Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cameras and cookies and parties, Oh MY!

This is likely going to be my last post until after Christmas, so I wanted to make it a full one!  First of all, I'd just like to say that children are like boxes of chocolates.  Ya never know what you're gonna get.  Today, while decorating cookies with Ava, she furrowed her little brow and asked, "Mama, how do you know when you find the one?"  I blinked.  "Um.  As in a husband?"  She nodded, her little pony tail bouncing, "Yeah, I mean how am I going to know if I meet the right person?"  This discussion lasted for approximately the next five hours.  Just kidding. 
 Later, JJ wandered into the kitchen, where cookie baking was winding down and pushed an older photograph in front of my face.  "Mama, can you tell me what your real hair color is?  Because you have blonde hair in this one, and I can't really remember what it is..." (For the record, it's pretty close to my real color right now. I think.  Mostly.)  Hoodlums. 
 I got twelve different email inquiries about my camera from my last post, so I thought I'd talk about it for a few minutes since y'all are getting ready to take a zillion photos.  First though, please know that I'm not an expert at all.  (Professional photographers avert your eyes please.)  I'm so new to the whole thing that I find myself staring blankly at people when they ask me an intelligent question, showing my utter lack of knowledge.  I'm going to score some photography lessons with an amazing and talented woman next month and I can not wait!  But in the meantime, the photos don't cease.
 The question I get asked all the time is what kind of camera am I using and what type of lens.  I just mentioned it about two posts back, but I'm using a Canon XS.  It came with a kit lens and I use that most of the time.  I did, however, just get an early Christmas present of a 50mm lens and I am in heaven.  Most of the photos taken in this post were taken with that lens. 
The things I've found that matter to me (and may not matter to you, but I'm sharing them anyway) are:
1) Natural light.  (The flash is the devil.  Just kidding.  But not really.) I position myself so that every photo I take is in the  best position I can get it in.  Sometimes that means not shooting a photo until the following day if it's of an object and not a moment.  I never use a flash. 
2) Angle.  I love fun angles.  I like things that are artistic and I suppose that translates somewhat to photography.  I bend in weird positions, crouch down, get under, squeeze between things and generally act like a weirdo with a camera, but if it gets me a neat shot, I don't care. 
3) A good lens that you know how to manipulate.  I'm still working on that one, but I've been really happy with my kit lens, and my new lens has actually taught me a lot.  I have a lot of movers and shakers, so I like to lower my F stop to between 2.0 and 4.0 when I'm indoors.  I keep my ISO around 400-800 when inside, so my photos don't appear too grainy, and I shoot in AV mode a lot because I like it.  If those things aren't working, I mess with them until they are, nudging things up or down, and I don't give up and go home.  I shoot, look, delete, and try again. (Thanks LeAnna, that was the best tip ever!)  I generally keep the white balance in auto mode, unless I'm outside and it's super sunny or cloudy, in which case I change it.
We've been doing a ton of getting ready for fun gatherings around here.  Martha Stewart showed a cute idea which I immediately set out to copy.  These swizzle sticks were created by snipping off a piece of garland,  and hot gluing it to the end of a skewer.  (I cut all my skewers in half so they would be the right height.)
I also made these cute napkin rings out of wood "berries" from a garland I cut up.  I just strung them on some twine and how cute did they turn out!?  (Oh, and I've been getting a lot of questions about my collages.  I created them in Picnik.)
And with that, I leave you with the photo we chose for our Christmas card!  You guys mean so much to me. 

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


32 comments:

  1. ADORABLE! Your family is so cute!

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  2. Very cute swizzle stick. Your pictures are great. Merry Christmas!

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  3. Dear sweet Ava, already worried about The One! Crackin' me up. Your photography is simply beautiful, and don't you just loooove that 50mm lens? It's swoon worthy. So glad you're having fun! Merry Christmas, Sasha and fam!

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  4. merry christmas to you sweetie pie! You made the swizzle sticks. I'm still thinking i might. Just sick of shopping and spending... Maybe for new years eve.

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  5. Hey LMM! How are ya? Just catching up with your real quick. Beautiful pics on your blog lately. Your getaway looked fabulous!! Love that picture of ya'll looking out of the house taken from outside. So fun.

    I love your family Christmas card picture too. I noticed that it looks like you had one made to a canvas in your kitchen? Can I ask where you did that? I recently found a website that does it but it costs $125! Is that a lot? Maybe it's not and I am just clueless! lol.

    Anyway Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  6. I'm somewhat new to your blog and loving it!!!! I love your pics and sense of humor....your too funny! Have a very Merry Christmas!

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  7. great photo tips...you kinda lost me a bit, but i just got my "big girl" camera, so i'm a total newbie. merry christmas to you too!

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  8. got so much to learn about my camera!!!

    please, LORD, let me get a photog class for Christmas. :)

    LOVE your Christmas picture...like...LOVE it.

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  9. Just found your blog last week and love checking it out! Merry Christmas to you!

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  10. Love,love,love the pics and your blog! Thanks for the camera tips, I asked hubby for one for my birthday. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  11. I'm lost with the camera settings, but your pictures ae fabulous. Merry Christmas to you too!

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  12. Sasha - fabulous photos ........!

    And I saw that sparkling cranberry in the background -I bought 4 bottles for our Christmas Eve, too!

    Love your Christmas card - Merry Merry to you & your cute family!

    xoxo

    PS - those swizzle sticks are FABULOUS............!

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  13. I think my New Years Resolution may be to learn to use my camera. But this year I'll really do it. I shoot in auto mode and don't know how to adjust my fstop and I've had it for 1 1/2 years.

    Seriously, Ava cracks me up!

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  14. Cute! Merry Happy Celebrating Jesus' Birthday time!

    God Bless you!

    : )

    Julie M.

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  15. I love your hair color. And your photos, and your crafts!
    Oh and I love that family photo!
    Merry Christmas to you & yours.

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  16. Now I know what to ask my husband for Christmas :-). oh, and I also would love to meet you - for Christmas :-)!

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  17. Darling pics and I loved emailing with you! Merry Christmas! ; )

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  18. Awesome post girlie. Thank so much for the tips. You know I NEED them. I just got my 50 yesterday. Did a little happy dance:) Have a very merry christmas...love ya!

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  19. Love the card, Sasha! Great tips with the camera...so much easier with digital than film...you can see instantly what was wrong and fix it. Have a blessed Christmas!

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  20. What a cute family photo! Merry Christmas!

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  21. Great photos! I'm learning a lot about photography now and any tips I can pick up are really important, so thanks for the time you took to share yours!

    Merry Christmas!!

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  22. Oh my goodness...more fab pics! Thanks so much for telling us about the camera and the excellent tips! Think I'm a long ways from such a camera! lol..but good to know what to aim for (such things are super expensive in this little corner of the world! :() Never mind..more important things aren't there? Bless you for sharing your life and pics...I laughed about your wee daughter pondering her future husband! Having had not my first but TWO weddings this year..my children...I think I should have been planning since they were that age!! haha...so here's a tip from me..START NOW!!
    Blessu heaps this Christmas...joy, peace and love abound.
    your friend, in bloggie sisterhood and in Him ;)
    jessie xx

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  23. Merry Christmas! Thanks again for the picture tips. Gorgeous pics & gorgeous fam :).

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  24. Your pictures are GREAT. You have such a creative spirit..in everything you do. I have a 50mm lens that LIVES on my D-90. I want to get another lens..but I am not sure why when I love this one with all my heart.
    Have a MERRY Christmas!!
    Lisa

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  25. Someday, I'm going to be a big girl and have a real camera. Mine is a point and shoot and I don't know what an F stop or ISO is but I'm gonna find out. I just want to tell you that I have really been enjoying your blog and I hope you all have the Merriest Christmas ever!

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  26. I don't have a big girls camera - I'm known to take a camera places a camera should not go. But..... I've been playing with the ISO & other setting on the one I have this morning. Thanks for the tips. I sometimes get to borrow my Dad's 1953 Argecy III. It's only B/W and I love it. It's usually under his watchful eye.

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  27. Hey, which class are you taking next month? I'm doing one online also! I'm so excited! Can't wait! Must confess, I've never posted on a blog site where I didn't actually know the person, so this is a first for me. But love your honesty and the love you have for the Lord that shines through your posts! Hope you have a Merry Christmas!!

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