Sunday, July 29, 2012

30/52 - my week

{iphone photo collage} 


A little bit of my week, iphone photo style.
1. Will and Logan, the Superhero/Crime fighter neighborhood association. 2. Cool bridge in central Illinois. This week I made the 6-7 hour drive to my sister's home in Indiana. 3. Grace demonstrating some pool love. 4. Stayin' cool when it's 103 degrees. 5. Indiana prairie wildflowers. 6. Big sky over the state of Illinois. I'm a native Midwesterner and I love the endless corn fields with the blue sky. I can happily say that we finally got some rain, both in Indiana and Wisconsin.
And we had a blast at my sister's...a lot of laughing, a little shopping, kids swam, it was all good!

Monday, July 23, 2012

He's the Man (Sunday Snapshot)

Superman Will 1

Well he's definitely got the right posture, especially in the above image.
 Chest out, shoulders back....and the expression. I suppose that's one of
contemplating saving the world?

Superman Will 2

Superman represents truth, honor and the American way.

Superman Will 3

He's stronger than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet,
and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Superman Will 4

And yes he can fly.
Certainly in his dreams.

Because he's Superman.

My little Superman. ;)

Superman Will 5

Taken with my Nikon d700
and 85mm 1.4 lens
ISO 400
1/200 sec.

These were taken shortly before sunset, hence the golden light
and some haze and a tiny bit of flare.
All edited in photoshop using Levels and Curves.
Image #2 and 4 have Sarah Gardner's textures applied,
at 'screen' on a low opacity and removed with a black brush off of Will.

In images #1 and 5, I enhanced the natural flare and haze
by adding an overlay from a Nichole Van action from her
Sunflares and Sunbursts set. She has videos to follow on her web site
and they were easy to apply.
Again, you use a black brush and remove the amount of flare that you would like.
It's all personal taste.
Overlays of flares and hazes have been used for a while in editing
and it's a fun effect to try and play with.

Ni Hao Yall

Friday, July 20, 2012

4 years with Will (Favorite Photo Friday)

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 
 ~ Matthew 18:5 

Four Years - will first 
 July 20, 2008.
We all first met in a sterile meeting room in the Lakeside Hotel in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China.
We actually heard William as we stepped off the elevator, before we saw him.
He was crying very hard and was afraid. It wasn't an easy first meeting and something you can't forget.
I remember thinking what a big boy he was then at age 2.
When I look at those photos now, he was a baby
and so incredibly brave.
He'd been through so much in his short little life.
More than most of us have in a lifetime.

We've had ups and downs, easy times and more difficult.
Through it all, like the Energizer Bunny we kept going and moving forward.
And praying that we were doing the right thing.
Because that's all we knew to do.
You see, Will happened to get two very stubborn and patient parents that would never give up.
We could see the big picture in all of this story and
when we make a commitment, we keep it.

Will - 4 Years family day collage

4 years later from that first meeting in the Lakeside Hotel meeting room, my 2 year old
 has grown into a long legged 6 year old little boy. 42 lbs. of all boy.  
He is happy and much more at peace with the world.
He loves to laugh, has a sparkle in his eye for his mommy and daddy, and has a dear, sweet, kind heart. 
If you meet him once you'll never forget this child...he's an extraordinary person.
  I dream of only great things for William as there is no limit as to what he can accomplish someday.
Thank you to Deena and Mike Van't Hul in China who were his first parents for 2 and 1/2 years and his Kindergarten teacher, Sue Truitt who has loved and treated Will like her own son.
The words thank you aren't adequate for what you've done for him.
 And us.
We are the lucky ones to have Will in our lives.

Four Years - will last
 {My beautiful boy, I couldn't love him more than I do.}

Will is shown in his bedroom with some of his favorites...his Batman collection. He's a Superhero - Crime Fighter aficionado and knows way more about them than his mommy does.;)
But I'm learning.

the long road

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

29/52 - Instagram catch-up

{Mid July} 

Instagram collage July 17
A little catch up per Instagram from the last week to 10 days.
Starting in the upper left and moving right: 1. Grace ready to leave for a friends' birthday party.
2. A very wet Zoe from swimming at the dog park, she was drying off in the grass.
3. Summer evening sky. 4. 3 nine year olds being silly and making me laugh.
5. A tired Will after spending an afternoon swimming at the pool.
6. Wisconsin in Summer, red barns and Queen Anne's Lace.

Friday, July 13, 2012

28/52 and Favorite Photo Friday - He's a fish

{Will wearing his new goggles}
Will - fish
We lived in California 17 years ago and were lucky enough to have a pool. 
My oldest was in elementary school in those days and he swam pretty much every single day.
We're water people and usually try to vacation somewhere near it. This is the first year
we've joined a pool here in Wisconsin and are using it quite frequently.
 My little swimmer(shown above) has definitely found his fins.
Will has never officially taken swimming lessons but he's learned quickly and has really taken to water.
He's already mastered all those fun water things we did as kids...cannon balls, standing on his hands, forward roll, backward roll, he's even attempted cartwheels underwater. His new favorite game... he is 'AquaMan' and I'm the shark that chases him.
We are loving our Summer!
the long road

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Keepin' cool - Sunday Snapshot

{What you do on a blazing hot Summer day} 

Keepin' cool 1
(Lots of giggling going on here).

A month ago when I bought the Summer pool membership,
I had no idea that this would be the hottest Summer on record in over 100 years.
It's been as handy as a snow blower in the Wisconsin Winter.

Keepin' cool 2

Both Grace and Will were initially afraid to try the water slides, tube slides
and lazy river but we can't say that now.

Keepin' cool 3

This pool has been a blast for all of us and a welcome relief from the heat.

Keepin' cool 4

The first snapshot of the girls under the wall of water was
taken with my Nikon d700.
50mm 1.4 lens
ISO 200
1/4000 sec.
Spot metered.

Edited in levels and curves in photoshop to my taste.

Please stop by Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot for many more images.

Ni Hao Yall

Friday, July 6, 2012

27/52 and Favorite Photo Friday - a low key 4th

{A small hometown Midwest July 4th}

July 4th waiting for parade
Low key is a good word to describe our July 4th,
no traveling near or far, just hangin' out at home in the a.c....
except for when we were out in the 104 degree temps to watch a parade.

July 4th waiting for parade 2

These two were armed and ready with bags for C A N D Y.
Yes, candy was their mission for the day.
My mission was to keep all of us hydrated and capture a few photos.
I have to say I was impressed that there wasn't a whole lot of complaining about the heat.

Parade Storyboard 1
After lunch we made our way to the pool for an afternoon of swimming
and playing in the water. (Those photos for my next post).

July 4th sparklers 1 

Evening time was the sparkler show.

July 4th sparklers 2

Quite a few local fireworks displays were cancelled due to the extreme heat and drought
but we managed to do our own thing and have fun.

July 4th sparklers 3
Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th!

Camera settings for the sparkler photos -
50mm 1.4 lens
1/100 sec.
ISO 1250

It's a slower shutter speed than I would have liked and you can see a little movement
but I still loved them.

the long road

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July - Sunday Snapshot

{Summer sky}

July 1

"Like painted kites, those days and nights
They went flying by
The world was new beneath the blue
umbrella sky..."

 Excerpt from "The Summer Wind", lyrics by Johnny Mercer

July 3

I have quite a few photographers that I admire and one of my favorites
is Audrey Woulard.
I just finished re-reading her book,
Natural Enlightenment Photography.

July 6
I consider Audrey a master of light and color.
And secretly I like that she shoots with the same camera as me. ;)
I don't claim to be any Audrey Woulard and it was fun to put my own spin on some of the things she uses
with her photography style.

July 4
For these photos I did what Ms. Woulard does with her clients as far as I styled Grace minimally
with clothing and props.
Less was definitely more here as the setting of the blue- green water, the weathered pier
and endless blue sky spoke volumes.

July 5
These were taken in pretty much full sun at 11am a few days ago.
The pier and water worked as natural reflectors.
With the first image, I was facing West...hence the brilliant blue sky.
 I deliberately wanted to capture that color.
It was one of those perfectly clear days
without a cloud.

In the first image Grace was looking back at a family of ducks
swimming toward the pier.

Nikon d700
35mm 1.4 lens
ISO 250
1/5000 sec.

Edited in Lightroom and  then Photoshop with Florabella's
Classic Bright action on a low opacity.

See many more images at Ni Hao Y'all's Sunday Snapshot!

(Grace's dress and hair clips are from JCrew).

Ni Hao Yall
© Aging with Grace and strong Will
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