June 22, 2012

Lindsey! ...and the Crazy Outdoors

Introducing.... Lindsey! and Squirt.
Lindsey is a young woman deserving a badge of honor for helping me with photos, CGT, and still even seems to like me!  I've told you before that when I mention the words "take photos" in my home, my guys scramble to get away.  If Lindsey is around, I hear a squeal of delight!  I've got to say, not only detecting delight is encouraging, but hearing a girl-squeal-sound in my house makes me smile.

I was working on another photo challenge project that would engage involve both Ryan and Lindsey. Ryan wasn't "available" when we began, so I had some ideas to work out with Lindsey and ended up having quite the wild kingdom adventure for the morning.

Squirt and Ryan are tight...  Though Squirt isn't allowed in the house (because of familial allergies), she gets on the second story roof and meows outside Ryan's window, he lifts the screen and lets her in - only into his room - to play computer games together and collapse to sleep. And since the cat likes Ryan, and Ryan likes Lindsey,  the cat therefore likes Lindsey.  I think this has to do with some mathematical theorem of sorts [if a=b and b=c, then a=c?] Extra points to anyone who can name it! 

Anyway, Squirt was to be in the photo shoot in the woods/meadow.  As you can see, she is looking rather intensely over Lindsey's shoulder; she was the first to hear "IT" and became a bit squirmy. Lindsey and I were oblivious and went on planning.

I learned from the last photo attempts to be careful of high noon sun.  Though it was late morning, thankfully it was overcast, and everything I've read about outdoor photography states an overcast sky is a great opportunity.  They were right, and it saves so much time not having to attempt correcting hot spots from the sun if you forget to stay in the shadows.

Lindsey plays violin beautifully.  Ryan has a violin from my grandfather that we used for the photos - such a neat memory. Wouldn't it be awesome for Ryan and Lindsey to play a duet together?  Just saying.
In the following photo, Lindsey positioned herself so prettily, but I failed on the sharp focus. Ugh.  But I still liked it so much that I wanted to edit it anyway. So I did!

It was about this time that we were aware of "IT". Remember the bulldog cartoon character Spike - named for his collar?  Here's a photo for those too young to remember.  Welp, I knew the neighbors had dogs... but I was NOT acquainted with the black and white bulldog (admittedly, quite striking - and looking rather fearsome) standing at the edge of the meadow - with a double spiked collar. And IT was staring us down. IT stayed motionless as I tried some sweet talk... "Nice doggie!  Please tell me you ARE a nice doggie?" and etc.  There was a brief thought to take its picture (!), but if you ever played a game of stare-down, you know you'll lose if you flinch first.  I wasn't in the mood for losing this one.

Squirt, in the meantime, did what she thought best... I highlighted her so you can find her.

IT started to respond with a smidge of a tail wag when I mentioned politely that I thought maybe IT should  go home. So I kept with that theme for a while, and IT wagged a few more times.  Progress.  

The neighbor did finally appear, rather slowly approaching.  I was unsure if that was a good sign. Turns out the dog was found just two days before and was staying with the neighbor.  Aghhhhh! So my neighbor wasn't sure what the dog would do either!  Daring to come towards us now, IT was acting a bit like an unsure puppy - albeit in a grown bulldog body! - which got my hopes up that perhaps IT didn't know how to be terribly ferocious yet. Finally becoming brave enough to run towards me, IT landed a great big lick on my leg.  At that point, the neighbor was able to get the dog and lead it away.  It was quite a while before Squirt would come down :>)

Undaunted (sort of) we went back to picture taking.

I had this notion in my head that I would love to take a photo of Lindsey performing on the violin in the meadow with an awesome, dramatic, cloud-filled sky.  The weather prediction for that morning was promising for my crazy idea.  But the stormy sky wasn't to be - just overcast cloudiness. The family was going boating later, so really that was a good thing... just a little disappointing for me :>)  However, out at the lake that evening, the sunset sky was wonderfully accommodating with amazing colors and rolling clouds.  The sky was just off in its timing for me... so I got a bit creative and put the evening sky on our earlier photo.  The composite really was what I was hoping for in my mind's eye. It just took a two step photo-taking process.

I absolutely love the next photo.  Lindsey, you are just exquisitely elegant!

I've been working on getting clarity, contrast, and shine in a black and white.  This photo is what I've been working towards.  Hooray!

We put Lindsey in a different section of the meadow with more foliage.  
This one has a Monet look about it - love the texture and its glow.

Exploring the woods was next.  The boys' tree fort still remains - it survived the fire. Though no girls were previously allowed, the guys weren't around to forbid Lindsey into their old stake-out.

Squirt decided that she was sticking close with us, I'm thinking on account of the bulldog.  She took opportunity to get into most photos in some way.  I really didn't see her stalk the back side of the tree and pounce up the tree.  She was in a rather feisty mood and play-attacked Lindsey's hands.

We went traipsing off to find the next perfect backdrop.  I had another crazy idea and hoped Lindsey would help me out. She and I share a penchant for tea. For Mother's Day, my sons surprised me with a unique tea set and a delicious rolled omelet for breakfast.  I think maybe they had some help with the tea service idea.  I have a snap shot of my breakfast that morning:
And wow, that rolled omelet was delicious. They baked it flat in a jelly roll pan, then rolled it up like a sponge cake and sliced it up. My guys are amazing!
So back to my idea:  I love marketing design, and I wanted to challenge myself how to set up a photo ad for the tea service. I just needed a bit of help from a friend :>)

Poor Lindsey.  Tromping through the woods led her smack dab into an oversized, occupied spider web. I don't know if it's scientifically stated somewhere that there are flying spiders, but she saw one rather hefty spider put on a flying act. Maybe it was trying to get out of her way.

We spied a perfect spot for the tea photo... and it worked! The tea pot was to be the main focal point, and I love how Squirt worked herself into the photo.

We were just finishing up with a couple more shots, when Lindsey turned her head and said to me... "Um.  A deer.  There's a deer right behind you."  And the funny thing is, I got a photo of her saying that; it just didn't register in my brain what she was saying.

The deer was just a couple trees behind me - a full grown doe. Never heard  a deer's grunt before.  But it was nice and close (!) so we could hear the crunching and grunting. This time I was going to snap a photo!  I tried turning slowly and standing up quietly, but it spooked and turned to run.  It stopped further away in the meadow clearing to look at us.

After the excitement, we tried settling down once more, but in true Miss Muffit style, Lindsey sat down next to a huge, flying, stinging insect... and well, we decided to call it quits.  We met our nature quota for that morning.

Here's a few photos from the boating excursion later that day.  Lindsey and Kristen had a blast tubing.

Lindsey is also an excellent gymnast.  She's coaching younger girls several times a week.  How she managed her handstand in rocking water is beyond me!

And though Ryan escaped photos earlier that day, we snuck him in later :>)

Thank you so much for the photo adventure, Lindsey (and Squirt)!

And thank you, Readers, for dropping by.
I was a bit chatty today...

Come back soon, and we'll have an interview with our coming guest blog author!

And in the mean time, I will read up on INDOOR photography and try that out instead.

1 comment:

  1. FUN story!! I stopped by earlier to take a quick peek at your pics.....and decided to come back later with a cup of tea of my own (and a quiet house) to savor!
    My goodness, Lindsey is so beautiful - and photogenic, too!! I L.O.V.E. the violin pics (all of them!!)....and Jenna says she really likes that first one with Lindsey and Squirt :)
    AND your tea photo turned out AWEsome!! I'm thinking we're going to have lots of girlie tea-time up in WI, for sure :0)
    So much fun, here!
    Intrigued by your guest post :)
    Have a lovely weekend!


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