My Other Hobby- Photography

SunsetIn my blog resolution post some of you expressed an interest in more personal posts about what I do outside of reading and blogging. I’ve seen the very cool meme created by Novel Heartbeat- Life of a Blogger and have considered participating. But for now I’ve decided to have this random, one off post about my other hobby-photography.

For as long as I remember I’ve had an interest in cameras and photos. I always loved flipping through National Geographic as a child and admiring the beautiful wildlife and nature photography. I worked off and on at various photo labs all the way through college. I also minored in art history and the history of photography turned out to be my favorite course. It finally occurred to me after all this time that I should get behind the camera and see what I could do.

          YellowBlueROseOrangeYellowFlower
I’ve never taken an instructional photography class and I can’t honestly explain any formal methods of taking pictures. I do what feels right and just go with it. Not exactly professional. I started being interested in macro flower photography. I planted a garden in my yard as well as visiting places that had beautiful flowers.After taking 1,000’s (I am not exaggerating) of flower pictures I started to get more interested in the insects visiting than the flowers themselves. I then began to plant flowers I knew would specifically attract certain insects so that I could capture their photos.

This involved many hours of standing in my yard in 100+ heat waiting to find just the perfect shot. I’d also get closer to things I’d normally not get so friendly with. I became fascinated with entomology. I promised I’d not share my insect pictures because of some squeamish viewers but if you’d like to see them just drop me a line and I’ll link to you. I have to share a couple…just butterflies. Everyone likes those right?

 Monarch       MonarchFlight

As time passed I became more interested in mammals and landscape photography. I was lucky enough to do some traveling with my husband so got to see some beautiful places and animals.

 GrandCanyonPano

 CaliforniaHawaiiFog

 BigHornedSheep2SquirrelKissingSeals

I also found inspiration close to home too..

 Country

 FlycatcherSheep

These are truly just a small sampling of all the pictures I’ve taken. If so inclined you can see more here. Lately, my pictures are of my son and family. As my son gets older I’m sure we’ll travel more and I’ll make more time to take photos. Already my son is intrigued with my camera and the power to snap a picture. I can’t wait to see what he does in the future.

For our feature, Lego Cover Art, I take pictures of all the little Lego mini-figure parts and my husband does the magic in Photoshop to make them into the final product you’ve seen. I’ve played with the idea of showing you a bit of the before and after and more of the process that goes into making the covers. That would be a very long post so for now I thought I’d show you one of the photographs from the last cover, The Winner’s Curse. This is the dagger before it was brought into Photoshop and the final image:

  IMG_8404thewinnerscurse320fin

I’d love to hear from you-what are your other hobbies?

Comments

  1. says

    Actually, I’m scared of butterflies. It’s the middle black section of the butterfly that scares me – it looks so much like a disgusting bug! -shudders-
    And ahh, that picture of the Grand Canyon that you took is GORGEOUS Kristen! In fact, it’s even prettier than the time I saw it face to face! 😀
    Ha ha, that dagger looks SO small when you hold it! Who knew it’ll look so good on the actually cover? 😛
    I was right – you’re really good at photography Kristen! ;D

    • says

      Scared of butterflies? I have desensitized myself to most manner of insects (except roaches…I’ll always fear and be disgusted by those). Hopefully the butterfly pics didn’t give you the shivers.

      The Grand Canyon was such an amazing place to visit. Watching the sun rise over…sigh. I want to go back so badly. I loved it there.

      Yes! The Lego parts are so teeny tiny and can be difficult to photograph at times. Thank you Kelly 🙂

  2. says

    THIS IS SO AMAZING! You are an incredible photographer! I would love to dabble more in photography…but I’m hopeless at sitting down and reading photography blogs/websites/book. Meh. I take photos for work, but I’ve yet to be serious about it. And I would so love to see a post about the beyond the scenes of the Lego shots! That would be amazing. 🙂 I seriously can’t pick just ONE favourite or anything out of your pictures…but I do like those gorge kind of ones, with the rocks and water and all. They’re beautiful.
    I do origami when I’m not reading/blogging/writing. I have a little business selling it. 🙂

    • says

      Cait–I never read any photography books or anything. I found that just going out and taking pictures helped to teach me methods. Who knows if I’m doing anything the ‘correct’ way but I have fun doing it. You do origami! That is incredible. I’d love to see your creations. And you have a business? I need the link so I can check it all out.

  3. says

    Those photos are gorgeous. I wish I was as good! Photography is always something I’ve liked to look at, especially nature/animal photos, but not really something I’ve ever tried for myself. It was a big hobby of my dad’s though before all his cameras got stolen 🙁 My only other hobby that’s not reading is horse riding. I find it really relaxing and it’s a great way to clear your head and not think for a while.

    I’m now off to stalk you flickr cause seriously, THOSE PHOTOS AHKWJSHDK

    • says

      That is horrible about your father’s cameras being stolen. That makes me so sad to think about.

      I’ve actually only ridden a horse once. I felt so far from the ground it sort of freaked me out. I preferred petting the horses to riding them.

    • says

      Thanks Jessi! I really should join up that meme:-) I’m loving what you’ve created with that. It’s so interesting to see more into the bloggers we know. I’m amazed at how diverse and talented a group of people they are.

  4. says

    Ah, I love your photos! I took a photography class in college as an elective, but unfortunately I took it my busiest semester and to be honest, really only did enough to get by. I ended up taking the hardest class for my major(without knowing it) the same semester, so I was completely overwhelm. I hope to one day get back into it though(and if nothing else, I have a lot of resources from that class). I LOVE your landscapes. They’re gorgeous!

  5. says

    Amazing photos. I am just now getting back into photography. I used to photograph family pictures, but I’m ready to let my creative side go, and get outside. I love your work. Especially the butterfly landing. Gorgeous!

    • says

      Thank you Katrina! You should get back into it and just let your self explore and find what you are most inspired by. I still love family photos but it is nice to find beautiful things in nature, etc to photograph.

  6. says

    Wow! These are SO gorgeous! Obviously I knew you were talented because of your lego photos (and my dad is a surrealist photographer who photoshops things like crazy, so I know EXACTLY how hard that can be). But wowwwww. These are completely stunning!

    • says

      Thank you so much Gillian. I love your artwork…so beautiful. That is SO cool that your dad is a photographer and a surrealist at that. I’m not surprised since you are so artistic but so awesome. I’d love to see some of his work and more of yours.

  7. says

    These are excellent! I love dabbling in photography, but all I have is a very limited digital camera. Someday. Flowers are some of my favorites to photograph. Well, just macro photography in general. I just love being able to see things up close and detailed like that. I don’t have the greatest eyesight, and it’s just amazing to see things so up close and detailed.

    And the lego cover art? AMAZING. You both do such an excellent job. It took me a minute to figure out that was even a lego person, to be honest. I love how y’all edited in the dagger! I cannot use Photoshop in that way for the life of me.

    • says

      I have poor eyesight so I totally know what you mean about seeing things close up. Once you take a close look at an insect they truly are beautiful (most anyway). Dragonflies are one of my favorites because of their color and detail in their eyes. So cool. Things look so much different in a macro world. I think that’s why Lego appeals to me in some ways…the small size. Thanks so much for your kind words!

  8. says

    Your landscape photographs are gorgeous! I could watch at them for hours and they make me want to pack my bags and visit those places 😀 The one with the mountain, the beach & the water (the middle picture) is stunning <3

    • says

      Thank Mel! I want to revisit those places. The middle picture is Hawaii. It actually rained the majority of the time we were there but the last couple of days the sun came out and it was like the postcards.

  9. says

    Aw! I love this post! You take such amazing pictures. <3 *Jealous* 🙂 I love taking pictures too. But my god. I don't have all those gorgeous things to photograph! You are so lucky 🙂 Thank you for sharing Kristen!

    • says

      Thanks Carina! I have visited some very beautiful places and I hope that I’m able to find beauty in most places I’ve been. I’m so happy you enjoyed them and I love your photography too. I’d love to see more.

  10. says

    I love photography, and always have. It’s just so neat. I love the picture in your photostream of the tress that almost look painted. Where was that? Very cool. The stream with the sunlight reflecting is absolutely gorgeous, too. Thanks for sharing. This post is full of awesome!

    • says

      Thank you so much. I think you are talking about the painted bark eucalyptus trees in Hawaii. The color comes out after it rains. Really breathtaking to see in person. The stream was in Arkansas I believe (if I’m thinking of the right picture).

  11. says

    Wow! Those are some beautiful photographs. And it’s interesting you mentioned getting interested in insects. My cousin utilized pictures of bugs (and/or their carcasses) for her final show in college. It turned out to be pretty cool, and I got to take photos of everything for the art department blog I was doing at the time for my Online Journalism class. Good times. 🙂

    Hobbies other than reading? Um, started blogging recently, and I just finished my first basic woodworking project. When I have the time, I also love writing, foreign languages and old movies. And I would love to learn horseback riding and drawing and a host of other things. One at a time, right?

    • says

      Oh wow, your cousin’s art sounds amazing (and reminds me of Alyssa’s in Splintered). Woodworking? that’s awesome! What did you make? I’m with you, there are so many things to experience and try. I can’t imagine how people manage to be bored. 🙂

  12. says

    I dabbled in photography a bit in school but decided it wasn’t really cut out for me but I love your photographs! The colours are so pretty *O*

    I didn’t know you and your husband were the ones who made the Lego book covers! I am in such awe because they look absolutely fabulous 😀

    • says

      Thank you Charlotte! I grew up thinking I was a painter and still enjoy painting but not to the level of photography. Some things are just ‘right’ and others not. I’m so happy you enjoy the Lego covers 🙂

  13. says

    I wish I was good in photography! These are fantastic photos, Kristen! And the lego covers are amazing. I’d love to see some before and after stuff. 🙂

  14. says

    Photography is my other hobby, too, though I don’t think I’m all that talented. I don’t play with the settings enough, but I’m hoping to change that soon. I love all of the work you’ve shown here. It’s a great showcase of your talent, and I hope you share it more often. 🙂 Also looking forward to your post on those Lego covers. I do worry about your copy cat, though. Except her work is nowhere NEAR as good as yours. 😛

    • says

      Jen! I can’t believe I didn’t know that you are into photography. That’s one other thing we have in common. I would love to see your photos some time 🙂

  15. says

    I’m so glad you decided to share this hobby with us, Kristen! I’ve always loved photography, too, and took a couple classes in high school and college. It used to be a huge passion of mine, but these days I don’t seem to do it as much. I’ve long been a fan of macros, especially plants and insects, so I’m excited to see several fantastic shots like this here! 😀 Your nature and wildlife shots are also gorgeous. I think my particular favorite is that bird sitting on the barbed wire. I <3 birds. ^_^

    • says

      I love birds too! If I had a spirit animal it would be a hawk. I tend to see them everywhere and in odd circumstances. I think that is so cool that you enjoy the macro insect shots…did you see the ones on flickr? These two posted I don’t really consider my strongest at all (and the one in flight isn’t even macro) but I didn’t want to disturb anyone with close ups of insect eyes 🙂 The bird on the wire is a flycatcher. This instance was my one and only time to see one. I’d love to see your work!

  16. says

    I love this, Kristen! I really love great photography–I do OKAY myself but I’m a total amateur, even though like you, I have no issues with standing still for ages waiting patiently for a butterfly to land. I need to use our fancy camera more often, too, and actually learn how to do something other than point and shoot.

    Your photographs area AMAZING–thank you so much for sharing this with us. I really do like personal posts a lot too, so I hope we’ll see more in the future! And thanks for explaining how you do the LEGO covers as well, I was curious.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    • says

      I consider myself an amateur too. I can’t talk f-stops or any of that with any confidence. I really appreciate your kind words. When I started blogging it never crossed my mind to share anything about me personally (other than my opinion on the books I’ve read). Just sharing these photographs though makes me want to get out there and create more so I think that’s a really wonderful side-effect. I would love to see your work too. I love that so many people commenting are into photography–we need to have an online gallery for bloggers 🙂

  17. says

    These are beautiful! I’ve always wanted to try my hand at photography, but never had the resources or opportunities to do so. Maybe now that I’m working full time I could have a go. I definitely don’t think I would be great at it, but it’s fun to experiment. I especially love your photos of the Canyon (the shadows!!!) and the river and the seals! You’re so talented.

    • says

      I hope you get to try it out-it’s a really fun hobby! Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 the Grand Canyon was so beautiful in person. I want to go back so badly! I thought the little seals were so cute!

    • says

      Thank you! I think you’d be shocked how many ‘junk’ shots I take to get one that looks pretty good. haha, digital cameras make it so much easier to shoot a ton of pictures then pick and choose the (for me-few) good ones.

  18. says

    Yay! Love that you posted about this! I miss seeing all the little insect pictures that were on the walls at your old house. Have you put them back up?

    • says

      Thanks Regina 🙂 I actually haven’t put most of my pictures back up. I think I had the flower ones hung up at the old house and landscapes–I always thought folks might not like to have that close of an encounter with the insects pictures, haha.

  19. says

    Omg so pretty!!! Especially the ones playing with the sunset and sunlight, just wow, so much love! I kind of want to buy a print to remind me of the sun during this horrible Michigan winter! 😉

    I would LOVE to see a post about the Lego covers process 😀 Even just that glimpse of the knife is so cool, I didn’t realize you took them separately like that, haha

    • says

      Thank you so much Anya! I take multiple shots all together and some separate to make sure I get the angles correct. It’s a really fun process and I think we improve with each one we produce.

  20. says

    These are beautiful. Where were the scenic pictures taken? (Right below the Grand Canyon,) I’m especially interested in the beautiful beach. Hawaii?

    I’m also remembering you tweeting a while ago that you were not on Instagram. This makes no sense. You, of all people, should be sharing your pics there!

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