Posts Tagged ‘photos’


I think I went a little overboard with the editing of this photo. But I actually kind of like it. It looks….fake, for sure…but it looks almost…comic booky. Or there’s a silverish tint to it. I don’t know; I can’t quite put my finger on it. But I like it, I know that much.

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So for my birthday last October, my amazing husband got me a Nikon D80.  I’ve always loved photography; I think I get that from my dad. I through my childhood, I remember he had this really cool Canon camera that was completely off limits to us kids — and was only brought on when the situation was worthy enough. Once I got older, he wold try to teach me things about aperture and exposure and ISO and light meters. But he might as well have been speaking Latin. I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand all that “photog” talk. For my college graduation, my parents bought me a Canon Rebel SLR (aka a 35mm film camera). And I loved using it…on auto mode. But it was also discouraging in the sense that whatever photo I took was final. No previewing, no editing. FINAL.  And not knowing any of the cool settings, I almost felt like it was a waste of film and money experimenting with the settings. And then by the time I actually did get around to developing the photos, I wouldn’t remember which photos were in taken in which settings.

And that’s the beauty of a digital SLR for the amateur photographer: you can actually learn the different settings hands-on and see the differences right there on the screen in front of you. On the day I took the above photo, I felt like experimenting with depths of field. I’ll post other comparisons a little bit later on. This one, while most of the photos I took are of Pepper in focus, I decided to get creative and focus on some of the wild grass in the foreground, thus making Pepper blurry. 

If you are the type that shoots on auto-mode, AND you have a digital, flip it to A mode (if you have Nikon) or Av mode (for Canon), and practice this depth of field. (A is for aperture, you know.) I guarantee it’s loads of fun!

Another fun tool on photographs: photo editing software. I use Adobe Lightroom (it’s gobs cheaper than Photoshop).

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so you’ve probably been wondering what on earth has happened to me? All one of you (love you, sister!) 😉 i just seemed to drop off the face of the earth. well, let me explain.



as much as i love christmas and the winter (i live in san diego, mind you, so it might not seem just to some of you for me to say i love winter), i must admit that i have a love/hate relationship with it.  i’m sure many people can relate that along with whatever reasons you love christmas, there is also a stress that comes with it. for the most part, for me, this stress is bearable — stress like last minute shopping for presents, and then wrapping all those present (my husband does not like to be around me during this time: “no, dear, you canNOT use three different scraps of wrapping paper to wrap that present.  and please use the sticker name tags, NOT a black sharpie….fine, you can do it on your dad’s”; forgive me, i’m a perfectionist when it comes to present wrapping). there’s also planning the food menu, shopping for the food, and then cooking said food — including scheduling the cooking times so that everything is done all at the same time. there’s cleaning the house and bathing the dogs, to get ready to have christmas eve dinner at our tiny condo for the first time, and then realizing, “uh oh, gotta do the dishes so we have enough plates to eat on! oh, so this is why people register for china for their wedding presents.”  and there’s the splitting the holidays between families (which actually works out for us because it makes the festivities last just that much longer), but that also means cooking more food for another meal (again, not a bad thing at all.) and then, whoops, three days later realizing we forgot to give the dogs their christmas bones. oh well, it’s not like they know any different — any day they receive a bone is christmas to them! so it’s no surprise that we didn’t take our tree down and pack up the decorations until the third weekend in January. but in the end all these stresses are really just little blessings in disguise, more things to be thankful of and for.



what makes me dread the holidays is tax season. if your career is in finances, then you know what i’m talking about. i am the director of finance at the nonprofit i work at. which means: tax season and working overtime. deep down, i really don’t mind it. i would say that i handle stress pretty well.  and i love my job — absolutely love my job. but for as much as i love it, i really like to leave when my workday is supposed to be over, go home, cook dinner, and spend time with my family. but every january i have to put that aside and work my little heart out. luckily, this year i’ve been able to take stuff home to work on in the evenings, so i’m able to hang out with my family still. 



needless to say, i have not had any ounce of time to type up recipes, much less work on photos for publishing them. (please note the photos is this post were not taken by me, i’m sad to say.)  but there is an end in sight. most of my deadlines are tomorrow, the end of the month. and while i’ll still be busy for the first couple weeks in february, i hopefully won’t have to work as much overtime. so my apologies for not posting anything lately. but believe me, i have some pretty yummy stuff waiting in the queue. one of these days, when i have a free weekend or evening, i’ll bust out a bunch of posts. and you just won’t be able to keep up. 🙂



(All photos were taken by Rico Castillero, of people Floresta, the nonprofit I work at, supports in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Rico and his wife Rachel are also wedding photographers. Check out their website here.)

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grassy skies

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rummaging through the attic

so i was rummaging through the attic the other day and ran across this old photo. and i fell in love. i absolutely LOVE darts. it’s probably my second favorite pub game…after shuffleboard, of course. i just had to know the source of this stunning photo, so i called my mom up and asked her if she knew where it came from. and here’s the story: apparently, my great-father, before he moved to America from Ireland, was a World Champion dart thrower. and it was on this dartboard that he practiced relentless hours, mastering his skills. however, he ran into stroke after stroke of bad luck (and i wonder where i get it from), and was forced to migrate to America–and forced to leave behind his board.  before sailing away, he took this photo to remember always his first love.


ok, so my mom is probably reading this post, and she’s probably pinching herself wondering if she is dreaming this, thinking, “what in the world? i do not remember having this conversation at all. nor do i remember this story.”

and, ok, if you know me, you know that i do not have an attic. and if you’ve been to my condo, you might even recognize the wood that the dartboard is hanging on. you caught me.

this is the dartboard that’s hanging on the wall outside my house: the one that my husband and i have played for hours on; the one, even, that my sister-in-law has punctured herself in the head with while extracting a dart from the cork; the one that caused my husband to triple dare his friend to prove his masculinity by jumping from our old apartment’s balcony onto a high-rise flowerbed six feet away and six feet down in order to rescue a dart gone wild from a faulty (beer-induced) throw–and which the only thing that stopped his friend from doing so was the fact that he didn’t have health insurance. this dartboard would be the one.

i took this photo on my first day playing around with my new camera. and then experimented some more with my new photo editing software. here is the original (enhanced) photo in color:

so forgive me for my story. i was feeling a bit feisty and creative this morning. but i do love darts, i wasn’t lying about that. and it is my second favorite pub game after shuffleboard. don’t know what shuffleboard is? my friend, you are missing out then. maybe one day i will take a photo of one. it is the perfect prop for a depth of field shot. until then, you’ll have to live with this dartboard.

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