Thursday, March 25, 2010

Portrait Before and After PSE8

My friend Anna sent me this picture of her son yesterday. They had just gotten back from a carribean cruise, and she wanted to share this adorable photo with me. This kid is about as cute as they get, IMO. Look at those eyes!!

Anyway, I couldn't just leave well enough alone....I had to mess with it. I had created this texture the other day, using a few layers of my own painting, blurring, then adding another texture from Shadowhouse Creations on top and blending it all up into this:
I had played around with it on some flower shots I had taken last year, and really liked the effect it gave. I wish I could remember what I did here with Harry, but I'm pretty sure I just used the texture with the overlay blend mode. I may have added it again in linear light mode, but I can't remember. (Like I said, at some point, I'm going to start taking notes.) Then I added a layer mask and took the texture off of his face...most of all his eyes and his lips. Oh, and I also cropped the photo in closer to eliminate distracting background. What do you think? Anna thought it was great! I am very pleased with the result. I told her I want more pictures of Harry to play with. He's a great subject! it really going to snow tonight? WTF? I thought spring was here. **big sigh**

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Using Lightroom and PS Elements

I'm playing around with uploading some larger pics, so bear with me while I figure out what's going on with the resolution. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. The bottom picture of Kathleen looks fine, but all the rest look a little blurry to me.

Anywho, below is a before picture of an old house I took the other day while out for a drive:

I added some texture to it in Photoshop, and came up with this vintage look below.
I think it suits the state of the house, don't you?

Here's a before pic of Kathleen from NYC at the zoo:

I used a Lightroom preset to get this effect. I want to say it was from Jerry at Shadowhouse Creations (see link on right). I'm going to start keeping track of what I do to get each effect so
that these blog posts might be of some help to someone trying to learn PSE and LR, instead of
just making me happy to post pictures which are no good to anyone. lol.
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Trip to NYC

Kathleen and I went to NYC last Wednesday (yes, St. Pat's Day) to see the Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA. Lucky for us, (most likely because we're Irish) the crowds weren't too bad, the weather was fantastic, and we had a great time.

Kathleen liked these slanty buildings:
I liked this store window:
Here she is in front of MoMA. Does she look happy to be there or what?

Central Park Zoo:
There was a line of about 15 hansom cabs right by the park. I was feeling poor, so we didn't take a ride. Maybe next time! ($35!--plus tip!)
This little guy was in the clock tower at the zoo.

Snow leopard. He was cool:

First NY crocus of 2010? Happy day!
Bagpipes! Kathleen heard them playing March on an Irish Air while we were in the zoo. She had just played that in her concert last week. Serendipity!

....and I had to take some sunset shots from my seat on the train on the way home:

Not bad for taking them through a dirty window at 80mph or so! :)

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Fix It Friday

It't Fix-It Friday over at I Heart Faces, and I thought I'd play along this week. Here is the "before" shot, taken by Sarah Halstead who blogs at "Loving My Life." This is her son Dustyn. Isn't he cute? Before:
I punched up his eyes, brightened up some other colors, and softened his skin and blemishes with some layer masks in Photoshop Elements 8. I also added a faux lens flare, because the light coming from that top left corner was just screaming for some follow-through. :)
My second "after" is where I really zoomed in on his eyes, which are the best part of this photo! Well, that, and his cute little mouth. Here I added a little texture from Shadowhouse Creations, and again the lens flare, but with a little lighter hand.
...and finally, my favorite, with lots of texture.
If you want to see what other folks have done with this photo, both professionals and amateurs, you can check them out HERE, over at I Heart Faces.

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Friday, March 05, 2010


I think I've decided that it's ALL minutia--all this blogging I do (or don't do, in recent history). But I like to put stuff out there, because I know some of you are interested, and I know my father reads, so that's something. :) *Hi Dad!*

So...since the last time I blogged, I won a giveaway at artist Catherine Nolin's blog. I discovered her through some blog surfing, posted a comment, and lo and behold, I won a print! I then promptly ran over to her Etsy shop to buy another one. She paints mostly interiors, and I love the colors and the vibe of her work. It's just my kind of art! Please check out her blog and give her some bloggy love! Below is the one I bought for Kathleen's room:

Oops...I got inspired by the tulips in the print (and the ones I got for Valentine's day from my very best friend Kelly), and had to take some pics:
...and of course I couldn't just leave the pic alone...had to make it vintagey in Photoshop:
...and this is the print that I won. I framed it and hung it in the kitchen:
Another tulip:
...and more play time:
Then, my bloggy friend Leslie from Country Contemporary will be happy to know that I grabbed a friend a few weeks ago and ran over to Chatham to Classic Country, a great little shop that I had known nothing about until she mentioned it here on my blog!
I asked the owner if I could take some pictures, and she said go for it!
Apparently this barn is hopping in the warmer months...they have potting classes, and sell plants and things. My friend Faith had been there last year for a potting event.

As you can see, the owner has a great eye for vignettes.
My favorite part of the barn--the dresser mirror frame hung over the window. Clever!
...and I love this cow painting. I want it. I would hang it right over my couch.
So...what else? Well, Kathleen's high school production of The Wizard of Oz was a great success. I loved playing my flute in the pit band. I can't wait to do it again next year! Of course, I hardly got to see any of the play for all of the flute playing, but we ordered the DVD. :) BF took some great pictures, and I'll try to get a few posted so you can see the great costumes they had. The snow really threw a wrench into rehearsals, but it all came together in the end. I am amazed at the dedication and hard work of many teachers and parents, which made the whole thing possible. Sometimes I just love this town!

Kathleen will be headed to Florida for Easter break with my sister's family. They'll be driving down. Suckers. (I drove to FL with my ex many years ago, and swore I wouldn't do it again!)

I, on the other hand, will be flying down a couple of weeks after Easter, to join my father for Foto Fest, which is happening in St. Augustine. I can't wait! There will be lots of workshops to take part in, and plenty of photo-ops at the Alligator Farm and other state parks.

Now I just need to figure out how to display my pics on my TV. I bet it would be awesome! I love my big a$$ TV, my surround sound , AND the PS3 that BF got us for Valentine's Day. He said he was vacillating between jewelry for me, or the Play Station 3...I think he made the BEST decision! Have y'all seen movies in high def? Hellloooo! You'll never want to go back! What's next? 3-D movies at home? And of course now Kathleen wants all the new PS3 games. Ugh.
Why are they all $50 or more?
I'm also loving that I can download movies from Netflix right through the PS3.
Very cool! I'm a Netflix junkie for sure.

I guess that's enough minutia for now. I'll be heading out to see Alice in Wonderland in 3-D IMAX tonight with Kathleen and three of her friends. I'm really looking forward to it! Y'all enjoy your weekend!

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