Cooper the ham

I’ve been pulling my camera out every day this year, in relation to my personal 365 project (www.elssipkes.com), and Cooper seems to think he will be the star of the show every time. Here, some recent images of him trying to sneak his mug into my daily shots:

Hey!? What are you doing over there?

Look! Get a picture of this new wool bone toy I got from Trader Joe's!

I'll just lie down right here and look innocent, while blocking your access to your shot.

Have you noticed my cute lips lately?

Walk? Did you say walk?

This is my "unimpressed teenager" pose. Abercrombie & Fitch catalog, here I come!

In all fairness, he is pretty fun to have around as my shadow while I look for things to photograph. And, he’s given me plenty of shots on which to try my new Totally Rad! Lightroom presets. Which is your favorite?

November 12, 2010 - 9:56 pm

Markus Esko - I just LOVED the first four (the colour photos)! Where did you get your LR presets from? They’re great.

November 12, 2010 - 10:13 pm

els - Thanks Markus! I used LR presets on images 3, 5, and 6. You can find them at: http://www.gettotallyrad.com :)

Sunday morning walk

One of the better things in life: waking up early on a drizzly Sunday morning, making coffee, reading the paper, eating some breakfast while watching the fog lift, clouds part, and sunshine appear, and taking Cooper for a nice long walk through the neighborhood.

February 14, 2011 - 7:26 pm

pet portraits - when i was going to take photo for my dog, i have to make him run around, and after he used all of his energy, he will lie down, that’s best time to take photos

My boy

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve started a 365 project (www.elssipkes.com), wherein I attempt to take one photo a day for an entire year. I’m aiming to unleash some pent up creativity, while also exploring my new (well, that’s a relative term) city, and at the same time working on my ability to plan, and execute, the simple (again, a relative term) objective of taking one meaningful (wait for it…yes, a relative term) image to post each day.

Of course, in trying to defeat my “to do” list each day, I sometimes get stuck at the end of daylight with barely a few minutes to get a few frames. This is where Cooper comes in…

He’s really a good boy for putting up with me, because while I was forcing him to participate in my daily project, he was totally aware of the yummy smell of roasted chicken he was missing out on in the kitchen. (But don’t worry, he was well-rewarded for his modeling.)

Blast from the Past! Friday 01.08.10

Here we are one full week into 2010, a new year, a new decade, and, so far it’s living up to all my optimistic expectations. Helps that I didn’t make any resolutions, thus, no resolutions to have already broken by now…

I have, however, committed to a personal project 365, in which I will (try my best to) take a photo a day for the entire year. So far so good—though, full disclosure: New Year’s Day I did not take a photo, and thus the photo posted for that day was actually taken on January 2. I’ll make up for this by taking a photo on January 1, 2011, which will complete my 365 project. (I always have been one to do things my own way, for better or worse.) Anyway, if you’re at all interested in what I manage to find to photograph daily, you can check it out at www.elssipkes.com. There’s also a link in the menu bar at the top of this blog page called “365 project”, and you can access it from there as well.

Aiding in my search for subjects for my daily photo is the “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town” pass I received for Christmas, which allows me to visit 33 local attractions in the month of January. Yesterday, we visited the Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC. Lots of cool birds to see and learn about, but of course the highlight was watching the bird flight show.

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Included in the photos here are a Common Hawk soaring over the trees, Center for Birds of Prey trainer Aubrey (or was it Audrey?) with a Ural Owl, another trainer holding what I believe was a Falcon, and, in the rest of the photos, a (non-native) Kite who eats insects as his main diet (they use bits of meat in the flight show.) Interestingly, he (she?) catches his food in his claws and then brings the food up to his beak. If you look closely you can see the food in the air, and then in his claws. Also, you’ll see that the birds all have radio transmitters attached to their tail feathers so they can be tracked and located in case they wander off during the show. In the one photo the Kite flew by and took food off the fingertip of the trainer. We could have watched him fly for hours, and I can highly recommend it to you locals to go out there and check it out for yourselves!

Speaking of wildlife, this week’s Blast from the Past photo shows me feeding ducks at a vacation rental in Holland at about age 7 (I’ve always been an avid connect-with-nature girl.) The other photo was taken when I was about 25 at my parent’s home in California—I think I’d just come home from the beach and saw the ducks in their backyard and asked my mom to take a photo of me feeding them, a sort of re-creation of the same scene from years before. I guess in another few years I’ll need to seek out another opportunity to re-create the scene again…

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Hope you all had a great first week of the new year. Enjoy the weekend, and maybe go be a tourist in your own town! See you next week!

Blast from the Past! Friday 01.01.2010

Happy New Year!

What are you calling the new year? Two thousand ten? Or twenty-ten? I am leaning towards twenty-ten, but find myself saying two thousand ten too. Time will tell what’s going to stick, but I think it will be twenty-ten.

Now that we have THAT important stuff out of the way, I’d like to start the new year by thanking you all for reading my blog in 2009 and regularly checking back (and leaving comments! yay!) while I’ve continued to find my voice in this very public forum. Nice to know I’m not just blogging for myself, so thank you!

I’m counting on 2010 being a watershed year, both personally and professionally. I hope you’ll join me in finding all the joys, promise and challenges 2010 has to offer!

I’ll return to my more traditional form of Blast from the Past! Friday next week, but in the meantime, here’s a photo of me when I was 7, celebrating New Year’s Eve in Holland. Judging by my sleepy eyes my parents must have woken me up a few minutes before midnight so I could light my 2 sparklers and then crawl right back in bed.

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We lit some sparklers last night as well. Most fun I’ve had for $2 since I was 7. Good times!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you next week!

F a c e b o o k