Archive for the ‘photos’ Tag

More fun with the 85

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 by Jen

My favorites from yesterday. I actually tried to use it indoors, while in the same room.

New 85mm lens

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 by Jen

Today I got a new lens for my camera, 85mm. I think it will have a short learning curve and my models weren’t terribly cooperative today, but I’m excited to have a new focal length to try out (for the non-photography people, this lens is much more zoomed in than my other one so I can stalk my prey, I mean subjects, better from afar). I’m happy to not have to get so close to them to get more close-up photos, I think it’s more comfortable, except when they run towards me and I can’t take any pictures at all anymore that close!

Hmm looks like I should practice composing my images with the subject on the left side sometimes.

Newborn photos!

Thursday, July 26th, 2012 by Jen

My friend Chrissie had her third lovely baby last week, Emma, and I had the pleasure of photographing her and her lovely squishy goodness. My first time since I’ve really learned something about photography to get to take pics of a newborn. Only wish I could have gotten photos like this with my two girls! Here’s just a few that I particularly liked.


More pics from the other night

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 by Jen

I LOVED so many of these pictures, I’m so happy how they turned out. I feel like I’ve learned so much.

Monday in Paris, our last day

Sunday, July 8th, 2012 by Jen

By Monday morning we had gotten into a good routine and were actually up and out the door at a more normal hour. We first headed over to the Place de la Concorde, the largest public square in Paris. Not tons there, just a fountain and the obelisk. Way to the east was the Louvre, and to the west the Arc de Triomphe way in the distance.

By the end of this trip even Celia knew to holler for a coin to throw in every fountain we saw. Celia isn’t in most of these pictures because she’s hanging out on my back and fell asleep. After the plaza, we headed over into the Tuileries to the Orangerie museum. We had bought a joint ticket with the Orsay museum.

In the Orangerie museum are Monet’s water lillies. Some of his last works in a giant scale hung in rooms specifically designed to hold them and surround you with his art in several pieces. The waterlilies are painted at different times of day and wrap around two oval rooms. Then there was more impressionist art downstairs as well. We moved quickly as we knew Celia would be waking up and she has almost no tolerance for these museums. Luckily it was pretty small and we got to see most of it in the hour we were there.

Outside of the museum we had a snack and played with one of Rodin’s sculptures called “The Kiss”.

Rodin has his sculptures all over town as he could make multiple copies of them from the same mold.

We finished our snack and decided we’d better head out to find some lunch as these things tend to take time. We walked back through the Tuileries to the east and north of them to try to find a cafe or takeout shop for lunch. We seemed to find a fairly pricy touristy area with a lot of non-food shops, and then a more business area. We continued to amble on our way to try to find something, eventually found a bakery but the line was horridly long, and only got shorter when people ahead of us jumped out of line. On our previous trip to Europe Jordi and I were horrid about wandering the streets trying to find a great place to eat, we knew with the kids we wouldn’t have this kind of leisurely time afforded to us so we were all about meeting the bare minimum needs. Thankfully we found a small grocery store and picked up a few items for a picnic. I also stopped by a super-expensive chocolate shop and picked up some yummy things that I did not share with my children. Jordi got some chocolate covered peanut type thing too.

We then wandered back to the Tuileries and sat down for lunch amongst the business folk on the many chairs and picniced in the glorious sunshine. By that point we had walked almost the entire length of the garden and were just a small bit away from the Louvre. While we had no intentions of going inside, we wanted to show Josie the palace and the glass pyramid entryway that she had pictured in her book. Oh yes we had bought her a ‘where’s waldo’ type book of locations in Paris, except it wasn’t Waldo it was some other guy, and his dog, and a balloon and such to find. It was great way to give her something to do while waiting and bring home some of sights we saw.

At the Louvre we played in the garden a bit, looked at the big horse statues before we headed back to hop on a bus to bring us back to the Eiffel tower.

We were headed for a river boat cruise on the Siene as the girls needed a low key afternoon activity. The boat was loaded with student groups but there were plenty of seats and the girls enjoyed listening to and playing with the speakers with the tour information on it.

The glass topped ship made it almost greenhouse-like inside and kept us a little warm but we got to go around and see the sights from the river. I liked the stories and information but it didn’t wow us too much, we’d be around so much on foot already and some of the sights were very hard to see from down below in the river. I imagine it would be a very neat thing to do at night with the lights on the bridges. After the ride we got some ice cream, walked under the tower one more time, and headed for home to pack up for our trip to Amsterdam and eat the leftovers in the fridge.

Sunday in Paris, family time

Saturday, July 7th, 2012 by Jen

After the morning set of pictures, we headed out for Luxembourg garden. I had seen video and photos of the Luxenbourg garden in french class in high school from a set of videos called “French In Action.” Can’t say they looked much the same or different as the videos were in such small sections of the park and we didn’t explore the whole thing either. Anyone else subjected to those stories?

We started off at our biggest attraction which was the sail boats. For 2 euros you can rent a wooden toy sailboat for 30 minutes to float around in the fountain. A few grown-ups brought their own serious remote control ones, but mostly it’s these wooden boats, getting caught in the wind and being pushed away from the side by children running and then shoving with sticks.

Jordi has the stick in the above picture. Every time the boat gets near the wall you give it a shove with the rubber tipped end. Then the wind takes it around the fountain. That means of course that you’re running around trying to get to the thing and guess where it will go. In half an hour we probably only pushed on it about six times as it got stuck circling the middle where there’s a little house for ducks for a while. One other time another kid pushed on our boat, which left Josie livid. It was a great use of 2 euro and half an hour though.

Celia pretty much just played with the rocks on the ground and tried to throw them into the pond which we were not supposed to do.

After the sailboats we headed up deeper into the park to find the infamous ‘best playground in Paris’. First we found the swings. We hadn’t found any other swings here in Paris. They were 2 euro for a whopping 5 minutes on the swing. We were on vacation so we went for it, and so did a lot of other french parents that we saw. They were two seater swings each in their own tiny fenced in area, metal with metal rods hanging down so they went back and forth precisely in those fences. Josie liked it but Celia refused to try.

After the swing we went on to find the playground which was also for a fee, about 5 euro for the family I think which wasn’t too bad. It had a huge sand pit, zip line, climbing structures and rocking elements. Still no swings. But the structures were huge and they were challenging. Josie actually slipped on one of the rope bridges and scared herself for a while, but she eventually made it back on and slid down a 15 ft slide. They had really tried to make the structure good for older kids, not masterable by a 4 year old. The other cool thing they had is a basic kind of circular zip line. Josie was brave enough to jump on it and did a great job hanging on all the way around. It was a great example of the bigger kids helping the smaller ones too getting the lines around the circuit and back up to the launch area.

Celia spent more of her time in the sand box and was eventually persuaded to do a little climbing. They had toilets available which was helpful as public toilets are few and far between in Paris and they even had a kid sized one. After the playground it was time for our daily trip around the carousel. The one in this park though does not have a floor and the animals do not go up and down. It was old! They had one cart that they tied Celia into so she could ride and not fall off since we couldn’t stand next to her or ride with her and that worked out ok. For the experienced kids, i.e. not Josie who refused, they had a game that each kid was given a short sword like thing and the man running the machine held up a device that held rings that could be pulled out. So as the child went around, they were to aim their sword at a ring and yank it off and see how many they could collect. It was a nice touch and some of the kids were really good at it.


After the merry-go-round we headed over to the park cafe for lunch. We had made up cards that said we were ovo-lacto-vegetarians, but with more explaining words and tried to give it to these people to ask what we could have. They sent us around to the restaurant, clearly having not read it. Eventually we got some cheese sandwiches and french fries (meal of champions of course). During lunch Josie had seen the pony rides going by and wanted to go on one. Celia was really exhausted and losing it at this point so I walked along with her in the stroller behind Josie on the pony ride. This was probably one of the biggest smile-producing events for Josie on the trip. She’s always looking around and thinking about three things and sometimes has a hard time staying in the moment (perhaps like her mother?) but she greatly enjoyed the ponies and managed to finagle two rides out of us on the biggest and smallest ponies.

After the pony rides we walked around to explore the park some more, admire the square trees and the lovely pathways. We found where they play boule, a game like bocce. I particularly liked their neat picking up the ball magnetic devices on cords to prevent them from having to bend down and pick up the balls.

Jordi and Josie had some ice cream-like-stuff, a crepe for me, and we headed back home for some more Italian takeout dinner relaxing at home.

Sunday in Paris — the photoshoot

Friday, July 6th, 2012 by Jen

Sunday was mother’s day, at least in the US. I looked it up before we went and the french have their own day which isn’t the same as ours. But to us it was mothers day. I got a little time to sleep in, and the girls gave me a very nice card that they had made. I also requested time to take pictures, because that’s what I like to do! I got some cooperation, especially from Josie.

I learned how people love to take pictures of people on beds with big white blankets. Great natural reflector of light, people are comfortable and can move around a lot.

Boy some day I cannot wait to have a gigantic bed and get a big white cover for it, to only be used for photoshoots, because we have cats that puke on the beds regularly.

And then we headed out for some family time doing family things. We were in Paris, I was with our little family, what a great mother’s day present. To be continued…

Hammond Castle

Thursday, July 5th, 2012 by Jen

This morning our preschool group drove up to Gloucester to enhance our lessons on castles at Hammond Castle. As usual with all trips, we arrive, and then we eat.

It was built in the 1920’s by a man made wealthy by inventing new kinds of remote control to be used in the war. It was built taking inspiration from his favorite parts of Europe including using gargolyes, a rose window, flying buttresses as well as small cross windows to make it hard to shoot arrows inside. It was eclectic. Also not the best place for small children as the entire museum is ‘don’t touch’ so Blake and Celia were carried through. The grounds outside were lovely though and the kids loved finding the different lions around. The drawbridge was also a big hit. All-together I was actually a bit disappointed though because it was hard  to get any information about anything, it was just a self-guided look at things tour, not too many explanations or detailed information on items. Josie was mostly concerned that someone would try to knock it down while we were in it. She and Bronwyn also had a heated discussion about whether the knight’s armor would be what someone would wear if they were to knock down a castle. Celia loved to walk up and down the steep stone stairs and sit on the lions. Blake celebrated the huge truck that was there to deliver and install a tent. He wanted his photo taken with the truck wheel.

Last weeks photoshoot

Thursday, April 5th, 2012 by Jen

Last week after spending altogether too much time in the car I took the girls out to a field near my parents house that I’d had my eye on for a long time. Big patch of weeds in several directions, a little brick building and green grass. Josie was in a good mood, Celia not so much. But we all got some good running in.

To get these shots I have to run up ahead of the two of them far enough that I can stop, turn around kneel down and focus before they run past me again. Otherwise I end up with a lot of shots of the back of their head.

One of my favorite full body shots of Josie now. Right up behind the wall on the hill we saw two bunnies eating the grass! They stayed around long enough for Celia to find them!

I put the camera on the timer and actually got a picture of the three of us! I ran and stood at the wall and somehow this enticed them to do the same and actually look at the camera.

I love the single splash of color. These pictures I also learned how to bring back the sky a little, meaning when I take the picture to make Josie’s skin look right, the sky looks just white because it’s so bright. I learned how to use lightroom to bring it back to a bit of blue and some clouds. But it really was a cloudy day.

This was Josie’s idea for a pose, I don’t think she believed I’d even take the picture. We do a lot of play with sticks and dirt lately.

When it was time to go Celia just took off and ran in the opposite direction and so I had to bring her screaming back across the field. The only highlight for her was finding this ball and watching the lacrosse players setting up for practice. But she was not happy when I made her give it back.

The Cape Codder 2012

Sunday, February 12th, 2012 by Jen

This weekend we went for our quick getaway weekend at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis. Yep Cape Cod in the middle of winter. We swam outside, we went to the beach, and jumped over waves. Yes, really. OK so the waves weren’t at the beach, nor was the swimming but we did all three. Our lovely neighbors Christina, Chanh, Ethan and Zach joined us again.

We drove down Friday afternoon, hit some traffic from an accident so we stopped after 2 hours and got some yummy ice cream. Celia refused to eat any of it, looked at me like I was trying to poison her when I gave her some on the spoon. She ate some goldfish instead. We got to the hotel around 4 and unpacked and went to the pool before dinner. Celia hasn’t seen a swimming pool since last summer so she was a bit cautious about the whole deal, but often opted to send Jordi chasing after me (holding her) when I’d go deeper with Josie. We had dinner in the in-house Italian restaurant which oddly had very few pasta dishes, and a wine list twice as long as the menu. While getting ready for bed, I played with my high ISO settings on my camera with the girls to see what I can capture since my speedlight is broken.

For all of those photos but the third, there is only one light on in the room. We put the girls to bed, and later that night our neighbors arrived with sleeping kids, who promptly woke up and decided that a late night walk around the hotel was needed. Our whole family is sick and so we all crashed. Jordi got sick during the night, possibly food poisoning. In the morning we went to Dunkin Donuts and got some food before hitting up the pool again. Celia was less nervous this time and enjoyed herself more. Why aren’t there any pictures at the pool? Because the room is really humid and everything is wet and we don’t want to risk the camera. Plus we have all agreed to no adults in bathing suit pictures.

After swimming the men took naps while us moms took the kids over to the mall. Celia napped and the big kids went on the carousel as per tradition and then we lunched. Back at the hotel for more swimming. But when we finally went to get ourselves to the pool, it was closed for cleaning or something. So we went to the other pool, which is new. It’s heated, but it’s outside! Did I mention it was snowing on Saturday? By this time it was mostly freezing rain but we braved the outdoors and jumped into the pools. It felt good inside the pool, but of course your head was still outside and eventually Celia was done. I took her in with many howls till we got inside the door and Jordi and Josie hung out playing some more. Josie even made friends with another girl named Clover who was probably 6. The whole pool just steams constantly from the temperature difference.

Here’s some photos of the girls outside earlier in the snow. Remember how we’re all sick and they’re not wearing coats? Yeah I’m such an awesome mom when I want to get pictures. They’re wearing more than their bathing suits!

Friday night we tried to go to a Thai place, but it was full, so we went back to our standard Mexican restaurant which is loud and good for kids while serving food. That night when we got back the four of us went to roast marshmallows on the bonfire the hotel lights up every night! It was still freezing rain a tiny bit so brrr it was cold, but it was fun and we had the whole place to ourselves.

I also tried to take advantage of the natural light through the big doors and windows so I set up some photos out the door with the remote, and in the big huge bed since we’ve got nothing like it at home.

Sunday morning we had more of the same food and swimming before we got all cleaned up and went home. On the way out of town we swung by the beach, at a really bad time of day (noon) and it was freezing so we had a super short photo session, most of the time was getting the girls in and out of the car. Have to do more this summer!

It’s always good to be home, but it was a fun weekend getaway. Tonight going to bed Josie asked “Is tomorrow Sabado?” [Saturday for the non-spanish speakers] Sorry kid, but that WAS the weekend. Tomorrow we’ll all focus on getting healthier some more.