One of my goals for 2018 is to learn new techniques, improve myself in photography.  With recommendations from a group of friends, I joined in this journey with P52clicks.  A community where photographers all over the world encourage each other to learn 12 techniques a year (1 technique per month).  We usually have about 4 or 5 weeks to learn that technique for the month and to practice it with our camera.  Along the journey, we shared our images on social media and in the group for feedback.  This month, a group of my photography friends decided to show case our favorites from the month of January.  

“Tell me and I’ll forget.  Show me and I may remember.  Involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

Instead of showcasing, I decided to write more of what I have learned from January.  The technique I took on was to capture subjects under low light conditions.  Low light is not necessarily night photography, it is only when the light source is limited whether it is sun light or artificial lights.  Let’s take your bathroom for example, most of the bathrooms have limited light source, it might have a small window that has some lights peeked through but the rest of the room is dark.  I called that little light peeking through “light pocket.”  Low light technique can be very addicting if you know how to manipulate little “light pockets” to your advantage or you can create a low light condition by limiting lights pouring into the environment you are setting up the shots.  Some might ask, why would you limit lights into your environment?  My answer is to create a light source focus only on your subject.  This will create nice shadows and lights on your subject to capture the true feelings of the moment.  After capturing some photos using this technique, I have a few notes or more of lessons for myself in the future.  I hope you will find this helpful.  I love this technique so for sure you will be seeing more of it in Storyteller Through Photos in the next coming months.

Lesson 1: When I walked into a room, here are a few things I ask myself: Where is the light coming from?  What kind of light source do I have? (natural lights or artificial lights) and Where will I place the subject using the available light source to capture the story?  A little careful assessment and preparation will help create more emotional and dramatic photos.

Lesson 2: Manual Mode is as always highly recommended.  You got the full control!

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to increase ISO, prefer noisy photos over blurry ones.  Know your camera and lens well to see how much noise they can handle.

Lesson 4: lower shutter speed (long exposure) to get more lights, tripod is highly recommended in this method to avoid camera shake – still need to try this.

Lesson 5: Shoot wide open, which means low f-number.  When you get past the kit lens, you will never go back.  Kit lens usually has the owest F/3.6 while other lenses with F/1.8 or 1/4 can create much more desireable low light photos.  If you are working on a budget, I would say try 50mm 1.8 (I should with Canon).  This lens is a great learning tool for beginner.  Though I have moved on up with other lens, I still go back to this lens from time to time because it’s so light.  I can easily carry it in my purse anywhere with the camera.

Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights.

Lesson 7: use light (natural or artificial) to create dramatic effects.

Lesson 8: Don’t be afraid to shut down some light source to intensify the story in the photos.

Lesson 9: Don’t forget to have fun and use any of the combinations above to your likings (just like cooking, you are the one creating the recipes to your tastes).  Photography is art, create your own recipe, even breaking the rules is acceptable to create your own piece of art.

here are some of my favorites from January everyday’s moment

In the photo below, the light was coming from a window of his left.

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to increase ISO camera setting: SS 1/100, ISO 3200, freelens (no F stop info)

 

This photo was taken with 50mm, 1.8, you can see a little haze around him, I actually used my range oven light to light up his face.  I used double exposure with a little plastic to create a little glow in the photo.

Lesson 5: Shoot wide open. SS 1/125, F 1.8, ISO 1250
Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights.
Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to use artificial lights. My light source is the bathroom ceiling light, having the door slightly open to light up just this guy’s face.
Lesson 7: use the lights through window to create light and shadow effect
Lesson 8: Don’t be afraid to shut down some light source to intensify the story in the photos. The entire house lights were shut down, only one flashlight they carried on a stick with them.

My talented friend Suzi from Moments by Suzi also played along with this technique, please check out her low light favorites here, you will enjoy her work just as much as I do.

That’s it for this month, please check back for February photography technique.  Untill then if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, I would love to hear from you.

 Thuvan – Your gal behind the lens here at FrameThisMomentPhotography

2018 January

January Photo Gallery

I challenge myself to do a photo a day then published it in this gallery.  I have different prompts every day or at least every week so that I can get familiar with different techniques.

This month’s prompts: lowlight, freelensing, rule of third, compassion, lights and shadow, in the frame, self-portrait, teaching & learning together, brothers, out of focus, morning snuggle, step by step, celebration, season – winter theme, backlight, curiosity, negative space, what I see, imagination, bath time, play time, run away, reflect, double exposure.  So far my most favorites were lowlight, freelensing, teaching and learning, and double exposure.  Double exposure, lowlight were very challenging, freelensing is quite difficult too but I’m getting the hang of it.

Continue reading “2018 January”

Our family secrets of summer fun in Houston

June is the beginning of summer in Texas.  Most of the school is out by June and summer activities began.   By all mean, I’m not an expert for summer fun.  I’m only doing this to give my kids some childhood memories, teach them how to care for others and just simply enjoy being a kid.  I hope our activities will give you some ideas to do with your kids.  Please do share what you do with your kids in the summer so we can learn and maybe do it in the next summer.  We still have two more months to go.  This is only June activities, I have so much more but I will save it for the end of the summer to compile all of our summer activities.

1- Involve in at least one sport event:

This year both of my older kids were involved in the summer swimming league so most of my Saturday is consumed around swimming meets until 3rd week of June.  They enjoyed swimming, meeting new friends, hanging out with old friends, school friends and just have fun all together.

20160506- IMG_7223 Swimming Team Summer 2016

2- Visit Hospitals especially children hospitals:

Early part June, we decided to go visit some folks in the hospital, the first person we met was Ashley Johnson.  She’s currently going to school in California and came home for the summer.  You can follow Ashley’s Journey here on instagram, Ashley’s Instagram.  She’s a very sweet young girl.  In our conversation, we found out that Ashley was also a swimmer who got the chance to see Michael Phelps when she was little.   She’s also a friend with our team coach so the kids actually enjoyed talking to her. This is something we will be doing throughout the summer after our summer road trip.  20160607-IMG_0489 Jonah Jaden Ashley Johnson

3-Enjoy nature: 

There are so many things and places are free around you.  Take a stroll around your neighborhood in the afternoon/early evening.  Let the kids go outside and shout out to natures.  It is healthy for them, it is good for them to appreciate little things in their life.

20160529-IMG_9902 ThienAn Anvy & Jaden

4- Some electronic time:

Although I’m not big with electronics, I would like to give them some electronic time so they can let loose and enjoy their own time, connect with friends from afar.20160529-IMG_9960 ThaiBinh

5. Library trips:

Go to the library, check out some books.  Let them open their mind with some imagination through readings.  The libraries usually have reading list recommended for all ages, you can find all kind of books for them to read during the summer.20160616-IMG_1502 VBS Decoration day

6- Volunteer:

Volunteer and involve in the community organizations, whether it is at church, nursing homes or at any food bank or anywhere that you are comfortable.  That’s when you get to meet people (interesting people), people from far away, people that you might never meet otherwise.  Open up their minds with the reality of world that there’s so much more than what they see.  This year we got to meet a young man who has traveled to US from France.  He’s one of the leaders for Vacation Bible School for our second baby.  A very nice caring young man.  20160623-IMG_1850 VBS 2016 at CTR B&W

 

I hope your family will have a fun and safe summer.

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Father’s Day – A special note to my partner in crime

To my children’s dad,

You are one of a kind.  I’m glad to have met you and together we created a family with three children.  Our kids are the most luckiest because they have the best dad in the whole wide world (I might be biased a little here but what can I say?)  The children adore you.  You have been there since day one and I have no doubt that you will continue to be this way with them even when they are older.  You show kindness, love, care and patience in everything that you do in our day to day.  I’m lucky to have a partner who’s as compatible or even more than me so we can share duties, love and laughters.

Today I have decided to document these special moments as a dedication for you as a dad. I love you to the moon and back and I’m sure our children do as well.

We started the day with our traditional breakfast in bed for all special occasions, this was more special with the assistance of our eldest.  He woke up early so he could help preparing this special meal for dad.  Then we headed out for church.  After church we were supposed to have lunch but spontaenousely we decided that it’s a “junky” day for dad so we broke all rules and got snacks instead.  Then we headed to our uncle’s house for a party to celebrate dad.

At the end of the day, he granted them “special visas” to sleep in our bed too… Now I’m re-thinking what I said earlier about… ^_^

20160619-IMG_1540 2016 Father's Day Papa
Our oldest woke up early to make special scrambled egg
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Our 2nd son and little daughter kept an eye on dad, making sure he didn’t wake up until it was time.
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He later admitted that the bacon smell woke him up 🙂
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Yes, corn was served for breakfast, one of his favorites.
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Then he had to share lol
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Everyone loved daddy’s breakfast.
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everything was gone in a matter of minutes except for the coffee, they all know they can’t have that just yet.
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Baby girl said she wanted a picture with Papa.
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Daddy walked in while she was putting her shoes on.
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Guess who helped putting it on for her?
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Then who else helped brush her hair?
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We are ready for our day.
20160619-IMG_1632 2016 Father's Day Papa
What mama saw and prayed for.
20160619-IMG_1641 2016 Father's Day Papa
Papa received a special blessing.  Her face though, I didn’t see it until I processed the photo
20160619-IMG_1658 2016 Father's Day Papa
walking hands in hands
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Baby girl shared her portion with Papa
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Papa is collecting his dues from the other two ^_^
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Papa enjoyed his special treats ^_^
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Yum yum!
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Oh yeah!

20160619-IMG_1674 2016 Father's Day Papa20160619-IMG_1675 2016 Father's Day Papa20160619-IMG_1677 2016 Father's Day Papa20160619-IMG_1679 2016 Father's Day Papa

20160619-IMG_1703 2016 Father's Day Papa
What’s so funny Papa?
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He’s a wonderful son as well, not so much through words but through his actions.
20160619-IMG_1742 2016 Father's Day Papa
winding down for the day, when they announced their special visas to take over my bed hmmm!!!
20160619-IMG_1747 2016 Father's Day Papa
The day is done.

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Life as it is…

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This month on the blog for “6 on the 6th blog circle“, I’m writing about a man that I happened to run into.  After you are done reading my blog, please check out LoveMammarazzi to see what she’s sharing today on this blog circle.

On May 19, 2016, after meeting with a friend for lunch, I was in a hurry trying to get home in time for the kiddos to be home from the school.  It was pouring outside.  As I was entering the freeway, I noticed a man with plastic bag over his head trying to run but I could tell he wasn’t strong enough to make a quick run for such rain.  I slowed down, rolled down the window.  I was going to give him my umbrella but when I saw his face with a big smile, I immediately knew that I had to give the man a lift.  I asked where he lives and he said it was just down the street, the man pointed ahead saying it’s only a few blocks away and that he’s fine just walking.  I told him to hop in and I’ll give him a lift home.  He introduced himself as “Jose”.  I asked who he lives with and he said “nobody”.  He said that he’s staying in the shed with a family and that he has no family.  He finds jobs here and there to make a living and that he took the boat, the train and car to get to Texas.  He always had a smile on his face.  He asked what is it that I do.  I told him that I’m a photographer.  He asked me if I could take some pictures for him, then he said not right away because it is raining right now.  When I got to where he stayed, I asked him if I could take a few photos of him and where he lived, he was excited about that.  As soon as I saw where he lived, this overwhelming feeling came over me.  It’s truly not a living condition.  Although his living condition isn’t ideal, Jose always showed a great smile on his face.  He told me that nobody ever took pictures of him.  He never had any pictures taken when he was a little child either.  Even with the rain pouring down, he offered to walk me to the car.  I told him not to worry about me, I can get to the car by myself.  Jose’s living condition reminds me of how fortunate my life is.  I sometimes complain about little things that do not go my way and they are not even that important after seeing him.   He’s a pure example of “happiness is within,” it is not materialistic, it is something that you must recognize and that even under the worst circumstances, happiness can be found.  Jose, it was my honor to meet you and for gifting me a valuable lesson in life.

 

20160519-IMG_8949 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8955 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8951 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8948 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8956 Human project Jose20160519-IMG_8960 Jose

 

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