I was sitting in my living room when I heard this little guy chirping outside on the front porch.  He was perched a top a pillow on the rocker.  I sneakily snapped these images through the window, so as not to scare him away.

birdie 1

birdie 2

birdie 3

birdie

I feel like lately I have been editing my images on the safe side; not pushing the contrast or saturation a little more for greater depth and interest, for example.  Somewhere along the way, I have lost the creative aspect of it all.  Hoping to rediscover that soon.

Barat Sunset 08

Barat Sunset 11

I took this image a year or two ago of my daughter and have been holding on to it to post for the “perfect challenge.”  Today, I thought, Who cares!  What am I waiting for?  Life is too short and we are never guaranteed tomorrow.

ballerina 2

These are some shots of the sunset in my neighborhood.  I think I am finished with sunsets and sunrises; not that I have mastered them.  Far from it!  I just need a ND filter and a good spot to capture anything better than what I can get among suburban obstacles like houses, tree lines, power lines, etc., neither of which I have at the moment.

Barat Sunset 07

Barat Sunset 12

Barat Sunset 13

 

I am not sure what I am going to photograph in the meantime.  I have a few more images to post here before I run out of unpublished ones.  I would really love to do more portraits, but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself lately.  I suppose I could rework some old images.  I seem to be stuck.  Any suggestions?

The temperatures sure are interesting around here.  Yesterday it was 39F in the morning and warmed up to 77F by late afternoon.  Even the foliage is showing signs of the dead winter and the buds of spring.

Barat Sunset 06Barat Sunset 05

These trees were literally right next to one another!

It’s amazing how quickly the sun sets, or maybe just how fast time goes by when I am out walking and taking pictures.  We went to a neighborhood trail last night and walked east which gave me a chance to turn back and take these shots of the setting sun backlighting the tree line.

Barat Sunset 01

 

What seemed like ten short minutes later, when we returned along the same path, the sun had disappeared.

The gnat clusters (I don’t know what else to call them!) were out in full force.  If you look close, you can see them in the sunlight below.  They were all along our walking path, so I felt like I had to keep my head down a lot.

Barat Sunset 03

Barat Sunset 04

All in all, it was a nice after-dinner outing.  My daughter rode her bike; I got some decent shots (more to come), and my husband kept us both company.

I got a new camera a few months back and the remote shutter control from my old camera doesn’t fit on my new one, so this longer exposure shot of the sunrise through my backyard trees isn’t as sharp as it could have been.

Sunrise through the trees1

Then my husband, who is not a photographer per se, reminded me I could have used the self-timer to avoid the camera shake and I just had to laugh at myself.  Oh well!  It was 6am and I hadn’t had my coffee yet. 🙂

 

Tonight we dyed Easter eggs, an annual tradition in our household that my two daughters have always enjoyed.  This year, however, my oldest one who is just shy of sixteen, decided to forgo the family tradition to go out with a friend instead.

Easter 2017 1

It was a little strange not having her there, but the rest of us were just as goofy as ever, trying to outdo one another’s colorful creations.

Easter 2017 2

I think we all did an equally fine job!  Happy Easter!

Easter 2017 3

 

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So, yeah, it’s been almost four months since I posted anything here, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been taking photos.  I’ve been shooting lots of photos.  Hundreds of photos!

Both of my daughters’ volleyball seasons started back in January and we have had tournaments every weekend since then except for one.  We absolutely love it!  Watching them play and cheering them on is always so exciting!

One of the tournaments was held at an old high school, and the lockers caught my eye.  I felt like I was back in the 1970’s or 80’s with the look and feel of the lockers and hallways of this school.

Oakville 1Oakville 2

An up-close look reveals how old the lockers really are, showing the rusted hinges, layers of paint, dents, and chips.

Oakville 3

We have one more month of tournaments left, so I am hoping to move onto other photographic subjects soon.  Until then…

Santa always comes to our house even though the kids know how things work. 😉  He wraps his presents in green and red tissue paper just like he did when I was a child.

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It appears I fell off of the photographic wagon for a night.  This made me happy.  I hope to keep it up.  After not posting for well over 6 weeks, here are some shots of various angles of our modest Christmas tree.

I will be doing the last bit of shopping tomorrow.  Only three gifts left to pick up and then some cleaning since we are having family over both Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

Hopefully, I will be inspired to shoot more this weekend.  I will post once more before the end of the week and I will get back to visiting everyone soon.

These 3 photos were taken in a corn maze.  I only got lost a few times because I kept stopping to take pictures! 🙂

I’ve been very busy editing hundreds of images from high school events including senior pictures, volleyball games, a powder puff game and homecoming.  Here is one of my favorite candid shots of my daughter on homecoming night and a photo of her pretty corsage.

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corsage

personally-blue

Not feeling these last few and can’t quite put my finger on it.  Macro is hard.

f/11, 1/15, ISO 400

purple-berries http://offshoots12.com

Like yesterday’s white berries, I am not sure if these are actually “berries,” or what this plant is called. I suppose I could research it, but…nah. 😉

f/11, 1/40, ISO 1600

I have been busy all week editing over 80 photos from my very first official portrait photo shoot (that is, outside of the unofficial ones I have done of my own daughters.) I shot my friend’s son’s senior pictures and loved every minute of it. Since I almost exclusively shoot nature, doing the portraits was a nice change of pace. I was glad to have gotten the opportunity to branch out of my comfort zone.

white-berries http://offshoots12.com

I am not sure what this plant is called or if these are even “berries,” but they look like berries to me. 🙂

f/13, 1/50, ISO 800

I mentioned the other day that I was using a new post-processing program called Capture One Pro 9 and loving it. Since I mostly shoot nature photography, yesterday, I practiced taking some portraits of my lovely daughter, Caitlin. In this one she is backlit by the bright afternoon sun.

before http://offshoot12.com

(f/1.8, 1/4000, ISO 200)

I complained about not having a reflector to chase the shadows away from her face. (Husband later went out and got me a 5-in-1 reflector kit. Love him; can’t wait to use it!) Yet, even without the reflector I was able to adjust for under-exposed Caitlin (AND the over-exposed sky) in Capture One.

after http://offshoots12.com

What do you think?  So, I’m a little excited because I have never worked with a RAW converter before.  Thanks for bearing with me.  🙂

yellow http://offshoots12.com

I started using a new photo editing program a few weeks ago that I really like: Capture One Pro 9. For Sony users the price is very cheap. The reviews are great, the support is above par, and it has lived up to everything it’s promised so far. Now, to just keep improving my own technical skills. 🙂

50mm prime
f/11, 1/20, ISO 800

free fall http://offshoots12.com

This is my husband’s teenage cousin rock wall climbing (or falling) when he and his brother were in town visiting us this summer. They had a blast with my girls, all of them, climbing as high as they could.

Posting this photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness theme of “Movement.”

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not words.
Trust movement. ~ Alfred Adler

This is my first participation in Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.  I went to the zoo yesterday with my daughter and her friend, and snapped these photos with my phone.  We got to “pet” and feed the stingrays, which was exciting.  The penguins were sleepy, but the birds were active in their sanctuary. It was a fun day!

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