Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Equipment

I find getting new equipment slightly close as exciting as getting new lenses. I recently got some cheap UV filters for all 3 of my lenses. I probably should have gotten better quality ones, but I'm on a limited budget!

A week ago, I decided to invest in 3 filters for my 50mm. I have been lusting after them for several months, but I haven't wanted to spend the money when I wasn't sure which lenses I would use the most with them. I bought a circular polarizer, a neutral density .6, and a graduated neutral density. They came yesterday and I went and played with them. So far, I haven't noticed much of a difference with them, but I haven't been in the situations to need them yet. However, the polarizer is fun for taking photos of computer screens without the lines and glare!

Yesterday, when I came home from my shooting, I couldn't find the lens cap for the 50mm (the lens I use most often). I searched and searched. I gave in and bought a lens hood that comes with a cap. I figured I really need a hood anyway. Of course, about 4 hours after I order it, what do I find? I considered trying to cancel the order, but I figure that the lens hood is worth it.

This "hobby" just keeps getting more and more expensive!!

Sand Ripples

Sand Ripples
Last one from that sunset. I love Alaskan beaches at sunset!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Photos to Shoot

I usually dread winter, and I suppose I still am (K, I AM dreading winter) but I have also been looking to the changing of the seasons for photo inspiration. When the fireweed signaled the end of Summer, I was excited to see the bright red colors. Now that the leaves are changing, I have been going in search of sweeping landscapes full of color. Less daylight means getting up for the sunrise doesn't have to happen before 7AM. Sunsets are earlier, which is not that great, but more convenient in some ways. Termination dust (snow signalling the end of summer) has been appearing on the mountains, creating more distinction and contrast. Here is a partial list of shots I am anticipating getting in the coming months :)
  • Lights - Every year, an older couple with their house on one of the busy highways puts out a fantastic array of Christmas light animals for a nativity scene (I believe). I have ALWAYS wanted to stop for a photo of it, ever since I was a child, but have never done so. This year, that will change.
  • Christmas Tree - Just think of all the fun you can have with a slow shutter speed and a Christmas tree!
  • Fishing Hole at Sunrise - Went there yesterday and I think it will be an incredible spot to get the sunrise.
  • Moose - We tend to get the creatures in our yard again soon and this time I will be ready with my zoom lens.
  • Snow falling
  • Snow/frost on berries - A certain tree I see often and year after year looks amazing with white on red. This year, I will be sure to capture it.
  • Northern lights? - Not sure that I will get the opportunity for these. I'm not sure that it is dark enough in my area to see them. And I'm not sure that I have the endurance to stand in the cold and dark for long!
  • Sunrises in general - I plan to make it a priority to get some nice sunrise shots. I've never gotten many, ever. When the sunrises at 9:30 in December, there is no excuse not to!
There are some ideas. Let me know if you choose to try some of them and share the results!

Missed Calling?

Ever get the feeling you are totally doing the wrong thing, but it's too late to change it?

I have been pursuing this Accounting degree since Fall 2007. And frankly, ever since I started, I have been pursuing it kicking and screaming. I understand numbers to a point. I do well with my classes until they start throwing curveballs at me. Those curveballs are, unfortunately, on every lesson in every class. Those curveballs are why I failed 1 class last semester and dropped another one.

Each semester I fight this battle with myself. Do I quit? Switch emphasis's?

This semester, I am taking 2 computer classes. Granted, they are fairly brainless - 100 and 200 level. But you know something? I have always been good with computers. I have a 99% in one class and close to that in the other. My one accounting class right now is already a low B.

Should I have pursued something with computers? Probably.

I attempted to take a career aptitude test this afternoon. Who knew that my hidden calling was Criminal Justice?!

I am tired of this running around stressing beyond belief for a degree that I'm not sure I want to finish. But I'm too far in to switch. I think I should just stop and take photos for the rest of my life. I could do that just fine!

Wide Angle Sunsets

Streams at Sunset
More of the HDR sunsets. I used my kit lens - 18-55mm for these.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New Favorite

New Favorite
This is my new favorite shot. It's an HDR of 3 shots down on the beach last week.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


This is a local photographer paramotoring to capture the sunset. I think it's unique.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009


Here's my old kitty, Luv. He's 9 years old this year!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Photo Inspiration

Came across some more incredible photos. Enjoy and leave some love to them!

Summer... _11 by =my-shots

HDR Photo of the Day Denali - Alaska Photography

Dasha Ko III by =mrs-daria

12 Stunning Silhouette Shots - DPS

Morning at Palouse Falls by Darrell Wyatt

MY Belly Shots - Rebekah Westover - Awesome maternity shots!


30 Colorful Shots Of High Speed Bullet Photography - Digital Picture Zone

Rialto Beach by Kevin Mcneal

Flying over the Golden Gate Bridge - Jules Bianchi

Fall on the Highway

Kenai Lake
This past Tuesday and Wednesday, a week ago, I drove the road to Anchorage with my family.
Mountain Light
Fall hadn't really hit Homer then, yet, but it definitely had everywhere else.
All of these shots were taken from a moving vehicle. I'm pretty proud of how they turned out.
AK Railroad
Alaska Railroad train along Turnagin Arm
Still Has Snow
Still snow on this one! It'll be new snow before long.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Youth Group Duties

C and I are involved in our church youth group and have been for the past year. We weren't all that willing at first, and were mainly just involved to help the new leaders, our friends. But as time has gone on, I think C and I both are feeling quite a bit more like this is where we should be.

Now that the second year has started, we've all become a bit more organized. C is in charge of games and the website and I'm in charge of cleaning up and the photography. It's been nice to have clear cut jobs for us to do.

We had a meeting tonight with the other leaders and it's always nice to bounce ideas off of each other and plan fun events. It should be a great school year!

I like feeling involved. Anyone else involved in their YG?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Red Fireweed

Red Fireweed
The fireweed is turning red. I loved the contrast with the old building!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fields for Pasture

Fields for Pasture
Last Tuesday, I went out East End Road and captured this. I love it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

You Capture: Macro

You Capture
This week's You Capture post is all about "Macro." I love macro shots!!

Close Up of a Drop
Last Friday, we had an absolute downpour. I went out in the middle of it, and after it was finished. I loved this tiny raindrop!
Rain Drops
Here is another view of the same drop. I kept getting drawn back to this shot.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Umbrella Rainbow

Umbrella Rainbow
Friday's downpour = creativity with the umbrella!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


On Friday, we had some strange weather, but it amounted to lots of random times where it poured rain like crazy. Here is one such time.

Big City

I am officially done with my summer hours at work! FINALLY!

Today, I am heading to the big city. I have family in town and my parents are taking them to the airport. I am going along to get some food shopping done. C will be staying home. I will be home tomorrow afternoon sometime. Hopefully I will more regularly update after this!

Monday, September 14, 2009

September Sunset

September Sunset
The sunset from 9/6, off of the Homer Spit.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Moonstone: Blue

Last one! I loved the blue of the sky in this one.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Moonstone: Cold

Took this shot on the back of my car. It's pretty beat up with lots of scratches and dents, but I think it gives this shot some character :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No Portraits!

I find it amazing how when people see you with a DSLR or hear you are a photographer, they instantly think you can do it all and photograph people. Or, I don't think I made it clear enough in the beginning that I am NOT photographing PEOPLE.

I am the "official" photographer at our local youth group and I love to take candid shots. When the kids start posing for me, I start getting out of my element. My husband thinks these kids will start calling me for senior photos before long and then weddings after that. I hope not!

I had a friend I don't know too well approach me recently about taking family photos. However, she has 6 children! I tried to gracefully turn her down and referred her elsewhere. Turns out, she came to me first wanting to give me the experience. :) I appreciated that.

My father in law is an amazing photographer of landscapes. However, he has been asked several times to photograph people or weddings and always turned them down with, "I don't have the right equipment, nor the experience." And he left it at that.

He and my MIL have been teasing me about photography. Whenever they see a good photo somewhere, "Oh, it just doesn't compare to what Michelle does :P" So on Tuesday night, when my FIL called me and started the flattery up, I laughed it off.

He explained that he had a friend who urgently needed headshots taken. Within the next 24 hours. I told him that I would much rather not do it, but he could call a friend of mine who loves taking senior photos. "No, I want you to do it."

How does one get out of that? I told him I'd think about it. After much deliberation, I contacted the lady and took some photos of her and got some cash in return. It really wasn't a big deal, but just the fact that I don't feel comfortable taking portraits other than for fun is not what I want to do. I am afraid of being asked to do this again!

I think I am going to have to put a disclaimer on my site about this. How do you deal with this issue?

Moonstone: Gravel

Placed the necklace on the gravel driveway...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Moonstone: Rock Wall

This is my favorite necklace. I decided to take it out into the yard and take some shots with it. There are several more to come.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fuzzy Bumble Bee

Fuzzy Bumble Bee
He's not really in focus, but I love how you can see how fuzzy he is!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kachemak Bay in the Golden Hour

Kachemak Bay at Sunset
I am really proud of this photo. We had an incredible sunset last night over Kachemak Bay. I love the colors in this one!

Buzzing Bee

Buzzing Bee
Out in my yard on Friday, I caught this guy. But I tried to stay away a bit :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Whale in Kachemak Bay
I went out to the Spit on Tuesday afternoon to try to find a bald eagle. No luck, but I did see this whale!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I got my iPod touch today!! This is a test post from it. Full post to follow soon.

Glass Float

Glass Float
Japanese fishing floats are an iconic symbol of coastal Alaska. This one is obviously fake, but still pretty :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

First Day Off

Today is my first day off (except for weekends) this entire summer, except for the wedding in June. I woke up this morning with a plan (go to MIL's house, cook, homework) but I was still wandering aimlessly. What a strange feeling it is for me today. To know that I have the day off without C and can technically do what I want.

I spent the morning at my in laws' house getting it ready for a garage sale next weekend. Getting icky, cobwebby furniture out of the shed is not my idea of good clean (ha) fun, but it's necessary.

I took MIL and BIL5 to the store and I ended up with some drumsticks (the ice cream). Came home, savored one, and then set up dinner and then made some Cathedral Windows. Cleaning up, doing laundry, too. Now I have an hour before C comes home. Now what?

Today officially means summer is coming to a close for me and I am thrilled about that. I just hope the weather stays nice for a bit longer!

Early Morning Sunshine

Early Morning
I love the right side of the image with the sun shining on the spruce tree!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sea Glass Orb

I love to collect sea glass and I avidly pick up any piece I find. I was fascinated to find an almost spherical white piece. Of course, I had to take several photos of it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Youth Group Emotion

Youth group became a big part of my high school years. I spent a lot of time there, expressing emotions - mainly lots of tears. My mother was going through cancer treatments at the time and it really was awesome to have so much support through a rough time.

Youth group tonight didn't develop the way it was "scheduled." But it ended up being all the richer, I think.

We have a sharing time, for if people have a word from God, or something to share. It rapidly turned into a crying session for several of the girls. Our leader changed the direction of his message and had us break into smaller groups and pray for each other. I was with 7 girls, half of them new to the group. I have been finding myself drawn to them lately and I was happy that I joined their group. They cried, shared their hearts, and prayed for each other and were all encouraging to each one. It was awesome. I was really blessed to be a part of it and I really hope that it helps me connect with them in the future.

We Love Musicals!

I have always loved musicals. Always. I loved to sing along to Disney movies growing up. The high school would annually do a musical and that was usually a highlight of my springtime.

Nothing has changed, except now I have a lot of those songs. C didn't think that he liked musicals, but after playing several songs, he seems to be won over and plays them himself. Now we listen and sing along as we do the dishes together. Such fun.

Some of my favorites...

Annie - Maybe
Guys and Dolls Theme song
Guys and Dolls - Sue Me
West Side Story - A Boy Like That
West Side Story - America
My Fair Lady - Wouldn't it Be Loverly
Les Miserables - On My Own
Godspell - Day by Day

What are your favorite musical pieces? Don't you just love musicals like I do?!

Rock Wall Graffiti

Out at Mariner Park, there is a big rock wall lining the Spit. Someone recently came along and painted graffiti on some of the rocks. I loved the heart!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tide Markers

C and I went to beach last week. I am planning on going back at sunset sometime soon to capture the tide markers and the sky. We'll see how it goes :)


I just purchased my Ipod Touch! I have been saving since May for it. I am excited to get it and play with it. I have been having doubts that it will be something I play with every so often and then leave alone, but I really think I will make it useful for me.

I constantly write notes to myself at work on scraps of paper and a notebook I keep in my apron. This would be perfect to keep all my notes organized. It will also be handy to have when I have Wifi access and want to look something up.

I'm excited for it to come!