Photography, Resources

Photographers Cheat Sheet

While browsing my usual morning reading list, I came across this super handy list of shortcuts for both Photoshop & Lightroom. I use quite a lot of keyboard shortcuts in both programs, rarely forsaking the keys for the mouse. Check it out!

Adobe Photographers Cheat Sheet

Adobe Cheat Sheet

Via Make A Website Hub

 

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Photography

Textures in Duluth

We spent this morning teaching composition, exposure, and the benefits of Av & Tv. I found myself drawn to texture in a few places. Here are my favorites.

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Photography, Travel

Sanibel and Fort Myers

Jeremy and I spent a week in December in Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach.  Those two beaches are a Florida treasure. I’ve been to all sorts of beaches around Florida: Destin, Clearwater, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville. None of them were quite as amazing as the beaches of Sanibel and Fort Myers.

Secluded trails lead onto the beach.

And then there’s the beach.

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Lots of tiny perfect shells.

My favorite thing about these beaches are the predominance of whole and live shells scattered throughout the beach. Each day brings a different set of shells and live creatures based on the tides and weather. The sands are pale and soft with the depth of the water remaining mostly shallow  for a long distance into the sea.

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Pretty pale sands.

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Jeremy off in the distance, still walking on the sand.

Conch shells littered the beach in the evening, many of them still housing the conch.

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Three shells with three conch inside.

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Sea Urchins, with live animal inside.

Our entire haul at the end of the 2nd day:

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I have no idea what I’m going to do with these yet! Our guest bedroom’s bath is ocean themed. Maybe a shadow box or two could house a little art project!

The sunsets… they were just amazing.

I can’t wait until we go again!  This time with friends!UnbrokenHorse.com-KD2A2827

Quotes

Your Own Self

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I indulged in a font package on Creative Market an I’ll be darned if I don’t use it for funsies.

Photography, Travel

Short-billed Dowitcher

There was a lot of magic experienced on the beach today but this small moment in the reflected sunset was one of the best.  The dowitchers would run in everytime a wave receded to pick at the bounty that had been spread on the sand.

It was beautiful.
Short-Billed Dowitcher

 

Photography, Travel

Ocala

It’s vacation time! On our way down to Sanibel Island, we stopped in Ocala. We wanted to go to Silver Springs State Park to get on a glass bottomed boat but because the lines were surprisingly long, we decided instead to rent a canoe  tomorrow and take a walk today.

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There’s a mix of open fields and dense swamp-like vegetation in the area. The waters of the spring are crystal clear, allowing for good wildlife spotting. I managed to catch a turtle, a few fish, and the reeds on camera.

The birds think it’s a great place to hang out so we got lucky and got to see these awesome spring inhabitants.

The Tricolored Heron

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Pied-billed Grebe

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A Great Egret on the hunt.
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…and my personal favorite: The Anhinga.

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I love unexpected birding days! The gardens surrounding the park had beautiful camellias on large, mature bushes.

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The last thing I found on our little nature walk was a dead Cloudless Sulphur.

It's dead. It's art.

 

Thankfully I was treated to a live one shortly after.

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After nearly six hours of driving, Jeremy and I both appreciated a nature walk. Plus, we got to eat ice cream and soak in sweat in December. It’s a balmy 85 degrees and will remain consistently so during our stay! I never got Christmas in July but I can definitely get behind Summer Vacation in December. :)

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Photography, Travel

Airborne

One of my favorite things about travel is the takeoff and landing. There’s something magical about experiencing everyday landscapes from the air. It’s also a great time to practice some iphone shooting and editing. Everything in this post was shot on an iPhone 6s and edited with VSCO.
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Life

Happy Thanksgiving

This thanksgiving was extra special. This Thanksgiving, I was sick as a dog. Starting last weekend, I contracted a upper respiratory viral infection that evolved into asthmatic bronchitis. I didn’t take the onset of cold very well, I suppose. Days of high and mid grade fever, zero energy, no appetite, splitting headaches, awful body pains and coughing fits so bad I didn’t sleep for a couple of nights led me to the doctor’s where a big cortisone shot in the butt and a variety of drugs and inhalers got me back on track. It’s been 9 days of this so far but I feel so blessed!  Through it all I’ve had no problem getting to stay home and focus on healing. I have a wonderful husband that took care of everything including solo shooting a session for me.  My boss and office kept it stress free as I stayed home and the flexibility that comes with my job is so magnificent.  My family was sure to check on me and bring me loads of food.  :) My brother made sure to help me out however he could with runs to the store, food, and bossing me into taking my meds at the right times. I’m so very loved and supported. These are people that don’t just say they care. They do things to care for me. I love them and this Thanksgiving I’ve had nothing but blessings to think about. I pray to God that I always be like the people I am surrounded by!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Life

This Too Shall Pass

I was pondering over my buffalo chicken wings today. There won’t be any more wings after I eat this last one.

Oddly it felt like a very profound thought. All things in a single human life pass, no matter how notable or trifling. The thought expanded; tendrils of the concept claiming more things it applied to.

School. Childhood. Disasters. Projects. Homes. Relationships. Parents. Jobs. Opportunities. Quiet moments. Wrath.

It was a reminder to endure the parts of our lives we don’t care for and embrace the moments in the parts of our lives we love.  The things in our lives that are routine tend to pass by without much impact on emotions or overall meaning in life but we have a tendency to spend the most amount of our personal time and mental energy on them, forgetting they’re only there to enable the wonderful parts of our lives and reduce the impact of the terrible things.

I’m not going anywhere further with this, but let it be known I really savored that last chicken wing.

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Life

UNDY for Sanjay

This weekend my family ran the UNDY race for my cousin Sanjay. Thanks to all of your donations, we raised about $1700 dollars and placed 5th overall for money raised. I am so thankful for both my family, friends, coworkers and even strangers who chose to give so we could help raise awareness, fund research and stand in solidarity with Sanjay.

You all are amazing and I’ll be forever grateful.

Quotes

Gratitude

Gratitude is something I strive to practice as much as possible and the practice helps keep things in perspective for me.  I want to remember these lines from today’s Zen Habits

  • When I’m feeling mad at someone, I can try to see what about them I’m grateful for.
  • When I procrastinate with a project, I can look at why I’m grateful to be able to work on that project.
  • When I get injured or sick, I can remember that I’m grateful just to be alive.
  • When I lose a good friend, I can grieve, but also be grateful for the time I had with them, and all that they gave me.
  • When something bad happens while traveling, I remember to be grateful for traveling at all, and that these challenges are what make the travel an adventure.
  • When someone doesn’t like what I do, and criticizes me, I can be grateful they care enough to even pay attention. Attention is a gift.

From: http://zenhabits.net/gratefully/

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Life

Pavlok : Day One

Jeremy and I backed a project back in March called Pavlok. In a nutshell, it gives you an electric shock when you want it to. Here’s how it works.  It’s called ‘Aversion Therapy’ and it’s going to help me lose weight and be more productive. I can make these claims only because yesterday I used it to help control two things I want to change about myself. First: cravings for food not included in my chosen diet, and second: wasting time when I’m attempting to focus on a task.

The food aversion therapy was surprisingly easy.  Earlier this year I lost 30lbs of fat and gained 10lbs of muscle without any aversion therapy, but I became complacent soon after. I haven’t gained any weight back or let my body fat percentage slide back up the scale, but I’ve had trouble kickstarting the second half of my weight loss. Doctors, nurses, and the ‘know your numbers’ ladies for our insurance have had one metric I should meet: lose 40 lbs of fat. I want to gain an additional 15-20lbs of muscle to go with it. The Pavlok has arrived at the right time!

It’s amazing how many times throughout the day I think about food even if I’m not physiologically hungry. I zapped myself yesterday on accident, and it was enough of an aversion that I chose the right foods for the rest of the day. The thought of having to zap myself for choosing wrong and zap myself with each bite made it totally not worth it.  In terms of diet, when it comes time to make a conscious decision, the Pavlok is my extremely persuasive friend.

The issue that has been harder for me was the time-wasting when attempting to work. Last night I worked on wedding photos, but my efficiency has been reduced (greatly) by the fact that I wind up alt+tabbing to goof off. Sometimes it even starts out sounding reasonable:  “I’m just going to check out how other photographers handled this particular processing issue”… and I go down a black hole of links.

I zapped myself like 20 times yesterday while editing photos for four hours. From 6 pm – 10 pm I felt like a foolish rat. However, after about 2 hours of zapping, I was able to focus more. The last hour was just a solid block of productivity. I think part of the reason this was harder was that unlike the amount of presence my mind had to have while pursuing bad food choices, it’s almost a brain stem activity to alt-tab. I didn’t THINK. It was a habit in the worst way.

Today at work I’ve got my chrome extension all setup and if I wind up on my list of time wasters, I get zapped.  Just kidding. I thought I had it setup but it’s actually down for maintenance until later this month. I’m hoping they’ll do a little IFTTT integration so I can really take advantage of this device.

Day two, here I come.

 

Quotes

Empathy

“Sympathy’s easy. You have sympathy for starving children swatting at flies on the late-night commercials. Sympathy is easy because it comes from a position of power. Empathy is getting down on your knees and looking someone else in the eye and realizing you could be them, and that all that separates you is luck.”   – Dennis Lehane, 2004 Commencement Address to Eckerd College

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Life

UNDY Colon Cancer 5K

Jeremy and I are running in the Colon Cancer Alliance UNDY​ Run/Walk 5K on the 24th of this month on behalf of  my cousin, who is more like a brother, Sanjay Dharmaraj​ who is bravely battling colon cancer. Please consider donating to help us raise money to meet and exceed our goals!!

I am grateful for any amount you can spare towards this cause!  In place of donations, prayers and thoughts towards my cousin Sanjay would be much appreciated.

For everyone who donates $75 or more, I’ll do a 30 minute photo shoot of you, you & partner, you and your pets, your family, your bee hives, your 90’s troll collection or whatever as long as it’s within the Metro Atlanta area and I don’t have to go into anyone’s basement alone! Haha! I trust you guys! …maybe.

You can check out my work at  https://instagram.com/suniraphotography/ for a quick snapshot of my work or http://suniraphotography.com to see more complete galleries.

Any donations can be made here: https://secure2.convio.net/cca/site/Donation2?idb=1207767141&df_id=2939&2939.donation=form1&FR_ID=2260&PROXY_ID=1731822&PROXY_TYPE=20

Thanks again!

Life

Thirty & Chicago

I turned 30 last week! Honestly, I’d been forgetting how old I was and telling people I was 30 all last year so it didn’t feel like much of a change.  I’ve honestly been looking forward to my thirties for a while. I feel like this decade will offer me the most in terms of being independent, healthier, and an adult! A real live adult. I had several dinners with friends whom I’ve known for so long now (another benefit to getting older!) and enjoyed a very relaxed weekend doing a lot of things I wanted, spending time with Jeremy, at home, with friends, and with family. It was a pretty wonderful start to the week, and a lovely start to my 30’s. I even have a couple birthday dinners after we come back. I am truly blessed with wonderful friends.

And… since my birthday has now passed…it’s that time of year again! Jeremy and I plan a longer trip around the time of our anniversary and this year it’s Chicago! We’re headed there for ten days, and I am so stoked! We are staying in Printer’s Row in an AirBnB. The views from the apartment are amazing, and I’m looking forward to a week of waking and going to sleep with the skyline in view.

Look for photos on instagram as the week progresses! :)