Friday, March 30, 2012

Photo Friday #10

The Haircut!
Living in the body of a 70 pound Goldendoodle with 5 pounds of hair can get quite uncomfortable this time of year!  Therefore, it's time for the dreaded hair cut!  I say "dreaded" because not only is it sad to see those beautiful golden 4 inch curls fall to the ground, I also shed a tear after the SECOND HOUR of still cutting!!  You heard me correctly!!  No matter how often you brush these guys there is always a continuous web of knots running curl to curl along their entire body, and that goes without saying it's not very trimmer friendly!

The beautiful before photo!!  Max is nice and soft and cuddly, but VERY VERY HOT!!!  

ISO 125, 1/1250sec at f/1.4, 50mm 1.4 lens

During!.....Max kept telling Daddy K his weight gain was due to all his hair! hha  Now we can see how skinny he really is!!
ISO 800, 1/1000sec at f/1.4, 50mm 1.4 lens

The handsome After photo!  Julia still doesn't recognize him!!
ISO 1250, 1/320sec at f/2.0, 50mm 1.4 lens

The comparison!!  Don't worry Bailey, you are next!!!
ISO 800, 1/12500sec at f/1.4, 50mm 1.4 lens

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Canvas Photo....

After seeing this tutorial on creating a photo canvas I was totally inspired!!  I have so many pictures floating around that I have yet to frame or even display!  This is super easy, and a great alternative to the classic frame on the wall!

What you will need:
Canvas or wood 
Mod Podge
Black paint
Foam brushes

Step one....Gather your supplies!

Step Two:  Modpodge your photos directly to your canvas or wood.  I made sure my canvas was the same size as my photo!  After adhering it to the surface, also brush a layer of modpodge across the top of your photo!  Don't freak will dry clear, and will give your photo the "canvas" look!  I promise!!

Step Three:  Paint the sides of your canvas black.  You can either be super careful and only paint the sides for a sharp, clean look, or you can be a bit messy and slightly paint onto the edge of the photo for a nice vignette look.  Also notice how the modpodge dried clear!  You now have a nice canvas like texture!

Step Four:  Enjoy your new canvas art!!

Two of the above photos were taken by Angie Rogers Photography, one by Red House on Main, and the other by Daddy K!

To see the parties I'm linking to go HERE!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Friday #9......

Capturing Motion!! 

No matter where you are, movement is constantly surrounding us.  It could be cars passing by, people walking on the streets, toddlers racing through the house, or pets playing in the yard.  Each of these daily occurrences can easily turn into amazing photographs if you understand how to convey motion effectively.

There are a few things to take into account when trying to accurately capture movement.   First, because there are so many ways to communicate motion, you need to decide the objective of your photo.  Do you want to freeze the motion in mid-action,  or do you want an artsy blurred effect?  Secondly, you need to factor in the speed of your subject, and the speed of the shutter on your camera.  

So what is shutter speed??  In my super easy terms....It is the amount of time your shutter stays open when you click the button!  So, the longer your shutter stays open (slow shutter speed) the more motion it will have time to record, thus blurring the image.  The shorter amount of time the shutter is open (fast shutter speed) the more motion it will freeze! Easy enough? break this down a little bit, let's study how the shutter can effect the look of your picture.......

Fast shutter speed=freezing motion (sharp focus on your subject)  1/500sec or faster
Slow shutter speed=blurred motion (ANYTHING that moves will be blurred)
Fast shutter speed- you need more light for correct exposure
Slow shutter speed - you need less light for correct exposure
Slow shutter speed (anything under 1/60 sec) a tripod is recommended

ok, ok....enough lecturing.....let's play a little......

These first two pictures were my little experiment.  I shot the same image, at the same time, using different shutter speeds.  As you can see this first photo was taken with a fast shutter speed (1/1000 sec) thus FREEZING the image of the water.  Now, lets compare it to the next photo.....

ISO 125, 1/1000sec at f/2.8, 50mm 1.4 lens

This second picture was taken with a slow shutter speed.  1/30 sec, thus blurring the motion of the water!  See the difference?  Now a tripod is recommended if you shoot slower than 1/60.  I do not own a tripod as of right now (hint hint daddy K) therefore I just held the camera as still as I possibly could!  The effect is still there......

ISO 125, 1/30sec at f/16, 50mm 1.4 lens

This is Max racing through the backyard.  Does he even have eyes!!  ahah  I think it's time for a good shave down!!  Anyway....this was shot with a fast shutter speed (1/1600sec) to FREEZE his every hair!! Pretty cool huh?

ISO 110, 1/1600sec at f/2.8, 50mm 1.4 lens

This next picture I not only shot with a slow shutter speed for the blur, I did a panning effect.  Panning is where you follow your subject as it moves. Keep panning as you press the shutter!  Ideally if your camera moves at the same pace as your subject, the subject will be clear and in focus, while the background is blurred.  Here, Max outran me a little bit.  I obviously was not up with his speed or he would be clear in this shot.  Either way, I think the shot turned out pretty cool, and the effect is there!  This is a technique you have a practice a lot!!
ISO 125, 1/30sec at f/5, 50mm 1.4 lens

After playing with bubbles the entire afternoon, I do believe this is the only bubble that made it out!  As you can see, all other attempts are drippy spit!  God bless her!!  I used a fast shutter speed (1/1250sec) and put my focus point directly where the bubbles were forming......

ISO 125, 1/1250sec at f/1.4, 50mm 1.4 lens

Here is a close up....

ISO 125, 1/1250sec at f/1.4, 50mm 1.4 lens

And lastly, I attempted dropping an apple into a coffee cup to record the splash!  After dropping the apple 20ish times, this is the best splash that came out!  As cool as this photo looks, it can definitely be perfected.  Because I shot this in the late afternoon, right before a rain storm, I clearly did not have enough light for an extremely fast shutter speed.  The fastest I could get was 1/125sec which is actually considered slow when trying to freeze motion!  So even though I captured the splash as it happened the water is smooth and blurry looking.  If I had shot this mid-day then I could have gotten up to 1/8000 of a sec and gotten an extremely sharp image!!

ISO 840, 1/125sec at f/1.4, 50mm 1.4 lens

Whewww...that was a lot to take in on a Friday!!  I hope you enjoyed the photos and took a few tips with you!!  Have a great weekend, and I'll see you in a week!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Goodbye Winter....Hello Spring!!

It's officially day 2 of Spring.....oh, and did I mention it's 85 degrees!! Mother nature what are you thinking???  Where are my nice cool mornings and warm afternoons?  Was I supposed to enjoy that in January??  What kind of weather should I expect come June??  I'm afraid to even ask!!!  Needless to say, your timing seems a little off this year!!!  So that's it ladies.....the Queen Bee has spoken....there are no "in between" seasons this year!  It's time to pack up the scarves and boots and dive straight into the summer dresses and flip flops..... I have thus put together my Spring Wardrobe Wishlist....

Outfits with perfect color combinations!! 

Mixing Blazers and Dresses!!

Open back tops!!

Rockin out the horizontal stripe!!

....and a little beach motivation!!

Well there you have it!!  Are you ready for Spring??  What is on your wardrobe wishlist??

Friday, March 16, 2012

Photo Friday #8......

This is one of those "lucky" shots.  You know, when you turn around and see your subject in the perfect spot, with the perfect light, with the perfect composition all around! It's also the moment when you are thankful your camera is in arm's reach!  There are so many things I love about this photo!  For starters, it's the true essence of a little girl, getting dirty, playing in her back yard!  I love her little sunburned face, and her dirty mouth!  I love how her blonde hair is glowing in the sun, and how that one little curl is perfectly surrounding her left eye!  I love how she is hiding under the staircase, but peeking through to see if mom is watching!  This one image tells a whole story, and that is my number one goal behind each of my photos!!

I have decided to take this one photo and see how it can be transformed in Lightroom! Side note:  I am a firm believer in NOT using post processing to "fix" a picture, you should ALWAYS try to get the picture "right" in the camera first!!...... However.... I have a slight obsession with photo editing!  Maybe it's my art background, maybe it's that i'm still new to LR and LOVE tinkering with the sliders.  There is just something about taking a photo and seeing how many looks I can create with it!  

So that is our project for today......Transforming a photo through Lightoom!  I am going to take advantage of the presets that are available and show you how your image can totally change!!  Are you ready?  Let's play!!....

Straight out of the camera....
ISO 320, 1/100sec at f/2.8, 50mm 1.4 lens

This is 100% my edit!  I tinkered with all of the sliders....Brightness, Exposure, Blacks, Highlighting, Lumaniance, Sharpness, get the point.....No presets were used for this image......

Preset:  Black and White Look 4.....Lightroom offers a TON of BW presets.  Please note:  The preset was only my starting point!  I always adjust certain things after I choose a look.  I guess I have to have my hand on every picture!!  :)

Preset:  Antique....One of my favorite presets!  The shadow on her face is a little darker than I would like, however she is hiding under a staircase!

Preset:  Sepia....Stunning!!  The tone is soft, while keeping the image sharp!!  And look at those catchlights!!

Preset:  Aged Photo....  My Absolute Favorite!!!  Now this is the look I was going for!!  and how about that backlighting!!!  I think i'm getting better at "finding the light"

Now it's your turn!!  Find one of your favorite photos and start transforming!!  If you don't currently have Lightroom, just download the 30 day free trial!!  You will fall in LOVE!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall......

Looking Glass Paint....I've heard about it, I've seen it on Pinterest, I've decided to try it out myself!  The word is, it creates a reflective, mirror-like, antiqued, aged surface!  Sounds pretty fantastic to me.....let's give it a try!!  I'm testing it out on a few vases I got as a wedding present!  I love thier shape, but am tired of their green hue... looking glass here we come.....


Super impressed!!  It not only has a super reflective surface, it also leaves a nice crackle finish!!   I lightly sprayed a few coats, not too heavy!!  I wanted to still be able to see a few of the vertical lines running down each vase!



Well, what do you think??  I do believe I will be using this on many more objects in my house that deperately need updating!!

To see the parties I'm linking to go HERE!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Photo Friday #7......

Mastering the Silhouette
Silhouettes are striking, they are full of mystery, they beg for you to take a second look.  They convey a simplistic beauty that draws the curious eye right in.  They typically tell a story, but because you cannot clearly see the foreground images, it's up to you, the viewer, to use your imagination to figure out the emotion and mood of the photo! 

 Here are a few tips on taking great Silhouette photos:

1. Choose a defined subject.  You want your viewer to recognize the shape that they are looking at, whether it is a body, a profile, a tree, etc....
2.  Do not use your flash.  If you do, the foreground image will be lit, and you will no longer have a silhouette.
3.  Shoot against the sun.  You want your subject lit from behind.  Typically the best time to take these type shots is at sunrise or sunset.
4.  Make sure the background is uncluttered.  If you have a lot of stuff to look at in the background the definition of your silhouette will not be as clear.  You want the viewers eye to go directly to the silhouette, no distractions!
5.  Keep the focus point on your desired silhouette.  You want the silhouette image to be super sharp, so make sure to keep the focus on that spot!

Okay, with these tips in mind, lets play!!  All of the below pictures were taken around 6:45, right at sunset.  They were also all taken at our neighborhood playground.  Remember, you do not have to go to a "special" place like the beach or a mountain top to get a beautiful silhouette photo!  Just step right outside your door and look at your surroundings......

Julia on her swing!  I literally had to lay on the ground and shoot up to get this shot!  The clouds add so much interest without being distracting!  I love how you can see her tiny profile in this shot!
ISO 640, 1/400sec at f/11, 50mm 1.4 lens

I have a small obsession with trees.  It's something about their shape and movement!  Trees are very easy to make a silhouette out of!
ISO 640, 1/1600sec at f/14, 50mm 1.4 lens

Here is the typical silhouette pose...Daddy and baby....I love how she is bending her knees to create a shape with her body!  And again....look at the clouds!!
ISO 640, 1/1640sec at f/13, 50mm 1.4 lens

On the ground again....I think some of the best shots are taken from there!
ISO 640, 1/1640sec at f/11, 50mm 1.4 lens

Daddy K working on his pull-ups!  Show off!!  Again, I love how his profile is clear and sharp!
ISO 640, 1/400sec at f/11, 50mm 1.4 lens

On all of the above pictures I used the sky as my "uncluttered" background.  And to do that I got down low, and shot up!  With this picture, I used the water as my "uncluttered" background.  To do that, I had to be higher than my silhouetted subjects!  I love how this one turned out.  Look at the texture in that water!  So beautiful!!
ISO 640, 1/500sec at f/11, 50mm 1.4 lens

Tip for the day:  
If your camera has a special setting for "silhouettes," use it!!  That's the setting I used for all of the above images!  I have also recorded the manual settings, so when I do attempt this type of photography in the "M" setting, I can study each of my photos, and learn how to set the camera appropriately for each shot!  I hope you enjoyed today's exercise!!  See ya next Friday!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Heart Faces - Beautiful Black and White

I Heart Faces is hosting a "Beautiful Black and White" photo challenge this month!  I have decided to submit the below picture into the contest!  Go check out their site, there are a ton of talented photographers participating! Meet a few friends, learn a few tips!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The "Big Girl" Room.....

I've accepted it....Julia is no longer a tiny little baby.   She is now TWO!!  She is now INDEPENDENT!!  She is now a BIG GIRL!!  Therefore, as I shed a small tear, I've decided it's time to convert her room from a cute little pink nursery to a big girl toddler room!  As ideas are flying in and out of my head, my best friend Pinterest is here to help.....

What a great way to re-use her wagon.  I'm not quite ready to let hers go yet, maybe I could find an old one at a thrift store....

Love this idea!!!  Old drawers and decorative knobs!  I'm all over it!!  I can see purses, necklaces, scarves all hanging from these!!

Shelves on the wall to organize her 1000 books!!!  Daddy K, I may need your help with this one....

And of course you need a place to read all of those books......

okay, okay....this is a little more realistic for a reading nook..... What kid wouldn't want a tent in their room!

Super cute idea for shelving.....

A drawing station.....What a great way to re-cycle the crib!!  Julia would be ALL over this!!!

And finally, ( Julia don't look....this will NOT be happening in your room) for those of you who have carpenters for husbands, and LOTS of patience......



Nice to dream about....Not quite reality!!  

To see the parties I'm linking to go HERE!!