Thursday, March 24, 2011


:) More Bunny cuteness!

Before SOOC


Shot with my Canon 50D, 50mm 1.4 and edited in CS5 & Lightroom 3

Hop on over to Pixel Perfect, and see everyone else's awesome edits this week!

Shoot & Edit : Edit

Wow! Here it is Thursday, in the morning even, and I'm on track to get my edit post up! Yesterday we got blasted with (yet another) snowstorm, so I've been able to get mostly caught up!

So, here's my SOOC again

My intent when I took this photo was not even to take a shot I would want to save! I was showing a friend how aperture works, as he is learning how to shoot in manual! When I got this on my computer though, it was just too stink'n cute!

Here's my Lightroom adjustments.....most of the time, I use Lightroom to adjust my photos instead of ACR.

Better, but still not crispy like I like it :) Not too mention the poor things cheeks were horribly chapped & red.

So, I popped it over into CS5. I adjusted my levels, and ran a High Pass filter. For this one, I really wanted her to Pop, so I used a vibrant blending mode and adjusted the layer opacity until it looked natural. I then cloned out a few distracting details (little bit of a crayon, shiny, straight mystery item in the bokah,and green thing in the bottom corner...) I made a duplicate layer, and painted it the color of her skin tone, and applied a blur to it, with a mask. On the mask, I painted with a soft, low opacity brush(10%) and smoothed out her chapped skin. I also made her eyes pop a little more. Then back over to Lightroom it went, to de-noise and add a slight vignette.

Full Edit

Then I played with it a little :)

BW Edit

Fun Edit

SO, I try not to use too many actions I didn't create myself, but I wanted to try this photo using MCPActions's new mini fusion action.....her stuff is really, really great!

I like the warmer tones the fusion action brought out! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

(Mostly) B&W, (somewhat) wordless Wednesday :)

For anyone who knows me IRL, they'd be FULL OUT LAUGHING to know I link up with anything using the title "wordless"..... I'm a talker, through & through....

But I, at least, do try to behave on Wednesdays... (somewhat)

the long road

This one is a fav from a session I just finished editing :)


and from a birthday party I captured :)



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Simplicity Photo Challenge - Sweet

When I saw the topic, I just had to link up :) I did a fun little session with S the other day, and just finished editing the photos from it!


We had one day where it was 60-some degrees out, where I got to take this (and others......more to come!) Most of our snow melted, besides a patch or two.....and what does the weatherman say today? WINTER STORM WARNING..... ug

::::sigh::::: Apparently, we aren't QUITE to the "goes out like a lamb" stage of March yet.......

I'm also gonna link up with

Sweet Shot Day

For sweet shot Tuesday :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shoot & Edit: Flowers!

All of our snow isn't even gone yet.....lol. (ok, it is in most places, but the piles we had to shovel/snowblow/plow it all into still remain, albeit much, much smaller....thank you 60 degree weather!) There are no flowers to be found anywhere around here at the moment.

So, sometimes I call little S my "wee little daisy" .....that counts as a flower, right? :)


This was taken with my new 50mm 1.4, in a really, pretty dimly lit room....with no flash. I love this lens :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Selfie Saturday....

So.....here it goes.......

Courtney wrote this amazing post, and I've been thinking about it all day. ALL DAY....

(Go on, read it.....I'll wait :) )

Self confidence is something SO important to me. I cherish it....I hold it tightly, and I desperately want my children to grow up loving themselves, just the way God made them.

See, I've always struggled with self esteem. The thing is, I was really confused. I thought feeling good about myself was directly connected to the size of my jeans for a really, really long time. And my jeans were big. and my self esteem wasn't.

It's funny how things work out though..... I had to work on myself.....work on my INSIDES, before anything would budge on the outside. I had to learn to be happy with myself in a size 26, before I had any success shrinking.

But I learned a lot during that time....

I learned that a knock-out figure may turn heads, but a sincere smile, an infectious laugh, and a joyful heart will keep them turned. That the sexiest thing a woman can wear is confidence in herself....and that a positive outlook & a beautiful spirit have a staying power that perfectly toned buns just can't match :)

I want my girls to know this....and I don't want them to ever feel like their worth is hinged on their waistband, as I did for far, far too long...

I will never be a size 2......I highly doubt I'll ever walk down a runway, or anything of that nature. and I'm perfectly ok with that...

Today I'm nearly 30 years old.....my jeans are a size 12.... and ya know what? I can look in a mirror today, and be really happy with what I see :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shoot & Edit - Edit!

Late to the party........again...

Before - SOOC


Honestly, I didn't do a bunch of different options this week.....I've been pretty tired! I had lots to catch up on, but I'm getting there! WOO HOO!

So, for now, I'll share a bunch of different photos from the science center....what a neat place that is!

The special exhibit was: DINOSAURS! The toddler & kindergartner were delighted!

Nothing like life-sized, anamatronic dinos to make your 2 year old squeal with delight! Small yippy dogs - she's terrified. Life-sized roaring T-Rex - her new best friend....... go figure!

My 5 year old dino running the big metal dino....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shoot & Edit: Yellow (and no, I didn't fall off the face of the Earth!)

So.......how ya been?

Good? Wonderful......it's been a while :)

Sorry for that little bloggy-break....life got a little crazy for a short spell, but I think we're good now :) Between my volunteer responsibilities, illness, sessions, a trip out of town, and over two feet of snow (no, I'm not kidding....I have pictures)

(Let's hope the Easter Bunny is of the snow bunny variety....as it's snowing outside....again....right now......)
...I just couldn't get on here to blog....

So...the theme for Shoot and Edit this week is "Yellow"


This is from our trip out of town....we were able to take the kids to a neat hands-on Science museum!

For the record....yes, the toddler is on a baby leash. We do this only for hands-on museums & amusement parks.....who wants to hold someone's hands in a museum that's MEANT to be touched? lol The thing is, she's really fast, and I'm usually outnumbered. Please don't judge :) It's the best solution I've found for everyone to stay safe, and still have fun!

I'm really proud of all the shots I took at the museum. Out of the 112 shots I took there, only three of them were slightly underexposed. (one of which, is this one, my only shot with yellow in it!) I was using my external flash in full manual mode...sometimes bouncing it, sometimes using it as fill light when there was beautiful light coming through windows. I've been challenging myself to get to know my flash better, and even practicing using them off camera on a flash stand!

Why, you ask, am I bone-ing up on off-camera flash?

Because I'm taking a day for me, and doing the trek to Pittsburgh next month to attend this. The Flash Bus Tour, being done by two AMAZING photographers who have been doing this for longer than I've been alive.... David Hobby & Joe McNally. Now, I'd only known the name David Hobby since getting into photography (he's the creator of The Strobist blog) The man can do some amazing things with a speedlight and some ingenuity.... Joe McNally though....I've known that name for a while. He is the incredible photog who dreamed up the "Faces of Ground Zero" exhibit that toured and raised money after that tragic day. Living in NY State, somewhere between where the Twin Towers once stood and where the plane full of heroes went down in that Pennsylvania field, I remember those amazing life-sized Polaroid portraits well.

So, to say I'm excited is an understatement.....lol

Anyway, so that's what's been up with me.....I'm gonna try hard to not disappear again!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Black & White Wednesday...

the long road

I'm trying really hard to get into this selfie thing....lol. I dare say......gasp..... I even had a little fun with it :)

Friendly neighborhood Fed Ex man is bringing my wireless trigger today, so maybe I'll have more (easier) selfie fun later today! :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shoot & Edit(Selfie), Scavenger Hunt Sunday, & why I love swag bucks :)

Sigh.......the really sad part is, I had all this stuff done early. I just never found the time to transfer it to the computer!

Shoot & Edit: Selfie

UG.....I'm hoping my dislike of any sort of selfie (other than an arms length one) will be over soon, as I have a wireless shutter trigger on the way! There's nothing quite like getting your exercise using the timer, running back and forth.....I mean, it's not like you look frazzled or anything in the photo since you just completed the 10 yard dash 30 times.......

So, here they are. SOOC. Selfies. yay.
(That being said, my wireless trigger gets here Thursday, and I am gonna try really really hard to be open-minded and link up with Selfie Saturdays at Selfie Magic. ...because, really, I'm such a goofball, I could really have fun with this, and I'd like to stop making such unattractive faces every time I see "selfie" and the subject for a photo challenge..)



I'm somewhat limited location-wise at the moment, as we're still digging out of the boxes from our move inside the house, and outside....well.....check out my scavenger hunt "sky" photo....lol

So for Thursday, I'm gonna do a tutorial on facial editing using Lightroom. That little program can do so much more than many people realize, and while I don't use it exclusively (I edit in CS5 and Lightroom 3), I can say that every single photo I take gets edited in Lightroom......half the time I go on to more extensive editing in CS5, but Lightroom packs a pretty hardy punch! :)

Now, onto Scavenger Hunt Sundays! (Tuesday is SOOOOOOO the new Sunday)

For the record, next week I will SO BE ON TIME for Scavenger Hunt Sunday! I suggested some of the prompts, so I kinda feel as if I should, you know, at least link up in a timely manner!

1. Capture The Sky

I am so never trusting a woodland creature for my weather forecasts EVER AGAIN! This is our sky. You may notice it looks like a big gray patch of nothingness...that's because it was one huge snow-dumping cloud that pounded up with well over a foot of snow.
Lemme just say, the Easter Bunny better be of the snow bunny variety.....

2. Everyday

The toddler....proud of her daily path of destruction :)

3. Furry

This may be my favorite dog shot I've ever taken :)

4. Life

The closest thing we have to anything budding....see "sky" photo for explanation of why :) The toddler stealing my office plant. :)

5. Blurred

I love the bokah with the snow falling in it :) Yes, my Christmas lights are still up. No, I'm not proud of it....but until someone turns up Mother nature's thermostat, there's not much I can do.

So...last but not least......why I love SWAGBUCKS

(If you haven't signed up and want to give it a try.....please use my link! HERE )

With the Swagbucks I've earned in the last year, I've gotten Amazon Gift cards. Lots of them.

I used them yesterday....

Arriving Thursday will be:
Two light stands
Two flash adapters with hotshoes
Two 43" White shoot through umbrellas
2 Black/Silver reflector umbrellas
A Wireless hotshoe flash transmitter
Two wireless flash receivers
4 pack 8 inch ball bungees
A flash bracket
A wireless remote shutter

I had to come up with $10 out of pocket :)

I love Swagbucks :)