Sunday, June 29, 2008

107/365 So many choices

Last January, when I was part of a Salsa Performance Class, we were asked to wear red dresses for the show. I couldn't find a red dress that I liked, but I found a red knit top at Banana Republic that I loved, so I paired it with a black skirt (yes, I'm the rebel in the video).

The red top is now one of my favorites. Last week, as I was ironing it, I realized how simply constructed it is. I showed it to Mom and suggested we fashion a sewing pattern off of it so that we can make more. We've done this before with a simple Gap skirt that I've now worn out.

So this afternoon, with a stack of newly-purchased fabric at hand, I sorted through patterns in current and past issues of Burda World of Fashion to find more knit tops.

BWOF patterns are a godsend when it comes to my shape. We're able to cut the pattern, make it as-is from the directions, with few or no alterations, and they fit. We can't do that with any other pattern company -- not Vogue, McCall's, Simplicity, Kwik Sew, nothing. It's fantastic, because having to make alterations only slows down the process and diminishes the joy when the piece is finished.

And I LOVE that joy of wearing a newly-made piece for the first time. One that no one else on Earth has. And one that was made specifically with me in mind. Nothing else compares!

Camera: Canon 40D 1/125s, f/5.6 at ISO 400 in natural light at about 4:30 p.m.

106/365 Wide open spaces

I love living where we do for hundreds of reasons. But one aspect that doesn't float my boat is how inhospitable it is for running/walking/biking outside.

1. No sidewalks, so you pray that every driver is paying attention and doesn't decide to reach in the backseat for something just as they come up over the hill.

2. Loose dogs. When we do walk or bike outside, knowledge of neighbors' loose dogs keeps us within a 1 to 1.5-mile radius of our house.

So we usually stick to the treadmill.

Regardless, Mom and I took advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday afternoon to get outside (venturing no farther than one mile south). She walked, I biked. Looking back at her over this hill, with no houses in view, and long, brown grass blowing on the side of the road, it made me think of a wide-open prairie in Nebraska (or somewhere).

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 at about 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

105/365 Seeing double

One of the women I work with had twin baby girls earlier this year, and she brought them to visit yesterday. They're now five months old and cute as can be. I came in from lunch, visited for a minute, then asked if the mom minded if I got my camera.

Conveniently, both girls were awake, happy, and started talking about all the things they'd seen that day. I'm not fluent in baby, but I got the gist of how interesting and exciting it was.

I love that age when babies are starting to attempt verbal communication. You can see in the expressions on their faces that they're trying so hard to tell you something really important, but they just can't quite get it out so you can understand.

Chase, who's now 21, is the last baby we've had in my entire family, including cousins. So I've never really been around that many of them, even when I was babysitting in high school. I expect that will change in the next decade or so!

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 in natural window light at about 1:30 p.m.

104/365 Red sky at morning

I enjoy being the first one up in the morning. I like being able to wake up gradually and quietly, eating my breakfast alone while watching the news. On the weekends, I'm rarely up first (because getting 8+ hours of sleep is the one thing I like more than being the first up).

That was one thing that never grew on me when I had roommates in college. Chances were, we all got up around the same time, and by design you were forced to be pleasant and sometimes chatty right away.

On Thursday morning, one of many quiet, lovely mornings, as I was finishing my breakfast and beginning to fix my lunch, this beautiful sunrise was up with me.
I usually ooh and ahh the sunrises at that time of the morning but let them go uncaptured, but this one was too gorgeous.

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/60s, f/5 at ISO 200 at 6:00 a.m.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

103/365 Christmas in (almost) July

This little poinsettia was a table centerpiece at our office Christmas lunch last December, and it is still just as healthy as can be. We had a couple other larger plants that have long since succumbed, but this little one, after living all winter and spring on the kitchen table, now gets to live in the screened porch.

Something about the humidity, indirect light, and misting rain through the screen make plants absolutely thrive out here. It's our potted-plant ICU.

I thrive out here, too. It's my favorite spot to read or take a nap in the summer. We have one rocking chair that makes me, no matter how awake I am, get sleepy. I can lean my head back on the cushion and doze off listening to the birds and bullfrogs.

The only problem with falling asleep in this chair is that with your head back and neck muscles relaxed, nothing keeps your mouth closed. And not only does a chance exist that a flying insect or spider will drop in, but there are people who might take your picture.

Who, me?

Camera: Canon 40D 1/60s, f/5.0 at ISO 200 in sunlight at about 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

102/365 Weddings and meringue

This picture makes me think of two things: weddings and meringue.

Weddings because the flowers are soft, ivory, clustered together, and remind me of a summer centerpiece or decorative gown.

Meringue because it reminds me of the top of a baked pie. When you make meringue, you know it's the right consistency when it can form stiff peaks. Then the tips of those peaks brown when they're baked -- and the ends of these petals remind me of that.

It's actually a photo of yucca flowers, which to me have nothing to do with any wedding I've been to -- or any pie I've seen. But as I was scrolling through these pictures to choose today's, those are the images that immediately popped into my head.

Funny how that works, isn't it?

Camera: Canon 40D 1/125s, f/8 at ISO 200 in sunlight at about 7:15 p.m.

101/365 Amber waves of grain

I've seen more fields than usual this year planted in wheat -- and this is one of them.

I see this on my way home from work every day, and it's beautiful. The picture really doesn't do it justice; I'll have to try it again. The wheat itself is becoming very golden, and when the sun is behind it and the sky is blue, it looks like a postcard for the Midwest.

I find it very calming. It's a nice "welcome home" after work.

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 at about 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

100/365 Welcome to the triple digits!

SightSalad is 100 days old today!

To mark this momentous day, I thought I’d share with you my eight favorite posts and photos of the last 100 days:

#23 First solo portrait shoot

#24 Night sky

#43 The most ridiculous toy a parent could have

#57 Buster and Mr. Bee

#64 New irises

#79 First portraits of Kristin

#80 Peonies

#96 Second portrait shoot with Kristin

Only 265 more days to go...!

Today’s picture: Canon 40D, 1/400s, f/8 at ISO 100 at about 5:00 p.m.

99/365 Summer activities

We picked all of the cherries on our little tree yesterday -- one bowl full -- and made cherry crisp.

The cherries on this tree are still so small, even though they're fully ripe, that if we were to use our cherry-pitter, the fruit itself would be destroyed. Instead Mom had to use a paper clip to extract the seed by hand.
It feels like a very summer activity, pitting cherries. Next will be breaking beans, shelling peas, shredding zucchini...

Camera: Canon 40D 1/125s, f/4 at ISO 400 and 1/125s, f/4.5 at ISO 640 in natural light at about 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

98/365 A breath of visual fresh air

I love photographing bright, bold flower blooms -- but I also like finding plants that let you focus on the texture instead of the obvious flower. This is one such plant -- it's Autumn Joy Sedum. I like how the sun, at this time of day, shines on both the back and front sides of the leaves, giving it even more definition.

I feel like it's kind of a breath of visual fresh air. Cool, crisp, clean, subtle.

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/250s, f/5.6 at ISO 100 in sunlight at about 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

97/365 Surprise find in the yard

We apparently have a drunken buck wandering through our backyard in the morning.

Why drunken? Two reasons:

Yesterday Dad discovered that something large had run into the chain-link fence, from the inside of the yard, and bent it severely out of shape. He saw the fence around lunch time, but Mom had walked by that spot a few hours earlier. It's distorted enough that there is no way she wouldn't have seen it.

Then this morning, as Mom was walking out to the barn to let the horses out, she found a broken antler in the middle of the yard. Buster had been out around 7:00, and if it had been there at that time, he would have found it and brought it back up to the house or gone nuts barking at it.

Deer normally shed their antlers after mating season (rut) in the fall, but this one hasn't been naturally shed -- this guy ran into something and it broke off above the base. The broken end was still bloody when Mom found it.

The other aspect that makes this unusual is that it is still covered in velvet. They shed the velvet after their antlers have fully grown for the year, but you mainly ever see bare antlers.

And apparently deer velvet is a natural dietary supplement? No thanks.

We rarely if ever have deer inside the fence in the backyard. I'm very curious about what's up with this guy.

And I kind of feel sorry for him, too, because now when someone says, "Hey, nice rack!" you know it will be in jest instead of meant as a compliment.

Camera: Canon 40D 1/250, f/4.5 at ISO 100 in sunlight at about 6:30 p.m.

96/365 Second outdoor portrait shoot

Kristin and I met at Butler last night to do a second outdoor photo shoot. I wanted to try more full-length poses, so I asked her to wear long pants for added flexibility.

It worked!

We had beautiful weather, the setting worked perfectly, and we had a blast yet again.

These are four of my favorites from the night:

Camera: Canon 40D in natural light between 5:45 and 6:30 p.m.
1st photo: 1/125s, f/5.6 at ISO 400
2nd: 1/250s, f/4 at ISO 640
3rd: 1/250s, f/4 at ISO 640
4th: 1/125s, f/4 at ISO 640

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

95/365 Lights out

Not long from now, I will be unable to take pictures of lights like this.

I'm a big fan of everyone becoming more energy-conscious through using more efficient, clean items, even though the flickering of dying fluorescent bulbs drives me absolutely batty. But I'll miss some aspects of the good old trusty incandescent bulbs.

I'll miss being able to see the inner structure that gives off light with the addition of electricity. I'll miss that surprising "pop!" when the bulb burns out. And I'll miss hearing the broken filament swinging back and forth inside the glass.

It will take me a while to completely warm up to the cool white fluorescent light. So here's to one of the greatest inventions of the 19th century. Can you imagine life by candlelight?

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/125s, f/5.6 at ISO 100.

94/365 First lilies

I went back to our first blooming lilies, hoping at least one of them would be facing my direction... but alas, they all still want to turn their sunny faces to the northeast.


Fine, I'll photograph their backsides.

This is what it must feel like to be a golfer competing against Tiger Woods. You end up seeing everyone's backsides.

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/125s, f/8 at ISO 200 in natural light at about 7:45 p.m.

93/365 I can't believe she left me

People who have pets know that even if your animal is friendly with the entire family, they're going to bond to one person especially.

Buster is no exception. He's a momma's boy.

When she leaves the house, all he does is mope around until she gets home. And I often find him like this:
In the big la-z-boy, slung over one arm, staring toward the door.

He doesn't do this when she's home. It's his ultimate "I can't believe she left me, so I'm going to look pathetic and cute and just stay like this until she gets home or I decide to revisit the trees in the backyard" position.

Mom doesn't believe me when I tell on him. But now he's been caught in the act.

Camera: Canon D40 DSLR 1/60s, f/4 at ISO 800 in natural light at about 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

92/365 My, how you've grown!

Do you ever step out your door and really notice how much a plant or tree in your yard has grown?

I bet it's the same way when you have kids, which is why people look at you and say, "My goodness, you've grown!"

I did that with our cherry and apple trees yesterday. I went outside with my two assistants (aka Mom and Buster) to venture to the first blooming lilies, and on our way to the far side of the pond, we stopped, astounded at these two trees.

We planted the cherry tree several years ago, before we lost and mourned our former tree, and until this year, we've only had a handful of cherries on it.

But now it's loaded with cherries!
There were a few ripe ones on it, so we immediately picked and ate them, pursing our lips with the first sour burst of juice. In a couple days, we'll be able to go out and pick the rest. And we marveled that at the rate its growing, this will probably be the last year we'll be able to reach the very top cherries from the ground.

The apple tree has also grown immensely over the last few years. I'm amazed to stand beside it and realize how tall it is.

I discovered when I got to the lilies that they were turned toward the pond, not away from it in my direction, so I couldn't get a really good shot without toppling head-first into the water. But right next to them were some very pretty wildflowers.

Weeds, yes, but still pretty!

Camera: Canon 40D DSLR in sunlight and shade at about 7:00 p.m.
Cherries: 1/125, f/8 at ISO 100
Wildflowers: 1/60s, f/5.6 at ISO 200

Saturday, June 14, 2008

91/365 Another year older

I celebrated my birthday last night with my girlfriends. We originally planned to go to an outdoor movie and dinner picnic at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, but it rained all day Friday (big surprise). So the backup plan was dinner at Bazbeaux Pizza in Broad Ripple.

I couldn't have asked to have a better time. We laughed, shared stories, and vented concerns over an eclectic mix of pizzas. I drove all the way home singing with a smile on my face and thinking about how lucky I am to have these women in my life.

It makes me a little sad to think that some of them will be moving away within the next few months to take the next step in their lives, but I'm much more excited for them -- and proud -- than anything. AND it gives me an excuse to travel and go visit them.

I love having my birthday in June -- it's six months from Christmas and the weather is usually warm (though often stormy). But as a kid, birthdays were always celebrated with a special little party in the classroom, and I always missed out on that. Sure, the teachers and parents would try to group some of the summer birthdays together on a day or two to include them, but it's not the same when it's not REALLY your day. And when you're not in school at the time, not many people actually remembered my birthday.

For my twenty-first birthday, when I was still in college, I tried to get a group of my school friends together to celebrate, but all of them dropped out for one reason or another at the last minute. I had resigned myself to the fact that it would just be the same as every year, but then a few of the girls I'd met in the Princess program remembered, pulled a group of us together, and we went to a comedy club that night.

It was the first real time I'd seen them outside of the program, and I knew after the effort they made that night that I had really met some fantastic women. Every year since then, my birthday -- and everyone else's -- has not been forgotten or overlooked.

It may be a small thing, but it means so much to me.

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 at about 9:30 p.m.

90/365 Creative companionship

One of my favorite things to do with a group of friends is go to Kiln Creations in Broad Ripple. It's a paint-your-own-ceramics studio. You walk in, choose a ceramic item -- anything from coffee mugs to teapots to bowls to platters to spoon rests -- then select your paint colors and go!

I love it because I get to sit and chat with my friends for a couple hours in an atmosphere of creativity. You can easily talk while you're painting (unless you're doing a terribly intricate pattern), but it also allows everyone to just paint quietly in companionable silence, too.

Painting has never been an artistic hobby that I've pursued, but I find this place very calming. I met Erica after work on Thursday, and we went into Broad Ripple to go to Kiln Creations. She picked a soap dish and I picked a serving platter.

The only negative is you have to wait a week to pick up your piece after they've glazed and fired it. The suspense just kills me!

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR, 1/60s, f/4.0 at ISO 1600 in natural light at about 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Aid for Indiana tornado and flood victims

The American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis is helping victims of the recent tornadoes and flooding in Indiana. If you'd like to find out how you can help or to make a donation, several options are listed on their website. Donations will be earmarked for local victims.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

89/365 Teeny wildlife

For the past week, every time I've ventured out to the barn, in one particular corner on the east side, I've had to watch my step.

Jumping all over the place are handfuls of teeny tiny baby toads. When I look down, all around my feet I see small things zipping between blades of grass. At first glance, they're so small they almost look like bugs -- or flies.

But upon closer inspection, I realized they're not bugs but baby toads. And at the risk of sounding like a girl, they are so darn cute.

I've seen them before, but it's been a few years.

When we were kids, every once in a while we'd find baby painted turtles in the yard whose shells were the size of quarters.

They were really cute, too.

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR on Program setting, in shade at about 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

88/365 And the thunder rolls

It seems like when I was a kid, thunderstorms rolled through in the late afternoon. It was still light outside, and the daytime heating fueled the afternoon storms.

In the last few years, they seem to be arriving -- or developing -- later and later into the evening.

It's great when you want to get lightning photos, but it's not so great when you can't see what's coming (that's my fear).

It's also not great when you're trying to go to sleep, as was the story last night for me.

I had just climbed into bed after having watched the evening news and weather. I knew storms were right in the neighborhood, but I thought I'd give sleep a chance.

Forget it.

Two minutes after I climbed into bed, I crawled out.

And since I was already going to be up, I figured I'd try to get some good photos. I couldn't occupy my usual spot on the front porch because of lingering rain and wind from the west. So instead I set up inside the garage, with the service door open, shooting east. Success!

This photo may not have a big bolt in it, but I like how the distant strikes light the clouds.
But I always have my heart set on a big bolt (exactly the kind you're not supposed to be photographing while hugging a metal tripod).

This one was interesting and different, rather curlicue:
Still not good enough.

Then bam.

Right smack dab in the middle of my frame -- so close it extended beyond the top of the frame.

Okay, time to go to bed. My work is done for the night.

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR
1st photo: 34-second shutter, f/11 at ISO 100
2nd photo: 6-second shutter, f/11 at ISO 100
3rd photo: 6-second shutter, f/11 at ISO 100

Monday, June 9, 2008

87/365 Plight of the Midwest farmer

I could have stopped half a dozen times within four miles of my house to get a photo just like this.

This corn has actually made it so far and is still standing. In many other areas, the plants have been washed away and will need to be replanted -- if we ever dry out. We have more storms coming through tonight, and they're forecasting another four inches of rain.

Mom and I went and saw a production of The Fantasticks at the Indiana Repertory Theatre yesterday afternoon. The two fathers in the show have a bit of a battle over how to manage a garden -- one swears by liberal pruning and little water, the other has a watering can in his hand for much of the first act.

You would think that extra water would be a good thing. All living things need it to grow, and it seems more often that we talk about the farmers facing drought conditions at the end of the season.

And yet plants can drown just as easily as anything else. I feel for the farmers whose livelihood is in the hands of Mother Nature.

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 under cloudy skies at about 5:45 p.m.

86/365 Strong to the finish, 'cause I eat my... carrots

I was an especially picky eater as a kid. When my family went out for dinner, we had to go somewhere I could either get chicken nuggets or spaghetti with the sauce on the side.

The only carrots I would eat were canned Freshlike crinkle-cut carrots. Cold. Straight from the can.

I recently rediscovered these crinkle-cut gems. The ones in this photo obviously aren't crinkle-cut, but I've diversified my palate and like them, too. And they're best cold, straight from the can.

Don't worry, my other tastes have diversified, too.

I'll now order spaghetti with the sauce on top.

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR with 60 mm macro lens, 1/30s, f/4 at ISO 400 in natural light at about 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

85/365 Flood report

As is our routine after a big storm, we drove around the neighborhood/countryside/town this evening to assess the wrath left behind by the latest rains.

Buster came, excited as always for a ride in the car.
At one intersection is a beautiful farm with overflowing flower baskets hanging on the porch, white painted fences, and sheep that were watching us watch them:
We drove by Tina's house (our horse trainer) to check out part of her pasture. She has one pasture that sits at the bottom of a valley and a creek winds through the middle. After the storms earlier in the week, the water rose so quickly that she had to wade out into chest-deep water for her horses to swim to her to get out!

This time she was able to keep them on higher ground before the rain, but the height of the water was still amazing.
After we left Tina's, we drove down to a McCloud Nature Park. It has several trails and a canoe launch area, so we knew it would be flooded.

This is one trail head. The posts with reflectors are a little taller than my knees.
The turquoise trail marker in this picture is about hip-high.

And these trees aren't usually growing in the middle of a rushing river.I've never seen flooding like this. I can only imagine what it's like south of Indianapolis, where some areas got nearly 11 inches last night and today. Our rain gauge only had 2.1 inches today.

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR on Program setting at about 5:30 p.m.

84/365 And the rain came falling down

In the past seven days, we've collected nearly 10 inches of rain. In portions of Indiana south of Indianapolis, they got 10 inches last night alone.

Flash flooding is quite a problem. Luckily last night we didn't have any severe weather, though the thunder did wake me up at 5:00 a.m.

The last time I remember getting a deluge like this was during my sophomore year of college. I was on campus on Labor Day, and we got several inches of rain in just a few hours. We tried to drive into Broad Ripple to get food, but the water was so high we couldn't get more than a few blocks away from campus.

The storm sewers were overflowing to the point where in the midst of the lake formerly known as Westfield Blvd, mini fountains looked to be spouting vertically out of the water.

We got back to campus, found some soup, then went outside and had a big mud fight.

Ah, college...

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR on Program setting, 1/25s, f/3.5 at ISO 100 at about 7:00 p.m.

83/365 Sex and the City version 2.25

After my post-birthday celebratory dinner on Thursday evening with my parents, Dad went home, and Mom and I went and saw Sex and the City.

So now I've seen it approximately 2.25 times. I think I liked it even more the second (well, sort of third) time.

We talked about it all the way home -- I finally don't have to keep my mouth shut anymore! And now I can't wait for it to come out on DVD, because I won't be seeing it in the theater again.

It seems like every time I go to a movie (which isn't very often), the price increases by $.50. At both of the theaters I've been to recently, it now costs $9.50 for a single ticket. How do kids afford to go out on a Saturday night anymore?

When you figure two tickets to a movie, pizza beforehand (I'm being frugal), gas to get there and home, and any snacks that you don't sneak in from outside -- you're looking at $50!

I feel for them. Heck, I have a full-time job and it still hurts.

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 in ambient theater lighting.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

82/365 Lightning

Okay, technically, I took these photos yesterday, not today. But I didn't take them until after I did last night's post, so I'm counting them as a second day.

Anyways, they deserve to have a post to themselves.

I finally got my first lightning photos of the season!

First, an interesting shot of the last rays of sun hitting the leading edge of the storm:

Beautiful! And then came the storms.

The lightning didn't come until about 10:15, which is really when I should be getting ready for bed, but how could I pass up the chance with my perfect conditions?

I hardly got any sleep last night because of this round of storms. We have a weather alert radio that sounds an alarm when any watch or warning is issued for our area. It does its job -- the whole point is to keep you from getting swept away by a tornado while you're sound asleep.

It's loud.

And it sounded off at 1:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., 3:15 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.

In between these times of being jolted awake, falling back asleep with wave after wave of thunder and lightning was an entirely different challenge.

I plan to sleep soundly tonight!

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR
1st photo: 1/60s, f/8 at ISO 400 at about 9:00 p.m.
2nd photo: f/8, ISO 100, shutter speed of 29 seconds
3rd photo: f/8, ISO 100, shutter speed of 83 seconds
4th photo: f/8, ISO 100, shutter speed of 65 seconds

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

81/365 Stormy skies

With the temperatures finally climbing into the more seasonal 80s for the past week, the skies have been roaring with spring storms. Several tornadoes hit the state in the storms last Friday night (while I was attempting to watch Sex and the City the first time), and another hit during the day today.

And we're not done yet. More storms are forecasted overnight tonight.

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that we get the right conditions for me to step out and take some lightning photos. I've found that the best time is when the storms are approaching from the west or northwest, before the rain starts, with actual bolts visible. The positions of our trees, combined with my location on the front porch make these my ideal conditions.

We'll see!

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR 1/125s, f/16 at ISO 100 at sunset, approximately 8:00 p.m.

Monday, June 2, 2008

80/365 Peonies

Today's flower actually isn't growing in my own yard, but my aunt's next door. Her peony bushes are at a perfect peak right now.

When I think of peonies I think of two things: my birthday and ants.

My birthday because it's in June, so peonies are always blooming.

Ants, because whenever I decide to try to bring some inside, no matter how much I shake shake shake them, I never seem to be able to get all of the ants out. And bugs just don't fit into a perfect bouquet in my book.

What I find interesting about this association between peonies and ants is that it is actually a partnership. Peony blossoms cannot bloom without the help of ants to open the buds.

So maybe I should shake the blooms with a little more respect. But not enough to welcome the ants to the dinner table.

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR 1/400s, f/4.5 at ISO 100.

79/365 A day of girlfriends, in person and on the silver screen

I have now finally seen Sex and the City in its entirety! My friends and I met for a 1:15 matinee on Sunday and rejoined the NYC ladies without interruption. I enjoyed the movie very much even though I still don't feel like they should have even made it in the first place. I loved how the series ended, so I was certain the movie would only be a disappointing last-ditch effort to resurrect the phenomenon (and make more money). I was pleasantly surprised that it was done so well. It will definitely become part of my permanent collection.

Sunday also marked a milestone for me photographically: I successfully held a photo shoot with my first paying customer!

My friend, Kristin, will be moving to NYC in the fall, and she asked if I would do some portraits of her before she left. I gladly agreed, because not only is she a friend, she's continually one of my favorite subjects.

We scheduled it for Sunday evening after the movie. When we left the movie, approaching thunderstorms darkened the skies to our west, but we chose to give it a try and see how much we could get done before I needed to stow away the camera.

The weather cooperated with us long enough!

These are some of my favorites from the day:

We're going to meet again to do a second outdoor shoot, and then we're going to experiment with some indoor shots in a more studio-like setting.

Camera: Canon Rebel DSLR
1st photo: 1/125s, f/4.0 at ISO 400
2nd photo: 1/125s, f/4.5 at ISO 400
3rd photo: 1/125s, f/5.6 at ISO 400
4th photo: 1/60s, f/4.5 at ISO 400