January 30, 2012

Lighten Up!...

Did I tell you I'm in love?  I fell hard, and I fell quick.  And the Better Half is all for it.  Actually, it was his idea (sort of...afterall, I did gently plant the seed).  Oh heck, I wasn't even subtle about it.  I dumped it on him like a ton of  bricks.  Be still my heart.  My new Canon 50mm f1.4 lens!  And now?  I have seen the light.  LOTS of light.  If only my hips were as easy to "lighten up".   There has GOT to be a way on PhotoShop to do that.

I've been totally trying to get that blurred with lightness, airy, and soft effect that Kim Klassen achieves in her photos.  Yes, I have gotten close to it before.  But only after A LOT of editing manipulations, adjustments, and swearing.  But now? With the f1.4 I can now get it practically SOOC (why do I hear an info-mercial when I read back that sentence?).  Only a couple of balance adjustments and voila!   What is even MORE impressive?  A couple of months ago I wouldn't have understand ONE WORD of what I just wrote! haha.

And here is my first assignment from Kim's "Beyond Layers" class, with my new lens.  I honed in on the word "Tradition" as it pertains to a string of pearls my Granny gave me to wear at my wedding 30 years ago.  The clasp is now broken, and they sit in my jewelry box gathering dust.  I think it is time to get that fixed and let them see the light too.



"String of Pearls"
(f2.0, 1/4000 shutter speed, 1600 ISO)

My Granny was a tough old bird.  Truth be told, she scared me a bit.  At the very least she intimidated the heck out of me with her bravado.  There are two things she told me that have had an everlasting effect on my life:

1.  "Are you SURE you want to major in "Speech Communication" when you talk so funny?"  (and I promptly switched to "Advertising")

2.  "I like you Kathy.  I HAVE to love ya cause I'm your Granny, but that doesn't mean I HAVE to like ya!".  (I was 14 when she told me that...I realized I had won her over at that moment, but it also begged my life long quest to figure out who she DIDN'T "like" in my family).

Eleanor certainly navigated a few bumps in her road. Quite scandalous to marry a divorced Catholic in the 1920's.  Lost her husband when she was in her 30's and had to raise 5 kids on her own.  She never re-married.  But I have no doubt she lead quite the "interesting" life none the less.  And as much as she intimidated me, I loved her and admired her.  There was one summer when I was in college where I would drive to her home in Philly a few times a week.  We would sit on the front porch of her row home on 5th street watching the traffic and trolleys drive by.  She would indulge my college newfound "sophistication" by letting me smoke my cigarettes while we talked about everything and nothing.  And she would remind me to eat some peanut butter before I walked into my house so my dad (HER son) wouldn't know I had been smoking.


Eleanor Hagenmeyer McIntyre


AND...Granny would always tell me to "Lighten Up Faffy".  Faffy?   When I was little apparently I couldn't say my K's.  She knew I was a fairly serious soul.  So yes,  now that I got these pearls out to try out my f1.4's capabilities to "lighten up" my photos, I think I will get the clasp fixed so I will continue to remember to "Lighten Up Faffy".  I guess I should probably add a third thing to my list of "Granny-isms".  Oh yes...she DID tell me she hoped my "smoking phase" wouldn't last long...and it didn't.


--Faffy

25 comments:

  1. You can't fight love I say - glad your husband understands and is being so open minded about it all. I guess he can't really argue when he sees quality photos such as your one today. Kathy, I think you've done such a beautiful BEAUTIFUL stylish job here. Thanks also for sharing a little about your grandmother, my goodness, 5 boys to raise by herself.

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  2. My heart smiled at your post. Your Grandmother sounds like she was a strong personality - a force to be reckoned with! (While you were sitting on 5th street, I was sitting on 27th - we really DO have to meet up!) You'll never believe this. My word(s) for this year are "lighten up"! I, to, have been frustrated with my lens - I was online last night looking up 50mm 1.8 & 50mm 1.4, dreaming of splurging on one. I think your post is a sign! At least that's what I'm gonna tell my husband!
    (And the pearl photo? Gorgeous!)

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  3. WOO HOO!!! (happy dance!) my nifty fifty rarely leaves my camera. I'm so happy for you and your new love. You rocked the shot in every way Kathy. Awesome story too. wow.

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  4. Great shot - And I'm chuckling as I read the line about you not understanding a year ago what you just wrote...cause I don't understand it now...yes, take a basic photography class is somewhere on some list of mine! Great story about your grandmother - and you tied it all together so well!!

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  5. I so enjoy your photo stories. One granny passed before I was born, the other before I turned a year old. I heard a few stories though that makes them seem a bit more real to me. Your grandmother was quite a lady and given you wonderful memories to share.

    I so get the lingo now, but I'm still learning and loving it.

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  6. Kathy, your image is so beautiful - great shot, lovely processing and so special because it's an heirloom.
    The story about your Grandmother was lovely. Raising kids alone is so difficult. I raised my 4 alone for 13 years after their Dad fled the country - they are all adults now. Your grandmother must have been such a strong and capable person.

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  7. I truly love your stories ... you have a way of telling them!
    Congrats on your new lens .... and WOW .... what a great shot of them pearls!
    And Granny......beautiful woman!

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  8. Gorgeous capture, love all the negative space, and a gorgeous heirloom. And then there's your granny. OMGosh! What a COOL granny you had! I loved her advice about the peanut butter and smoking - HA HA HA! I wish I'd known this one, I used to get caught smoking ALL THE TIME because I came in smelling like smoke! Thankfully, though, my smoking phase is over too. Phew! What a beautiful grandmother you had - one that danced to the beat of her own drum, something to be admired in any woman - especially from from that era. Loved your story and image! :)

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  9. Wonderful image...lovin' all that negative space. You are gonna love that lens. I have the Nikkor 50 mm 1.4 and it is on my camera right now. Great for taking those indoor late at night shots. Have fun!!

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  10. Congrats on the new lens! Your grannie sounded like quite the interesting woman! Love that your smoking phase didn't last long, but loved the image of the times spent on the porch as well.

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  11. Kathy, your Grandma sounds like quite a person!!
    Congratulations on the new lens. It's a beauty, as is this photograph. Now go get those pearls fixed!! :-)

    Thank you so very much for sharing with us this week at The Creative Exchange.

    I hope you are having a wonderful day!

    lisa.

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  12. Such wonderful memories and a stunning picture!! She was so gorgeous too!!

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  13. Terrific post and photo! I've been dreaming of a nifty 50 and one day I'm sure I'll get one, too!

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  14. Oh, what a sweet sweet story and you NAILED the pearls--just like Kim!! I had an Aunt Ernestine who was a tough bird and get more and more like her. Can't tell you how many times my brother and sister have said, "You've turned into Aunt Ernestine." I take it as a compliment. When I was 10 she scared me; when I was 18 I adored her. Miss her terribly now.

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  15. Advertising, I think you are a writer. I can't get enough of your stories. Thank you, it brought back a few great moments with my own gran. Fabulous photograph too.

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  16. You grandmother must have been an amazing woman.
    The pearls look gorgeous What exposure did you use?

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  17. Congrats on the new lens! The pearls look gorgeous. Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman. And beautiful, too. such a wonderful photo of her. Thanks for sharing the story.

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  18. OH, simply gorgeous! I'm green with envy!! :) loved hearing about your grandmother.

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  19. Think your pearl photo and your story are both fabulous. Know that you are absolutely going to love that lens, and guess that you have sold me on getting one too before Hawaii.Loved the stories of you grandmother and the photo that you posted of her.Wonderful memories and times of such significant connection with someone who meant so much in your life. Love that blurred "dreamy"background on your photo!!

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  20. oh, you are so cute... i was jut like you when i got my 50mm/1.4 lens last november. i felt like a real photographer when i got it! and i had waited for soooooo long to get something nice... and upgrade. it was like my creative soul let out a big sigh, 'cause i did not feel as creatively stuck {in a box} and i could take my photos to a new level. i get just what you mean.

    here is my post after i got my lens...
    http://itsjusthowiseethings.blogspot.com/2011/11/thankful-for-good-things-in-small.html

    so glad for you. you will absolutely love the lens. the only drawback i find is that i can't zoom in and out. but like kelly said, my lens never leaves my camera.

    your photos is so beautiful. i see you do have photoshop by what you wrote... disregard my last comment/question on your most recent post. and, yes... hahaha... photoshop can lighten our hips! i use it all the time to lighten the bags under my eyes. =)

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  21. You will love that lens. I have the 50mm 1.8 and used it exclusively at the missions and in my last foto Friday at the concert. And because it's a prime it pushes you to move around and see your subject differently!!

    Yeah you!!! : ) The photo is soft and gorgeous!

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  22. The photo of the pearls is indeed gorgeous! I love the story about your granny.

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  23. Well your grandma sounds like quite the gal.. Your love for her is written all over this post.. And you made her pearls look amazing.. Have fun with your new lens..

    Hugs, Linda

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  24. Beautiful post.

    Regards and best wishes

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  25. I am with you - I LOVE my 50mm. I have a 1.8 (thrifty 50) - but still, I Love it! I shoot with it probably 90% of the time! Looove. it. You will too- I suspect! Can't wait to see the greatness you create with it! :)
    p.s. your pearl picture is very pretty!!

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