Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy (Day Before) Birthday Tracy! & A Brief Photo Lesson

Tracy, my sister-in-law, called and told me she wanted to get out of the house and have a little fun today because tomorrow was her birthday!  I could totally understand this reasoning.  Personally, I think we should have a Celebrate The Day Before You Turn One Year Older Birthday Day! :)  What do you think?

  We thought about a movie day to celebrate her Day Before..DAY.  Then, neither of us were motivated to do a movie  So, I told her we could just take a ride and see what we see.   Before the gas prices went up, Terry and I used to enjoy taking what we call a 'country drive'.  Country Drive is code for get in the car, pick a direction, any direction because we had NO direction.  Drive maps not included or necessary because we intend to follow our nose. Terry likes to drive and look.  I like to ride and look.  I know that eventually, one of us will bring up the subject, "Are you getting hungry?"  Then, the other will say, "Why? Are you getting hungry?"  That's when the Country Drive becomes a search for a new Country Lunch Dive

Today, Tracy and I got in my car and headed west on the interstate.  We decided that we were going to look for photo opps.  I put my Nikon d5000 with a 55-200mm lens for Tracy to use and of course I brought my camera along with several lens options.   It was cold so I asked her if she wanted me to turn on the bun warmers.  :)  I love my heated seats.  We drove. We looked. We saw.  Typically, I can always find something that compels me to park the car and explore photo opps. But, for some reason today was different.  It was a ride and see what we see sort of Country Drive day.

Eventually, we did the "Are you hungry?" and a true search was on.  Tracy and I decided that we wanted to find a place for lunch where we can 'make good choices'.  She has recently begun a regime of fruits and vegetables and found her new diet was giving her a better sense of well being.   We ended up deciding on Mike Anderson's keeping in mind that we wanted to make good choices.  We both chose the soup and salad option from the lunch menu.  We each ordered a cup of gumbo and a small shrimp remeloude salad.   It was not the fruits and vegetables choice that was our original search but nevertheless, it was good lunch choice because the food was delish! 

On our way home, we stopped by train station park in Denham Springs.  There was a biting nip in the air because it was pretty windy.  But, we braved it out because I didn't want to go home having never whipped out our cameras.  The initial intent of the day was to teach Tracy a few tips about photography.   When we got out of the car, Tracy asked, "So, do I just put this around my neck?"  You see, today was going to be her very first experience with dslr photography.

I love the way the warm evening sun was lighting the empty park bench.  I Had to get this shot. 

Speaking of evening sun, I showed Tracy an example of using a small aperture to capture the sunburst effect.  f/16 used here.

In this image, I was teaching her how to use a single focus point to be deliberate about her image making.  I was at a f/4.5 at 180mm to blur the foreground and background and selectively focus on the center post cap. 

Here is Tracy's image.  I love how she went a little wider and her aperture was at f/9.5 at 135mm.  At this smaller f/stop and shorter focal length, the viewer is able to see the entire image more clearly.  Yet, look at what she selected as her focal point.  It was the same exact center post cap that I had selected in my image.  You see how small differences in camera settings can create entirely different perspectives?  The differences are obvious but we were both standing very close to one another at the moment of capture. 

For some reason, I absolutely love that Books sign capped by that metal owning.  There is just something about it that makes me notice it every time.  After I clicked off my shot, I told Tracy what I was seeing. 

After I mentioned it, Tracy swung her camera up to take a picture.  When she did, I said, "Looks like they opened the traffic flood gates."   After, I viewed her image,  I like the way the traffic has converged at this little corner.  Tracy placed her focal point on BOOKS.   Isn't this a great image?  If only a boy or girl were walking around the corner engrossed in a good book. 

Happy Birthday Tracy. 
Time keeps on tickin', tickin', tickin' into the future. 


  1. I had such a great time and I am so looking forward to doing it again. It was a special "day before my birthday". you know what, I love that idea. from now on I am gonna celebrate that day and see what comes with the next year. again thanks Tootie, I really had a super time. ps. the lunch WAS delish!!!!

  2. I loved reading about your day with Tracey. Sounds like great fun!! You're a good sister-in-law and a good teacher. Wish her a happy day or so after her birthday from me!


Thank you for taking time to comment. I love meeting new and old friends through my blog. Remember, to sign up as a follower if you wish. Also, if you have a blog, please leave a me a link to you. You are important to me! Be Blessed. Michelle