Blogging

On Balance, Blogging, and Turning Two

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

me and boy

Today is just an ordinary Tuesday for most of you, but for me it marks the two year anniversary of my blog!  Yay!

What a year! I never imagined so many opportunities would come my way and I am so grateful to all of you who visit now and then, thank you SO much!

I’m one of those many multitasking moms, but lucky enough to be able to work from home, blessed with good health, great kids, a supportive husband, and a plethora of power tools.  Life is pretty good, and I’m thankful everyday. 

I often get these questions: How do you balance it all and get so much done? How do you manage your time?  How Do You Do It All?

My friends, let’s face the truth.  No one can ever “do it all”.  Not unless you’re Martha Omnimedia with unlimited resources and highly paid staff to cater to your every whim.  Then yes you probably can do it all, I suppose. 

There are plenty of things I don’t do, and for me, that’s the key to the ‘balance’ question.  I’ve decided what I can accomplish in any given day or week, what I have to sacrifice to get it done, and the power of saying ‘No’ to the things that won’t work for me and my family. 

Life (and blogging) is an ongoing treadmill, and Year Two taught me a few things.  But like a runner who’s been running for awhile, most importantly it taught me to find my stride.  The last two months have been extremely challenging.  I flew to the east coast three times in six weeks, all the while doing all the other things I ordinarily do.  I can’t believe I haven’t fallen down or gotten sick, which is nearly impossible when you’re on so many airplanes and picking up all those germs on every hotel doorknob and elevator button. 

I absolutely could not have stayed afloat this past year without my eternally patient husband, daily devotions, the support of some ‘got your back’ moms in my community watching over my munchkins, and Dori’s ‘just keep swimming’ attitude!  

 

I’m pretty disciplined with my time, but I’ve also learned to be forgiving of myself.  My house is never perfectly straightened, dust free, and it is rarely ready for company.  So what?  Perfection is not my goal, contentment is my goal.  Dishes and laundry and kid toys pile up, clutter creeps in, and to tackle it all I just keep swimming. 

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Snap! Even More Photography Tips

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Hello hello, hope you all are staying warm amidst the storms!  I hinted in last week’s article about better brighter blog photos that I would be bringing in some friends to back me up in my explanation that you can achieve better interior shots by pulling more light into your lens with the manual functions on your camera.  Well, well, that day has come! 

I gave all four blogger photographers a mini assignment.  Shoot for me the same image 1) with a flash, 2) on Auto with no flash, and then 3) in a Manual Mode, adjusting your aperture or f/stop, shutter speed and/or ISO setting.  (My brief definitions here.) 

Please welcome four of my favorite bloggers, who just so happen to have excellent photography skills, and are here to offer some fabulous tips for you!  Settle in with a hot cup of coffee or tea on this blustery day, and hear what they have to say. 

Mrs. Limestone of A Brooklyn Limestone in Progress:

“If there is one thing I repeat a lot on my blog it’s this: cameras don’t take good photos, people do.  It is essential you get to know your camera and some of what it can do to make great photographs.   It might seem daunting at first but it’s worth the effort.  Let’s use an example of this trio of vintage cameras.  Apropos, no?
 
The first shot is with the camera set on Auto with the flash turned on. I shudder just thinking about it because if there is ever a way to ruin a photo, it’s with on camera flash.  Take my word for it – never ever  use it and you’re photos will be so much better without doing a thing.

brooklyn limestone 1

See, not so good. So let’s try it again, this time with the flash off.

brooklyn limestone 2

 

So much better, but not quite right. I will be the first to tell you that the AUTO function (always with flash off) is pretty darn handy.  It makes for lovely photos 7 times out of 10.  That’s because nearly all cameras are quite smart in that they figure out how to get a good photo without any effort on the photographers part.  Particularly wonderful when you are trying to capture an image quickly and don’t have time to fiddle.  But sometimes there are outside influences that fool your camera and that’s when using the manual controls come in.
 

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