Monday, January 31, 2011

i heart faces Challenge - Best Face January 2011

Ah, this theme makes me so grateful that all the elements combined to create this photo. Vacation + family (specifically my favorite future niece) + Nikon D90 = perfection.



I've been favoring vintage-y edits lately. I know a lot of photographers these days also go for softer photos, regardless of the presence of vintage tones. But I just love contrast, especially paired with vintage tones.

Ah, who cares. No one is paying me for my edits, so I can do whatever I want!


**This week's theme is another People's Choice, which means that we get to vote for the winners. I'll post a reminder tomorrow.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Color Splash Sunday - Disney Lollipop

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Welcome to Color Splash Sunday!

Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object has 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 is an open themed link-up, so there won't be any specific themes for your photos. Any photo is fine, as long it has selective color and you haven't posted it before. You can read more about CSS guidelines by clicking here.


Before I post my photo for this week, we have a winner from last week! There were 7 great entries, but one really stood out for me. It was someone who had never entered before, but takes some pretty amazing photos.

Congrats to Deborah over at Pure {Heart} Photography! Her photo of a little girl with selective coloring on the eyes really blew me away. (CLICK HERE to see it.)

Congrats, Deborah!
Feel free to snag this button
and display it on your blog!

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And here is my color splash photo for this week:



This photo was actually taken on my iPhone, transferred to my laptop, and then edited in pse8. I have a color splash app for the iPhone, but it's not easy to use. And I have fat fingers.

Time to link up! I'm switching over to inlinkz because LinkyTools is becoming a paid subscription service. This doesn't mean much for you, although we'll have to switch from a thumbnail display back to basic text display. That's all!



Saturday, January 29, 2011

SOOC Saturday & Scrabble Tile Word

I found a new challenge through another blogger! It's the Scrabble Tile Word photo challenge. All you have to do is make a word and take a photo. It's being run by Ambrosia. (CLICK HERE for more info.) I thought I'd pair this with Marvelous Mommy's SOOC Saturday.

So here is my SOOC shot, watermarked and resized for web:



And then here is my edited version that I am entering into the Scrabble Tile Word photo challenge:



SOOC Saturday

Friday, January 28, 2011

Macro Friday #36



This is my fiance's first teeball trophy from when he was in 1st grade. I am linking with Laura over at Blogging From Bolivia, as usual, for Macro Friday. I am also linking up with the LEM Photo Challenge because this week's theme is Anything.


__________________________________________________



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


I am super excited to be editing a photo of Keli Hoskins' sweet baby Lucy! I was sad when I missed the week that the photo was of her daughter Emma, so this makes me happy.

SOOC:


My color edit:


My b&W edit:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Black and White Wednesday - My Coat

the long road

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


I haven't linked up in about 6 weeks. I haven't been very inspired to convert my photos, but this week worked out nicely. I was working on a photo for Simplicity's Photography Blog Hop, and I decided that it looked much better in black and white. The theme for her challenge this week is Something Different.



You don't usually see people posting photos of their coats and scarves, right? That's kinda different, right??

Well, I think so anyway.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shutter Love - Overlays

iheartfaces recently posted a doodle overlay pack that I have been itching to use. What luck! For Shutter Love this week, the theme is Overlays. Awesome!

Remember last week when I mentioned that I had been able to borrow my fiance's SIL's camera when we were in Orlando? She let me borrow it TWICE! For Magic Kingdom, and for SeaWorld, too! This photo was taken before lunch at SeaWorld. Addie really is a sweet little angel, so I'm not lying with these doodles.



ShutterLoveTuesdays


And I am linking up with Leigh's Happiness Project. There are so many things about this photo that make me happy: the sweetness, the doodles, the fun memories, the Color Block It action that I finally downloaded from CoffeeShop. And the fact that I was able to use a Nikon D90 for several hours. It makes me swoon.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

i heart faces Challenge - Innocent Wonder

iheartfaces is leaving the interpretation of this week's theme up to us. Whichever way we capture innocent wonder is fine; there is no black or white about it.

Innocent wonder is something that makes me think of kids. Discovering something new, seeing something they have never seen, watching something that (for whatever reason) intrigues them enough to cause that look of awe. You know, that look. Eyes bright and wide, mouth open just a bit, completely focused on the magic in front of them.

I don't get to photograph kids as much as I used, since I am not babysitting anymore and I don't have easy access to my future nieces and nephew. I did find this gem back from August 2008, when Jon and I flew down to Orlando with his family. We went to Kennedy Space Center and took a bus tour that drove around the complex and stopped at various buildings. This photo is of Jack and his daddy while we were on the bus, checking out all of the rockets and such.



And yes, it's horribly blown-out. I was using a K0dak point-and-shoot at the time, one that I don't own anymore because I dropped it on a concrete floor and cracked the display so bad that the ink started leaking through.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Color Splash Sunday - Green Ornament

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Welcome to Color Splash Sunday!

Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object has 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 is an open themed link-up, so there won't be any specific themes for your photos. Any photo is fine, as long it has selective color and you haven't posted it before. You can read more about CSS guidelines by clicking here.




Saturday, January 22, 2011

SOOC Saturday

The other day, I was thinking about how much I miss posting photos for Sami's RAW(e) and Slurping Life's SOOC Saturday, 2 photography memes that have sadly ended. I loved posting my photos Straight Out Of the Camera. It helps me to remember that raw photos are not all failures that can only be fixed or made prettier by post-processing or editing. There's something to be said for natural beauty.

Luckily, Amy over at Marvelous Mommy came to the rescue! She invited me to join in with her new meme, her own SOOC Saturday.

SOOC Saturday


YAY!

So, earlier this month, you may remember, I went on vacation for 2 weeks. One of those weeks was spent in Orlando. That just happens to be my favorite destination, all because of Disney. It is such a magical place; words cannot even explain.

While at Magic Kingdom (my favorite park), my fiance's SIL handed me her camera, a Nikon D90. The exact camera I have been dreaming about for over a year now.

I had to be very careful not to drool on it... Or run away with it and never come back.

Anyway, she is prego and has 3 little midgets to run after, and she hasn't grown any more arms yet. Thus, capturing the magical moments of Disney was left to me for a couple hours.

Sweet.

I shot so many adorable photos of my future nieces and nephew. The story behind this particular photo is hilarious, but that's not what I am here for right now. It'll have to wait.

SOOC, watermarked and resized for web:



And a couple edits, because that's how I roll. I cropped, got rid of the person on the left edge of the frame, and then had some fun! A gentle color edit, and a textured black & white edit.



Friday, January 21, 2011

Fix It Friday #83


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


SOOC:


My first color edit:


My second color edit:


No b&w edit this week. I wasn't feeling it with this photo.
Honestly, even though this is a really fun photo,
I wasn't really feeling anything with it.
Yet, I love my first edit, with the vintage tones.

Which one of my edits do you like best?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Learning to be A Housewife...

Er, a CONDOwife...

I mean, fiancĂ©. Since we’re not married yet...

Maybe I should have just titled it, Learning to Clean Up After Myself and Another Person.

That’s been my project for the past few months.

Jon and I moved in to his family-owned condo in November, around the middle of the month. We took it nice and slow, moving boxes and furniture on weekends and days off. After a hectic few weeks of unpacking and decorating and putting things away, we made it through Christmas and emerged victorious into the New Year. And by “made it through,” I mean that I half-heartedly decorated a 2 foot tree and threw some lights up in the living room. The only thing I really put any effort into was the Nativity scene on the mantel.

But we haven’t actually finished making this little condo into our home. We haven’t finished unpacking, we haven’t put everything away yet, and my decorating attempts were actually pretty lame. Luckily, I have voraciously thrown myself into the “dressing up” of our bedroom. I have been researching affordable ways to turn my ideas into reality. I can’t wait to put it all together!

In the meantime, I have been focusing on teaching myself how to be a good little Susie Homemaker.

Things I’ve done that made me feel like an utter failure:
burn milk on the stove, spill chicken grease all over the counter, shrink some of my clothing, serve canned soup for dinner...

Those embarrassing moments are swept away by everything I’ve learned:
How to organize kitchen cabinets and make the most use of limited counter space, where to keep the garbage pail while cooking, how to effectively sort our laundry in less loads...

I think, though, that the most important thing I learned is that I’m not perfect. I don’t have to try to achieve what other women have done with their houses and households. I only have to be good enough for myself, and everyone else can just GO AWAY. As long as Jon is happy, I’m happy.

Also, I have a newfound appreciation for everything my mom did when I was a kid. I mean, my brothers and I weren’t really messy children. We put our toys away, we didn’t leave food all over the house, and we pitched in with chores occasionally. But there is so much more than that! I can handle cleaning the bathrooms, not a big deal. But there’s also a kitchen to clean, carpets to vacuum, trinkets to dust off, a desk to keep organized, clothing to put away.

It was grossly overwhelming at first, but I climbed that mountain. I made a weekly cleaning schedule that I follow about 92% of the time. I also keep an ongoing list of grocery items as I think of them, and I plan meals one week in advance.

It’s truly been fun, this journey towards becoming a housewife.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Color Splash Sunday - Santa!!

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Welcome to Color Splash Sunday!

Color splash photos are those that have been converted to black and white, but one object has 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 is an open themed link-up, so there won't be any specific themes for your photos. Any photo is fine, as long it has selective color and you haven't posted it before. You can read more about CSS guidelines by clicking here.




Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guest Post: Kristy

Classics

I am so honored to be a Guest Blogger! I'm sure Amy has by now taken enough photos on her trip to make anyone's hard drive crash!
I know how "Snap Happy" I get on trip! How about you?



You can download the screencast and follow along in Photoshop.
Open the screencast in new browser window and right click "save as"



For this classy finish I began by creating a new layer on top of my image before applying a gradient hue
You can use your color picker and match your top and bottom colors to the one in my little gradient square
Select the gradient tool, choose linear gradient, and draw diagonal line from the bottom corner to the top comer
Change the blending mode of this new layer to Hue at an opacity around 56%
Next add the Morning Mist Texture on the Overlay blending mode and hold the Opacity at 100%
To add a frosted window frame effect - add the layer style inner glow and change the color of the glow to white
Play around with size of the inner glow until you get something you like!



You can download more screencast tutorials in the archives!

Kristy
Life-n-Reflection Photography
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guest Post: Marlis

Hi I am Mrs. Mar from over at marspicsandmore.blogspot.com, I have been taking part in Amy’s color splash Sunday since nearly the beginning. She approached me to do a guest post on learning a new language.

NZ

KidsI do speak 2 languages both accent free, English and German, Or should I say, Kiwi English and Austrian German. I did try and learn a new language French, but the reason a lot of people think that English is my second language is that I have dyslexia. So I have a very hard time remembering how to spell things. If you heard me speak you would never know I spoke two languages or that I have dyslexia. It’s just in my writing that I look like I don’t know what I am doing.

I grew up in New Zealand, my parents moved there when I was 10 months old, I lived there till just before my 17 birthday when I went to Canada as an exchange student.
Windsor
LeavingThis is the only place I actually have any concept of learning a new language. I went to Quebec in a little town called Windsor, about 20-30 mins out of Sherbrook. I would definitely recommend being an exchange student; it was such a great time, making new friends and learning a new culture and my attempt at learning a completely new language. I was there for 11 months, when I arrived my vocabulary of French was VERY limited, about Hi my name is…., the weather is…., left right. You get the point, nothing, not enough to talk or understand anything. Snow BoardingThe family I lived with was GREAT. I really enjoyed it there, I had 2 younger siblings, though, all in all I did not learn as much French as I had wanted. Part was my fault, I just kept taking the easy way out, speaking English, second I got put in a family where from 3 out of the 4 people could speak English, now would of I been in a family where nobody talked English, I would have had no other choice but to speak and learn French.
After about 6 months there I started to understand what was being said around me, but only a very little bit. I was then lucky that we got a reliever in our French class, where I was definitely not following what was going on. She helped me A LOT, once she found out about my dyslexia and she found a way to Yellow School Bushelp me learn French and put a program together for me. I have a lot to thank to her for teaching me and taking her time to do this for me, even after our teacher came back, she took me out of class every French lesson to teach me.
By the time I left Canada I could have small conversations and understood most of what was being said, I could follow a conversation and know who was saying what, but not exactly what somebody said. It’s weird, once you start to understand what people are saying but not knowing exactly word for word somebody is saying. Dose that even make sense? The School
I think what also made learning French harder was me being dyslexic. And I also assume learning to read and write 2 languages at the same time has in one way or another made it even harder to really learn to write properly in either language. When I write something in German, most people think it is because I never learnt to write German, they don’t know my English is just as bad.
Guess this is more about me then learning a new language, but I am definitely not good with written words. I am a lot better at visual things, taking photos, cooking, making stuff, like the personalized plates I make. I also do a lot of other little crafts. Most not too interesting, But I have a huge box just with MY art stuff.
Prag
I also should say my mother proof read this so it makes more since for others to read, as she totally gets what I write and understand it.

So if you are interested in my photography my life and my children please cheek out my blog.

Mrs. Mar

Monday, January 10, 2011

i heart faces Challenge - Smiles

The theme this week for i heart faces is Smiles. I think the best smiles come from little boys. Smiles from little girls are sweet and giggly, but smiles from little boys are fun and playful, and they always seem to brighten up a room.

Last week, I posted a photo of one of my little cousins, one who will be taking part in my wedding. Now I am posting a photo of his little brother, who is also going to be in my wedding.



Look at that mop of golden hair. If you could see this boy's eyes, you would smile yourself, because he looks like a real cherub. And he is just as playful as he looks; he never stops running or jumping or laughing.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Before and After - On a Swing

Today, I am using a photo of one of my cousins who will be taking part in my wedding. My plan is to have him carry flowers or a crown for the Statue of Mary, and his little brother plus Jon's nephew will be the ring bearers. My back-up plan, in case one or more of these little guys is cranky or tired that day, is to pick whichever boy is in the best mood to just be my ring bearer. I got the idea from my cousin, who had 4 little boys in tuxes lined up for her wedding, and she just picked whoever was most cooperative.

Anyway, here he is, along with the steps I took in pse8: