Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Wordless Wednesday #1

I was feeling the need to join in with something, so I went with the obvious!! :D

Apparently, I need to add some words!! This is NOT our kitchen ~ we were out to lunch at a friend's so they must take full credit for their stylishness! We have an old farmhousey kitchen!

Monday, 29 March 2010

I ♥ Faces - Week13 - 'Dramatic B&W Rejects'

Each one of this would have worked as an entry for me (it was prooving a tough choice), but at the end of the day I couldn't disclude any of them from being 'a typical portrait photo that has been converted to B&W' so I didn't enter ANY of them :( Only the first one was taken with the subject knowing I was shooting them, so in that sense they are NOT typical portrait shots, but they do look like they are ~ don't they?

I love them all though, whereas I do not love the one I have entered. It's OK, but I just don't 'love' it :(

Perhaps these will each have their turn some other time...

I ♥ Faces - Week 13 ~ "Dramatic B&W"

This week over at iheartfaces they are looking for; 

"... B&W photos that are dramatic, sensational and/or moody in the way they are presented. Please don't just enter a typical portrait photo that has been converted to B&W. Something about your entry must catch our eye as being dramatic or moody for it to be passed along to the Guest Photographer Judge as a top entry for them to choose from."

So what is the definition of 'dramatic'
  • suitable to or characteristic of drama; "a dramatic entrance in a swirling cape"; "a dramatic rescue at sea"
  • sensational in appearance or thrilling in effect; "a dramatic sunset"; "a dramatic pause"; "a spectacular display of northern lights"; "it was a spectacular play"; "his striking good looks always created a sensation"
  • ...marked by power and expressiveness and a histrionic or theatrical style; "a dramatic tenor"; "a dramatic soprano" 
Other words that came back were flamboyant, striking and effective.

My biggest struggle this week has not been to define 'drama' so much though, but to define what a 'typical' portrait is and then NOT use one! I predominantly take photos of life happening around me, I seldom pose my kids, or anyone else's and if I do, I aim for the 'atypical'. I have a wealth of wonderful photographs that look awesome in B&W. Some are more 'striking' than other, some more 'atypical', but many, many are, at the end of the day, just converted portraits! So this has proved to be REALLY tough to choose the 'right' picture. Do I go just for a striking B&W where the drama is in the editing? Do I go for a portrait where there is drama happening in the shot (which typically has a less dramatic B&W effect)? Do I go for a picture with lots of emotion and try to convey drama that way? Or do I try to get all of those things in, AND have one of my best, most well taken, crisp shots, because after all - this IS a competition!!

So, WOW ~ tall order! Too many of the pictures I might like to a have used have children in who I do not have permission to post to the web :(   Having got it down to about a dozen possibles, I decided to save the one that I really wanted to use, as it fits well with another upcoming theme in the next few weeks, so you will get to see that soon enough :D

In the end I've gone with this one because it does actually tick a lot of the boxes in terms of defining 'drama' and 'atypical'! It's not my favourite photo, but I do like it for it's energy ~ DD was dancing the way only small boys can! :D

If you're interested to see the pictures that almost made it here you can check out my set on Flickr ~ Black & White ~ some of them are there, or you can CLICK HERE to see them all in one post :D
For more dramatic B&W's this week, don't forget to check on over at I ♥ Faces, there's bound to be some 'striking' shots this week! 

But before you leave PLEASE leave your comments ~ good or bad, I'm thick skinned and it all adds to my education :D ~ THANKS!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

SOOC Saturday ~ Boy in Pink Pyjamas...

Sometimes you have to pick you battles ~ I let him do this! One night was enough, he's back in his dinosaurs now :D!!

For More SOOC shots this weekend nip on over to Melody's :D

Friday, 26 March 2010

FIX-IT-FRIDAY - #48 ~ Abigail

This lovely photo was taken by Natalie of Then There Were Three (soon to be four!) of her sweet little Abigail. It's beautiful ~ a little underexposed, but otherwise lovely. Time to Play!!

Edit 1
Basic Lightroom edit ~ raised exposure, raised recovery, used iris enhance brush, punched and further increased clarity, sharpened a touch, used luminance & colour noise reduction with increased detail and low radius.

Edit 2
Same as above with a +10 of warming (what a difference!)

Edit 3
Into PSE7 :~ used 'lovely' (applied layer mask and removed from the eyes) & 'warm' actions from the new PW actions set for PSE 
(I'm in LOVE!!)
Cropped to a 7x5 

Edit 4
As above with the SUNSHINE action (also from the new PW set :D)  & dodged under her eyes a little (just the shadows) ~ 

I think this might be my favourite edit!

Edit 5
From edit 4 ~ applied a rose tint layer on ?soft light I think & erased gently from the eyes with a layer mask. 
Also dodged under her eyes to remove shadows.

This is my 'other' favourite :D

Edit 6
From edit 6 added a light beige layer on 'darken' ~ quite like this too!

 Edit 7
Added a texture from Ishkamina (on Flickr) just to the background

Edit 8
Added a Coffee Shop bracket frame as a layer and erased from the centre (not really sure how to use these properly, but this looked ok!)

So there you have it ~ apart from trying to figure out the framing thing, this edit took me about an hour from start to finish! It was a lovely picture to work with and really didn't need a great deal doing once the exposure was sorted :D


Had a play with a clipping mask from shadowhousecreations. 
(thanks Susan Keller for the link :D)

To see how everyone else fixed this photo check out Fix-It-Friday over on iheartfaces :D

5 Faves Friday ~ 3

Sorry This is a little late going up ~ I've been out all day!
 Look forward to seeing your pictures this week :D

Sunday, 21 March 2010

I ♥ Faces - Week 12 - "Focusing on Angles"

Exposure:0.067 sec (1/15)
Focal Length:6 mm
ISO: 800

Ok ~ so this week it's all about angles! This shot may not be one of my technical bests but there is a reason for that! I put the kids in charge!! My camera has a rotating live-view screen, my kids LOVE it!! So when I'm taking a picture THEY like to see themselves, which makes life a tad difficult for me! This was taken with me on the floor, on my back, with them screaming at me to twist the screen whichever way so they could see themselves in it and they told me when to press the shutter :) I have a tonne of pictures from this shoot ~ it was fun and the pictures show it, but this one is by far my favourite!

Please excuse the quality: shot in winter, inside, and 3.30pm, on my camera which hates high ISO. I was in front of the window, but in winter this is only limitedly useful in the UK! Look at my settings, you can't let much more light in than that, but unfortunately the 800 ISO makes everything super-grainy, which means when you run it through noise reduction you loose a lot of detail :( If you are interested, HERE is the SOOC (so you can see my exposure & the grit). I know for some pictures a bit of noise is fine (I've learnt that much), but this was not one of them!

A little editing (which I did a while back now) and I love it despite it's faults ~ it shows the characters of my children extremely well :D!!

I hope my photo made you smile :D Too see some more random/gorgeous/wacky/funny angles over at I ♥ Faces just click the link!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

SOOC Saturday ~ Garden Time...

With the warmer weather comes the chance to plant some nice things in my garden. With the growing of my children this gets to not be the peaceful bit of activity that it once was ~ not that I really mind a helping hand or two :D

Here's my Minnie playing to the camera ~ she doesn't like to be photographed much, but I kinda like it when she's silly too! I'm itching to crop this, but you get to see it in all it's imperfect glory! :D

For more SOOC fun check out Slurping Life's SOOC Saturday/Sunday :D

Friday, 19 March 2010

5 Faves Friday ~ 2

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I would love to see some folks joining in ~ with or without words :D!! You must have 5 favourite shots from the week! McKLinky is open until Monday morning (10am GMT)

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Flickr Photostream



I ♥ FACES - Week 7 - "I Wanna Dance!"

I ♥ Faces - Week 2- “Best Face"

I ♥ Faces - Week 27 - Pets

I ♥ Faces - Week 31 - "Crazy, Silly, Funny Faces!!"

I ♥ Faces - Week 35 (ii) - “PhotoJournalism"

Social Butterfly Award :D

Ten Minutes From Home

Capturing Your Memories

Communal Global

You Capture


5 Faves Friday

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SOOC Saturday


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