Just This Moment – March

Just This Moment of Life in Photos Header

“Just This Moment” is intended to be a collection of those small moments in which you are truly present in your life – at just that moment. The images may not be frame-worthy, but are moments that fill you with joy, allow you to experience a moment of gratitude, make you smile, touch your heart, and/or make your soul sing.

Ahhh, spring… the birds are singing, flowers are beginning to peep out from their winter slumber, and then there are the trees…

Digital Photography, Copyright
© 2018 SuZan Alexander

Okay, you caught me. The image in the bottom right (two white flowers) is from a blooming dewberry vine. Great catch. You have a good eye!

So, show me what is blooming in your neighborhood.

Year in Review

I have spent some time this month reviewing 2016 and preparing for 2017. So, I thought I would share a quick overview of 2016 accomplishments:

JANUARY

I “assisted” my talented sister-in-law with a photo shoot for a magazine. Actually, one of her images became the cover of the magazine. I put assisted in quotes because I really just showed up for the party and watched her do her magic. I am so grateful for the opportunity. Did I say she is talented? Yes. Well, you can see some of her work here: http://www.cindyangerer.com/

FEBRUARY

I donated a framed version of this image to the Taste of Salado fundraiser for the Public Arts League of Salado.

New Season Fog, Digital Photography, Copyright © 2015

I am happy to announce that I did not have to do the “walk of shame” with the work under my arm at the end of the event. Thank you to the generous supporter who bid on my work, as well as supporting the Arts in Central Texas.

MARCH

I had the opportunity to visit friends in Las Cruces, New Mexico and my gracious hostess, Peggy, introduced me to some of the wonderful galleries in Las Cruces. It was such a fun visit with wonderful hosts. I love New Mexico.

APRIL

I think I already posted about participating in the 15-Minute A Day Creative Challenge in April. But, since this is a recap, here is a peek at the first thing I created, in 15 minutes (or more) per day. This old car did take several 15 minute blocks of time. And, while it isn’t what I consider finished or gallery-worthy, it represents my commitment to a daily creative endeavor.

Watercolor, Copyright © 2016 SuZan Alexander

MAY

I am shamed to report that there were not a lot of artistic endeavors worth sharing in May – unless painting the Master Bedroom counts. I did, however, continue with my daily/weekly/monthly goal for post-processing images.

JUNE

In June, I hosted my first give-away. I worked on a Watercolor Batik that I offered to my Newsletter “Tribe”. The beauty of watercolor batik is that each final work is unique. You may use the same paint, same paint colors, the same process, but each one takes on their own unique look.

Watercolor Batik, Copyright
© 2016 SuZan Alexander

JULY

I made a trip to Palo Duro Canyon and the Cadillac Ranch in July and I can’t wait to return.

Digital Photography, Copyright
© 2016 SuZan Alexander

AUGUST

August was SERIOUS. I met with a CPA, as well as the Comptroller to set-up bookkeeping for the Studio so I could start offering my image for sale online.

SEPTEMBER

This isn’t art related, but, in September, I cut my hair so I could fulfill my wish of contributing my hair to make wigs for cancer patients and celebrate my own survivor status.


OCTOBER

The Texas Professional Photographers Association (TPPA) held an event in San Marcos that I was happy to get a chance to attend. What a great event and even better group of photographers. I can not wait to attend next year.

NOVEMBER

I participated in Flood the Streets with Art and left five images around Salado for shoppers to find.

DECEMBER

I am happy to report that I FINALLY completed organizing and post-processing images with a few days of 2016 to spare. Now, I can start 2017 “fresh”.

If you made it this far, thanks! Just so I do not write another long post like this one, I plan to be more consistent with my blog and social media posts in 2017. I even have a plan that I am very excited about and I look forward to sharing it with you.  Tomorrow is the second month of the 2017 party, so… Let’s get going!

Random Acts of Art

Today I placed five photographs around the Village of Salado as part of the 2016 Flood the Streets with Art. I am not sure that five images actually qualifies as a “flood”, so perhaps I should say that I “sprinkled” the streets with art. I like the idea of “Random Acts of Kindness” and a “Random Acts of Art” was certainly in my wheelhouse.

If you found one of the images, welcome to Shades of Sienna Studio. If you are taking the time to visit; thank you for your time and participation. Please let me know (in the comments) which image you found, or where you found the art, I would love to know they all when to “good homes”. If you are shy, that’s okay. I still appreciate you stopping by.

I wish you all peace, joy, abundance, good health, and a day without shoving or stress.

Super Moon

I just realized that I posted this image of the Super Moon on Facebook, but neglected my blog. Oh well, better late than never I guess.

Copyright © 2016 SuZan Alexander

Copyright
© 2016 SuZan Alexander

iPhone Photography Tips

We ALL take photos with our iPhone. We ALL want to take better photos with our iPhone. It does not matter if you want to post them on your social media channels, or simple preserve a memory for yourself. We can all benefit from better images. Julia Kelleher, a talented photographer, wrote a great blog post on this very subject, which she graciously shares with us. Thanks Julia!


THE SECRET & AWESOME FEATURES OF YOUR iPHONE CAMERA

Your iPhone is with you at all times, right? It’s like your right hand — always there, always ready to help you muddle your way through the day and kill boredom when the need arises. But that phone of yours can be oh-so-frustrating when your darling child chooses a particular moment to do something photo-worthy and your phone chooses that time to revolt.

Well, when you learn the inner and secret features of your iPhone camera, your days of being “slow on the draw” will be over. On top of that, your camera skills will improve 10-fold and your images will too, making your memories print and wall worthy.

So let’s look at some of the tricks and features inside your iPhone that will make you shine at the next family get together!

OPEN YOUR CAMERA APP F-A-S-T

Don’t miss ANY moment. To get to your camera lickety-split do one of two things depending on if your iPhone is locked or not.

Locked:

Locked Iphone-Open Camera

  1. Hit the home button
  2. Locate the camera icon on the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Swipe up & the camera will open.

Unlocked:

Unlocked Iphone_Open Camera

  1. Swipe Up
  2. Tap the camera icon & the camera will open.

TURN ON YOUR GRID

Activating the grid will place a “tick-tac-toe” box on your screen as you shoot. What’s the benefit? Where the lines cross is called a “power point.” When you place your subject on of the four points you create images with a little negative space and better, more artistic composition. A little pro tip that will make your images that much prettier!

Grid Activation

            TO ACTIVATE:

  1. Go to Settings > Photos&Camera > Grid > Turn it On

ADJUST EXPOSURE AND FOCUS AT YOUR WILL

Professional photographer know light like the back of your hand, and every lighting situation poses different issues, especially of you camera. A camera cannot see light and adjust the way the human eye can. So, it’s important to be able to tell your camera how to behave when you need it to in order to get a good “exposure.” The classic scenario that may drive you crazy is shooting a darker subject on a bright background. Your camera will want to make the background look good and your subject will be dark and ugly! ARGH! The way around this? Use the hidden feature in your iPhone that lets YOU control how bright an image is.

CUSTOM SET YOUR EXPOSURE

  1. Open the camera
  2. Compose your shot
  3. Tap and HOLD on the screen where you want to focus. The yellow box will blink and set focus.
  4. Swipe up or down to make the camera brighten or darken the exposure
  5. When you’re happy with how it looks, take the shot!

Exposure_Focus Lock_Adjust


 TURN OFF YOUR AUTO FLASH

Flash from your camera almost never looks good. It produces a harsh, flat light that doesn’t always need to be there, yet the camera seems to want to use it all the time. Turn it off when you can for more pleasing light in your images.

TURN OFF YOUR FLASH

  1. In the camera app, tap the lighting bolt icon in the upper left corner.
  2. Choose and tap “Off.”
  3. Shoot as you like!

USE BURST MODE FOR FAST ACTION

Did you know your iPhone can shoot 10 frames per second in burst mode? WHAT? My iPhone has burst mode? Yes it does! And it’s great for catching your toddler on the run.

TO ACTIVATE:

  1. Press and HOLD the shutter release button on your camera app.
  2. Voila! 10 frames per second.

Burst Mode

EDIT LIKE A PRO

Taking the picture is just half the process in the Pro world. Editing and enhancing the image is 50% of the process. Yes, even when you shoot with your iPhone you can make your images stand out even more by using a good editing app.

Here’s a few fun suggestions to try out:

 

What Do You See?

Digital Photography, SuZan Alexander, Copyright © 2016

Digital Photography, SuZan Alexander, Copyright © 2016

Digital Photography, SuZan Alexander, Copyright © 2016

In my August Newsletter, I asked my “tribe” to add comments to this image answering:

  1. What do you see in this image; and/or
  2. What do you think the original subject of this abstracted image is/was?

This goes without saying, but please keep your comments family-friendly.

I will post the answer on Friday, August 5, 2016, so add your comment now and don’t forget to come back on Friday.

UPDATE: 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to guess. There were three technically correct answers. Two “flower” answers, but Lynne was more specific with “orchid”. Good eye Lynne.