Monday, June 6, 2011

Flat - The End

I think it's obvious we've fallen flat. What once started (almost a year ago) as a way to challenge ourselves, and each other, has become a burden. Something we "have to get done". That's just not what this place should be.

It's understandable though. Our collective lives have chanced dramatically. Our kids are another year older and need more of our attention. I've lost my husband and my friends lost their friend. You wouldn't think that a years time for a group of mid-thirties people would be so profound. This should be the part of life where the days just sail by. That's simply not true for any member of the 3C1D family. We've all got our own fights right now that simply cannot need more of us.

I thought after losing Scott that I would need this place to regain some of myself. That I would bury myself in my photography and I would once again find solace with my camera. While all of that is true on some level, I find myself with less time, more stress, more distractions. All leading to less creativity.

My photography has grown so much in the last year. I have this blog and my wonderful partners in crime to thank for that. I know there is still more to learn, more to do and more love for photography and I'm certainly going to keep doing all of that. I'll just be doing it when life allows and with less stress.

Thank you to everyone that has ever visited our little place on the web. We've made some great friends along the way.

To my comrades, I love you all. You were my best friends before this and that isn't going to change with it's ending.

Nothing but love.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Morning Hike

This morning the boys and I set out to one of my favorite destination, Veterans Acres. It's been seen on these pages before, most specifically when I photographed graffiti rock. Speaking of which, graffiti rock has changed once again. Now it says "I poop" complete with evidence. Yeah, not so cool. But such is the nature of graffiti rock.

We walked all over, checking out the pine forest, walking around the pond and checking out lily pads, and picking every dandelion we found. It was so nice to slow down and move at their pace. Sometimes I can't help but try to move them along a little quicker. After all, my oldest son doesn't do anything fast. But this time, I moved like they chose. And it was awesome.

I took many pictures, but I thought this one might be the best. Once again, I wish I had a polarizing filter. I need to stop whining and just pony up. I have several shots of the boys bent over the water. However, the reflections just aren't doing it. A polarizer would have changed the entire photo. Oh well. Here's what you get instead.

Canon 30D
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L at 24.0mm
Shutter 1/250
Aperture f/2.8
ISO 100
Natural Light

I love shooting elevated like this. You almost always immediately de-clutter the background. And when you combine it with a wide aperture, you get a nice fade to blur and a sharp focus on the eyes, assuming your focus is good. Mine is actually a little off on this shot. It may not read that way on the screen but trust me it's off.

Mine connection is pretty obvious. Brandi (and J and Sere) all have shots of their kids. So do I.


Moving on, I feel compelled to share my two cents on Melissa's question. I agree with everything Brandi said. I would only add two things. When you are buying a DSLR, it's important to realize that you are buying a commitment. If photography becomes a passion, you will want more lenses, flash heads, and eventually a better body (wait, who doesn't want a better body?!?! :)). So your decision to buy Canon, Nikon, or Sony could have long lasting effects.

Secondly, the latest craze is hi-def video recording. Is this important to you? Will you ever use it? Here is the way I look at it.

Canon is my choice and the reason is simple. For years and years, Canon made the best lenses. And if there is one thing that will impact your photos more than anything else, it's the glass with which you choose to shoot. Were I starting today, I would have to admit that lenses for Nikon have closed the gap. I would even go as far as saying Nikon makes some lenses that are better than the Canon equivalent. The same is also true in reverse. There are still lenses that Canon makes that are better than Nikon. As for Sony, I just don't know enough to speak on the quality of glass they offer. What it boils down to is that at this point, I don't think lenses should be a determinant in buying a system. Whereas handling is something that should absolutely factor into your decision. Get your hands on several models and find a comfortable fit. Brandi's recommended models are great. The Canon equivalent is probably the Rebel T3. For a bit more money you could get the T3i, giving you 50% more pixels (not overly important but nice if you're going to crop) and other upgrades. For crazy in depth reviews check dpreview. They go WAY in depth on most models.

As to my second point, HD video is becoming increasingly popular. I myself haven't play much with it because my dslr just doesn't do it. If that's something you think is really important, I would suggest you check out the Sony line. They have a new technology that allows for light to pass through the reflector in front of the camera's sensor and this allows for continuous focus and live view. It's cutting edge stuff and easily ahead of Nikon or Canon when it comes to usability. Sony is a relative new comer to the dslr world but they are huge and product support has proven the point. I wouldn't be afraid to go the Sony route if indeed it feels right for you.

Okay, I've said enough. Good luck with your shopping and come back again if you have any other questions.

Happy Sunday everyone!


Saturday, June 4, 2011


If you're a parent you know there is nothing better than seeing your child enjoying life. Seeing the sheer excitement on their faces just seems to take away all the naughty things they do. If only it could take away the gray hairs too.

Nikon D300s Nikkor 24-70 F/2.8 VSII @ 55mm
ISO 200
Shutter Speed 1/2000sec
Aperture f/2.8

This picture was taken around 1pm. The heat of the day being eased by the cool, pool waters. As a photographer I just wished there was a better way to ease the sun's powerful rays. Taking photos at that time of day is awful. What isn't shadowed is blown from the super bright sun.
But happiness can't wait for the sun to settle and I'm not going to miss an opportunity to capture a moment that really matters.

Melissa, one of our fantastic followers asked us for a recommendation to an entry level DSLR camera. Melissa being the proud mommy of a 8month old and a 17year old is finding her standard point and shoot just isn't giving her what she needs.

Here's my personal response to Melissa's request for help.
Nikon, Cannon and Sony have great entry level DSLR cameras. Any DSLR will give you the option to continue to grow in photography. Allowing you to change lenses, shoot (and edit) in RAW format, turn the camera on manual and make decisions for yourself, allowing you to decide what type of "mood" your photo should have instead of the camera deciding how to take the best photo.
DSLR cameras also shoot better in low light conditions, have better shutter speeds, memory storage and pixalization. All that said, in the entry level DSLR family I don't think there is too much difference between the larger, name brands that are on the mass market today. Every company has it's strength and weakness. It becomes more about personal preference than anything.
When I moved from a point and shoot to a DSLR, I went with the Nikon D40 (no longer in production). I chose the Nikon over Sony and Cannon for a few reasons. At the time I got a great deal on the D40. We all know finances matter. Another factor in my decision is the way the camera felt in my hands. I had experience with Nikon film cameras and was more adjusted to the grip. Additionally, the menu driven functions just made more sense to me on the Nikon. It seemed like I just knew where everything was.
My advice, go out and play. Hit up the local Best Buy, Costco, Wolf Camera or anywhere else that has display models and try them out. Get them in your hands and see what feels the best to you.
If I were just venturing into the market right now I would most likely get the Nikon D90 or the Nikon D3000. There are lots (LOTS) of great resources on the web for comparisons that are far more intelligent than mine. Do a little research and by all means, if you find yourself struggling between a few, drop us a line. Maybe one of us has used that camera before, or maybe we've heard or read reviews that might sway your decision. We're happy to help.
My comrades might add their own two cents. Listen to them, they're wicked smart.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Fried Friday

Nikon D40
f 9.0
Natural light
ISO 200

Need that zoom! This was cropped from a much wider shot and it has lost any clarity & crispness.
Darn it, they won't let me stand on the baseline to shoot my shots.
Going along with kids sports I give you Maddie again! She's just off the ground like in Sere's shot and very focus as well.
I know it's late but I made it by the hair on my chinny chin chin. pheeww!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Talkless Thursday with Sere

Ooops!! My BIG, HUGE, mistake of totally missing my day yesterday. Time ran away from me and well, no excuses, it just is. I apologize to all! I am putting this picture up for our guests to guess on the connection to Scott's picture, for a chance to have a guest appearance on 3C1D. The connection can be just about anything, let your imaginations run!

If my fellow photographers want to do something else today or put their own picture up, I'm totally okay with that. Don't let my mess up, mess up your day. I just wanted to have something up, just in case.

Make your guesses and have some fun!!

Ready! Set! Go!

Nikon D90
Aperture F/6
Shutter Speed 1/2500 sec.
Lens Tamron 18-200mm @112mm
Natural Lighting, Shutter Priority Mode, RAW


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thumbs Up Dude!

My connection is pretty week. Sometimes, it's just going to be. And I'm officially over it! Because of Brandi's black and white conversion, I had a tailor made excuse should I need a bailout connection. So here you go, Ethan playing soccer converted to black and white.

Canon 30D
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6
Aperture f/5.0
Shutter 1/800
ISO 100
Natural Light

I also chose this shot because I sometimes fall into the trap of trying to get the perfect shot when a shot that is "good enough" is actually more important. I say more important because the corollary for feeling pressured to do it perfect is a tendency to not take the shot at all! Case in point, today was Ethan's last day of soccer for the season and I had yet to shoot a single picture. That's just plain stupid.

I titled this "Thumbs Up Dude" because this is something I do with both of my boys. In this case, Ethan had just kicked the ball and turned to give me the thumbs up. It's just precious and I was lucky enough to capture it on film (uh...I mean digital). Thank God I wasn't fussing around with my camera too much. It's not a perfect technical shot, and yet it's perfect for me.

Never let perfection get in your way!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

It's a day to honor the men and women that have serve this country. Regardless of rank, classification, job title or other boring detail, every man or woman that now serves or has served in the armed forces should be honored today.
I do find that there is a distinction between Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day. To me, in my heart, the distinction lies with making this day, Memorial Day, a day to honor those that have lost their lives serving this nation.
Maybe I'm right with my thoughts or maybe I'm wrong, but the point is, today is not just about hot dogs, cold beer, lemonade and marking the opening of the pool. So as you're enjoying those things think of the people before us that have given their lives so that we can splash, gossip, and hit home runs today with our family and friends.

Nikon D300s Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 @34mm
ISO 200
cloudy, foggy overcast
aperture f/2.8

I'm not going to lie, I over exposed this shot. I went out in search of a flag, preferably one that was buried in the fog that blanketed this area yesterday morning. I found a few but nothing was quite what I was going for. Making one last stop, I found a flag in a quiet downtown park surrounded by trees and greenery. I thought "Yes! This will work." Getting out of the car, walking through the park and up to the flag, I found it surrounded by these monument markers. WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and then the Gulf War(s) monument.
I was struck. All the other monuments had numerous names, 10 or 20 on them. But, here there were just two names. Two names of two loved ones that had not been forgotten. These tulips were the only flowers placed on any of the monuments.
Gone but certainly not forgotten.

I was so distracted and moved that I really didn't take the best photo. I guess I don't read my histogram really well through tears. Thankfully, shooting in RAW allowed me to recover most of what was lost. I'm still not happy with the composition. Maybe I'll go there again today and make it right.
Whatever you do with this day, take a moment to remember those that have lost their lives. May they all rest in peace.