Archive for May 2011

Texture Tuesday "Garden Party Edition"

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 · Posted in , ,

This is my pick for todays "Texture Tuesday" link up over at Kim Klassen's blog.  This is one of the photos I recently took in Las Vegas at the conservatory inside the Bellagio hotel.  I love taking flower shots so this area of the hotel was like heaven to me.  

To edit this photo I used Photoshop Elements 9.  First I added a levels adjustment layer.  Then a added a layer using Kim's "Simple Things" texture and set the blending mode to soft light at 78%.  I then added a layer using Kim's "Trust" texture and set the blending mode to screen at 16%.

Below is the original photo for reference.

Portrait Shoot

Sunday, May 29, 2011 · Posted in , ,

Don't forget to comment here for a chance to win a copy of the "Shutter Sisters, Expressive Photography" book.  You have until June 23rd to enter!!

I did my first portrait shoot the other day for my niece's grad.  I don't usually do portrait shoots, they scare the heck out of me.  Something about shooting an event or a day that will never happen again, I don't want to be responsible for documenting that "just in case".  
In this instance however, the pressure was already off.  She had over 300 photos from earlier in the day taken by a "real" photographer (my words not hers) but they had run out of time before she was able to get the shots she wanted taken on the railway tracks.  She was very close to her late grandfather and he was railroad man so she really wanted these photos.  She saw my camera on the table at dinner and asked if we could take some shots after.  Of course I said yes as anyone who reads my blog knows I have a thing for railway photos myself so I couldn't pass up another excuse to take some more.  

I was actually amazed at how well some of the shots turned out, they are not perfect I can see a lot I would do differently but overall I was very happy and would be more than willing to try a portrait shoot again.  Of course it really helps that I had a very photogenic model, and most of the poses were her idea, she was fantastic!  

Here are a few more of my favorite photos from our little adventure.  

Soft Beauty

Saturday, May 28, 2011 · Posted in , ,

I took these shots yesterday at the conservatory inside the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.  We had been in Las Vegas for four days and I was incredibly lazy and didn't take my camera with me at all during the first three days. The last day we had a couple hours to kill so I took some shots of the flowers here because they were so beautiful and because I love taking flower shots and also because I have a new 35mm macro lens I wanted to try out.  I thought these flowers were delphinium until I googled delphinium this morning and these flowers look nothing like the ones that came up, so if anyone knows what these are and wants to let me know I would appreciate it.

These shots were taken using my usual 14-45mm lens or the new macro lens.  I was told I would need to shoot the macro with a tripod but since that wasn't an option here I just shot anyway and I am quite happy with the results.

Little Drops

Friday, May 20, 2011 · Posted in , ,

I was lucky the other morning when I was out driving to find these little plants which were covered in the water drops from the previous nights rainfall.  I had actually never photographed wet plants before so I took a number of shots and I really like how they turned out especially considering I don't have a macro lens on my camera.  These were just taken with a 17.5 to 45mm lens at F5.6.

Close Encounter

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 · Posted in

So often I happen to be driving about and I see things that I think would make a good photograph but I either don't have my camera or I don't have time to stop or I have driven past and simply can't turn around.  The field of yellow flowers, the red barn a small tree growing out of a rock face.  All of these things and more have been missed. 

So the other day when I was driving along and spotted a cow and her calf drinking out of a puddle right off the edge of the road I quickly stopped to take a shot.  I thought it was so cute the little white calf and the brown mama drinking side by side.  Unfortunately they were not happy to see me.  Their first response was to give me the look that celebrities seem to reserve for paparazzi and then walk away.  So I missed my cute side by side shot.  But I still think the shot of them walking away in the field is quite picturesque so I decided to share the two shots.  The look of death they gave me and the walking away in disgust...

Texture Tuesday "Vintage"Theme

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 · Posted in , ,

For this week's Texture Tuesday Kim Klassen challenged us to use any of her textures on a photo with a vintage theme. 

I have a thing for antique jewellery and I have developed a bit of collection.  They are necessarily very valuable pieces but I think they are beautiful.  I love to wear the pieces and think about the people that might have worn them before and what their lives where like and why they received the jewellery in the first place.

So here is my photo for this Tuesday:

To edit this photo I used Photoshop Elements 9.  I first used the spot healing tool to remove dust specs that showed up on the mirrored surface and I cropped the photo slightly.  I then used Kim's texture Paper Stained Grunge and set the blending mode to Multiply to darken up the photo and give the whole thing an aged appearance.

Before and After Blog Hop

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 · Posted in , ,

Below is my photo for this week's edition of Pixel Perfect's Before and After Blog Hop.  This is a photo I took of a planter made out of the back of an old tractor.  I thought it was so pretty and would make a great subject.

Here is the before photo:

And here is after:

Using Photoshop Elements I first removed some bird droppings with the spot healing tool.  Then I adjusted the levels and the contrast.  Finally I added a slight texture to the photo. 

Texture Tuesday "Aged Theme"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 · Posted in , , ,

I selected these photos for Texture Tuesday over at Kim Klassen's Cafe.  I wanted to get down to this lovely orchard before the apple blossoms were gone.  They are technically closed but as I was kind of skulking around the edge the owner came up to me.  I thought he might be about to tell me I was trespassing and to take a hike but he didn't, he actually gave me permission to go where ever I wanted and pointed out some interesting potential shots.  He even asked me to send him a few of the photos.

I have some lovely blossom shots which I will post later this week but for texture purposed I thought the tractors and the old junk made better subjects.  I used paper strained grunge and simple things textures for most of these photos with various blending modes.  I was trying to make the photos look a little aged just like the tractors. 

Happy Mother's Day

Sunday, May 8, 2011 · Posted in ,

I don't have a lot of pictures of just my mom, and even fewer that she would like me to share with the world I am sure.  But I really like this photo.  I would have been around 9 or 10 years old when this was taken.  I love how my parents are looking so adoringly at each other.  Even after 40 years of marriage they still do that.  Happy Mother's Day mom, I wish I was there to share it with you.

Before and After

Thursday, May 5, 2011 · Posted in ,

This is another photo I edited for Pixel Perfect's Before and After Blog Hop.  I am not really good at wildlife photography, mainly because I lack the patience.  But the other day when we were driving we saw these deer and I just happened to have my camera sitting in my lap so I snapped a couple photos.  I have seen some stunning wildlife photos and I know this one doesn't measure up but it was a nice snap for me personally.

I didn't do a lot of editing on this photo.  I cropped the image to get rid of the distracting tree trunk in the front, played with the layers adjustment and added two layers of texture on on a soft light blending mode and one on multiply.



Magnolia Blossoms

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 · Posted in , ,

It seems like I have been waiting so long for the spring blossoms.  I would say we are about three weeks behind the usual time for our trees to bloom but finally it is starting.  I love the magnolia blossoms in particular, they don't last long but they are so insanely beautiful and there are so many of them around.  So this last weekend I went out and shot a few close ups of a couple different kinds of magnolia blossoms.  Here are a few of my favorites.

The fourth, fifth and last shot were all taken with my new Lensbaby muse lens.

Tea and the Art Journal

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 · Posted in ,

I am again linking up to the Texture Tuesday party over at Kim Klassen's cafe.  Her challenge this week was to use any of her textures with a photo of a coffee or tea cup.  I'm not very good at this type of challenge.  Something in me resists taking pictures that I set up. I have seen so many great photos by so many people but it is a challenge for me, it usually just feels forced, plus I have terrible lighting at home for taking photos. 

I had actually given up trying to get a photo for this challenge but yesterday morning I sat my mug of tea down next to my art journal and was about to start drawing when I thought "hey, this might be my coffee cup photo opportunity".  So what we have below is exactly that.  I think one of the great things about photography is how is trains your eyes to start recognizing beauty in simple every things.

For this photo I used two textures in Photoshop Elements 9, first I used luminous and set the blending mode to soft light at 85%.  Secondly I used paper stained music and set the blending mode to multiply at 60%.  Not my best photo ever but at least I got to play. 

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