Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Week in Review

Well another week has gone by and I've tried to get as many pictures as I can. I walked around Downtown again during lunch, but I think I've seen everything there is to see there and take pictures of. I may try to hit up Bayside once more next week. Over the weekend I also ventured out into the Miami Lakes Main Street area and also stopped by Graham Park, where I took my engagement pictures last year. Here are some photos from the past week. Enjoy!

U.S. Federal Courthouse in Downtown Miami. I remember when this thing was being built. I thought it was the coolest looking courthouse I had seen.

To be honest, I have no idea what this old building is. It's located directly across from the American Airlines Arena. I loved its look so I took a couple photos. If anyone knows what this place is, it would be great to find out.

No, that "PERU" hasn't been photoshopped into the picture. If I could give an award for "Random Object of the Week," this would be the winner. I came across this shopping cart at the Riverwalk Metromover station. I found this so funny since my family is Peruvian.

This is the same station where I saw the shopping cart. I was messing with the contrast on the photo and thought this came out pretty cool. I wish it wasn't so cloudy so the sky would have come out bluer.

Graham Park in Miami Lakes. This park is so simple, yet so beautiful. As I mentioned, my engagement pictures were done here. Definitely a nice place for a picnic or to take your dog out to run around.

These little guys were enjoying the beautiful afternoon at Graham Park too!
Main Street Miami Lakes
Lenin and I went to a Greek festival on Saturday and had some amazing food. It was too crowded to be snapping photos but I did take this picture inside the church where the festival was held. I'm always amazed by these colored windows.

Some of the flower shots for the week!

Trouble is always nosy and sticking his big nose where it doesn't belong!

This little farm area is located in Miami Lakes. I hope these guys won't be eaten later on at one of the nearby restaurants!

A plant I came across in Downtown. The leaves had some nice colors.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

BDPC - Theme: Wildlife

Yes, technically cows may not be wildlife; but it's all the wildlife we have here in Miami Lakes. For some reason this town is obsessed with cows! I think it has something to do with Graham Dairy farm being redeveloped into what is now known as the community of Miami Lakes. I think this photo may have also worked for the DPS assignment since the two cows have opposite colors which balance out.

DPS Weekly Assignment - Balance

"Balance" was the topic of this week's Digital Photography School assignment. I found this assignment a bit more difficult than the previous "Rule of Thirds" one. I never really aimed for balance in pictures I have taken, or at least made a conscious effort to get balance. I ventured out to the Main Street area in Miami Lakes, and got this shot at Shula's Hotel. I could be wrong but I think it exhibits balance. The two contrasting objects (aqua, squatting catcher vs. white, standing batter) seem to share equal space in the photo.

Make sure to check out the other participants' interpretations of balance!

BDPC: Theme - Jewelry

I came across the Flickr group Beginner Digital Photography Challenge last night. What's great about this group is there seems to be photo challenges opened every few hours! You basically get to submit photos to any of the open challenges and then vote on the winner. The winner then gets to create a new challenge for everyone to participate in. I submitted my previous photo of Bayfront Park for the "Hometown" challenge, and here is my submission for the "Jewelry" challenge. Let's see if I win!

Now back in November, I never got a photo taken with all the rings at my wedding. I forgot to hand the photographer my engagement ring! So here's my attempt to get that shot. I thought the photo of the hair clip was better for the contest. I asked my husband, Lenin, his opinion and he chose the hair clip photo too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Books Are In!!

This is a short post, but I was excited and wanted to share. I had been looking around online for any photography book that was, most importantly, cheap and had some good reviews. Someone on The Nest crafts board recommended Scott Kelby's "The Digital Photography Book" as a good guide for any beginning photographer. I researched it online and it seemed to have a lot of good reviews, so I figured why not. I was able to find a boxed set with free shipping on Buy.com for $26. Here they are!

Now after doing a brief review of the two volumes, I will admit these books require you to have some basic knowledge about photography. It's not like a school book where you'll get some definitions of what things like aperture are. What is good about these books though is that you are given the tricks of the trade. It provides excellent tips for anything from shooting flower close-ups to large landscapes to wedding portraits. I may try to research more photography books and use these two as a supplement. Just in the last week of shooting, I have noticed what affects some of the manual features have on a shot; but I think I still loosely grasp things. Once I get through reading these two books, I will post a little review.

If anyone has any suggestions for some books I can check out, let me know! I'm trying to learn photography the cheapest way I can, which means avoiding a formal class for now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Week in Review

I spent the past week or so taking my camera to work each day so I could take some shots around Downtown Miami during my lunch break. Hopefully starting this weekend I can head out to different locations in South Florida to get a nice variety going. Here are some of my favorite photos from the past week. Enjoy!

A co-worker's son was getting married over the past weekend, so a group of us at work chipped in for a fancy bottle of champagne for him! It was too fancy to drink.

This structure is located by the Dade County Courthouse (in the background).

This little flower was in an arrangement set-up in the building at work. How pretty!

For those of you familiar with the carousel at Bayside Marketplace. This is probably one of my favorite shots from this past week other than the Trouble one I submitted for the DPS weekly assignment.

The Hotel Intercontinental. Everyone I see this hotel I think about going to Downtown Miami with my family to see the fireworks show and the orange drop for New Year's Eve.

Dade County War Memorial in Bayfront Park. I didn't even know this little memorial existed until I started walking around downtown to take pictures.

The Torch of Friendship, which is dedicated in memory of JFK. The first time I found out about this torch was when I attended the Obama rally in Bicentennial Park in October.

The marina at Bayside Marketplace

This fountain, I guess you could call it a fountain, is located in Bayfront Park.

Bank of America tower. For those of you not familiar with this building, it lights up different colors each night. So when the Miami Heat are playing it's all red. At Christmas time, they put snowflakes on it and light it up in blue. It looks very cool from a distance. I took this shot from one of the Metromover stations.

If anyone has any suggestions of some good locations I should check out, let me know!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

DPS Weekly Assignment - Rule of Thirds

In my effort to practice my photography skills, I've been looking into forums and blogs that offer little contests. This is my first week participating in Digital Photography School's weekly assignments; the theme, "Rule of Thirds." Hopefully, I can keep up with them and submit photos each week. For my subject, I chose the cutest thing I could think of....my bassett hound Trouble. My husband bought Trouble for me when he was just a puppy, and now almost 4 years later he has become our first son. Bassett hounds have to be the most lovable dogs, and as much of a pain as he can be sometimes it's photos like these that keep him around.

Don't forget to check out what the other photographers submitted. I don't think mine is the best, but it's definitely one of the cutest!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Read the Manual

My husband would give me that "I told you so" laugh if he reads this. With just about every piece of electronic equipment I have bought in the time I have known him, he always tells me the same thing, "Read the manual." He won't even let me use things sometimes until I have done so. Of course, like a stubborn child, I try to just wing it and figure things out as I go along.

Like I mentioned in my last post, I'd been using the "auto" function in my camera, and honestly who needs a manual for that. Last night I sucked it up and read the manual for my camera. I had to research it online because I had no idea what the real manual that came with the camera even looks like, let alone where it is in my house. Yes honey, I hate to admit it but you were right; I should have read this sucker a long time ago. There are so many functions I didn't even realize existed on this camera. I can finally have a good understanding of what all the buttons on the camera do. My next "study" project is to figure out what affects playing with the shutter speed, aperature, and ISO speed have.

First Post!

Yep, I'm joining the blogging community. About a month ago, I got an itch to become a photographer, or at least to take up photography as a hobby. I've never taken a photography class, and I always used the "auto" setting on my camera; but for some reason, I've gotten the urge to do something different and creative. Who knows, maybe I actually become good at it! I'm starting this blog at the recommendation of my friend Stephanie who has her own baking blog, Confessions of a City Eater. I think she has better photographer skills than me at this point.

Along with my itch came a new obsession for a digital SLR camera, which everyone knows is not cheap. I spent a few weeks reading reviews online, Canon v. Nikkon etc., and "window shopping" for a new camera. With the economy being as bad as it is, I couldn't justify spending $600+ on a beauty like this, 10.1MP Canon EOS Rebel XS:

So at the advice of a post I read on the Digital Photography School blog titled Stop wishing for that Amazing Camera and Appreciate The One You’ve Got, I'm going to suck it up and learn manual mode on my current 6.0MP point-and-shoot camera, Kodak Easy Share Z650:

Now this camera is not bad at all and takes amazing pictures. Hopefully, I can figure out what all these manual settings do so I can get the most out of it.

Well, here it goes. Wish me luck!