an athlete photographer's blog

Recent Posts

Don’t you want to run in Kansas?

Don’t you want to run in Kansas?

She pulled back her hair, set her sights on God and vowed to finish her race in victory…. The Run A couple hundred miles… The Pictures The Recap THANK YOU!!  There is no way I could have gotten to this point without all of the […]

December Running Recap

December Running Recap

Here’s to all the picture runs in the last month that didn’t get their own write up…. The Run Some amount of mileage The Picture The Recap It’s a blustery day outside, a Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Sunday to Monday, and I’m […]

A Study in Blue

A Study in Blue

So this last week, I’ve been working on this assignment for my photography class.  The assignment was called Blue.  It was supposed to be our interpretation of the word.  That’s it.  That’s the only instruction we got.  I felt like if I just went around taking pictures of blue things then it wasn’t terribly interesting.  I was floundering for a good direction. To make matters worse, I couldn’t rely on my normal natural light photography because my schedule kept me busy until right about sunset (only drawback of the winter is these short days).  So going off what I know about photography and comments from my teacher, I decided to create a series of portraits with blue being the striking focus in each one.  My teacher had suggested I do more portrait photography and since blue sounded like a boring topic then the only way to make it interesting was with a person.  People are fascinating.

EDIT_img_6544_sized_featured

So of course, I turned to my favorite little model.  Thankfully, she was happy to be a part of mommy’s project and as soon as I mentioned the idea of costumes she was hooked.  My friends really came through and helped me with the outfits.  She already had a solid blue dress, but the ballerina dress, the wedding dress, and the little white smock dress were all borrowed for the project.

I took all these pictures in 3 different photo sessions.  Before taking any pictures, we did a little shopping.  I bought a set of white sheets and found the bluebird Christmas ornament which we cut the string off of.  The bird had a clip too so that’s how I got it to stay in her hair in the one picture.  After the first two photo shoots, we went out and bought the feather boa for another prop.  We already had the blue Christmas ball.  I hung the sheets up on a frame made out of my daughter’s Fort Magic set.  Then using a down comforter as the floor, I constructed a very makeshift studio backdrop.  With a spotlight and a strand of white Christmas lights, I attempted to create some artificial soft light.

The lighting for the entire project was a disaster.  It was still way too dark in the pictures.  I used the flash for the second two photo shoots and that helped, but it was a total amateur job.  I had to fix every picture in photoshop.  For my assignment I’m supposed to turn in 25 images and then pick the best two and edit those.  I just edited them all and I figured I would just select my two favorites.  I had an idea to sprinkle blue sequins and take pictures of them falling.  That was a disaster, but I managed to keep one sequin picture for the project.  It is the least blue of all the pictures, but I like the subtlety.   Overall, I took more than 150 pictures.  I can’t say for sure because I deleted some along the way.  In the end, I think the pictures are best taken in together as an entire collection.

2collection 3_2collection 4collection

So what do you think?  Which are your favorites?  Hopefully my teacher likes my interpretation of Blue.  If I do something like this again then I’ll probably build a better studio, but I was on a time limit and I didn’t want to spend a lot more money on extra lights.  I made do.  Anyway, I have one extra picture which I loved, but couldn’t use.  It was from the sequin attempt.  This picture had absolutely no blue in it, but my daughter’s face was sweet:

EDIT_img_6474_sized

Also if you were on facebook or instagram, you saw the color vs. black and white comparison.  Most people said they liked the color version. I really like them both, but I’m partial to the black and white because I think the blue really pops.  However, for the class, we are supposed to use Photoshop and I changed the color of that image in a different program.  Since I didn’t know how to get that look in photoshop, I’m turning in the color version.

Compare

Ok that’s all for now.  Thanks for reading and following along with this assignment.  It was a lot more work than my other projects for this class, but I think it turned out in the end.  I’d love to know what you think!

signature_new_sized_smaller

 

Running: The Parallel Struggle

Running: The Parallel Struggle

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. – Arnold Schwarzenegger The Run 3.72 miles + 4.25 miles+ 3.08 miles The Picture  The Recap The bell rang and I […]

Photo Session: Flower and Piano

Photo Session: Flower and Piano

When you start to ask yourself, What haven’t I tried?– that’s when real creativity begins. This morning the light was streaming in through the living room window and falling delicately on the piano.  The beams of sunlight illuminated the dusty keys in beautiful natural light.  […]

Sincerely, The Picture Runner

Sincerely, The Picture Runner

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. — Matt Hardy


The Run
3 + 3.40 + 3.40 miles

The Picture

IMG_3522

The Recap

Don’t you want to run down this road?
I do!

This picture was snapped from my car on the way to taking my daughter to school.  And it had to be quick because, although we had time, we didn’t have a Ton of Time to spare.  And, as you might imagine, from the back seat, I’m hearing “Com’on mommy!  We’re going to be LATE!”  We have never been late.  However, this picture required a tiny detour in the wrong direction, whereas other driving-to-school-mommy-needs-a-picture pictures have been more on the way.  Like this one which is about a half a mile from our house and on the way:

IMG_3370But this sunrise behind the corn still heard some protests because I actually got out of the car for that one.

One thing I’ve re-learned since starting school again is that time management is more about snatching up those spare minutes and using, what I used to call “Dead Time” more effectively, than it is about having a super organized day.  The only way to get more time is to use the “in between” times to accomplish something.  Pictures edited in between stirring dinner.  Blog posts written in segments rather than long drawn out evening writing sessions.  A little done here, a little done there, Juggle, Juggle gets things done.

I’ve had to take this approach even with my running and taking pictures.  Most of my runs lately have been in the 3-4 mile range because I usually have about 30-45 minutes that I can allot to working out.  But these days I don’t have as much time to write on the blog and so I combined my mileage for the whole last week in this blog:  3 + 3.4 +3.4 miles.

The first two runs this week were Town Miles.  I am so unaccustomed to running through town at this point that it’s hard to judge town distances.  You can run past so many more houses in a quarter mile of town than you would ever see in the country.  There were several times where I thought I had run much further because I gone through so much of the neighborhood, only to discover it was less than a mile.

And for me, amongst the stoplights, crosswalks, pedestrians, bicycles, and general hub-bub, it’s hard to find things to take a picture of.  I feel like a side show for people in their cars waiting for the green light.  I always imagine people who see me with my camera out are thinking, “What’s that girl taking a picture of?” or “Why would she take a picture of that?” or (the worst) “There is a creepy, sweaty girl with a camera taking a picture of that person’s house!”  Is that what they are thinking?  Or are people even noticing?  I don’t know, but that’s how I perceive people’s glances when I have my camera out in town.  I assume everyone is judging.  This obviously doesn’t happen when I’m running down long country roads.

20151008This house is at the top of a very steep hill not far from the University.  I loved this long staircase and I was just hoping no one would come out because I wasn’t doing anything malicious, I just wanted a picture of the stairs.  So,

Dear People in House Number 203,

Here is a picture of your stairs.  I bet they are fun to run up and down.

Sincerely, The Picture Runner.

Or what about the house that I ran to on Tuesday with the pretty flowers.  (Some of you may have seen this one on instagram last week).  I took the picture one week and then ran down to their house this last week.  I was going to take another set of flower pictures, but lost my nerve because the intersection was busy.  Because nothing says creepy person like someone holding a camera with a telephoto lens pointed at your house.

Dear People in the Stone House on the Circle,

Your flowers are gorgeous.  I’ve been admiring them for weeks.

Sincerely, The Picture Runner

IMG_4114

IMG_4120

And then there were the people on Thursday who decided to water their plants.

Dear People in the House on the Corner,

Thank you for watering your plants.  I love taking pictures of water droplets.

Sincerely, The Picture Runner

Edit-img_4484_sized

My last run of the week was last night.   I didn’t take my camera.  I was running out of daylight and was trying to fit it in before it got too dark.  This is what I wrote on Facebook afterwards:

Whew got 3.4 miles in after a full day of math, picture editing, and housework. I left right after sunset and it was really too late to be running. Not long after my turn around, I heard a pile of coyotes howling which sent me Sprinting home. I think my final stretch was about 7 min mile pace. I haven’t run that fast in a long time. I was seriously striding it out. Oh and I saw four deer, two sightings of two.

These shorter Autumn days mean less time for running so like everything else I’m fitting it in during my snatches of time.  I guess I just wanted to write today to tell you all that I’m still running, I’m still taking pictures, I’m still here.

Sincerely, The Picture Runner

signature_new_sized_smaller

The Sweaty Mom

The Sweaty Mom

Dear Other Moms/Dads at Gymnastics, I’m sorry I smell. Alexia The Run 4.50 miles The Picture The Recap Imagine you have just finished a run.  You are dripping with sweat.  Your face is red and your heart is still pounding.  Probably the only thing you […]

The Spiderwebs Won

The Spiderwebs Won

So there I was running down this new trail this morning which seemed pretty awesome until it wasn’t. The Run ~0.86 miles + 2.25 miles The Picture (Courtesy of a 3.05 mile run on Tuesday) The Recap Is there a coffee elf who delivers coffee […]

Indoor Track Workout

Indoor Track Workout

Indoor tracks can be awesome.  For someone who really likes to run outside but hates the treadmill, an indoor track offers a nice alternative when the weather prevents an outdoor run.

Today was exactly that sort of day.  Right now, my class schedule is does not give me enough time in the morning to run so I have to fit it in after class.  This week the afternoons have been in the mid to upper 90s with strong winds and scorching sun.  I haven’t run on an indoor track in awhile so it seemed like a good alternative.

20150904_sized

Typically, indoor tracks are less than 1/4 mile which can make running on them tedious.  But if you’re creative or have some good music, you can make it more interesting.  Because most indoor tracks are short (and flat, obviously), it’s a great opportunity to do some speedwork.  I always feel fast because I’m coming back to my starting point in a shorter distance than on your outdoor track.

My favorite workout on the track is one mile repeats with negative splits.

On this particular track, 5 laps = 1 mile.  I used my phone stopwatch to track my overall time and my laps.  The idea is to run each successive mile faster than the one previous.  After each mile, I recorded my times in my notebook, got a drink of water, and walked a single lap.  This was my rest/recovery before the next mile.

20150904_times

I know these aren’t land speed records, but I was fairly pleased.  I haven’t done much speed work in recently.  The last two laps of mile 3, a young college guy ran with me and really pushed me on the final lap — really appreciated the competition :).  Unfortunately, I did not get an accurate time because my phone screen had timed out and I had to put in the code before I could stop the clock.  But I did better than expected and cut almost a whole minute from my first mile and I got a solid 3 miles in.

Now I have a benchmark for this track.  Next time there are thunderstorms or scorching heat keeping me inside, I can repeat the workout and compare times.  No indoor track?  No problem!  This workout is easily taken outdoors or, if worst comes to worst, then on the treadmill. 🙂

Signature3

Hello September

Hello September

Only 8 school days into the semester and one thing I’ve discovered is, It is way harder going to school when you are married with children (or child in my case) than it was when you were single. The Run 4.08 miles The Picture The […]


%d bloggers like this: