Clement’s Journey {A Photo Story}

Hello, dears!

Last night, my little sister Carmen and I had the house to ourselves. We were eating clementines for supper when we had the idea to make a photo story about an orange… and so we did. It’s a rather odd, amusing, and tragic tale, but I hope you enjoy! :’D

Now, may I present… “Clement’s Journey.”

Continue reading

Macro Photography + Lens Review

featured image 5

Hello, dears!

Well that was a rather unanticipated mini-hiatus, huh? I think this is the longest break from blogging I’ve taken in… I don’t know, a very long time. 😛 As usual, it was because of our agonizingly slow internet and hectic moving schedule. *sigh* Anyway, I won’t elaborate on my excuses anymore – must make the most of fast Wi-Fi while I have it! XD

Today I am excited to present a review of this Fotodiox Macro Extension Tube Kit, plus some close up pictures I got with it!

macro lens

I got the kit for Christmas but have only lately really learned how to use it. It definitely has its quirks and difficulties, but overall I LOVE it and I’ve had so much fun playing with it.

The kit comes with five pieces…

macro (16)

only three of which are the actual extensions (the other two attach the extensions to the lens and camera body).

macro (15)

The extensions are 28mm, 14 mm, and 7 mm: the higher the number, the more macro the photo will be. You can screw them on and off individually and in any combination. The pieces all seem very sturdy. It IS a little hard to screw the normal camera lens onto the respective attachment, but it works okay.

Here are some variations of… um macro-ness? XD

DSC_2694

DSC_2688

DSC_2683

The amazing thing about this kit is that it’s only $12.59 on Amazon! Isn’t that incredible? Considering how high lenses – or really anything DSLR related – usually cost, I think it’s a huge bargain.

macro 9.jpg

Now granted, it isn’t the easiest to use at first, as aforementioned, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty fun.

For one thing, you have to use manual mode. This isn’t a problem for me because I always do anyway, but it’s something to consider.

macro (8)

You also have to manually focus the lens, by which I mean move your camera back and forth until you get just the right distance away from it that the subject is (mostly) in focus. This makes it practically impossible to get a clear picture of a moving subject or an object that’s spiky or generally not very flat, like these:

macro (6)

DSC_4196

Not surprisingly, the longer your lens extends, the closer up it gets. Also basically the closer up you get, the harder it is to take pictures. Because besides the things I just said, one, it will require pretty bright light (or high ISO/low shutter speed) to compensate for the zoom; and two, it will have a TINY f-stop/aperture, which means the portion of the picture in sharp focus is very small, like the first picture below.

(By the way, this EXTREMELY WEIRD thing is called a cedar apple – and no, it’s not edible. XD You should look them up – they’re so strange!)

macro (4)

You can see how much more subject area is in focus when you use a 14mm versus a 28mm:

macro (2)

And I believe this is just with the 7mm, although I’m not entirely sure what extensions I used for any of these pictures because it’s rather hard to keep track of. XD

macro (3)

I prefer to use something like the 7mm + 14 mm instead of all three together. Even the 7 mm by itself is a lot of fun, though it isn’t super macro. However, you can still get some super neat photos with the full extension, it’s just a bit harder to work with:

DSC_4208

One thing I love about these extensions is how soft and dreamy they make the lighting. ❤ They’re also super good for bokeh, although this specific picture isn’t a great example of that…

DSC_3069

The colors are also usually quite vibrant, as you can see here. I didn’t edit this at all!

DSC_4233

And there you have it! I hope you guys found the review helpful and interesting. 🙂 Before I go I wanted to show you a few more macro photos I’ve taken recently. Enjoy!

Weeds are great for macro photography because they look a lot prettier closer up. 😉

DSC_4252

macro (10)

macro 7

I also love how the extensions work with water drops! (Well let’s be honest – I just love water drop photography in general. XD)

DSC_2679

DSC_2681

DSC_2676

Another photography subject I love is eyes. ❤ I tried to get some shots of my own eyes, but it was pretty hard to do as a selfie. :[] Oh well, I think the blurry ones still actually look pretty!

macro (1)

macro (3)

eye 1

Ahh, I really like this last one! Se the reflection of me holding the camera? It looks like my pupil is the lens. 😀

eye 2

OKAY OKAY I LOVE THESE NEXT ONES TOO EEP. I’ve always wanted to get a good picture of a cat’s eye, and I finally did! Ahh, the color and texture is just gorgeous. ❤

DSC_3039

Good thing Tom was sleepy or he would have moved around way too much. XD

DSC_3042

Hee hee, isn’t his nose cute?

DSC_3045

This is an ear, in case you were wondering. XD I actually like the softness of this picture too.

DSC_3054

I could go on, but this is a long post already, so we’ll stop here. XD *sigh* That was fun.

So tell me. Would you consider buying this extension kit? What was your favorite photo? Do you like taking close-ups, or do you prefer a different genre?

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a wonderful day! ❤

***Allison***

P. S. I was going to do photography tips in this post, but then I was like, “Clara has done such a good job saying what I would just repeat, so…” XD Click here to read a super helpful and beautiful post with lots of great photography tips! And follow her blog while you’re at it – IT’S ABSOLUTELY WONDERMOUS. ❤ 😉

If you DO happen to have any photography questions left over afterwards, by all means please let me know in the comments and I will do my best to answer them, perhaps in a later post. 🙂

Ahem. I Have an Announcement.

Warning: this is going to be a loooong post. Our cat Jinx is prepared to dive in with you if you’re ready to go with him. All set? Okay.

2 (1280x853)
POOR THING. This was not my doing. It was my siblings’ (but of course).

Ahem. GUYS. I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU. Something I have been waiting to announce for almost a year. I am super excited but also super sad to say…

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Continue reading

Dog + Cats

Get ready for some furry cuteness, my friends! Today I have some pictures of our yellow Lab, Maggie, along with a Caption It, and lots of pictures of KITTENS! 🙂

Ready?

Set?

Go.

Let’s start with Maggie. She looks so sweet and calm in this picture! Do you see the heart she makes with her paws? ♥ SO CUTE.

dog 1 (1280x853)

I was taking pictures for my sister Megan‘s photo contest, BIBPC, and got one with Maggie in the background. 🙂

DSC_1735 (853x1280)

DSC_1741 (1280x853)DSC_1742 (1280x853)

HA HA! Maggie makes odd faces sometimes. XD I think she was licking her lips or something, but she looks like she’s in mid-snarl.

DSC_1743 (1280x853)

I love all the beautiful bokeh in these next pictures. ♥

DSC_1745 (1280x853)DSC_1746 (1280x853)

DSC_1749 (1280x853)

DSC_1748 (1280x853)

And we shall end Maggie’s pictures with my favorite – probably my favorite I’ve ever taken of her. IS THIS NOT HILARIOUS?! AND ADORABLE?! Tell me what you think I should caption it in the comments, and I’ll announce the winner in another post. 😀

DSC_1747 (1280x853)

Now for the cats. (Just so you know, I did edit many of these a bit.) This is Whopper. 😛

cats 1 (1280x853)

I love cats’ eyes! They’re so pretty and round.

cats 2 (1280x853)

Speaking of pretty eyes, take a look at Violet’s eyes! ♥

cats 3 (1280x853)cats 4 (1280x853)cats 5 (1280x853)

Okay, now for the wittle kittens. 😀 I believe this is Bubbles (my little sister named him XD), but I’m not certain.

cats 6 (1280x853)

cats 9 (1000x667)

We named this little guy Fuzzer Jr., after a cat that looked just like him that my grandmother used to have.

cats 7 (1280x853)

AWW! I love this picture!

cats 8 (1280x1227)

IS THIS NOT THE CUTEST?!

cats 10 (1280x853)DSC_1090 (1280x853)

DSC_1098 (1280x853)

DSC_1102 (1280x853)And then we have Tiny Tina…

DSC_1095 (1280x853)DSC_1096 (1280x853)DSC_1099 (1280x853)

And here’s one of little Louis. I think there’s another one or two kittens, but apparently I didn’t get very good pictures of them. :/

DSC_1108 (1280x853)

And last but not least, a couple of pictures of this sweet but startled-looking kitty that showed up at our house. I’m not sure where he’s from. Oh, and Carmen named him Thomas, Tom for short. 😉

DSC_1721 (1280x853)

Such stunning eyes! Rather shocked-looking, but pretty. 😛

cats 11 (1280x853)

And there’s your dose of cuteness for the day! Which picture was your favorite? Do you like cats or dogs better, and why? I like cats better because they’re more soft and clean and you can hold them, but I like the pictures of Maggie better in this post.

***Allison***

P. S. Are you guys ready for another art post, or should I do the second vacation post first?

Books, Blooms, and Bales {Portrait Photography}

Megan and I did a super fun photoshoot of each other yesterday and got tons of great pictures! We had way too much fun figuring out creative ways to pose for each other. I’ve tried (and mostly failed) to narrow them down for you guys. Whoops.

Photo credits to my sister Megan. (And assistance credits to me. Heh heh.)

Okay, buckle up, ’cause this is going to be a loooong post.

We started in the barn, since haybales make awfully good props.

portraits (26) (853x1280)
AHHH I love this picture! I think I might use it for my “About” page.

portraits (18) (1280x853)
XD I am pondering life’s mysteries…

portraits (22) (1280x853)
AHHH THIS IS SO CREEPY. It looks like someone else’s arm is poking out of the straw and grabbing on to me. O.o

portraits (19) (1280x853)
Awkwaaaard. (Don’t worry, it was on purpose.)

portraits (16) (1280x853)portraits (14) (853x1280)

portraits (11) (1280x853)
Heh heh.

portraits (9) (1280x853)
BWAHAHAHA. Megan wanted to take a picture of me with a piece of straw (or hay) in my mouth, so I obliged.

portraits (31) (1280x853)portraits (30) (853x1280)

portraits (27) (853x1280)
I love this one too! Do you think this one or the first one is better?

Next we went to the cotton seed barn… with a tiny spiderwebby window. O.o

portraits (36) (853x1280)
This looks like a writing prompt or something. XD

 

portraits (35) (853x1280)
CREEPY, ALLISON.

portraits (93) (1280x853)
I ALSO like this one. XD

portraits (90) (1280x853)
Megan says my hands look old here. They kind of do, I guess. XD

portraits (84) (1280x853)

portraits (83) (1280x853)
This is one of my favorites because I love eyes. ♥ Also wow, I didn’t know I had so many freckles. XD But I don’t mind them.

portraits (82) (1280x853)
For some reason I look a lot younger here…

portraits (80) (853x1280)portraits (78) (1280x853)portraits (77) (1280x853)

portraits (75) (1280x853)
HA HA.

portraits (74) (1280x853)

portraits (73) (1280x853)
I love this one too! My mom says I look like Dad in this picture, and I can see what she means.

portraits (72) (1280x853)

portraits (70) (853x1280)
Heh heh, Megan’s aim was a bit off here, but we decided to keep it as a “behind the scenes” photo. Featuring Megan’s dusty feet and Washngton Nationals cap, and The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict.

portraits (68) (1280x853)portraits (64) (853x1280)portraits (63) (853x1280)portraits (61) (853x1280)portraits (60) (853x1280)portraits (59) (1280x853)portraits (58) (853x1280)

portraits (57) (853x1280)
Hee hee, I like this one.

portraits (56) (853x1280)portraits (55) (853x1280)

portraits (54) (1280x853)
I’m eating a marigold. O.o

portraits (53) (853x1280)

 

portraits (51) (853x1280)
Our neighbor’s kitten wandered up. Isn’t she adorable?

portraits (50) (853x1280)
I love this one!

portraits (49) (853x1280)

portraits (47) (1280x853)
Hello up there.

portraits (45) (1280x853)portraits (42) (1280x853)portraits (40) (1280x853)

portraits (38) (1280x853)
Zinnias are such pretty props.

 

portraits (46.1) (1280x853)
These pictures are kind of dark but CUTE because, hey, it’s a bunny! 😀

portraits (158) (1280x853)

portraits (157) (1280x853)
Basil is whispering comfortingly in my ear.

portraits (156) (1280x853)

portraits (133) (853x1280)
I REALLY like this picture. I’m trying to decide whether to use it for a profile picture or not.

portraits (127) (853x1280)
“Th-this barn is kinda creepy.”

portraits (126) (853x1280)
“What if there are bats… or spiders… or…”

portraits (125) (853x1280)
“AHH!”

portraits (120) (1280x853)
I kind of like the lighting, kind of don’t.

portraits (105) (1280x853)
Heeeeeello.

Ooh, I love these pictures! We had a lot of fun with hair flips. 😛

portraits (101) (1280x853)
THIS. IS. HILARIOUS.

portraits (100) (1280x853)
I look like I’m trying to be noble but then someone turned a fan on behind me.

portraits (97) (1280x853)
Oops.

portraits (95) (1280x853)
One of my favorites! XD

Okay, if you actually looked at all those pictures… WOW. Congratulations, I give you the Most Patient Reader award.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Which pictures did you like best? Which one or two do you think I should use for my new profile picture?

Also, click here to see some of the pictures I took of Megan.

Thanks for reading!

***Allison***

Return of the Random Photos

My extra photos are piling up again, so I guess that means it’s time for another random photography post! 🙂 YAY! I hope you enjoy!

Aren’t these clouds lovely? ♥

DSC_0415 (1280x853)

We found this rather odd-looking bird and figured out it was a chimney swift. I think he’s quite weird. XD

DSC_0473 (1280x853)

I got these next few photos when we all went for a ride in Dad’s pickup to go check some fields and see how the soybeans were growing. (Sadly, they weren’t coming along very well, but Dad replanted them – twice – and now they’re doing fine, I think. 🙂 )

DSC_0479 (1280x853)

I love the view of our farm from this hill. ♥ Sooooooo pretty!

DSC_0481 (1280x853)

Aren’t mountains beautiful?

DSC_0485 (1280x853)

My little sister Carmen, holding a barn kitten we named Truffle:

DSC_0489 (1280x853)

DSC_0492 (1280x853)DSC_0493 (1280x853)DSC_0501 (1280x853)

This is a pretty edit I did of a huge, puffy pink cloud.

edit 1

One day we studied ladybugs in Nature Study and went out to search for them in an alfalfa field. It was kind of hard to get pictures, but I got a few neat ones. My friend got an amazing one of a ladybug eating an aphid! But sadly, I did not. 😦 😉

DSC_0504 (1280x853)

DSC_0508 (1280x853)

I really like ladybugs, but I have to admit – they look a little creepy when you put dozens of them in a jar. XD

DSC_0510 (1280x853)

These are the kind of bouquets I made to decorate tables for a church potluck in May. It was supposed to be a “Farmer’s Market” theme, so I used a bunch of different stuff from our farm and garden. I think they turned out pretty well, and I love how this picture turned out too!

DSC_0540 (853x1280)

Hee hee, well this is random. XD We made the BEST playdough ever (seriously – it is!), just for fun one day when my friend came over. It hardly feels like playdough at all, it’s so soft and silky and stretchy. (Wow, alliteration skills. XD ) You can see the recipe here.

DSC_0544

Another VERY random photo. 😛 I was going to do a mystery picture of a clementine, but it didn’t turn out. I decided to keep the photo, though, because for some reason I like it.

DSC_0553

Lilies are gorgeous, and so photogenic, aren’t they?!

DSC_0594 (1280x853)DSC_0596 (1280x853)DSC_0597 (1280x853)DSC_0598 (1280x853)DSC_0600 (1280x853)DSC_0601 (1280x853)DSC_0603 (1280x853)

Okay guys, you are going to LOVE this! We’ve been feeding our neighbors’ kittens while they’re on vacation, and they are the sweetest, prettiest little things!

DSCN1423 (1280x960)DSCN1425 (1280x960)

Look at those eyes! ♥♥

edit 1 (1280x960)DSCN1433 (1280x960)

XD

DSCN1434 (1280x960)

Our neighbor has a wonderful in-ground pool that she so generously lets us use pretty much whenever we want! I thought the clouds looked really neat that day, so logically, I took pictures. XD

DSCN1472 (1280x960)

DSCN1478 (960x1280)

Ahh, I LOVE this picture! The water looks so bright and clear and… almost plastic-y. XD

DSCN1476 (1280x960)DSCN1477 (1280x960)

Mimosa tree photography…

DSCN1483 (1280x960)DSCN1484 (1280x960)DSCN1486 (1280x960)

It looks like someone climbed the tree and threw a rope into the clouds so they could climb up. 😀

DSCN1494 (960x1280)

Hee hee, Megan jumping:

DSCN1495 (1280x960)

We shall end with one hilarious picture. My cousin said this looked like a whale farting. XD XD XD

DSCN1499 (1280x960)

Well, I hope you enjoyed scrolling through those pictures, my dears! Do you have a favorite?

Thanks for reading!

***Allison***

P. S. Guess what?! My sister Megan wrote the next part of WordCrafters, and it’s GREAT! You can read it on the WordCrafters 3 page here.

Furry Things

CUTENESS ALERT! I have to say, these barn kittens are pretty adorable. ♥ Let me show you some pictures and see what you think, sound good?

DSC_0441 (1280x853)

AHH I LOVE THAT PICTURE! ↑

DSC_0418 (1280x853)DSC_0420 (1280x853)DSC_0427 (1280x853)DSC_0433 (1280x853)

Peek-a-boo.

DSC_0434 (1280x853)

DSC_0435 (1280x853)DSC_0436 (1280x853)DSC_0440 (1280x853)

DSC_0442 (1280x853)DSC_0443 (1280x853)

DSC_0447 (1280x853)DSC_0448 (1280x853)

Doesn’t she look like a little stuffed animal in the next picture?

DSC_0450 (1280x853)

DSC_0451 (1280x853)DSC_0452 (1280x853)DSC_0453 (1280x853)DSC_0455 (1280x853)

Cutie kitten eyebrow whiskers. XD (Is that even how you say it?)

DSC_0459 (1280x853)

 DSC_0460 (1280x853)DSC_0461 (1280x853)
Argh, this one would be almost perfect except for the grass blade across her eyes. 😡 XD
DSC_0462 (1280x853)DSC_0463 (1280x853)DSC_0464 (1280x853)
Ah I love that one!
DSC_0465 (1280x853)DSC_0468 (1280x853)
DSC_0489 (1280x853)

And thus concludes the cuteness. SO NOW DO YOU AGREE THAT THEY’RE ADORABLE? EEEEE! It’s so fun to find barn kittens. 🙂

***Allison***

Furry Faces

Ohhhh I have some simply adorable pictures for you! I tagged this post with “EXTREME CUTENESS ALERT,” so you have been warned. XD

*Ahem* Violet the barn cat had kittens again! They are the sweetest, cutest things, and very tame too. I only took pictures of two out of the five kittens, but here they are…

kitten 2 (1280x853)
I looove the color of kittens’ eyes.

kitten 3 (1280x854)kitten 4 (1280x853)DSC_1579 (1280x853)

kitten 7 (1280x853)
Aww!

kitten 8 (1280x853)
HA HA! He was getting tired here which makes him have such a hilarious condescending expression on his face. XD

kitten 11 (1280x853)
And there he goes…

kitten 9 (1280x853)

kitten 10 (1280x853)
AWWWWW!

kitten 12 (1280x853)kitten 13 (1280x853)

kitten 14 (1280x853)
I looove this picture! It looks like she posed for this shot. XD

kitten 15 (1280x853)

kitten 16 (1280x853)
So sweet. ♥

kitten 17 (1280x854)

ARE THEY NOT THE CUTEST?

Here’s Violet, the mama cat. She doesn’t seem impressed with my photographing abilities… In fact, she looks rather mad at me. XD Maybe she doesn’t like having her picture taken…

kitten 5 (1280x853)

Oh, and we found this sweet kitty in the barn the other day! She seems awfully tame for a barn cat, so we don’t quite know where she came from. Anyway, she is such a nice cat – when I was taking pictures of her she jumped up on my lap and settled right in. ♥ I love it when cats do that!

cat 1 (1280x853)

cat 2 (1280x854)

cat 5 (1280x853)
She looks kinda grumpy in this picture, but she was just about to fall asleep. XD

cat 3 (1280x853)

cat 4 (1280x853)

Are you overloaded with cuteness yet? Maybe I’d better stop before you… oh bother, it’s too late.

Oops. XD XD XD

***Allison***

Return of the Fluffballs

Hi, guys! I’m back with another cuteness overload, starring the little cuties from this post. ♥ Eeeee, they’re so adorable! You may want to take a few deep breaths before you start… XD

kitten-2-1280x854
The eyes… ♥

kitten-3-1280x853
Ha ha, sporting that smug look again, are you? XD

 

kitten-1-1280x854

kitten-4-1280x853
Aww, isn’t that sweet? I’ll bet Megan got a cute picture from that. Note: I edited all the pictures in this post including this one, but on some of them you can tell more than others. 😉

kitten-5-1280x853

kitten-6-1280x854
Somebody is scared. XD

kitten-7-1280x853
Awww!

kitten-8-1280x960
AWWWW!

kitten-9-1280x960
AWWWW!

kitten-10-1280x853

kitten-11-1280x960
Ha ha, she (or he) looks so funny!

kitten-12-1280x960
Wow, that is one intense stare.

kitten-13-1280x853kitten-14-1280x853

kitten-15-1280x853
This is a rare picture of the very skittish black and white kitten. 🙂

kitten-16-937x1280
OHHHH my goodness! That’s adorable!

kitten-17-1280x960
*Melts*

 

 

*Happy sigh* They are way too cute for their own good. XD Which picture was your favorite?

***Allison***