black & whites Archive - Redding, CA Photographer | Amy McMaster Photography

Category: black & whites

it's supposed to be spring

April 7, 2013

so it’s supposed to be spring. but it’s been raining and raining. it’s been cold too. next week it’s supposed to be in the 80s. oh how i dislike redding’s weird weather. it can never seem to make up it’s mind except in summer.

100 degrees? nope that’s not hot enough. 110…now that’s more like it says, Redding. can always count on hot dry summers.

but today we had a break in the rain. it was still cold. it was still wet. my girls wanted to dress like princesses and go outside like cinderella and snow white. so we did. my oldest wanted pictures holding her umbrella. i was able to get a couple frames off before they were ALL. done. in minutes.

it was fun while it lasted.

and then my oldest was ALL done.

it was a fun few minutes anyway. at least we got some fresh air.

One Comment

  • Kim Peterson · Posted April 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm · Link · Reply

    Beautiful images and processing! Trying to decide my faves, but I just love them all! Last one made me smile…

Write a Comment



the moody bw | wintered over | life. right now.

January 15, 2013

another long pause before i blog. we went through thanksgiving. then christmas. then new years. no posts from me. in my defense i am living life, just not enough time to share it. i lied. sometimes i do have time but choose to snuggle with my husband or fall asleep with the remote resting on chin. whoops. maybe this whole getting older thing is catching up to me? i am in my 30s…but not yet all that close to 40. yet my sweet little almost 9 year old son did boldly proclaim that i did know what i am talking about because ‘mom is almost 40!’ a backhanded compliment if i ever heard one. haha! i figured at least he thinks i know stuff right? i went with it.

i’ve decided rather than writing about what i think people want to read, i am going to write about what i want to and hope people sometimes want to read it. i can live with that. writing about i want will appeal to me so much more. this backyard bird farmer needs an outlet.

i thought i would introduce myself a little bit. it’s the start of 2013, might as well start with my intro right? i’m a mom of 4. i have a pet bearded dragon. i have a pitbull puppy. i have 18 or so chickens, 21 ducks and 2 geese. we raise them mostly for eggs but i have recently learned how to butcher my extra roosters for the table. it’s not fun, but it’s rewarding and delicious. i love food. self taught to cook and bake. still learning. i am not a vegetarian. but i adore vegetables. i love organic and clean floods. but i can make a mean tater tot casserole and will occasionally indulge in completely health challenged comfort foods. i live…but in moderation moderation moderation. i live in jeans. and birkenstocks . and slip on fuzzy boots. i collect fun socks. and old cookbooks. i like to make lists and yet struggle to stick to them. love coffee and chocolate. sometimes together.

i am an avid instagrammer. look me up at amymcmaster…see there i am! with almost 2,000 images of my everyday.

i’ve not had a lot of opportunity to use my big girl camera. but this weekend i go to. for 20 or so wonderful minutes. i thought the light and surroundings would lend to some beautiful color but once i moved into lightroom…i saw black and white. *sigh* black and white has my heart.

here are a few shares from there. i hope to blog more often. but watch out. the topics will be about me. what i am doing. a chicken drama, a favorite dish, a picture share…just what’s really going on. probably a lot of food. my latest thing is grinding my own grains and playing.

ok so back to the pics…

Write a Comment



princess at sunset | life. right now. | a 365 project | twenty nine

August 18, 2011

my 2 year old. soon to be 3 year old wanted to wear a pretty new hair band i bought and of course a fluffy boa. it was picking up all the prickly thistles and stickers you could imagine but she refused to take it off.

i love sunset light. it’s really my favorite kind of light. it’s soft and constantly changing.

these 3 images made me sigh. side by side. i tried a lighter black and white but the the emotion was lost without all the contrast.

not a lot of people think to look at what toddlers feet are doing- but it’s really fascinating to check out sometimes. oh and their hands. :) their hands and feet can tell us so much about how they are feeling in a moment.

these were all taken with my 50 1.4 @ f/1.8

almost at 30! my personal goal was 50 posts for a 365 project. i hope i can reach it!



  • Elena · Posted August 19, 2011 at 7:37 am · Link · Reply

    So cute, love these shots!

  • Diana Foster · Posted August 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm · Link · Reply

    Love your art and your blog Amy!

  • joanne · Posted September 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm · Link · Reply

    HI, This is beautiful. Im wondering how you achieved good focus on yoru subject by using the f/1.8? I have trouble with this setting as my subjects are never in focus with little dof??
    Thanks for your help.

Write a Comment



song of skye | life. right now. | a 365 project | twenty seven

August 4, 2011

i’m a mom to four kids. i love it. everything about it. the extreme highs and extreme lows. it’s all one messy blessed package.

if you come to my house you will find toys on my driveway. toys on my porch. toys all over my livingroom floor. and couch. and lazyboy. and table. bathroom? yup.

i think every square inch of available space has at least one toy on it. if i move it- something will simply replace it. i homeschool too so that means kids here day and night.

i love it. it’s messy. it’s loud as heck. it’s fun. it’s real. really really real.

we make fart jokes. oh man do we. i think body functions have been a hot topic since my oldest could talk. uhh..6 months old or so? 😛

we are so ‘real’ it’s insane.

my kids get dirty and i let them. their hair gets messy and i let it. their clothes get dirty and i wash them (when i get to the laundry but that’s a whole ‘nother post).

they get hungry so i feed them. in the summer we play in the water old school style- blow up pools and hose fights and sprinkler dashes.

we eat insane amounts of popcicles. my one sugar concession. :)

we drink iced tea. eat deviled eggs. and my toddler runs around in her pullup. my last baby.

everyone is in such a rush to rush things. make them grow up faster. potty train. school at 3. clean up.


  • Shannon Daly · Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:55 am · Link · Reply

    I love this!

  • veronica starr · Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:23 am · Link · Reply

    gorgeous!!!! she is gorgeous and so is the conversion. :)

  • Jenn Jones · Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:35 am · Link · Reply

    What a wonderful gift you’re giving your family with these memories. I loved your post and can relate to it so well. She is a beautiful girl and you sound like an amazing mommy. I love the ones with her blankie!

  • MamaJenn · Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:36 am · Link · Reply

    Love her AB! Love you to…awesome. You are an inspiration to me…like you I have always been a picture nerd but I love the way you just get down with them and go at it. xoxo

  • Casey · Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:32 am · Link · Reply

    love this post! Miss Skyebug is growing so fast, she’s such a cutie! I’m trying to savor everything with Zac since he’s my last too but the kid wants to grow up NOW :( he’s begging me for school already

  • Leigh Ann Hines · Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:41 am · Link · Reply

    <3 love them!

  • Rhonda Morse · Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm · Link · Reply

    Love this….she is soooo precious….You and I have something in common besides photography…We eat insane amounts of Popcicles…..and not just the kids(: I let them eat the red ones…the rest are for me

  • Stacy · Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm · Link · Reply

    Lovely. These couldn’t be more lovely. :)

  • Michelle Kirnan · Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm · Link · Reply

    Just perfect. Such a beautiful capture. For her. For you. Forever. And I’m not just talking about the images. They’re stunning. Her personality truly shines through. But also your words. I can tell that you’re not only an amazingly gifted photographer, but an awesome mommy too! <3 everything about this post!

  • Twitted by amymcmaster · Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm · Link · Reply

    […] This post was Twitted by amymcmaster […]

  • Nancy · Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:35 am · Link · Reply

    Oh Amy. These are such an inspirational gift. So well written and beautifully captured!

  • Elena · Posted August 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm · Link · Reply

    Gorgeous Black & White pics! I had to add you to my blog list!

  • Natasha · Posted August 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm · Link · Reply

    Beautiful, true words my friend. The pictures are icing on the cake!

  • Sarah Wilkerson · Posted August 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm · Link · Reply

    WOW!! Amy, this set is extraordinary!!!! Beautiful, inspirational work.

  • Amy Lucy · Posted August 8, 2011 at 6:49 am · Link · Reply

    I couldn’t think of a more perfect post! Your words, the images, everything is truly wonderful. Thanks for sharing your heart. :)

  • Ali · Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:28 am · Link · Reply

    Just beautiful!!!

  • jenny · Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:30 am · Link · Reply

    LOVE LOVE your words and your pictures!!!! That is exactly why I LOVE photography as well. SONG of SKYE !

  • Jen Cooke · Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:01 am · Link · Reply

    Beautiful. Love how you captured her purity as a child! So many times us moms stress about getting the perfect photo’s of our kids. Perfectly imperfect!

  • czarina · Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:30 am · Link · Reply

    I love this post! I’m truly inspired by your words and can relate to this. It actually made my eye teary while reading this whole post.

  • Rebecca · Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:57 am · Link · Reply

    Just beautiful! Very inspiring!

  • Tina · Posted August 8, 2011 at 11:09 am · Link · Reply

    couldn’t agree more. a friend said to me a few months back, “wait until he can hold his own bottle, it’ll make things easier”. I suppose but I’m not “waiting” for that day. I know it’ll be here all too fast like many other things. I savor each and everyday..every moment. How could you not?

  • Jenna · Posted August 8, 2011 at 11:58 am · Link · Reply


  • Amber · Posted August 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm · Link · Reply

    This. Is. Beautiful. Makes me rethink some things in my own life. Thank you.

  • Orsi · Posted August 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm · Link · Reply

    So true what you’re saying and the pictures are amazing!!! Very inspirational!!!

  • Sarah · Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm · Link · Reply

    Thank you for posting this!! I get so caught up in the perfect lighting and the perfect moment that I forget to just shoot!!! I am going to bookmark this and come back to it. Thank you!!! Awesome blog post!!!

  • Gina Newhouse · Posted August 9, 2011 at 6:10 am · Link · Reply

    I feel just like you. mom of 4 boys and sooo blessed. you brought a tear to my eye


  • Stacie · Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm · Link · Reply

    Loved the pics of skye! They are to die for! Thankyou for sharing this beautiful gift of yours!

  • kelly tonks · Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm · Link · Reply

    a-ma-zing!! Love it!! every drop!

  • Crystal · Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:26 am · Link · Reply

    You make me miss my babies… now 11 and 12.. no chance I could get them naked. I love this shoot.. and a great feel being all B&W.. thanks for sharing.

  • pamela · Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm · Link · Reply

    I couldn’t agree more!! Lovely photos.

  • Anne (Capucha) · Posted August 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm · Link · Reply

    When I finished reading your beautiful post and the first photo of your daughter appeared, I cried.
    Your photos are filled with so much grace and love. Thank you.

  • Kathy James · Posted August 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm · Link · Reply

    Amy, these are amazing photos! Your daughter is beautiful with gorgeous eyes, and you know just how to capture her in that stunning light! Also love how you share your settings…I have the Nikon D700 with 50mm 1.4G and 85mm 1.4G lenses and love them. Did you shoot in black and white or convert it in photoshop, and do you use Lightroom? Thanks for sharing your beautiful work…you’re talented, impressive and inspiring :)

    • Amy Beth · Posted August 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm · Link · Reply

      Thanks so much Kathy!
      I always shoot color. I do all my black and whites in Lightroom. I primarily use my Monochrome vol2 presets (on my shoppe site) and one bw preset I have set aside that I made for my own images (it’s really custom- not sure how noce it would look on anyone else hehe). I like to shoot pretty open and expose for the faces usually. I use fill light a lot in LR it helps lift a lot of shadows from the face and then push contrast and blacks. 😀

  • Kathy James · Posted August 18, 2011 at 11:02 pm · Link · Reply

    Thanks for that info Amy! I do not have Lightroom yet, planning on it for the fall when I get a new computer, but realize that I need it and also some actions that would make post-processing easier. Do you offer on-line mentoring classes? Just discovered your blog so will search around and see…I have seen your beautiful work on facebook, but really love your blog and how you share how you got the shot! Of course, I have many more questions, so if you do offer any training please let me know, thanks :)

  • Catherine · Posted January 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm · Link · Reply

    So beautiful and so true!

Write a Comment



fish+toddler+shark | life. right now. | a 365 project | twenty six

August 1, 2011

my new toy is a sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye. a practical lens? nope. a fun lens perhaps? oh yeah.

and being able to photograph what your eye sees? amazing. i mean even more than your eye sees.

really really fun. it’s a tricky lens to use. and not one you would use for an entire session for sure.

but definitely fun to whip out. and my kids are full of giggles for the ‘bobble head’ shots i get.

flattering? nope. funny? heck yeah! 😀

my 2 year old loves fish. and she dragged ‘bruce’ outside with her to play. so i dragged my ‘fish’ outside to play too.

fun angles in black and white.

d700 | sigma 15mm

i am having WAY too much fun figuring out my new toy!

happy first day of august!

ps…don’t forget to get your dog days of summer images ready!


  • Jen Graber · Posted August 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm · Link · Reply

    These are so fun Amy! I look forward to seeing more images from your new toy!

  • Andrea · Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm · Link · Reply

    Love the foot one, and the eyelash one, and, well, ALL of them!

  • Cheryle · Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:22 pm · Link · Reply

    LOVE these pictures! It really looks like such a fun lens to have!

  • Angie · Posted August 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm · Link · Reply

    Hi Amy-The fisheye looks like soo… much fun!

  • Jen Jentz · Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:51 am · Link · Reply

    OMG I just ADORE these – love the lens, perspective, AND your conversions!!! <3

Write a Comment