Cute Purse turned Camera Bag!

December 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm (Photography, Sewing)

For those who follow my blog and have wondered where I’ve been (I went from posting one to two times per week to “I’m lucky if I post once per month” in the course of the past year!)- but anyway- for the past year, I did a 365 Blog where I took a picture a day for a year. In the course of the past year, I’ve become quite obsessed with photography– I’ve upgraded my old Nikon D50 to a new semi-profiessional Nikon D7000, bought 3 new lenses, and countless accessories. How’s a girl to carry all of this equipment when out and about? Last spring, I invested in a Lowepro camera backpack, which is wonderful….except when I want to change a lens. (I have to take the backpack off, and set it down somewhere to open it and change lenses) And I am forever changing lenses! I also made this camera “hip pack”, but I quickly outgrew it. (I still take it with me occasionally, but when I load it up with everything I need, it pulls down my pants. Not good!
Anyway…enough rambling. Into the picture comes…(drumroll please…)….the Kelly Moore Bag! For those of you who don’t know what it is, go research it. They are the most fantastic, adorable camera bags ever! Unfortunately, they come with a hefty price tag (around $200!) Now…I’m not complaining, because, being in the handmade industry, I know what it takes to make it/break even when selling handmade items, but at this point, I just can’t justify spending that on yet another piece of camera equipment (I could put that towards the 28-75mm f/2.8 lens I’ve had my eye on!).

So what is a girl to do? Make her own of course!
I set out to find the perfect purse to turn into a camera bag…not an easy task. I needed pockets (lots of pockets!), a sturdy fabric that was semi thick, but yet still pliable, preferably leather, or something water-resistant, and it had to have a long strap so I could wear it messenger bag style. Finally, after months of searching, buying purses, bringing them home, wearing them and returning them after I didn’t like how they felt, I found the perfect bag on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx. It was a $140 purse on clearance for $30– can’t hate that!
The purse has two main compartments, each with pockets inside of them, and two outside zippered compartments.
I got right to work measuring and cutting, and in less than 2 hours, had a nifty little foam insert with velcro-ed foam dividers to protect my camera and 2 lenses. This little insert is made from 1/2″ foam and beige knitted suede, and it fits perfectly into one of the main compartments. The other compartment is the exact size of my iPad, and will also hold my wallet, keys, phone and anything else I may need. The pockets securely hold my camera’s remote, extra memory cards, cleaning cloth and filters. And best of all– it is so comfortable when I wear it that I barely know I have it on! It’s also great for changing lenses, because the other one is right there at my side, and I don’t need to set anything down. And (yes– there’s more!)– it doesn’t scream “Camera Bag”, so I don’t look like a target to anyone who might want to steal my equipment, and I don’t look like a tourist walking around! Win, win and double win!

So cute, right?

The inside– I took out the camera in the middle so you can see the velcro and the adjustable dividers:

Everything safe and snug inside!

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More Lens Bling

April 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm (General Crafting, Photography, Sewing)

Two more lens blings! I couldn’t stop after just one~ I was having too much fun.

A colorful fishy:

Mickey Mouse!!

And a better picture of the owl I made the other day:

Thanks to my dad’s vintage (anything that’s older than me is considered vintage…lol) Minolta SLR for being a wonderful “model” for my lens bling!

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Camera Lens Bling

March 31, 2011 at 6:49 pm (Photography, Sewing)

I’d love to get into photography as a career someday in the future. To see if it’s really the career for me, I’ve volunteered to take pictures of friends children, just to see if it is something I am successful at, and more importantly, is something I enjoy.
While reading up on tips for child photography before my first shoot, I came across what many call “lens bling” which is basically a scrunchie with some accents attached to it to make it look like an animal. The purpose is that it gives children something fun and cute to look at/focus on while you’re taking their picture!
Today I tried my hand at making one- it was really easy and fun- I may make up a few more so I can switch it up if a child gets bored with one, or to customize it to the Childs age/interest. (I can see some Disney themed ones in my future too!)

My first lens bling- a crazy owl/bird thing. He needs a funky name, don’t you think?


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Pay it Forward~Photo Ball

January 16, 2011 at 1:18 am (Disney, General Crafting, Photography)

Recently, my friend had a status on Facebook that read as follows:
“Pay it forward 2011: I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who comment. They must in turn post this and send something they made to the first 5 people who comment on their status. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011. (What a great way to start 2011!”

I thought it was such a cute idea that I signed up right away! In turn, I made her promise to sign up for mine because I had the perfect craft for her— a photo ball.
I saw this posted on one of my favorite photography websites, Photojojo, and knew it would be perfect to showcase pictures from her recent trip to Disney with her family.

Before I got to work, I Facebook stalked her and saved 12 of her pictures to my memory card. I then went to the store and printed them out— the cool thing with those photo kiosks is that you can print “mini collages” with 4 mini pictures on a 4×6 print- this would be perfect for the project!

Because it was Disney related pictures, I used my Mickey hole punch to punch out the shapes to “frame” the pictures with.

I haven’t given it to her yet, but I hope she likes it!

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Camera Bag

January 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm (Photography, Sewing)

Since I’ve been practicing my photography more lately, my mind has been in overdrive trying to design a way to carry extra lenses and other photographic paraphernalia with me.
I know there’s the tired and true photography vest- but really? Its hideous. It comes in beige and black (and while those are the two staple colors in my monochromatic wardrobe, it just doesn’t work for me on a photography vest). Not to mention, they are not figure flattering, and they’re made for men.
I tried to design a women’s fitted vest with various pockets. I designed it so the back would be made out of feminine lace, the pockets would be lined with trim or ribbon, and there would even be a pocket for your chapstick. But then I realized it still wasn’t practical. I wouldn’t be able to wear it in the winter because I’d have a coat on, and in the summer, it might get too hot having an extra layer on.
Onto plan B. A backpack seemed logical, but I don’t want to have to stop, put down the backpack, change lenses, then put it back on— I wanted something where I could reach whatever materials I needed with little or no fuss.

So–this wonderfully 80’s “hip pack” was born (no, it is NOT a fanny pack—or I wouldn’t wear it). Is it fashionable? Heck no. Does it look better then a frumpy made-for-a-man vest? Heck yes!

Here’s an overall view.
It has 2 main compartments. The back compartment can remain open, or there is a snap in the middle to hold two lenses (or a lens and a flash unit, or a lens and a water bottle, or whatever) upright. The middle compartment has one large area, and two smaller pockets (cell phone and filter sized!), and on the front is a smaller pocket for a pen and whatever else you may need to carry with you (chapstick?).

View from the top.

The main back pocket- unsnapped. Very well padded to protect your lens!

Close up of the middle pocket which has two smaller interior pockets.

I also made one for a friend in a different color.

What do you think? Would you wear this?

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So This is What It’s Like Living Inside of a Snowglobe…

December 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm (Photography)

On the day after Christmas, Mother Nature dumped over 2 feet of snow on the Jersey Shore. For the week prior, we were told that we were getting an “epic storm”, then the meterologists said we were getting nothing more than a dusting, then it went back to a storm of epic porportions. We were forecasted to get between 10-15 inches, but when it was all said and done we got over 24 inches. That, plus the 60+ mph winds equaled blowing snow, snowdrifts up to 5 feet, and a state that was basically shut down for almost 3 days!
Of course, the day after, I had to venture out with my camera to document it all!

The night before – we only had about 8 inches at this time.
Christmas Snow 2010 (15)

I love how my Mickey lights look here!
Christmas Snow 2010 (18)

The glow of the lights under their own little blanket of snow.
Christmas Snow 2010 (19)

Christmas Snow 2010 (57)

The view down the street before the plows came…
Christmas Snow 2010 (60)

My absolute favorite picture from the day…the heat from the lights melted the snow around them, and then it re-froze into a little icy sheath.
Christmas Snow 2010 (132)

Another light
Christmas Snow 2010 (137)

I love the fact that I can take berry pictures in my own front yard—this is always one of my first stops after the snow falls….
Christmas Snow 2010 (119)

Some pinecones from a tree in our front yard
Christmas Snow 2010 (164)

Snow up to my waist!
Christmas Snow 2010 (172)

After the plows came through, we ended up with a 10+ foot pile in our front yard…..I jumped off like a child…
Christmas Snow 2010 (216)

Christmas Snow 2010 (67)

Even though Consuela, my Jeep is a warm weather gal, she does look awesome surrounded by snow!
Christmas Snow 2010 (82)

That poor snowman you saw in the first picture? He had basically dissapeared by the following morning…
Christmas Snow 2010 (94)

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I Learned ~ 12.30.10

December 31, 2010 at 2:38 am (I Learned..., Photography)

It was hard to narrow down my “I learned” this week, but I had to go with starbursts. Ever since I learned how to from this blog, I’ve created a starburst nearly everytime I’m outside with my camera!

I have to put two pictures out there this week—once again, I couldn’t narrow it down!
Here we have opposites—sunburst at the beach, and from the bottom of a 10 foot snowpile. Both of these were taken about 2 weeks apart (although, in both instances, the temperature was below freezing!)

My favorite of the two-
f/25, 1/320 sec.

The second one—on the day after Christmas, Mother Nature dumped over 2 feet of snow on us. Since we live on a cul-de-sac, we get huuuuuge snow piles in our yard when the plows come down.
Still working on that white balance thing—I know the snow is blue here, but it was the best I could do….

Christmas Snow 2010 (147)
f/25, 1/250 sec

Comments/Critiques welcome and appreciated!

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December 26, 2010 at 9:01 pm (Holidays, Photography)

We’ve had our tree up in our house since Thanksgiving night—and that was the first night I played with bokeh—but now that its the day after Christmas, I realize that the trees’ days (and my opportunity to play with bokeh) are numbered! What better way to waste away a snowy afternoon then to play with shaped bokeh. Here’s some of my favorites:
(note: ugh–I had left my camera on ISO 1600, so ignore the slight grain. I should have realized that I was able to “hand hold” these pictures without blur—duh Dana—it’s because your ISO is ridiculously high!)

Fluffy (being a good sport—its hard to catch her not moving!)
fluffy bokeh (10)

shaped bokeh (14)

Mickey with Tinkerbell bokeh
shaped bokeh (18)

“Life’s a Beach” with palm tree bokeh
shaped bokeh

New Years Toast!
shaped bokeh (4)

My new clutch! (check out that purse shaped bokeh!)
shaped bokeh (9)

Poinsettias—my least favorite. It’s so difficult to capture the details on the petals!
shaped bokeh (12)

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Merry Christmas!

December 26, 2010 at 8:43 pm (Holidays, Photography)

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! Its the day after now, but since we’re “snowed in” (according to the reporters…), I figured I’d share some festive photos.

Air Tree (should have had my dad smile too…lol)
Timed xmas light exposure (7)

Cookie monster
Christmas 2010 (14)

Christmas dinner—scallops (and steak, not pictured) cooked tableside
Christmas 2010 (7)

Christmas Eve
Christmas 2010

Cookies for Santa
Christmas Cookies (15)

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Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

December 22, 2010 at 12:59 am (Photography)

Last night (well, early this morning), most people in North and South America were treated to a full Lunar Eclipse. This one was particularly unique as it also fell on the Winter Solstice. Before I went to bed last night, I got out my tripod, and got my camera ready to go with its 600mm lens (really a 300mm lens with a 2x teleconverter). I also laid out a heavy sweatshirt, hat, gloves and a chair so when my alarm went off at 2:40, I could be ready to go!

I set up my camera on our upstairs deck, and proceeded to spend the next hour outside (and running back inside to warm up—it was COLD and windy out there!) photographing the moon. It was no easy task, and unfortunately, the pictures aren’t as clear as I had hoped. Because the Earth is blocking the Sun from the Moon, the Moon appears to be a very dark red. Normally, I can get by on a 2.5 second exposure while photographing a full Moon, but because of the color, I needed at least a 10 second exposure to get it bright enough—problem is, at 600mm, you can literally see the Moon moving, which causes blur. I had to up the ISO to 1600, just so I could lower the shutter speed to around 5 seconds.

After this wordy post (sorry!), here are some of the decent pictures:

f/5.6, 6sec, 300mm
Lunar Eclipse 12.21.10 (13)

f/5.6, 6sec, 600mm
Lunar Eclipse 12.21.10 (15)

f/5.6, 6sec, 600mm
Lunar Eclipse 12.21.10 (9)

f/5.6, 6sec, 600mm
Lunar Eclipse 12.21.10 (14)

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