thoughts from my yoga teacher

85mm | iso250 | f2.2 | 1/200

At yoga yesterday, the teacher began with a thought she offered that we could meditate on for a few years…

perfection- take away perfection = perfection

I have been thinking about it since then. She also stopped in the middle of our class, muscles straining…focus sharpened, trying to learn side planks and the most efficient safest form…

“you know this is FUN right, that’s why we come, or one of the reasons.”

I do love yoga, but FUN isn’t the first word that would come to mind when I think of yoga. But it is FUN. And maybe I could focus on FUN a bit more…and do things not because I should, or out of duty, but because it’s FUN.

And maybe if I took perfection, out of perfection, that would leave a lot more space for FUN. Maybe I could talk Sophie into believing homework is FUN! ūüôā

my mom’s banana bread

(left) 85mm | f2.2 | 1/100 | iso800 (right) 35mm | f2.2 | 1/125 | iso1000

My mom loves making banana bread for people. They love when she makes it too. I had a few visits to make this morning…and a lot of bananas stored in the freezer so I quickly made some bread. I want to post the recipe here so that it is documented one more place so that I am sure to never lose it.

MOM’S BANANA BREAD

mix together:

  • 2 c bananas
  • 1 c nuts
  • 1 c sour cream

In a separate bowl:

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c butter¬†
  • 4 eggs

add banana mixture to bowl

then add:

  • 3 c flour
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 2 t salt

mix together well.  

  • add 2 tsp of vanilla

pour into greased and floured loaf pans (about 3 loaves). Bake 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

I sometimes add streusel to the center and top before baking.

in a small pot melt:

  • 6 T butter

remove from heat and add:

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon

stir with a fork until mixed well and crumbly texture

and optional…is to add toasted coconut to the crumble

prime lenses

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I was asked a question today about lenses.¬† “Which lens should I buy?” is the question that I am asked very most. Prime lenses are my VERY FAVORITE.¬† They don’t zoom in and out.¬† They focus on the range that they are best at and generally do a fantastic job.¬† If you want to change your view, you move your body instead of the lens.¬† The prime lenses that I currently shoot with are:

I shot all of these sets at aperture 2.0 (because that is as open as the 135mm shoots).  I stood or sat in the same spot for each capture within the set.  I kept the exposure and edit the same. They were also all shot with mid-day/overcast light in auto white balance.

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PROS:

35mm– sharp as a tack (even at f2.0), fits a lot in one frame…even when you are close.¬† I love that it shoots as wide open as 1.4 (great indoors and in low light situations).

50mmРgreat focusing, fits plenty into a frame (obviously less than the 35mm).  It shoots as wide open as 1.2 (which is even better than the 35mm for indoors and low light).  The bokeh (blurry area) is starting to really shine.

85mm– it is SO AFFORDABLE! It focuses well…but has a beautiful bokeh.¬† It retails for $370…and I have had mine for almost 10 years!

135mm– THE BOKEH! The “out-of-focus” portion of the images I shoot with this lens absolutely melt away.¬† The in-focus portions are well focused.

CONS:

35mm-cost (I like everything else about it)

50mm-cost (I like everything else about it)

85mm-I can’t think of a CON

135mm– the softness can be too soft.¬† When I shoot faces close up with this lens…sometimes just their lashes are in focus…and not their eyes or nose.¬† I have to close the aperture a bit to have enough depth of field.¬† As long as you remember that, it is one of my very favorite lenses.

practice daily

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85mm, 1/250, f2.5, ISO 250 | my home

Daylight was ending and I hadn’t picked up my camera all day.¬† I grabbed the cut flowers from the entry table and set out to the back porch.¬† The pink hues from the setting sun saturated the light.¬† I was grateful that I had kept the commitment I had made to myself another day.¬† Practice every single day.

every single day

I attended a violin senior recital last Friday. ¬†5 seniors were performing solos of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with an orchestra accompanying them. ¬†Each performer was FANTASTIC! As the 4th senior came to stage and played her first note, I knew something was different. ¬†She was phenomenal. ¬†We were mesmerized, truly blown away. ¬†After arriving home we read her bio in the program. ¬†It stated, among other accomplishments, that she practiced every single day for 7 years. ¬†Remarkable.

I have given the same assignment at the very end of every photography class I have ever taught.  This assignment is more important than fstop selection, shutter speed choice or the ISO level.  It is more valuable than the equipment you own.  Sometimes I am really good at it, and other times; due to fear, apathy and distraction, I run the other way.  When I have given this assignment to my students they have been in an all day workshop, brains overloaded with knowledge.  I ask them to raise their right hand and promise to practice every day for at least 30 days.

But what if it was…

a year…

two years…

ten years…

a lifetime…

I have recently begun a new daily practice. ¬†I am committed to pick up my camera every day and take at least one photo.¬† I have this image to thank for that recommitment. ¬†I wouldn’t have had my camera with me without my new goal. ¬†I wouldn’t have seen the subtle light settle on the fence after Sunday dinner at my parent’s home. ¬†I wouldn’t have asked my daughter to stand in the light.

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1/640, f2.5, ISO 250, 85mm