Macro Raindrops

Hello, dears!

A couple of days ago I ventured out into the miserably cold and rainy weather to take some pictures for you guys. It wasn’t very comfortable, but the results were worth it! 😛 I mainly used my macro lens extension tubes to get lovely close-ups of the jewel-like raindrops that coated everything like frost.

If you’re in need of some spring-y, fresh green in the middle of a dull winter, read on! 😀

Continue reading

World of Glass {Icy Photoshoot}

Hello, dears!

I realize I just posted kind of a wintry photoshoot, but AHH, I love these pictures too much to save them for later! I’d say this is one of my favorite photoshoots I’ve done in a while. 😀

We were supposed to get a bunch of snow last week, but it ended up mostly turning to ice. I was rather disappointed at first, but when I actually went outside, oh my goodness it was STUNNING. It looked like everything was coated in glass, every twig was dripping crystal. Enjoy these photos of an icy wonderland!

Continue reading

Misty Waters

Hello, dears!

We have this charming little stream on our property that for some reason I’d only explored one side of til recently. But when I did, I found it was even more beautiful than what I’d seen before, if possible!

Shortly after I explored it the first time, a foggy day came by and, imagining how beautiful the stream would look in the mist, I took my camera back down and ended up with some lovely, foggy pictures that I can’t wait to show you guys! Would you like to come explore the stream with me?

Continue reading

Etcetera #3

Hello, dears!

I’ve been half dreading this post and half eagerly anticipating it, because it is SO much work to sort through over six months of photographs and edit and organize the best ones for a post. O.o But it’s always so satisfying to know I’m “up to date” once I finish Etcetera posts, so yay! 🙂

Anyway, today I have for you quite a lot of pictures about quite a lot of things. I’ll attempt to organize this post a bit more than I have previously so it’s not overwhelming. XD I hope you enjoy browsing through the sunsets, farm landscapes, portraits, etc!

~ Skies ~

When it hasn’t been raining (which is rarely XD), there have been some beautiful sunsets, clouds, and other skyscapes recently.

etcetera (1)

Ahhh, big, fluffy cumulus clouds just make me happy when I see them. 😀

etcetera (2)

Isn’t this gorgeous? Sun rays through clouds also make me happy. 🙂

etcetera (7)

We’ve gotten so many rainbows recently (and so much rain too)! I don’t think I even noticed this one was a double rainbow until I edited the picture. O.o XD What a beautiful promise a rainbow is. ❤

etcetera (29)

I love how calm and soft this picture is!

 

etcetera (46)

 

The moon looks HUGE beside the miniscule airplane and tiny cloud, doesn’t it?

etcetera (51)

 

Does this count as “skies”? I don’t know. But this strange, neat limb broke off one day and it was sad. 😦 Now there’s just a stump left.

etcetera (13)

I actually combined a couple of pictures to make this one, because I wanted more birds in it. 😛

etcetera (20)

I thought it was so neat how you can faintly see the entire moon!

Sunsets + reflections? OH YES!

etcetera (59)

etcetera (60)

A e s t h e t i c. ❤

etcetera (2)

~ Pets ~

This spring there were buttercups EVERYWHERE! It was so pretty! One day Maggie was conveniently laying in a highly-concentrated area of flowers which went perfectly with her sunny, buttercup personality. 😀

etcetera (28)

etcetera (27)

etcetera (37)

BUNNIESSSS! My brothers built new rabbit pens for them, and the next two pictures are when we first put them in. I love how Basil’s ears are always one up and one down. XD

etcetera (24)

OLAF IS JUST WEIRD. XD

etcetera (25)

And here’s Lavender! SHE IS ADORABLE. And she’s also grown since I took this picture.

etcetera (26)

Well this isn’t exactly a pet, but… WARNING, SNAKE AHEAD! We found this black snake one morning while we were cleaning out the raised beds. I don’t particularly like snakes, but it was so neat to get such close-up photographs! It didn’t slither away for quite a while; it just posed. 😛 I got a bunch of good pictures, but I’ll be considerate and only show you guys two. XD

etcetera (41)

etcetera (42)

~ Flowers ~

This was a looong time ago, but here’s a pretty picture of blossoms on our what we thought was an apple tree but is actually a pear tree.

etcetera (40)

In early spring, there were violets EVERYWHERE! There was one row beside a small, white shed in our backyard that was overflowing with blooms. ❤

etcetera (48)

Such a cute, tiny flower! (Actually it’s a weed, but it’s still cute.)

etcetera (38)

I LOVE THIS PICTURE! It’s just so CUTE!

etcetera (15)

Ahh, this is so creamy and gorgeous!

etcetera (36)

~ Farm Landscapes ~

We always pass this on the way to my grandparents’ house and I always want to get a picture of it. This time Mom kindly stopped to let me take some, and I’m SO glad she did! I just love the scenery here, and the rolling hills that seem almost too perfect to be natural. The tractor baling hay adds a nice touch too. 😉

etcetera (4)

etcetera (6)

Dad planted corn or soybeans in most of the pastures this year, and it looks GREAT! He got the crops in a little late because of the immense amount of rain we got, but now that they’re in they’re looking gorgeous. I took this picture a while ago; the corn is a lot bigger now.

etcetera (22)

The cows are gone now. *sniff*

etcetera (44)

~ People ~

Carmen got absolutely SOAKED (on purpose) one day when it was raining, which made for some pretty neat pictures.

etcetera (8)

etcetera (9)

etcetera (11)

Carmen wondered if I wanted to take a picture of her glasses, and I said, “Sure!”

etcetera (12)

I took this picture after we finished unloading the tractor-trailer load of our house belongings, and I was all sweaty and dusty. And then I had heaps of fun editing it later. XD I don’t know why I like taking pictures of eyes so much, but I DO!

etcetera (17)

Carmen wanted me to take a picture of her swinging. 🙂

etcetera (34)

It was a BIT scary to balance my camera on a fence post on a windy day, which is maybe why I have a slightly strange expression… XD

etcetera (53)

Oh look, it’s me leaning up agains the fence again! What do you know. XD Carmen took this picture for me, because a friend wanted a photo of the dress I got.

etcetera (4)

~ Etcetera ~

Okay, this is really random, but… did you know you can use a mixture of about half coconut oil and half baking soda to repair worn wood? If you scrub the mixture into scratches or places where the varnish doesn’t look good, it will magically look like new after you wipe it away with soap and water! Trust me, it is amazing. O.o I don’t know exactly how it works, but I think the oil stains and darkens the wood and the baking soda kind of sands it down a little. However it does it, IT WORKS. We’ve used this a lot to “refinish” worn furniture, floors, and trim lately.

etcetera (21)

We don’t have a huge garden this year, but we are growing a few things in the raised beds behind the big house. One of those things are (or were) radishes! I thought these baby radishes that we thinned out were so cute, hee hee.

etcetera (39)

GUYS. I FOUND A FIVE LEAF CLOVER. AND MEGAN FOUND A SIX LEAF ONE. We found a lot of mutant clovers around the Cedar House, actually. XD And no, I did not photoshop an extra leaf on. Promise.

etcetera (29)

This almost looks abstract if you unfocus your eyes.

etcetera (55)

I love photographing water drops. 😀 Don’t they look like crystal?

etcetera (34)

etcetera (35)

etcetera (36)

Phew, that was a TON of pictures! Not nearly all the good ones, though. *sniff* This post was a great (but hard) exercise in only keeping the best of the best, or else the most interesting. Hopefully I succeeded. 🙂

So, which category was your favorite? Have you ever found a more-than-four-leaf clover? Have you tried the coconut oil trick?

Thank you so much for reading this lengthy epistle, dears, and please have a lovely day!

***Allison***

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. 🙂

Bits & Pieces #1

Hello, my dears! Welcome to yet ANOTHER random photography post, where Allison dumps all the miscellaneous orphan photos that she couldn’t fit in any other post. XD I am waaay backed up with extra photos so I hope you’re ready for a lot of photography posts! 😀

Ahem. Let’s begin.

The Eclipse

I still haven’t shown you my pictures from the eclipse? Dear me, I AM behind. XD Anyway, I didn’t get any spectacular pictures, but I did get a few through welding glass to at least document what happened. The welding glass made everything look green, but I managed to edit out most of the color except that one green guy over there. XD As you can see, we weren’t in the path of totality.

eclipse (1280x256)

I thought the eclipse looked really neat through clouds!

DSC_1604 (1280x853)

And here’s just a bonus picture I took that day. So pretty!

DSC_1613 (1280x853)

The Enormous Bonfire

We occasionally burn a heap of brush or extra wood piles and such on our farm, and I got these pictures from one of those times. Dad pushed the pile around with the telehandler which made the bonfire practically explode in a column of glittering orange sparks. It was breathtaking!

DSC_1983 (853x1280)DSC_1968 (853x1280)summer (2) (853x1280)DSC_1961 (853x1280)DSC_1959 (853x1280)

Bonus picture of the cows that watched the bonfire with us. XD There were a bit confused about what was happening, as cows usually seem to be.

DSC_1944 (1280x853)

There were actually a few bulls in the pasture, and one started sort of stomping and bellowing. O.o Thankfully nothing bad happened. Isn’t it funny how he has a heart on his forehead? You can’t see it too well in this picture, but he really does!

DSC_1946

Megan’s Birthday Party

We had a lot of fun decorating the front porch and outside table for Megan’s party. Aren’t the colors pretty?

DSC_1787 (1280x853)

DSC_1762 (1280x853)

DSC_1804 (1280x853)

DSC_1773 (1280x853)

We used zinnias from our garden for some of the decorations, and I got some lovely pictures of the bouquets. ♥

DSC_1783 (1280x853)DSC_1782 (1280x853)DSC_1781 (1280x853)DSC_1780 (1280x853)

Megan wanted to have doughnuts instead of cake, which was quite a good idea in my opinion. 😉 We made the doughnuts the previous day and I also made a little happy birthday banner for the top.

DSC_1851 (1280x853)

Yum, fresh lemonade!

DSC_1848 (1280x853)DSC_1846 (1280x853)

Grandma brought Megan a beautiful rose from her house along with her gift.

DSC_1813 (1280x853)

We had a water balloon fight for one of the party games. It was so fun, AND I didn’t get very wet, which was good since it wasn’t that hot. XD

summer (1280x853)

A bonus picture of the gorgeous spreading maple in our front yard…

DSC_1777 (1280x853)

Bonus picture #2 of an adorable fuzzy caterpillar we found before the party.

caterpillar 1 (1280x853)

Isn’t it cute? 😛

caterpillar 2 (1280x854)

 

Moving a Piano + Another Bonfire

One night we went to our grandparents’ house to help move their piano from the basement to their room. 🙂 It was quite hard work… well actually I didn’t do much but stay out of the way and document it for posterity, but it looked like hard work. When they finally brought it to my grandparents’ room, it wouldn’t fit through the door. But then they tried turning it on end and thankfully it just fit. Phew! The poor piano.

DSC_2432 (853x1280)

I also got some super neat pictures of the piano without its top on. I love them, especially after they were edited!

piano 3 (1280x853)

piano 1 (1280x946)piano 2 (1280x853)piano 4 (1280x853)

After we got the piano all figured out we had a bonfire and picnic. Fire is so fun to watch, isn’t it?

DSC_2446 (1280x853)DSC_2454 (1280x853)

I got a really good picture of my grandpa smiling when he didn’t know I was taking a picture. I edited it a good bit, as you can tell, but isn’t it neat?

Grandpa (1206x861)

Freshly Picked

I took these photos for my sister’s photo contest, BIBPC. I think they turned out rather pretty!

DSC_2282 (1280x853)DSC_2292 (1280x853)DSC_2294 (1280x853)DSC_2295 (1280x853)

Also isn’t this tomato HILARIOUS?! It looks like it’s sticking out its tongue at you.

DSC_2422 (1280x853)

The Rest of Them

THESE COOKIES ARE DELICIOUS! I took pictures of them because I wanted to submit the recipe to Olivia Bell’s wonderful magazine. Be sure to check it out (and make it) when the next issue comes out here soon! You can subscribe to her magazine through the contact form in this post.

DSC_1926 (1280x853)

Random picture of the details on one of my Sunday dresses…

DSC_2013 (1280x853)

I edited this one a LOT to get rid of the power lines crisscrossing it, but this is the view from one of our upstairs windows. 🙂

landscape (1126x1280).jpg

There we go! That was pretty much a whole bunch of mini posts smushed into one huge one. XD I hope you enjoyed! Which topic was your favorite?

***Allison***

Raindrops {Photo Dump} + A Favor?

Some days I step outside, look around, and go right back in for my camera because it’s too beautiful not to. I love just walking around, taking pictures of the little beauties I find. Because that’s how to be a good photographer, you know. You have to go looking for photo opportunities, not just wait for them to find you.

Sometimes the best photos are of the little things no one else takes time to notice. I like to think that through your camera lens, anything can be beautiful. ♥ Even thorns.

DSCN2217 (1280x960)

DSCN2210 (1280x960)DSCN2211 (1280x960)DSCN2226 (1280x960)DSCN2229 (1280x960)DSCN2230 (1280x960)DSCN2231 (1280x960)DSCN2233 (1280x960)DSCN2234 (1280x960)

DSCN2195 (1280x960)DSCN2198 (1280x960)DSCN2202 (1280x960)DSCN2204 (1280x960)DSCN2207 (1280x960)DSCN2209 (1280x960)

I love how these pictures turned out! Who knew raindrops on asparagus plants could look so neat? 😀

DSCN2256 (1280x960)DSCN2257 (1280x960)DSCN2258 (1280x960)DSCN2259 (1280x960)DSCN2260 (1280x960)DSCN2261 (1280x960)

Beautiful zinnias…

DSCN2282 (1280x960)DSCN2280 (1280x960)DSCN2284 (1280x960)DSCN2281 (1280x960)

I’m a little proud of these next pictures. XD I just LOVE how the raindrops reflect color onto the Japanese beetles!

DSCN2267 (1280x960)DSCN2270 (1280x960)

DSCN2271 (1280x960)DSCN2272 (1280x960)DSCN2278 (1280x960)DSCN2285 (1280x960)DSCN2286 (1280x960)

Sparrows on a barn roof. 🙂

DSCN2295 (1280x960)DSCN2297 (1280x960)DSCN2298 (1280x960)

DSCN2304 (1280x960)raindrop 4 (1280x960)raindrop 8 (1280x960)

Phew, that was a lot of pictures! I hope you enjoyed them, dears. 🙂

BUT WAIT! Before you go, could you do me a favor? I’m entering some photographs in our county fair, but I can’t decide which of these to enter in each category. Would you mind voting for your favorites in the comments?

Wildlife:

Should I do…

1. The butterfly?

wildlife 2 (1280x853)

2. The snail?

wildlife or closeup (1280x1280)

Rural _________

1. Mountain?

rural rockingham 2 (1280x853)

2. Golden dust? XD

rural rockingham 3 (656x437)

3. Fall evening?

rural rockingham (1280x960)

People: 

1: My dad?

people (2) (1280x853)

2. My sister? (I would crop and edit this a little bit more.)

people (1280x960)

Landscape:

Should I do this sunset…

landscape (1280x960)

Or one of the Rural ______ ones?

Thank you guys so much!

Would you like to see a post of the rest of the pictures/items I’m entering in the fair?

Do you like photographing little things and raindrops?

***Allison***

Pictures, Etc.

Ugh, I really need better names for these posts. XD Suggestions?

Annnyway, since you guys seem to enjoy random photography posts I enjoy posting them, I figured – let’s do more! 😀

****************

 It had just rained and there was an interesting orangish tint to everything outside, different than the golden hour usually looks because it was so cloudy.

DSCN1665 (1280x960)

Ahh, beautiful rain drops.

DSCN1666 (1280x960)DSCN1667 (1280x960)

Maggie waded into the field, looking noble. XD

DSCN1669 (1280x960)DSCN1671 (1280x960)

HA HA look at her expression.

DSCN1674 (1280x960)

Okay, this picture might be a bit startling… You have been warned. 😛 He looks pretty angry, doesn’t he (or she)? This snapping turtle appeared in our lane one day and Maggie nearly went crazy. Snapping turtles are weird, ugly creatures. Blech.

DSCN1687 (1280x960)

Ahem. Let’s move on to cuter pictures… LIKE BABY BUNNIES EEEEE! This is the photoshoot I did to get pictures for selling them. *Sniff* Anyone want to buy a baby bunny? 😉

AHHH THEY’RE SO CUTE I CAN’T STAND IT.

bunnies 1 (1280x853)

Here’s Mulberry…

bunnies 2 (1280x853)

And Ginger…

bunnies 3 (1280x853)

And Herbert Naninger. 🙂 SO. CUTE. (Also if you’re wondering why Basil isn’t on here, it’s because we’re keeping her! So I didn’t need pictures for the listing.)

bunnies 4 (1280x853)DSC_0747 (1280x853)DSC_0753 (1280x853)DSC_0758 (1280x853)DSC_0765 (1280x853)DSC_0771 (1280x853)DSC_0775 (1280x853)DSC_0778 (1280x853)DSC_0781 (1280x853)DSC_0782 (1280x853)

ISN’T THIS THE CUTEST?!

DSC_0784 (1280x853)DSC_0786 (1280x853)

Okay, after all that cuteness you might need an antidote so you don’t get too overwhelmed. Ready for another slightly creepy picture? Here we go.

DSCN1808 (1280x960)

XD Praying mantises are so weird. I got this interesting picture of one cleaning itself when we were studying them in Nature Study.

DSCN1816 (1280x960)

While we’re on the subject of bugs, Megan found three black swallowtail caterpillars outside and we took them inside to watch. We both got some neat pictures of the first one that hatched! 😀 Aren’t butterflies delightful creatures?

butterfly 2butterfly 3butterfly

And that’s it for today, dears! What was your favorite picture or category? Thanks for reading and have a lovely day. ♥

***Allison***