Monday, August 22, 2011

Capture that Cat!

She plays with words, yet somehow she doesn't understand, "Get off, you silly little cat!"

These kittens provide so many opportunities to learn the tools of our trade... when they hold still long enough for me to secure a good focus!  While I don't ultimately approve of Pipes' perch, I did chuckle and run for the good camera.

I like this picture because in it I notice the colors of the stained glass window reflected on the Scrabble board. The shallow depth of field naturally draws my attention to Pipes' beautiful markings while communicating enough of her environment to contrast that innocent look with her obvious misdeed.

Since our fledgling family business includes video shooting, this summer we invested in the purchase of a Canon EOS 7D, a digital SLR camera with excellent high definition video capabilities.  As a digital SLR camera, I find it much easier to approach than a video camera, so I'm more apt to pick it up and practice using it.  Paul finds that he needs to adapt his thinking to this different mode of shooting, but my mind is a blank slate in that regard.

I enjoy learning how to use it, but I have to admit that I don't usually mess with the manual settings; the creative auto setting is good enough for me.  Instead, I focus my attention on composition, lighting, and, well... focusing.  Shooting in video mode particularly requires the operator to not only be competent, but quick.

I suppose that's why it's a good thing I like to practice on our spunky kittens.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Satisfying Scraps

I did not make this up; I have to credit Martha Stewart's Living magazine for showing us how to turn discarded tomato skins into a fabulous seasoning: dehydrate, then grind. So simple (and beautiful and delicious)!

I need to mention, however, that these skins did not come from our garden tomatoes.  No, the Hawbakers have been saving them for us as they peel the tomatoes they've been canning.  Such great friends!

We are growing our own tomatoes, though, and some of our surplus tomatoes are going into the freezer while we dehydrate the rest.  Putting up produce for the winter is new for us, and we're having a great time with it.  We feel so blessed by the Lord!  As Psalm 103 says, He satisfies our mouths with good things.

I can't fail to mention that all this dehydrating is thanks to the largess of another friend who is loaning us her Excalibur 3000 series dehydrator.  What a great machine!  Lori, you are a blessing to us.  Thanks so much!