Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


‘Twas the year before Christmas, when all through the house
We were all stirring, even my new spouse.
The boxes were all stacked in the garage with great care,
In hopes that nothing would break during the long trip out there.

Our belongings were nestled all snug in their newspaper wraps,
With the exception of our warm winter caps.
And I in my flip-flops, and Kevin in his sandals,
Thought to ourselves, “OH MY. I hope we didn’t pack any candles!”

When out on the street corner there arose such a clatter,
Kevin called me to tell me what was the matter.
Away to the junkyard his car was towed,
One less thing to move to our new abode.

We had started to think the end would never be near,
When, what to my wondering eye should appear?
That bright sun on the cactus and palm tree,
Has us both shouting out a loud “Whoopee!”

With a few final miles, through the gorgeous peaks,
I knew we had finally arrived in Phoenix.
Right behind us the moving truck came,
And as we unloaded the boxes, we called them by name:

“The Bedroom! The Guest Room!
The Room with a view!
The Office and Den!
And don’t forget the Loo.
Just stack them all up,
Next to the wall!
Now empty them! Empty them!
Empty them all!

We emptied the boxes in the scorching summer heat,
Into a house without air conditioning – no easy feat!
So up to the ceiling, empty boxes did stack,
While we filled the cupboards in a race to unpack.

And then in a blink darkness did fall,
Onto every soft surface we all did sprawl.
As our heads hit the pillows, we sighed with relief,
And sincerely hoped that our sleep wouldn’t be brief.

Morning brought with it a bright, sunny day,
Zoe and Lexi couldn’t wait to go out to play.
Into their backyard, so new and so big,
With lots of room to run and to dig!

Law school -- Quickly it started! The classes, how many!
Only six, but it felt more like twenty!
Case briefs, outlines, and memos a plenty,
For his thoughts, they didn’t pay a penny.
Into a good lawyer, he will turn,
So much from Civ Pro he did learn.
Torts was a bore, Contracts was worse,
Lawyering Process turned into a curse.

A pretty white car, so shiny and new,
And a prosperous job offer finally came through.
And after a few months of this new work,
I’ve almost gone completely berserk.

For a house of our own, we’ve begun to dream,
The time has come to begin a new scheme.
To the other side of town we wish to move,
Hopefully there we will find our groove.

2011 was one for the books,
Now onward we go, with no backwards looks.
We wanted to say as the holidays draw near,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good year!



Love,
Michele, Kevin,
Zoe & Lexi


Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Self-Portrait | December 2011

December's self-portrait was taken a few miles from our rental house against the side of a building that I have often driven by, but previously failed to notice.  I don't even know what the building is... a restaurant maybe, or perhaps a bar or liquor store.  Regardless, it isn't in the nicest part of town and when I've driven by in the past, I've been too busy noticing the bars on the windows to pay any attention to the color of the walls.  I guess it just goes to show that perhaps the very thing you are seeking is right under your nose, if only you change your perspective.

I had a plan all laid out for December's photograph of myself, and I assure you this wasn't it!  I'd already taken photos at two other locations and on a whim decided to pull over and take a few quick shots in front of this bright blue wall.  After I got home and looked through the photos, I decided that I much preferred this one to the ones that I took with my original idea in mind.

And frankly, this fits my month better, too.  I've spent a lot of time this month talking with the designer about putting the finishing touches on my business logo, and I've really been struggling with it.  At the moment, we are trying to work out exactly what the color scheme is going to be, and I keep requesting that he make changes to it with varying shades of blue.  So, December has kinda of turned into the battle of the blues for me!


I have to confess that this photo isn't a true "self-portrait" in the sense that I'm not the one who snapped the picture.  Instead, I made my husband come with me and had him snap the picture after I set the camera settings.  My poor excuses are that I haven't yet replaced my broken tripod, and it makes me very nervous to set my camera up and walk away from it while out it crowded areas of town.  I'm afraid someone is going to just walk by and grab it and take off with it before I could even react.  So, the only way I felt comfortable venturing off into town to take photos is if he came along to help.  So, part of the credit of the photo has to go to him.

Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Day at the Wildlife World Zoo

Last week my parents came to Phoenix to visit, and we went to the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, Arizona. I have been wanting to take zoo pictures forever, so it seemed like the perfect time to take my camera along and capture some shots.

There were so many birds at the zoo!  A lot of them had such gorgeous, bright colored feathers..




I loved this one!...




Check out those amazing eyes!...



I love seeing the monkeys at the zoo! They are usually some of the most active animals there, except for this little guy who was crashed out for a nap...






I couldn't resist taking a picture of these cute little guys...



Loved the frogs!...


This guy looks like a fat little Budda frog :) ...


Tigers are are my all time favorite animals! It's not often that you actually see the tigers active in the zoo, and we were lucky enough to see both of these tigers up and walking around! We think that the animals knew it was almost dinner time, so that is why so many of them were active near the end of our visit...





I couldn't resist posting this one!...



The kangaroos were mostly laying around napping, but this one was willing to pose for a photo...


How would you like to carry around those horns all day?...


This is probably my favorite picture of the day! I just love his expression!...


I hope you enjoyed seeing the photos of the animals!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Lexi Lou!

My little fur baby, Lexi, turned 4 years old, so of course we had to celebrate with new toys and treats for her and Zoe.

They got a kick out of destroying the bag that her gift was in!...



My parents were visiting on her birthday, and even brought her a gift all the way from Michigan.  Lexi doesn't look too happy about Zoe stealing it, does she?



Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Macro Fun | Part 4

If you missed my other four posts about experimenting with a Macro Lens, you can find them here, here, here, and here.

Some of my favorite Macro Lens photographs taken by other photographers are of water droplets. So, I decided to try my hand at a few. Of course I'm not really a morning person (plus I live in the middle of the desert), so I had to fake it a bit. Instead of getting up to find some morning dew, I just turned on the hose and sprayed some nearby weeds and trees!

I love the detail of the reflect in the water droplet here...


This photo was a bit of a whoops, as I was trying to focus in on the water droplet and obviously I ended up with the leaf in focus instead.  But, I was amazed at the detail that was visible in the veins of the leaf and decided to include it for that reason...


This is a water droplet on the hose. If you look closely you can see a reflection of our rental house upside down in the drop of water...


And FINALLY, flowers!!!...








And there you have it!  A week's worth of photos from my Macro Lens Experiment!

So, now the looming question is.... Would I want to own this lens? I have to admit that shooting with this lens was TONS of fun, and I wasn't ready to return it by the time my week was up. I could have easily spent another few weeks experimenting with it. I really do think that I would enjoy having a Macro Lens, and I can see myself getting a bit more into nature photography if I owned one. That being said, I'm not sure that I would opt to purchase this exact lens. I felt like the lens was fairly heavy (and I'm not a wimp when it comes to lenses!) and I think it made it harder to hold the lens steady because I was getting tired from holding the lens up. I also felt like the auto focus wasn't very useful, so the USM basically just added useless weight. I haven't done any research on the options of Macro Lenses available, but if I was going to purchase one I would probably opt for a lighter weight lens, possibly without auto focus.

As always, thanks for stopping by and viewing my photos!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Macro Fun | Part 3

If you missed my other three posts about experimenting with a Macro Lens, you can find them here, here and here.

When I took my Intro to Photography class, one of our first assignments was to photograph motion. I opted to take pictures of a dripping faucet for that assignment, and all things considered (like the fact that I still had no idea how to use my camera!) the photos didn't turn out half bad. I had a lot of fun taking those shots, and wanted to see what I could do with a faucet using the Macro Lens (and having a bit more knowledge under my belt about my camera).

Considering that I took all of these shots with a hand-held camera, I think they turned out pretty darn good.  I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorites so I've opted to include several different shots.  I just love how you can see the inverted faucet and water droplet reflected back inside of each of the droplets.  I used the flash for these images, and I like how you can see the star burst from the flash in some of the droplets, too...






So, what do you think? Can you pick a fav? I keep trying, but I just can't!

After playing with the water droplets, I decided to experiment with the lens and some random items around the house.  It was during this experiment that I really got a handle on the DOF of the lens.  Here are a few of the images:

The side of a quarter....


Instead of flower bouquets, the bridesmaids at our wedding carried bouquets of beads. The following two photos are close ups of those beads...



Lexi's eyelashes...


An apple...


And a plum...


I was going to take a series of extreme close-ups like the two above and hold a contest to guess what the images were, but sadly I ran out of time with the lens before I captured very many.  So, I just included a few here instead. Would you have known what they were if I hadn't told you?

Part 4 will be posted soon, so stop back by and you will FINALLY see some flower photos that I took with the Macro Lens.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.
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