Thursday, June 30, 2011

The American Flag

In one of my earlier posts, I talked about using large aperture setting (i.e. small f/ number)and low ISO on bright sunny days. This sounded like a good plan, but I found out it's not quite true. While I was at Old Fort Harrod, I played around with the settings. Here is an example:

At f/4.
Yikes! Washed out sky.

f/4, 1/800, ISO 200

At f/9.
Hmmm...doesn't seem to be better.
f/9, 1/125, ISO 200

At f/22.
Somewhat better but I couldn't capture the flag in motion because of the slow shutter speed.
f/22, 1/30, ISO 200

Different angle at f/4. Too dark.
f/4, 1/3200, ISO 200

This is probably the best I got that day.

f/10, 1/320, ISO 200

It's a delicate balance between the aperture and the amount of light you get. With larger aperture, the camera opening is also larger, hence, more light enters in. Meanwhile, the shutter speed adjusts with the aperture and could affect the end results. Ah, so many things to considered!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Rustic Life

Imagine living behind these fences.

f/22, 1/30, ISO 200

Where your home is a fortress.

f/22, 1/40, ISO 200

And the indigenous people are living right outside, preparing for another battle.

f/4.5, 1/400, ISO 1600

No fancy houses, just sturdy log cabins.

f/4.5, 1/4000, ISO 1600

This is where you would sleep.

f/4.5, 1/40, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

Perhaps you would become a carpenter specializing in wooden utensils.

f/4.5, 1/125, ISO 1600

This weekend we visited Old Fort Harrod where the first Kentucky pioneers settled in around 1770s. These cabins were rebuilt in 1930s. The reenactors told us that this land once had abundance of elk and bison. The pioneers traveled from Virginia, across the Appalachia Mountains, and decided Kentucky would be a good place to stay. Hard for me to imagine people walking hundreds of miles to claim land. Meanwhile they had to  deal with natives and wild animals. In addition, everything in their daily lives had to be made from scratch. Each person in the fort had special skills, ranging from hunting to cloth-making, but most important, staying alive.

f/14, 1/25, ISO 1600

The first school house in Kentucky.

f/22, 1/30, ISO 200

The lucky horseshoe.

Apparently if you take a used horseshoe and hang it above the front door with the opening facing upwards, it will bring you good luck.

Perhaps living in the pioneer life takes more than skills.
A little luck from the horseshoe just might take you a little further in life.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fudge Shoppe

Welcome to the Kentucky Fudge Company located in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

f/4.5, 1/400, ISO 1600

It was originally a pharmacy that somehow became a cafe.

f/5.6, 1/50, ISO 1600

Its menu consists of over a dozen of ice cream, coffee drinks, and more delicious goodness.

f/5.6, 1/25, ISO 1600

Hmmmm...what should I have?

We visited the first settlement in Kentucky, Harrodsburg today. The town began in 1774 where a group of pioneers made their way through the Appalachian Mountains and settled here. The town was filled with historic buildings and sites. This pharmacy/fudge shoppe is no exception.

f/5.6, 1/30, ISO 1600

I certainly got my fill with ice cream sundae today.

f/5.6, 1/25, ISO 1600

Wait...did I hear milk shake?
The kind that the waitress brings you the extra milkshake in the tall metal cup?
I will take a milkshake to go please, with extra chocolate syrup.

f/4.5, 1/25, ISO 1600

You might wonder about my previous random posts.
Yes, I may be having a writer's block, but that is no excuse.
I also realize that I am in a comfortable situation with my camera when I should be practicing and trying out new tricks.

Anyways, right now I got extra chocolate milkshake in my mind. I promise something better later.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Afternoon Nap

This is Lola.

You probably know her already.

On this warm Wednesday afternoon, she decided to take a nap.

f/5.6, 1/50, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

You may wonder.

Why, Lola, your nap spot looks awfully comfortable, what part of the house is this?

f/5.6, 1/50, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

The thing is, you never wake a sleepy wolf.

f/5.6, 1/60, ISO 1600

Oh com'on Lola, where is it?

"Alright, alright. It's my mom's lap" Lola said.

f/5.6, 1/60, ISO 1600

What a lazy dog I have.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 20, 2011


You see love when you are least expecting it.

But you know it's love when you see it.

f/4, 1/1250, ISO 400

In that moment, you know nothing can come in between.

Not even you.

Because it's love.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blueberry Picking

Yesterday I went blueberry picking in a nearby family-owned farm, and of course I brought my camera along.

f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 200

I got my basket ready.

f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200

And started picking!

f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 200

We harvested about 2 pounds of blueberries.
I had some for breakfast, a little for snack, and some more for dessert.
Blueberry jam, anyone?

f/5.6, 1/40, ISO 200

Then I found a peach orchard, so I picked a peach for tasting.
Okay, they are not quite ready yet but I had to make sure.

f/5.6, 1/50, ISO 200

You might hear this a million times already, but natural light is the best light source. Natural light = your best friend in photography. From my kitchen experience, you probably understand. However, on a sunny day like this, pictures could become too bright...almost like overexposed. Like this sunflower.

f/6.3, 1/640, ISO 200

And this:
f/5.6, 1/100, ISO 200

I learned to move around and find the best spot where the light is not reflecting back directly. At the same time, I made sure my shadow is not in the picture.

f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 200

f/6.3, 1/400, ISO 200

You see what I mean?

f/6.3, 1/500, ISO 200

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Peach Cobbler

The other day I went overboard with peaches. They were 88 cents a pound in the grocery store. Who could resist a deal like this? So I decide to make a peach cobbler, my favorite summer dessert (besides McDonald's 49 cents ice cream cone, but that's another story). Also, I am giving my food photography another shot. Here is the recipe:

1. Combine 3 tablespoons of cold butter, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Use a pastry blender to cut up the butter pieces until they become crumbly. One tablespoon at a time, add in cold water, up to 3 tablespoons.

f/4.5, 1/50, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

 2.  After step 1, your dough should stick together when you form it into a ball. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutess.

f/4.8, 1/40, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

3. Take five (or 2 pounds) peaches. This is only a portion of my peach stockpile.

f/5.3, 1/15, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

4. Slice em' up! Don't forget to munch on the peach flesh leftover on the pitts.

f/4.5, 1/25, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

5. In a mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to the peach slices. Mix em' up!

f/5, 1/20, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

6. Put the peach slices in a 8 in baking pan.

f/4.2, 1/25, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

7. Take your dough out of the fridge and roll it out into a sheet the size of the baking pan. Place the rolled-out dough on top of the peach slices (placing the flat dough on a roller might help moving it). Plop it into the oven at 400 degrees.

f/4.2, 1/40, ISO 1600, +0.3EV

8. Then wait patiently for 35 minutes.

f/4.2, 1/30, ISO 1600

9. Viola!!
f/4.2, 1/40, ISO 1600

Food photography is hard. Taking pictures of food takes a long time, every step you have to take a picture. Notice how I missed rolling out the dough? Also my kitchen does not get much natural light. During this photo session, I turned on all the lights in the kitchen and I even brought my tripod out. I did not use the tripod, instead I had to bring the items right underneath the stove light. Despite my efforts, some pictures still came out dull and blah. Almost like I took away the colors. I was reading the Pioneer Woman's 10 Things I learned about Food Blogging, I realized what I need to do: practice, practice, practice.


Monday, June 13, 2011

The Burning House

The other day I stumbled upon this website, The Burning House. It has photos of what people would take with them if their house was burning down. Browsing through people's photos got me thinking what I would bring with me if my little apartment was on fire. Here are a few things I thought about:

1. Lola
f/5, 1/125, ISO 1600

 2.  My Love

f/3.5, 1/30, ISO 1600

3. My running shoes and watch

4. Joy of Cooking

f/5.3, 1/50, ISO 1600

5. My handy Kitchen Aid Chef knife

f/5.3, 1/40, ISO 1600

6. "The Girl Who Played with Fire" by Stieg Larsson. I am on the last 80 pages of the book and I need to find out how it ends.

f/5.6, 1/30, ISO 1600

7. My family and the watch from my dad.

f/5.3, 1/50, ISO 1600

8. Passports

f/5.3, 1/40, ISO 1600

9. My Birkenstock

f/5.3, 1/15, ISO 400

10. My camera

What would you bring?
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