Cyber Monday Sale and Stuff

Hoping everyone had a fabulous T-day.  My little family was sick, but we enjoyed taking the day to relax, and be cozy together.  

Use code CYBER15 in my shop on Monday to get 15% and a head start on your Christmas shopping!  The shop is packed with fun new stuff for winter, and I'm adding more everyday!

In other news, I finally got a smart phone!  I feel so grown up.  My favorite part is now being able to join in on all the Instagramming fun.  If you do instagram too, please, come find me and introduce yourself! (I'm emily_bluecorduroy)  It may take me a while to get used to taking pictures of everyday things, but I'm hopeful I'll warm right up to the routine.  So far I'm totally loving seeing my friends daily photo updates.

on my camera

I'm trying to get on my camera more often.  It recently occurred to me that I had gotten super lazy about capturing our daily lives.  Partly because sometimes it doesn't seem worth capturing.  But then I thought, there's my challenge;  To capture our slow, peaceful life, in an interesting way.

For a couple days this week, we just didn't leave the house.  
When we did, we had to walk a block to get the car.

Books, Books, Books. 

 Getting ready for the Stitch Market.

Basketball, Basketball, Basketball.


Beach, Beach, Beach.

behind the scenes with toni weber photography

I love "behind the scenes" photos.  They are just as exciting to me as "before and after" photos.  There's so much you can learn by seeing how a shot is staged, where the light source is coming from, and the results that are achieved.

I've always, always loved Toni Weber's photography style.  She gets such a soft and warm feel with such natural poses.  Here's some fun before and after scenes of me taking a picture of her taking a picture of Ginger, and then the shot she got.  (try to refrain here from judging my shots next to hers, not fair).

{photo source Toni Weber photography}

Toni decided it would be best to go out in the early evening.  We brought a couple different outfits for Ginger to change into to get some variety.  This spot down by the bay gave us some nice scenery choices and also felt like home, which helped Ginger enjoy herself.

With both of us buzzing around with our big cameras, we actually had one guy come ask us who the celebrity (Ginger) was!  We told him he probably wouldn't have heard of her.

{photo source: Toni Weber Photography}

{photo source: Toni Weber Photography}

{photo source: Toni Weber Photography}

Toni is a good buddy of mine, who owns a photography business here on the California Central Coast.  She loves to take portraits of children, and adults, as well as lifestyle photos.  She does such a great job of helping her model find natural, flattering poses and has a way of bringing out their personality.  You can visit her on her blog, website, and facebook.

i collect beach signs

This is a new collection of mine. Although, I guess I was subconsciously collecting them all along. I figure there are 2 basic categories to put them in to.
 1. Handy information 
2. Rules to follow 

This is Handy information for sure.  I always like to know where the shells are.

Here's some rules.  No bike riding, no camping. Oh, and it looks like no dogs on trail. 
This is good to know.  Handy info or rules?  I say both.

Handy info again.  Did you know that the Cayucos pier was built in 1875? 
This sign is also clearly stating some rules.  I actually don't see it saying no jumping off with surfboard, just no diving. 


Here's a standard rules sign.  And it looks well loved.

If I need to take a bus, this is where I'll go.  Handy.

This sign might just be stating the obvious. 

a photo a day :: day 72

I'm still taking at least one picture every day.  Well, I guess I forgot a couple times last week, but I'm trying to take at least one picture every day.  Have I learned anything yet?  That's hard to say.  I think I'm becoming more familiar with all the numbers (aperture, f/stop,etc) and how they relate to each other, and ultimately how that affects the picture.  Although, I still very much operate in the trial and error mode most of the time.

I am also having to think of creative ways to shoot regular day things.  I don't often go out for an exciting picture taking journey every day.  Most days I find myself just about to cook dinner and discovering I haven't taken a picture yet, so I wander around the house, first upstairs, then downstairs, then out on the front porch, looking for something news worthy.  Something that's just screaming to have it's picture taken.  Then after coming up with nothing, I realize that I have to just find something, anything, and try get the best shot possible.  Hopefully, after a year of this, I will have some better techniques for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

a photo a day

I've started a new project. This is not a project I was planning on starting. It just happened. It's actually a project my cousin Megan started. The moment I saw it, I knew I wanted to start one of my own. But I wanted to do it with her, too. Because I like her, and because I knew these sorts of things are better when you do it with someone else.

We will be attempting to take a photo a day for a whole year. Now I know this is nothing new. People do it all the time. But we've never done it. Megan's husband, Lukas (who needs no help from projects like these), challenged her to take a photo a day as a way to stretch her photographic talent.

We talked about what sort of things we would like to improve in our photography. I would like to work on more interesting compositions, a greater familiarity with my camera settings, better portraits, and losing the fear of self portraits.

This project will start off with just getting used to taking a photo everyday. Once we feel that is part of our routine, we will be adding themes to help guide us and stretch us.

You can follow my photo project at bluecorduroyphotos, and Megan's at onemomenteveryday.

And if this sounds like something you would like to do too, let me know!

camera challenge{d}: time to practice

Pictures from around the house, on a warm, lazy, fall afternoon.

It's been a long time since I've had to learn something new. Something that I am motivated to learn. Something I am selfishly learning just because I want to. They say the only way to get better at doing something is to practice, practice, practice.

I am feeling the luxury of having the time, the equipment, and such a beautiful day to spend learning something new. I carefully guard these precious pockets of time. For myself and for my girls.

camera challenge{d}: self portraits

As you may have noticed, this is not a self portrait of me. But it's as close as I can get today. Ever since I read Elsie's blog post about taking self portraits, I've played around with it. Way harder than she makes it look, let me tell you. One of the hard parts is that I'm not as young and beautiful as she is. The camera is just not very forgiving when it comes to all those smile lines, sun freckles, stringy hair, bulgy eyes, crows feet sort of things.

I'm hoping that with a bit more practice, I won't be as shocked about how I actually look in pictures, and I'll be able to share my progression in the art of the self portrait.

So today, picture me as a wild flower, growing near the coast, the color of warm sunshine.

camera challenge{d}: photo block

I love taking pictures! I love looking at pretty/interesting/meaningful pictures.
But, I've just recently discovered a bit of photo block.
I'm not sure if that's what it's called.
It's equivilant in the literary world is writers block.
That dreaded sense that you want to take a picture, you're ready to take a picture,
but you're just not sure what to take a picure of.

Now, of course I have my favorite subjects:
my girls
the beach

See the problem?
What do you like taking pictures of?


Well, I'm happy to say that I am now feeling more comfortable with my camera.
I'm understanding more about the different settings, and how to adjust them.
I'm noticing when the lighting is nice, and when it is not.
And I'm having a TON of fun!

I've decided the next step for me is practice.
And lots of it.

I'm joining up with Vanessa's Color Your World {100 Project} flickr group,
to help me focus on my subject matter.
I'm joining up halfway through, but I'm a "glass is half full" sort of gal.
So, pink it is for now.

From blog photos

camera challenge{d}: the queen bee market

Last week was the Queen Bee Market in downtown San Diego.
I was certainly looking forward to going with my new camera!
But as soon as I got there I realized what my challenge would be.
Bad, inside lighting.
I tried some photos with my flash, but was not happy with the results,
so instead, I cranked up my ISO, and did a lot of light editing later.

Gioia's sweet face from Pillow Factory.

Emily Sparks beautiful crocheted pieces.

I love these bow ties from Bebecha Gifts!

Lollipops cute display.

Creme de la Gems.

Beautiful vintage hair pins.

Funky Vintage Lovely and her lovely rings.

Funky Vintage Lovely painted frames.

Allora Handmade sweet bud earrings.

Stacy Lynn's recycled leather bag.

Spiffing Jewelry sparkly color.

Button butterfly from smitten.

A corner of Blue Corduroy.

**if anyone can help remind me where the vintage hair pins came from
i would appreciate it**

camera challenge{d}: a photo walk

Vanessa took us on a photo walk today.
She was the generous friend who gave me her "old" camera.
She is an amazing photographer and had so much information to share with me.

I got my head full of aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, etc.
Enough to chew on for a while.
And enough to make me want to know more.
I figure every time I hear those words,
I'll understand them a little bit more.

Vanessa has started a 100 photo project on flickr called "color your world". It will be 10 photos of 10 different colors. She's hoping to do one color a month.
I love this idea!

camera challenge{d}: the upgrade

i have been having so much fun learning how to use my point and shoot camera,
hoping that one day i would be able to get a better camera.
i knew it would not be soon.
but that gave me more time to learn on my little point and shoot.

last week i got a package in the mail. it had no return address on it,
it was a mystery to me why i would have received this package.

this camera was inside. looking up at me. smiling.

i burst into tears.

dear friends from far away had recently upgraded their camera,
and they chose to bless me with their "old" one.

it's a canon rebel xti.

i'm in love with my new camera.
i've already learned a lot on it, with hopes of learning so much more.
the next thing i need to figure out is how to get the pictures off of it and into my computer.
then, of course, the seamstress in me is dying to make a cute strap cover!
(do real photographers consider this a priority?)

camera challenge{d}: my camera does that!?

one day, while the girls were playing on the swings, i was browsing through my camera manual and at once yelled out
holy moly!

my little canon point and shoot power shot can actually take rapid fire shots!
all i have to do is press a button here and a button there, and then hold down my trigger and shoot away!

now i've owned this camera for (i'm embarrassed to say) 5 years.
i've always known it had a 16x zoom, because it says it right on the camera.
but i have never taken a picture at 16x zoom, because i never knew i wasn't.
i would zoom in as far as i could go and i was content.
well, this very same day at the swings i discovered digital zoom!
i could take my manual zoom of 4x and go way the heck past it to the ocean!!!

this picture of the water was taken at the very same spot as the swings above,
but using my 16x digital zoom!

what else can my camera do that i am i missing?

camera challenge{d}: favorite photography blog articles

i'm feeling a bit less trapped by my camera skills lately, thanks to all my experimenting.
not that i'm a photographer by any means,
just that i'm starting to understand what's going on!

meanwhile, i continue to study my owners manual and

am discovering things i never knew my camera could do!!

camera challenge{d}: colors

last week i took some photos with "color" in mind.
this particular beach day was rather gray,
and i was so happy to find so much color to cheer me up.

once again, i used only the manual mode of my camera, playing around with the different settings.

this week i want to learn a bit more about these different settings,
and i think i'm better off doing that one at a time.

so, for this week i'm going to figure out the when and why of aperture.
i have referenced my brothers brain for some definitions and explanations here.

the basics of aperture (as i understand them):
* f/number measures the aperture
* the smaller the number, the bigger the aperture, the more light comes in

i will welcome any insight, knowledge, tricks of the trade, etc......