Thursday, April 16, 2015

Grant Park in the fog

It's not uncommon to get fog in Milwaukee, especially close to the lake. But it's rare that it sticks around for more than a couple hours in the morning. I actually only have one other set of fog photos, which I took last summer. Today I'm sharing a new perspective of the frequently featured Grant Park from a particularly foggy day last week. Spring in Milwaukee at its best. Enjoy.

I know that it looks like I blew out the falls when I took this picture, but that's how they look right now. The water level is high and the current is really moving.

A few fisherman at the end of the pier.

On my way out of the park, I had to get a few shots of the trees in the fog. The scene is naturally almost black and white. I did very little editing to these two tree shots.

Do you get a lot of fog in your area?

Monday, April 13, 2015

peek at the next ebook in the works

Last month I mentioned that I'm working on my next ebook, and I shared my first peek from it. Over the past few weeks I've made a lot of progress on the samples for it and wanted to share of them. I am really happy with my work so far and am looking forward to finishing up the samples and moving forward with final shots for the book.

I always use an acrylic spray for my sheet music pages that I'll be gluing so that the ink doesn't run. On a whim, I decided to paint some of my clothespin samples. I absolutely love the textured look of watercolors over acrylic spray.

Finally, I can't seem to stop making paper flowers. Many of you know that I have been a huge Alisa Burke fan for several years now, and you can definitely see her influence in these flowers. In addition to the influence in the designs themselves, I also took a page from her book and used cheap supplies - Crayola watercolor paints and a Bic white out pen - to make this come together.

What have you been working on lately?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

the waterfalls at Whitnall Park

After months of limited outdoor photo taking excursions, the warm weather has been inspiring me to get out more again. This past week I took my tripod with me for the first time since the fall and revisited the beautiful Whitnall Park with a friend.

What have you been photographing lately?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

32nd birthday in Chicago

Jake was out of town at a work commitment for the entire week of my birthday this year. So I made a bunch of plans, including spending my actual birthday in Chicago with my immediate family. Since I got a DSLR, most of my Chicago trips haven't allowed for a lot of random wandering and picture taking. It was great to spend a few hours out in the city with family, camera in hand, on my birthday.


Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who made my birthday and my entire solo week so great. I am blessed to live near a lot of family and to have so many good friends in Milwaukee.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

behind the scenes: DIY Lowel Lights

  I've mentioned my new artificial lighting a couple times now with the promise to share a little more about it soon. So here I am, sharing a little more about it. To recap: my original inspiration to make these lights came from this post and I used this tutorial for my lights. Full disclosure: this is NOT a full tutorial for making or shooting with these lights. There are tons of tutorials available if you're interested in making your own. I hope to share more in-depth insight in the future about shooting with these lights, but I can really only offer some preliminary thoughts and example shots this point.

In these first few photos, you get a close up look at the lights themselves. I decided to make two lights because I've always worked with two lights in my lightbox, and I love the way that you can create soft shadows a lot more easily with two lights than one light.

I added some removable white cotton to diffuse the light. It's awesome to have lights that are so much more powerful than my lightbox lights (400W total as opposed to 120W total), but I don't want the lighting to be harsh. The cotton attaches with Velcro so it's really easy to put it on and take it off as needed.

I have a new set up for these lights, but it's also really easy to move them around the house and shoot in other locations, as I did here in my kitchen.

Here are just a few examples of shots with the new lights. As I said before, it's still way too early to talk too much about shooting with these lights, but I plan to revisit the topic in the future.

I have three new backdrops: large ceramic tiles, faux chalkboard, and faux wood. Ceramic tiles of all sizes, colors, and finishes are readily available at any home improvement store at very affordable prices. You can read more about the other two backdrops over here.

This is a sneak peek of the first finished sample for my second ebook. I'll be posting more about that in the coming months, too.

Have you bought or made any new photography equipment lately? What photography skills are you working on right now?