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Kristen Prelipp-Oguntoyinbo

The Rainbow Bridge

Back in May, I wrote a post called The Circle of Life. It was a reflection on birth and death and all the interesting bits in between. In that article, I spoke about taking care of my 13-year-old Siberian Husky dog, named Kika. She just passed away on Monday, so this is a tribute to honoring the death of a beloved pet. Kika with her buddy, Cleopatra, in the yard last week. She always seemed to be smiling.   I come from a large, close-knit family. Before my siblings and I had children, we all acquired a pet or...

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It's Not Easy Being a Baby

I love babies! Who doesn’t? But as a photographer, their skin gives me fits. By the time they have been out in this world for a week, the baby acne sets in as well as patches of dry, peeling skin. Nearly all have dark circles under their eyes and some are even blessed with a little cradle cap. No wonder they sleep all the time! I would, too. In the photograph above, we have an absolutely adorable 3-month old. She was enjoying some tummy time, lifting her head just so. Overall, I really like this photo, but to make...

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Tip Six – Choose Your Lens Wisely

This is tip six in a series about photography called, “Ten Things All Photo Geeks Must Know.” It is for the more serious amateur photographer who shoots with a digital camera. These ten tips are the basis for a solid foundation in photography. Once you have these skills in your proverbial camera bag, you will be able to advance quickly. Some of the posts will apply to film cameras as well, but I am writing this series with an aspiring digital photo geek in mind. For those interested in all the tips so far: Tip One: What is a Histogram? Tip Two: What is an Aperture? Tip Three: How to Compensate for Auto-Exposure Tip Four: The Colors of Light Tip Five: Aperture Priority Versus Shutter Priority And now: Tip Six: Choose Your Lens Wisely Anyone who loves photography knows that you can spend a lot of money on equipment. I decided early on that it is generally better to spend a bit more money to buy a higher quality product that will last, rather than buy a cheap piece of equipment that may break in a couple of years and delivers inferior quality images. In particular with lenses, if you spend a little more, you will end up with equipment that –if properly maintained– you can use and enjoy for a lifetime. What makes a good lens? A good...

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Gardening on the Cheap

I would like to reclaim the word cheap. To me it does not mean stingy, miserly or of poor quality. In this post-recession era I believe it now signifies resourceful, ingenious, grateful and green. I love to garden but don’t relish spending hundreds of dollars on it. I prefer splitting plants in the spring or fall, buying plants on sale that propagate well and taking really good care of the plants I have so they spread and thrive. So this blog post is dedicated to a cheap gardening trick that will yield a brilliant fall show. I have a...

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Holy Hydrangea!

I love hydrangeas! They have become synonymous with early summer for me. This blog post is an ode to this incredibly beautiful plant. There are several types of hydrangeas but my favorite is the mophead (hyrangea macrophylla) variety. Most have blooms of blue or pink. Part of what fascinates me about this plant is that, unlike most other plants, the bloom color can change dramatically from year to year. It is also common to have different colors of blooms on a single bush (as shown below), or even in a single bud. This hydrangea bush in my garden has...

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Transit of Venus

Next week something rare and special will be happening in the cosmos. The planet Venus will pass directly between Earth and the sun. This last happened in 2004 and will not happen again for another 105.5 years. Observers in North America will see the transit during the evening of June 5, 2012 from 6 p.m. until sunset for those of us on the East Coast. It is NOT safe to look directly at the sun, even with sunglasses or through your telescope or telephoto lens. But you can watch a transit webcast, get eclipse glasses or make a pinhole...

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The Rite of Spring at 100

The Carolina Performing Arts presented a sneak peek of their 2012-2013 schedule to a gathering of their most ardent supporters last Wednesday evening May 16, 2012 at Memorial Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Executive Director, Emil Kang, took us all on a historical journey to 100 years ago. Here in the United States the Girl Scouts had just been founded by Juliette Gordon Low and the famous cherry trees were being planted by the hundreds in Washington, DC. Meanwhile across the Atlantic in Paris, France a shocking and revolutionary artistic performance would be about to radically change music,...

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Tip Five- Aperture Priority versus Shutter Priority

This is tip five in the series about photography called, “Ten Things All Photo Geeks Must Know.” It is for the more serious amateur photographer who shoots with a digital camera. These ten tips are the basis for a solid foundation in photography. Once you have these skills in your proverbial camera bag you will be able to advance quickly. Some of the posts will apply to film cameras as well but I am writing this series with an aspiring digital photo geek in mind. AV versus TV I am a Canon camera user. No matter which brand of...

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How to Photomerge

When I first started photographing seriously in the late 1980’s I was shooting film. I had a 35mm camera and also had a medium format, twin lens reflex Yashicamat camera. The medium format film was very attractive to me because the print quality from such a large negative was amazing, when compared to little, old 35mm. Also, the larger cameras were so clunky and difficult to use that it forced me to slow down and really contemplate what I wanted to shoot. This is a good change from my normal Speedy Gonzalez pace. In 2003 I switched to digital...

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The Circle of Life

Recently I took a long bus ride for a two-day, whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C. with my daughter’s 5th grade class. To keep the children entertained the teachers played all three Lion King movies so I have had “The Circle of Life” song in my head ever since then. It got me to thinking about my own circle of life. I am blessed to have healthy parents, three wonderful children, three siblings and many friends that feel as close as family. But I know we are all at the mercy of the circle of life and death.   We...

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