Refreshing Myself

I love being outdoors. Especially when there are not lots of people to disturb the scenery. Introverts are Awesome. www.facebook.com/IntrovertsAreAwesome

I had this feeling yesterday. I wanted to go and be outside, play with my camera, and just relax and enjoy nature. But, being Saturday, I knew I wouldn’t get somewhere without lots of people to disturb the scenery. I decided to go over to Inniswood Metro Gardens, armed with my camera, my 50mm lens, and my Kindle, I was ready for an afternoon of relaxation and enjoying nature.

Continue reading “Refreshing Myself”

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New Year’s Want To Do list

What can I say, I’ve never really liked making resolutions. You always end up forgetting them by the end of the year. So I’m going to start a list of what I’d like to do this year. I might put it up on it’s own page if I can remember to update it.

Without further ado:
What I’d like to do in 2015 (web-friendly version)

  • Get all As and Bs in all classes
  • Create good relationships at Gallaudet
  • Go to more Deaf events
  • Be more financially responsible
  • Use my camera more often
  • Try to post more often
  • Spend more time with the hubby

The great thing about a list is that it can be updated as the year goes on. Have you started your to-do list? Get going!

Shopping shutterbug

I’ve also indulged in some new equipment. I bought a couple of lens hoods and some new filters for my lenses. Oh yeah, I also bought a new lens.

At times, I’ve felt limited by my lens. I was thinking of getting a telephoto lens, because the times I’ve really felt limited was due to not being able to get close enough for one reason or another, like at the zoo or the Air Force Museum. But, before I went and spent money on a new lens, I thought I’d do a little research. I went to my go-to photography site: Digital Photo Mentor. I am so glad I did.

I can’t remember what exactly I typed into the search box, but I found the article I needed. Her #1 recommendation for buying a new lens was to get a fixed or prime lens. Specifically she said to get a 50mm. But since I have a camera with an APS-C, or cropped, sensor, I needed to get a 35mm lens. Unfortunately there is a bit of a price difference between the two, the 35mm being at least $200 more. But I really liked the thought of having a fixed lens, so I went on eBay and bought one.

It’s going to take some getting used to, but I love it so far. I love it so much, I am no longer considering getting an “advanced” digital camera for use at conventions. To me, it’s between a point-and-shoot and a DSLR. But this fixed lens has me really reconsidering that. For all the reasons why, go check out Digital Photo Mentor (specifically the article I linked), but it works really well in low light conditions and there is so much less to fiddle with since it’s a fixed lens (there is no zoom). That also means it’s a shorter lens, which is great for a convention.

Since I have become used to having my circular polarizing filter to help with glare and color, and having a UV filter to reduce haze and be an extra piece of glass in front of the lens, I *had* to get some for my new lens. I also found a great round lens hood for both lenses. I’ve got a tulip lens hood, but it’s been visible on some of the pics I’ve taken. The round one won’t do that.

I also decided to invest in a new type of filter, for me. The ND8 filter. I was interested in getting a Neutral Density (ND) filter. The ND8 seemed like a good place to start. I would love to get a shot of a waterfall where the water is this smooth, beautiful, white…thing. The ND8 filter allows me to keep the lens open longer without overexposing the shot. Which means it also requires a tripod. Basically it blurs motion. Which means it can be used if I want to have all the people walking around less visible and one stationary object really stand out. Honestly there’s a lot of uses for it, and I’m looking forward to trying as many as possible.

Now I just need to have some time to go out and use this awesome equipment.

Crafty shutterbug

Recently I’ve been indulging my inner shutterbug. Now I just have to go out and use what I’ve indulged in.

One indulgence was a camera bag. I have an awesome bag that DeviantArt had put on clearance, but it is:
A) obviously a camera bag
B) awkward
C) big
It’s great for storing everything in and transporting everything. But I rarely want or need to do the latter. So I started to look at smaller camera bags that didn’t scream “I am a camera bag!!!” Then I stumbled across an idea during my internet search. Why not convert an existing bag instead?

I started to look for ideas on how to do that instead. Eventually I found Make It & Love It. I loved the idea of making an insert. It would give me complete control over the bag. It could be a camera bag when I need it, and a messenger bag when I don’t. It also gives me control over how the insert looks.

I grabbed my Intellectual Freedom Fighter messenger bag and checked to see if the camera would fit in it. It fits perfectly. There is still enough space for the padding of the insert without being too snug. Then the more I thought about it, the more I realized how perfect that bag would be for this. It’s got pockets galore, inside and out. That gives me space for all the little things while leaving plenty of space for my camera and lens and light and whatever else.

I bought some really cute flannel, batting, and Velcro from work, aka Jo-Ann’s. The pattern calls for foam, but I figured if I use some craft foam under the batting, it will help it stand up better. Also buying batting and using foam I already have is much cheaper. Now I just have to unearth my sewing table again so I can get it made!

I think I’ve gone on long enough. I’ll go into my other indulgence later.

Life = Sledgehammer

At least it feels that way. Lately I have been so busy with so many things that I want to share with all of you but I haven’t had time to do it. So I’m going to quickly run over everything and go into details in their own post. Also it’ll help me remember what I wanted to write about.

Books
I am continuing to make progress through The Dresden Files. I’m up to Proven Guilty although I do have a short story I need to read quick before moving on. It really is cool going though all of it again. But seeing as I’m reading everything except the short stories on my Kindle (the Paperwhite makes reading before falling asleep so much more convenient!), I was really starting to jones for a book.

Thankfully I had picked one up. I had stopped in a Barnes & Noble to use the restroom quickly when I saw a book that I had heard about on NPR (I think) and really wanted to read it. Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain is an amazing and, for me, freeing read. I have probably mentioned it before, but I am an introvert. My hubby is an introvert. Many on my dad’s side of the family are introverts. But America is the land of the free and home of the extrovert. It is hard living as an introvert in an extroverted nation, but Quiet helps me to realize that it’s not a bad thing. I’m barely a quarter of the way into it and I love it! There will be a very thorough post, or two, about this wonderful book!

Photography
Ever since taking a basic photography class at school, I’ve been getting more and more into photography. I’ve always enjoyed it, but that class inspired me to start investing more into it. Recently I’ve invested a little bit more. I bought a 35mm lens and a couple of ND8 filters, one for the 35mm and one for the lens that came with the camera. I think that 35mm lens is going to change how I take pictures in a wonderful way.

Crafts
This is a complex one. First, while I am working on The Dude’s on the Grid sweater, I’ve also been inspired to get the supplies for a couple of baby blankets. Friends of ours recently had a baby and I wanted to do something for them. Then I remembered that my sister requested I make a Gryffindor-color striped baby blanket for her future nursery. No need for it yet, but I thought “Why not find the pattern now and use it for our friend’s blanket?” So I found a great blanket pattern, and ordered some great purple yarns and needles from KnitPicks. Hopefully I’ll be able to get started on it soon.

Second, I have a new job. I’m working at Jo-Ann’s. It’s really stressful suddenly working an almost 40-hour-a-week job where I’m on my feet for most of that time after working at a desk job for over five years. I’m slowly starting to get used to it again. But add school to it and I’m having a hard time finding a good balance that includes time for myself. I’m really hoping that writing here will give me some of that me-time again.

Food
Fall has inspired me to start cooking again. Between cranberries and squash and Brussels sprouts and asparagus, my fridge is full of food waiting to be cooked. As things happen, pics are posted to Instagram. Hopefully there will be posts here to talk about the wonderful photos I’m slowly filling up my Instagram with.

Okay. Now I think I’m going to meander toward bed. I’ve rambled for long enough.

What I learned from DragonCon 2014: Cameras

When you go to a convention, you typically have something on you to take pictures of the amazing costumes and the wonderful panels you go to. Well, last year I took my new DSLR, my camcorder, and my monopod. I barely used my DSLR outside of the Doctor Who photoshoot. The camcorder and monopod were great for panels. My videos have better shots than what I could see. But it was hard keeping the monopod still.

This year I took my DSLR, camcorder, and my compact tripod from school. Bad idea. The DSLR lived in the room. I just used my phone at the photoshoot. I tried to get the tripod out for the Colin Baker panel and discovered it wouldn’t have gone over the heads of the people in front of me.

For next year I’m changing things up. I’m going back to the monopod because the videos turned out fairly good and stable, and it’s so much easier to set up and take down. I’m also looking at a new point and shoot camera. It would be my convention camera. It’s a Canon PowerShot SX280. It falls into the category of compact point and shoot. That means it has a lot of the features of a DSLR without the size. Which means it’ll be great for me for DragonCon.

There’s something else I’d like to bring, but it depends on if we’ll have a vehicle in the parade next year. If we do, I’m bringing my good tripod to use at the photoshoot. It would be nice to have a way to keep my camera stable and above people’s heads. Also, if I get it set up right, I just need one person to snap a few pictures when I’m in them. 🙂

This is strange

Typically, I am a jeans and t-shirt type of gal. I don’t really worry too much about what I’m wearing aside from which t-shirt to wear. But the more I think about Ohayocon, the more I think about what to wear. Usually it’s just a case of picking which costume for which day and going from there. By not wearing any costumes, it’s leaving my wardrobe a lot more open.

Here’s what I know:
I’m going to wear my short wig and hat, and my new boots all three days.
The first day I’m going to wear my new Star Trek yukata. It feels better for the first day of the con. I won’t be used to wearing it and Friday’s usually a calmer day.
I want to have my brocade frock coat done for the con so I can wear it on one day. I figure I’ll just wear a black t-shirt or tank underneath it.
I’m going to wear my sci-fi-patch-covered BDU jacket one day.
I want to wear leggings at least one day.
I like the idea of wearing one of my cargo skirts one day.

I’m not used to having so many options running through my head. This is weird!

At least I can now use my camera and take wonderful pictures without having to wear my glasses! I found out that there’s a little wheel by the viewfinder which can be used to adjust it so I can see clearly without my glasses. It makes it so much easier to take pictures. I don’t have to worry about getting the right angle so I know I’m seeing clearly and I can keep light out too! I’m looking forward to Ohayocon even more now.

So….

Looks like I’ll be going to Ohayocon. The whole thing. I just found out that pre-reg is still open, and you can only register for the whole weekend. Considering it’s only an extra $10 for the whole weekend, I figured why not.

I’m still not going to cosplay, which I think will make it more enjoyable for me. There were quite a few panels about sewing and using patterns that I’ve wanted to go to for the past couple times. Hopefully I can learn a few things that will help me with my costumes and other clothing items I want to make.

This is going to be so different from last time. Being able to run around with my camera and not being in costume is going to help me relax and enjoy what’s going on around me.

It’s interesting how it takes a couple of times at a convention to really figure out how I want to attend it. Simply taking a step back after it’s all done and looking at what worked and what didn’t, the panels I enjoyed and the panels I wanted to get to, really helps prepare for the next year.

Now I’ll just have to go to pick up my badge after class that Thursday. This is going to be interesting.

I give up.

I’m going to go to Ohayocon just for the Saturday. There are too many cool artists that are going to be there. I can’t resist. And while pre-reg is closed, just Saturday is still cheaper than the entire weekend. So I don’t mind. I’m just going to go as myself and be armed with my camera. I’m hoping to get a ton of pics this time. That’s it! I’m going to go as a geeky shutterbug. This is going to be so much fun!

And I get to meet the Pirate!

Squeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Photo happy

Recently I bought myself a new camera. I was getting really, really tired of the old one’s batteries constantly going dead. And these are ones that I bought brand new recently. So I went on to eBay and finally bought myself a DSLR. It arrived Wednesday. I am so excited! The only problem is I keep thinking of places to go here in Columbus but I don’t have time after work. Also, we’re going up to the in-laws this weekend. Grrr. At least I’ll be able to take pictures of the kitties. I may go wandering with my camera, too. I just can’t wait for my remote to get in. Then I just need a free Saturday and I can get some shots of some of the costumes I’m working on.