Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Shot a Birthday Party

Her First Birthday Dress

My Cousin's Daughter turned 1 year old! I got to shoot the party. My eyes are blurry from going through all the pictures. It ended up being more of a 'documentary' type of a photo shoot (who was there, the cake, decorations, etc) rather than getting to spend time on capturing those perfect moments and looking at things with a 'creative' eye.

Also after going through pictures, I certainly think I could have done a better job. Next time I will know how to increase the amount of usable photos! So many trash photos - yuk!

I'll try to post some pictures after I'm done with the edits, but the above photo is a teaser. The theme was "polka dots"

I'm Back

The computer's been down, but I'm back now. Didya miss me?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Daisy Pics

March Dreams
March Dreams

I put up two new photos at my Etsy Shop tonight. I haven't sold a single photo yet on that site, but I sold 3 other prints this week to an old friend in Southern California. That's progress!

Since I've chosen to (try to) sell some pics at Etsy, I've quickly noticed that there's a lot of estrogen on that sight. With that in mind, I thought I'd attempt some spring floral shots.

First my wife and I cleared off the kitchen table in order to make room for our family's annual Easter Egg decorating. (pictures of the event here)

At some point, as the kids were being creative with their eggs, I noticed that I had put the cut daisies from our backyard onto the window sill. I liked how the light was shining on them, so I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots with my macro lens, totally unplanned.

Then I brought an image that I liked into photoshop and I used a "retro" action that I have. Then I used a hi-res brush titled "dirt" to give the image a bit of texture to it. I cropped it at 8x10 at 300 pixels per inch and saved it to the hard drive. I'm happy with the result.

With the second image below, I used a "lomo" effect (action) in photoshop and then used the same "dirt" brush for some texture. Side note: normally I don't use a 3rd party lomo effect, because I'm very particular about lomography, but for some reason I thought I'd 'try' the action and I like the results, although I don't think it's truly "lomo".

Bright Daisy
Bright Daisy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

For Sale

Sunflower 5x7 print. $10
limited edition, 20 prints signed by the artist (that's me)

I've opened up shop at ETSY.COM. Go here to see my photos for sale. Only Etsy members can purchase there.

I've put up a few photos for sale and there are more coming. Stay tuned.

I honestly have no idea if anything will come of this.

By the way, look at the photo again and notice the fly on the petal. That's my very favorite thing about this picture. Want to see it full size? Click here for to see it on flickr.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crafts Man


Coffee Tastes Better Outside:
I'm determined to eat my breakfast and drink coffee outside in my backyard before it gets to be 1,000 degrees outside. So, today I built a picnic bench for my backyard.

Digital Photography School
I've used Digital Photography School (DPS) as a resource for help and interesting articles for a long time. Today I participated in my first "Weekly Assignment".

Picnic Table + DPS = The photo you see above.
The weekly assignment for DPS was "Construction". So, I had a great photo opportunity in my own back yard.

My Process:
Are you ready for me to reveal my secrets? I had NO IDEA of what I wanted; no clue of what would make a good 'construction' photo. So, I just started taking pictures. I took approximately 50 shots. I was looking for some spark, some inspiration... it wasn't coming to me.

I walked all around my work bench and took photos from above, from below, I whipped out the wide-angle and nothing looked promising until I got the bright Idea to pull out the macro lens. Ah ha! The Macro provided that "something" that I was looking for.

The only thing that I did to this photo in photoshop was to use "auto adjust" on the levels and I cropped it at 5x7 inches.

I liked the colors right out of the camera.

I don't think this is particularly an outstanding photo. It looks like it should be in a Craftsman Catalog or something (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). One thing I don't like about it is all the space in the upper right side of the image.

Anyway, it turned out much better than my "Class with Dave and Dave" assignment that was due today.

Check it out here.

Pour the Sugar

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Making Something From Nothing

click image for bigger view

Here's another shot from yesterdays impromptu trip to the park. I am really happy with this shot, but I almost sent it to my recycle bin.

I asked my kids to lay on their tummy's next to each other and pose like this. When I view the shots later, almost threw this one away because I didn't like Eddie's face at all. (click on original below for better view) And I didn't like the tree growing out of his head.

But I loved the look on Hopes face!

I like how she's holding the flower. Also, I like that she's not looking at the camera - I think it adds to the quality of the image.

In the process of trying to crop Eddie out, I realized that I'd have to cut off the top of Hope's head to use a normal crop ratio (or cut off her elbows)... and I almost gave up on this picture, but after a few tries the crop started to grow on me.

I've really been wanting to explore B&W lately, so went to work in Photoshop CS2. I desaturated it. I adjusted levels (lightened the skin and blackened the black for more contrast). I lightened the sky to get rid of the clouds. Then I used a glow filter to soften her skin tones. Over all, I like the way this image turned out compared to what came straight from the camera. It's been "favorited" twice on Flickr since I posted it yesterday (that's High traffic for me!)

Click here to see the color version of the crop... no post process.

original - straight from camera

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Test Post

Sarah wasn't feeling too well today. So, I took my kids down to the "Bumpy Slide" park (as it's creatively called).

Sometimes I feel silly at how often I have my camera with me, but I'm glad I was able to catch this image. I think it really says, "childhood".

Original - straight from camera

I chose this over others pics that I snapped because I liked that he wasn't looking at me or the camera. I thought this made the image more interesting. Notice that I used my wide angle lens for this.

First, I cropped, then made some adjustments to the levels. I thought this might be a stronger image if it were more simple so, I manipulated it into a monochrome image and I liked the result. I finished it off by switching to "lab color" and using the "unsharpen mask" filter on just the "lightness" channel... and then changed it back to rgb.

Now I just need a title for the image. Any suggestions?