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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

10 Truths about Me

The Beyond Layers Challenge: 10 Truths about Yourself

Why I struggle with writing things like this I'll never know.  I feel like I'm back in school...ahhhh

10 truths about me (actually I squeezed many more into a list of 10 but don't tell)

1. I love to be home
2. I've finally found what I love to do - photography but not quite sure where I'm going with it.
3. Deciding to do 365 project was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself.
4. I cry easily...even commercials and parades. (very embarrassing)... but I LOVE to laugh!
5.  I love french fries, ice cream, Reece's Peanutbutter Cups, Hostess Cup Cakes and dare I admit chocolate canned frosting on a spoon. (Frozen it's like fudge - oh that is soooo bad)
6. If I had to choose someone I wished to be more like it would be my Father
7.  I enjoy reading, music, the country, the ocean,  spending time alone and spending time with friends.
8. I would love to take piano lessons again. I would love to learn to play the flute. 
9. I treasure my family and friends.
10. I dream of creating a kids game, marketing something or publishing a cookbook with my images someday. ( I need more hours in the day!)

Image: Off camera flash with umbrella in the back left of the image. White board front right to reflect light onto the front of the image

F 2.2
ISO 200
50 mm 1.4
Texture: Kim Klassen's Happy Heart

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Turn the Page

 Turn the page...
There are so many times we look at what we should have done, should be doing or how we would have done things differently. These thoughts do nothing to move us forward. I've recently been reading a great book "100 ways to Motivate Yourself" by Steve Chandler.  In one chapter he talks of replacing worry with action. If there is something that you think about often that you'd like change - stop thinking and take action! Even the smallest action will start the ball rolling and motivate you to keep moving forward.

 Taking the Beyond Layers Class with Kim Klassen is one of my small actions - I continually think about improving my photography and where I want to go with it. So now that I'm actively doing something about it. I can rest my mind and concentrate more on what I'm learning!! 

To all Beyond Layers artists - Congratulate yourself on taking action!

This weeks assignment was the painterly effect.  Kim showed us some great photoshop techniques to play with. It always amazes me that with Photoshop, there is always something more to learn. I used to have my standard routine and now I've learn that there is so much to play with blend modes, opacity and textures!! So much fun!

Off Camera flash with unbrella
Texture: Kim Klassen's Graydaystone

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day Love

Happy Valentine's Day!

Over the years Valentine's Day has become much more that just a day for our romantic love.
Today we celebrate all people we and don't forget our endearing pets!  Do  a little something today for the people who are special in your life... bake some cookies... write a love note...or just leave little store bought surprise ( you can never go wrong with chocolate surprise in my book!)

... and don't forget to do a little something for yourself - go to lunch with a friend...a movie... or  just take some time to be creative.  What ever you choose - Enjoy your day!

I baked these cookies for my hubby. A friend at work gave me the recipe for these Linzer Cookies and are they scrumptious! I made them over the weekend and I believe they're all gone!!!

Below are 2 different versions. I can't say one is better that the other...just different. I like the both for different reason. The 1st would be great for a cookbook and the second..well just a nice print to hang on your kitchen wall. 

1st version: Minor touchups - darken top left corner with the paint brush (selecting a color near by)
Darkened to of Powdered sugar shaker, sharpened and added a little contrast.

2nd Version:  Applied some actions, texture by Kim Klassen,  a patterned overlay and smoothed out the background with the paint tool. Applied a slight burn using selection and multiply mode.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love, Love, Love

I guess I have love and Valentines Day on my While I was sleeping last night I kept coming up with "love" image ideas. I guess I didn't sleep much - ha.
In this weeks Beyond Layers  class we worked on photographing in our home "studio" with natural light. One thing that Kim Klassen talked about was evaluating your image...walking away and coming back to see it with fresh eyes. It's amazing how much this helps. Take todays image. I reworked this 3 times to get the image you see above.

The 1st image: After walking away and looking at this image again the back heart seemed to be too bold. Sometimes you're so intent on working on the image that we don't see the most obvious.

2nd Image: softened/desaturated the back heart
Better, but it still bothered me. I felt my eye was still drawn to that heart and it certainly was not where I want the attention of the viewer to be.

3rd Image:  (Same as 1st image) I decided to remove the back heart. I used a large soft cloning brush to do this and then used the eyedropper to select a darker beige color and used my brush with a low opacity to paint and soften the background making it a bit more even.

What do you think? Do you see the difference?

Great advice Kim!

Camera Setting:
Lens: 50 mm 1.4
ISO: 200
Aperture: 1.8
Shutter: 1250th
Texture: Kim Klassen - Magic Scratches and Plastersquared

Monday, February 6, 2012

The little things you love

Have you ever thought about the little things in life that make you smile? ....the things that tell a bit about who you are? For me, there are so many things that I would love to take home with me when I find them...just because they make me feel good when I look at them. They may serve no other purpose other than to make me smile or stir up inspiration. Vintage books, old bottles, tea cups,  flowers, wooden spools of thread and oh....buttons have all found their way into my heart and home at one time or another.  ...and there something magical about old photos and handwritten vintage postcards! It's so much fun to search for these little treasures, take them home with you and create an image or two. Three times the joy!  Surround yourself with the little things you love..just for you!