8 May 2012

The G Family

The lovely G family here in Minnesota gave me the chance to try to capture a few photos. They are a very kind couple with 1 baby, 1 ballerina and 1 very playful middle child! It kept me busy and our photo shoot was probably the longest one I've ever done - but I'm just getting through the photos now and am loving what I'm seeing.
We had some overcast skies and evening light on our side - along with the smiles and love of the family.
I haven't finished editing the session, but here are a few of my favorites:

It was a pleasure spending time with the G family!

7 May 2012

A Trip to the Farm

I took my kids out to a working farm that is depictive of an 1860's farm. It was beautiful and the kids loved working with their hands in a way that produces such tangible results. I enjoyed taking photos of a new and different place!  Here are my results:

Through the old, old window glass

3 weeks old

 I worked for a while on this next photo.

I don't have a tripod or an on-camera flash. I really wanted to capture the outside light and the hazy interior that we felt inside the farmhouse. My camera doesn't have very many metering options - so it took a bit of adjusting with the white balance, metering, iso and then holding the camera still and hoping nobody ran past.

1 May 2012

After the storm...

Yes I did drop everything and run outside with my camera after the rain passed this evening. It just so happened that the tornado-bearing weather passed over about an hour before sunset. The evening sun came out on the drenched land and I just couldn't miss it!

I processed both of these very little in Lightroom and then added a couple of textures using GIMP:

and I loved these without the textures also:

can you hear the frogs croaking their evening songs?

I hope you can, through these photos, feel a bit of what I felt tonight in the evening sun after the storm had passed. There is a true hope of which this, even this, is only a shadow...

23 April 2012

Jessica Drossin Texture Competition

I love texturing photos! The blend between what's captured in the moment and what is artistically applied later that combine to create something unique - something that only existed in my mind's eye until it was created: something about that blend fascinates me and I can easily get lost on my computer for way too long!

Some of the best textures I have seen come from Jessica Drossin. She sells texture packs, but there are also freebies from time to time.  Right now, there's a freebie on her facebook page. If you're unsure how to use them, she also has great video tutorials. I don't have photoshop so I've downloaded GIMP and it does (for free) everything I need it to.

There's a photo competition just now using her latest free texture: downpour.

This is my entry:
I used my photo, slightly edited in Lightroom first, then textured using Downpour (flipped vertically) in overlay (around 50%). And then I used Downpour again (flipped vertically again) in Hard Light (around 70%).

I'd really appreciate it (if you're on Facebook) if you took a minute to vote for me. I haven't found a way to direct link to my photo, but it should be between pages 7 & 9.

Thanks, in advance, for your time!

8 April 2012

The T Family

The T family graciously allowed my kids to cuddle their bunnies.  I was so grateful and wanted to get a few pictures of their family in return! I had not photographed a family with teenagers before and now I got 3 in one family!
They were so kind, though! Patient and cooperative as I stood and thought... and thought... and thought of poses.
Here are my favorites of the family:

Of the kids:

 and the mom & dad:

and one silly one of the dad with his girls:

 Thanks, again, T family for your bunnies! Hope you enjoy your pictures!

4 April 2012

Bunnies & Kids in the Sun

Happy Easter!

I was blessed to find a friendly family with sweet bunnies: Francesca, Pippin, & Joseph.
These brave and boisterous bunnies hopped and hopped while my kids tried to wait patiently to get a pet or a cuddle! Finally, Joseph gave in and let my son even hold him quite a bit!

Photographically, this was a challenging shoot: moving kids, moving bunnies, full & strong sun and then we moved into a different area that was splotchy with shadows.

I liked the little bunny ear shadows in this one, though!
I practiced & learned a bit more about positioning the reflector. I wish I had asked the mom to hold the diffuser above the kids - that probably would have helped. But what I finally decided on was trying to face them away from the light and then bouncing back light onto them with the gold reflector. I think it turned out all right - but I know I've got a lot to learn.

The speed of the kids & bunnies definitely challenged my camera knowledge and I was pleased with how quickly I was able to adjust things in between shots.

31 March 2012

Take Time For Play, the end!

This month's scavenger hunt (prompted by Paper Coterie) has been amazing.
I've really challenged myself to get a good variety of "every day" photos.  Through the process, I have expanded my understanding of lighting, exposure, and had time to explore lightroom more and discovered some great tutorials to help me with lightroom.

I'm not happy with every one of these photos - but I completed the challenge and here are the remaining photos:

#1, Laughter (The kids & I were laughing, not him!)

#5, Silly Self-Portrait (not so silly, I guess...)

#8, an Animal

#10, Favorite Drink (okay, I used this one for "pink" also - but it's my daughter's favorite drink: pink milk)

#12, Friends

#15, Details

#17, Music

#20, Family

#21, Party Time (maybe a bit far-fetched on this one... more like game time, but fun nevertheless)

#23, Toys

#27, Pattern

#29, Love

29 March 2012

Lightroom Learning

I thought I would share a screenshot of my work in progress. I recently watched a series of amazing tutorials from Pretty Presets that I highly recommend. Having never actually read any of the information about Lightroom, I have just learned by trial and error. Well, I must say that these tutorials are so helpful!

Most notably, I learned about the toggle switch (in the adjustment brush area) that allows you to make one brush that affects more than one area. For instance, one brush that would simultaneously increase brightness, lower clarity & lower sharpness. Before I pushed that tiny button, I was making individual brushes for each action. Talk about a waste of time!!
She also explained what the "auto mask" button actually does.

If you are newer to lightroom, or are wanting to learn how it works - I highly recommend this series of tutorials!
Happy editing!

27 March 2012

The eyes have it...

I watched this great tutorial on editing eyes in lightroom. I highly recommend it!

and for evidence, may I present:

straight out of camera:

and the edited version:

All editing was done in lightroom.

Take Time For Play, #7

I'm on a scavenger hunt for fun in the month of March - sharpening my photography skills by taking photos regularly of the "little" things through this month.

Today, I found: #7, A Smile

Take Time For Play, #13

I'm on a scavenger hunt for fun in the month of March - sharpening my photography skills by taking photos regularly of the "little" things through this month.

Today, I found #13, Outside