Friday, April 30, 2010

Nature: Rainy Reflection

May photo theme

Yes, May is nearly here, which means it's time for a new photo theme!

Can you guess? It's...people! And I'm not going to lie...this theme scares the crap out of me. I've never been one that natural photographs people, in posed or natural situations. I guess I better get over that quickly.

The "people" rule is that each photo I post this month has to have a person (or part of a person) in the photo. The person can be the subject or simply be an aspect of the whole composition of the photo, like "Worn out," which is one of my favorite photos to date. I think this photo wouldn't nearly be as incredible compositionally if that guy wasn't there.

While apprehensive about this coming month, I'm quite excited to stretch myself photographically. This is an area I haven't had a lot of experience in, and I've learned that if I force myself to learn and grow, I magically do. :)

I have thoroughly enjoyed photographing nature this month, and I'm actually sad to see this theme's end. Last month, I actually felt an architectural boredom during the last week of the month, but that just isn't the case now. I never thought photographing nature would be as exhilarating and exciting as it has been. I've commonly felt a sense of calm and peace as I, for example, sit in a field of wild flowers or walk through a forrested natural trail with my camera. I haven't just photographed nature, but I've actually had the chance to experience it on a new level, and that has been priceless.

Stop by later tonight for April's final nature picture. (I promise, it will be awesome.) Also, be on the look out for extra nature photos in the coming weeks that I didn't decide to post.

And wish me luck as I embark on this new challenge! Through comments? Why certainly!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nature: Escape

Squirrel Revisited

I have a confession to make...I was very unhappy with the shot entitled "Capture" from a few days ago. I have been trying all month to capture (ha!) a squirrel on camera, but usually these guys are too fast and get spooked too easily if I come within 5 feet of them. I was happy that I was able to capture this little guy as he poked his head around the tree, but the shot ended up being too overexposed in the background and a bit underexposed in the foreground, not a good combination for good photos. I actually had to spend a reasonable amount of time in photoshop trying to correct for this, but ultimately wasn't all that happy. And then, since my shutter speed was set low due to the shadow I found myself in with the squirrel, I probably had a little shake in my hand as I snapped the photo, thus leading to a somewhat fuzzy photo.

Wow, now you're probably looking at that photo thinking, "Yeah, why did you post such a terrible photo?"

Well, first of all, it wasn't terrible. I had captured (there I go again!) a fun moment, and that's worth a lot in a photo. Also, as Matt said, it was unlike many of the photos I had posted in the past, so different is good, too! Ultimately, I posted it somewhat hesitantly, but as Matt reminded me, I don't have to post an awesome photo everyday. It was cute. And different. And that was enough.

Well, to my surprise, yesterday, I encountered another squirrel who was remarkably un-skittish and apparently wanted to have it's photo taken.

I slowly approached this guy, and to my surprise, he didn't run away! He just sat there next to the tree for a second, and then ran up the tree and posed nicely for a few more seconds.

This is the shot that I wanted last Friday, but luck didn't come my way until yesterday. I was very happy with the several good shots I took of him, but since I had just posted a squirrel picture and the month is nearly over (oh dang! I should probably decide on my next theme...), I thought it wouldn't be prudent to post another squirrel picture, even if it was much better.

I thought instead I'd take the opportunity to explain the shot from last week and share more than one photo of this poser of a squirrel. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nature: Fruit of the vine

Kitty fever

I am a cat person. Cats are better than dogs.

There. I said it.

And I can say this with confidence having lived with both species.

And you can disagree with me all you want. This is just my opinion...but it's true.

That being said, I've had a strong desire to get a cat lately. Living in a townhome and not being home most of the day, a dog is not only the wrong choice (ha!), but an impractical one, too. And that's why I think having a cat would be perfect. The maintenance level is low, but you still have an animal you can bond with emotionally at the end of the day.

Now, there are two major problems with my excellent plan: (1) Matt is a dog person and (2) is allergic to cats.

That pretty much means we'll never have a cat. Or a dog if I have any say. Perhaps we'll have to find a pet that serves as a happy medium, like a chinchilla. They are pretty dang cute.

Why do I bring this up? Because yesterday as I was out shooting, I came across a beautiful, friendly cat who was very interested in my camera. I was this close to posting one of these pictures yesterday, but the etched leaf shot, I thought, was much better compositionally. But how could I not share such awesome pictures of an incredibly noble looking orange cat.

Seriously, I really want a cat now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Nature: Sluggish

With the Houston humidity and relative warmth, our porch has been hosting a bunch of snails and slugs lately. I've been waiting for them to crawl out on the rocks to capture them, and finally, I was greeted this morning by this slimy, little guy as I walked out of the door on this perfect (for the snail, at least), muggy, warm morning.

Also, as you can see, I've changed the colors of my blog around. Matt suggested to me that I try a darker background, and I love the way the dark grey makes my photos pop off the page more, but now I feel like I have to be all deep and sad and...goth...or something. And I'm worried it'll be more difficult and harsher to read. What do you think?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nature: Capture

Remember the Alamo?

I bet you'd never remember it like this.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nature: I don't mind the rain

Tapping into the Eye of the Tiger

Hi, I'm Nama. And I'm officially a runner.

That's right, folks. I ran my first 5K on Saturday, making me a bonafide runner!

Ruth & I decided to really try this time around (remember my most recent failed attempt?) to become runners. So we found training programs online and signed up for the Rice 5K. Two and a half months later, we both nervously and enthusiastically showed up at 8:30 (or 8:50) for the 9am race, totally pumped and ready to go.

That's right. My running partner was number 1. She's the best.

We ran to the back of the runner's pack and awaited the start...

...and goofed off in the process. This is my "frozen in time runner's stance." I think I saw this on a piece of ancient Greek pottery once.

And we were off! The race went about as I expected: the first two miles were manageable and somewhat fun, and then that last mile was a bit difficult, especially since most of it was on concrete. Having trained mostly on gravel or treadmills, my muscles received a bit of a shock running on concrete for most of the 3.1 miles.

Oh, and here's a little kid who beat us.


Just before the last turn, we took a very short break to rest, pumped ourselves up, found something rockin' on our ipods to bring us home (thank you, Lennon/McCartney), and we sprinted (as much as we could) the last quarter mile.

Here we come!

Gee, Ruth really looks likes she's enjoying this.

I look like I'm trying to fight off the side stitch that blossomed as I sprinted to the finish...

And we finished! In 38:55! A whole minute and some change better than our goal!

I felt fantastic afterwards! Well, fantastic in the sense that (a) I got to stop running and (b) that I had accomplished an amazing goal!

Yes, it was hard. (Can you tell? Running is not pretty...) But I really did feel great after the race, and Ruth & I are totally signing up for a two more 5Ks taking place in the next month and a half.

That's right. I'm officially a runner.

And I spent most of the day yesterday wearing my 5K shirt. It makes me feel accomplished.

On a side note, all of the above pictures were taken by Matt, who came to support Ruth & me, along with my sister and her husband and Grant and the kids. I found it hilarious that Matt does the same thing I do when I'm around Lucy & Hazel with my camera...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nature: Tendrils

I'm (sort of) famous!

Last weekend, my photography class went to the zoo to practice our skills. Saturday's "Blue Lagoon" was one of the many fruits from that shoot. To give you guys an idea of how much luck I had getting that shot, I probably stood at this large aquarium full of tropical fish for a good 15 minutes or so trying to get a good shot of one of the many different fishes in the tank while small children were running around screaming "Nemo! Nemo! Nemo!!". I believe this was my one and only good shot. The rest of my photos are blurred in odd places or have bad lighting. I was extremely lucky to get that shot, so remember that it's not always the skills of a photographer but the combination of endurance and luck that sometimes gets you the shot. Thank goodness for digital photography...

I also snapped this picture while at the zoo:

I almost posted this picture for my Saturday shot-of-the-day, but since I was extremely thrilled to have gotten a great shot out of the aquarium, I posted the photo of the fish. But I loved the shot of this little guy, just chilling out on his leaf. I even thanked him for posing so awesomely for me.

Well, guess what? Somebody else liked it, too...The Pioneer Woman!

She featured this photo on her website today!! I think I screamed in my office when I saw my photo come up as I was scrolling through the others...that was awkward...but seriously, I'm beyond excited and feel so great! I've submitted photos before, but never felt like I had the chops to make the final cut, and now, I feel kind of bonafide, you know? Like my photography skills are, indeed, improving and not going unnoticed, and it feels fantastic.

Thanks again to everyone who visits this blog everyday to see my photos. I love your enthusiasm, love, and support. And not to go fishing for comments or anything, but seriously feel free to leave one! Blogger emails me my comments, so I'll see them! And love them!

Here's a few more shots from the zoo trip:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nature: Buds

Spacious skies

We all know how much I love a beautiful sky.

It's a bit of a obsession. When the sky is crystal clear and brilliantly blue, I just can't help but including it in a photograph.

I love the contrast of the red brick up against the bright blue of mid day.

This picture was an incredibly close second to "Hoot." The gorgeous sky and the awesome green of the trees match so perfectly. I particularly loved the nature contrasted with the intricate marble of the building.

Just a hint of blue is sometimes all it takes to make me happy.