Archive for the 'Custom Image Header' Category

Let’s go to the beach!

Did you notice the new blog header?  Here’s the full version:

Three Shadows on the Beach

Three Shadows on the Beach

If you’re in a FeedReader, click on over and check it out.

This is a photo from The Great Road Trip of May 2009.  I love the expression on Claire’s face.  You can barely see it beneath her blowing hair, caught by the ocean breezes.  This moment was captured by the camera and melded with our shadows.  This was our first experience dipping our toes in the Pacific Ocean as a family, and it was awesome.  Was our big 12-day adventure really back in May?  Was May really that long ago?

Well, not today, it isn’t.  I was tired of looking at the snow, as beautiful and sunny as it is here, I want to go to the beach…

…so let’s go!
Grab your sunscreen.
Grab your swimsuit.
Grab your flip-flops.

Meet me at the beach…if only in our minds.

Shadow Portraits in the Grand Canyon

Back when I was writing about our trip to the Grand Canyon and beyond, I mentioned that we took other shadow portraits there in addition to the one I shared at the time.

The one I’ve had on the header of the blog since then is this one:

Shadows on the edge

Shadows on the edge

I love it. I even made my business cards out of it, and I use it for my Twitter ID photo.

Well, you may have noticed that I just changed the blog header to another shadow portrait we took that same day. (If you’re reading this in a feed reader, click on over!)  I may switch back and forth between the two every now and then…just to keep you on your toes!

See the three of us in the tree?

See the three of us in the tree?

I love it!

The colors make me think of fall yet remind me of the summer. It’s the best of both worlds.

Grand Canyon Shadow Portrait

As you know, we just got back from our 12-day road trip out to California via The Grand Canyon. We had a great time, and I’m sorting through all the photos and can’t wait to share our adventures.

We love to take Shadow Portraits wherever we go, and this trip was no different! (Click here to check out the other Shadow Portraits we’ve done!) In fact, to kick off this series, I’ve chosen a new blog header! (And, I changed my Twitter Page to match.) We took a TON of Shadow Portraits on the trip, and I can’t wait to share!

Here is the one I’ve decided to use first, and I’ll keep it up for a while before switching to the next one.  Daddy and I have Claire between us, and we’re both holding her hands.  I’m trying to take the photos as quickly as possible before any other sunset-viewers get in our way.  This photo has not been altered in any way.

I LOVE this one! The backdrop was perfect. Our shadows are being created by the setting sun over the Grand Canyon. They are being cast across an open crevasse that plunges downward to what seems to be the center of the earth. It looks as though you could reach out and touch the other side, but the distances are so misleading through the camera’s eye.

As I mentioned, lots of people were gathered at this overlook to take photos of the sunset.  This is the view that everyone else was focused on (in the other direction):

The best part about taking these shadow photos, other than being surrounded by a view that unbelievable was Claire saying “Cheese!” before each one. 😉

Stay tuned for more posts about our adventures!

Shadow Portrait January 2009: The weather-related whiplash edition

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day!  The three of us were able to take a walk around the lake and play at the playground.  On the way back, we took some new shadow portraits in the ice of the lake.

It was hard to decide which shadow portrait to use for the header this time, because I liked quite a few of them for different reasons.

Here is the one I chose.  (Click over from your FeedReader to check it out!)

Click to enlarge.

Shadow Portrait January 2009

Shadow Portrait January 2009

In this one, we are standing in Momma, Claire and Daddy order.  Claire is playing with a new favorite stick she found along the way.  Daddy’s just chillin’ on the side, waiting for me to take as many shots as I can before the shortest subject in our charge runs out of the frame and we move to the next location on my mental list of places to capture shadows on the ice.

I love the colors in this one:  the golden-brown of the grass, the smoky gray of the ice, the crisp cobalt blue of the shadows on the white snow.

When we took these photos, the sun was shining and it was almost 60-degrees, but you can see where the waves are still frozen in time.

It would be naïve to think that Winter is over, and we’ve lived here long enough to know that it’s not.  But, I’ll gladly suffer from the weather-related whiplash if it means I can take ice photos in shirt-sleeves.  😉

Read about our other Shadow Portraits here!

In Honor of the Winter Solstice

Last December, the three of us traipsed outside with the camera and played around with the snow and shadows. The end result was this photo:

Click to enlarge:  Snow Shadow Portrait

Click to enlarge: Snow Shadow Portrait

I love this picture! Even though it’s a year old, it is one of my favorite shadow portraits we’ve done to date, and you check out the Custom Image Header category to see the other shadow portraits we’ve done.

For this portrait, we are standing in Momma, Claire and Daddy order. You can see the skeleton of one of the apple trees, with a few vibrant red apples clinging on to the branch, refusing to admit that winter is here. (Yes, they’re apples! From this distance and angle, they look like berries.) You can see the green boughs of the junipers peeking out from under a blanket of fresh snow.

So, in honor of Winter Solstice, I’m giving this shadow portrait the prominence it deserves in the blog header, once again. (If you’re reading this in a FeedReader, feel free to click on over and check out the new header!)

From our family to you and yours, may this solstice be the beginning of positive changes in your life. May you be surrounded by those you love, and may the only shadows be those in a fun winter portrait. 🙂

Make-believe is better than frostbite

As much as I grumble about the weather (cold, heat, snow, did I mention the heat and the cold??), I do love the different seasons.  Seeing the world covered in snow makes my mind wander to all the fun times I’ve had in the snow, and I smile.  And after seeing the winter wonderland through Claire’s eyes, it’s nearly impossible to not get excited about the snow!

Longtime readers of the blog will recognize this photo.  It was technically taken this year, but it was taken almost a year ago.  Yep…2008 was brand new when we snapped this shot.

Click to enlarge:  Claire in the snow

Click to enlarge: Claire in the snow

Because Winter isn’t officially here yet, but because it looks like this outside, I’m changing the blog header.  I just couldn’t wait until the Winter Solstice!  This is one of my favorite pictures of Claire, and the outfit still fits.  Had we gone out to play in the snow yesterday, this is what she would have been wearing.  (Well most of her Let’s Go Play In The Snow Outfit is the same.  We switched the boots, because of the incident that shall be forever known as The Beach Incident.  Why would you wear snow boots to a beach?  It’s not what you’re thinking.  Click on this link to find out more.)  🙂

Also, check out the new header!

Let’s just pretend that I took the shot yesterday…and that it wasn’t really 8-degrees (Yes, single-digits in Fahrenheit!!  And, it dipped well below freezing last night!) outside…and that Momma wasn’t being a big ol’ Meanie for not letting Claire play in the wonderful snow.

Make-believe is better than frostbite any day…dontcha think?  😉

New Photo in the Header

Look!  There’s a new photo in the header on the blog!

This is the one we took a few weeks ago for our Holiday Letter, which is zipping around the country as we speak (er, type/read?).  If you get one of those, you will recognize the photo, and yes, you got the full version.

For the record, Claire doesn’t like this version.  She wants me to show all of our faces!

“Where are your eyes, Momma!?  Where are Daddy’s eyes!?  Show all of our eyes!”

The nuances of anonymous blogging in a public world and the yearning to share a personal picture yet remain incognito, are lost on the preschooler.

Finally, I clicked back to my desktop monitor so she could see the full version.  Ah, peace at last.

But, she’s right.  Where do you crop the photo?  Headless people are creepy.  Including more of our faces doesn’t give us the option to show our hands, and the shot of just the hands look really cool.  How about Claire’s smile and most of our hands?

That will work.

Happy Holidays 2008 - The Blog Version

Happy Holidays 2008 - The Blog Version

So, this is what we’ve decided.  And by we, I mean me and the voices in my head.

I hope you like what we’ve chosen!  😉

Yes, the shadow portraits will make a return!  I promise!  In the meantime, enjoy this photo and check out the other blog headers we’ve had!

I see you!

If you read The Casual Perfectionist in a FeedReader, click on over to check out the new header. Yes, I’ve changed it again!

Click to enlarge:  Peek!

Click to enlarge: Peek!

Last night, Daddy and I were looking at different pictures that we’d taken over the last few weeks. When he saw that I had this as my computer desktop background picture, he fell in love with it all over again. He thought it would make the perfect header picture for the blog, and Claire and I agreed!

It’s a good autumn picture, because you can see the leaves in the background, and it really captures the typical playful mood around here.

No, it’s not a Shadow Portrait, but I’m sure we’ll do some more of those…either before or after the snow flies. We also found some other creative shots that may show up in a blog header in the future. We’re open to new ideas and whatever strikes our fancy, here at The Casual Perfectionist, so don’t be surprised if some other fun photos show up.

In the meantime, enjoy the new header!

Today is Day 3 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! Check it out and/or join in the fun! A different blog header AND a post for Day 3? Two missions accomplished!

Glowing Pumpkins

Well, I’ve gone and changed the header again!  I just couldn’t resist!  🙂

Yesterday, Claire and I went to a Pumpkin Carving Party at a friend’s house, and this year I did something a little different.  This year, I carved three pumpkins and rather than do faces, I decided to do our names:  Momma, Claire & Daddy.

Glowing Pumpkins: Momma, Claire, Daddy

Click to enlarge - Glowing Pumpkins: Momma, Claire, Daddy

I think they turned out great!  (If I do say so myself…) 😉 Special thanks to one of my other friends who was done with her pumpkin in record time!  She took pity on me and helped me scrape the insides of my pumpkins while I focused on carving and carving and carving.

I always seem to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to these projects.  Still, I love the results.

And, the Pumpkin Carving Party was great because the kids could play with each other while the moms were up to their elbows in pumpkin guts.

It was a win-win situation!

I love the warm glow of the candles in the crisp night air.  I love the way the shadows dance and play through our names.  Autumn is my absolute favorite season of the year, and I’m so glad it’s here!

Autumn Shadow Portrait 2008

The Shadow Portrait is back in the header!  (If you read this in a FeedReader, go check it out!)

This last Friday, we were able to play outside in the gorgeous weather and take pictures of the fall leaves in the backyard.  Daddy had the day off from work and was working on landscaping, and Claire and I were having a great time helping him and playing hide-and-seek.  It was a wonderfully warm, fall day.

As the sun got to the right angle, Daddy took a break, and we wandered around the yard playing with our shadows, trying to capture the wonderful autumn colors and our shadows in the same frame.

The key to getting a good shadow portrait is to just keep clicking the camera and sort them out when you have a chance to sit down at the computer.  You never know which ones will look the best or capture the message you’re trying to convey.

I got a lot of good shots, and as I looked at all the photos, one just leapt off the screen.

Click to enlarge: Autumn Shadow Portrait 2008

Click to enlarge: Autumn Shadow Portrait 2008

Normally, I try to hide the shadow of the camera in The Shadow Portrait, and those pictures rarely make the cut.  But, this one spoke to me.  This shadow portrait captures exactly how I feel when I write.  I try to capture bits and pieces of our lives and record them.  I don’t want to forget the details.  The everyday details are an integral part of everything.  They make up our lives, but they are easily lost in the passage of time.

How can something so important at the time be forgotten?  It’s because the tiny details are no match for the big picture.  Many times, something happens, and I have the urge to write it down.  Then, I’ll think to myself, “Okay…I’ll write about this…but how could I ever forget this!?”

But I do.  Often times, I look through the archives of the things I’ve written and the memories come flooding back to me.

It just solidifies in my mind that I won’t remember these things on my own.  I need to record this.  I don’t want to forget the details.

That’s what this picture represents to me.

This picture, which was just a random moment, shows a typical shot of the three of us.  I’m the recorder of the details (this time, my tool is the camera…and now my writing…).  If you could hear what was going on when the camera captured this image, you’d hear the three of us laughing.  You can see the interaction between Claire and Daddy.  She’s showing him a stick that she’s found, and he’s answering all of her questions about it and the world around her.  In fact, just after I snapped this photo, she bent down and asked us both why the reddish plants in the picture are called Dragon’s Blood.  How did the Dragon get hurt, and why did he bleed all over the plants, and where is he now?

This picture is so us, and I love it.

I don’t ever want to forget the moment we had playing in the leaves, exploring all the colors of autumn, and explaining that no Dragons were harmed in our backyard.  And, now, I won’t.