Tag Archives: Photography

Cork Vaca Day 4

On the fourth day of our vacation, we decided to chill out on the beach. We I arose bright and early at 6:30 am to spend some time with God on the patio overlooking the beach.  It was so sunny and beautiful and was giving promises that it was going to be a beautiful day.  Mr. Stan came out a little later to wish me Happy Anniversary (it’s been 14 years y’all) and we chillaxed with a few minutes of chatter less time from the babydoll. 

After breakfast, we changed to swimwear, grabbed our beach haul, and headed off.  The sun was mighty bright so we decided to rent an umbrella (it was only $15 for the day; I don’t know why we haven’t rented one in the past).

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Now I’ve said multiple times that the babydoll is a water baby; but for whatever reason the ocean intimidates her.  Do you think it’s the sight of the vastness of the ocean?  Don’t get me wrong, she plays in the water and digs for shells, rocks, and crabs a lot, but there is a limit to how far and deep she will go.  Now that I think of it, it may be the taste of the salt water that she doesn’t like, so if there is a possibility to it getting in her mouth she heads in (I just had that epiphany…my own “lightbulb moment”).  Having said this I feel like I won an Olympic event when I convinced her to jump a few waves with me.  We didn’t go as far out as some people, but it made it to her waist people.

I forgot to check the exposure before Mr. Stan started taking pics so they were a little over-exposed.

We got Mr. Stan to come out with us and she was really able to jump, because we were kind of helping her out.

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The craziest part of the day for us was when the tide came in.  As many times as we have spent on the beach we have never witnessed this. 

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The waves got REALLY high and soon passing the line where everyone was chilling out under their umbrellas.  You would be playing in the water and then you would see your shoes floating by from being grabbed by the  receding tide. Surprised smile  At one point I was scrambling to get my camera bag and beach bag – my beloved Nook and camera were in jeopardy of being damaged.  It was supposed to end soon (someone was telling us that it would end around 2:15 pm) but the waves were still pretty high and coming in when we headed back to the room around 5pm.

As stated it was my anniversary and we wanted to go to someplace nice for dinner.  We are not buffet people…we had gone to one the second night we were here because we were told it was the “normal” place to go around here; but we weren’t making that mistake twice – especially not on our anniversary.  The front desk recommended the “Flying Fish”. 

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It’s in the Barefoot area – a off the water that has quant shops and restaurants.  It reminded me a lot of an area we went to while in Seattle.  The food was good and we had a great time as a family.  Babydoll took a few pictures of us so that I could have one of me and hubby.

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(Excuse the lipstick at the bottom of my chin, it was right after eating and I didn’t realize the corn on the cob had caused the smearage.)

When we were walking back to the car, we noticed some young gentlemen with HUGE animal crates.  As we got closer I said, those are baby tigers.  They had the cutest faces. Smile  We were told the adults were in another location around the corner and to check them out.  I took several shots, but it was dark and they were moving around a lot (playing with each other)and I was shooting through glass, so none of the shots came out worth squat (If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated  – keep in mind I’m in Manual mode on my camera). 

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All in all it was a great family day.  When I woke up that morning I was thinking about my anniversary and reflecting on our 14 years…thinking about what it will be like after 40 years.  Mr. Stan is my friend…even when he makes my butt itch as my husband, he’s still my friend and he still “pops my panties” when I look at him so I think we’ll be good.

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Cork Vacation 2011 – Day 1

As promised, I’m going to share with everyone some photos from our family vacation.  I know our vacation was months ago, but I’ve been busy.  See the previous post. 🙂

This year we decided to travel to Fort Lauderdale, FL for a week and then to Chicago, IL for another 4 days.  We left on Saturday morning very early (I mean REALLY EARLY), but we were able to arrive in the beautiful city before noon.  We had searched high and low on the internet for a hotel that would allow us to have a kitchen and living room.  If we were going to be staying in a room for a week, it was really important to us not to be in a room with just beds and a bathroom.  So…after much searching we found a hotel that was designed like a mini apartment that was also on the beach.  The Lago Mar.

After we got off the plane and got our rental car, we decided to head to the store to pick up a few things for snacks and a few groceries before checking into the hotel (plus it passed the time we needed for check in).  The lobby of our hotel had some really beautiful tiled murals.

My baby doll was on cloud nine at the pool and insisted that we spend a lot of time there.  The hotel had its own private beach as well as a putt putt coarse, large chess board (like the one in the Harry Potter movie), volleyball court, and awesome pool.

Stan and I did not sleep the night before (because we had to get up so early) so we were beat.  We slept on the plane, on the pool chairs by the pool, on the sofa in the living room; if we seat still too long – we would doze off.   We finally called it quits early, which allowed me to be able to wake up early and take a couple of photos as the sun was coming up .  Remember, I had all of my new photography tips to implement and ended up taking alot of shots of the same thing.  But I think I got some pretty good shots of from our balcony.

I woke up at 6am to get these last two shots.

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A Good Home-Cooked Meal

After being on vacation for close to two weeks I have to say that I’m completely burnt out on eating out.  Don’t get me wrong we had some really good food while we were away, but after a time you just get to a point where you just don’t want to eat at another restaurant.  It had gotten so bad for us that we had planned our Sunday dinner for this week on Saturday the week before.  I had already cooked dinner during the week (except for Monday, because we were still on vacation), but I felt that the weekend would really be the start of my home-cooked meal cooking spree.  Friday we had Shrimp Quesadillas with Tomato and Corn Salad.  Oh my did I love that Tomato & Corn Salad. 

The salad was made of fresh corn that was cut off the cob and sauted with red bell peppers , chopped garlic, and onion

then combined with tomatoes that had been chopped and seeded, olive oil, 

cilantro,

 and lime juice. 

The quesadillas were made with shrimp that I seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, and little red pepper.  I sautéed some more red bell peppers and onion in a very hot skillet with only a little oil.  I then quick-cooked the shrimp and set the to the side.  I wiped out the skillet (I was using my cast iron skillet and put the quesadillas together in a dry skillet (layer of cheese then onion and peppers, shrimp and then more cheese.

I added a strawberry Marguerita and that was a satisfying dinner on Friday night. 

Because I had to make a caramel cake for someone and start on the dessert for Sunday, Saturday was a really easy meal of fried catfish with fries and some more of the awesome corn salsa.

My oldest brother and his girlfriend stopped by and we made a couple of pitchers of Margueritas to go along with dinner.  They were really good. 🙂

Sunday was our southern cuisine day that had us eating mustard/collard greens, fried corn, candied yams, corn bread, and roasted chicken.

My youngest brother came by with his family and he was overjoyed to hear that I had made greens.  He had a plate while he was visiting and also took some home.  For dessert I made what my oldest brother calls “fusion cheesecake”.  It’s when I take a cake that I love to eat and add the appropriate flavored cheesecake to go along with it.  I got this idea one day when I was at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and wanted some chocolate cake and cheesecake, but didn’t want a chocolate cheesecake.  I went home and thought about it and the next week I had made my first “fusion”.  That was about seven years ago.  Since then I’ve made fusions of lemon, strawberry, red velvet, and this past weekend carrot.  I didn’t do alot of garnishing for this picture because honestly the cake is soooo good, I couldn’t place any garnishment on it.  To me it tasted like perfection and so I couldn’t add anything else.  I’m sorry. 😦

That was my weekend meals.  I ended my weekend of cooking and baking my making a fruit tart for my bookclub.  I usually make the “snack” for our meeting.  The meeting is tomorrow and since I have to work tomorrow, I wouldn’t have time to make anything before the meeting if I didn’t do it today.  

Just a brag moment…of all of the pictures in this blog I only “touched-upped” one.  Can you tell which one?

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Photography 001

I don’t know if you remember, but I got this great camera for Christmas…

It’s a Nikon D3000.  There are tons of better cameras out there, but this was my first foray into DSLR world and the end to my life as a point&shoot girl.  As you guys have seen I’ve been taking pictures left and right and they haven’t all been the best.  I was extremely grateful when I discovered photo editing sites/software that wasn’t Adobe Photoshop (too complicated for my life…I’m a working mother who is trying to build a second business I don’t have time for Adobe) because I could correct some of the mistakes that I made while using the Auto and Manual settings (also trying to figure out when or when not to use flash).  Plus I’m taking pictures of the desserts I make so that they can be added to my website, I want good pictures without having to pay a food stylist for them (I’m a small business after all). 

I have often felt like I never really had enough time to post because I always  inevitably had to do picture editing and then blogging became SOOOO much more than typing my thoughts and sharing projects with everyone.  I wanted to be able to take pictures that I could use with minimal to no editing that were fabulous enough to hold you guys interested (and maybe be impressed :)).  I also wanted to be able to use the A and S settings that I saw on my camera but didn’t know what they really stood for.  I began scouring the internet for information and blogs that would give me some photography tips.  I found some good information out there and also talked with other people I know that are into photography.  My family vacation was fast approaching, so what better time to try out all of the new techniques I’ve leaned? 

Some of my pictures came out not so good…

I believe I had the shutter speed to high for these photosThis was a good photo but could have been great if I had of had on the flash.

 and then some turned out pretty good…

I can’t even begin to tell you how this happened…but WOW, I’m really proud of myself.

 

At this point I don’t feel like I can classify myself as a Photography 101 student …I’m still in the remedial class, hence the title Photography 001.  So I really would like to get feedback from you guys.  I need tips, comments and whatever you’ve got to help me become a better photographer.  As I improve and learn things I will pass them on.  Thanks a bunch…and don’t forget to send me your comments.

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