Over Veteran’s Day weekend, my mom had a few days off of work and made a last minute trip down to our place.  We figured it would be a perfect time to take a field-trip and figured it was about time to finally take that trip to Silver Falls State Park that we’ve talked about for years.  I always thought we could only go when Matt was able to come with us so that he could carry Kaden when he got tired, but lately, this little guy doesn’t seem to get tired!

Monday morning was beautiful … cold, but beautiful, so we worked on school for a bit and then headed out for the Falls.  The drive is only about 40 minutes from our house so it is a bit ridiculous that we don’t come here more often.  It is certainly a spectacular place.  It is also a place that I remember visiting as a child, which of course makes the visits I make with my boys all the more special.  

Coming into this visit to the Falls, I knew I wanted to try my hand at using very slow shutter speeds to capture the flowing water.  Back when Matt and I were first married he took me into Portland and we checked out a little art gallery.   Three of the images we purchased were of waterfalls and I was amazed at how the water appeared so smooth.  Little did I know that even back then I loved the look that a slow shutter speed gives to flowing water. ;)

And since I had just completed teaching the lesson on using a slow shutter speed in Mastering Manual Exposure, I figured I’d better put the lesson into practice.  In this shot, I was able to brace myself by resting my elbows on the guard railing, making a 1/3 second shutter speed possible with little camera shake.

35mm | f/16 | SS 1/3 | ISO 100

Are there many places in the world where you can walk under overhanging cliffs and behind a waterfall that is plummeting over 170 feet??

This one, again, was with a slow shutter speed, and much more challenging since I took it on a bridge that was being bounced on by passer-byers. ;)

35mm | f/16 | SS 1/4 | ISO 160

Right about here, one of these little guys needed to go back for a rather important matter, so we went back, loaded up, and drove to another hiking spot in the park, which led us to about 5 more falls.

This next image was a wee bit tougher yet, since I didn’t have anything to rest my arms on and the water was father away so I needed an even slower shutter speed to give the desired effect.  Plus, I was cold.   It took a few tries. ;)

35mm | f/11 | 1/3 | ISO 250

This boy of mine … is he my kid, or what??  He was all about taking photos with Grammie’s camera. ;)

This is one thing I am sure thankful for … my family’s understanding and patience when it comes to my photography.  They’d wander and wait, sit and relax, while I tried my hand at getting the waterfall photos I was envisioning.  ♥

We calculated how far we went and it would be just over 3 miles round-trip.  With lots of hills mixed in!

I think I could probably go back on my own with the boys, but having either my mom or Matt with us just makes it feel right.

Eventually, our pace slowed down as the littlest guy’s legs started to peter out.  He never complained … but we were all getting hungry so needed to get the show on the road…

His biggest brother insisted he could help, too…  :)

We did this hike nearly 2 weeks ago, and I’m already itching to get to it again.   But, I think it would be a fun project to try for these waterfall shots each season so maybe I’ll give it a few months until Winter has set in… that sounds cold and slippery, so we’ll see!  Probably next time, though, whenever we do make it back, I’ll suck it up and just bring my tripod! ;)

Thank you for visiting and if you have any questions about working with a slow shutter speed, I’m happy to answer them!

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  • Mom - This is definitely a keepsake blog post. It was such a fun hike, or should I say stroll…when walking hand-in-hand with little Tado and his short, little legs :) The falls were breath-taking and your photos of them are just gorgeous! Frame-able, for sure! Thank you for sharing!!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Eric - WOW WOW WOW!!! BREATHTAKING!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jolene - The pictures are beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Alice C. - The waterfalls in Oregon are just incredible <3 My grandpa has a summer house near Eugene, and every year we went we'd go up to the falls near Clear Lake. Just incredible!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - How cool, Alice! I’ve never been to Clear Lake before but I love having a growing list of places that we’d like to visit. :)ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Lacey,
    I know you don’t know me but I feel like I know you through you photographs. I love when your pictures pop up on my feed on Facebook. I can’t wait to click on that link to your blog to see what you have going on. You truly are an inspiration. You make me want to go out and try something new with my camera. I just wanted you to know that I am one of those people out there that you inspire every time you post your photos on your blog. Thank you for pushing me to better myself.
    Just another mom who loves photography,

    • Lacey - Hi Nancy! It is so nice to meet you. :) Reading a comment like this means so incredibly much to me and having this impact on you is more than I ever hoped to accomplish with my photography. :) Thank you so much for taking the time to share and to comment!ReplyCancel

Just two days ago, Cooper told me he wanted to be somebody’s hero.   Yesterday, he became our dog, Charlie’s.  Actually, all of the boys worked together to keep their cool and save their doggie.

It was a gorgeous afternoon and we had yet to visit the pond since it had frozen over.  While their favorite thing to do at the pond is swim, they also love to skip rocks over it when it is frozen and hear the echoy sound as they bounce across.  So we bundled up and headed out for a walk.

Within seconds of being there the boys were skirting across the frozen water and Charlie was trying to go after them.

He walked across without problem, clearly thinking this was pretty fun!

He went to his usual spot on the rickety old dock and I told him to stay.  Looking back, I feel like I didn’t have much sense in my head about the whole situation, but I did have the sense to tell him not to jump.  I told him to stay, so he stayed, but just for a second.

Before launching.

Why did I not panic when I saw his back foot break through??

A split second after I took this photo of Charlie walking across the frozen pond, the ice broke and he fell in and could not climb out.   I watched him for a moment, struggling to get out before running around the pond, dropping my camera, and grabbing a large branch to hit and try to further break the ice between him and me.   I screamed at the boys to grab as big of rocks as they could to try to throw out into the 15 foot stretch of ice between us.   I hit the ice with the branch, but it just broke so I ran for some big river rocks that line the drainage area from the pond.  The boys did the same, I think.

I don’t even know how much time passed … how many times I hit the ice with other huge branches or how many big rocks we threw trying to break the ice.   I was frantic. I absolutely thought we were going to watch our pup go under and not come back up.   I kept thinking he’s going to die.  I kept thinking my boys are going to watch their dog die.   He was whimpering and shaking.   I was screaming.   Kaden was crying.   Gage was throwing big rocks and encouraging Charlie.  I kept thinking … Do we have a raft??  Who has a boat I can call?  I can’t run up to the house to make a call.  I don’t have my cell phone.  Can I go out there on my belly?  No, then we’d both be in the water.   I was SO frantic.   I know I just kept saying, “Boys!!  I don’t know what to DO!!  What do I do???”

Then Cooper shouted at me that we needed to get the extension ladder that was leaning on a structure near the pond.   Brilliant.   It was down across the lawn and driveway so I ran to it.  Cooper behind me.  I threw it over my shoulder, and I think Cooper picked up the rear as we ran it back up the hill and onto the dock.  This dock scares me.  It is rickety and old and I never let the boys go on it.  I reached the extension ladder out as far as it could go and then battled with it to extend it further.  Cooper stayed behind me on the dock holding down the back end.

And we pleaded … screamed and encouraged Charlie to get on it.   Oh, his eyes.  He stared at me and I just laid down toward the ice, resting on the ladder, and kept calling to him.   He gripped onto the ice and stared at me.  Friends, I don’t want to be mellow-dramatic, but seriously.   This was crazy!  He finally started to crawl up on it and I can still hear the shrieks of encouragement from the boys.  He got up about 2/3 of the way, only for the extension portion to detach from the rest of the ladder.  I tried to press my portion down on the separated part, but, the pressure of him pushing down on it made it slip away from me and down into the water. 

But thank God … that pressure he put on the ladder also made the ice break as it fell and he was released from the small opening of water that he was stuck in!  I continued to break the ice with the ladder that was left while Charlie swam  toward me.  He made it to me on the dock, I grabbed his collar to help him out.   And I was never so happy to have him shake a body full of pond water all over me.   Well, that never has made me happy … but yesterday, it sure did! 

Afterward, my chest ached, I could hardly talk and my boys … my goodness … And Charlie?  He did ‘Charlie Go Crazy’ around the lawn and then went right back to the edge of the pond to try again!  Cooper put his lasso around his collar and we walked him home.  The lasso only lasted a minute though because that puppy had a new lease on life and just wanted to run. :)

So, lesson’s learned:  

1) Don’t be stupid like me and let your dog run on ice that you don’t know is 100% solid ice.  I would absolutely not have let my boys walk out there so I absolutely should not have allowed Charlie to.  Had he drowned, it would be totally been my fault.

2) Always have a smart, quick thinking kid with you. :)  I’m amazed at how relatively calm they all stayed and love that Cooper said he prayed and Gage said he stayed calm because he felt God tell him this would be okay.   I felt none of those things and was just a complete lunatic!  Their level heads and faithful hearts saved their pup.  ♥

Thank you for reading.  ♥

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  • Jade - What a relief! And such amazing boys. So glad everyone is alright and Charlie safe.ReplyCancel

  • Mom - I, too, was having a heart attack just reading your blog. How absolutely frightening! I’m so thankful for the happy outcome. Praise God!
    Hugs to Charlie
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Jolene - So glad he’s safe! I was holding my breath through this story. Awhile back when I was expecting, I had a scary situation with some pit bulls that were attacking our sheep. I totally get the frantic need to protect your pet, especially when your children are watching. I have to say, like you, I wasn’t very calm :)ReplyCancel

  • Erica - OH MY GOLLY!!!! I fellt like we were there reading your retelling. How scary. Good job getting him out. So brave.ReplyCancel

… that they spent some time like this after I say good-night and shut their door.

One night, I came back up for whatever reason and found them both, drawing by flash-light and head-lamp light.  We don’t really have a “rule” about having to go right to sleep when I leave their room.  We just say no loud talking or getting up for other reasons than the obvious necessity…

So since they were quietly not breaking any rules, I couldn’t help but think this was just pretty awesome that they spend a little time like this. ;)

Thank you for visiting!  ♥  These were all taken with my 35mm at ISO 6400.  Don’t be afraid to push that ISO!  A little noise reduction goes along way. ;)  Also at f/1.8 and SS 1/40 … that’s pretty slow to avoid both camera shake and subject motion, but I think they are trained that when they see my camera go up, they’d hold really still. :D

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  • Mom - This is so wonderful! And I love the concentration you captured and the light! Just awesome! :)
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Marilyn - These images are breathtakingReplyCancel

  • Beira - Priceless memory captured. Well done, Lacey!ReplyCancel

In our house, Fall means football.  Watching it has been a staple for many years, and playing it has been a recent addition.  And by ‘watching’ it I mean having it on in the background all weekend long (College on Saturday and Professional on Sunday) and being into the games throughout working on the computer, playing board games, cooking meals, lounging on the couch and being thankful for the ability to pause and record games when we head outside.  We have our favorite teams, but honestly, we just LOVE a good game.  I LOVE it when I don’t care who wins and the teams are fairly matched.  I mean, I really love it when our teams play and win, but it is so fun to just enjoy the thrill of the game, too.

And by ‘playing’ it I mean throwing it back and forth …sometimes kicking it….  sometimes catching it, but a lot of the time not and consequently, ‘playing’ football around here mostly means keeping the ball away from Charlie.

This time of the year, the hay field is the perfect football field for these boys since it is a wide open space, far from my windows, and gives lots of room to run.  Charlie likes that a lot.  I like that it is pretty (and far from my windows).

Favorite.Set.Maybe.Ever ….

Despite a really good effort, Coop missed the ball and this is the chase that always follows…

It’s like he hears the ball whistle through the air or something…

And he’s such a tease!  Such an instigator.  Even if the boys act like they don’t care that he has it, he runs up to them and dances around them with the ball in his mouth … taunting.  Three against one still isn’t a fair match, as it usually takes some intervention from me to actually get the ball…

I’ll give you one guess as to what sound this guy was making in the next shot…

We played and played until the sun disappeared and the immediate drop in temperature took over.

Continuing to love fall, football on TV, and our own version of football in the field.   I’m thinking that them training with a dog that could teach Marshawn Lynch a few new moves and give Richard Sherman a run for his money is going to do them well, should they ever choose to join a team. ;)

I hope you had a great weekend!  And, photography friends, these were all shot with the Nikon 35mm 1.4.  I liked to be able to capture the scene as much as the action while standing in pretty much the same location.   And since the sun was going down it allowed me to shoot comfortably at 1.8 the whole time while still getting my moving subjects in focus. ;) 

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  • Mom - What a happy puppy!! and a beautiful sunset :)
    XOXOXO to GCK from Grammie
    Hugs to CharlieReplyCancel

  • Karishma - Love the landscape and colors in your pictures.. and of course the fall football fun!!!ReplyCancel

  • Erica - I love the one of Gage about to throw with Charlie expectant too! And the one of Kaden making tooting sounds. Hank would say he’s “tharting” shhh don’t tell Hank its actually farting ;)ReplyCancel

This is what it looks like when Mama is excited to get out and do something sporadic in our day …. and also what it looks like when we finally have a dry day and when we have the park all to ourselves.  And what it looks like when I’m feeling inspired to shoot between f/1.4 and f/1.8 the entire time they play.  When I’m not feeling inhibited by what and how I shoot.  What it looks like when I go ahead and climb on the toys with my boys and to embrace the light the overcast sky gives.  To shoot outside with my 35mm 1.4 for a change so that the setting is as much a part of the image as the subject.  To set my white balance and meter once and to just shoot because photographing my kids having fun is why I do what I do with photography.   This is what me having ‘fun’ with photography looks like.

Playing at the park … over-share.  ;) 

And then, a little visit to the library.  But we were not lone visitors at the library, so my camera stayed tucked away. :)

Have  fabulous weekend!  <3 

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  • Mom - What a fun time at the park. It’s obvious that you had fun too!
    Cooper’s straight hair is the “star of the show”! :)
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • valerie a. - Another testament to how good you are–f1.4-1.8! I rarely ever shoot below 2.0, and it’s usually 2.5 or 2.8, because I’m worried I won’t nail my focus. This is inspiration to just PRACTICE it more! Good for you!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Oh you’re sweet, Valerie! I usually don’t shoot this wide either! My comfort aperture is usually 2.2 but, I was just feeling like trying something a bit different and not worry about it if I missed focus in some… Since I really liked the results so much when I did nail it. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Erica - The boys are sitting by me enjoying every picture! Was Cooper’s hair IN the water under his swing? I really love how you capture their hair in motion too. :)ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hah! It WAS! ;) That’s how you know that I’m in a playful mood… that I actually let him keep doing it. ;)ReplyCancel