See - Missing Sock

Thursday, February 28, 2013

This Week in Instagrams

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Milk-stuck lip//Big eyes & so strong
Happy morning baby//Sleepy sleeps
Love this face//Snuggled on Mom
 Finally asleep//Bum in the air
Booty booty//Such a happy boy
 Smiley puker//We love bathtime

See - Shoulder Sleeping

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

^^dad's still learning how to focus with mom's big camera^^

Learn - Shutter Speed

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

 Mastering Manual 
Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed refers to the amount of time that the shutter stays open and is very helpful to know because it is crucial for certain types of photography. Anytime you're working with children or babies, or really anyone that's wiggly, you want to keep your shutter speed faster so that you can freeze their movements and they won't become a blur.  A general rule is to keep your shutter speed around 1/200 - 1/250 to be slow enough to let in as much light as possible, but also fast enough to counteract normal camera shake from handholding your camera.

In the above image, I set my shutter speed to 1/60.  That means the shutter was open for one sixtieth of a second.  It seems fast but it's not fast enough to freeze his kicking leg in place and instead results in a blur and none of the rest of the picture is crystal clear either.  

Above, he was still kicking, and my shutter was fast enough (around 1/300) to produce a sharp image and stop his foot from being blurry.  It also causes the image to lose the sense of motion from seeing the kick.  

Manipulating the shutter speed will allow you to get creative with your camera and allow you to capture things like this:

Shutter speed - 71 seconds. 

This image needed a very slow shutter speed to blur the water and most likely was taken using a tripod.
image credit

This photo needed a very fast shutter speed to freeze the water and the surfer. 

Any time you adjust your shutter speed, you will also need to adjust your other two settings in order to maintain the same exposure.  We will be covering ISO next week, the last part of the exposure triangle. 

Harrison at 7 Weeks

Monday, February 25, 2013

I can't believe he's almost 2 months already! Time sure has flown this past month. He is getting so big and we talk all the time about how much he's changing. It seems like he's growing at a faster rate than they say newborns usually do, but its both height and weight so he still seems as scrawny as when he was born. He's still got stick legs that don't really have any rolls yet and tiny little arms. He's growing out of clothes fast because they're all getting too short for him.  I think we'll be in 3mo and 3-6mo clothing before we know it!

I'm about ready to put him into the cloth diapers, and I'm sure I'll have some posts about that.  We still have a TON of size 1's that I bought recently, so I want to use up most of those and get the washer/dryer in the basement fixed before I start.  He still goes through a ton of diapers during the day, so I might do every other one cloth just to start so I can ease myself into the frequent laundry. I'm excited to see him in those cute cloth diapers though! They're known for almost no blow-outs and rare diaper rash, so that should be fun. He's only had 1 blow out so far but he gets diaper rash pretty easily if I'm not right on top of changing him as soon as he poops.  

We are having a bit of a struggle the past few weeks with sleeping. We've tried sleep training him a few times since he was about 3 weeks but I don't think those methods will work for him.  He has such a hard time letting himself fall asleep that if I try to put him on a schedule, it's thrown off because it takes me so long to get him asleep every time.  And he seems to have 2-3 days where he'll be awake literally ALL DAY LONG with a few 5-10 minute naps and then he'll have 2-3 days where he's asleep almost the entire day and barely wakes up to eat before he's out again.  This is really hard on me since those days where he's awake all day I have zero time to myself.  From what I am reading online, he just gets overly tired and then it gets harder and harder for him to let himself fall asleep, and then he's too 'stressed' to let himself sleep for very long.  The past few days I've tried to really be on top of things and try to put him to sleep as soon as I see the first yawn, but it can still be hard.  At night he still sleeps like a champ though, usually sleeping 4-5 hours the first time, then waking up every 2-3 til the morning.  He is fussy enough for me to get and feed him but he keeps his eyes closed and goes right back down really fast.  I'm glad our nights are mostly good so I can handle the hard days.  

(he's got a little dimple!)

We have had some successes though; at least for the first 1 or 2 naps of the day I can usually put him in his crib happy and awake but tired and he'll talk himself to sleep within a few minutes.  It's so nice not having to rock him/feed him to sleep then super cautiously try to transfer him to the crib.  I am going to try and see if going off dairy will help with the sleeping.  He is happy on those days when he's awake, so I'm not sure if it has to do with my diet but I'll do anything I can to get him some sleep! Most of what I read online says that if they won't sleep for more than a few minutes then they might have reflux or be allergic to dairy, but in those cases the baby seems to be upset and Harrison is happy as a clam.

This Week in Instagrams

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

 Time with Daddy//Sideways lips
 Caught in the act//Can almost fit into the cloth diapers
 Snuggling Mommy//Thanks for the bib "Uncle" Abe (love, Lil Zergling)
 Staring at Christmas Lights//Crazy Eyebrows
 Lil Bear//Editing a Newborn Session
Adorable Sleeper//Little boy, big bed

Learn - Aperture

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - Mastering Manual 

I am hoping to start up with regular postings of tutorials (possibly on tuesday?).  I've been thinking about writing tutorials on basics of photography for awhile now and my gorgeous cousin Tausha Weirlo recently requested some helpful hints on getting good pictures, so I guess now is a good time to start. 

This first post is talking about one of the sides of the exposure triangle, which includes Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed.  These can be adjusted on many cameras if you are able to use manual mode.  Switching to manual mode will seriously change your photography for the better and allow you much more control over what you are shooting and how your resulting image looks.  It can take some time to master exposure, but there are other modes on most DSLR's that allow you to choose some of the settings and let the camera adjust the others accordingly so that you don't have to set all three.  Aperture Priority (Av on Canon) and Shutter Priority (Tv on Canon) modes allow you to set the aperture and ISO and the shutter speed and ISO respectively.  

As you adjust the different sides of the exposure triangle, the other have to be changed in order to maintain proper exposure.  Aperture is the number that has an 'f' attached to it and it is the depth of field of the image.  It can also be called the 'f-stop'.  The smaller the number after the 'f', the smaller the depth of field and the more light you have in your image.  The depth of field or aperture is what makes the pictures have that gorgeous blurry background.  Aperture can only be as open (small number) as the lens you are using allows.  For example, I have a 50mm lens (we will touch on lenses in another post) that allows me to get down to f1.4, which is very open, and the depth of field is very small.  If I was at f1.4, if the subject's face was at an angle, one eye would be in focus and the other might not.  If you have the aperture that low, it's easy to miss where you're supposed to be focusing if you move slightly and not get the right place in focus. Take the following image for example:

I was using my macro attachment on my 50mm lens, which makes the depth of field even smaller and I must have just barely moved my hand as I clicked the shutter and wasn't able to focus on the toes.  You can clearly see in this image the size of this depth of field and how easy it would be to miss it.  You most likely won't have a hard time focusing correctly if you practice, but this macro attachment makes it very, very easy to miss the mark, especially since I was manually focusing.  

Another aspect of aperture is how close you are to the subject and how close the subject is to the background.  You are going to get the best blur and emphasize the subject the most if you are very close to the subject and you're both far from the background.  Take a look at the next two images:

The settings were the same on my camera for both pictures but because I was far away in the 2nd one, the blanket and the baby are in focus. In the first image I was a lot closer to the baby and the blanket is much blurrier.  

In the above image, I was close to the baby and he was about 4 feet from the background, making it very blurry and allowing him to be the main subject and taking away from anything that might be distracting behind him.  I also had my camera set to f2.8 instead of any smaller, so that I was able to have his whole face in focus and crystal clear.  Shutter speed and exposure also contribute to keeping your images tack sharp - something I'm still mastering.  

I encourage anyone who wants to have better photography, even if it's just with a point-and-shoot, to practice a lot.   It may seem like I am getting a ton of great images of my new adorable son, Harrison, but for every image I edit and post, there are probably 20+ that don't turn out.  Don't get discouraged if they aren't coming out like the idea you have in your head, it takes a long time and a lot of practice to be able to get the results you want.  I still fail and mess up all the time and have a lot to learn, and I hope I am forever learning.  Photography is my passion and if you have that same passion, it's worth it to put the time and effort into making something of it.  

Please let me know if there's anything specific you'd like tutorials on, and I'd be glad to show you!

Harrison at 6 Weeks

Monday, February 18, 2013

Stats - 
H - 23.3in
W - 11.4lbs
Head - 38cm

Harrison is 6 weeks old! How has so much time passed? He is so big now, especially if you compare this picture above to his 1 week picture - same onesie and same bowtie. 

He is soooo happy whenever he is awake and as long as I'm good at trying to get him to sleep when he shows signs of being tired.  He grins and kicks around like crazy and talks and talks and talks to himself.  It's adorable. 

We are now seeming to get more tired days than awake days and I am starting to think those days that he doesn't seem to sleep he either has bad gas or I'm not eating enough to have a good supply.  He is also starting to sleep on a pretty good schedule now and has a pattern of when he naps and goes to bed for the night.  It's nice being able to kind of predict when I'll have some free time. 

And now that it's been 6 weeks I am DONE taking heparin. SO nice not injecting myself 3x's a day! Now I just have to wait for the dozens of bruises on my abdomen to go away.  

He's a cutie! We love on him all day and can just stare at him sleeping for so long.  I can't believe soon we'll have a 2 month old!


Friday, February 15, 2013

See what I mean about the eyebrows?  This boy sure keeps us laughing!

This Week in Instagrams

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

oh bear, you're so funny//squish

steele blue eyes//funny grin

in bed all day//he makes it known when he wants an outfit change

thanks uncle mike for the hat and shoes!

stripes and smiles//sitting up!

he thinks im weird//when he was fresh from the hospital and jaundiced 

late night shopping//christmas lights

dapper//date night

riverdancer//hangin' with bear

seems so long ago//almost done with the shots

Harrison at 5 Weeks

Monday, February 11, 2013

Harrison is now 5 weeks old! We are having so much fun with him. He is such a happy smiley baby, but still has an occasional off day. He still has a hard time letting himself fall asleep, not sure why. When he gets overly tired he gets cranky and it takes awhile to get him to calm down and let himself relax enough to fall asleep. 

He doesn't mind having his diaper changed anymore, which is so nice.  He still loves baths but hates being cold after.  He definitely uses nursing as a comfort, which is tough when we're out somewhere and I'm wrestling with a blanket and he's fussy.  Haven't quite got nursing in public down yet. 

He is the best at making hilarious faces and expressions.  I always heard stories growing up about my crazy expressions and eyebrows and I definitely think he got that trait.  He is constantly furrowing his brow and raising 1 eyebrow or both. It's pretty comical to watch. 

He has found his voice too and babbles away whenever he's awake. It's so adorable and we love talking with him. He also loves the Christmas lights we have in our room. He could stare at them for hours. 

We love this little guy and can't get enough of him!

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