52 Weeks / Week 9, Mother Nature

03/04/2015 — 4 Comments

Week 9 of 52 Weeks Project Week 9 of 52 Weeks Project Week 9 of 52 Weeks Project

Aiden spent the majority of last week away at science camp, singing campfire songs, hiking and learning in the great outdoors. While he was away, I took the opportunity to spend more time with Søren outdoors as well.

This week I’ve partnered with Monrovia to start our spring garden. I know it sounds weird with so much snow in other parts of the world, but the state of California is in a severe drought, so we are not having much of a Winter this year. Since Søren loves to be outside and help, I wanted to give him a couple of plants to take care of. I chose plants that require a very low amount of water, also known as water wise succulents. I thought they would be easier for him to care for, and they would be a nice introduction to caring for a summer garden.

Søren was very excited about the whole process, from choosing the plants at the nursery to potting them at home. We talked about the more spikey succulents, and the different colors. The Ruffles Echeveria and Hooker’s Pachyphytum were his favorite. For sake of not having a toddler saying the word “Hooker” out loud, I left out the actual name of the plants in conversation, and he calls them his “suck-u-entz”. I think my biggest challenge will be to keep him from over-watering them. I’m sure we will have lots of talks about how these plants are water wise, or smart about how they use their water.

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Did you ever plant a garden or flowers as a child? Do you keep one now?

52 Weeks Project is a portrait of my child once a week, every week in 2015. To see the whole series, click here.


This post is sponsored by Monrovia. To learn more about Monrovia and how you can plant a water wise / drought friendly garden, please visit their website or shop online. All opinions, text, and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make life here at Team Wiking a little sweeter.

Photo Tips / How to Photograph Motion

03/03/2015 — 9 Comments

Photo Tips / How to Capture Motion

Have you ever wondered how to photograph motion? On the way home from our trip to Mendocino County we stopped to view the Golden Gate Bridge and I wanted to capture the motion of the cars crossing it. I don’t play a lot with photographing so it took me a little longer than usual to set up the shot. I’ve shared my best tips and tricks for how to photograph motion below.

Photo Tips / How to Capture Motion

ISO 800, F2.2, 1/10 second

Photo Tips / How to Capture Motion

ISO 320, F9.0, 1.6 seconds

In order to photograph motion, you’ll need a camera and a tripod or very stable surface to set your camera on. You will also need basic knowledge about how to control lighting in a photograph. If you don’t know this, you can learn some tips and tricks here.

1. Set up your camera, frame your photo, etc. You’ll want it to be ready to take the photo aside from your settings.

2. Set your exposure, or your shutter speed. For most of these photos I found that somewhere close to 2 seconds worked best. You can adjust the shutter speed  based on how quickly your subject is moving.

3. Set your Aperture. Do you want to have less of your subject in focus, or do you want everything in focus? Bokeh will depend on the distance between your focus points and lighting and background, for tips, read my Holiday Lights Bokeh post. I tried to capture some in the photos below, but the distance between the camera and the main subject (bridge) was too far. In the shot above I wanted everything in focus, so the settings are different (higher aperture).

3. Set your ISO/ Film Speed. Is it light or dark outside? I’d recommend a very low ISO for this because your shutter will be open longer, thus letting in more light. For most of these photographs I set mine anywhere between ISO 100 and ISO 320. If you want to let in more light it should be higher, less will be lower.

I like to snap a photo between each step to give me an idea of how to better adjust the photo. I know, I could use a light meter but it was 40 degrees out and very windy when I took these.

Photo Tips / How to Capture Motion Photo Tips / How to Capture Motion

1. ISO 200, F 1.4, 1/20 second
This image is too dark, and the car headlights are single dots, in focus. I will lengthen my exposure time, which should blur headlights and brighten image.

2. ISO 200, F.1.4, 2.0 seconds
The headlights are now blurred (motion) but because of the longer exposure the image is too bright. I will lower my ‘film speed’ (ISO) to dim the image.

Photo Tips / How to Capture Motion

3. ISO 100, F 1.4, 2.0 seconds
This image is much better, and you can see the headlight trails from the cars on the bridge.

I hope this helps you understand how to better capture movement in a photograph. I want to do more with a tripod during our trips and play around more with motion in photographs.

These photos were taken from the lookout point in Marin Headlands just off of highway 101, north of the Golden Gate Bridge.


Have you ever photographed motion? If you haven’t, what types of photos do you want to take?

 

Mendocino County / Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

03/02/2015 — 6 Comments

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One of our planned activities during our trip to Mendocino was the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Anyone who knows me knows that I love flowers and plants, even if I’m not the best when it comes to caring for a garden. The gardens here cover 47 acres of land that extends from highway 1 to the sea. We were really amazed at how large they actually were, and it took a couple of hours for us to go through all of them. We started in the Perennial Garden (beautiful Camellias!) and North Forest, then made our way through the Deer Gates to explore the Fern Canyon Trail and coast trails, then finished up with a walk through the adventure trail (so cute for kids), vegetable garden, and heather garden on our way out. We didn’t get to see the Rose or Dahlia gardens since they were just harvested. I would love to go back and visit at a different time of year just to compare.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
18220 North Highway One
Fort Bragg, California 95437
www.gardenbythesea.org