Free Download - June 2012 Calendar for Your Computer

For us, June signifies the start of summer and perhaps vacations to exotic locations. Hopefully, this month's Calendar download will bring you to the sea.



You can download June's Calendar from Box.com at this link: Free June 2012 Calendar
I hope you have a great month!

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Cool / Fun iPhone Camera Gear

I originally titled this post "Essential iPhone Camera Gear", then changed it because the word "essential" is a bit of a strong term. In truth, I find what I have to be pretty essential for me, but the gear is certainly cool and fun.

Back in October, I upgraded to the iPhone 4s, which has an awesome camera. Since then, I've been slowly acquiring bits and pieces of iPhone Camera gear. My first purchase was the Olloclip lens:
Olloclip Macro Lens
It's a three in one lens that slides over the iPhone camera lens, with macro (shown above), fisheye and wide angle views. By far, I use the macro lens the most. (But I think I need to use the other two lenses more)

Next, I bought a Glif and Joby Tripod. They work together - the Glif attaches to the iPhone and acts as a stand on its own. But I use it as a tripod mount with the Joby flexible tripod.

Olloclip, Glif and Joby

The Glif / Joby helps stabilize the iPhone when using the Ollocip macro lens - when you are really close, camera shake can be an issue.
Table Top
Notebook Detail

If I were really smart, I would have hooked up my headphones and use the volume controls on the headphone cord as a remote release. Oh wait, I gave my headphones to my son, who then left them out for the cat to chew on. Note to self - never give away the stuff that comes in the Apple box. But I digress.....

The fun thing about the tripod is how it is able to attach to non flat surfaces.
Attaches Almost Anywhere!
Wood You?

I used the same set up when I took this selfie. The tripod was wrapped around the metal fence.
Saturday Afternoon

portable - I keep all of it in my purse. What I don't love - the Glif and Olloclip are designed to fit over a naked iPhone. This requires me to take the case off and exposes the iPhone to potential drops (me and my butterfingers!). One time, I set up the tripod on the ground and the wind blew the whole thing over. Fortunately, my iPhone only sustained a superficial scratch.

So that's my "essential gear" list. And then there's all the Camera related apps... but that's another post!

What iPhone Camera Gear do you have? Any? All of the above? More?

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60 Days of the 50mm

Here's the second edition of my 60 Days / 60 Photos / 50mm photo project.

I love this lens because it works great in low light and since it is so small, it makes my camera almost seem "small". I guess size is all relative, though.

The photos I've taken over the past week.

Strike Three, You're Out!
Strike Three!

The Lavender blooms in the front yard.
Lavender Dream

I have camera gear and iPhone gear. It's an obsession, I know. Here's my iPhone 4s mounted on a Glif, which is attached to a Joby flexible tripod. I've attached the Olloclip macro lens. I'll post more about all this gear and the apps I use in a separate post.
Attaches Almost Anywhere!

A dedicated musician, practicing in the dark. It was so hot this weekend, I guess this is a way to keep cool while playing.
Organist

Watercress Salad
Watercress

I am trying to capture as much variety as possible. I tend to gravitate towards nature, flowers and what my kids are doing - and I've taken so many photos over the years, sometimes it feels repetitive. I've been fortunate so far and I hope the opportunities continue to come.

All of the photos from this project can be found on my Flickr Set, 60 Days of the 50mm





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Lavender

lavender, sweet lavender;
come and buy my lavender,
hide it in your trousseau, lady fair.
Let its flovely fragrance flow
Over your from head to toe,
lightening on your eyes, your cheek, your hair

Cumberkand Clark Flower Song Book 1929

One of my favorite flowers, which grows abundantly in our front yard. Its scent is calming and aids in sleep. I massage a couple drops of lavender essential oil on my hands at night and own an array of lavender lotions (some could call it a collection!).

Lavender Love

Lavender Dream

Painted

Sea of Purple

As Rosemary is to the spirit, so Lavender is to the soul - Monet

Wishing you a calm, fragrant Sunday evening. If you are in the US, Happy Memorial Day Weekend - and a huge Thank You to all the Service People in our country.

Linked to Mary and Mosaic Monday.

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P365+1 Week 21 - Prelude to Summer

The weekend was hot, then things chilled down, and we ended up the week with temperatures in the 90's. The kids are winding down school, with another round of Finals for the Girl and nothing but fun for the Boy in middle school. Summer vacation is just around the corner for the kids.....

Saturday Night Block Party - it was a perfect evening to enjoy the Tons of Fun Band. Heather even convinced me to dance and I had a blast.
139/365+1 Block Party #alightinthedark #thehood #music

Sunday - Oops, no photo. I recall relaxing at home.

Monday Evening Baseball Game. Unfortunately, another loss.
141/365+1 Sportsmanship. And yes, we lost.

Tuesday - the note I found on the kitchen counter:
142/365+1 Demon Cricket Note
My daughter complained the other night that there was a cricket in her room that wouldn't stop chirping which prevented her from falling asleep. So she's dubbed the thing "Demon Cricket". Then we discovered that it's not a cricket, but a very loud frog that has take up residence in our pond. He is so loud that even our neighbors have noticed his high pitched trills at night. Good thing I wear ear plugs to bed.

Wednesday - an evening without outside obligations, so I can enjoy some wine and watch yesterday's episode of Glee (which made me cry, of course)
143/365+1 Finally, A Night to Enjoy At Home

Thursday - Taking off from First Base, and a resounding win.
144/365+1 Taking Off

Friday - Kids acting their age? Certainly not.
145/365+1 My Kids, Acting So Grown Up #squaready #silly
I had seven yards of mulch delivered today - just in time for the holiday weekend. The best part? I can't really help put it down. [OK, I think I can handle a little bit of manual labor, so I'll help a bit] The kids are certainly big enough to help, but they had the best time goofing off after Scott told them to wash out the wheel barrel. Apparently that was a code phrase for wheel barrel races. Hey, they enjoyed themselves, didn't get hurt and even insisted I take pictures - I call that a successful evening.

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Me at Almost 45

I'll turn 45 tomorrow and what better way to remember this time than with self portraits.

I've been participating in Urban Muser's {in the Picture} challenge, and this month's optional theme was "big world, tiny you", so I had fun incorporating that theme into a couple of my selfies this month.

Just me, the barn cat, a horse and a wide open field on a perfect spring day.
Saturday Afternoon

One Wednesday morning. I love this time of year, as the sun rises early and fills our bathroom with light.
Wednesday Morning

Another reason I love this time of year - I'm a morning runner, and I really enjoy watching the sun rise while pounding the pavement. I'm still only able to run one to two miles, but I'll take it for now.
Take Off
Morning Run

It wouldn't be the prairie without some wind.
It's Windy at The Ball Field #photogene2 #selfie #me #wind

Finally, a selfie I took back in April - I was a little sad and stressed out that month. But that's life and it goes on.
Melancholy

All photos taken with my iPhone 4s.


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Silo at Dusk

Two versions of the small grain silo at the stable.

The original:
Setting Sun

Enhanced using Topaz Adjust plug in for Lightroom - I don't recall the exact preset I used, but I know it was a just a slight adjustment to increase contrast and make things "pop" a little more.
Setting Sun

I purchased Topaz Adjust last year and have used it for HDR type effects. I think it is a great plug in - very affordable and easy to use. And while I don't use it every day, it is a nice post processing tool to have.

Another note - to get the starburst flare effect of the light on the side of the silo, I used an aperture of F22, the smallest hole on my lens.

Linked to This or That Thursday and Rural Thursday.




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Water Fowl and Photo Tips for Capturing Action

I was going through my flickr stream and thought these photos of water birds might brighten your day.

Soar

Taking Off

Run Away

Circling

Photo tips when shooting birds in flight (or any action - I follow these steps when shooting sports):

  • Use the Continuous Focus Tracking mode on your camera. Some cameras have a "Sports Mode" which is a continuous focus mode.
  • Use the Continuous shutter release which will actuate your shutter continuously when you depress it.
  • If you have plenty of light, use the Aperture Priority Exposure mode, and set your aperture at least two stops from full open. (although I don't always follow this rule, as the top two photos were taken at f2.8)
With birds, you need to be patient! That was probably the hardest part for me, although when you're in Florida and have the entire afternoon free, it's not too bad.....

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P365+1 Week 20 - Mid May

Here's the day by day recap of last week:

Saturday: The Facade
132/365+1 Facade #streetartistry #weekend
I went shopping at a locally owned sporting goods store and noticed this mural outside the store. Kind of kitschy, I thought. In case you wanted to know, I bought myself a cute workout hoodie.

Sunday: Water Challenge
133/365+1 Water Challenge
The kids are washing Caesar's winter blanket (which was filthy) and decided to engage in some water games. They didn't get too wet, but had fun.

Monday: Baseball Dugout
134/365+1 Behind the Screen - The Dugout
There's a black screen on the back side of the dugout, but if you stand directly behind, you can see through it. I thought that was cool, so of course, I snapped a picture.

Tuesday: That First Mile
135/365+1 Ran My First Mile Since I had my ACL Reconstruction Surgery 13 Weeks Ago. I was slow as mud, but claiming this small victory
I've already posted this picture on this blog post - my first mile after my knee surgery.

Wednesday: The Triangle in the Sky
136/365+1 Triangle Sighting #contrails #sky #industrial
We've enjoyed perfect weather this week - highs in the 70's and lows in the 50's. I noticed this triangle formation in the sky while leaving work on Wednesday. They say when there are numerous contrails in the sky, rain is coming.

Thursday: Workers in the Field
137/365+1 Busy in the Field - I Drove Past the Same Property 2 Hours later and all the rolls of grass were gone
It was a busy day - Scott's birthday, errands to run, kids to pick up and a violin lesson that I had to miss. These workers were extremely busy too - I snapped the photo after dropping off my daughter at the horse stable. When I picked her up two hours later, all the rolls of grass were gone. We didn't get any rain, either!

Friday: On Tap for Book Club
138/365+1 On Tap For Book Club Night #drink #wine
It's my turn to host book club and instead of my normal Rum cake, I made Limoncello cake. It was a big hit.

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The 50mm Project - 60 Days, 60 Photos

Several of my Twitter friends have started a new photography project - Karen is taking a photo a day for the next 60 days with her 60mm macro lens. Cheryl is taking photos with her Lensbaby. Maggie is using her kit lens.

I plan to use my 50mm lens over the next 60 days. I started over a week ago, and I don't plan to take a photo every day, but the goal is to have at least 60 photos over the next 60 days. Here's a sampling of what I have so far:

Lisa

Hanging Out

Classic

Riffs

50mm Sampler
1. Garnished, 2. Caught Napping, 3. Tambourine Man, 4. Stems, 5. Red, White and Lemony, 6. Moving On

Maybe you want to join us? On twitter, use the #60days hashtag.

All of the photos from this project can be found on my Flickr Set, 60 Days of the 50mm

Linked to Mosaic Monday at Mary's Little Red House


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All images on this blog (unless stated) are the intellectual property and copyright of Shirley LeMay Photography and Shirley Behind the Lens (© 2005-2014). Do not steal, borrow or pirate the images here.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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