Say Cheese

Make me work for it

My very favorite, totally not mom related blog out there is Trauma Queen.  Kal writes about life as a Paramedic in Edinburgh and I happen to be in love with his prose, drunk on his descriptions and downright obsessed with his photography skills.  He recently invited his readers to make a list in the comments about what they'd like to see him photograph.  Some were site specific to Edinburgh, some were work related, and some seemed a little odd, but worked out just fine

I'm still without a good camera, but would love to stretch my skills a bit and figured I'd give it a go on this side of the pond.  Anyone want to suggest an assignment?  Leave your photo requests in the comments below and I'll start posting them next week.

Seriously, if nobody suggests anything, I'm going to cry.

 

Through the Viewfinder

My birthday present

Since I realized the only way to get us out the door on time each day is for me to stay clear of the computer in the morning, my blogworld has taken a serious hit.  I haven't the time to write like I used to, can't keep up with all the blogs I do enjoy reading and have made more use out of "microblogging" through twitter and facebook

I am, however, still capturing lots of photos.  For my birthday I found myself a Kodak Duaflex camera on eBay for $15, including shipping.  After taking it completely apart, cleaning the lenses and mirror and then reassembling it (many thanks to Russ Morris for the tutorial), I hastily constructed a cardboard smokestack using this pattern (again, thanks to Mr. Morris and Photojojo who lead me there) while fending off sleepy children and barking at the pattern since I accidentally printed it at the wrong size and had to recreate the whole thing using a flimsy ruler and scissors.

But the really fun part was bringing it to playgroup the next day; a playgroup, I should mention, populated by professional photographers and camera geeks.  Some had never heard of Through the Viewfinder (or TtV) photography and even had old cameras like mine laying around at home.  While the Duaflex and her smokestack made the rounds, everyone whipped out their own cameras and we all ran through the park snapping TtV photos while giggling madly.  It was about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on. 

Check out the set by clicking on the photo of Anya below.

windy Anya

Photo hunting

don't. drop. the. baby.

 
I spent about two hours today searching through old photos and uploading my favorites to Flickr.  There's a seriously stupid amount of new pics there if you care to take a look.  As always, the stuff with my kids face on it is marked for Friends and Family only so if you cannot look, sorry 'bout that.

Of most interesting note is a full set of photos from when we took a three week road trip with a then 14-month-old Lily.  It was amazingly fun to see all of those photos again and relive that experience through the images.  It makes me want to hit the road again.  If you'd like to see any of those shots, just click on the image above or contact me for a guest pass. 

so many photos

I stopped uploading all the cool photos from our trip a little less than a week ago after getting way to annoyed at the upload times.  Now I'm looking at a STACK of files and feeling a wee bit intimidated by all of them.  But I will persevere!  Because if I don't do this soon, I'll simply NOT do it at all.  I even have a bunch from Halloween where I bodged together a costume of (wait for it) a BLOGGER!  Seriously, I slung my camera around my neck, borrowed Mark's PDA and took notes all evening, telling people, "I'm totally blogging this."  I really wanted to go around acting as though I was attending a blogging conference and then run up to people to scream like a girl, hug them while hopping up and down and saying things like, "OMG, you're Katie of the blog 'Look at my Butt!'  I've always wanted to meet you!"  I was thinking up all sorts of silly blog names when it occurred to me that nobody would get it.  Only you people would get it.  AND NONE OF YOU WERE THERE.  Damn you, damn you all.

So off I go.  Off to upload like the wind.  On an American internet connection.  Ahhhh!  Check out the photo set when you get a chance.  But make sure you schedule out some time, because I have no self control. 

THIS JUST IN

One of my photos is a top ten finalist in Blogging Baby’s FAO Schwarz contest. This means I have already won $50 in FAO fabulousness and have the opportunity to win $250. But I need your help. Click on the photo below and comment (say something nice, yo) and maybe the judges will be swayed by my wild popularity. If you don’t already have a Flickr account, consider signing up; the basic account is free! We’re having a rather lean holiday this year and it would be awesome to be able to treat the girls to a shopping spree. Quite frankly, $50 will go a long way towards that, so I’m totally thrilled even if we don’t win. Thanks in advance, and I’ll let you all know if we win the big prize.

Sleeping with a monster

Other finalist can be found here. They are all wicked cute!

ETA: you can also vote in the comments section at Blogging Baby by clicking here. The sad part is I only just figured that out. After someone pointed it out to me. I am so smart!

BIG GREEN HANDS!

BIG GREEN HANDS!

I took this shot of Anya a couple of weeks ago when she became obsessed with these BIG GREEN HANDS! she found in the toy bin. They come with a Velcro ball to take the challenge out of catch... as though that's the big problem plaguing our youth. She had no interest in the ball, but screamed and shook her head when I attempted to remove them from her so she could eat brunch with the family. Finally we distracted her enough and she became hungry enough that she was willing to move on with her life without them. Sigh. BIG GREEN HANDS!, we love that you charmed our baby. We promise to allow you to play soon. Although I can't promise I can find the Velcro ball. Sorry.

Cake faced kids

There are few things I like more in the world of photography than taking pictures of cake faced kids. Somewhere along the way, we loose sight of how to really eat cake. We start taking dainty bites, wiping our mouths, brushing off the crumbs, taking such delicate care not to make a mess. But all you have to do is hand a kid a piece of cake and you’ll see how it really should be done. I guess we don’t totally forget. I mean, look at wedding celebrations, for instance. Cake smashing seems to be totally acceptable for the bride and groom. Honestly, I think the whole reception should be rife with cake smashers, adults running amuck with great chunks of cake in hand, smearing each other with reckless abandon. Couldn’t you just see it? I mean, isn’t that a party you’d always choose to attend?

The birthday party we attended on Saturday gave me a couple of brilliant photo ops. I was giddy with joy, snapping pictures of beautiful cake smeared faces. A couple of them are just priceless (if I do say so myself). Click on my favorite shot below to bring you to the birthday set.

Classic Athena

sunset

The night I got home from my trip we headed to a very popular beach burger joint for some good greasy food and a walk on the pier. We finished dinner just as the sun was sliding towards the water and we climbed the stairs to the long pier, chasing the light. I swung Anya up onto my shoulders and giggled with her as she bent down to see my face, delightedly saying “HI!” as she caught my attention. She squirmed to be set free and so I let her go, watching my girls move like drunk little bumper cars, running from side to side, alternately fascinated with the water, the surfers, the sun. Out at the end Lily asked for the camera and so I slid the strap around her wrist and let her have at, hoping she’d get something good in the dying light and steadily creeping fog. After several photos of feet, Mark told her to take a shot of something else, like maybe the trash can. So she did. I love the way she shoots, never totally in focus of the intended subject, shouting “SMILE” before every click, even if she’s photographing something like the railing or a bit of seaweed. She sees things we cannot, finds beauty in the act of shooting, thinks every photo is an act of joy. When I show her the photos later she’ll clap her hands with delight, pointing out every detail, giving me a clue to what she was thinking when she shot, so often not at all what I thought of as the focus. I forget that a three-year-old sees the world from a totally different angle, finding startling things passionately beautiful. But isn’t that what beauty is? finding little things everyone else misses and calling them your own. If all of us thought the same thing beautiful, we’d all be in a riot to claim it for our own. This way, we can all stretch out a hand and say, “This. I choose this as my perfect beauty.” I love that.

But then, I may be a little drunk on the scent of my children’s hair and high on the way they tilt their head when they laugh. Three days without ones kids can do that to you. And that? Well, that is beautiful.

written for Mama Says Om and our weekly theme of "beauty is..."

Nothing Missed

Turns out we are exceedingly boring on video. So really, all that time I couldn’t edit or display video from our camera, nothing missed. You don’t believe me? Here’s just two minutes from our day.

SEE?

EXCEEDINGLY BORING. And I have no idea who this “John” was she was calling. I’m just grateful she never referred to him as A John.

Wanted

Now that I have a computer that can handle it, I want to start posting some video from our video camera (as opposed to the silent ones we get off the point and shoot digital I carry around every day). Can anyone recommend a free, simple video editing program so I don't have to make you sit through three days of footage? Is it easier than all that? I don't have a clue as I have yet to give it a go!

PS I'm on a PC, not Mac