Backyard and birthday

In the spirit of alliterations, I have entitled today’s blog like the one from two days ago.

In this post, you will see two different sets of photos with distinctly different quality levels. The first one was from the iPhone. The other one was from my Nikon SLR camera. What a difference! (Though I must say the iPhone has an impressive camera for a phone!)

Today Albert went out to weed our backyard, which has totally become a jungle. He said, “Come out and keep me company and ooh and ahhh as I pull weeds with my bare muscles.” He flexed his arms to demonstrate. He’s so funny!

The task was not easy.

Our backyard has totally grown into a weed jungle. It especially has some really nasty prickly weeds. They have big needles that go right through the gloves and Albert’s pants.

Even the flower buds look nasty.

Though the purple color is kind of pretty once they bloom…

However, the weeds have grown quite tall due to our neglect. You can tell how tall they are by looking for the purple flower to the right of Albert.

And Albert has done half of the yard… there’s still another half to go! This is the side that still needs to be done. He worked hard today!

After that, we went to my nephew Steven’s house for his second year birthday. I brought along my camera and shot in RAW for the first time. I’ve never used RAW before and didn’t know what difference it made. Wow! It’s night and day! For example, here’s the original photo of some meat that I took.

It was kind of dark. When I adjust levels in jpg or TIFF mode, the meat looks washed out and the dark parts are still black.

But in RAW, you can adjust without washing out any of the details. Even in the meat in the shadows retains detail!

However, it’s still a bit too washed out. I just did that for demonstration purposes. Here’s the actual picture I would use. Better balance of lights and darks and looks a bit more realistic.

So, I’m sold. I’ll be photographing in RAW from now on!

Now back to the party…

First we started with Steven opening his presents. He was quite methodical. He slowly opened every bag. Grandpa and Grandma were quite generous and the bag had a lot of gifts to open. Steven took a very long time.

For a while it seemed like he was more interested in the card!

Joe and Jenni and their baby (I think this name is Jaron) were watching. Jaron is a cute. He was quite enthusiastic.

I thought it was funny the photo above also happened to capture a bit of drool.

Corrie helped Steven open when he got stuck.

I love how Steven just nonchalantly hands stuff to Corrie like she’s his servant or something.

He totally loved the View Master.

Spent a while looking through it…

While Daniel, Albert, and Steve’s parents looked on.

Jada (Joe and Jenny’s daughter) wanted to try it out too.

Jaron gave out giggles when his toes were tickled.

What a cutie!

Back to Steven. He got lots of stickers and methodically peeled one off and tried to figure out where to stick it.

Meanwhile, Megan took some video. Nice picture of her and my mom! Skipped a generation there… I’m never in pictures because I’m always the one taking them!

Poor hubby was wiped out from weeding.

Steven looked like such a big boy, looking at his sticker book — sideways.

Another shot of Steve’s parents, enjoying the event.

Jack (Jaron’s brother) took over playing with him.

Steven moved onto another gift. Love that curious expression!

Oops, dropped the book on the ground!

Meanwhile, Jack had his hands full with Jaron. I liked all the little wrinkles in Jaron’s hands where he was pushing on Jack.

But on the other side, Steven was peacefully experimenting with his new book. We also got him an iTunes gift card so that Corrie could buy him apps to play on his iPhone. Our card said, “This is so you can become geeky and relate to your uncle, aunt and cousins.” I noticed we were the only ones who got him an iTunes gift card. We are trying to get him started on technology early.

Lunch time! Since learning manual settings I have become quite the flash snob, turning off the flash! It was a little dark in the kitchen but not too bad.

The oranges looked so yummy!

Then it was time to try some closeups. Ignore the labels on the oranges. I was too lazy to turn them around to hide the labels.

The dip looked really yummy too!

My mom made some yummy fried rice.

The strawberries were sooooo sweet and delicious!

But my favorite was the potato salad. I had seconds on that because it was so yummy. I love homemade potato salad. Especially if there are eggs in it.

Here’s the meat picture I had above. Delicious tri-tip.

Steven enjoyed some hotdogs.

What I find so funny about my nephew is that he is quite meticulous and neat. He is the only kid I know that when he goes to the park, he spends more time picking up and throwing away trash than playing on the equipment. Here he is, slowly peeling the tape off the present. He also picked up any stray pieces of wrapping paper on the ground and put them on the table.

What an appropriate gift!!

After that, he went for the squatting position. Didn’t seem to be an issue to sit in that position for a long time, with perfect balance.

Meanwhile, hubby moved to a more comfortable position. Though I can’t say the location was too comfy.

And then it was time for cake! Corrie made two cakes. One fun, colorful one.

And one fun darker, one.

I love the decorations on the side! It was a chocolate peanut butter cake. Totally delicious!

The other cake had gummy bears on the side — Steven’s favorite.

Family shot! Steven didn’t want to cooperate. At first he showed us his back, but eventually he turned around.

Then he blew out the candle. He blew it out himself!

Time to enjoy the goods!

Here’s the inside of the cake… key lime pie. Yummy!

So much for after-dinner stupor. Steven ran around with a football.

He looked like a total pro the way he was holding the ball.

And now for the pitch! Oops, wrong sport.

A tumble in the grass…

And he’s off and running!

Steve tried to do a handoff to Steven, but then Steven would run forward and throw the ball on the ground. Steve said, “I think you need to play defense.”

Then Steven took another tumble — this time into the bush!

But he was rescued by Daddy!

After that, I took my hubby home before he turned into a pumpkin. All the weeding and allergies wore him out and he crashed while I edited photos and posted this blog. It was a good day!

A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — and teaches leadership skills at

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  1. Kristin - April 17, 2010

    Nice food photos! I really like the bokeh on the dip. 🙂

  2. Glen Nielsen - April 18, 2010

    Fabulous shots! My favorite is the stop-action on the drool … very impressive. I think the RAW format is a winner! The Reese’s cups and the gummi bears were very nice touches on the cake … mouth-watering goodness.

  3. Glen Nielsen - April 18, 2010

    btw … if you hadn’t told us, I could have easily mistaken the food shots for stock photos! Ur good!

  4. corriespondent - April 18, 2010

    What great photos! Thanks for documenting the party!

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