Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Black and White Wednesday - Rock Wall

the long road

Black and White Wednesday is run by Lisa over at
The Long Road to China.

I am continuing my series on Connecticut state parks.

I am in a bit of a hurry tonight, so I will have to keep this short and sweet. I hope no one minds!

This man-made dam can be found at Day Pond State Park in Colchester, CT (by Marlborough). This park is all about the fishing and the hiking. The hiking trails look wonderful; it's too bad I didn't have enough time to wander when I was there.

I wanted to throw another black and white photo up, but I am going to let you all guess what the story is.

Why would I photograph some keys???

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Hats


Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object (or several small objects) has (have) been left colored. Sometimes, it's easy to just isolate your colored object and you're done. Other times, more editing is required, such as adjusting color levels/light/shadow/etc.

This week's theme is HATS. You know the bridal ribbon hat, the one that the maid of honor makes for the bride at the shower, using all the ribbons from the gifts? That's what I used for today's photo.

PhotobucketYOUR CHOICE

I updated the themes for the next 5 weeks! CLICK HERE to see them.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fix It Friday #71

Disclaimer: This is not my photo. I did not take it.
Copyright belongs to iheartfaces and the original photographer.

This is actually last week's photo that I edited, but never got around to posting, as I was in Rhode Island for work. I haven't even seen this week's photo. This week's photo is just precious... I wonder if I have time to do a quick edit...

Anyway, here is the original photo:

The challenge was to add something to the washed out sky. I honestly tried, but after 3 failed attempts to add a sky back in, I gave up.

Here is my color edit:

Here is my black and white edit:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Before & After - Flowerbox

I haven't shown off any of my sweet editing skillz lately, and I really wanted to. This is one of my favorites - it was me teaching myself how to clone and heal using LR3 (of which my trial version has sadly expired). After editing in LR3, I brought the photo into pse (borrowing my dad's computer) and ran CoffeeShop's Sunkissed Action. I dialed down most of the layers, and really just left a hint of sunflare.



I'm finding it very hard to blog while on the road for work, due to a combination of poor internet at hotels, lack of time to write, and an unwelcome sinus infection. I also haven't been able to read any blogs for a week. The thought of opening my reader and finding 600+ unread posts just makes me shudder.

I'll be back around soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Black and White Wednesday - 200 Million Years Ago

the long road

Black and White Wednesday is run by Lisa over at
The Long Road to China.

This sidewalk history lesson can be found at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT. This park is so cool, it has its own website! The park is home to "one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America." (Taken from the aforementioned website.) The tracks date back to over 200 million years ago. Part of the trackway has been carefully cemented and built into a museum so that people can see them up close and personal. A large portion of the trackway was then recovered with a dirt mixture to preserve it until the state can afford to put up another building. This is a fun, interactive place that is great for kids and families.

There are also hiking trails and gardens, but the tracks really are the main attraction.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Shoes


Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object (or several small objects) has (have) been left colored. Sometimes, it's easy to just isolate your colored object and you're done. Other times, more editing is required, such as adjusting color levels/light/shadow/etc.

Many thanks to Marlis and Neel for suggesting several new themes for CSS! We are set for the next 2 months now, possibly longer.

This week's theme is shoes. I chose a photo from 2 years ago from a bowling trip with my friends.


Friday, September 17, 2010

PSF - Becoming an Aunt

Before I get on to my photo story, I want to link back to some posts that I recently read and really appreciated, for various reasons:

Plate giveaway from Marlis: These plates are uber-cute and so creative. Marlis handpaints them and she is giving one away! You should definitely go see for yourself, and comment, too! There are so many special occasions that can be commemorated, from birthdays to weddings, from births to graduations. You could even get one for a season or a holiday - imagine a Christmas tree, or a Halloween pumpkin, or a bright, summer sun.

A new post from my dad: He gets pretty bummed when he doesn't get many comments, but he doesn't really listen to my tips. I tell him, he needs to post more often, and he needs to do some blogger-networking. Regardless, he put up some really neat photos that you should see.

An interview with a point-and-shot photog: I'm back to using my Samsung point-and-shoot as my main camera since I had to give back the Canon I was borrowing my fiance's SIL. I've been seeing a vast improvement in a lot of the photos I am taking with the Samsung since I discovered the few manual settings that I can adjust. As much as I do want a DSLR, I am a huge advocate for using the camera you have to the best of YOUR abilities.

The past few days, Jon and I have been dealing with a disappointing turn of events. See, his job right now is okay, but it is not ideal for our plan for the future. It has its pros and cons; unfortunately, the cons are starting to outweigh the pros. We were hoping to get him a new full-time job so he could decrease his hours at his current job to 1 or 2 shifts a week.

He recently interviewed for an entry level job that had several opportunities for advancement early on. We were so excited about this job! Great benefits, raises every few months, a steady schedule...

He didn't get the job. Both of us were crushed, after really betting on him being hired. In our defense, though, at his second interview, they gave him a start date, a benefits package, and a training schedule. Really?!? Why would you raise someone's hopes like that, and then email him a few days later saying, "Thanks, but no thanks?"

Not cool.

Luckily, someone else in the family has good news! Jon's brother and SIL have generously provided me with 2 nieces and a nephew so I don't have to wait for my older brother to find a good girl, settle down, get married, and then start his own family.

First up is Jack. He's cool enough that Jon and I want him to be one of our ring bearers. (Chill out, I know he's not a baby anymore. I just don't have any other pictures of me and him.)

Next up is Addie. She's cool because she loves to snuggle.

And then comes Jordan. She's not cool, she's AWESOME! I am totally allowed to have a favorite niece/nephew, and this little midget got the title of favorite niece from the first moment I saw her.

And here's the news: That little midget is going to be a big sister! Yes, Melis over at The Zookeeper's Diary is pregnant again! We won't get to meet the baby until our wedding in August, so it'll be 5 months old already.

Nonetheless, it's very exciting. I mean, I never expected to have 2 (3?) nieces and a (2?) nephew(s) by the time I got married. Even when I was younger, I knew I'd be settled down with a family well before my brother was, so I figured I'd have my own babies before I was blessed with the title of "aunt."

I won't be able to spoil these midgets as much as I wish I could, since they live so far away. But we can send them stuff! Jon and I picked out some special presents for them when we were in Florida. I already have several ideas for things to send in the future, so be prepared, Melis! ;)

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vacation wrap-up

Sadly, our vacation did come to an end. It was 4 weeks ago yesterday that we flew home from Orlando, but it feels like it was 4 months ago. I miss the carefree attitude, the excitement, the consistent weather...

Our flight was mid-afternoon, so we were able to take one last trip along I-drive that morning.

Again, yes, I love JetBlue. No, I didn't get compensated. They don't know me. But I love them anyway.

The first half of our flight was quiet and steady, no bumps or ruts.

However, once we got closer to the Northeast, we hit LOTS of turbulence. Basically, the last hour of the flight was nerve-wracking. You can really see the variance in the clouds in this photo because I desaturated it. That storm there under the wing? It was bad.

Our pilot took us off to the right of the storm to avoid it, but that meant I could see the whole thing out my window. Thanks, Mr. Pilot, as if I wasn't freaking out already from the entire plane shaking and jumping 25,000 feet above the ground.

As much as I wish we could have stayed in Florida, I was VERY glad to be safe on the ground. And my newest stuffed baby, Domo, was also pretty glad he was off the plane.

He's a cutie, right?! I can't wait to insert him into random photo shoots. I got the inspiration from Bec over at the iheart blog. So, be prepared to see his smiling face every so often. ;)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Black and White Wednesday - Fishing Hole

the long road

Black and White Wednesday is run by Lisa over at
The Long Road to China.

This peaceful little lake can be found at Wharton Brook State Park in Wallingford, CT. This park is all about the fishing, picnicing, and camping. It was originally a rest stop for travelers who wanted to take a break from driving. There used to be a huge RV parking area, with gas lines so they could camp out for a few days. After the highway department made rest stops, they turned this area into a park to preserve the land.

Time for another edition of Whatcha Say Wednesday, which is run by Stash Mama! Head on over to her blog to grab the questions and link up.

1. What physical quality do you look for in a spouse or your spouse has! Blue eyes! I have to say, the past 3 guys I dated before my fiance all had blue eyes. Jon has the most gorgeous eyes I have ever seen.

2. What state in the US would you live in if you had to live there for the rest of your life? Honestly, almost any state. The only state that I would never live in is New Jersey. It smells. (Sorry to the Jersey girls out there. I don't have beef with you, just with your state.)

3. What do you do? (job title, SAHM, student, spill!) I work at a college, in the Admissions office. I love what I do! This is my fourth year working for this school, and I am finally working full-time. I truly appreciate having a decent paycheck and benefits. This job is perfect for me at this point in my life!

Bonus! Are eyebrows considered facial hair? Nah. Facial hair, to me, is whatever grows around your mouth and on your cheeks. Basically limited to beards and mustaches.

BLOG UPDATES: I have some exciting announcements to make, some pretty pictures to post, and some fun stuff to offer to you, my loyal readers! Make sure you stick around, and tell your friends to come over, too, because the next couple of months look to be pretty exciting. Trust me, you don't want to miss any of this!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fix It Friday #70

I feel like I am always late with this. But I enjoy it so much... You'd think that it'd be my first priority!

Disclaimer: This is not my photo. I did not take it.
Copyright belongs to iheartfaces and the original photographer.

I had so much fun editing this photo! Still using LR3, for the next 11 days.

Here is the original photo:

Here is a color preset edit:

Here is my own color edit:

Here is a black and white preset edit:

What a gorgeous little girl, and a gorgeous photo! I really like my own color edit. I think I am really starting to get the hang of Lightroom and everything that it entails.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Color Splash Sunday - Reflections


Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object (or several small objects) has (have) been left colored. Sometimes, it's easy to just isolate your colored object and you're done. Other times, more editing is required, such as adjusting color levels/light/shadow/etc.

This week's theme is Reflections.


We are running out of themes for CSS! If you have any ideas, please let me know in a comment. Otherwise, CSS will cease to exist.... We don't want that to happen.

Friday, September 10, 2010

PSF - Universal

Some inner monologue... vacation style! And more photo overload.

On our sixth day in Orlando, Jon and I went to Epcot, his favorite Disney park. Unfortunately, I have ZERO photos from that day. I had my camera plugged in all night to charge, but apparently half of the outlets in our villa/condo didn't work because my battery didn't gain one ounce of power, and neither did his cell phone. We walked through the gates, he went to buy tix, I almost got attacked by a bee, I ran away, I pulled out my camera to get a picture of the entrance, the battery blinked red angry pulses, I cursed at it... It really almost ruined my day. Jon offered to buy me a disposable camera, but I couldn't justify the $15 to take some grainy, out-of-focus shots that I would have to later get developed for another $15. Oh, the horror!

[End of pity party.]

It was a great day, though. When Jon bought the tix, he mentioned that we were celebrating our engagement. They gave us these bright pink buttons that say JUST ENGAGED, which meant that every single Disney cast member congratulated us and asked when the wedding will be and how long have we known each other and when did we meet and I'm so happy for you. Yes. Every. Single. Cast member.

That, and we didn't do drinking around the world, because, well, it was just us. Not exactly the same experience without his family. Besides, they raised the prices of all the drinks. My favorite is the Italian Bellini, which is peach puree and prosecco. $10 for one drink! Ugh. Next time, we are forking over the extra cash ahead of time to get the dining plan. I'm thinking it will really be cheaper in the long run.

On our seventh and last full day in Orlando, we went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We bought the 2-park ticket so we could go back and forth, which is usually a great deal except that A, it was 107 degrees out, and B, some of the rides we wanted to go on were closed, or the wait was just unreasonable. An hour and a half for Jaws?!? SO not worth it, especially when it's 107 degrees out. The crowds everywhere were kinda unexpected, considering that school had already started in FL and, if I haven't mentioned, it was 107 flippin' degrees out.

As we were driving there, we got free admission to a cool show - a sky writer! He just kept writing God=Love and Love=God, but it was still pretty cool.

So, the main reason we went to Islands of Adventure was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yes, I am a Potthead, and I am not afraid to admit it.

Once you enter Hogsmeade, you are immediately transported to the movies. Everything looked so real.

Because this part of the park just opened a few weeks ago, it was packed. As in, the lines for the rides were over an hour and the lines to get into the stores were even longer. Yes, there were lines to get in the stores. Jon and I went into Honeydukes and Zonko's because that line was the shortest, but the other lines were just too long. So we skipped everything else - Ollivander's, Dervish & Bangs, and even The 3 Broomsticks.

The castle houses the new ride, which is a combination of a sideways roller coaster and 3d movies. Jon wasn't too thrilled, but I loved it.

The best part? Butterbeer. Easily. The lines for the carts were loooong, since it was so hot out, but it was totally worth it.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

*Today is my fiance's birthday! He's 25, time for a quarter-life crisis! Just kidding... He's much more patient than I am. We share the same dreams, but he is a lot more willing to wait and work for them. He is the practical voice to my foolish thoughts. I know I'd be lost without him. ♥