Monday, May 31, 2010

365 Project - Day 300

Another picture of one of my favorite subjects! I had gone up the stairs and he was trying to figure out how he could follow me. It was a great way to get him to look at me while I took a picture!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

365 Project - Day 299

This is my sweet little kitten. Niklas has decided he is now a cat. He likes to eat and drink from a bowl on the floor. He sharpens his "claws" on the rug. He loves to be scratched behind his ears and will rub his cheek against my fingers.

I am amazed at how much he has studied our cat's behavior and can mimic it!!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

365 Project - Day 298 Sneak Preview 15 Person Family Picture | Familien Fotoshooting 15 Personen, 67105 Schifferstadt

Today I met up with a fantastic family for a photos hoot. 
4 sisters, their husbands and their 7 children!! 

I have never photographed a group this size so this was a great challenge for me! Lots of action and lots of laughing! And here is a sneak preview of today's fun:


Friday, May 28, 2010

i heart faces: Fix-It Friday #56

It's fix-it Friday time again at iheartfaces!! And the picture this week is adorable as usual!
This week's photo was submitted by JaimeLee at Candidly Grateful.  Here is what she wrote about her photo: "This is a photo of my twins at 6 weeks old. I love the photo because of their interaction and their faces, but I feel like it’s a little drab or flat. It needs some life."

Here is the original picture:
And here is my "fix":

As you can see, I had lots of fun playing with the pattern on the wall for my fix. I've had CS5 for a couple of weeks now and was looking for an opportunity to test out it's new Content Aware feature!!

To start off with, I opened the picture in ACR in CS5 and adjusted the exposure a bit. In CS5 I duplicated the layer and then used the quick selection tool and selected the pillow with babies and then went to edit->fill and selected "content aware" and it filled the babies and pillow in with the pattern (those babies looked like they had had an all body tatoo!) I decided 6 weeks was just too young for so much tatooing so I masked out the pattern on the babies. I set that layer on linear burn and did a green overlay on it.

Then I ran a few actions over it. All the actions I used are from Amy McMaster Photography: I started with her "clean it up" action which I especially liked this time for the "yellow lifter" layer. The little guy was a bit more yellow than his sister, so I used the yellow lifter to take some of the yellow out of his face. (since the baby on the right doesn't have a headband on, I will call him a "he" and hope that I am right.... ) Then I ran "lost in translation" (tweaked), flattened the image and ran "mist" (tweaked) on top of that at 40% opacity. Flattened the picture and ran Amy's "soft vignette" action over it. And finally a framing action.

Since I still wanted to goof around with content aware, I selected, copied and pasted the pattern onto a new layer. Then selected the frame, but went onto the layer with just the pattern and again filled with content aware. Afterwards I reversed my selection and cut out the pattern from the middle of the picture and put the frame layer on linear dodge. And just to play around some more, I put a bevel&emboss on the layer and darkened the very outside edges slightly.

It may be too "patterny" but I kind of like the look and I sure had fun playing around with content aware while looking at these two sweeties!!

Be sure to check out more fixes at iheartfaces:


Thursday, May 27, 2010

365 project - day 296

Today I got a new photography prop in the mail, my jumbo tea cup!! Of course I had to test it out right aways. Even though Niklas is slightly too big for the cup, I still think he looks sweet in it!

the texture used to edit the background can be found here: And the whole picture has been edited with a fantastic new action from AMP: that I'm testing for her.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

365 project - day 295

Niklas's tip of the day:
If you get tired from coloring and drawing, 
playing with a Trabi and going "rmmmmmm rmmmmm" is very relaxing!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

365 project - day 294

 I love how Niklas's eyes look like they carry sunshine in them!


Monday, May 24, 2010

365 project - day 293 - i heart faces "Yellow" Photo Challenge

This week's photo challenge theme at iheartfaces is YELLOW. There should be something yellow in the picture and of course a face. This picture was taken this morning on our walk. It's a beautiful sunny day (the first one in a long long time!) and Niklas loves his walking bike with the bright yellow tire frames, handle bars, and his tiger duck that honks so people make way for him. He likes to bend low when he "rides" to keep the wind resistance down. ;-)

Be sure to check out the other "yellow" entries at iheartfaces:


Sunday, May 23, 2010

365 Project - Day 292

"The man who does not give up can move mountains."
~Ernest Hello~


Saturday, May 22, 2010

365 Project - Day 291

16 years ago today, I was recovering from an emergency c-section after more than 48 hours of hard labor. I did not know that I was about to suffer a lung embolism and collapsed lung as a result of that c-section. I was unaware of how long the recovery time would be and how even a year later I would still have pain while breathing. I was only thankful for my healthy beautiful son and enjoying the first hours of getting to know him. I thank God everyday for him and the joy it brings me to be his mother. Despite the hard delivery, the lung embolism and the long recovery time, I wouldn't change a moment of having him in my life!

and guess what Joshua's very favorite cake is!


Friday, May 21, 2010

365 Project - Day 290

After days and days of rain non-stop, it finally stopped! These are just a couple of  fun shots taken quickly while lunch was cooking. Niklas and I had to get out for a bit and apparently Joshua did too and of course my camera was happy to shed the lightscoop and get out for some shots today as well!! I do carry a bruise now on my tummy after the basketball from the last picture slammed into it directly after taking the picture. Oh well, it was worth it and luckily it hit my tummy and not my camera!


i heart faces: Fix-It Friday #55

Time for another "fix-it Friday" at iheartfaces!

This week's photo was submitted by Shelle from Mommy Can't Sing. She wrote: "This is a photo of my 16 months old baby girl. I am currently doing a 365 challenge where I take at least one photo per day. This was one of the photos. Unfortunately, before Daylight Savings a lot of time I was scrambling to take a photo before the light was gone. Well, in this photo it was beyond gone! But my baby was sitting there so sweetly that I couldn't resist taking her photo. The color is bad and the background is messy, but just love her face!"

Here is the original picture:

and here are my edits:
For this basic edit, I opened the original picture in CS5 ACR and using the dropper, I picked a neutral area of the picture to adjust the white balance. Then I upped the exposure and upped the luminance under noise reduction to get rid of the noise in the picture that came when the exposure was increased. Then I went into photoshop. When I work, I always duplicate the layer before applying any new edit so that I have the old version to fall back on in case I'm not happy with what my "experimenting" has created. And I experimented quite a bit on this picture so I will try to write what I did but I may have forgotten things.

The first thing I did was to do a highpass filter on overlay mode then make that layer a hidden mask and only brought in the edges of her eyes (the eyelashes), the irises and pupils at reduced opacity, and the mouth and nose area at even more reduced opacity. Then I reduced the opacity on the entire mask until I had it sharpened without looking over sharpened and merged the layers together. Then I ran AMPs "clean it up" action over the picture, tweaking and adjusting the layers until I was happy with it and flattened the image.

I lightly cloned in some of the darker shadows under her eyes did a gaussian blur on screen mode at 20% only on her skin and flattened the picture again. I have never done this before, but I noticed she had no catchlights in her eyes and they looked almost fake after they had been lightened with all the post processing done so far so I added catchlights by selecting a small area in each eye and filling it with white then erasing at 30% until I was happy with the way they looked. I also used the smoothing tool to blur them a bit.

Then I ran AMPs "softly" action from her little sugar collection over the picture and tweaked it a bit and saved it, producing the above edit.

For my next edit, I used the basic edit I had and ran Pioneer Woman's "soft and faded" action also tweaking the different layers and duplicating some of the layers.

And for my last edit, I ran AMPs sweetly BW action, again from her A Little Sugar Collection over the picture turning on the brown, cream and pink hazes (changing the modes to overlay and increasing the pink).

Just a little note, be sure to check out Amy McMaster Photography (AMP) because she is in the process of releasing new actions, including "A Little Sugar Collection" which contains some of the actions I used on my edits today. If you hurry, you'll still have a chance at winning one or two of her action sets and as one of her testers, I can tell you, they are worth getting!!

And to see more "fix-it Friday" fixes, be sure to head on over to iheartfaces!!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

365 Project - Day 289

Just doing some experimenting today with light/shadow extremes which I also emphasized in post processing.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

365 Project - Day 288

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
~Maori proverb~


Monday, May 17, 2010

i heart faces "Faces & Flowers" Photo Challenge

This is my entry for "Faces & Flowers" Photo Challenge this week at iheartfaces ( 

I was actually photographing the Japanese Cherry Blossoms blooming on the grounds of Schwetzingen Castle in Germany when I noticed that my two year old son had taken off and was hiding in a field of daffodils in full bloom beside the cherry orchard. Of course I could not resist getting down on my stomach and wiggling up to him through the flowers to snap some pictures of him!

Be sure to visit to see more "Faces & Flowers" entries!


365 Project - Day 286

Blessings streaming down on our little village!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

365 Project - Day 285

Just goofing around with my lightscoop today. I'm fascinated with eyes and love getting close ups focused on the eyes. The lightscoop makes such a great filler flash. It was afternoon and there was light coming in from the window but the lightscoop gave just enough extra light to fill his face in nicely and light his eyes up. I just did a really quick basic edit on this picture, basically just ran AMPs "clean it up" action over it and tweaked it a bit.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

365 Project - Day 284

It's cold and rainy here but the jasmin just keeps on blooming and blooming!

Friday, May 14, 2010

i heart faces: Fix-It Friday #54

It's another Fix-It Friday at iheartfaces!!

This week's photo was submitted by Christina from 3 Sweet P's. She wrote: "This is a photo of my 2 year-old Parker. I am bothered by the harsh shadow on his face and the washed out colors of the photo. His eyes are a beautiful blue and you just can't see that. I would love to see what you guys can come up with!"
original picture:

I opened the picture up in Camera Raw in CS5. I adjusted the white balance slightly and added a bit of black then moved into photoshop. In photoshop I cloned the harsh shadow out of his face and the little red marks on the other side of his face. I did a slight crop and also ran a duplicate layer in multiply mode, masking in only his eyes and bright parts of his hair and then reducing the opacity until I was happy with it. Then I ran AMPs "clean it up" action over it and tweaked pretty well every layer until I was happy. I flattened the image then did a duplicate layer and ran a high pass filter over it, put it on overlay mode and masked in only certain areas of his face and eyes that I wanted to sharpen and highlight a bit. 

And here is the basic edit I then had:

I then ran AMPs 1978 action (from her new action set being released soon!) over the edit:

and added a texture to this edit:

and finally ran AMPs BW Sunset over the picture 
as well as her haze action where I could pick out which hazes and tints from the different layers I wanted to turn on:

Fix-It Fridays are always so much fun!!
Be sure to check out the other fixes at iheartfaces!