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About Me

Single tired mom of four. Lover of chocolate and coffee - not necessarily in that order. Lover of Jesus, photographer by trade, Photoshop junkie and crime TV watcher.

blogher

RSS Hallie Westcott Photography

Skating on Thin Ice

February 26, 2009

 

WW – Desperate Seeking Color

February 24, 2009

I have been desperately seeking color amidst the gray, lifeless days of winter.  I’m sure there’s beauty out there somewhere, yet it has cleverly eluded me.

I didn’t have the winter blues at this time last year.  Maybe it was because I hadn’t yet photographed every item within arms reach, yet, as of today, I have finally come to the end of things within my dwelling to photograph.  This is actually a blessing, since I thought I had reached that point weeks ago, but alas, this one bit of color was hiding.

Depressing I tell you.

“So just go outside,” you say?

Do you know how cold it is out there?  Did I mention I live in CT and I wear six layers just to walk to the kitchen?  And did I mention static cling has permanently taken up residence in my hair?  One touch from me could short circuit your pacemaker.

Oh yeah and one more thing.   It’s cold and dreary and lifeless out there.  And who wants to take pictures of dirty snow, grey skies and naked trees?  Not me, that’s who.

Now that I’m temporarily done whining, here are a few links that might help your photography.  Winter or otherwise.

Photohowto has some tips on improving your winter photos, if you are someone who likes cold and snow.

There is a video on Scott Kelby’s blog by the talented and brutally honest Zack Arias that is a must see.   If you haven’t checked out Zack’s One Light DVD, get over there now!  You don’t know what you are missing.

Shutter Sisters is hosting the One Word project and giving away a Lensbaby Composer to one fortunate winner.  And last but not least, check out Spoon Graphics for some awesome free textures.

See ya. I’m off to find my electric blanket.

Through the Lens – Challenge 1: Color

February 20, 2009

As you know it has been a very long time since I have added a photo assignment to Through the Lens: Digital Photography 101.  It was never my intention to drop the ball with the group, but as you all know, sometimes circumstances take over and life has to take priority.

Now that things are starting to normalize, it is my intention to pick up where I left off and continue with the assignments and challenges for those who are still interested.

The next assignment will be on shutter speed; however, while I continue writing that, I will be adding a photo challenge or two, to practice the skills that we have already learned.

Today’s challenge:  take a photo, or many using  - color.   It could be your favorite color, many colors, unusual combinations and designs, bright, muted, colorful buildings, signs….it’s all up to your interpretation.

 

 

The guidelines: 

  • Don’t forget to set your white balance.  You want your colors to look accurate, without any funky color casts to throw them off.

  • Check your composition.  Take many shots at different angles, then decide which you like best.

  • For this assignment we will use a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field.  Remember to watch your focal point and have your camera set to aperture priority, unless you are already using manual settings.  In which case, go for it!

  • Lastly, submit your photo by Friday, February 27th and come back here to link up to Mr. Linky once you have uploaded your finished assignment to your blog. You can also add your photos to our Flickr group.

 

Depth of field Review:

Aperture controls the amount of light being let through your lens and what is known as depth of field. This means, the wider your lens opening, the softer your background will be and less of your photo will be in focus. The smaller your lens opening, more of your photo will be in focus. Did you get all that? Here is an example. Do you see how the background is very blurry and soft? This was taken with a large aperture, (small f#.)

 

105mm – f/3 – 1/400

Photographic Inspiration:

Interestingness – This is one of my FAVORITE sites for inspiration!

 

Previous Assignments:

Assignment 1 – Getting to Know Your Camera

Assignment 2 – Understanding White Balance

Assignment 3 – Better Composition

 

You can join here: ThroughTheLens-DigitalPhotography101-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.  After clicking this link, just send an email expressing your desire to join the group, or a blank email is fine also.

 

Digital frame by K. Pertiet

 

Wordless Wednesday – Flamenco Beach

February 17, 2009

 

Wordless Wednesday – Sick of Snow

February 10, 2009

 

Wordless Wednesday – Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

February 3, 2009

 

A Cure for My Indifference

 

A short time ago I had a fairly deep conversation with my sister-in-law and she said something that resonated with me deeply.  Although, at the time I didn’t feel it applied to me.  

A few days later I was driving and voicing my ongoing indifference over a particular issue in my life.  Even though I had been sincerely grieved over my feelings, or lack thereof, I knew I was powerless to change them without God’s help.  My insightful fifteen-year-old looked at me a repeated the words my SIL had spoken that day, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”

Whoa.  Who knew she was listening.  

I always appreciate being humbled by my children. 

And then the phone rang.

A dying man called my house looking for another girl that used to work at the local hospital with the same last name.  He was calling her to say goodbye, but he found me instead.

I politely asked him his situation, which was grim.  He told me the story and I encouraged him to find his friend and not to give up looking for her.  Then I asked him if I could pray with him.  He seemed genuinely pleased and concluded that God had him dial my number for a reason.  I concluded the same thing.

I prayed and then I asked him if he knew Jesus.  He told me that long ago he was a spirit filled Christian, but he had backslidden many years ago.  I encouraged him to call again if he wanted me to pray with him, or if he just needed an ear.

In the midst of it, my heart softened and I was humbled that God would use me in the midst of the struggle with my own sin.   Sometimes it is hard to see the value God places on me, even when He and I both I know I am not pleasing Him with my actions.   I praise God for His mercy; I would’ve kicked me to the curb by now.