Lisa Leonard Designs

hello monday {link-up!}

February 13th | hello monday

Quite a while ago I bought a 50mm fixed lens for my nikon. It’s a fairly inexpensive lens and mine doesn’t have automatic focus, so after a while I got frustrated and stopped using it. But I wanted to take it to Thailand with me–so I pulled it out and started practicing. Initially I felt like giving up–but knowing I could get some great background and foreground blur, I pushed through and kept trying. And after a few hundred shots, I started to get a feel for how to manually focus the lens. It’s a good reminder for me–trying something can be hard, but it stretches your mind and nurtures creativity.

Here are some pics from around the house while I worked out the manual focus…

Hello tree with layers and layers of bark, and lots of background blur {love that}

Hello winter that just can’t make up its mind–chilly winter mornings transform into sunny spring afternoons

Hello creating and creating and creating. Matthias makes so many masterpieces–I can’t keep them all organized!

Hello carousel of crayons that David loves to knock over–and it takes a while to pick up all those crayons

Hello blurry heart garland leading to funky plaster bust. This entryway is about to get a makeover!

Hello needing to go buy the paint color you picked. Are you curious which color won?

Hello little plaster bust who would look lovely piled with colorful necklaces

Hello getting inspired to spruce up our home and clear some clutter

Hello day off school with a lazy morning and pancakes

Hello open house tonight–are you coming?

Hello email to catch up on {I’m pretty sure I say that every Monday!}

Hello piles of laundry {I’m pretty sure I say that every Monday, too!}

Hello Valentines to make for each boys’ classroom

Hello day to express your love. Maybe I should think about trying to plan a date night?!

Hello flowers in an aqua vase in a sunny window

Hello menu for the week that includes white bean chili with ground turkey and homemade low-carb chicken strips and sweet potato fries. {I’m hoping Matthias will love my healthy chicken strips more than McDonalds!}

Hello city blur {this shot was taken in LA right before we flew out for Thailand}

Hello Monday! I’m still a little bit jet-lagged but with another cup of coffee I’ll be ready to go!

What does your week hold? Leave a comment of better yet, link up your own hello monday post in the comments section!

23 Responses

  1. I always look forward to reading your Hello Monday posts!

  2. Hello Lisa! Your practice shots are great. Shooting in Manual is often necessary when having the stuff in the foreground (I’m sure you know) so getting the practice was a good idea on your part.
    Today I’m saying Hello to the work week, school and work and meals and fun with my boys. Here’s my most recent “word” post on my blog. http://mycheapcamera.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/if-i-had-the-money/
    Have a great day!

  3. Megan says:

    These are great pictures!

    Here’s my hello monday — http://megkeith.blogspot.com/2012/02/hello-monday.html

  4. Carrie says:

    I love your photos. I’m sure that would take a lot of practice. Do you think you might share your chicken fingers recipe? I would be interested to try it. My kids love chicken nuggets, but I just know the frozen ones are yucky.

  5. LOVD says:

    When I photograph my wares I have to manually focus. I just can’t get enough light in the shot if I go with an automatic. I feel your frustration, but you are right, with a little perseverance and a little luck, you can get some great shots!

    It’s Gratitude Journal Monday for me at feel LOVD everyday:

    http://www.feellovdeveryday.blogspot.com/2012/02/gratitude-journal-monday_13.html

  6. Carrie says:

    Hmmm, maybe you would share your sweet potato fries recipe as well? I’ve tried them before, but they turned out pretty mushy.

  7. sharon says:

    love the bark! we went out to eat for lunch yesterday and they place we were eating had trees like that and I also got obsessed with photography it :)

  8. Amanda says:

    I want to come to your place for dinner; your menu sounds delicious!

    Here’s what I’m saying hello to: http://ajigreer.blogspot.com/2012/02/hello-monday_13.html

  9. sue says:

    Hi Lisa;
    Having creative kids is wonderful, trying to archive their artwork, not so easy. I took pictures of the kids’ projects and kept the photos, not the actual creations. Same goes for bucketsful of precious-dollar-store-love-u-mummy-gifts, take pictures of them and then quietly donate them to keep the clutter at bay.

  10. Mary Beth says:

    Love these sweet photos, Lisa, especially the “i love you” bowl and the conversation hearts. So seasonal.

    Here’s what I’m saying hello to today: http://saltandchocolate.blogspot.com/2012/02/hello-monday_13.html

    PS–wish I could make it to your open house tonight, but SLO is just a bit too far for us on a school night. Hoping you have another in the summer!

  11. I use my 50MM as my primary lens with my Nikon. It just takes a little practice. You figure out the best ways to use it. Sometimes you have to get closer, and sometimes you have to back up.

    Happy Monday!http://www.angryjuliemonday.com/2012/02/13/hello-monday-5/

  12. hello girl scout cookies that are calling me to the kitchen cupboard. hello sore muscles…because I am goign to have to work hard to burn those calories off.

  13. Haley says:

    Love your darling blog. And your beautiful jewelry. Still wear the piece I ordered for when my daughter was born. Its gorg! Love what you said about trying something hard-that it fosters creativity. It so does, well said.
    Happy & Hello to Monday.

    http://ocgoodmama.blogspot.com/2012/02/hello-monday-mantha-memories.html

  14. Kelli says:

    Saying hello to lots and lots and lots of end-of-semester grading (only a week left to get it all done!), Valentines to finish and tons of baking to do. Hello to our dear, dear friends visiting for the long weekend! Hello to some orange-marmalade-makin’ in my near future….

  15. […] and anticipate good things, rather than complain and anticipate difficulty. I got this idea from this blogger, who incidentally makes lovely jewelry […]

  16. LOVD says:

    Lisa,
    I know Matthias is crazy about LEGOs and wanted to let you know about this nationwide event. If you have a LEGO store near you, it could be a fun, making-history event! Here’s my write-up:

    http://www.feellovdeveryday.blogspot.com/2012/02/lego-lovers-unite.html

  17. Annie says:

    I am a fairly new reader to this blog and am now starting to understand the “hello” in the post! Love it!
    I just wanted to share with you a bit more about the “background blur” of the pictures… It is called “depth of field”. The more depth of field you have when you take your picture, the more in focus the background will be (and you can have greater depth of field by shooting at a higher f-stop – that is 16 or 22 which means that the opening of the lens is smaller…). To have less depth of field, shoot at a lower f-stop (like 4 or 5.6) and the background will be more blurry. Using a telephoto/zoom lens also tends to blur the background more than shooting with a wide-angle lens… And the advantages of controlling the depth of field in a photo – putting emphasis on part of your picture (product shots with a busy background = not so good).
    Perhaps folks already know all this or perhaps it is new! Photography has been on my brain in recent days as I need to set up a system that makes it easy for me to snap quick pictures of the beads that I make…
    Looking forward to reading more on your blog!

  18. Kim Jones says:

    This is great, Lisa! Ii love this the idea of greeting Monday instead of complaining about it. Thank you. I’m adding myself to your link-up http://mrskimismymom.com/2012/02/27/hello-monday/.

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