Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This guy knows how to relax...

I'm sure it's not just basset hounds, maybe just dogs in general. This hound sleeps in the most awkward positions yet he looks so ridiculously comfortable.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sports Photography

Thursday night I tried my hand at sports photography, in this case high school volleyball. My dad had invited me to make the trek down to Coral Reef High School to watch my younger brother play. He is the star for Miami Killian's varsity volleyball team (Sorry, I have to brag some. I'm very proud of him as if he were my son). During my lunch break at work, I brushed up on sports photography tips. The books I have and online forums all suggested I use the highest ISO setting possible, fast shutter speed, and the largest aperture. It was also mentioned that the white balance setting be put at tungsten or fluorescent since indoor gyms tend to give photos a green hue. Unfortunately, at this time, I'm only working with a point and shoot camera with limited settings. But I figured I would give it my best shot.

I came across some challenges during the course of the game. I was informed by my brother's coach that I couldn't use flash photography since the referees would complain that it was a distraction. Anyone who has been in a high school gym knows that the lighting isn't the best, so this had me a little worried. To compensate for the fact that I could not use flash, I had to reduce my shutter speed to 1/100. This provided me with somewhat decent lighting in my shots, but also hindered my ability to get those fast action shots without any blur. A member of the DPS forums suggested that I use a shutter speed of 1/500 and an ISO setting of 2000+ for indoor volleyball, which is clearly something my camera is not capable of. I can achieve a shutter speed as fast as 1/1000, but the highest ISO setting possible on my camera is only 400.

I think my first experiment with sports photography turned out okay. Maybe I'll have better luck with an outdoor sport. Here are some of my favorite shots from Thursday's game. Oh, and Killian ended up winning. My brother (#13) had 27 kills and 11 of the team's 14 digs, what a stud!

These photos, and others not included in this post, are going to be offered for purchase to the players' parents as a team fundraiser. So I guess I not only got my first crack at sports photography, I also got my first commissioned job!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


BDPC Mini-Challenge: Portraits. Woo hoo, I'm on a roll this week!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Floral Fridays

I know, I know...another hibiscus. But hey, I'm in Florida; what do you expect!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Miami Agriculture & Cattle Show, Part 2

Here is the continuation to my post earlier this week on the Miami International Agriculture & Cattle Show held over the weekend at Tropical Park.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trouble the "Sous Chef"

Image courtesy of Lucy Dog Design

Hardly! Every time I'm in the kitchen making something, Trouble is always nearby. Lenin calls him my sous chef. Problem is, he's not much help in the kitchen like the basset hound pictured above. He looks more like this when he's on the job.

I'll admit I'm kind of a messy cook/baker so there is a good chance of something hitting the floor while I'm working in there. Sunday night we had a nice weekend-style dinner, chicken salad sandwiches. Lenin loves these sandwiches and it's an easy way to use up that leftover chicken in the fridge. Of course, Trouble assumed the position, patiently waiting for some food to fall on the floor. What makes me laugh about him playing "sous chef" is that he doesn't cry, begging for a little taste; it's that he just hangs out quietly. The second I look at him, his tail starts wagging uncontrollably. I can see it in his eyes, "Is she going to throw me some food?" I look away, his tail calms down, and he goes back to quietly hanging out....until I make eye contact again. But then I look his way once more, and he gives me these sad looks.

How can I resist that cutie! He sat there waiting on me for 30 minutes and his patience paid off since he got a little piece of chicken. Funny thing is that when a small piece of celery fell to the floor, he sniffed it and just left it there. Guess he's not a veggie kind of guy.

On another note, if you have a chance check out the super cute doggie art by Lucy Dog Design. Her specialty is poodles, but there is art of all different breeds including the image of the Sous Chef above.

Monday, March 23, 2009

DPS Assignment - Vivid

I missed the previous DPS weekly assignment, which was "Portrait of a Person." I wish I would have gone to that agricultural show a week ago because I could have submitted one of the shots from that collection. Well, the newest assignment was "Vivid." Photos were to have a nice, bright color that would draw attention to the subject in the photo or be the subject of the photo. Either way, the color was the important key.

Usually, Lenin handles the responsibility of walking Trouble in the morning and at night; but for the past week or so, I've taken the hound out for his nightly walks. We have the same routine: leave the house, turn right, to the lamp post, and back home. Each night I passed that bright lamp post thinking it would make a great subject for this assignment, so tonight I finally took my camera out with us on our walk. Now Trouble has been taking his sweet time lately, sniffing every blade of grass his nose comes near. But of course since I took my camera with me, he was all over place. After I few tries, I got the shot I wanted.

Don't forget to check out what the other DPS students submitted for this week's assignment. Next assignment is "Shallow Depth of Field."

I Actually Won!

I participate in two photography challenges on a somewhat regular basis, the DPS weekly assignments and the flickr group BDPC, Beginner Digital Photography Challenge. The way this flickr group works is challenges are posted and depending on the type of challenge 3-6 photos are submitted. Voting begins and the first person to reach 6 votes wins. I kinda got out of the routine of participating in these challenges because 1) I didn't have any photos which fit the themes chosen, and 2) I simply got discouraged not winning anything. There was a mini challenge I came across last night themed "Bling!". The other two submissions were shots of engagement rings, so I went along with that underlying theme and submitted the following photo of our wedding rings. You may remember it from a previous post on this blog.

Amazingly enough, I won! No, I don't get a prize or anything; but it's still exciting! What winning any of this group's challenges basically means I get to add this photo to the group pool and I get to choose the theme for the next mini challenge, which I cannot participate in since I'm the previous winner. I decided on "Smoke" for the next mini challenge theme. I initially considered "Sleep", probably because I am a bit tired today, but I noticed that was a challenge not too long ago. I hope the participants have fun with my theme.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Miami Agriculture & Cattle Show

For the past few weeks, I've noticed an advertisement on the Metrorail train for the Miami International Agriculture & Cattle Show. I had never heard of this festival even though this was it's second year in existence. Not that I have much interest in agriculture or cattle, but the festival was free so I decided to check it out this weekend. It had been raining here on and off over the past couple of days but I lucked out with gorgeous weather. The festival was packed! I couldn't believe how many people were at Tropical Park for this thing. But I guess everyone else was thinking the same thing I had, "Why not, it's free." I had a lot of fun. My only regret is that I forgot my cash in another bag and couldn't pig out on the delicious looking food or buy any fruits and veggies. Lenin and I will definitely be checking out this festival next year. We are always looking for an excuse to eat fair-type food. The festival consisted of agricultural product vendors, horse training shows, pony rides, livestock sales, rodeo show, music, and tons of food. If you have a chance next year, I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you have children.

To be continued....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Floral Fridays

This post is dedicated to two special people in Boston, Stephanie and Alex. I can go on forever here how big of a part in my life Stephanie is. As I said in my card to her for my wedding, she is my matron of honor in life. Anyways, they are currently living in Boston since her husband Alex is in medical school. Today they found out that he got accepted into a residency program in Miami, so I'm getting them back. Woo hoo! Congratulations you guys and can't wait to see you again. This is the most tropical thing I had to post in honor of your return to Miami. 65 days and counting.....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Coral Gables, Part 1

I love the Coral Gables area. If it wasn't so expensive, I would live there. There are so many beautiful, old looking houses and I just love how you drive down the streets with trees hanging over it. It's a nice area just to drive through on a lazy day. When I was in college at the University of Miami, I loved taking the back roads through the neighborhood and looking at the scenery. There are so many pretty sites to see, but this post focuses on two particular areas of Coral Gables which are my favorite sites.

There is a spot located at the corner of SW 57 Ave. and SW 8 St. which is affectionately referred to as the "Coral Gables Ruins." I call it the Coral Gables "fountain." You cannot drive past this spot on a weekend day without seeing a blushing bride, a happily engaged couple, or a beautiful quinceanera having pictures taken there. I even wanted to have my wedding ceremony there at one time, but then realized it might not be so classy having a strip club on the opposite side of 8th Street and parking could also be an issue in this area. Nevertheless, this would have to be my favorite spot in Coral Gables and I think the pictures will make you agree.

Another spot I like is the Granada Boulevard roundabout. I would always use this landmark as a point of reference when driving around in Coral Gables. From this intersection you can access the Biltmore Hotel and Venetian Pools (don't worry, those photos will soon come). I never really paid attention though to how beautiful and detailed it actually is until I pulled over to take this shot. I now realize after saying how beautiful the detailing is, I should get a closer shot for the next time so it can be truly appreciated.