A Day in Four Minutes

by Amy on February 24, 2012

I shared a time lapse snow movie from our January snow storm yesterday, and today I bring you another that I just put together from last night’s snow. I’m pretty pleased with this one. I changed a few settings on my time lapse camera and I think it turned out pretty well. Most of our snow hit overnight, so I’m glad I made the decision to keep it running. This is just under 24 hours compressed down to just 4 minutes. Enjoy! And don’t forget to share your own time lapse masterpieces. I can’t wait to see them!

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Still the Best Winter Ever

by Amy on February 23, 2012

The Best Winter Ever has had some lovely side effects. Since we’ve been blessed with so little of it this year, I actually look forward to snow. Shhh. Don’t let it know I said that. That’s just between you and me. So when our last big snow hit, I pulled out my Photojojo Digital Time-Lapse Camera and made myself a little snowy movie. Enjoy!

Interested in dabbling in a little time lapse photography? If you are a Windows user, check out that Photojojo link I posted. You lose some of the functionality of the camera if you are on a Mac, but you can still use it.

I also give two big thumbs ups to the Timelapse Pro App available on the Apple App Store. Make sure you connect your phone to a power source so you don’t drain the battery and remember that you are limited by how long you can be without your phone. This is longer for some of us than others. 😉 There are lots of time lapse apps out there, so do your research, read the reviews and decide which is best for you. I’m sure there are apps out there for non iPhone smart phones, as well!

And finally, if you are really into time lapse photography, but find the quality of the options above to be limiting, you can get an intervalometer for your DSLR camera. An intervalometer will let you enjoy having full control of your end result. Use the live view mode on your camera (if available) to take a peek and change exposure settings as light conditions change. Some cameras even allow you to hook them up to a computer and do time lapse through the camera’s software, instead of purchasing a separate intervalometer. This obviously isn’t an option for situations when you can’t be tethered to a computer. Again, don’t forget the batteries! If your camera has an optional grip which accepts AA batteries instead of the usual proprietary battery, it might be worth springing for if you are serious about time lapse, since AA batteries are available almost everywhere.

Have fun and stop by to share your adventures in time lapse in the comment section! How fun would it be to have a little time lapse camera set up in the corner on your wedding day? I’d love to incorporate that into the video slide shows I create for all my wedding, civil union and commitment ceremony clients! Drop me a note if you want time lapse at your special event!

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It Was the Best Winter Ever

by Amy on January 31, 2012

The Japanese island at the Chicago Botanic Garden under a blanket of fresh snow

I can’t believe that almost a year after the great Groundhog Day Snowpocalypse of 2011, I am still in love with this winter. Yes, we’ve had a little wind and cold here and there, but it wouldn’t be Chicago without it. I’ve been able to enjoy long nature walks at lunch and as of January 31, I have yet to experience one day this winter so cold that my eyes tear up, only to have the tears freeze on my lashes. Winter 2011-2012, who are you, and what can I do to convince you to stay?

The Chicago Botanic Garden has been extra lovely this winter. The occasional snow blankets the grounds and shows off landscapes that are often eclipsed by the plant life in other seasons. Color, texture, shapes – everything is better with a little snow.

White birch trees blend into the cold snow backdrop at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Looking out through a greenhouse window at the snow outside at the Chicago Botanic Garden

It might be the best winter ever, but I still need the occasional chance to escape the cold, and the greenhouses at the botanic garden are the perfect refuge. Being able to see the cold outdoors makes the toasty desert and jungle plant life all the more inviting.

Lush leaves and flowers in front of a snowy window in a Chicago Botanic Garden greenhouse

Oh no! That plant will eat you! (if you are a bug)

A carnivorous pitcher plant and flower at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Macro photograph of a cactus at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Macro photograph of a water drop on the leaf of a plant in the Chicago Botanic Garden

How’s the winter in your neck of the woods? Have you been able to enjoy any winter adventures? Winter 2011-2012 is making me all the more excited for my December 2012 wedding! If you’re planning a winter wedding, drop me a note – I’d love to brainstorm with you.

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The Grove

by Amy on January 22, 2012

A path at Chicago area wedding venue The Grove in Glenview

My stop at The Grove in Glenview a few weeks ago was part “I need a non-botanic garden nature fix” and part wedding venue scoping. While The Grove is a bit outside my budget, it was nice to walk around and check out the grounds. Speaking of budgets, my brief time as someone planning a wedding on a budget has made me assess my packages and pricing. I will not be increasing photography rates for 2012, and I will also be introducing a special package for clients on a very tight budget. To qualify for the budget coverage, you will need to be willing to see your partner before your ceremony (this allows us to cut down on your contracted hours while not sacrificing any portraits of you as a couple) and your event should have under 50 guests. If you meet these criteria, you might qualify for photography coverage that begins at only $500! This package is perfect for those planning their second marriage, a vow renewal, an elopement or anyone who wants to have a small lovely wedding without going into debt! Contact me for more information.

Enough of the infomercial – on to the photographs!

The grounds at The Grove are lovely. It’s very much a nature preserve type of environment, and we know how I love spots like that!
dried weeds at budget minded wedding venue The Grove in Glenview
The Grove in Glenview provides a natural environment for brides on a budget

There’s a lot of ground to cover at The Grove and in my wandering, I came across a lovely pile of fire wood and chickens!
pile of fire wood at Chicago wedding venue The Grove in Glenview
Glenview wedding venue The Grove even has chickens

While The Grove in Glenview, IL will probably not be the wedding venue for me, it will definitely make its way into my rotation of nature photography spots. I can’t wait to head over there and wander some more.

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Roots

by Amy on January 17, 2012

Macro photo of a deep red flower at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, IL
I’ve had a little more freedom the past few weeks due to my sweet new ride. Trusty and reliable fuel efficient transportation has allowed me to return to some spots I’ve neglected. You’ll remember the Garfield Park Conservatory from, well, from my last post. After having fun with my niece, I made a trip back this past weekend by myself for some quality alone time with my camera. Since I’ll be planning a wedding of my own this year (eep!), I’ve cut back on my photography schedule. I want to make sure I give my clients fantastic service, so I’m lightening the load a bit. As I mentioned in the last post, I’m totally booked up for 2012 weddings, but I still have lots of space for portraits. Anyway, back to my point. What was my point? Oh! Expect a lot more personal work to show up on the blog this year. I hope you won’t mind. I fell in love with photography wandering through greenhouses and forest preserves, and I can’t wait to share more of that work with you! Getting back to my roots has been a joy. I hope these photographs bring a little peace and color to a cold January day.

I loved loved loved the name of this plant.
Sign for the Yesterday Today and Tomorrow plant at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, IL

Bringing camera gear into the warm, super humid conservatory from the cold, dry air outside often results in some fogged lenses until the gear comes up to temperature. While it occasionally tries my patience, sometimes I love the results. The fern photograph is a result of a slightly fogged macro lens.
Pale orchids and hazy ferns at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, IL

Love.
Macro of a vibrant purple flower and leaf at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, IL

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