Thursday, April 30, 2009

52/365 - Day 119

The Fruit of Death
Yep...I am quite sure many of you love this fruit...but for me, I could do without it. With the exception of photographing it, I stay as far away as possible. Not only does it make my tongue and throat itch, the blooming tree make me miserable! But I can admit they are beautiful!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Photography Give-Away

and it's pretty darn cool. Those awesome photogs over at iHeartFaces are giving away an amazing product from Alien Skin Software that lets you add bokeh to an image. There is a video that shows you what this program can do...and it is valued at $199...I want it!

Don't know what I am talking about? Well, here's an example:
Really makes the subject POP! You can do this with fast, expensive lenses...but how cool to be able to replicate that without a super-fast lens!!!

52/365 - Day 118

One of Twenty-One

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

52/365 - Day 117

Silly Rabbit...Playgrounds are for Adults!

iHeartFaces (Adult) - Week 16

So here is my adult entry...again, I was trying to be more creative than using a mirror. So I succeeded with not using a mirror, but you can't see the face as well as I wanted. But if you look closely, you can see my reflection in the background of the reflection...still neat I think.
I did a desaturation on this image and an overlay. Then cropped to 5X5...all done in PSE.
Make sure to check out the other entries over at iHeartFaces.

Monday, April 27, 2009

iHeartFaces - Week 16 (Kids)

This week's theme over at iHeartFaces is "Reflection." Not a "reflective" appearance, but an actual reflection with a face. I had a hard time with this one...nothing seemed to work the way I wanted. I was looking for something unusual...different...but I settled for a mirror and a toddler that was not into the game.
I used PSE to make some adjustment to White Balance. I also gave the photo a soft focus. There are some pretty great ones already submitted. Make sure to check them out when you have a moment. Now, I'm off to work on my adult entry...hoping to have it up sometime tomorrow before the contest closes for this week.

52/365 - Day 116 (Macro Monday)

It's Macro Monday and this week's them is "Blue." I wanted anything but a flower! So here is one strand of ribbon from my stash!
Want to play? It's easy...just head over to and check it out! There is a new theme each week, a place to vote for your favorites, and you can check out some pretty cool photos.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

52/365 - Day 115

Drifting Sand
The wind was blowing so hard that the sand was racing across the ground. I wish the picture showed it more dramatically...but I can tell you that the ankles got fully exfoliated!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

52/365 - Day 114

This is the last photo from the Photography Tour of Charleston. Hope you enjoyed seeing them all.

Random Picture Challenge

It's that time again...Saturday...and the Random Picture Challenge from 4 Little Men and Girly Twins.

Here are this week's rules:
8th folder - July
25th picture
{if you don't have this far back pick the next closest year}

Holy Moly! 2002! Well, mine don't go back that far. I didn't even go digital until 2006. So the oldest photos I have that are digital that I even have on my computer still are from my wedding...OK, actually just one to be exact. And here it is:

My wedding was slightly delayed for took the wedding coordinator and his staff about 45 minutes to acquire dry seats and relocate them and set everything up again. Meanwhile, our family members ran around trying to salvage as many programs as possible. So this shot was taken in the room where all the girls were hanging out before the big show. Hair and make-up was done...we were just waiting...and maybe drinking some champagne. This my sister and I kissing our father.

Friday, April 24, 2009

52/365 - Day 113

This beautiful white bougainvillea is in full bloom. But this one tiny branch seems to want to be pink! It's the only place on the entire bush (and it's a large one at that) that is not pure white!

Edited with PSE for soft light overlay. Then used Picnik for the "Focal Soften" and matte.

Fix It Friday

It's Friday and time for Fix It Friday over at iHeartFaces.This week's photo is of an adorable and tiny little munchkin! It's called Cooing Baby. I mostly used PSE 5.0, but I pulled one into Picnik to add a vignette. I also created a collage in Picnik with some of the images since I did so many fixes this week.

Here is the original photo. As you can see, the baby is adorable to begin with.

Here is my first fix that I then used as my base for all of the other. I fixed a few baby blemishes and adjusted the overall skin tone (thanks to this week's tutorial). I also rotated the image for the simple reason that I just didn't like it's original orientation. The final fix for my base was a little dodging on the darkest part of the seemed a bit too dark to me.

Other Fixes:
For these two, I rotated the image back to its original orientation. I then stretched the images so that I could crop and then rotate the crop a little bit so that the baby seemed a little more natural to me on its side. The second one was pulled into Picnik where I added a boost and a vignette.

The rest:
These four were all edited in PSE 5.0. I only used Picnik for the collage.
Top Left: Very close to the first fix. Minor level adjustments and a soft light overlay.
Top Right: B&W conversion. I adjusted the contrast and then had to go back and reduce the "shiny" areas.
Bottom Left: Cropped and titled. Then I added a lens flare and lightened it a little. I think that one is my favorite.
Bottom Right: Again, similar to the first (base) fix. For this one, the only thing added was that I burnt the edges a little.

I tried some backgrounds and textures this week too, but I wasn't happy with them. Hope you like these.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

52/365 - Day 112

Two for the price of one today! We go to this park a lot...there is a great splash pad there that comes in handy on down days during the summertime. Anyway, we hear the squawking of the peacocks but never really get to see them. Today, this one let us watch it prance around for several minutes. He didn't show off for us and spread his tail feathers, but he was beautiful nonetheless.

Close-up of the tail I could do with a constantly moving target. If I get a "next time", I am switching to the shutter priority mode...too much movement for quick shooting in manual.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

52/365 - Day 111

Another photo from Charleston...see, I told you there were a lot. Not the greatest photo, but there's just something about that I love!

Monday, April 20, 2009

52/365 - Day 109 (Macro Monday)

It's Macro Monday...wanna play along? Hop on over to Lisa's Chaos and join the fun! I think I am going to try this each week. It will force me to get that macro lens out and practice. The wind was not in my favor I had to look for the most still object possible. thankfully, this little guy sat still for quite some time...I think he was confused!

iHeartFaces - Week 15 (Adults)

Here is my Adult entry for this week's self-portrait theme over at iHeartFaces. Obviously I played with it a bit...added a background, changed to B&W.
This was certainly an interesting project. It's quite difficult to hold the camera yourself and get a decent picture...not to mention the crazy angles that can be so unflattering.

iHeartFaces - Week 15 (Kids)

This week's theme over at iHeartFaces is Self-Portrait. Here's the have to be holding the camera! No tripods or other gadgets...the camera has to be in your own hands.

The stream of photos that I took were kind of of them had so little of us in it you could barely tell we were there...falling out of the bottom corner.

Here's my attempt at the kids category...For this one, the photo has to include my self-portrait with a kiddo in the frame too.

I did some editing. The original background was a parking lot...not so friendly on the eyes...and since it was a cute-ish picture of us, I decided to put us in a better location.'s the beach? Then I played with the levels a bit, sharpened it a little, added the lens flare...

How's that for a make-believe photo shoot at the beach! Make sure to check out the other entries for this's neat to see how everyone solved the self-portrait issues!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 108 - New Crop

By suggestion, I cropped this to follow more of the Rule of Thirds. Should have shot it that way to begin with, but I wasn't thinking that way in the rush of walking around Charleston during the photo tour.

52/365 - Day 108

I just love Dogwood trees...especially when they are in bloom. While we were in South Carolina I made a vow to get a picture of a bloom even if it meant crossing a busy street. Luckily, I found this one in downtown Charleston. No car dodging necessary.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

52/365 - Day 107

This was the only "yard" this person had...and they still managed to find enough room for a garden! This is another shot from the photo tour in Charleston.

Random Picture Challenge

It's Saturday and time for the Random Picture Challenge being hosted over at 4 Little Men. Here are the rules this week:
APRIL 2008
13th folder
42nd picture or 4th if you don't have that many

This photo was taken about a year ago. It was Spring Break 2008 and our friends were in town (visiting with the boys) from Tallahassee. On this particular day, we had lunch at the mall and then went to the park to play and feed the ducks. We happened to find this tortoise and the kids were mesmerized by it. Even little "A" was interested.

Friday, April 17, 2009

52/365 - Day 106

Here's another one from Charleston. I like this one because it shows some history. Look closely at the side of the is brick. But the front is stucco. When the British invaded the area, they thought the brick buildings were ugly, so they stuccoed over the fronts...but didn't bother to cover the sides.

Fix It Friday

It's Friday and time for another FiX It Friday Challenge over at iHeartFaces. This week's photo was submitted by Melinda from Bloggin' It from the Burbs.

Here is the original image:
Pretty cute to start with...don't ya' think?

Here are my fixes:

First Fix: Just some general cleaning up. I fixed a few things about the lighting and color saturation. Then I used the cloning tool to fix a few spots on the face that seemed dark. Finally, I sharpened the whole image.

Second fix: A small crop so this adorable little man was more of the photo.

Third fix: a B&W conversion. I bumped up the contrast and played with the levels until I liked it.

Fourth fix: Used an adjustment layer for sepia.

Fifth fix: Well, this is the one I played with. I stretched the image in both directions and recropped. I needed more rock inorder to get a 5X5 crop that I liked. Then, I played with the color curves. I wanted the rocks to pop. But then the red pants were too distracting. Perfect time to prove to myself that I do know how to change the color of something (I have been having a lot of problems this week changing the color of a black shirt in a different photo - now I am determined it is the black and not me!). So, now he is wearing blue pants.

What do you think? And make sure to head over to iHeartFaces and check out all of the other creative fixes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

52/365 - Day 105

I love this shot. I took it from lots and lots of angles but think this one gives the most context. I love the reflection in the window.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

52/365 - Day 104

This was taken in Charleston on the Photography Tour. I was so impressed that the lights in the old part of town were gas lamps.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

52/365 - Day 103

I took this today. We made rainbow streamers to fly at the park...but she didn't seem too impressed. Boy Oh she ever serious!

Monday, April 13, 2009

52/365 - Day 102

Flowers...bleh! Talk about the first signs of spring. I think this takes the cake!

Charleston Photography Tour

I had the opportunity to take a tour of Charleston while I was away last week. The best part is that the tour was a photography tour...right up my alley. The tour guide was fabulous and spent a lot of time with us. She (Joyce) was very knowledgeable and pointed out some great photo ops. If you are ever in Charleston, make sure to check it out (clicky). I will post more photos from the tour as part of the 52/365 Challenge...but here are a few shots to give you an idea. I had a great time and it was so much better than the typical walking tour or carriage tour...especially from a photographer's point of view!