Friday, September 30, 2011

Foto Friday

First a little photo catchup. I forgot to post this from our commune trip. When Will and Alex worked at the coffee shop, they became friends with the group of old guys that come in every morning. One of the guys invited them over to his house and ended up giving them a bunch of records from his collection. I should have spent more time looking through them because it's fun to see all the covers, even if you don't know the album. I picked out a few though that I liked to take a picture. I love that the commune prefers records and it was fun to listen to them while we were making dinner.

This sign is in the bathroom at a restaurant I sometimes go to and it just makes me laugh. Because if you have to be told that something is common decency, a good chance you don't give a shit.

Last week in photo class we talked about leading lines and using them to draw focus to something in your photo, or to just lead your eye through the photo. It was actually harder to go out and just find something without setting it up than I thought. The examples Wade showed us in class were in an orchard and of train tracks so I wanted to avoid using the same thing. So of course where I went I was surrounded by orchards and train tracks. These are what I got.

The other thing we talked about is the rule of thirds. As with most photography rules, there are definitely times to break them, but a lot of times your picture will be more interesting if the main focus is not in the middle, but at a point horizontally or vertically broken into thirds. Our assignment was to take one photo with the subject in the middle and then the same photo using thirds. I think this is a good example of how the thirds picture is more interesting.

This week I was a bad student and bailed on class because I got invited last minute to attend an Erasure concert. Luckily I think Wade forgave me and we are going on an early morning shoot tomorrow up the canyon. Maybe that's my punishment for missing class, having to get up at 5:30 a.m. The concert was awesome though! I can't say I'm a huge Erasure fan, but we had The Innocence album growing up and regularly listened to it on Saturdays while cleaning. It will always remind me of that. And hearing it at Lagoon in jr high while waiting for my friends to go on the roller coasters because I was too scared to go.

I wasn't able to take photos in the concert, but we went to Bar-X after just for a few minutes and I loved their glowing wall. The bar was bought by Danny Devito and re-done. I'd never been to it before, but it's a cool little bar now. And from what my friends said, a great improvement. They didn't have any of the kind of drinks I usually order so I asked the bartender if I could just have something girlie (I'm such a lame drinker), and she came back with something she just sort of threw together and it was really good. Sign of a great bartender! Overall it was a really fun night. And worth getting less than 4 hours of sleep before work for.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Foto Friday

Wrap up of the last day of our weekend trip. On Sunday we went with Will to feed the animals he was house sitting. A friend of theirs has 40 acres just outside the east gate into Zions National Park.

Their spread

When we turned onto their road, someone was trying to make a run for it. Luckily Will was able to get Feather to come up to him with the temptation of an apple and get him (or her not sure) back behind the fence where he belonged.

Also running around was Wacko one of the alpaca's. But apparently you can't keep him locked up so he is left to roam as he pleases. While we were there he decided to go into the fenced area and made it clear he was ignoring us.

Alpacas do love showers though to cool off. So he did come up willing to Will to get drenched with the hose.

Long Legs wanted some water too. Apparently he broke his neck and it's not quite right. He couldn't lift it much higher than you see in this picture. He was one of the saddest animals I'd ever seen.

The other two horses. The closer up pics all had sun spots, but the white horse is covered in brown freckles and is very beautiful.

One of those times when I really wished I had a longer lens

It was a great visit and I'm really glad we were able to go down.

A little country fun on the way home

My dad Monte had asked if we would stop in Fillmore on the way home and get an updated picture of a Huntsman family home. Our pioneer ancestors settled the town of Fillmore which used to be the state capital. The home happens to be on the market which meant we were able to look in the windows and walk around the back yard. It's a beautiful home which I would LOVE to own, except that it's in Fillmore.

I had my second photo class being held by my friend Wade. I'm going to be sad when it's over. Our assignment last week was to take the same shot but adjust the F-stop to learn more about how that particular setting works. The F-stop is basically the field of focus. A low number will have a limited field of focus, the higher the number, a larger field of focus. Out of the 3 main things you need to adjust when shooting in manual, the F-stop has been the one I haven't really figured out. This assignment actually really helped me to understand it better. These were one of the sets of shots I did, and it's just a cool van so wanted to post them. See if you can tell the difference (click on it to see larger.) The first one has the lower F-stop of a 4. The second one is moved up to an 11. (the tree and back hub cap are good places to see the difference) (actually now that I look at it posted, much easier to tell with them printed than on here. Just take my word for it :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Foto Friday. On Saturday.

We are down in Orderville visiting the commune to celebrate my sister's birthday. Today we ventured out on a hike which we have yet managed to do on any of our visits. We weren't sure how well the kids would do, but beside the point when Will slipped into the mud and immediately claimed he wanted to go home, they did really well.

The hike Will and Alex chose to take us on was to The Crack.

This is what first greets you off the road. Maybe a warning?

Merely a suggestion

I was squatting down trying to take a picture of a plant for my mom when something nudged my back. This guy came up to say hi

The first part of the hike is just meandering through the sagebrush and junipers until you get to the riverbed. This is the part where is starts to get interesting.

Normally it's a dry creek bed that does involve a lot of rocks but nothing too bad. Yesterday it rained though. A lot. And there was lots of mud to try and maneuver around. After Will's slip in the mud, I was warning Alex who was behind me that it looked like this part was in danger of sliding off into the river bed so to be careful. And as I'm saying it, of course right where I stepped broke off and fell away. Along with me into the mud. I was fine but my camera did get a little muddy. Luckily it doesn't seem to be damaged and once it's all dry I think I can get it all brushed off.

The walls on the far side of the Crack, are lined with graffiti carvings. There are so many though that it actually looks kind of cool.

Will challenging the wall to a duel

Behold, The Crack

Alex scaled up into another crack on the left of where the people are. If you click on the picture you might be able to make her out on the left by the trees. Will has also shimmied up there, but the rest of us decided to just enjoy the view from below.

In the spring a waterfall fills up this small pool

Playing in the mud. Because it's ok to poke in, just not to land in.

Mud bubbles

It was a beautiful little hike and the end has a very special feel to it. Maiken commented that it felt like we were walking into a temple. I'm really glad we got to go.

Throughout the hike crows circled above the high canyon walls. And of course every time I pointed my camera at them, they disappeared. When we got out of the canyon, there was a swarm of them, joined by a few vultures. All the pictures I tried to get of them with something else interesting in the shot didn't come out with more than one or two birds. So just a sky full of them. For Wade.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Foto Friday

This week I heard a radio show about a book Farm City. It's about a woman's experience running an urban farm in Oakland, CA. One of the things she talked about in regards to the problems our country has with food was the disconnect most people have from how their food is actually grown and the amount of work that goes into that. I'm grateful for growing up with parents that always had a garden. I'm grateful to know the special taste of a garden fresh tomato and the sweetness of a vine picked strawberry.

Pat and Will have been growing some plants in Gil's garden and Pat had asked for a few photos of my mom's garden. Because of the weird weather we had this year, some things have not been doing as well. But as you can see, there is still a lot of plants.




Voluntary sunflowers

This thing

I don't remember what it's called


And more tomatoes

Tomatoes have always been a large part of my mom's garden and get canned into salsa and stewed tomatoes. As well as enjoyed throughout the summer. My mom has been working part time at a local garden nursery this summer, something I always thought would be a perfect job for her. Today she is teaching a class on salsa. Last night Lucia and Will wanted to help cut up the tomatoes for today, but had to take turns because the British apron was the only one they both wanted to wear.

They are really good helpers. For about 5 minutes.

I'm very thankful that our kids are growing up with knowledge about the experience of growing your own food.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Willie Boy

When Will was still very tiny he would try and grab my hair while I was curled up in the recliner feeding him. I started making sure I had my hair pulled back because without fail it would end up tangled up in little baby fingers. As he got older the uncontrolled grabbing changed to soft rubbing and it went from an annoyance of getting my hair ripped out, to something that made me smile. When he got even older you would pick him up for one of his famous hugs and his little arms would immediately go to the back of your neck and start playing with your hair.

Will turned six today. I can still remember that precious alone time the two of use had in the hospital. Will wasn't figuring out how to nurse and their only guess was that it was because he was a few weeks early. One of the suggestions they had was what they called kangaroo time. I would strip him down to his diaper and place him under my hospital gown so we had skin on skin time with his tiny body curled up on my chest.

Until you have a kid I don't think you can understand the crazy hormones, the stress and feeling so unprepared. But those moments with him curled up, our breathing matching each other, nothing felt stressful or unprepared. It just felt natural.

On the weekend mornings I usually get up a little before Will does and make my way into the recliner. Will sleepily comes into the living room and curls up in my lap to finish waking up. And after a few minutes I'll feel his arm slide up and reach back to pull my hair over my shoulder. And his still small hands wind it around his fingers. And it just feel natural. And makes me smile.

No changes this year as far as his likes (obsessions) go. His loves still revolve around dogs (especially Jackie), anything army and legos, with a particular attention to star wars. But this is a big year in that he started school recently. I'm so proud of my little inquisitive guy. He still gets his feelings crushed very easily. But that comes from him having such a huge heart that he wears for everyone to see. And I would never trade that.

As much as I miss my tiny little guy, I'm excited to see him grow and learn new things. And someday I know he'll out grow wanting to curl up in my lap and play with my hair, but he'll always be my little kangaroo bug.