Practicing Photography

Roy & I are trying to get into doing things with our spare time other than sitting around surfing the net, facebooking & playing video games.

I love Facebook, don’t get me wrong. It’s wonderful being able to keep in touch with my friends & family all in one place but sitting around checking in a thousand times a day for anyones potential updates sort of makes for a less productive use of my time than say… knitting.

Honestly, I think I can probably still do both but I really want to do something more productive & rewarding with my time then just sitting around on the net as I’ve been doing for years & Roy also has been wanting more then just the mundane video games to consume his spare time with, which of course he’s always loved & enjoyed doing too… for years… but we’ve both come to a point in life where we want more.

I recently learned how to knit over the Christmas holidays from my gramma who hooked me up with some knitting needles, wool & a first hand “how to”. I’ve since produced 2 dish clothes (although pictured is 2 that were a gift from her as well) & have purchased wool to make about 6 more. I’m slow yes, but that’s not because it’s hard to do. It’s just sitting down & devoting my time to doing it instead of waisting my time doing something else.

Knitting is relaxing. I don’t know how to do much yet other than making dish clothes but I thoroughly enjoy the process. I’ve gotten to the point I can do it without looking & can multi-task knitting & watching the kids play, knitting & watching a show, knitting & having my hair highlights touched up at the salon, and so on.

The other day I also picked up a kit that supposedly includes everything I need to learn how to Crochet & make a few projects so I’m hoping to learn how to do that too along with hopefully some new patterns for things I can knit besides dish cloths.

Another of my hobbies is Reborning. I’ve only done one so far but I loved every single minute of it & have all the tools necessary to make about 3 more. Each one takes what I think is a considerable amount of time (many hours a day times a couple weeks) but it’s so worth it. I’m just waiting for a 4 foot folding craft table that I’ve ordered to come in so I can set everything up without taking over the dinning room table for weeks on ends with all the accessories this hobby entails.

Along with my 4 foot table I’ve also ordered one for Roy too with a nice black table cloth to cover it since he’s now taken up the hobby of weaving Chain Mail.

So far he’s made a couple of differently weaved bracelets, a couple neatly weaved chains to attach some pendants I like to this a particular necklace I like to wear that the pendants wouldn’t otherwise be able to connect to & he’s interested in learning how to make armor so he can wear it all to next years Ren Fests.

We’re hoping that eventually we can each get good enough at these hobbies to be able to sell our hand made products. I don’t expect we’ll have a big booming business or anything but it would be nice to be able to sell enough to fund the purchase of more tools & accessories needed to make more items with & a little bit of a profit on the side.

Roy’s also signed up for Guitar lessons now too & although it’s not a hobby he’s likely to make money from the lessons do cost $80 a month for once a week one on one instruction & it would be nice for him to be able to subsidize the cost of that with the creations of his other hobby.

I myself have been into photography for quite some time & still have so much to learn. I would like to eventually be able to get into a course too where I can learn what’s necessary to move into a professional direction since it’s something that would allow me to potentially have my own small business with my own hours.

Now I don’t know if any of this will work out to really be financially rewarding but what I do know for certain is that we’re sure going to enjoy the effort of trying to get to that point.

Financially rewarding or not, seeing our finished products will be a whole lot more rewarding then spending our free time just sitting at our computers!

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Upromise (a great college savings site worth checking out for my USA peeps with kiddo’s) is hosting a Halloween Photo Contest. I’ve submitted the below picture:


Please Vote Here & click the lil blue star thing above the picture on the left.

The twenty entries that receive the highest number of votes (or credits) between now and 11:59:59 a.m. ET on October 20, 2010 will be the finalists. And an internal panel of judges will then select a grand prize winner, along with first, second and third prize winners, plus ten honorable mentions, to be announced on or about November 20, 2010.

Prizes:

Grand prize: one (1) $100 Oriental Trading Company gift card, one (1) $100 Costume Express gift code, four (4) $20 DisneyStore gift codes, and four (4) $20 Colonial Candle gift cards

First place: one (1) $50 Oriental Trading Company gift card, one (1) $50 Costume Express gift code, three (3) $20 DisneyStore gift codes, and three (3) $20 Colonial Candle gift cards

Second place: one (1) $50 Oriental Trading Company gift card, one (1) $50 Costume Express gift code, two (2) $20 DisneyStore gift codes, and two (2) $20 Colonial Candle gift cards

Third place: one (1) $50 Costume Express gift code, one (1) $50 Oriental Trading Company gift card, one (1) $20 DisneyStore gift code, one (1) $20 Colonial Candle gift card

Honorable mentions (10): one (1) $20 DisneyStore gift code, one (1) wooden sentiment block set from Lillian Vernon, one (1) $20 Snapfish credit, and one (1) $20 Colonial Candle gift card

We would love your votes & support. Please click the link above & head on over to vote, then share my post here with all your friends!!!… Ok you don’t have to but since I don’t have a whole heck of a lot I’d sure appreciate it if you did ;)

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Most of you who are friends with me on Facebook also have already seen these pictures. But for those of you who haven’t, I took these two photo’s on the same day as I took the photo from my earlier post on testing fast shutter speeds. I was also testing apertures & really wasn’t overly impressed with these two photo’s to begin with. Mostly because I’ve come to the conclusion that the lens which came with my camera really sucks  & I need a new one.

Anyways, I decided to upload them to Picnik the other day to play around with them a bit & see if I could make any improvements. With just a few tweaks this is what I ended up with…

BEFORE

AFTERI have to say I’m pretty impressed!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Picnik???

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So, I finally learned some stuff about my camera & how to control the aperture & shutter speed manually instead of just auto shooting like I normally do. This picture was a test of a fast shutter speed which allowed me to catch the dogs wrestling in action with NO blur!!

I feel so proud!

… and yes the dogs really are as psycho as they look.

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