Tuesday, March 30, 2010

i heart faces "Dramatic B&W" Photo Challenge

This weeks's photo challenge at iheartfaces is "Dramatic B&W". I debated about which picture I should enter and finally decided on this one:
 I had been trying to photograph this little guy and he was not happy about being by himself in the picture. Finally we decided to try something different. As I was about to put my camera down to get set up, I noticed that mom had picked up her little guy and he had calmed right down in her arms. I was so glad to be able to capture this moment of comfort and love between the two of them.

Be sure to check out the other entries at iheartfaces: http://iheartfaces.blogspot.com/

365 Project - Day 240

With all the renovating we've been doing in Joshua's room the last few days, Brianna and Niklas have been spending a lot of time together. When I hear them giggling and goofing around, I just can't resist sneaking a peak at what they're up to. It just warms my heart to watch them together!

Monday, March 29, 2010

365 Project - Day 239

Out with the old, in with the new....

We are in the process of re-doing everything in my 15 (almost 16) year old son's room. He is my third child and most of the stuff in his room are hand me down's from his two older siblings. Not only that, he was 10 when we moved into the house we are in now and nothing has been done to his room since the move. Needless to say, his tastes have changed slightly in the last 5 years! He still had the lego and knight's castle that he hadn't touched in years (also not dusted!) cluttering up the corners of his room. It was high time for a make over!!

We decided EVERYTHING was going to go, from bed and bedding, to old desk, to cuboards and shelves, and rugs.... everything!! We emptied that room completely. Put in new carpet, painted, wallpapered and spent the day at Ikea today. My husband came to pick us up with a huge trailer borrowed from the neighbour and we crammed three over-full super sized carts full of "new room stuff" into the car and trailer and made our way home.

We started setting some stuff up today, but we're all powered out now so we're calling it a night and will tackle the Ikea instructions tomorrow. And now I am finally getting to the picture for today and the meaning behind it:

When I asked my son, if there was anything from all the stuff we took out of his room that he wanted to put back into his newly decorated room, he immediately said he wanted this picture framed and put up. This is a sketch of him done on a trip to Paris in 1995 when he was about a year old. He was going through a phase where his tongue was always hanging out of his mouth and it was so funny how the artist picked up on that and drew it into the picture.

We got a frame for it today at Ikea and I think it really suits this place of honor in the newly decorated bedroom!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

365 Project - Day 237

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. 
~Stacia Tauscher

Friday, March 26, 2010

365 Project - Day 236

The old Karl-Theodore-Brücke is a stone bridge (brücke is German for bridge) which was erected from 1786 to 1788. There is a medieval bridge gate on the side of the old town, originally part of its town wall. Baroque tower helmets were added as part of the erection of the stone bridge in 1788. This is the fifth bridge here since medieval times. The four preceding bridges were constructed of wood. They were destroyed by floods, fire or ice.

Heidelberg Castle was built originally back in the 13th century. It was added on through the years up into the 16th century. As a residence of the Palatinate electors from the 13th to the 18th century, it experienced a magnificent and eventful history. Periods of expansion were followed by those of devastation. The castle buildings with the greatest artistic importance were built during the Renaissance. Of particular interest are the four granite columns located in the castle courtyard, which were once part of a castle belonging to Charlemagne. Since the 19th century, Heidelberg has been famous the world over for the romantic appearance of its castle ruins.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

365 Project - Day 235

A few of the church steeples in Speyer!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

365 Project - Day 233 Baby/Toddler/Family Photo Shoot Sneak Preview

I got to spend my time this morning taking pictures of this beautiful family! I'm just showing two edits in this post as a sneak preview. More pictures will be coming!

Monday, March 22, 2010

365 Project - Day 232

We spent the afternoon in Heidelberg today. I have of course, taken tons and tons of pictures and need to find time to go through them properly. Here are a couple from today though:

this last picture is actually a manipulation. I took a picture of everyone without me in the picture, then had Chris come and take the camera from me and use the same settings to take a picture with me in the picture. Then I merged the two pictures together to create one picture with us all in it and Heidelberg Castle in the background.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

365 Project - Day 231

The picture I'm posting today, is actually not one that I took, but is one with me in it.

Last night was FUN! We went to an "over 30" party that took place in a shopping center after the stores closed. 3 big dancing areas, music, salsa lessons, and being ready to PARTY made for a fantastic evening out. The lady in the picture with me is a good friend of mine. I love this picture because, although we have been friends for years, we have no pictures of the two of us together. I love her. We have really been through thick and thin together and it was so much fun just to have fun together last night! She makes my life richer just by being a part of it!
Thank you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

365 Project - Day 230 Baby Photo Shoot Sneak Preview

This afternoon, I had the privilege of photographing a month old little sweetheart! She was awake for the entire shoot! Everything was just far too interesting to sleep through!

Here is just one picture for now, more will be coming!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

365 Project - Day 229 Animal Instinct!

I was taking a few pictures of Mira today. On one of the photography threads I'm on, the assignment this week was "animal instinct" so I was trying to follow Mira around. Well first of all I had to actually find her. I went out on the balcony and saw that she was sitting on the garage roof. She decided if I was looking for her, it must mean food, so she came running:
Spring is definitely here and she feels it too. Every leaf blowing in the wind is something fun to check out and play with. Who knows if a mouse might be hiding underneath it!?

Since I was obviously giving her no food and no mice were hiding in the ivy, she went inside for a nap in the sun shining through the window. I was trying to sneak in some shots but I guess my camera strap was hanging down. The "hunter" in her was awake in a flash!

I guess all 3 pictures show her "animal instinct", now I just have to decide which one I will submit!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

365 Project - Day 228 Spring has arrived!

I think I can finally safely say that spring has arrived at long last in our corner of the world! For the first time in months, Niklas was outside without a tuque and scarf!! And we suddenly have FLOWERS!!!!!

The last two pictures show what Niklas was doing while I was admiring the flowers! What I didn't take a picture of was him throwing dirt all over me and my camera (more on me as I was trying to protect my camera)!! He loved that part of being outside! It is just so nice to welcome spring back!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

365 Project - Day 227

Guess what we celebrated yesterday!?

Monday, March 15, 2010

i heart faces "Bundled Up" Photo Challenge

When I read the theme for this weeks challenge, I instantly thought of February 24th of this year. My daughter and I met up with my sister and her family in New York City. We were so excited, it was our very first time in New York and were really looking forward to seeing all the tourist sites together!! We were not expecting a snow storm to hit just as we were there. Despite the bad weather, we were determined to be "tourists". This picture is taken during an attempt to see the Statue of Liberty. I did make it back right before going home two days later so I do know that she is really standing behind us even if you can't see her in this picture! (She's probably all bundled up as well!) I used my point&shoot for this picture because I was just too scared to bring my Nikon d90 out in this wet snow storm!

I have to say that I love this picture for personal reasons. My sister and her family live on the west coast of Canada and I live in Germany. We don't get to see each other that often so meeting "half way" in New York was a great idea. And it really was exciting to be in New York City for the first time. I love this picture because it portrays how it really was for us:

We were tourists in a snow storm trying to make the best of it and taking pictures despite not being able to see what we were taking pictures of, we just had faith that the attraction we had wanted to see MUST be there somewhere! The important thing was, that we were together!

To see more entries, head on over to iheartfaces: http://iheartfaces.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 14, 2010

365 Project - Day 225

I love backlit pictures but the problem is always the same. If Niklas stands in front of a window which gives beautiful light from behind and I use no flash, his face is dark and his beautiful eyes are hardly lit at all. If I use my flash, his face gets bright over exposed spots, I have to deal with red-eye while editing and he has those purply-white pin points in his eyes from the flash. I can't say enough how much I love the lightscoop in exactly this situation. I use it on my flash as a filler light. I have the beautiful light from behind and great catchlights in his eyes as well!

Friday, March 12, 2010

i heart faces: Fix-It Friday #47

Another Fix-It Friday on iheartfaces!

Here is some information from the site about the fix-it picture for this week:
"This week's photo, which was sent to us by Amy Pinney, is proof positive that many, many photos are fixable and we can save many precious moments even if they are taken in less-than-perfect circumstances.

Amy wrote: "The photo I'm submitting is one of my daughter watching her Grandpa play Pinball. It's very closely cropped to include just her face and arms propped on the machine, which you can only see enough of to know what it is. I'm very interested to see what the I Heart Faces team can do with it!""
here is the original picture:

and here is my basic edit fix:

and a vintage book edit:

What I did: Basic Edit

I brought the original picture into Lightroom and corrected the exposure first for the sweet little girl, saved that picture. Then corrected the picture exposure for the pinball machine and saved that picture as well.

In photoshop I merged the two pictures so that I had her quite bright without blowing the light spots on the pin ball machine.

I applied a 70's action from Pioneer Woman

Unsharp mask (amount 20%, radius 60, threshhold 0)

duplicated the layer and applied a soft light mask at 30% only on the pin ball machine.

slight crop.

What I did: Vintage Book Edit

I resized a picture of a vintage book that I got here: http://aracaristock.deviantart.com/
and brought my basic edit picture into the picture and placed it how I wanted it.

I selected the picture and made a new layer behind it. Expanded the selection by 25px and filled it with a cream color. I reduced the opacity on both layers so that the book texture was showing through.

I duplicated the picture layer and masked in the important parts of her and the pinball machine so that they would stand out more.

added a pattern overlay to the book and added text.

If you want to see more "fix-it", head on over to iheartfaces: http://iheartfaces.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 11, 2010

365 Project - Day 222

I took my camera out and Niklas came running up and was extremely close to the camera being silly. At one point he stepped back enough that I could snap this picture. While editing it, I was fascinated at how well I could see myself as well as the living room wall with paintings and bookshelves behind me in his eye. I used this same picture and just did an extreme crop to show that better:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

365 Project - Day 221

I love seeing the small signs that despite the coldness and the snow, spring is trying to push winter out the door!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

365 Project - Day 220

I'm going to post an edit today of 12 New York pictures put together to create one BIG panoramic view of the New York skyline taken from Liberty Island.
In order to see it properly, you need to view it larger: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2727/4420911034_14d2e707c5_o.jpg

The original sized picture is huge (250cm x 20 cm at 300DPI and 23MB big)!

I also did a silver edit of this picture to give it a bit more dramatic look:
Again, here is the link to see it properly: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4023/4420135553_c6e8a3bf44_o.jpg
This edited version in original size is 33 MB big!

Monday, March 8, 2010

365 Project - Day 219

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.
—Marcel Proust

Sunday, March 7, 2010

365 Project - Day 218

I managed to convince Brianna to brave the cold outside today and let me take a natural light picture of her that need to complete my assignment for the photography class I'm taking. It was really REALLY cold outside. My hands froze so bad I could hardly operate my camera and poor Brianna's eyes were tearing up from the freezing wind. She thought I was nuts when I asked her to take off her jacket for the picture! Mirko is standing to the left of me holding a reflective umbrella to reflect the sunlight back up into her face.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

365 Project - Day 217

Since Niklas has been sick, I've allowed him to eat his breakfast on the couch with a tray.  Now this is the way he expects his breakfast served to him everyday!

Friday, March 5, 2010

365 Project - Day 216 Night views from the Empire State Building

I've uploaded a number of new pictures in my New York album on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantasiaphotos/sets/72157623555361080/ These are all from our first day. More will be coming!