Monday, February 22, 2010

taking a holiday break!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm taking a bit of a break from my blog. My daughter and I will be in New York for the next week. Of course, I'll be busy taking lots of pictures, but I don't plan on being online or posting any till we get back!

New York here we come!!!!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

365 Project - Day 203

This is an edit from a picture I took of Brianna the other day. I thought if I could make it look "sunny and springy" maybe, just maybe winter might take the hint and leave....

Friday, February 19, 2010

365 Project - Day 202

pictures from Josua's artificial light shoot:



and one from Brianna using natural light:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

365 Project - Day 201

A few pictures from a small portrait shoot I did of Brianna last night:



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

365 Project - Day 200 Macro

I was in the mood to do some macro shots today. 
These are taken with  my 50mm lens and macro filters screwed on the lens.

This ladybug was on a cloth flower on my desk. When I approached it with my camera, she started marching towards me and I personally think, she's got a mean look on her face! I have a plant that has been attacked by aphids so I transplanted her from the cloth flower to that plant and she seems to be much better tempered now!

an apple

my valentine's day rose

some of the twiggy green stuff that came with the rose

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

365 Project - Day 199

I'm working on some pictures for an assignment and part of the assignment was doing a portrait of a man and a woman in both natural lighting as well as artificial lighting. Joshua agreed to be my "man" subject and so we headed outside today for some natural light pictures. I just did quick, basic edits to the ones I picked out. Nothing fancy, but we had a lot of fun and Niklas "held" my reflective umbrella for me!


Monday, February 15, 2010

365 Project - Day 198

“Take time to smell the roses”


another edit of the same picture:


Sunday, February 14, 2010

365 Project - Day 197

We don't normally celebrate Valentine's day big in Germany, but this morning my husband picked up some fresh buns at the bakery and made me a nice breakfast and surprised me with a red rose. I love surprises like this!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

365 Project - Day 195

Today I am not going to display some of my pictures, but rather some pictures that my son took from his trip to South America to visit his girlfriend. He came home with about 2000 pictures and I won't be posting all of them, but these are just a couple of the ones that amazed me.

Usually the camera is used to portray real memories and although these memories are "real", the salt deserts of Uyuni allow some spectacular "tricks" to be done with the camera!


I ♥ Faces fix-it friday - 43

I always love doing the fix-it Fridays at I Faces
This week is no exception and we had an extremely cute picture to work with!

Here is the original:
I love her expression in this picture! 

Here is my "fix":

and what I did:
Lightroom (I've recently downloaded the free beta version of the new Lightroom to see if I like it and would consider buying it. This was a great opportunity to experiment with it to see if I like using it over photoshop to "fix" a face that is overly bright on one side and a bit shadowy on the other. I was impressed with what Lightroom could accomplish even with my "newbie" skills):
import picture
recover 100
fill light 39
blacks 1
clarity +26
vibrance +26
tone curve: highlights-42; lights -36; dark +6; shadows +21

ran the exported picture through noiseware (portrait mode).

photoshop 7:
- eyes: duplicated the layer and did a slight curve adjustment up in the middle just to brighten them a bit; added a bit more contrast; unsharp mask (amount 50; radius 1; threshold 0); made that layer into a mask and masked in only the colored parts of the eye. duplicated that eye layer and changed the mode to soft light. reduced opacities on both the eye layers until it was how I liked it and merged the 3 layers together.
- used an action from called "Sweet Skye". Amy does really beautiful actions, be sure to check them out! I tweaked the action until the picture was how I liked and flattened the image.
 - duplicated the picture layer and flipped that layer horizontally. Made that layer into a mask and masked in the background of the flipped layer over the background of the original layer just by the stairs (so that the stairs were hidden). merged the two layers.
- brought in this texture: , changed the mode to color burn and masked her out.
- brought in the Garden Lights Nr.1 texture that I had downloaded when doing the "In the Fairy Garden" tutorial on I Faces:; set it on screen mode and masked her mostly out (I left parts of her in at different opacities, just playing with it until I liked it).
- flattened the image and did a slight burn at some of the edges

- duplicated the picture layer and cut out a section in the middle of that layer, leaving only the outer edge, then by blending options:
     - added a drop shadow, picking a dark color from the picture as the shadow color and changing the distance to 0, the spread to 0, and the size to 21 ( I left the angle at 30° and left the mode at multiply at 75%)
     - bevel and emboss - an inner bevel and choose my highlight and shadow colors from the picture
     - pattern overlay- choose a super fine pattern and set it at multiply at 56%
- duplicated the picture layer and brought it to the top and made it into a mask. I masked her in (so she's in front of the frame) and masked in parts of the brighter parts of the background so they were brighter on the frame.
- flattened the image 

 If you want to check out some more fixes, be sure to head on over to

Thursday, February 11, 2010

365 Project - Day 194

Winter does not seem to be in a hurry to leave this year. In fact every time the snow and ice melt and I start to hope that spring might be around the corner, we seem to get a fresh cold spell, more snow, more ice. This picture was taken with my 50 mm lens with macro filters on it of a tiny piece of ice sticking to the wood on the roof window in the attic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

365 Project - Day 193

The rays of happiness, like those of light, are colorless when unbroken.
~Henry W. Longfellow~

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

365 Project - Day 192

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt~

Monday, February 8, 2010

iheartfaces week 6 "we heart kisses" photo challenge

Another weekly photo challenge at i heart faces! The theme this week is "we heart kisses" and they want to see a photograph with some kissing going on!

I have tons of cute pictures of my toddler giving kisses and as I was looking through them, my older kids asked me what I was up to. I said I needed a kissing picture and jokingly asked them if they wanted to give me one. Before I knew it, I had some goofing around and "kissing" going on in front of me! Luckily my camera is always close by and I could grab it and get some shots of "teenage sibling love".

Here is my entry:

To see some more kissing photos, be sure to head on over to i heart faces:

365 Project - Day 191

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.
~Joan Rivers

Sunday, February 7, 2010

365 Project - Day 190

Saturday evenings are "our time". 
The older kids are usually out, Niklas in bed, and my husband and I cook together and enjoy a bit of special "alone" time. Yesterday evening we rolled some sushi together and enjoyed a leisurely evening eating sushi, talking and watching a good movie.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

365 Project - Day 189

" Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or anything else, is always a portrait of himself, and the more he tries to conceal himself the more clearly will his character appear in spite of him."                                       ~ Samuel Butler ~

Friday, February 5, 2010

365 Project - Day 188

“Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it?”

~Pablo Picasso~

Thursday, February 4, 2010

365 Project - Day 187

I couldn't resist taking a few more close ups with the lightscoop of one of my favorite subjects today and then because I enjoyed playing with the textures so much yesterday, I had to play some more today!
and I'm not sure how much I like this next one, but it was really fun to do and kind of reminded me of a fantasy picture. I used the same picture of Niklas and just added another texture on top of the last edit:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

365 Project - Day 186

I am having a lot of fun right now editing pictures using textures. This picture was taken today (while still playing with my new lightscoop ;-)). 

Here is the original:

Couldn't resist doing another one in this style:

And I will add a bonus picture today. Last night I was goofing around with my camera and took a number of pictures of Mirko and Niklas enjoying their nutella bread (well not "nutella", but a generic brand of chocolate/nut spread):