Testing out the rental

At work we rented a Canon 5D Mark II and two lenses for an event where we need an extra set of equipment. It’s for me to use, so I excitedly practiced with it today to get to know how to adjust the settings, etc. This is the sort of camera I’d love to have one day, after I find a sugar daddy. It’s sooooo nice! The camera and lenses together are so different from my current little Rebel XSi. (In a way, it’s probably bad for me to use these nice cameras and feel more discontent with mine!)

I’ve noticed these nicer lenses and cameras tend to result in more vibrant photos.

How cute are these? I love spirals in nature.

These were interesting–all the leaves had a ripple on them.

We have the rentals for five days so I’m going to try and get a ton of use out of them! Stay tuned. 🙂

Independence Weekend (Part 5)

After an eventful trip up to Seattle, I wanted some down time. I decided Sunday should be low key, which might’ve been a little boring for Dania, but she was nice about it.

I don’t watch a ton of movies, so it was weird that we watched three movies that day! First it was Somewhere In Time, because Dania had never seen it. Who has seen that? I first saw it at age 6 and was fascinated, for some reason.

[Dania on the porch at the Bush House.]
In the evening we took a drive to Bush Park so we could take a few photos at the rose garden, etc. It wasn’t really the best time of day for pictures, so I’m not happy with mine, but I’ve put some in this post anyway.

[I experimented with shooting into the sun.]
On our way home we ordered up some delicious Padington’s pizza and rented a movie from the Blockbuster “vending machine” at Safeway. I’d never used that or Red Box before, so Dania showed me the ropes and we chose Just Go With It. It was pretty funny/cute, but also had some of Adam Sandler’s typical weird/over-the-top humor that makes me cringe.

We later put in Last Holiday (all these girly movies!) while we played Scrabble. If you haven’t seen that one (with Queen Latifah), you should. It’s definitely a feel-good movie.

[Note about the new Scrabble boards: I just got mine for Christmas because I had a very old and incomplete set. They finally took the idea from Travel Scrabble and added ridges so the letters don’t slip, and I love that. I also love the wheels (we used to put a Lazy Susan under ours, because my mom is a genius), but WHY did they change the colors of the squares? It totally messes me up! Now Double Letter is the color of the old Triple Letter, and Double Word is the color of the old Triple Word. How is that a good change? Not cool, Scrabble…not cool.]

And that was pretty much our day! Oh wait, we also went out and looked at beavers swimming in the lake, but it was too dark for decent photos.

[This is just kind of funny–I was taking a picture of this bird with a moth/butterfly in its mouth…]

[…and then it jumped off the branch while I was taking its picture so it looks like a fake/dead bird here.]
Thanks for sticking with me all this time. I have one more post for what we did on the 4th, and then this series will come to an end. Are you relieved? 🙂

I hope you’ve been having a nice weekend.

Portraits – Katrina

The wisteria isn’t at its prime, but it’s blooming, and I’ve been wanting to do some portraits at Bush House since last year. Katrina and I managed to agree on a night when we were both free and it wasn’t supposed to rain. It was sunny during the day, so in my head I had envisioned golden evening light and a chance to practice making the most of it. Instead, it was overcast and slightly chilly, but we took advantage of the beautiful surroundings. Katrina – thank you for being so patient with me as I tried lots of different poses and locations. I really appreciate your enthusiasm. 🙂

Bush House is not quite as nice as Deepwood, but it definitely has its strengths.

Like the porch and, of course, the wisteria. (On the left, Katrina is being silly – she was very happy to be standing on the railing!)

This gazebo is in the nearby rose garden where, as you can see, there are no roses in bloom yet.

I think she kind of looks like Anne Hathaway here.



I had this all scheduled to post yesterday, but Blogger had issues and deleted my draft. :/ Fortunately it didn’t contain a lot of writing, so it’s not too difficult to repost. I guess I should be careful about keeping copies of my unpublished entries in case something like this happens again.

Anyway, these are just some photos from a few days ago. Some were taken at work, others at Bush Park. Which reminds me that I’ve been trying to note the photo locations more often so that visitors see some of the nice places to visit around the Salem area. There are a lot of great gardens–many free–for photo excursions or just a lovely stroll. 🙂 I should probably talk more specifically about that eventually.

I didn’t know what kind of tree this was, but then several friends told me it was a Lilac and then I felt a little dumb…I guess I’ve never really seen one in real life. Or at least not to my knowledge.

I’m excited to show you photos from a portrait session I did last night, and I plan to visit the iris garden this weekend, as well, so stay tuned.

Garden Photos

On my way home from the library last night, I stopped by a local rose garden and–surprise!–took some pictures.

I didn’t really come up with a great way to photograph these, but I just thought they were so cute, like candy. They remind me of one of the Candy Land lands, but I don’t remember which one.

It was getting a little late for sharp photos, but I worked it out.

Kindly ignore the tent-like canopy in the background.

And that building. Or house? Instead, see how the sun was making patches of roses all glowy.

I might’ve taken a few too many hydrangea photos, but I narrowed it way the heck down for you, so fear not.

I like how they can be different colors on the same bush.

If that little baby blossom, poking his head out up there, had a voice, wouldn’t it be weird if it came out all booming like the fake voice we use when we’re impersonating God? (And weirder: what if someone impersonated God with a squeaky, little voice?)

Blue flowers always stand out so much since they aren’t necessarily very common. Although, I feel like I see them a lot more now, but maybe I just didn’t notice them when I was growing up (or maybe they like the PNW better than the hot valley of CA).

These ones have good stems and leaves for photography, though it was getting too dark to spend much time on them.

Oh whoops–I guess I could toss some rose photos in here, since it was the rose garden after all. I almost forgot about them. Here we have an incredibly unique photo. It’s so rare to come across a photo of a rose bud, you know? I was really stretching myself for this one.

And this one. But I loooove peach roses. I remember my high school friend getting a big bunch of peach roses for some event (her birthday?), and obviously they were awesome enough that I still remember them over 16 (!! 😦 😦 !!) years later.

Okay, well that wasn’t the most unique set of photos, but I still liked taking them. I haven’t really burned myself out on flower photos yet, unfortunately for all my friends and family. 🙂

Pink Dogwood

Hey, who wants to see multiple photos from the same Dogwood tree (and often the same exact blossom)? Just a show of hands is fine. Or I will also interpret silence/crickets as, “Certainly.”

Part of the reason for this photo overload was that this particular Dogwood tree was all nice and short (as am I), and it gave me the opportunity to try some angles that would’ve been impossible on another tree without a ladder or saddled giraffe. Therefore it was practically a requirement that I photograph this tree from every angle while I had the chance.

Between photos I might’ve sent a text or two, and at some point I guess I was waiting for a text response and some lady walked by and was all, “You look so serious!” My response probably hinted that I wasn’t crazy about such a comment, so she tried to fix it by saying I looked “studious.” I have one of those faces where if I relax it at all, it looks almost like I’m mad. It’s great. Her remarks were actually the nicer version of what I’ve heard in the past from complete strangers. I’ve gotten comments like, “Smile! Life isn’t so bad!” So anyway, if you ever come across me and I look all “studious” or whatever, I’m just relaxing! Face muscles need down time too. And if you’re ever tempted to remark to a stranger about the fact that they aren’t smiling, probably just don’t. It’ll help you not get punched.

I was taking these with the thought of how something could go below in the blank spot. Not that I have any plans to use this photo for such a purpose, but now you know the method to my relaxedness, at least.

Thanks for looking! Or even just scrolling by to get to the next entry in your reader.

Now back to the flowers.

Okay, let’s finish off these plant nursery photos.

This was a lemon tree (still just a baby), and I guess I’ve never seen one or knew that their blossoms smell so good!

I just wanted to photograph these because they were unique, but this photo doesn’t quite capture their appearance.

There were lots of pretty lilies but always in view of people, so I wimped out and didn’t get the photos I would have liked to.

Alright, I’ll probably take a photo break on the next post, depending on what happens in life. 🙂 Have a great night/day.