21 articles Articles posted in Photography

It’s a Great Day For…

It’s a cool rainy day here, one that calls for some indoor cozy activities – like embroidery.

(Pattern from the September For the Makers box. Download your own for free, here.)

Also, with the weather change, it seems to have brought out some big spiders around our house. This monstrosity was right outside our backdoor – so glad I saw it before it plastered me in the face. But it sure was beautiful.

Is the weather changing where you are?

My Heart-pounding Adventure

I’ve been loving photography lately. I’ve been loving adventure too. The two work so well together. Like last week when we went off the beaten path during a camping trip and discovered this old abandoned farm house that was so mysterious and so alluring – I just had to go in and take photos.

My husband and kids waited safely in the car while I ran with my little heart pounding towards the forsaken dwelling. I chuckled to myself at my silly misdemeanor as I crawled through the open window and my foot landed on a broken piece of glass and it cracked under my weight. Don’t get injured, I said to myself – the husband will never let you do this again!

The house was well lit from all the open windows – I was momentarily disgusted by all the bird poop that littered the floor – then disgust was quickly displaced by anxiety, seeing all the many hornets nests nestled on the walls. A quick look over and I regained my composure when I saw that they were currently uninhabited.

The wind was blowing through the house from all the broken windows and open doors, creating an eery feeling while the curtains blew outward, giving the illusion of life. The textures were deep, the colors muted, from the years of vacancy and neglect. I began to snap photos.

I moved carefully through the rooms, taking it all in. If these walls could talk…I wondered what type of people inhabited these walls and the stories they would tell. Despite the decades of decomposure, it was obvious that it was a beautiful home in it’s prime.

One of the more dangerous looking rooms was the bathroom, so I kept my distance while taking photos. Then I heard a startling rustle and my heart about leaped out of my throat – and I saw a large creature scurry across the floor and disappear in a dark hole. My hand flew to my heart in some instinctive attempt to calm the beats. I was relieved it was an animal, not a human that was fixing to shoot me for trespassing on their private property.

I rushed through the house, trying to be fast since my escape car was waiting for me with my family inside. I heard my name being called. I took one last shot and exited where I came in. This time avoiding the glass.

I broke in to a run and at the same time noticed the sound of  a herd of hooves coming my direction. I looked over my shoulder and sure enough, the farms only occupants, a couple dozen head of cattle began running towards me. My pace quickened across the field of grass, dodging cow patties as I went. I scaled the metal gate and flipped my body around to see how close they had come. They had stopped in a full afront and were now quietly staring me down as if to bid me a somber farewell and let me know that I would not be welcome again. And of course, I took a photo.

I think this stay-at-home mother of two needs to get out more.

 

Farming Artist: Samantha Lamb

I met an artist when I was working at Anthropologie a few months back, her name is Samantha Lamb. Born and raised here in Oklahoma, she now lives and works on a farm in the town of Hobart, a couple hours away from the city. Her everyday life is fascinating, her photography work is dreamy and magical, and this lady is by far probably the most interesting person I know.

(Above photos by Samantha Lamb)

She generously shared her day with us this last Monday and showed us around her farm, affectionately named Early Bird Acres. I wanted to share a little bit of our day with you here, and maybe you will be inspired to see agrarian beauty in a whole new light.

The closer we got to Sam’s place, the more the views looked like this. Nothing but wheat fields for miles and miles. I stopped on the side of the road and took photo after photo and marveled at the quietness – you could only hear birds chirping – and of course my two boys loudly declaring that they, too wanted to get out of the car. :)

It was really beautiful in the simplest way. Oklahoma may not have really epic views or wonders of nature compared to other states, but you can still appreciate the natural rolling plains and flat fields. Yes, God sometimes is a minimalist.

Sam’s adorable farmhouse in seafoam blue where she’s made her home for the last three years. My boys seemed quite at home here. Perhaps they have a future in agriculture.

My friend Mandy came with her 4 kiddos, and we had such a good time picking radishes from Sam’s garden. We came right before harvest, and I’m so glad we didn’t miss the majestic stalks of golden wheat rising from the earth.

Sam raises lots of different animals on her farm – sheep, chickens, cows, ducks, and even a rooster named Charles. She names all her animals, and speaks loving words every morning as she tends to them.

There is an adorable guest cottage on the property, full of antique furniture, old books, the quaintest bed and even a vintage organ.

After picnicking beneath her pecan tree, we headed out to the cow pasture where Sam rode her 4-wheeled steed to lure Ohio the cow in for a visit. Her beloved dogs Harold and Rosie joined in for the fun.

We were eager to meet this famous cow that is expecting a calf very soon.

Lots of running and exploring.

My oldest boy riding “Smoothie” the vintage tractor. As much as he loved the animals, the tractor was his favorite thing on the farm. I think he looks the part!

All in all, it was such a wonderful trip. Sam was the most gracious and sweet hostess. To learn more about this talented lady, you can read this incredible interview from 20 Something Magazine. Thank you Sam for the great day and the wonderful memories!

 

DIY Dramatic Photo Curtain

We recently held a little party for my son who turned three. It was simple and beautiful, with the centerpiece being 75 of my favorite photos from his life. I wanted to share the idea with you, because it was so easy and inexpensive but added so much meaning.

All you need is a stapler and photos. I used 4×6 photos developed from Walgreens at $0.10 each – which made the grand total of this dramatic photo wall a mere $7.50. I applied the same black and white filter on all of them to achieve a uniform look.

All you do is staple them together length-wise and hang as many as you want. Stapling them holds up really well, surprisingly. I plan on snipping off the top and bottom of the photos and reusing them in his memory book.

Imagine how amazing this idea would be using hundreds and hundreds of photos!

How to Achieve Bokeh With Photoshop

I was recently contacted by Easy Canvas Prints to see if I’d like to try out their wrapped canvases for photos and art. I took them up on the offer and decided to print this photograph I took in my parent’s backyard that I manipulated to achieve the popular and beautiful bokeh effect.

The checkout process was super easy and within days I received my canvas. Unfortunately, I think there was some damage during shipping because my canvas showed up a bit wonky. But, they were great at sending out a replacement – I was very happy with their speedy and polite customer service. The process is really simple:

  1. Choose a size – they have 10×8, 8×8, 20×16, 24×36 and a custom size option.
  2. Upload your image
  3. Select a border – you can choose from a wide spectrum of colored borders, mirror wrap, or image wrap (I picked a black border)
  4. You can also choose from a black and white or sepia color effect, if you aren’t able to do that on your own

Right now, they are offering 25% off your order and free shipping, so an 11×14 canvas with standard options would cost you a little over $46.

I’m very happy with my canvas, it will make a great gift for my parents. And I’ll keep the messed up one for myself. :) Order one for yourself here!

If you are curious about how I did the photo, I’ll explain what I did to achieve the dramatic blurred effect without using a camera or additional equipment. All you need is Photoshop!

Step 1: Apply a filter to your photo. I love night-fate’s actions for Photoshop. I used the #3 action in this set – it’s available as a free download.

Step 2: Make sure and flatten your image at this point then duplicate your photo layer. Then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and apply a level of blur that you like.

Step 3: Next select the eraser tool and pick a big brush with the softest edge you can get. In the brush settings, make sure the hardness is set to 0%. Take the brush and erase the parts of the blurred image that you want to give more focus – in the case of my photo, I erased the area of the vines and the door.

That’s it! I love this effect, it adds so much drama and depth to the most drab of photos. I hope you’ll give it a try and if you run into any questions/problems, just ask in the comments below!

Inspired By: 365 Quotes

I stumbled upon this beautiful project by Julian Bialowas today. I could pretty much post each and every one of these quotes that are perfectly designed and overlayed onto his own original photography work. Julian is a photographer and graphic design student and he’s diligently posting a new photo every day, for an entire year. { found via defringe }

Inspired

Today is the first day I actually have felt inspired to write on this blog. It was this photo that did it.

{ found via poppytalk }

I love this photo — the mood it creates, a story without words. The harrowing waters appear haunted and nudge the imagination of the mysteries that lie in the depths below.

It’s interesting how you can be going about life, seemingly mundane, and all of a sudden inspiration hits you when you weren’t expecting it.  This season of life I’m in right now, where dirty diapers from tiny bottoms and needy cries consume my day, it’s nice to know the creative part of me isn’t dead…it’s just hibernating for a while. Percolating. I’m finding myself with lots of time to think and less time to DO. So that results in a lot of ideas. And I can’t wait to share them.

What is inspiring you today?

Winter Beauty

I don’t consider myself to be a photographer, but I do love taking photos and experimenting with different angles, subjects, lighting, etc. We had such a beautiful snow last week, I just had to go out with my kid and my camera to take some shots. Here are a few of my favs!

A branch encapsulated by ice // A lone footprint

My husband’s sled, named “Laqueesha” // My sweet boy who wasn’t very fond of the cold

I love winter light, I think it’s the best. Did anyone else get snow last week? Though I do enjoy it’s beauty, hopefully that will be the last of the snow and ice for the season!

Fun Photography

Hi all! I PROMISE I will have a neat post up tomorrow. I’ve been working on so many projects and they are taking a long time to complete. But in the meantime, here is some inspiring and fun photo shoots from photographers Andy Mueller and Rebecca Miller.

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Poloroids Live On

So I heard that as of this last Wednesday, September 30, the last batches of Polaroid film passed the expiration date printed on their package. Can I have a resounding “awwww?” Fortunately, there are things like this Flickr pool containing nearly 500 polaroids of urban exploration and abandoned places to carry on the life of Polaroid film.

polaroids

Amazing, intense and haunting photos, each one is a work of art.

On a personal note, our house that’s been on the market since May, finally sold yesterday and we will be relocating to Oklahoma City in about a month and a half. We are so excited! There are lots of opportunities for us to get involved in ministry there, which is our primary reason for moving. Yay!

Have a fab weekend everyone!