Wednesday, December 31, 2008


All right... I'm a loser. I originally started this blog for photos and I have totally let it slide (notice the date from the last post? like I said - LOSER!). So here's hoping that the new year will keep me posting more regularly.
I have gotten a few new toys for my camera since the last time you've "seen" me. For my birthday Brian got me an MB-D10 battery pack/grip for my camera. What does this mean? In so many words: bigger, stronger, faster!! (uh... I can shoot more frames per second and it attaches to the bottom of my camera making it about 20% bigger). Mom and Dad got me a TC-14EII Teleconverter. So now I can get a little more "up close and personal" with my subject! And... just yesterday, I convinced Brian that I needed his SB-800 more than he did (ok... so I bought him a SB-900 which will work better with his camera and the SB-800 is better suited to mine). I used the flash a couple nights ago to shoot these pics.
I really was kind of dreading shooting with a flash. I wanted to shoot just natural light, but jeez... that just wasn't working for fast moving dogs in the house at night. I caved. I caved big time. The kids were being totally cute with the chewies and I couldn't get a decent shot without flash. So now I am totally a convert and vow to spend this winter learning more about lighting and using my "new" flash.
They seriously love these chewies. They are bully sticks in the shape of a ring. I think they like them more than the straight ones. I can't complain... it makes for more interesting shots.
Until next time... toodles!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Yep... that's me - I have been totally negligent!! So here's some catch up stuff. First off - I have decided to start shooting agility trials and selling photos. We'll see how it goes. I have actually sold all of ONE photo so far. LOL. Here's the link if you want to take a peek:

Secondly - I need (ok... I needed to do this a WEEK ago!) to post my photos for my challenge. Our challenge this time was portraits. I am sooooooo not good at people stuff, so I do have to have a couple non-people portraits (those count, right?).
This is my co-worker, Ashley, and her family. She wanted family photos and it worked out just perfect with the challenge:

This is Phoenix - I HAD to have a non-people portrait and he is so handsome! Phoenix is a Belgian Malinois and non nearly as serious as he looks. Ok... he squirted a bottle of honey all over his mom's house - that takes a sense of humor!

And last, but not least, this is Natalie. She is in agility class the same night as me and is too smart for her own good. This kid is going to kick my butt in agility in the VERY NEAR future! This photo was not set up - ugh - I cut the top of her head off! But it was still too cute.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Challenge #3 - Scenes

This is for my photography group's third challenge. We were to do scenes - I am afraid that I was only able to complet the two rural scenes. I had fun photoshoping them:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Squirrel Hunting 101

Hi All! Betty here again. It's been a while since my last post, but I thought maybe you all could benefit from my squirrel hunting experience. I have outlined a few simple tips to help you hunt your very own squirrels at home. First off - make sure you are familiar with your prey. These guys are sneaky little devils (and evil to the core!).
Next - make sure you have plenty of back up. Today, I have Frank and Robin as my assistants.
It's always helpful to make sure you have someone taller to reach Mister Squirrel (this is where Robin comes in):
You will need to keep an eye on your assistants at all times - Frank obviously has a tendency to get easily distracted (shiny object, butterfly, etc...). Here you see him staring at... well... the corner of the deck:
You will also want to allow breaks for you assistants:
Make sure that you have the tree
surrounded at all times:
Now, I like to start off with an "innocent invitation" of play to Mister Squirrel:
Sometimes it doesn't even hurt to give the tree a little shove (you know, to shake things up a bit):
I do like to get as close as possible to Mister Squirrel as I can:
Sometimes it helps if you levitate:
Now, this is very important - you will want to ignore the paparazzi as much as possible. They are very distracting and your in-attention may allow Mister Squirrel to escape!
Sometimes it helps to feign dis-interest (as Frank is demonstrating - like I said - the kid is easily distracted!):
If all else fails, an imploring look to mom "please get me the squirrel!!" might do the trick! Good luck in your squirrel hunting!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

These are just some fun pics of Betty from the other day. I was sitting on the deck reading (with my camera in reach) and waiting for any critters to show up to the feeders. Betty decided to do a little sunbathing on the deck. I was playing around with manual mode and really like how these turned out:

Oh yea... I did have a critter or two show up to eat:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mad Dog!!!!!!!!

Tammy decided that she wanted photos of her and Mad Dog jumping off a dock together (don't try this at home folks - MD is a professional and knows what she is doing!). I was all for the idea and they were VERY good models and jumped off that dock NINE times. Here we have our willing participants:
I started out taking shots from the side of the dock and it looked like the photos were turning out really well. We did get a couple fun shots out this angle - here is our doggirl (1/2 dog 1/2 girl):
MD is really good at what she does!! I loved looking at Tammy and Mad's forms - it amazed me how many times they were actually in very similar positions in the air. MD is so good at pointing her toes!!Then I went around a bit towards the front of the dock and took a couple jump series. I didn't think that I was going to like them as well as the side, but.....
This one has to be my favorite out of all the shots:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Challenge #2 - Close Up

This is for challenge #2 - we were supposed to concentrate on getting close-ups of three subjects: nature, water and patriotic. As a bonus, we were to try to get photos of fireworks or sparklers. To see my fireworks, scroll down past the last post of the ground squirrel. I did not end up doing the patriotic subject - just could not think of anything I liked. Ah well. I had fun with these in CS3. The corn in this one was selected and left yellow and the rest of the photo was turned into a black/white. I really like the effect of this one.
This is a Lilly in my flower garden. I kinda did the same thing with this one. I selected the bug, left him green (that is his normal color, believe it or not) and the rest of the photo was made into sepia (and desaturated a bit). The original photo really didn't do anything for me as the Lilly was not that pretty (faded by the sun).
I had a blast setting up my water shots. I used poster board as my background, put my camera on the tripod and a flash. This is actually a serving spoon. Ya gotta hold your tongue just right (and take over 100 shots!!). Obviously, it's been Photoshopped to death! LOL
My second water shot. I put a glass of ice in the freezer - got my gear set up (black poster board this time) and by the time I was ready, the glass frosted over -it gave it a really cool effect (ha ha).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stealing From a Squirrel...

Sooooooo... if a squirrel steals from a bird feeder, who steals from the squirrel? A ground squirrel! This little guy... err.... gal (and two of her friends) climb the tree in the back yard and steal corn off of the squirrel feeder. I was actually setting up the camera to take some squirrel pictures. Brian has totally spoiled and fed these squirrels and they will let you get pretty close. I set up my tripod and was checking the settings on the camera when she showed up. Isn't she cute???

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Last night Brian, Sheryl and I went to the Cedar Rapids fireworks display. I had not seen the CR display and have never taken fireworks photos. The display only lasted about 20 minutes. These are my favorites.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Challenge #1 - Composition

My photography group is back up and running - yeah!! So this is our first challenge. We were supposed to concentrate on our composition on three different subjects (music, tea, and feet). We were to do two different shots of each subject for a total of six photographs. I was really, really trying to think outside the box... we'll see. This is Tea#1 - so I interpreted it as "t" and not "tea". LOL. I think the shadows look like a bunch of "t"s.
Tea#2 - I don't drink coffee. I don't drink tea. Sorry! So... I DO drink kool-aid:
Music #1 - this one was really hard for me - music! Ugh. So this is the remote for my IPod docking station.
Music #2 - I did think outside the box a little on this one. With all the flooding in our city, the power has been completely cut off downtown. This is one of those huge generators (I made it into a black/white) - not exactly music, but it did sound nice to hear them running downtown.
Foot#1... I was a little better with this subject. This is the foot to my tripod:
Foot#2 - I think this is my favorite of the whole challenge - this is a bull's foot at the zoo from last weekend. I put it through CS3 and tried to give it that "western" look. I really like how it turned out.
The other thing we were supposed to do on this challenge was give a tip. Hmmm.... ok. Since the subject is composition, make sure you really look at your subject before you take the shot. If there is something in the background that you don't like, take a couple steps left or right to change the angle to get rid of the unwanted element in your shot. If that doesn't work - see if you can "get rid" of it in your processing.