Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Get your Green On

In another attempt to put myself and my work "out there", I thought I would enter some photos in Pioneer Woman's current photography assignment. If you are not familiar with Pioneer Woman, she is a jill of all trades that runs her family, and media empire, from a big ol' farm in the boonies. Decorating, cooking and photography are just a few of her passions. And her action sets for photoshop are highly coveted. Her legion of followers are zealous; and her life is currently in the process of being adapted for the silver screen, to be played by Reese Witherspoon, I believe?

Semi-regularly she runs photography challenges, the last of which was Cats. I was in heaven perusing the entries. I very nearly decided to run off to my own big ol' farm and become that Crazy Cat Lady my husband is always threatening I will become if my lust for cute smooch-able felines is not curtailed. Anyhoo, you can submit a photo a day for 5 days, and she picks her top 10 favourite entries daily. then from those a group of finalists are culled. Not entirely sure what happens at that point. Bragging rights I assume.

This week, PW is asking for submissions in the theme of "green" and my god are the entrants dazzling. Seriously, go and drool over them here. So even though I don't stand a chance in a bajillion years of being selected, I decided to enter the following choices (A few you have seen already):

swampland, South Carolina

winery visit, Okanagan (BC interior)

butterfly house, South Carolina

my backyard

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Heart Faces Challenge: Dramatic B&W

Another week, another great I♥Faces challenge. this time, they are looking for black and white shots that are "dramatic, moody or  sensational in their presentation". I hope you feel the one below fits the bill.

I am generally terrible at B&W conversion, so you may be asking yourself, why bother? Because I am an attention whore, and I love to show off this picture :) This was taken as part of a board photo challenge entitled "lifelines". I actually got the idea from an even earlier challenge, whereby a poster requested hand photos with inspirational words/phrases on them. She had a wonderful friend/wife/mother named Anissa Mayhew, who was battling back from a debilitating stroke. So she asked us all to "give Anissa a hand". At the time I couldn't get my photo together, and was very excited when I had the opportunity to try the technique again. (Side note: to view Anissa's back story and see the final product, go here. Bring tissues.)

For even more wonderful submissions, check out the I♥Faces website here:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gerber Daisies

The Photoboard picture of the week challenge this week was Pink. I got what I thought was a really fun picture of Keira with a gerber daisy to submit. I also decided to shoot the daisy itself and practice my close-up / focus work. I cropped slightly, adjusted levels and ran an unsharp mask for viewing.
Photo Stats:
Exposure Time:0.0062s (1/160)
Focal Length:50mm (75mm in 35mm)

and for fun, when editing in GIMP, I tried an auto white balance to see what happened. I think Andy Warhol called and wants his flower back.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Extreme Makeover, Photo Edition

There are some uber talented ladies on the photo message board I frequent. We often take a stab at editing each other's stuff, when someone is bored, stumped or in my case, clueless.

I was really excited by a series of shots I got last night with K and a pink gerber. I grapple with editing because I have gotten to the point where I notice when something is SOOC, and I want to give it that extra oomph. But let's face it, I have no leet skillz in that area yet. I am still trying to learn the adage, "less is more". I also don't want to rely on editing to save crappy photos, but merely to make great photos amazing. So I never know how to handle my own stuff. Not to mention I don't have access to all the fun photoshop "actions' available out there (a pre-set group of settings you can instantly apply to photos for a desired affect).

When a few people requested some shots to work on today, I jumped at the chance to see what they would do.

First up was Kari of Kari Merkel Photography. She is the master of B&W conversions, and also has a clean, crisp style in her day to day shooting I really envy. For her blog and full rundown of her steps, go here

I love it! I never know if I can pull off the faded look, but here, I really like the vintage ethos it brings, and how it brings more attention to her little hands because the colour of the flower isn't so overpowering.

Next up we have Ashley of Ramblings and Photos. She is a resident editing expert. Her edits bring clarity and sophistication to the shots. She also tolerates all of us kid-crazy MWACs (moms with a camera) when we post about our kids 90% of the time.
For her blog and full rundown of her steps, go here
::dies:: Look at K's eyes! Again, she used a slightly faded action which helps to tone down the colour of the flower and return some of the focus to my baby. And who doesn't love all the attention to be on their baby?

thank you ladies. I feel like an aging starlet who stumbled across the right makeup artist to help transform me to my former glory just in time for the Oscars :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Heart Faces Challenge: Bundled Up

this week's theme is bundled up. I had a great time selecting my favourite from our ski vacation 3 weeks ago. here it is!

now check out other (much more amazing) submissions over at:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Throwing in the towel, sortof

Having my camera stolen, followed by losing my laptop has pretty much killed my drive. On top of that I suffered a stomach flu with a cold bug thrown in for good measure. 2 weeks later I am still coughing up some heinous things. I am no longer comfortable bringing my camera everywhere I go, for fear of losing it again. And the loss of the laptop means we are down to 1 computer, that utilizes our television as the computer screen. This does not leave a lot of time to edit photos I manage to take. So I think I have to admit defeat in the great 365 project. I know, I know, just another failed 365 project, and barely 2 months into the year.  I still plan to use this space to work on and show off my photography, so I hope you decide to stick around :)

Here are a few shots of my niece taken on vacation two weeks ago. These are SOOC. Her eyes really are that blue:

I am pretty proud of the crispness of her eyes and the catchlights I managed to get!

Photo Stats:

SS: 1/100
Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 50mm
ISO: unknown