Friday, February 20, 2009

New dood, Charlie

Meet Charlie, the newest member of our family. He's a 7.2 lb. goldendoodle (or "dood" for short). This breed is a cross between a poodle and golden retriever. In theory, this mating yields a hypoallergenic dog that is smart, playful, highly trainable, and tolerant of kids. We'll see! All we know now is that he's cute and playful, and seems to cherish a good nap. The boys haven't touched any toys since Charlie came home.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back from Florida

We were in Florida for 2 weeks, visiting my parents. One of the boys always gets sick the day before any trip, so it wasn't surprising that Mitchie had an ear infection on the plane ride. Whata trooper though - he did well on the flight (gotta love fruit snacks for helping ear pressure).

The first week was ... COLD. A high of 52 with 30 mph winds while at the beach is not fun. Thankfully, it warmed up for the last 5 days and we did our beach/pool stuff then. Being that I was on the plane by myself with the boys, I didn't lug the big camera. These are all with the new point and shoot.

See? Beach with sweatshirts!
Finally warm enough to enjoy a sunset photo opp. Going through photos to find the best to post reminded me of how hard it is to get 2 kids to cooperate at the same time, and how it's made all the more challenging without a DSLR. This was from the point and shoot. Incidentally, my dad was hoping I would take photos of the boys with his old 5D, but he failed to tell me that his flash had alkaline batteries that were about a year old. How totally useless trying to capture a moment with 3 second battery recycle times. I should have lugged my good gear after all.

I loved how the full moon looked opposite the sunset.This kept Mitch busy for a while.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Canon 5D Mark II - Sweet!

I received some nice spending cash from my parents for Christmas. I had only one thing in mind - Canon 5D Mark II. It's been on back-order ever since its release a month or so ago. I was so annoyed to have the money to buy it, but not be able to get one. After checking for stock daily, Adorama's site finally had it just listed without the "on allocation" or "back-ordered" note. Woohoo! I got the camera this weekend.

I've had a lot going on, so the tests have been limited so far.. but here's the first few images.. the first of Tony in his HS play, where flash photography is not allowed. The 5DMK2 steps up...

I couldn't get my toddler boys to sit still, but Mitchie's toy pet did...

Lastly, the next four are more pets, was just looking to see how the image quality is at the higher ISOs. I'm pleased.
25600 ISO (the highest setting - can get the image, but could use noise reduction)
12800 ISO (looks better than my old camera at 1600 - still want noise reduction)
6400 ISO (looks usable as is - though I'd still use Noise Ninja or equivalent)
3200 ISO (wow!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shark boys

I don't know how this got started exactly. I believe it was a request for "crazy hair." Mitchie's hair wouldn't spike right, but seemed to stand on end right down the middle. When I finished, he said that he thought it looked like a shark fin on his head. Sean had to have the same hairdo. Pics taken with new "point and shoot." I've not decided if I like the camera's images yet. But these are straight out of the camera, nothing but red-eye reductions done....

Sean digging for dinosaur bones from a "Dino Dig" Christmas gift.

Mitchell, as "Super Wake-up Man." Completely his idea of what kind of costume he needs to wake up his teenage college brother, who might not be seen until 2pm. Costume includes necktie, Santa hat, red cape, and mallet from whack-a-mole.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Digging the new Point-and-Shoot

Alright.. so, we just got back from out of town. And, in the mail was a rebate gift card I received by buying a bunch of memory cards for business. $160 rebate.. hmm.. awesome! I had been eyeing point-and-shoot digital cameras all the way home from IL. Off to Best Buy, just to check it out.

First, of all the stores I've been in this year, for both personal and business purchases, I've never had better service than from Kelsey at Inver Grove Heights Best Buy. She was the best customer serviceperson I've ever been in contact with - from answering all my questions (ISO rates, picture quality, the reviews the cameras received, you name it.. she either knew it, or found out immediately). I swear, she could run circles around typical retail employees.

She helped me choose the Sony Cybershot W170. It is stacked with interesting features (music slideshows done in camera, sorts pictures based on if they have people, smiling people, smiling kids, by date, heck, even if someone isn't smiling, it has a feature where you can force a smile on someone after the picture's been taken. Granted, it looked a little corny, but it can be done. I'm so impressed - can't wait to take pictures tomorrow for our MOA trip and the boys making treats in the Easy Bake Oven for the first time.

Here's the camera:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holy "I keep forgetting to blog" Batman!

Whoa... so my little sister got me involved in Facebook, and while I didn't expect to enjoy that so much (I'm a Scramble addict).. I ended up putting a bit of time in there instead of on the blog. It makes me wonder what I did 10 years ago, when none of this technology existed. I still filled the time, but with what? Heck, I remember college with a 2400 baud dial-up modem. I guess I just answered my own question: some of the time was spent waiting for an email to download.

I've been preparing for Christmas, too. I have finished shopping, started shoveling, all the winter joys. With winter weather, comes the need to curl up with a good book. Out at Sam's, I bought "The Christmas Sweater" by Glenn Beck. What a great book.. emotional, heart-breaking, heart-warming.. definitely put me in the holiday spirit - not in the commercial spirit, but in the "let's spend time together with family" kind of spirit.

On to photography. I've had more time to mess with the new lights, and take them out on location. They're much heavier than the old system. But, wow! What a difference. Not even half powered up, they can light up anywhere dark I've tried, still at 100 ISO. Sweet!

Here's a few shots from a project I worked at Children's Hospital over the past month. It was so fun to play with and hold these kids. It's also fun to know I've not lost the touch (had one sleeping in my arms in less than 2 minutes of holding).

Love his hair almost as much as his name, Theodore.

Love the eyes..

He's a happy boy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

First run at project

I wanted to create a collage involving the many faces of my boys. Mitchie is so easy with this because he's such a ham. I'm making this a large print in my house...

And Sean.. the middle picture.. man does he look old (he's 5!).