I love my 50mm

I have been rather inactive in my pursuit of photography of late. Sometimes you just gotta switch lenses to see the world a little differently and get some inspiration. Other times you just need to step back a bit and gain some new perspective. My personal favorite lens (Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM) has a tendency towards tight shots thanks to its focal length (coupled with a digital back):

This is her 80s retro look

Beautiful? Of course. But after 800 shots or so, they can all start to look the same. But then you step back, and a whole new photo comes into view:

Showing more of our house has the potential for great embarassment

And now we have something else. The true beauty of a prime lens is that it forces you to be active in taking a photograph – none of this twisting and turning to get the framing right, you have to move your body. It makes me feel more like I’m taking a photograph and not just pressing a button.

I’ll miss this when it’s done

Kayleigh has been teething for the last… oh… 6 or 8 months. Maybe not continuously, but it sure feels that way. As soon as one tooth makes its way through, about 3 or 4 follow right behind. By my calculations she’s gotta have at least 40 or 50 in there. This has to end soon, right?

Alright, this latest bout appears to be on the mend, but if not for the Motrin – the patron Saint of parenthood sleep – I’m not sure our sanity would have made it through. Not only have the sharp objects poking through her gums been driving her bonkers, but her recent attempts at staking a claim to some amount of independence has occasionally made it difficult to sympathize. I am not necessarily a strong man, so let’s just say that it’s a good thing she’s too young to understand certain diatribes that may have been spoken out loud.

As much as I curse the day she began making diaper changes a stressful activity (after 18 months they suddenly bother her? wtf?) and look forward to a time when she’ll sometimes answer with a “yes” instead of the constant barrage of “no”, the reality is these things just aren’t that big of a deal. Already my memories of 3 AM wakings with her curling up in my arms while I skip another 3 or 4 hours of sleep for her benefit have developed a sense of fondness. Even those horrible nights in Florida when she rarely slept more than 2 or 3 hours straight and forced us to watch Brainy Baby videos in the middle of the night seem sweet today.

Why?

Like I said, this is the easy stuff. As much as parents grow anxious to ditch the diaper days, how many are excited by the prospect of dealing with the teenage years? I’m not about to romanticize the overwhelming lack of sleep, but how many of those really difficult life situations Kayleigh faces in the future will be solved by rocking her for an hour in the middle of the night? Do you think some Motrin hidden in apple sauce will get her through junior high?

Last night I came close to losing my cool during another butchering of our bedtime routine, but reminding myself that she’ll get over these new teeth soon enough and a couple bad nights really aren’t a big deal certainly helped me in the face of tonight’s disaster. We’ll get through this together – one look at that face and how can there be any doubt?

What are you looking at?

It’s snowing

While technically last winter would have included Kayleigh’s first snow, this time she is actually aware of the fluffy white stuff falling all around. And she seems to be looking forward to more of it.

It's snowing!

A couple weeks ago when a not-so-record 6 or 8 inches fell on my house, we took her outside for some exploration.

Kayleigh shows off her new snowKayleigh and Mommy in the snowKayleigh and Daddy in the snow

Snow can be terrible around these parts, but I still miss that almost constant blanket on the ground as a kid. It’s just so much fun for play, even if you’re still not convinced you can walk in it.

This year ended decently, hopefully that carries into the next one…

Almost a wonderful day

One of these two turned a year older today. The other one threw a fit in the nice restaurant that we went to for breakfast. Can you guess which is which?

Cuddly Kayleigh

Being upset with a 17-month-old toddler is a crappy feeling. Especially when her outburst was fairly uncharacteristic and she was very well behaved almost the entirety of the weekend besides the incident this morning. I look forward to her turning 18 months when I assume her separation anxiety will magically disappear overnight.

Thankfulness

Is there really any question what I’m thankful for?

Showing off my little family
Showing off my little family

This photo is a few months old by now, but it’s one of the few “formal” shots we’ve done of our family. It was an impromptu shoot in our bedroom started by The Woman in an attempt to capture Kayleigh spending some real fun time with daddy. The more things change… It’s amazing to realize how much she has grown since that moment, and I’m so thankful to be apart of it.

An attempt to get everybody in one picture
An attempt to get everybody in one picture

Back in September my sister Christine got most of the family together for a slightly more formal photo shoot. This is one of the better ones from my camera. That’s 3 generations of Slatterys – my baby girl being the youngest of the young. Let me just say that I am thankful for each and everyone of them.

Hope you all had a happy turkey day!

Inspiration

As much as I love taking photos of Kayleigh, it sometimes feels like a photographic rut. But that has more to do with how few opportunities I get to be inspired away from her. But last night after finishing some quick clean up in the backyard I glanced towards the sunset and was reminded of other uses for my camera.

Sunset #1

I need to do a little touch up work, but you get the idea.

Fortunately another blogger’s work reminded me that sometimes inspiration is just a matter of stepping away from the flash and getting back to my favorite lens.

She makes it look easy
She makes it look easy

Curly locks! Curly locks!

Talking to a friend on the phone the other day I was reminded just how few photos have been posted here lately. He commented about seeing a picture of Kayleigh with curls starting to show. Starting to show? What the… It’s a full blown invasion!

Curly locks like golden honey
I just love those curly locks

Granted, those have some serious help from the humidity these days, but sometimes it’s hard to imagine that she’s the same baby as the one with such short and flat hair in all of the pictures around me.

Hair is now officially long enough for barrettes
Hair is now officially long enough for barrettes
Sharing a moment with a cow
Sharing a moment with a cow

Two days ago Kayleigh turned 13 months. I can’t believe how much she’s grown in that time. Of course I also can’t believe how much I’ve grown in that time. Since the initial year that I gave myself to adjust before really getting back into my hobbies is over (that’s my excuse for inconsistent posting, by the way), it’s time to start playing around with the tools at hand to get words and photos out there. This is my first attempt at using WordPress’s built-in photo tools – figured that was a good enough reason to post these.