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Mi.A

Gosh I swear for those looking froward to my Colorado and Ohio post, they may never happen. I swear I am trying to work on them but I have been so darn busy! I have been looking for a job–and due to the low demand for entry level public health workers in Southern California I have decided to expand my search to other states as well. Expanding my search makes a whole skew of other factors I need to look at while applying (mainly can I afford to live with the pay being offered.) Anyway there have also been a lot of parties, a friend visited from out of town, I have had a few sessions and have been on a total baking/making treats kick! I tell you it has been quite a fun time around my way lately. Too much living, not a whole lot of blogging… All you who can blog and live at the same time–I admire you!

Last week started training for Octobers 1/2 marathon! I am excited, I am following a training plan this time and I really hope that it helps my time, my goal is 2:36:00. Training has been kind of all over the place, last week I was doing awesome with 12:09/mile- 11:48/mile paces but this week I have been sucking! I hope that it is just the added weight training I am doing and once my body assimilates my pace will pick back up.

I have also been on a total salad kick! Summer salads are perfect when it’s too hot for anything else!

 

 

Killer Megapixels

Why I have awesome friends….

A little bit of a rant…

I have complete respect for wedding photographers. Honestly I regard it as one of the hardest most stressful jobs out there. You only get one shot to get the perfect picture. Your working conditions rely on the weather. You have to wear many hats and everyone is looking for you to get the perfect images. Your a time keeper, counselor, supporter, and many, many other things. That being said, individuals who pose as wedding photographers, yet do not have the talent, gear, or respect necessary to be wedding photographers, I have no respect for at all. I had a run in with one of these ‘pseudo-wedding-photographers” and it really made me sad to see her pass herself off as a professional when clearly she was not. ( I mean, I wouldn’t even shoot a wedding because while I am a good photographer, I am not at wedding photographer level) I am trying to make this sound as non-bitchy as possible so bare with me.

Recently, like two weeks ago, my brother got married in Ohio. Where he was married they offered a wedding package that includes a ‘professional photographer,’ since they didn’t know I was coming, they got the photographer package as well.
On the wedding day, a lady wearing a very unprofessional outfit showed up with her T2i (with kit lens) and tripod. (now that is a decent camera, but it was not good enough for the lighting conditions) She was shooting entirely on auto, using poses from the 70’s. I was heart broken for my brother! Since he asked me the night before to take lots of pictures at his wedding,I began to pull out my camera and lens. Wanting to give the photographer as much respect as possible I stood in the back and used my 70-200 to capture pictures of the ceremony. Upon seeing my camera she gave me a dirty look (what my mom said) and moved back to where I was and stood right in front of me. From where I was standing, with the lens she was using, she was getting pictures of peoples backs and not the couple getting married. I moved to the front to get a few pictures of them saying their vows. The photographer proceeded to move up front too, again standing right in front of my camera. I moved back to give her space and she moved too… I was getting pretty frustrated at this point, but kept taking pictures. At this point I moved to stand by my parents ( in the back) she once again moved back to me but this time ran into my lens ( my $2000 lens!) I was a little more than pissed, but I just moved to the side, and again she stood in front of me and pushed me out of the way. At this point I had, had enough and put a prime lens on my camera and just took the shots I could get. The sad part about it is this photographer was too busy ‘bullying’ me to pay attention to the actual wedding. She was playing photographer and my brother suffered. Being a photographer as well, I was trying to be as respectful as possible giving her space staying out of her way, but she kept returning. It was really ridiculous. It was unprofessional and it was petty. I was at the point of just putting my camera away completely but my brother asked me not to.

Needless to say, my brothers pictures from her turned out horribly. They were dark, overly warm, and very grainy. (I can’t show them on here, because that would be a copyright violation) They were not the quality of a professional photographer by any means and it is sad that this individual is taking such an important moment in two peoples lives and ruining the memories. Fortunately for my brother he had me to capture the memories right, but I feel sad for the other people that this lady pons herself off on as a professional photographer… Granted she only charges $100 for a wedding…. It is still pretty ridiculous.

Okay there is my little rant. I had to get it out… My main point is, photography is not easy, when done right, it is a complex art. Wedding photography is even harder. It takes a lot to be a wedding photographer and it is sad to see individuals belittle the art.

Since every post is better with pictures… Here are a few I captured

An Aunt’s tale, how to embarrass the crap out of your nieces on facebook.

Tonight I tell a tale of bravery, valor, and heroism…. Or just a tale of how I annoy the shit out of my niece on facebook. She is at that delicate age of 13 where it is super easy to embarrass her and facebook makes it that much easier! (Trust me, I’m that cool aunt)

 

So it all started with an innocent “Truth is” post from natalie (Isn’t that how all of these stories start) & it turned into a comment waging, like-bombing, photoposting war!

These are my ‘comment bombs’

 

haha I post some funny shit on facebook

 

I also posted this on my other niece’s facebook… haha I really am the coolest aunt ever…. Or most embarasing… your pick

 

Oh and in Ohio I also took a picture of a tiger…

Pretty, Huh?

Okay… Well there is your daily dose of random crap.

I guess that means I’m a runner now.

This past weekend I ran in my 3rd 1/2 marathon! Yep 3rd! One year ago I walked my first 5k and here one year later I have my 3rd 1/2 marathon under my belt! 🙂 I ran with Greg and Daisy, well I just ran with Daisy, Greg was behind us (but not by much). I am still deciding if I liked the race of not. It had its ups and it had its downs. The jury is still out.

One issue I had, was that I had a hard time getting my beach cities metal. They had it recorded that I ran the OC marathon last year (meaning I would have gotten the medal at Surf City) Um, pretty sure I would remember running a marathon! Anyway after that all sorted out I got a new bib and unfortunately the tag didn’t register and I didn’t get an official time :(. I had my Garmin so I got a time from that…. but I looked up Daisy’s time and then subtracted my time (from a finisher picture) from her time (official) and got 2:55:35, which was just a tad off from my Garmin. New PR for me and I reached my goal of a sub 3 hour 1/2 marathon!

 

The day started  with a 4am wake-up call. I had no problem getting up since I was so excited for the race. We left at 4:30–and boy am I glad we did– and ended up getting to the fair grounds (where the suttles take you to the start) at 5am, even though my shuttle time was for 5:45, I wanted to be safe. It turned out to be a good idea since the shuttle line was over 1/2 a mile! It took 40 minutes to get on a shuttle and we barley made it to the starting line (see this is why I have mixed feelings about the race). Anyway I ended up meeting up with Daisy and before we knew it, we were off. The race started with a one mile incline, but it wasn’t that bad and I even was at my normal one mile pace for long runs (about 11:40). I picked up during mile 2 and the first 6 miles seemed to breeze by. I was doing great! I slowed down and walked through a water station at mile 7 and then kept running until mile 8. At mile 8 I started to walk .25 of each mile until mile 12. At mile 12 I walked 1/2 a mile before jogging the rest of the way in. I am really proud of myself for this 1/2 marathon! Not only did I PR, but I I actually jogged most of the 1/2! Even better than that, I wasn’t even sore at the end and today only my abs are sore 🙂 Yeah. I am going to totally call myself a runner from now on!

Me at the finish, with my AWESOME beach cities medal!

Me with my ‘Finisher’ shirt.

Giving Credit where Credit is due:

I have to say thank you to my best friend Daisy. I honestly don’t know if I would have done sub 3 without her. She pushed me on my long runs, we kept each other accountable and she was such a big help getting through the first 7 miles! I also have to give props to Greg, he PR’ed too and was only a tad sore!

This was our joke. The night before Daisy was telling out friends that she was going to ‘die’ and I was going to have to carry her across the finish line.

Orange County ½ Marathon

Pros Cons
Amazing Course (breath-taking, beautiful) Beach Cities Issues
Tons of water stations! Amazingly Helpful Unorganized Shuttles
Good Expo Tag didn’t register
Nice Medal Little Support from staff
Easy Run (despite the hills) RUDE ‘Event Staff” (that is what their shirt said, I think they were fair ground staff

Overall the Pros outweigh the Cons and I will probably run it next year… Unless the Safari Park 1/2 marathon happens to fall on the same day again.

________________________________________________________________________

I would like to say that yes I know a lot of people can do 2:55 in their sleep for a 1/2 marathon, but the only person I race against is myself. My first 1/2 back in October took me 3:34 in February I did a 1/2 in 3:20 and now in May I broke 3 hours!

 

Also, I know a lot of people judge ‘runners’ differently, like it is an elite club or something, but I don’t care, I am a runner. I don’t care that I don’t train as hard as others, or can’t run more than 8 miles straight, or run slow 1/2 marathons. The thing is, I run, I run often, I run hard, I run and thus I am a runner. <– I have a post coming up about this later!

 

My super awesome medals that make up the beach cities. 🙂 I am trying to think of a way to display them… any ideas?

Look at that motivation!

For the past two weeks, my weight has been steady… No up, no down. Stuck. Neutral. I needed a kick start and my upcoming trip wasn’t good enough. I really didn’t know what was going to get me out of this slump, but yesterday I found it and I got the motivation I needed.

Yesterday when I was waiting for Greg to get home from school, I decided it was still light enough to go for a run. So I laced up my shoes, grabed my Garmin and ran. The run was awesome, I didn’t feel strained at all. I was running at a difficult, yet comfortable pace. The awesome part was when I looked at my Garmin at mile 1 and I was at 10:37 mile! I have not had a mile that fast since high school! It takes one minute off my normal mile time, I was on cloud nine! The best part was, for mile 2 I was able to keep the pace up. I really hope this means I am getting faster, I would love to start working towards a sub 30 minute 5k after Sundays 1/2 marathon. I think a lot of it was the fact I knew I was only going 2 miles. I wasn’t trying to pace for 5+ miles. It was so fun and freeing just to run!

Anyway, back on track. When I got home from my run, I realized I was wearing the same outfit as in my ‘before’ picture. Even though I have stayed steady, I decided to have Greg take a picture anyway. WOW! I was amazed at my results. It was amazing seeing just how far I have come in 4 months! Yes I have only lost 22 pounds, but personally I think it looks like more. The pictures were just what I needed to get back on track. This morning I had my oatmeal breakfast + Fruit (I have been skipping breakfast lately). It is amazing how much better it makes you feel!

 

The most colorful shower of my life!

I feel like it has been forever since I have posted… I have so much to post about too! Since I’m slightly pressed on time (jeeze, I have a lot going on in the next few weekends!) I’ll start with updating you on something I was really looking forward too. The Color Run! Have you heard of it? I found the Color run on Pinterest and though it was a crazy cool 5k and I knew I just had to do it! I brought the idea up with my friends and because they are completely awesome, they were down! The color run is coined as ‘The happiest 5k on the planet” and boy were they right! It was a super fun color bomb day!

Since we were a team, we needed a team name, naturally we choose ‘Bazinga’ Yep, were rad. We wanted to make the team thing official so we also made some rad ‘Bazinga’ t-shirts! All thanks to my wonderfully creative boyfriend, honestly they were amazing, he is spectacular!

The run was not the most organized event in the world, the line to get in was LONG (i.e. it was quicker to walk 2 miles in than to drive in). The start time was also very disorganized, there were no real waves, just line up and go when they say. They did pass out more color and bracelets at the starting line, yay for free stuff! We started off jogging but found it was more fun to walk and take our time.

Here we are all nice and crisp and clean. Look at those shirts, amazing right!

Each 1k they had a color strip where people threw color, it was fun, but at some stations they had run out of color. We improvised though and rolled in the color 🙂 Yeah, we were those people. lol During the blue station a guy dumped a lid full of powered on my head; at the time, it was super fun… 4 days later… my scalp is still blue.

Even though it was a run, we walked, it was a lot better that way (more color). It was fun to see the different costumes and all of the other people covered in color. My favorite part was defiantly the end, where they had a ‘color-party’ every 15 minutes. The last blast of color, super fun!!!

Here we are all nice and clean still.

All in all, the race was a blast and really one of those experiences that stay with you. The shower after the race, was also really run. I mean seriously when is the last time you took a shower where the water turned into a rainbow!?!? I can’t wait to run again, I’m thinking you will see team Bazinga again in Las Vegas 2013! 🙂

 

& for good measure… images from my colorful shower experience…

 

 

BAZINGA!

The Long Run

I have so much to update you on…. Color run, upcoming trip, weight loss, photography, among other things. Even though I have a post for every one of these topics sitting in my ‘to be posted’ bin, they are half finish, I have found that about 1/2 through a post, I get bloggers-block.

I decided a good way to get over blogger-block was to post on something that was almost unblockable

Here I am prerun 🙂 See all happy.

Greg and I before the run!

I swear, I treated this like a race… but I was excited for my last long run :).

The run started off pretty slow.  Not pace wise, but I swear during the first mile, I though my garmin was broke. I felt like it was at least 2.5 miles, but it was really only .6miles. After 3 miles though the run was going pretty well. I was feeling great until mile 6 when my knee started to hurt, but nothing big.

I had one major accomplishment during the run, I was able to run 6 miles straight with a pace under 13:00/mile. I have had a goal for a while to run 5 miles straight, and I finally did it! At mile 7 Daisy and I started to run intervals, which worked out pretty well. This run felt good, it made me feel confident for Sunday. I am really hopping for a sub 3:00:00 pace. If I copy this run, I will do it! 🙂

Check back, I’ll let you know how Sunday goes.

Me after the run 🙂 Not all tired. I really could have went another 2.1 miles 😉 (but I’ll save that for Sunday: OC 1/2 marathon)

The 5D difference

Be warned, this is a long post. The 5D is just so awesome! I’ll add lots of pictures though so, if your not going to read, you at least have something pretty to look at :).

When I got my 50D, I remember everything I felt and unfortunately the biggest emotion I had was regret. I had wanted a 7D, but settled on a 50D close out (in retrospect, I am glad I got the 50D). I remembered taking test shots, comparing my XSI to the 50D. I remember not being impressed. I remember taking it to the wild animal park and being disappointed in the quality. I didn’t understand. I just spend $1000 on a camera, a semi-pro body, and my pictures were no better than the ones I took with my XSI. Although I learned to use and love my 50D, I will never forget the feeling of regret I had.

When I got my 5D none of those feelings came to my mind. I didn’t regret my choice one bit. I didn’t regret the amount of money the camera cost. I didn’t regret the fact that I will be paying my parents back for the camera for the next few months. Once I looked through that full frame, I knew I made the right choice. I took the camera to the wild animal park this weekend. I had a much different experience than my first time out with my 50D. I was completely in love with the camera. For the first time I felt that I was reaching my full potential. The colors that I saw were the colors that appeared on the screen. The lighting was breath taking. Granted I do have quite a few quality L lenses as well now. The difference between what I can capture on my 5D compared to my 50D blows me away.

I’ll give you a little breakdown on just how much I love my new camera:

Stepping up to the 5D mk iii was a big jump from my 50D, so I can’t give a review as comprehensive as if I was stepping up from the mk ii, but I can give a good review for those wondering if you should step up from your current consumer-level or semi-pro DSLR.

The screen, man-oh-man, is that a screen! It is large and the colors are just wonderful. Very true to what appears on the computer. The one downside is the zoom in method. I am not thrilled with the placement, nor with the way have you to zoom in on camera. It isn’t a deal breaker by any means, but it is awkward enough for me to complain about.

One thing I love most about the 5D MK III is the low light performance. While I had never given much thought to this before, I never really realized just how much I was limited. I remember upgrading from an XSI to a 50D and loving that I had a larger ISO range. Calling the ISO range from the 5D to the 50D larger, would be an insult, it’s more like a colossal upgrade. But we all know, it is one thing to have a higher ISO range, but that means nothing if the quality of picture is lacking. The 5D MK III does not fall short when it comes to quality in low light. Rather than tell you I’ll show you. Here is this picture from a recent shoot of mine. We arrived at this location a bit late; the sun was all but gone. Knowing they wanted this shot, I did what I had to, to get the shot. In the back of my mind I was thinking how I was going to have to edit this image a lot afterwards to. I cranked the ISO up to 1600, and the image came out fine, when I uploaded the raw file, I found almost no grain, certainly not enough to hinder the image. I was in awe! A little photoshop warming and the image is complete.

Here is a sample image at 12800 ISO. Yeah, 12800 ISO. The low light performance speaks for itself.

Here is an image at max ISO. It is more grainy, and dark. But there has been no processing to this image. It would be easy to make this a useable picture. The image was also resized which effected the grain a tad.

Overall, low light performance = amazing. Way to go Canon.

If you’re curious, I also did some test shots at 256000, here is the result:

Another great feature on the 5D is the 61 point focal system. First let me say, OH MY GOSH! Now that, that is out of the way… With the 61-point focal system I didn’t know quite what I was getting, I mean for the most part I was able to focus with my 50D quite well. Then I tested this puppy out and wow! The ability to pin point exact focal is such a nice feature. For me this comes in really handy for portraits, when AF wants to focus on something other than the face, it can be a struggle to get exactly what you want, but with the new 61-point focal system I can pin-point the face and get the exact shot I want, without the struggle. This also comes in handy for macro shots. One thing I have always had a problem with when shooting macro is focus. Really auto-focus with the 100mmL macro can be challenging sometimes, but with 61 focal points and the ability to pin-point what I want; soft images are no longer an issue.

Here is another SOC image. The top image was take after sunset. It was darkish, but we really wanted this image. So i bumped it up to 1600 and tada. It is amazing to see just how useable this image is.

The 5D MK III also makes me feel like a professional photographer. I am finally getting the shots that I have always pictured. The colors are exactly as I see them; the sharpness is exactly how I see it. I love it. I feel like I have complete control over my photography. I am no longer limited or do I have to rely on editing to polish off shots. I get exactly what I want the first time. This alone was enough for me to fall in love with the 5D.

The in camera HDR mode… I know there have been some complaints about this, for one people think it is a gimmick and does not belong on a probody. Before I tested it out, I felt the same. I didn’t think I would ever use it, and really didn’t care that it was on the camera. Then I tried it out and the census is, it is a fun little toy button. I don’t know how often I will actually use it, but I do know that it is a pretty cool feature (especially for someone like me, who doesn’t have HDR software). I think it will really add a different dynamic to landscapes and I am very excited to test it out when I go to Colorado next month.

Here is another image from a recent session. The 5D captures light amazingly.

Overall the 5D MK III is a mind blowing camera; it is the best camera I have ever set my hands on. Now, that being said, I wouldn’t rush out and buy it just because it is a good camera. A camera is only as good as you are. If you have a XXD, but no ‘L’ lenses, then I would never recommend buying a new camera before new lenses; however, if you have a wide arsenal of ‘L’ lenses and are looking for a step up then maybe you should look further into a body upgrade.

Hey mom, look what I can do!

I would like to start this post off by patting myself on the back. You will know why in a moment. 🙂 lol Okay with that out of the way, yes I do have homework I am procrastinating on, how did you know?– OH, the completely random blog post, and the images I made so that I would actually have something to post about–got ya!

Now on to the action…

Yesterday at Greg’s sisters I had questions about graphic design stuff–Katie is really good at that kind of stuff. Me… Not so much… I actually, believe it or not, barley know how to use PSE… My blog headers, for the longest time, were made in paint… yes PAINT! lol Anyway I was saying how I want to learn how to make photo templates for my blog post. That way I can better show case my photos. Katie told me I should be able to do it in PSE, so today (yes, while procrastinating on the important stuff) I played around with it and wouldn’t know know… I CAN!

this was my first creation… I like it 🙂

This was my second… & yes I already had a template from Pure that did this.. But this time I was able to make it! 🙂 Oh  and this is a teaser to my next post: The 5D difference.

 

This is another one I just made… Sorry about the logo in every image, I just dragged images I was already editing.

 

Oh, and all of the images featured in this post were taken with my new 5D mk III! I have to say I am loving that bad boy of a camera…. To put it this way… If Dr. Sheldon Cooper was a camera, he would be a 5D MK III 🙂 lol

 

p.S I know you want to take advantage of that senior portrait special!

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