Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just for Fun

Trying out my purchases I bought with the upcoming wedding in mind and just wanted to post some resulting fun pictures.

So there I was...  laying in the grass, camera in hand and big 48" reflector sandwiched between my knees trying to manipulate it to reflect the lighting on my very active little ones.  I might opt to have a little more subtle lighting if I have an assistant to man the reflector, but it's definitely a kinda heavenly light look.

Guess who's teething?!

Alright.  I just got caught.  I gotta get off the computer.


Monday, October 25, 2010

A New Technique

Maybe you have seen a picture on the internet or in ads that just catches your eye because the details look surreal and just too good for a camera to capture.  Chances are that picture is an HDR image.  The Wiki link explains it better than I can but I'll just give you the short and dirty of what I did for my own shot at a High Dynamic Range Image- this new technique in photo editing (for me anyhow).

I took three pictures of the same image within half a second.  I didn't use a tripod but I should have.  Luckily I stayed still enough for a good turn out.  I set up my camera to ulter the three shots exposure by almost 2 stops above and below a "good" exposure.

Here are my 3 shots.  You can see the first one is pretty light and shows more details in the gravel and building, the middle was what my camera told me was a balanced exposure and the third is underexposed and dark, but shows nice color and definition in the sky and clouds.
Then I take these three images into Photoshop.  There's a feature in there where you can merge the three pictures into one, and do minor adjustments for color and contrast.  Here is my collaboration of the 3.
And then, for a little icing on the cake, there is something called tone mapping.  I don't really know what it is or how to describe it but I do know that it kind of effects more of the lighting.  Photoshop alone does not do tone mapping and I ended up downloading a special plug in- I think it was photomatrix.  And this allowed me to get the image that I think it pretty cool!!
You know, I think photography is really cool how it captures moments and memories but many times the picture just doesn't do justice to the real thing.  I think it's because camera's will never be as advanced as our eye sight and so we have to choose what we expose the picture for...  should I expose for the gorgeous sky and loose the forground to over exposure or make sure the foreground is just so but then the sky is blown out.  Well with this technique, I think you can get closer to what our eyes actually see!  It feels much more life-like to me.  There are capabilities that you can go over the top and just get a very surreal and un realistic picture but I tried to rein myself in to keep it close to what I actually saw.

Just for kicks, here's a total "grunged" out edit.

Anyhow, I'm pretty excited about the fact that it actually worked for me.  I have seen HDR imaging for a while and just been so overwhelmed and discouraged when I even thought about trying it.  Just another building block in learning more about photography and broadening my skills as a photography enthusiast!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Lens Lovin'

Oh my, how I DOOOO LOVE photography!!  I'm shooting a friend's wedding in a couple of weeks so I've been on a buying spree with camera stuff the last couple of months.  I started out buying a really good zoom lens (70-200mm f/4) in order to get the great close in and intimate shots of their vows without being all up in their chili.  Then I bought abunch of little things:  extra memory cards, a flash diffuser, reflectors.  But I just splurged with the remainder of my Flybagz money and bought yet another lens.  I got a pretty decent wide angle lens (Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8) which came in the mail today.  I am in love!  It is just what I wanted.  I can be pretty close to something and get the entire scene, instead of having to back up to kingdom come.  It was fun playing with it today before nap time with my two favorite and trusty subjects.  The nature of a wide angle lens gives a little distortion as it captures the scene, which I actually like the look of.  It makes my 2 year old toddler look larger than life!  And I can be within reaching distance and still get their whole bodies!

Example: I was about a foot away from Riley here.

 I was probably 6 inches away from Scarlett's face.

Can't wait to try it out at the wedding!!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Silhouettes and Sun Flares

What a beautiful time of year- FINALLY.  It's starting to cool off here in the desert and I am taking advantage of the earlier sunsets and just messing around with back lighting.  It's kinda a scary thing and I have far from mastered it but a few turned out ok.  The look I'm going for is just as my post title suggests...  Silhouettes (and trying to get that warm glow around my subject- Riley, and his adorable bed head)
 And Sun Flares.  I kinda like the look of the hazy pictures with the lens flare.  I can almost smell the summer air.  So here's what I have to show for those.

And this next shot is technically far from perfect, but I love it.  It shows how active and playful my little man is and I caught him in the midst of a tickle tackle!   It warms my heart, even with the blurring.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

5 months

My sweet lil thang is 5 months old!  She has started sitting up (sort of).  She can do it for a good 10 seconds at a time but then makes a jerky movement which topples her onto her back.  We have an interem appointment at the Peds clinic to make sure she's growing well.  She was 80th percentile for the first few months and last month at her checkup, she dropped to 20th percentile.  I'm eager to see that my efforts to get her ample food have worked.  She has also developed a "little friend" and we'll be seeing a dentist to look at her little oral cyst.  All in all, nothing to be hugely concerned over but I'm keeping my eye on this one.  I can't believe that 5 months have passed already but I'm already starting to anticipate the mobile stage.  I know that some people say not to rush it, and I'm not.  I'm content in each stage, but I absolutely love when they begin on the journey of mobility!  I'm sure that this time will be a little less enjoyable though since I am pretty sure that she will be learning to crawl right around the time of our move!  Sigh.  Oh well- as of now I stand by my original stance that I love the coming stage.  Not to say I won't change my mind when I'm neck deep in boxes and unpacking seems impossible while trying to chase around a very busy toddler and a newly mobile baby! 


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Buried in Bags

I am at a cross road.  It has gotten to the point where I am not enjoying my little business that I  created and have been doing the last five years.  Much has happened over those 5 years, among which I have started a family and decided to be a stay at home mom.  I thought that making purses was the perfect balance of staying home and still making a little spending money.  And it was- for a while.  However, with the addition of baby girl into the family and an increase of demands that having two kids brings, I am feeling that the sewing business is taking away from my intent to give my "all" to my kids.  Something has to suffer and unfortunately my costumer service for Fly-bagz has taken the brunt of this.  I am closing the doors.  I don't know if or when I might pick it back up again.  I have had a great time making bags and loved seeing the different personalities and styles that went into each one!  I had the privilege of some very heartfelt projects as bag requests came from a widowed wife who's husband didn't come home from work one day, and a husband trying to order a sweet present for his expecting wife, only to loose her during childbirth.  Truth is that Fly-bagz has made a lasting impression on me and brought me places I didn't expect and I am thankful for the time I was able to devote to it and the people I was able to meet through it.  So for now, I will be finishing the orders I have and getting those bags in the mail.  I will not be taking any further orders.  --Sorry.  :(

However, if you're reading this and were hoping for a Christmas Fly-bag...  You may contact my very talented friend, Stephanie who has been taking some of my work load since pregnancy.  She is willing to keep on sewing up until Christmas.  Her email is and she is only doing the Transporter Bagz (the standard size original bag).

Thank you to all those who have made this experience so much fun!

God Bless!


Love Your Shot

I know I just posted this picture but I found a fun link up and because I love this shot so much, it screams to when when posting for a "love your shot" link up.

This is a picture I took at the end of September of an adorable pregnant friend of mine.  We were all finished with our "shoot" and I was packing up to go home when I thought that maybe we could try it.  She was up for it so into her jammies and up on the counter she got.  There really wasn't too much as far as setting up the shot goes.  I had the windows (north facing) open to try to utilize the natural lighting and I had my flash on with a diffuser.  I used my trusty 50mm f1.8 lens.  As for postprocessing, I cleaned it up a little and defogged the picture.  I brightened it with a curves layer and maybe a little dodge/burn action.  That's about it.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Pretty Preggo

My friend, Shauna asked me to take some maternity pictures for her.  Glad to do it- especially cuz she's the cutest pregnant gal around!  It was my first shot at this style but I am happy with the turn out.  Here are a few of the first ones I edited.

 This one is my favorite.  It's a little less traditional but I had what I wanted in my mind and it turned out pretty darn close.  I got the idea from just browsing through flickr and Shauna, as my model was super easy and cooperative.  I just love how it turned out.  I think she looks so stinkin cute, belly pokin' through and all!

*On a side note, I made a couple of new stamps that are kinda fun.  Here's the tutorial I used for that.


Fix it Friday: Couldn't resist

As if I haven't been busy enough with editing lately, I couldn't resist this adorable little girl that Keli Hoskins captured.

Here's the original shot.
I just found a bunch of free actions at My Four Hens so to keep things quick this morning, I did a few quick edits (curves to brighten and a little hue correction) then let the actions do the work for me.  I can't remember which is which by I'll try my best.

I think this is Melancholy
 This one was Little Bee action.
 This is back to school blues
 This one is Cream Cheese

So which look do you like?