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Hey guys! 

I am now a fully licensed RN, and I am about to move to the opposite side of the country where there is an amazing dream job waiting for me. Woo! Photography is also a part of my life again. Double woo!
I have very much missed the community here and getting to learn from my fellow artists and appreciate their wonderful work.
If anyone actually remembers I exist, let me know how you're doing, or show me some of your recent work!

~Carly 
  • Listening to: dog snores
No one will probably read this, but I need a reason to procrastinate so I'm writing it anyway.

Over the past few years, I have been learning the immensely difficult but equally important lesson of how hard it is to give up something that makes you happy now for something that you know will make you happy later. Nursing school has been an incredibly difficult and humbling experience, but this December it will finally come to an end and I will be able to reclaim some of the other parts of my life that I love.

I have kept up with photography a bit over the past year (mainly family photography), I have gained an immense amount of new knowledge (looking at damn near all of my photos on here makes me cringe), and I have acquired some new equipment. I'm really looking forward to making photography a big part of my life again.

That being said, there is still one more semester to push through, so I am now ghosting out again until next year. Looking forward to rejoining this community in the finally not-too-distant future!

~Carly
  • Listening to: dog snores
Does anyone still remember that I exist? Maybe? Because I do! I am very much in existence! I have lungs and a pulse and everything! :D
Life is good, and photography is making a comeback in my life! Wooo!
If anyone actually reads this, I'd love to hear how things have been!
Well, I am pretty much giving up on my attempts to become active again. I'm flying to Germany tomorrow for 10 days. The day after I get back I'm going to be going back to school, and three weeks after I get back my hubby will finally be coming home. I'm going to be pursuing a nursing degree, so the next few months/years are going to demand a huge amount of my time.
Hopefully I'll have some good shots from Europe, but other than that it looks like photography is going on the back burner. This has happened before and I always come back to it eventually, but it may be a while this time. Thanks so much for all the support and kindness I've been given over the past few years, every compliment and critique truly meant a lot to me! :love:
Hello there lovely folks! First off, how is 2013 treating you so far? Good start or bad start?

2013 has been one kick to the head after the other for me. I was given only three days notice before my husband was sent to ranger school (he won't be back until April), I got fired for the first time, I bombed an important interview, and I am completely broke.

And then I got on here and really started looking through my messages for the first time in a long time. And you know what? I sold prints!! Real people who I have never met paid money for my pictures! I have ten dollars and twelve cents worth of victory!

I cannot tell you what a huge deal this is for me. I tend to put on a very confident front, but the truth is I spend a monumental amount of time doubting myself. I have been absolutely suffocated by self doubt on numerous occasions, not just with photography, but in all areas of my life. I always thought my photography was halfway decent, but I never imagined someone I'd never met would pay money for it. This is a huge turning point and a big boost of motivation for me! Expect new photos within the next few days!

So to sum it all up, life is good. There have been a few low blows, but I know everything happens for a reason, and I am on the road to great things. :)
I'm not sure if I even still have active watchers... but hell with it, I'll write something anyway.
I sincerely hope you all had a lovely New Years, along with all those other holidays that have happened while I've been gone. If you have any resolutions, I'd love to hear them. Let's hope 2013 does not make us regret that the world did not end.

It has been many months since I've picked up a camera. I'm pretty bummed about this, but I've gone through this before and I always seem to come back to photography again eventually. In the meantime, I have discovered that I greatly enjoy the company of dogs. I think every person should aspire to be more like a dog. They aren't judgmental or rude, they don't hold grudges (most of the time), and they offer you their unconditional love almost immediately and ask for very little in return. After several years of working in sales and customer service, I've taken a new job working with dogs and after one month I am already so much happier at work than I have ever been before. I think I may be going to college for dog training in the near future.

Anywho, I have had a ton of spare time as it's cold as balls outside (at least by my standards) so I'm hoping to become active again as an art-appreciator if nothing else.

Happy 2013 to everyone! :)
Every time I start really getting involved in this site, thing get busy and I distance myself from it for several months, and then I come back and have to build things up from the bottom all over again. Well it will not happen this time! It will not! :shakefist:

Time for photography outside of work has been... well, nonexistant. I am currently working two jobs, as well as taking care of a dog and trying to spend time with hubby and making plans to hopefully go back to school within the next year. It is a beautiful day outside right now and I should be out taking photos but... well, the inspiration just hasn't been there for a long time. I need to push myself back into it, but it is getting more and more difficult. It doesn't help that I'm in the boonies and have to drive for at least 20-30 minutes to get to anything interesting.
So while I will give my best effort to upload more photos soon, it is more likely that I will just be floating around commenting on deviations and trying to find other ways to stay involved in the community.

In the meantime, I have rediscovered a love for sewing. So expect me to try and get you to buy a hat over the next few weeks.

So how is errbody doing? It has been two long months since I've spoken to anyone, fill me in! :eager:
and the winner is... drumroll please....

:iconmyrubberduckandme:
myrubberduckandme

And I've decided that there will also be a second place winner, who will receive a one month subscription. And the winner is....

:icondaidarabotchi:
Daidarabotchi

Both winners were selected using an online random generator. Congrats to both of you, and thank you again to all my wonderful watchers! I'm sorry everyone can't be a winner!

In other news, I got a dog! His name is Jackson and he is the sweetest dog in the world. He is a rescue from the local animal shelter, an Australian Shepherd, about 5 or 6 years old. He was very nervous and sad when we got him, but watching his improvement makes me incredibly happy! In just two short days he has gone from a trembling mess to a social, friendly, follows you everywhere dog. And as we were leaving the shelter, the employee there told us that he was just two days away from being euthanized. So thankful we got to him in time and now he has a happy home!

He's getting neutered this afternoon though... I hope he doesn't hate me when that's done. :noes:
Hello all! :icondummywaveplz:

Well I have exceeded 1,000 watchers, woo! :iconwoohooplz: I would like to thank each and every one of you who has taken the time to support my art! I have been having wild and crazy thoughts lately that maybe, after lots of practice and diligence, I might one day be able to do this as a career. Every person who takes the time to give me a compliment or advice or encouragement really helps keep those crazy thoughts alive!

So to celebrate, I am having a subscription giveaway! Just comment on this journal to enter. I'll leave the journal up for a week, and then I'll randomly select a winner, who will receive a 3 month subscription (or an equal amount of points if they'd prefer). I'd like to give an exact date for when I'll announce the winner, but I'm bad at meeting time commitments.

Oh yeah, and you need to be a watcher to enter. Otherwise it would kind of defeat the point of saying thank you to my watchers. :|

-

In other news, I'm going spelunking tomorrow! :squee: I'm so excited, I think I may have finally found something in which my size will be a major advantage! (In case you don't know, spelunking = caving). (In case you didn't also know, I am not even five feet tall, which is where the advantage comes in.) :B

In other other news, I'm sure many of you have seen my most recent poll and therefore already know that a local cafe is going to display some of my pictures. It is a very art-centric cafe that features many pictures, but I still feel like it is the first tiny step in the right direction. I've never seen my pictures printed out before, let alone framed and on a wall. It fills me with a warm fuzzy feeling. :meow: On top of that they will be for sale. Not going to get my hopes up that they will actually get purchased, but just knowing they will be hanging there and people will be seeing them makes me very happy! :eager:

That's all for now, I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the beautiful summer! :iconyaayplz:
  • Listening to: redneck neighbor riding his dirtbike
Hi there all! :icondummywaveplz:

So I am about to hit 1,000 watchers! Go me! :icongrin--plz:

Once I do hit 1,000 watchers I feel like I should do something to celebrate, so I will be giving away a free 3-month premium, or an equal amount of points, whatever the winner chooses. I'll post a journal once I hit 1000, and all you have to do is comment to be in the running, and after a few days I'll randomly select a winner with one of those random generator thingies that I'm sure the internet has.

So anywho, I'm interested to know, do you have a bucket list? I'd love to know what a few of the things on it are. :eager:

Since I've started what is essentially my independent life, I've been thinking of creating a bucket list. I feel like for how young I am, I already have a lot of what I want out of life figured out (although I'm sure all of those things are subject to constant and inevitable changes). Bucket lists have always struck me as a cool idea, and a good motivational tool. I think I'd definitely like to hike the entire Appalaichan trail, and all over Scotland as well. In fact, the majority of the items on my bucket list would probably involve hiking in some way.

Anywho, married life has been going swimmingly. I love the area I'm in, even though it is extremely redneck. And when I say extremely redneck I mean our neighbors ride dirtbikes in their backyard, and our other neighbors light off huge fireworks, and by huge I mean the kind of fireworks you shoot out of a mortar that make a sound like someone just got shot. And everyone here finds it necessary to put enormous tires on their vehicles. And not just on pick-up trucks, on regular 4-door sedans. Hubby and I saw a ford focus with incredibly oversized tires. It's actually pretty hilarious.
But anywho, the important thing is I get to see hubby every single day now. It's been well over a year since that's been possible, and I am extremely grateful for it. Especially because he is a much better cook than I am, and I have been eating very well so far.

Speaking of eating, I need to go do that. I hope everyone is doing well! :love:
  • Listening to: smile!
Hi everybody! :wave:

The past few weeks have been absolute insanity! We managed to get just about everything squared away before packing up the car and heading out. We've spent the past few days in a cabin with a gorgeous view of the smoky mountains, and gone on a few beautiful hikes. I haven't been too click happy, but I did get a few shots of some waterfalls and hopefully at least one of them will be good enough to post, so I'll get on that in the next few days.

The only issue at this point is we still do not have a place to live. Hoping everything goes smoothly and we find a place soon, but until then it's the hotel life for me and hubby. Which also means more business and insanity and inactivity.

Hopefully I'll be back for good within the next week! There is an ominous mountain of messages in my inbox... sorry if it takes me ages to get back to you, but it will happen eventually.

So what's the news? I'd love to hear how everyone's doing! :eager:
  • Listening to: smile!
The next few weeks are going to be a mad scramble of spending time with family/friends, packing, finding an apartment, lots of driving, unpacking, and getting settled. I probably will be almost entirely inactive until things slow down a bit.
I hope everyone has a lovely few weeks! :dummy:
  • Listening to: smile!
The next few weeks are going to be a mad scramble of spending time with family/friends, packing, finding an apartment, lots of driving, unpacking, and getting settled. I probably will be almost entirely inactive until things slow down a bit.
I hope everyone has a lovely few weeks! :dummy:
  • Listening to: smile!
Me and hubby went down to the courthouse and tied the knot this weekend. It's been a long wait, so I couldn't be happier!

Learning to put up with the military hasn't been the easiest thing in the world, but it's entirely worth it. Just one more month and his training will be done, so the worst will be over. Well... until deployment, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now I am looking forward to a small party with family and friends next month, hopefully some sort of brief honeymoon, and then a whole new adventure starts! :eager:

In other news, I have fallen so very far behind on my messages. :noes: I will do my best to catch up in the next few days.

Thanks as always to all of you for being awesome and supporting my photography! :love::tighthug:
  • Listening to: smile!
I am in one. :saddummy:

I've only been inactive for a few days, but it feels like so much longer! :noes:
Anywho, I have lots of work to do this week and I am going out of town for the weekend, so probably will not have any time for artsy related things for about another week. And here I was thinking I would have so much more free time this month...

Also, I don't know if you've ever seen the movie signs, but I just realized that I have five half full glasses of water on my desk. I guess I will be safe if the aliens ever attack.

In closing, here is a hilarious video I found on the internet:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=glwkK7…
  • Listening to: smile!
I want to give something back to all my awesome supporters who take the time to show me some love, so I'm planning on holding a chat even with subscription/points giveaways!

This idea might be fun, or it might be completely stupid. Please let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions for different games! :dummy:

So here is how I'm thinking it will work:

THE GAMES:

Once it is time to start, it will be sort of like a scavenger hunt. I will give you a task to do, and whoever completes it first will win points. At the end of the game I will tally up the points, and the person with the most points wins! :dummy:

example: I will say 'go find me a picture of a hamburger!' The first person to post a picture of a hamburger gets points, and the person who posts the picture that looks the most delicious will probably get some points as well. This doesn't strictly have to be from deviantart, you will be able to retrieve this from any place on the internet, such as bing or google images. (but if you link me to a sketchy site that gives my computer a virus, you will lose major points.)

THE PRIZES:

First place: Three month subscription
Second place: One month subscription
Third Place: 100 points

All participants will receive a consilation prize of 20 points. (Probably. If five million people show up I may have to eliminate this.)

-

Again, I would really like to hear some feedback on this idea! :eager:
  • Listening to: smile!
So yes. I will keep my composure for as long as I can. But holy crap a daily deviation! Aaaah! Must...refrain... from typing... in all caps... :noes:

EEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

Here are a series of emoticons that express my current emotions:

:iconexcitedlaplz::iconexplodelaplz::iconiheartitplz::iconjumpinglaplz::icondummywooplz::iconimhappyplz:

:faint:

VisualPoems and DemonMathiel, you have my eternal gratitude, and I will gladly do your bidding from here on out.

THANKS ERRBODY! :la:
  • Listening to: smile!
More photo tips! I must stress that I am no kind of expert in any way, these are just tips and techniques that seem to have worked for me in the past. If anyone has any other suggestions of improvements on what I've written, please let me know!

Here are my previous articles:

Small things that make big differences

Setting up a macro shoot

~

Butterfly/bug photography

Bug photography is pretty high up on my list of favorite things to do. Even when I end up without any results that I'm happy with, the experience of running around in the warm weather sticking my nose in the dirt is immensely enjoyable for some reason. I am by no means anywhere near an expert on the subject, but I have spent a lot of time doing it, and have learned some things along the way that I'd like to share with you:

Where to look:

As those who are afraid of bugs know, they are absolutely everywhere, and you cannot escape them. However, there are some places that usually yeild more results than others. I've found that the best place for bug photography is typically an unkempt open field. There are a wide array of bugs that love open fields. I've repeatedly found grasshoppers, beetles, flies, ladybugs, bees and several species of butterflies in large quantities whenever I've found a good open field with long, unmowed grass. Forests are a good area as well, but you'll run into a few more probelms. When dealing with flying bugs such as butterflies, you may need to chase them from place to place for a bit before you're able to get a good shot. Spiderwebs are greatly abundant in wooded areas, and while spiders can make lovely photography subjects, you may end up destroying many homes or getting a bite or two on an off-trail excursion. It is also more likely that you will end up with poor lighting if your
subject is in a heavily shaded area. All this aside, forests will provide you with an opportunity to have beautiful bokeh in your image, which is a definite upside. Another great location is your local botanical garden or arboretum. As long as you don't mind the stares from the other patrons as you chase bugs around with your camera, these locations are full of butterflies and bees who are drawn to all of the beautiful plantlife.

When to go:

While a harsh midday sun is not ideal for most styles of photography, I've found it to be quite beneficial when photographing bugs. First off, bugs simply seem to be most active during midday, so it is when you'll have the most opportunity to find a good subject. Also, since you will be shooting macro at very close range, your aperture will need to be relatively narrow to make sure your entire subject is in focus (I usually have it at around f/7 - f/10), and as bugs are quite often moving subjects, you will have to have a pretty quick shutter speed as well. If you have a lower level camera like I do, turning up your ISO any higher than 200 typically results in a noticeable amount of grain. With a low ISO, quick shutter speed, and relatively narrow aperture, strong lighting will be needed to get a good, bright exposure. This being said, pay attention to your angle and try to avoid harsh shadows.

The early morning hours, just as the sun is coming up, are also excellent for bug photography. I have recently discovered that ladybugs love this hour, and I was able to find more than I knew what to do with on my last early morning excursion. On top of this, these bugs are usually still sleeping, which means that you'll have a still subject, and can lower your shutter speed to compensate for the dimmer lighting. And to top it off, you'll also occasionally find a bug still covered in morning dew, which is a stunning sight!

Suggested settings:

I've gone over most of this in the previous section. A quick shutter speed for your moving subject is usually a good choice. You also want your aperture to be narrow enough so that your entire subject is in focus, but wide enough so that you have a nice blurred background, as grassy areas are jam packed with distractions. As mentioned earlier, I usually use f/7 - f/10, depending on how far I am from the bug and what is in my background.

I also highly recommend having your shutter on continuous release, and clicking away. Your moving subject will go through hundreds of different positions as you're photographing it, and the perfect pose may come and go in half a second. Having continuous release on as you shoot will give you a much greater chance of capturing that wonderful, dynamic pose.

other things to look out for:

Perspective is very important in bug photography. A lot of people will go straight to photographing them froma birds eye view. This is the angle that people typically think of/see bugs from, so it is usually not very interesting to look at. Of course all rules of acceptions, but I'd say the vast majority of the time it is best to get right down to their level and shoot parallel to them. This brings the viewer down into their world, and gives them a perspective they don't normally see.

you need to pay very, very close attention to detail! The ground is full of numerous distractions that will poke their way into your photo. Make sure you examine each photo you take, and remove any sticks or rocks or blades of grass that are taking attention away from your main subject. Small changes can make a huge difference!

Also, remember that not all bugs are pretty little butterflies and ladybugs. While you are sitting there trying to get the perfect angle, at some point you will almost definitely get crawled on, poked, prodded, bitten, stung, or buzzed at. Try not to be afraid of the not-pretty bugs, and stay calm and still when they make annoying noises in your ear so you don't scare off your subject.

Be persistant! I cannot stress this enough! particularly with flying bugs, you will almost always have to chase them for quite a bit before they'll get used to you and let you get close. I've  come to find that certain species of butterfly are more timid than others, and sometimes I've had to follow them for up to half an hour. Even if you put this much time into and don't end up with any photos you like, don't get discouraged! Persistance is incredibly important!

~

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! :dummy:
  • Listening to: smile!
well that was a longer absence than I had anticipated. ^^;

First off, I'd like to say thank you so much for the outpouring of love that was given on my birthday! I apologize to all of you for taking so long to respond, as soon as I got back home from my trip things got kind of crazy. But it's looking like from here on out I'll have more time off than usual, which is kind of good and kind of bad, but I am going to make the best of it nonetheless. I haven't done photography in a while and I am quite rusty and having a hard time getting something I'm happy with, but I shall perservere! :salute:

Okay okay, I have a song that everybody needs to listen to:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNrXMO…

LISTEN TO IT. NOW. DO IT. Some of you may be skeptical at the beginning, but listen to it all the way through! If you don't end up smiling, then your soul is a black void of scary darkness.
If everyone had the same mentality of that song, the world would be a much better place. Go out of your way to make someone happy! Sometimes all it takes is a minimal amount of effort, and you can't put a price on a smile! It is one of the greatest things you can give to someone, and you almost always get one in return, so do it as often as you can!

In other news, I have decided that I am going to get a pet snake! Wheeee I'm so excited! He will be my buddy! Or she, if it's a lady snake. Still trying to decide what the name will be. I'm thinking Savanna if it's a girl, and possibly Mr. Snake if it's a boy. It's going to be a ball python. They are so cute and friendly, I will post a picture as soon as I get it!

How have the past few weeks been for all y'all?

Anywho, I'm exhausted and I want ice cream. My message mountain is slowly getting chipped away at though, so I promise I'll get back to everybody soon!
  • Listening to: smile!
The weather is so flippin' beautiful and everything is blooming, but now I have no time to go enjoy it. :noes:

Anywho, I will be inactive for the next week. My birthday is this Saturday, and I will be flying out of town to visit my babe. Many of my messages will be replied to embarassingly late, but there is a beach that I seriously need to nap on for a few days.

Hope errbody is doing well! :dummy:
  • Watching: Storage Wars
  • Eating: Chocolate chip muffin!