Saturday, March 29, 2014

Practice Practice Practice & Parfaits

  Today is Madeline's dance recital and I want to use my zoom lens and get some good close up shots. The problem being I don't do real well with that lens so I spent some time reading and studying a link a friend shared with me as well as just practicing using the lens. I learned I was trying to take pictures that I was too close to and that is why 9 out of 10 photos were coming out blurry. Another friend clued me into using the self timer to help stabilize the camera, and I did a little more reading about exposure and exactly how that works, then I practiced some more. I wanted moving subjects but the birds would not come out and play, so it was the dogs and my study of texture. 

 I am learning to not always trust what the camera is telling me but to trust my instinct and what I see instead. I took 4 photos of the far off well, not that far off horizon and the camera showed it as being to dark, I changed the setting for 2 of the 4 to the cameras liking. I like the darker setting just a tad better.

 I had a good giggle at the first few of my pictures 2 in particular. one I was not aiming simply working on my lighting and exposure the second I was taking aim and focusing or so I thought.

 I also learned I will not get clear pictures if I strain my arms to far forward and up all I get then is shaky shots.

 Domino is my easy photo practice subject he will sit all day for me, on this day he refused to smile and I absolutely love some of the photos I got of him.

 Getty on the other hand is my challenge, he will only sit for so long and then he is off to some thing else and when I do get him to sit he likes to turn his head just as the camera clicks. I usually end up with the side of his head, sometimes however I keep at it enough and I get stuff like this.

 My last lesson of the week was placement or composition. An important lesson to learn and practice and I still have more to learn lots more. My daffodils are a perfect example of that. I started snapping shots only worrying about focus and exposure and then I actually looked at the camera screen something I often forget to do being in such a hurry to take a picture.

 I am sure you can tell which one was quick hurry up and shoot and which one was actually thought out and composed to make a pretty picture. I think I am ready to tackle the big stage so to speak. Well it is a big stage she will be dancing on.
 " What Was Dinner"? I can't tell you but I can tell you what was for dessert. I received a box in the mail the other day from my cousin with Parfait glasses that were once my Grandma's. 

Right away I wanted to make a pretty Parfait like grandma use to make. Only just a few problems come to mind. 1) I have no idea how she made her parfaits all I know is they were always so pretty, and problem #2 the real biggie Mom and sugar a down right NO NO. Well there is sugar free jello right, and I did a triple dog dare a year or so ago with lime jello and avocados it turned out extremely creamy and very tasty. Mom really liked it so I started from there, did a little research and discovered making a parfait took time but was easier then easy. Off to the market I went got my jello's my choice of flavors based on what was available in sugar free. I wanted blue berry but had to settle for Strawberry, Lime, and Pineapple. Sounds  like a strange combination but it was very tasty.I used Greek yogurt with the strawberry and avocado with the lime letting the pineapple stay clear.
Bottom layer 6 or 7 graham crackers finely crushed mix with melted butter 5 to 6 TBS  a little at a time using your fingers. Form a crust on bottom and half way up one side of 6 glass and refrigerate. 
Next layer Lime sugar free jello, 1 cup boiling water
dissolve jello in boiling water and refrigerate until cold but not set. 1 mashed avocado, 6 oz Greek yogurt, 2 oz cream cheese place all ingredients in food processor including cold jello blend smooth. Divide between the glasses and place them in the fridge tilting them slightly with out spilling. Chill until completely set.  
layer #3 sugar free pineapple jello 1 1/4 cup boiling water dissolve jello in boiling water and place in the fridge until cold but not set. Divide between the glasses and return to the fridge tilted even less to prevent spilling. Let it harden up completely.
top layer sugar free strawberry or strawberry banana  jello 1 cup boiling water. Dissolve jello in boiling water and refrigerate until cold but not set. In food processor blend jello, 6 oz yogurt, 2 oz cream cheese. until smooth and creamy. Divide between the glasses. Add a small amount of fresh strawberry to each glass about  1/2 cup fresh strawberries ruff chopped total. Refrigerate standing straight up. Let set completely serve and enjoy.  

 Using both the avocado and yogurt as ingredients in this dessert  almost makes it guilt free, with all the sweet rich creamy flavor that was going on in the glass Mom thought she was getting a truly decadent and sinful treat. Tilting the glasses in the fridge gave my parfaits the fancy look I was looking for. Picture perfect!

 I think Grandma would approve.
  Hope you have a happy weekend. Thank you for stopping by.


  1. Oh have I got lots to say! First, your photography just keeps getting better and better and nature is your best subject! Don't get so focused on composition that you miss a great shot, you can always crop. I agree the pic of the horizon you called too dark is far more interesting than the other one. I love Domino! He just looks like he has such a sweet nature. I'm sure Getty has his moments too, but I much prefer big about those parfaits - you must submit them for publishing, even if not for the avocado campaign. The way you made them is unique both visually and use of ingredients......Have a good time at the recital!

  2. I almost forgot. My son taught me to lock my elbows to my side and either inhale and hold my breath or exhale completely, then snap the picture to steady the camera. I get fewer blurry shots since I listened.

  3. BSM Thanks for the visit. I do the holding my breath thing will have to try locking the elbows. Thanks for all the feed back on the photos I love hearing other peoples thoughts and views they more often then not help me figure things out. The parfaits were delicious and moms sugar level wasn't effected by them making them perfect. Domino is a sweet natured dog but he is a boarder collie and is high energy and needs lots of exercise and believe you me Getty gives it to him. Now that Getty has been trimmed we tease Domino that he has a lamb to herd.