Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Texture Tuesday - Purple Berries

For Kim Klassen's Texture challenge today, she wants us to use her new texture, simplicity.

My layers:
-simplicity linear burn 50%
-simplicity soft light 43%
-black to white gradient map on 30%
-haze 30%
-duplicate - screen 74%


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Condo Update

So, Jon and I have officially lived in our little condo for over a year now. We've been here for one year and 2 months.

And I have only decorated one room - the 2nd bathroom.

I need to get moving on this! I have all these grand plans, but none of them have been set in motion.

I decided that 2012 is my year, and I want to finish decorating during the first quarter. Starting with the master bedroom. I had a late start because we left our Christmas decorations up until January 10, but I have made some small progress. I ordered a love wall quote (Love like you'll never get hurt) for above our bed, and I am in the middle of a project that will feature our last name. Here's a teaser:

Here's the flickr collection so you can find letters for your own last name.

We are skipping curtains in the bedroom, so I just have 3 other goals: hang Jon's autographed Yankee jersey, hang a bridge photo that I won in a giveaway, and figure out how to display my inspiration quote (Life is not about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself). I will definitely post photos as I go!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Edit Me: Week 4

Our tiny BIG Life
Disclaimer: This is not my photo. I did not take it.
Copyright belongs to the original photographer:
Ashley Sisk


My edit:

My steps were somewhat complicated this time. First, I opened in pse8, resized the canvas, and stretched the left side. I cropped the canvas to cut off the uneven edges, and resaved. Then, I opened in LR3 to do some tweaking: increase warmth, decrease exposure, increase fill light A LOT, and increase blacks slightly. I also upped the clarity and vibrance a bit. I resaved again, and brought it back into pse8. I used Amanda Padgett's action to remove hot spots, ran Amy McMaster's Olive Juice Color (lots of tweaking), duplicated the background and smoothed out his face, and applied PW's Seventies at 50% (brushed softly off his face and eyes). I didn't apply any sharpening to his eyes, since they were slightly out of focus. Lastly, I finished off with a haze, a soft vignette, and some NR.

If you couldn't keep up with all of that, I'm sorry! I know that this much editing is time consuming, but I had this look in my head. Unfortunately, it took a lot of steps to accomplish. I am so happy with how it turned out. Too bad I can't write an action to do it all much faster.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sweet Violet Photography Challenge

The theme for the Sweet Violet photography challenge this week is Something Different. I've been wanting to try something different with my editing for awhile, and here was a push to do it now!

Faith herself had posted a tutorial a few weeks ago (I would link back, but I can't find it). In pse8, she used a black to grey gradient map, rather than a black to white gradient map. I loved the idea of it! Here is my result:

After processing in LR3, I put a duplicate layer of the background on screen at 25%, and then put the black to gray gradient map on top of that. I like how it turned out! It needs some tweaking before I am fully satisfied, but it's definitely a different edit than what I normally do.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday - Lightbox

Sarah from Naptime Momtog and Ashley from Ramblings & Photos have started a new meme! This link-up is called Tutorial Tuesday. They will give us a challenge or a new tutorial, and we post our results.

Tutorial Tuesday

The challenge this week was building a lightbox. I was so excited about this! I had been looking to make one for so long; this was exactly the nudge I needed to go through with it. I used the empty box from my pretty KitchenAid mixer, and some tissue paper for the windows. I took this photo with my iPhone right after I made the box. I ended up adding more white board, since my original piece was not quite wide enough.

I don't have ANY portable lighting, so I had to shoot some photos during the day. I used sunlight streaming in through the top and left side windows to get this photo:

My hubby's corsage from our wedding. ♥

Awhile ago, I found a setting on my point and shoot where I can adjust exposure somewhat. It's not quite the same as manually setting shutter speed and aperture on a DSLR, but it's better than nothing. That's why this photo is a bit darker than I would prefer. Additionally, I should have used some of my whiteboard on the right side to eliminate the shadows. Before I play with this lightbox more, I want to get my hands on some portable lighting. What I am happy with: the seamless background and lack of distractions.

This week's theme doesn't really include a focus on editing our photos, but I wanted to show off my edit anyway:

Steps don't matter, but my basic gist is that I cropped and straightened, adjusted WB using the eyedropper, and did a quick color pop with rounded corners. That's all!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Story of A Sunset

The theme for Kim Klassen's texture challenge today is Story. I had wanted to use a photo of Nicholas reading a story, but that didn't work out, as he was eating the book in all my photos. (Nicholas is my friend's baby. I took his 6-month photos. See them HERE.)

So I went with this photo of a sunset. I used one layer of KK's texture just stitched on soft light at 100%. I also added a Gaussian blur to the texture.

A great photograph is a full expression of what 
one feels about what is being photographed 
in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what 
one feels about life in its entirety.
~Ansel Adams

This is the story of my life.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Photo Dump

More photos of Katniss!

Well, that's her scratching mat and one of her toys.

Here are some photos of her:

That cardboard box in the upper right corner (of the above photo) is a little house that I made for her. It has 2 windows and a door... See:

One more:

See the black and white version of this photo HERE.

*le sigh*   She is just gorgeous. She really waltzed into our little family of 2 and took over... She took over our condo and she took over our hearts. ♥

Friday, January 20, 2012

6 month photos of Nicholas!

One of my bridesmaids had a baby 5 weeks before my wedding. That baby recently turned 6 months old, and she asked me to take some photos to commemorate.

It was a fun experience! We did the shoot at her parents' house in mid-afternoon.

This one is my absolute favorite:

And this one... There is so much technically wrong with it, but it's honest. And it captures the love between a mother and her son. You can't fake that.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Edit Me: Week 3

Our tiny BIG Life
Disclaimer: This is not my photo. I did not take it.
Copyright belongs to the original photographer:
Marilyn from The ArtsyGirl Connection


My edit:

My steps in LR3:
-move tint slider to the right
-increase blacks, vibrance, clarity
-sharpen boat with adjustment brush
-my own preset - Twilight: New Moon
-tweak greens
-sharpen preset from Pretty Presets

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Texture Tuesday 1.17.11

The theme for Kim Klassen's challenge today is Open. I'm finding myself uninspired a lot lately, and I'm not sure why. I think part of it is my camera. My point and shoot just irritates me all the time these days. I find myself deleting most of the photos I shoot, and then begging my dad to let me borrow his D80.

Another factor is the weather. We haven't had ANY snow yet this winter. We had almost a foot in October, but nothing since then. Where is my winter wonderland?!

For open, I went with these bare branches. I think I might be reaching a bit with this.

My texture layers are simple: a black to white gradient map at 50% opacity, and one layer of Annabelle on soft light at 100%. Done!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Photo Dump

Can I tell you how much I love to take photos of my cat?

I looooove to take photos of my cat!

And she loves to sun herself.

OH, and do tell me what you think of my new signature below.
It matches my header... Imagine that!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Edit Me: Week 2

Our tiny BIG Life
Disclaimer: This is not my photo. I did not take it.
Copyright belongs to the original photographer:
Tara from Wild Ginger Photography


My edit:

My steps:

In pse8, I stretched the left side of the canvas to cover the window in the corner.

After importing to LR3:
-crop and rotate
-add touch of warmth
-Sarah's Clean Edit
-decrease contrast
-decrease blacks a smidge
-Romantic Era preset from ILP (tweaked)
-add slight vignette

I'm not good at the editing part of newborn photography. Please let me know what you think of this edit! Thanks.