We had quite a few entries for our little giveway on the evolution flipbook. Charlie’s Playhouse mentioned us on their blog, Facebook and Twitter, so it was fun to hear from the people who were also in the video! And one comment was from someone who remembered me from my sling shop, and I think I had her email/address memorized from her many orders and other contests she entered. 🙂

Satori picked two entries out of the hat, and the winners are Heather and Carrie! Congratulations!!!


Holiday Preparations

It’s been quite a busy past few days, as we’ve done all our Christmas shopping in just 24 hours. Mostly online, with Amazon’s Prime memberships free 2-day shipping. Almost all of Satori’s presents are going to be educational. But fun educational! 🙂 My parents (Grandma and Grandpa) are here in Colorado now and we’re looking forward to their visit up to our mountain home if the winter storm (predicted to hit tonight through Thursday morning) will let them.


Photography Talk

Since I can hardly stand to write a post without pictures, here’s a few photos I took with one of my prime lenses I sold last week to make fast money for Christmas. My Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens is super fast but I rarely used it. (I prefer my 24-70mm zoom lenses so I can adjust the zoom to fit the picture. ) This 50mm 1.4 lens I just sold is good for professional photographers who shoot in low-light situations that you cannot use flash, like at a wedding or a performance in a dark theater.

The problem with opening this lens up all the way to 1.4 aperture is that the depth of field is so very small (which is so very cool as well), that you could possibly have the camera focus on one of Satori’s long eyelashes and have her eye out of focus! It’s a challenge to get both eyes in focus at the same time. Of the dozen photos I took of my wiggly daughter, only a few turned out sharp in the eyes. I’m sure all I need is more practice with it, but I’m too addicted to my 24-70mm 2.8 lens, I never use anything else anymore.

The next two photos are completed  unedited aside from  cropping. If you click on them to see them bigger, you can see how Satori’s eyes are sharp, but the sides of her face are getting blurry. Her outfit is blurred even more. And the TV and cabinet behind her are barely recognizable.

And one of our Bengal cats… As you can see,  Kashi’s neck fades into blurriness, but his face is sharp.

For those that want to learn photography, depth of field is one of the things that photographers know how to control. You’ll need to learn about aperture and how your shutter speed and ISO can affect aperture. You’ll also need a good lens to take the best advantage of depth of field. Normally in portraits you want the person’s face in focus, and the background out-of-focus, so your subject person is what catches the eye. In landscape, you may want the foreground (the flowers at your feet) all the way to the distant mountains all in focus, so you’d want the most depth of field to see everything. To shoot something flat hanging up on the wall, you’ll want depth of field right in the middle, where your lens will take its sharpest picture.

I only started learning photography fall of 2008, but I love to talk about it now. 🙂 I even started up a photography website for mama photographers.

I won’t really miss this lens though, as I can get the lens known as the Nifty 50 but 1.8 aperture for just a third of the price ($100).