30 August 2013

Star Trail

It might seem very unlikely, but my star trail attempts have proved to be my most adventurous/crazy photography moments ever. 
So, yeah! Tonight was no exception.

My mom was gracious enough to volunteer to go sit in the car with me while I took a star trail.
I kind of felt bad, though, because I knew that I was mainly going to be experimenting; so I wasn't sure that I was even going to come away with a picture worth her trouble of being out there with me for an hour or two.

So, I began with a few "test" pictures to figure out what lens I really wanted to use and all.
This image was actually pitch black so I had to bring the exposure up in Lightroom.

 18mm focal length   -    f/3.5   -    ISO 100   -    30 seconds

I wanted to try shooting wide open so I put my 50mm lens on and shot at f/1.8 for 15 seconds (ISO 100)
And I still had to add some exposure to it...

I decided I didn't like the 50mm crop so I got my kit lens back on at 18mm and left it on 15 seconds, ISO 100, and f/3.5.
The image was still pitch black, so I began to figure that if I just put it on Bulb I could get start testing out longer exposures until I got the image right.

So I set my timer for about 8 min., I used the remote to open the shutter in Bulb mode, then I laid down beside my camera and star gazed. 

After about 4 min. there was this HISS that came from the grass not to far from me! It scared me out! of! my! wits!!! I'm not sure if it was a snake or some sort of a cat, but whatever it was got quite a loud reaction out of me, haha! I started stuttering/screaming to my mom who was in the car with the windows down, as I jumped back in the car leaving my camera out there with the shutter still open, lol. My mom heard it hiss again after I got in the car, so we shown our spot light out in the direction of my camera and beyond to see if we could see anything. At this point I'm thinking, "Great! we just ruined whatever picture I might have had, by shinning the light out there!" But I was still too frightened to really care. Then we backed the car up and shown the headlights in that direction too, and still didn't see anything, so I finally jumped out and got all of my gear. My mom and I were done! Haha!
I grabbed my camera without closing the shutter again because I was sure the picture was already ruined anyway, so I just pressed the shutter button as I hurriedly put my camera in the back seat, and we drove off.
When looked at the image on the LCD screen, I was like, "Wow, that's actually kinda cool..."
So this is what I got.
ISO 100    -   18mm   -   f/3.5   -   414 seconds (about 7 min.)

I was actually really surprised that I had the image perfectly focused on the stars, too. I had just guessed where the focus should be with manual focus. He! Not too shabby for a shot that could have gone wrong is so many more ways than one.
I just wish I could have gotten a longer trail... like a 45 min worth trail :D

Okay, now time for bed! :)

28 August 2013

The Country + Lensbaby

I brought out my Lensbaby Edge 80 lens yesterday out in the country
near my aunt and uncle's house. Many thanks to the cows for cooperating
and a very un-busy county road so I could get these shots, lol ;)

love selective focus...

To get to the cows, I had to cross a little stream in the ditch.
So off go the shoes! Ahh... it felt so cool and refreshing!


27 August 2013


I really have no title for this post.
I could come up with some sort of cute name for
this type of random post, but it should really
be called something like Therapeutical Editing and Sharing ;)
But yeah... that would be an awkward title :)

I just had one of those off days at college yesterday.
Nothing really went wrong, but it was just a "bleh" kind 
of day. So I came home and took pictures and edited. :)

Top to Bottom:
West Virginia Farm
A little guy from a family session
Yummy stuff from a bakery from our senior trip 

My dad and dog, on their daily walk downtown [normally to the barbershop to visit :)]
Those little mini-strawberries (weeds) that we would "eat" when we played "house" as little kids ;)

A little birdie I took silhouettes of.
These were the ones I took last night...
up in the attic of our garage.

I was really wanting a silhouette of my car, so I stopped on the way home and tried 
to get one, but the sun had already set, so there wasn't enough light left.

-MarLeahJoy :)

25 August 2013

Steven and Ashley {Wedding}

This is my cousin's wedding that I attended back in June.
I was all excited to just take some pictures as a guest, until I arrive
at the wedding. Turn on my camera. And it doesn't turn on. 
Yep, no battery. It was happily plugged into the wall.
I, on the other hand, about had a melt-down.
Okay, not really. But I was pretty disappointed.

One of my sweet cousins (yes, I know I have waayyy too 
many cousins) ;) heard about it, and she gave me 
her camera to use for the day. Thank you so much!
So I attached my Lensbaby and shot away.

There's more to the story:
I didn't have a way to get the pictures from her camera
that day, so we arranged to get them during our national
camp meeting. So, they just got dumped on my computer at
the most busy time, and I really had no intentions of even editing them
or doing anything with them. (horrible, right!?)

I made another purchase. (If I don't slow down on making purchases,
I'll probably go loopy from all the excitement of all these new things! Ahhh!)
I got Pure Presets Set 2 from Pure Actions for Photographers.
I needed something to test them on, of course.

My lovely sister :) 

And now my "lovelies" ;)

Yes, and the people who keep me good company...

...and remind me to stay fashionable. ;)

Ashley's grandpa is such a loving man and so grandfatherly!

...warms my heart to see this cute little girl with her daddy.
I snuck this of them while they went off to sit in the shade during
the ceremony. 

This makes me miss the bright colors of summer. 
Why are people already wearing darker colors?!

And they had a delicious reception! ;)

My cousin and me :)


24 August 2013

Cloning Faces in Lightroom

Yes, it can be done.
And yes, I'm super proud of myself.
So proud that I think I might reward myself by 
purchasing some presets.
(I was thinking of purchasing them 
anyway because they are 1/2 off from

(click on the picture to make it larger)

I cloned three faces. It was a slightly hectic, messy "workspace" on the 
picture, but it really didn't take too long.

And it is just expected that you won't always get a perfect picture
during a family session involving children.
So, this is what to do when you don't have Photoshop to solve the problem :)


21 August 2013

Starting College {Personal}

I am absolutely in love with college... which is amazing, because I was really hesitant to even go to college. I did not want to be stuck with anymore homework. But I think my brain is already kicking in and ready for a challenge after being on break for so long.
When I was in my accounting class Monday evening, I started to freak out a little when the instructor was already talking about assets, liabilities, credit, debit. But then I was like, "Wait, I know what he's talking about...." So I think that will be my most challenging class, but I'm kind of excited to learn, what my instructor calls, "the language of business".

I love my schedule so much because it allows me to have all the morning to myself, and that's what I always hated about going to high school, I had to leave my cozy room so early in the morning.
And I love having my window open to hear the birds and let the beautiful soft sunlight reflect off my floor. I think it's so pretty, I even took a picture for you. ;P

During those 3-4 hours before I go to school, I include a run with our dog who is terribly annoying to run with. Here's a story to illustrate:
Yesterday, I was running along and all of a sudden he just stepped right in front of me and stopped with his body turned, so I t-boned him and stepped on him, and stumbled all around. On top of that I was running down a hill... it's a wonder I didn't flip right over the dog onto my face! :P That would have been interesting to see a video of. lol.

This morning before my run, I remembered something on pinterest, and I was inspired to try to replicate it of myself running.... Ummm... It didn't quite turn out like I expected, but I got another idea from it. So I guess that's okay.

I made it from three pictures I cloned together in Lightroom. I had to take a few loop holes to get that done... like combining the pictures first into one picture, clone, and then crop back to just one picture.
And it is by no means a perfect clone because I didn't even zoom in when I cloned it... it was just a quickie... just for fun :)

and... that's how I did it in a few minutes during my break between classes.

One more class today and that concludes my classes for this week. [Did I mention I love my schedule, lol, I've told about everyone that asks me about college that I'm so excited about my schedule :) At least I'm not griping ;)]


19 August 2013

Grand Gulf State Park

      So this was the last day I was at camp...
most of the people had already left to go home,
so the left-over young people went back to the 
state park again.                                 

It was an amazing little walk along the water bed.
Jumping from stone to stone... :)

And there's my sister at the look-out. Wayyyy up there!

Ahh... nature is wonderful!

By this time my lens was fogging up so bad, 
but I still think it looks kinda cool.

And this was the cave that some walked through
just the day before. Hopefully, I'll get to go through
it in coming years when it's not filled to it's brim.