Tag: Pictures

24,249 Shutter Actuations

Exactly 365 days ago, I bought my D3100. Since then I’ve taken 24,249 pictures with it. When I looked it up last night in the EXIF data instead of pictures, it said shutter actuations. I like that.

Anybody can make their shutter actuate, but that doesn’t mean anyone can make great pictures.

Out of all the pictures I’ve taken this year, less than 100 were what I’d really call good. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’m happy. Last year I had no idea what an F/stop was, how to set your ISO, or how to shoot pictures on anything but Auto Mode, and now I never use Auto Mode.

I’m looking forward to learning even more this year, and looking back over my second year of serious photography!

Southwest Trip 2013

We were recently blessed to go out west for two weeks. We visited the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Pike’s Peak, and too many other places to count. I filmed over 8 hourse of footage with my D3100 and the GoPro, but I’ll share that later, after I edit it. For now, here are 76 of the 2600 pictures I took while on the trip.


Southwest Trip Pictures

The Great Car Chase

I’ve always liked stop-motion animations, but I was never able to really pull one off. The closest I ever got was The Lego Party, which only had a few seconds of Stop-motion animation in it. I decided to try again, and my animation actually turned out pretty well!

With my D3100, stop-motion animation was a lot easier, partly due to its superior technical qualities, but mainly because its just so big! I could set it on the floor where I needed it to be, and it wouldn’t tip over or move at the slightest bump. I used my battery grip as a kind of remote shutter release to help even more. Instead of screwing it into the bottom of the camera, I set it beside my D3100 and plugged the release into the GPS port.

I shot all of this animation in Manual mode. I tried Auto mode, but it wouldn’t give mme enough depth-of-field or consistency. None of the shots in this movie were at an aperture less than F/10, and most were at F/22 or over, some even up to F/36, the highest my 18-55mm will go. If I had set the aperture any lower at such close distances, I would have had less than a centimeter of the scene in the focus plane at times!

I only used natural lighting for this movie, and set the white balance to Cloudy. I had to move my sets around as the day went on, to avoid harsh shadows, but overall it worked out well!


We had a class at our church that taught us about emergency preparedness. It was getting dark outside, and my D3100 wanted to set a much longer shutter speed than I wanted. I decided to switch to manual mode to get the settings the way I wanted them. Even in Manual mode, its amazing to see the difference between the two shots below:

There’s no difference in the ISO, shutter speed, or aperture. These pictures were taken within a second of each other. So what made the drastic difference?

I had my D3100′s White Balance set to Auto. In the interval between these shots it resampled what white “should” be, and corrected, resulting in the change. I realized this, and set it to Manual so my pictures would all turn out the same.

Auto mode is meant to crank out good pictures, without the person pushing the shutter having to think. It works well most of the time, but it can never know what you truly want. If you want an ultra-high shutter speed to capture a breaking lightbulb, it doesn’t know that- your camera will set a speed between 1/125 and 1/15 and take a picture of the blurred bulb. If you want to take a silky picture of a waterfall, you camera doesn’t know that- it’ll use that same 1/15 shutter speed and create a boring picture of frozen-looking water.

The big advantage of DSLR’s is that they let you have complete control of the picture you take. You can do anything you want. Knowing what you want becomes the biggest issue.

Experiment! The more you goof with your camera’s settings, the more you’ll know what you want.

A few pictures…

I bought a Nikon D3100 back in July, and have been very impressed with its handling and abilities. I’ve taken several thousand pictures so far, and thought I’d post three of my better ones. I have quite a few like these, but I’ll save those for my $200 2 inch thick coffee table book. Enjoy!

This bird hit one of our picture windows, and as it recovered on the nearby branch of a burning bush, I snapped some pictures of it. Even though I only used my 18-55mm VR kit lens,  I was able to get close enough to get this nearly frame-filling shot, since the bird “played dead” rather than flying from me. As soon as I moved, the bird flew away, unfazed.

We went to our grandparents house for Thanksgiving, and right next door was this neat looking old barn. I walked over, leaned across the barbed wire fence, and snapped a few shots. This one is my favorite. The framing turned out the best of all those I shot, and I was able to get a good chunk of sky into the shot as well.  A storm was going by about 10 miles away, so I got some interesting cloud coverage as a backdrop for the barn.

I took this picture while sitting on the roof of our van, to keep stray light from street lights from getting into my lens. I still got some light from the moon, but it created a cool ghosting effect that I actually like, rather than washing out the entire picture. To take this picture I put my camera on a tripod, set the shutter for the longest available (30 sec on my D3100, unless you count Bulb), set a 10 second timer, and jumped off the roof of our van while the timer counted down to prevent camera shake during the exposure. The thing that looks like a shooting star on the right isn’t- its a plane. It still looks cool though!

Paul the (super)hero

Here’s a totally un-staged picture of Paul:

And here’s the same picture with a little bit of editing: =)

Have no fear! Paul is here!

Giant’s Causeway

Here is a picture of the Giant’s Causeway:

It is situated off the coast of Ireland, and we were studying it in one of my TPS classes. The topic of creating one out of Lego’s came up, and I decided to try to make a model. It’s not nearly as impressive as the real thing, but it won my Mom’s “neat” award at least!

New boom

This afternoon I fixed a boom that I had started building over a year ago and had given up on. I made it out of scrap wood, nails I’d salvaged when we remodeled our garage, and a garage door hinge that I’d also gotten from our garage remodel. It works much better (well, actually, It just works, it had never worked before) and thought you might enjoy some pictures of it.

Camping Trip

For John’s Birthday, I had given him a “Super Duper Flip Card” with lots of activities that we could do together listed on it. Two of them had been a hike and a backyard camp-out, so we decided to combine them and take a hike down to the river that runs behind our house, spend the night, and come back the next morning. We had a lot of fun, and I thought you might enjoy some of the pictures I took of our “adventures”, so here they are:

We headed out of civilization at 5:20

Once we got down to the river we immediately began setting up our tent because of the thunder we could hear in the distance 

After getting our camp set up, we did some exploring, finding some sticks that we could use to cook our dinner on

We started cooking our “gourmet” as soon as the sticks were whittled (it was starting to rain)

Yum! (I assume, John ate 5!)We then cooked our dessert: Marsh mellows! (We were manly men and used the same sticks we had roasted our hot dogs on!)

Yum again! We did more exploring until it got darkWe then piled into our tent for the night

John said, “Good night, Don’t let the ground bugs bite!”

We woke up at 6:25 and immediately began making breakfast

John was able to warm two things at once over the campstove!

Yum yet again!

After we finished eating, we packed everything up and left our campsite to make a round-about way towards home

Home at last!

Dry Ice!

Our parents bought us a 5 pond chunk of dry ice this afternoon, much to the delight of everyone!

John was prepared

Paul wasn’t quite so prepared for what the dry ice would taste like mixed with water- “blech”!

Our pool is already starting to cool off, so John decided to speed up the process a little bit!

Paul’s own personal fog machine!

Dry ice is sooo fun!

Robot Man

Beware of the robot man, for you never know who he will strike next! (and being struck by an empty Wal-Mart bag is bound to leave a mark!)

Chocolate Pudding

Rachel and I made a batch of chocolate pudding yesterday

But that’s not the funny part.

Not wanting to be outdone, Paul and Isaac also decided to make “pudding”- in a much less contained, clean (and boring) way!

Oh the joy of being 3 or 6!

Spinach Frittata

By Rachel M. Heironimus

Sunday night, Mommy,John and I made frittata.

I am whisking together the eggs and pepper, while Daddy stirs the onions.

John’s stirring the onions.

John gives us a ‘teary eyed’ smile.

Mommy and John shredding up spinach.

The finished product.

Mommy serving up the frittada.          Yum……..

Birthday Trip

This Saturday I had the privilege of taking my dear brother Luke on a “trip” into town. We had a very good time, wandering around and seeing the “sights” and I thought you might like to see a few (or actually, a few more than a few) pictures from it.

We got dropped off at Arris’ Pizza at 11:15 and immediately ordered our Pizza(s!)

They arrived at 11:35, and we dug in!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end sometime! Our pizza did at 11:50 and we headed out, visiting several nearby stores to look around.

“Cathole” trowel anyone?

We stopped at a used bookstore and bought several books and we then started walking to the bus stop that would take us to our next destination.

We walked,

And walked,And walked! Over 3 and a half miles, all told! And the really annoying thing about it was that we had only actually needed to walk about 1 mile, but I, the experienced world traveler, had gotten one of our turns wrong, necessitating all that extra 2 and a half! We finally arrived at our bus stop though, and sat down to wait for the bus to come.

Luke said “I never thought a patch of grass and a bottle of water could be so good!”

We rode the bus to Lighthouse Lanes, where we bowled and played air hockey.

We then went back outside and did some more waiting for the bus. This is a picture I texted  my mom while we were waiting, I titled it “Waiting for the bus-Heironimus style!”

I guess this would be riding the bus, Heironimus style!

We walked from the bus stop to Mama Jean’s Natural Market

We ate dinner and bought some “treats” for every one else and at 5:10 we left

We went to Bass Pro, the final stop on our trip, and at 6:15 we were picked up, having had a wonderful 7 hours together!

Happy Birthday Luke!

Luke joined the ranks of the teenagers on August 28! He went on a canoe trip with our dad from Friday afternoon til Sunday morning, when they came back to our house to join us. After going to church, we came back home and spent a relaxing remainder of the day,giving Luke his presents, swimming, watching movies and eating cake. We didn’t take that many pictures, but here they are,along with pictures he and dad took on their canoe adventure:


Roasting “Gourmet” (A.K.A. Hotdogs) over the fire.

Luke and Dad

Their campsite

Who needs a skillet when you have a rock to fry your ham on? (bottom of the picture)

More fishing


Bread Baking

Isaac, John and I blessed the family by baking bread yesterday morning, and several of my sibs and I were able to get a few pictures of the excitement, which I thought you might enjoy.

Isaac was in charge of the wet ingredients

The dry ingredients were John’s domain

We all helped mix the dry and wet together

Isaac put the dough evenly into the 5 pans (with some help from me)

After it was done cooking, I took it out of the roaster (which we used instead if the oven to avoid heating up the house)

Unfortunately, while it cooked, the bread has rose a lot more than I had expected it too, resulting in this sorry looking mess!
(They still tasted good,though!)

Happy Birthday John!

John turned 8 on Saturday, August 13 and we all had a wonderful time celebrating with him, I took pictures all day and I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the highlights:

After we ate breakfast, John opened his presents, which included some diet Coke and Mentos for an experiment

The evil genius in action!

John and Isaac enjoyed cooling off in the pool to escape the 100 degree heat

While John was swimming, Rachel and I made pizzas for his birthday dinner

The test…
They passed!
After dinner, Mom and Rachel prepared us all a delicious dessert of Angelfood cake, strawberries, and whipped cream
Make a wish!

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Day #2

This Friday our Grandparents took us back to Wilson’s creek to see even more of the sights, sounds and smells of the civil war reenactment, Thursday night had been amazing, but it was nothing compared to the size (and noise) of Friday’s “battle”!
Children beware!
John and Rachel are playing a game called “the graces”. Girls in the 1860′s used it to exercise their arms- good luck trying to get deltoids that way!
I took this picture as the “Soldiers were marching onto the battlefield to get ready to “Fight”, except for the yellow tape, it’s amazing how non-21st century this picture looks!
This cannon was only 15 yards behind us!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures an eighth as much as I enjoyed being able to take them!

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Day #1

Yesterday we were able to go to the beginning of a 4 day sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of the battle of Wilson’s Creek. It was truly amazing, and I thought you might enjoy seeing a few pictures I took while we were there:
The reenactment didn’t begin until 45 minutes after we got there, so Rachel was able to look around in the “Sutler camp” browsing all the different tents
Pretty dresses!
The guns and swords suited John and Luke’s tastes a little more closely

The cavalry would occasionally come within 5 feet of where we were standing!
The infantry would purposefully aim high when it got into close quarters “combat”

Behind where we were standing is where all of the main actions of the skirmish were going on.
If you ever have the chance, I would highly recommend coming to a reenactment- they really make history “come alive” in a whole new way!
Have a good day,


Isaac,Paul and I made some cookies yesterday, and I thought you might enjoy a few pictures of the process (we only got two pictures of the whole process, so there aren’t that many). It was interesting making the cookies with Paul, since we had him doing almost the same jobs he had done when we made waffles, convincing him that we were working on waffles, not cookies (this also resulted in some confusion among the people not involved- Paul was telling them we were making one thing while Isaac and I were saying we were making something else!)

Isaac and I put them on the trays (of which there were 4) and then I put them in our trusty roaster oven (our mom really likes using it because we can put it out in the garage and not heat up the house)
Everybody agreed that the cookies were a success- even Paul!

That’s happiness for you!
Have a blessed (that’s a word the Moodys use a lot) day!


Isaac,Paul and I recently had the privilege of blessing our family by making waffles, we used our normal oatmeal pancake recipe, except we didn’t put in any raisins,blended the oats and added more liquid to make it more “battery”.
Enjoy the pictures of the craziness!
Paul got the first (and one of the most important) ingredient out for us

Isaac then measured out 12 cups of oats to put in the bowl

He then blended them

And after all the oat work was done he measured all the other ingredients into the bowl

We then started putting the batter on the Waffle Iron

By the time we finished up the batter we had made 52 waffles!

I’m an Old Man!

I had a birthday on July 30!- (My 15th if any of you wouldn’t happen to know)
I had an excellent birthday, enjoying my family (who I hadn’t seen for a full day since Sunday- I was at camp) and just enjoying being 15- which wasn’t all that much different from being 14, but I guess you could say that I enjoyed being alive in general!
The first thing I did when I woke up (after running my daily 5k), was to make pancakes- which I think turned out quite well (if I do say so myself!)
Faces make pancakes taste better!
You can blow out the candles on multiple types of cakes!
Paul thought I should start eating my cheese (a gift from Luke) right away!
After Lunch we all went bowling, my final score was 113 (not that spectacular, but I hadn’t bowled in about 20 months, so I wasn’t too disappointed

Once we got home, John,Mom,Rachel and I started preparing dinner
John and I worked on breading chicken tenders
Mom baked and iced a cake
The icing passed the taste test!
Rachel sliced strawberries
Rachel then put the strawberries she had sliced into a nice pattern on top of the cake
The moment we’ve all been waiting for!

The cake was spectacular and I had a wonderful rest of the night, playing with my family and watching “Fellowship of the Ring” with Luke and Dad.
Whew! I didn’t realize I had done so much on my birthday!


July 25 was Paul’s 3rd birthday! (Sorry I haven’t posted in so long, in between camp and other stuff I haven’t had much “computer time”)
We had (and I hope Paul had) a very good day, I thought I’d just share a few pictures from his birthday with you:
I made Paul pancakes for breakfast (by his request I put faces on them)
Isaac had to make sure that no one took any!
Look out world! Paul has a hammer and he (I hope) knows how to use it!
Paul got a new pair of green “frog boots” to replace the ones he’d worn holes in (he loves boots!)
Who says what types of cakes you can and can’t put candles on?
The pancakes were a success!
I took Paul to Andy’s to get some Ice CreamWill it be good?
Paul and I went on a “hike” and he thoughtfully picked some flowers for mom!
Paul’s wonderful birthday cake- it tasted even better than it looked (believe it or not!)
Yikes! This is the longest post in the history of SixSibs.com
Have a good remainder of the summer!

The Runge

While we were driving to Jefferson city we had the privilege of stopping at the Runge Nature Center to stretch our legs and look around. We stayed there for about 1 1/2 hours and were able to enjoy a special dragonfly program that they were holding that night.

Ride em’ Isaac! Git along little… Turtles?

Rachel enjoyed looking a a few of the 80 species of dragonflies that are in Missouri.

Paul and Isaac really enjoyed the puppet area!

This conservation agent is showing John and Rachel dragonfly larvae- she even let them pick some up!

We all had a very good time at the Runge, but all good things have to end some time so we all packed up and headed for our hotel so we could get a good nights rest before we went to our final stop: the Missouri State Capitol building!
(I’ll post some pictures of that soon!)

Copyright © 1996-2010 SixSibs. All rights reserved.
Jarrah theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress