm
f/29 for 1/8 sec

     All these pictures were taken using trial and error to figure out how to manipulate shutter speed.

Aperture = Depth of Field

     The aperture setting in the camera determines the depth of field of the photo. Shallow depth of field would focus on the foreground and blur the background. The lowest number in the aperture setting would focus only on a particular area you choose to be sharp.

Shallow Depth of Field
18-55mm lens at 55mm
f/5.6 for 1/5000 sec

     Setting your camera to a higher number of aperture would show all the details, foreground and background, in the photo.This is called a deep depth of field.

Deep Depth of Field
18-55mm lens at 48mm
f/20 for 1/20 sec

     If shooting manual is not that comfortable yet, you can set your camera to Av or Aperture Priority Mode. Choose the aperture depending on the effect you want and the camera will automatically balance it with the Shutter Speed =).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Camera + Heart

     Let me quote Arnold Newman who said "We do not take pictures with a camera but with our hearts..." Of course knowing the basics and the techniques are guides to creating better pictures. But it is the condition of our hearts when we shoot that determines the outcome of the photographs. It takes much effort to improve in this craft and there is always something new to learn. I believe the best way to start in photography is to take pictures of someone important to you. Then, practice, practice and practice some more =).

     All these pictures are SOOC. I was trying to learn black on black and white on white. Still need to improve my white balance.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Great Combination

     I started to play with pictures when I got interested in scrapbooking. I learned how to use Photoshop Elements (PSE). I was able to crop, straighten, place captions on my photos. I was able to design albums and make cards, calendars and invitations. I cannot say I am a master of the software but I could manipulate it and get the desired results. There is still so much room for improvement though. I made the header of this blog in PSE thanks to the free digital kits from Shabby Princess.

     I was introduced to Lightroom in my basic photography class. This software is geared towards photographers since using this to edit is easier. There are presets that can be applied and sliders to play with which instantly show what the effects on the photo are. The latest version, Lightroom 3 has the super easy watermark option.

     Since it is not all the time that we get the best SOOC (straight out of the camera) photos, post processing is a helpful tool.

What's In The Bag

     In my Jill-E red leather camera bag which I bought in ebay (smart huh =]?), I have a Canon EOS Rebel XS. It is an entry level dslr which came as a kit with an 18-55mm IS standard zoom lens. I bought an additional lens, a 55-250mm IS telephoto so I can shoot the boys' school and sports activities from a good distance.

     After reading the three volumes of Scott Kelby's The Digital Photography Book, I now have a loooong wish list of all the lens and accessories I want to acquire. Note to self: It's not the camera but the photographer who creates good pictures =).