Posted by: whimsigal | December 30, 2007

Play Days

We’ve been spending a lot of time around here playing. The boys (big and small) got a bunch of fun things for Christmas and it’s taken several days for us to get to much of it. Night before last, we played Monopoly, Nintendo’s version, and it was a lot of fun. Until the kids got bored, then it got kind of crazy. Last night, the boys got out a book that someone had given them called The Body Book and boy did they have tons of fun with that! It came with a bunch of body parts which led to at least an hour of, “oh no! My (insert body part here) fell out!!!!”

It also came with a skeleton which Sean and Ryan took the time to put together.
body book play.jpg

Iain has been playing with all of his new video games and has been having a ball with them. His new favorite is a DS game called, “My Sims”, and now Ryan has a copy, too. They reallly enjoy playing the “calm” game , as they call it. They build a house, make friends, hold down jobs, and interact with people in the Sims community. It’s really cool to see them get so into it!

I’ve been playing with my new lenses and last night, while researching something on a photography message board, I came across some info that has changed my image editing life. See, I have a version of Photoshop from 2003 and, since I shoot in Raw instead of Jpegs, my version of PS won’t read the Raw data straight out of my camera. In fact, Adobe doesn’t offer an update to fix it either. I bought PS Elements because it’s newer and will read the Raw data from my camera but I was limited in what I could do to my photos with that. So I’ve been freaking out, thinking I NEED to get Photoshop CS3, which would set me back about $700, and I just couldn’t see spending that kind of money on software. Here is where the info I discovered last night comes into play. Adobe, (i love you adobe), offers on their website, a free program called DNG Converter. Basically what it does it converts Raw camera data into a DNG file, which is a universal file extension I guess. Raw camera data is proprietary, meaning my camera has a specific file extension, nikon has another, olympus has another and so on. Eventually, the company specific extensions become outdated and you are SOL if you’re software won’t read it. It’s been suggested that people save their raw data as DNG’s so no matter what, you will always have access to your raw date, or Digital Negative. Is that too much information? If so, I’m sorry, but it was so exciting to me last night I didn’t know what to do with myself!

Now, not only am I learning how to take better photos by studying many different books, but I am also trying to learn Photoshop at the same time! Since July I have taken over 7,000 pictures. That is mind-blowing to me. Hopefully my skills have gotten at least a little better since then! Here is a photo of our puppy Lily that I took last night:
Lilly December 29, 2007.jpg

I love how sharp my new lens is!

One thing I hope that the boys see from my example that you never stop learning. In my middle 30’s I’ve picked up a brand new interest and am completely immersing myself in anything I can get my hands on to help me understand it. Sean is the same way. Whenever he has an interest in something, he gets really involved and digs in until he gets “it”.

All in all, this has been a great, relaxing christmas holiday. We’ve chilled out, watched some movies, worked on some projects together, and have enjoyed some time on our own as well. We have a lot to look forward to in 2008! Are any of you making resolutions this year? I’m not because I never keep them! LOL How about you though? What are your resolutions, if you have any?



  1. Aaah, resolutions! lol
    been writing about that one the last couple of days! 🙂

    I got (picded out myself) a photography book for Christmas. I haven’t checked it out too thoroughly, yet.
    My dad is shopping for a new slr, I think I’ll encourage him so that he can pass his two year old dinosaur down to me! 🙂
    Just kidding, but I am going to mention it to him!

    I have yet to even tackle photoshop. All I do is fix the color and exposure 0 and trim, of course.
    Lawd, I just don’t have the time!!!
    Glad to hear that all is peaceful and happy with you.
    Miss you.

  2. Photoshop is some intimidating software, let me tell ya. I have a great book though that demystifies it somewhat, it’s just, like you said, finding the time to read it!

    I miss you too! What can we do about that? Have you gotten any farther in the book I sent?


  3. It is so exciting when something finally clicks because of new information or whatever! I’m so happy for you!

    As for resolutions, I make them every year. Sort of goals that I really want to work on. They get edited during the year to reflected whatever changes have taken place in my daily life. I love setting goals for myself. Ever the list maker.

  4. I’m glad your boys are loving their sims game. I play Sims 2 ( a PC version) when I have any spare time (none lately), it is a fun game.

    I think its awesome how much fun you are having with photography. Very inspiring.

  5. Hey Carri! I’m a big list maker, too. This year I think I’m going to make the list but just not call them resolutions.

    Hey KMD!

    I almost picked up the PC version for Ryan yesterday but went with the DS version instead since Iain has it for DS and they can play together. Can you play with other people online with the PC version? THat would be really cool!

    You commented on my newfound love for photography and I must tell you, it makes my heart swell just thinking about it, that’s how much I enjoy it. If my husband hadn’t bought me the camera, I wouldn’t have discovered how much I enjoy it. I really feel so thankful that he turned me on to it.


  6. No, they had a Sims Online in the past, but it really turned into a weird version of the game, kind of a dating world or something. It is off line now. What I do though is participate in websites with story writing and challenges and game modifications and custom objects and clothing. I have an XBox version (but no xbox anymore ironically), that was really fun, but I missed being able to make and use custom clothing and objects. Writing and reading stories is a lot of fun too.

    Anyway, I think its fun your kids can play it together and enjoy it. It is a fun game.

  7. Oh yeah. I can see how it could get weird. Isn’t it wild how a game can turn into so much more, like writing stories??

  8. I’m a photography junkie wannabe. So when I get a good camera, get photoshop, get some good lenses, some money, and some time, I’ll join ya! No, really!

  9. One class that I’m taking this semester is Intro to Photography. I have to say mostly because of you and the pictures of your kiddos. 🙂 They’re so adorable! Happy New Year Evie!

  10. And I’m with her!! 🙂

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