Saturday, July 31, 2010

365 Project - Day 360

I see on my title that I have written Day 360. I know that I started this 365 blog on August 1st, 2009 so somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost 5 days. Oh well, it doesn't matter since I do plan on continuing on with it. I'm just not sure whether I should title this post Day 360 or Day 365!? I think I will just leave it as it is and maybe take the time within the next 5 days to do a bit of review over the last 365 days!

For today, I have a picture taken at sunset of the Ludwigshafen Rathaus (city council). We were in Ludwigshafen today for the street theater festival and really enjoyed seeing and being a part of what was going on. I have to admit, I did not take my camera out during the festival as planned. I enjoyed just being part of the crowd, a mommy who's child was doing "one two three" and then jumping like crazy. I needed both hands free to have fun with him today! But on the way back to the car, as the sun was setting, I could not resist taking my camera out as I saw the city council building reflecting clouds and buildings, a bridge and a whole lot of other beautiful things back for us all to see. I had to take a picture!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Newborn Posing Guide Giveaway!!

This one is for all my photography friends. You don't want to miss out on the chance to win this!! Inspire Me Baby is offering a Newborn Posing Guide by Jacqueline!

For details, just follow the link:


Fix-It Friday #64 at i heart faces

Fix-It Friday time at iheartfaces!!
Today's picture is of a beautiful young lady contributed by Michelle Johnson’. This picture actually looks so great to me just how it is! Here is the original:

I started off with a clean edit:

and then a couple of fun edits:

For the clean edit, I brought the picture into photoshop and ran AMPs "clean it up" action on it (tweaked) then to soften her skin a tiny bit, I duplicated the layer and did quite a high gaussian blur on it which I reduced to 20% opacity and made it into a hidden mask, only revealing her skin. Merged the layers and did an unsharp mask (amount 20; radius 60; threshold 0) at a reduced opacity.

For the fun edits, I started off with the original in Lightroom 3 and used a preset from AMPs Just Beachy LR Presets called "ice cream cone" (tweaked) . From there I went into photoshop and ran MZ's XP soft action on it and tweaked it to get two different results.

To see what others have done with this picture, be sure to head on over to iheartfaces!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

365 Project - Day 358

Another rainy day today so more pictures taken practicing using my speed light. I really like the attachment I'm using on it right now. It looks like a big white ball attached to the speed light (kind of like a big light bulb) and it gives a really nice diffused lighting. In the last picture, you can see it clearly in Niklas's eyes.

Just so you can see what I mean, this was the attachment set that I bought for my speed light and the big white ball in the middle is what I'm talking about:


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

365 Project - Day 357

I am always so impressed how easy it is now that I have my speedlight to take indoor pictures. I love the lightscoop too but the speedlight gives even more possibilities of having great light in all situations!

Today I just snapped a quick picture of Niklas sitting on the rocking chair giving me his cheeky little grin:

straight out of camera (sooc):

and because I can't resist giving pictures I post here on the blog at least a bit of an edit, here's an edited version:


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

365 Project - Day 356

Today I got my tripod out and took some pictures of a pretty flowering vine we got some friends last month when they came for a visit. It was getting dark outside so I had to use quite a slow shutter speed, that's why I got the tripod out.


Monday, July 26, 2010

i heart faces "Purple Photo" photo challenge

This is my entry for the photo challenge this week at iheartfaces!

This weeks theme is "purple" so the color purple needs to be in the picture as well as a face of course! I love this picture of my daughter. It was taken while I was testing out different attachments on my speedlight a few weeks ago.

To see more entries to the theme "purple" head on over to!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

365 Project - Day 354

I had to get off my bike today and take a few pictures of the "weeds" growing beside the road.

retro version:


Friday, July 23, 2010

Fix-It Friday #63 at i heart faces

Time for fix-it Friday at i heart faces!! And we got such a cute picture to work with today. 
Here is the original:

These girls are so sweet and I would love to know what she is pointing at and they are both so interested in. 
Since I don't know, I did try to fantasize what it might be in my edit:
I've always found the sky fascinating. Watching clouds, the sun, birds flying, stars, the moon... so, I decided to bring a bit of sky into the picture for my edit!

What I did:
I opened the picture up in Lightroom 3 and recovered the blown parts as best as I could. I also used a preset from AMP from her Shabby Chic LR presets callled "Retro Classic":
Then I opened it up in CS5 photoshop and cropped in a bit and brought in a couple of different sky textures I had. Then I ran two different actions on it (Paint the Moon's "marshmallow" and  AMP's "rainbow smile") tweaking and fiddling until I was happy with it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

365 Project - Day 351 Planet Photography

I've been having too much fun experimenting with making more planets!! I promise there won't be planets on my blog post for tomorrow, but today I want to share a few more:

Niklas attacking his duplo men

some flowers on my balcony



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

365 Project - Day 350 Planet Photography

I have been experimenting with a new editing technique to make "Planet Photographs". It's a lot of fun!!

Here's one I did from a panorama picture I took in New York City in February:

This was from a 360° picture I took last night from the middle of the Old Bridge in Heidelberg:

and this is from a panorama picture I put together from a number of pictures of Brianna and Niklas taken today:

and if anyone is interested in trying this out, I followed a great tutorial found here:


Monday, July 19, 2010

365 Project - Day 349

Mirko and I don't get out for "dates" that often anymore, but tonight we had a babysitter and went out for supper in Mannheim and then drove to Heidelberg to watch the sun set over the Neckar. It was a beautiful warm evening and the sunset was perfect!

And a special "Happy Birthday" today to both my mom and my father-in-law. Both live too far away for us to spend time with them personally today. Missing family birthdays seem to make me feel extra homesick.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

365 Project - Day 346 Mannheim Water Tower | Mannheim Wasserturm

Yesterday evening, we took a quick drive to Mannheim so that I could try out a night time shot of the water tower in Mannheim. We had to wait until 11 pm before it got completely dark so this was about the only angle/view of the tower that I photographed as Niklas needed to get home and go to bed! It was a beautiful summer evening and I would have loved to experiment more with night time photography so I definitely plan on doing this again sometime either with a babysitter for Niklas so I can stay out later or waiting until it starts to get dark a bit sooner!

Here's a bit of information I collected online on the Mannheim Water Tower:

"Mannheim's famous landmark stands on the highest point of Friedrichsplatz square. With its magnificent fountains, this square is considered one of Europe's finest Art Nouveau architectural ensembles. In the summer, the area around the water tower is a popular meeting point for people of all ages. It's also a great place to stroll, relax, enjoy festivals, unwind and escape the stresses of everyday city life. In the winter a Christmas market surrounds the tower."

"Mannheim is an attractive city called Quadratstadt (Squared Town), with the downtown laid out (unusual for an European city) as a checkerboard of 144 blocks. Each block is identified by a number and letter to designate an exact location.
In Friedrichplatz, the unusual Wasserturm (Water Tower) was constructed between 1886 and 1889 when the city decided to expand its municipal water supplies. The Wasserturm contains nearly a million gallons of water. Nearby there are ornamental fountains, and a conference and convention center."

"This water tower, the town's landmark, is completed in 1889. The height is 60 m / 197 ft, the diameter 19 m / 62 ft and the tank comprise 2000 m3. Until 2000 he did his job very well. On the top you can see the goddess Amphitrite, wife of Poseidon. The Austrian Engineer Oskar Smreker (1854 - 1935) planned and built this water tower."


Thursday, July 15, 2010

365 Project - Day 345

Due to a photo challenge I'm involved in, I did some experimenting last night with light in darkness. I was using shutter speeds between 5 and 30 seconds and experimenting with moving as well as stationary light. Here are some of the fun shots I got. Tonight I plan on experimenting some more in the city (if the weather permits!)