Monday, January 31, 2011

Macro Monday

The cold weather definitely has given me the winter blahs.  I keep looking out at the deceptive sunshine just waiting for spring to get here.  One of the things I am looking forward to most, is the chance to break out my 105mm macro lens and get some more macro practice.  I’ve never really been a flower or bug girl, but my macro lens has definitely changed that.  This photo was taken my first time out with the lens this last summer.  I was taking photos of the flowers in my garden when I got a little visit from a grasshopper!

macro 047

Click on the button and join in the challenge!macro monday

Sunday, January 30, 2011

SOOC Sunday

I’m trying to make it a point to participate in more photo challenges and be more active in the blogging world.  Not only to make more connections, but also to try and improve my photography skills. 
So today I decided to participate in SOOC (straight out of the camera) Sunday.  The only editing was a crop/rotate in Lightroom and that was it.  Click on the link to participate and submit yours!

ETA: I forgot to add that this is a photo of the Heidelberg Castle.  I'm new at this...forgive me!


SOOC Sundayjpg

52 week photo project: Week 4

As I said last week, Brandon and I decided to play tourist in our town and visit some of the places that we take for granted.  One of those places is definitely the Heidelberg Castle.  It is too easy just to admire it from afar and keep telling ourselves that we’ll visit it again someday. 
In the numerous places I have lived, there are always one or two places that I have passed by and always wanted to go visit, but never did.  Who knows if I’ll ever be back to those places or if they are even still there, but we are trying to make it a point to visit the places that we want to go and not hold it off.  We have a little over a year left here in Germany and our to-do list is long, so I guess we need to start working on it! 
-Visit Heidelberg Castle together (we have been there separately)----check!

The Castle grounds
Overlooking Heidelberg
A couple of the huge wine barrels within the castle.
Huge wine barrel But not quite as big as this one!
One fo the many cool doorways on the castle grounds
A bit of a repeat from my SOOC Sunday post above, but this is the same photo with a tiny tweak of editing in LR.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A little fun with HDR

I just started playing around with HDR and decided to try it out on some photos from our trip to Dublin.  Clearly I am not an HDR expert and I have a lot of learning to do with this, but I think it definitely adds an interesting effect to my photos. 
Dublin 198And11more_tonemapped

Blizzard Blog Hop Intro!

So I'm trying to get more involved in the blogging community and meet new people, so I decided to participate in the Blizzard Blog Hop Meet and Greet. Hopefully I am doing this right...

Anyway, I'm Angela, a thirty-somehthing-ish living in Germany with my husband. We both work with the Army and on this tour, we have been in Germany for about 4.5 years. We have two awesome kitties that pretty much run the house and are awesome subjects for one of my favorite hobbies, photography.

Shortly after we got married, I bought my first DSLR and immediately fell in love with photography. I am a beginner but having fun exploring the world of photography and experimenting with lighting, shooting techniques and everything else.

In addition to photography, I love to run. And although I am not a fast runner, I absolutely love it and have run 3 half marathons so far and am training for my 4th. Eventually I plan to complete a full marathon, but who knows when I will find the time to train for it. My running time is my favorite "me" time, I don't listen to music (except when I'm on the "dreadmill"), it's just me, my thoughts and everything around me....perfection.

My husband and I love to travel, go snowboarding and just explore.

Well, that about sums me up! If you haven't joined the meet up, click below and sign up.

Blizzard  Bloghop 2010 hosted by Household 6 Diva

Saturday, January 22, 2011

52 week photo project: Week 3

Our week started in Mayrhofen, Austria and ended with a day in Heidelberg, Germany.  Although it may sound pretty exciting, everything in between involved work, laundry and just hanging around the house. 
Sunday ended our snowboarding trip to Austria and I got a couple pictures of our wonderful little hotel. 
On Saturday we decided to play tourist in Heidelberg (about 20 minutes down the road from our house) and headed to the Zoo to play with the animals.  We were pleasantly surprised by the zoo and had such a great day checking out all the animals.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

52 week photo project: Week 2

This week wasn't a good week as far as photography goes.  Although we had another great snowboarding trip planned to the Alps (Austria this time), I was more focused on boarding than photography.  So on Saturday night (my last day of week 2), I broke my camera out in hopes of getting at least a couple shots for this project.  This definitely not the way I hope this project to go, but I blame the short work week and a day on the road.  Also, snowboarding on the mountain isn't exactly convenient for photography.  I have a camera backpack but since I'm not the best boarder I don't want to risk wiping out and damaging my camera and my own body.  Plus, I'm not sure how much I want to push the weather-proofing on my D300s.  One of these days I hope to take my camera out to the mountain and I was definitely wishing I had it as I watched the crazy boarders and skiers do flips in the snowpark.

Anyway, here are a couple shots from this week.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Tossing the pizza dough.

The view from our balcony.  Excuse the "noise".

One of our favorite places to eat in Mayrhofen.

A self portrait while shopping.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

52 week photo project: Week 1

After completely failing at the 365 project last year, I have decided to try the 52 week project. I figure this will be a less daunting task then having to pull out my camera each day and then upload a photo. Instead of FORCING myself to take a photo a day, I hope to feel ENCOURAGED to challenge myself each week to take a few photos and post them here. We'll see how it goes...

The first week of the 2011 will be a bit different because the 1st was on a Sunday, so the dates of my Week 1 are from 1-8 January. Yeah, I know, it's technically more than a week, but this is my blog, my project and I reserve the right to change the rules as I go along.

Today we decided to play tourist and took a little trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We did a little sightseeing, shopping, eating and, of course, photography.

This handsome guy may look a little grumpy as he overlooks the neighborhood streets, but he found time to let us pet him and pose for a photo or two.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
I'm not sure if these wine bottle were left from New Years or if they have some other significance, but I thought they looked interesting.

Looking down the sprial staircase at the Rathaus (city hall).

If you can't tell from some of my other photos, I love interesting doors that I see throughout my travels.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

George Clooney is making my pizza!

I found the pizza boxes from our local Turkish place a bit amusing. Excuse the crappy photos, but I had to share a shot of George cooking up a pizza in the stone oven!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Monday, January 3, 2011

The quest for Mexican food continues...

After living abroad for so many years, one of the things we miss most about the States is good Mexican food. Not only are they hard to find over here, but most of them are sad attempts at good Mexican food. My local taco and nacho shop uses flour dough "tortillas" and ground meat seasoned with cinnamon. Topping choices include yogurt-cucumber sauce and goat cheese...I'm pretty sure that the Turkish guy running it has never had a real taco or he would never try to pass that off as a taco. And even though my husband loves the place, I cannot bring myself to waste my calories on something that is not a real taco. To get our fix, when Brandon and I travel we always try to find a Mexican restaurant and test out the local interpretation of Mexican food. It generally leads us to meeting some interesting people and sometimes we get lucky and find some amazing Mexican food in the middle of Europe. We've met a lady from Texas who met a Greek guy while on vacation and now lives on the island of Santorini, and this time we met a Parisian who moved to Chamonix, France and now runs a Mexican restaurant, hotel and club all rolled into one. He had a pretty cool staff and the food wasn't half bad.

I loved their Chamonix-stamped wine racks/crates that they had on their walls and had to get a shot of them.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year frustrations.

One of my New Years' resolutions this year is to work on my photography skills. I don't just mean that I want to take a lot of photos and try and get better, I mean that I really want to study, practice and learn more about photography. I want to improve my skills on both the technical and artistic side. Photography is, and always will be, just a hobby for me, but it doesn't mean that I don't want my photos to look like "just a hobbyist" took them.

I remember last New Years' weekend and taking photos of the beautiful Austrian Alps. I was excited about shooting in manual and exploring and controlling my settings and I felt as if I was making some improvements. I also remember being frustrated with my white balance when I unknowingly switched the WB to "fluorescent lighting". Needless to say, those photos did not look good and I was extremely frustrated trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. As a beginner, I couldn't even identify that it was a WB issue and I had not dabbled in editing or RAW, so I had no idea how to fix it in post-processing. This is a photo I took last year after being so frustrated with the WB that I flipped it into auto.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Maybe it is a New Years' funk, but I am experiencing more New Years' frustrations as I look at my photos from this weekend. We spent this New Years' in the Alps in Chamonix, France and I cannot even describe the beauty and grandness of this place, it is beyond gorgeous. We spent most of our time snowboarding on the incredible slopes, but I did get one full day of shooting when we took the cable car up to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi. At 3,842 m (12,605 ft), the view is stunning. I don't think it is possible to take a bad picture from this place, however, I'm not just trying to take nice photos anymore. I really want to take great photos, something that captures the moment or the place, something that makes the viewer actually feel or think something besides, "hmmm, that's nice". I know that I may never get to the point where all, or even a majority of my photos do that to viewers, but every once in awhile I would like to get one or two. Yes, these are nice photos, but really, with a view like this, how can you go wrong?

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I will say that my almost paralyzing fear of heights didn't help me maintain a steady hand when it came to taking some of these photos. I also wasn't the quickest to react and move when trying to get the perfect shot of the birds flying overhead. I am just happy that I got a couple of decent photos and I didn't faint or's the small victories.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug