Before/After Beach Shots

>> Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time for Monica's Before/After photo edits! One of my favorite meme's of the week! This weeks photo I chose was one we took at the beach last weekend.

SOOC

Edit

I used paint.net, layering and sharpening for the edits. I wanted to capture more of the glow of the sun on the water than of Little Man by himself.


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Beach Photos

>> Monday, February 22, 2010

I haven't forgotten about you guys. For those of you who follow my personal blog you know that Hubby got his orders and that we are moving! We have about 5-6 weeks {at the most} to pack our house, repaint everything, move everything into storage and get the Hubby to California. I'm still taking pictures, but for right now, I am up to my EARS in things to do around the house. I'm going to keep posting as I take new photos, but I can't promise how often that will be. For now, I give you the photos we took at the beach the other day.






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Pixel Perfect Blog Hop

>> Thursday, February 18, 2010

Monica over at "Pixel Perfect" hosts a fun blog hop every week where we show off our before and after editing techniques. I am so happy that I have my new camera so now I can really take some great photos and I finally understand how to use some different aspects of my photo editing software. Here we go:

Straight out of camera....


And the edit.

I used paint.net and the layering effect to edit this one. I liked this effect because I wasn't really impressed with the tree in the photo. The tree is ugly. No blooms, no leaves. Just a plain ol' naked tree. But the sky in the background was beautiful. Using this layering tool, I was able to create a sort of silhouette of the tree and enhance the rich colors in the background.

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Books, Rings & Random Things

>> Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A few totally random, fun shots for you all today. I didn't feel the best in the world this morning, but I wanted to play around with my camera, so I went for some unique and different photos. This one, I initially saw on Monica's blog. Hers, of course is a whole lot better than mine, but I like it:

I liked that I was able to get the "Wives, respect your husbands" and "Husbands love your wives" verse pretty much in focus. I may try this shot again tomorrow...different angles and such.


Don't ask why I shot the post-its...I just like the bright colors. :)


This is a very famous shot...you can find them anywhere and I wanted to take one of my own...


I like this photo a lot of little man...but there is a lot of noise in this picture...it looks really grainy to me.

Anywho. Not many today, but I did take some. I've got to find more inspiration around my house. I'm having a hard time coming up with things to photograph...hmmm. I guess that's part of the journey :)

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A Day in the Park

>> Monday, February 15, 2010

Here are a few new photos that I took today. Hubby, Little Man & I went to the park this afternoon for some football and, of course, a photo session. I am learning very quickly that while I may take 200 pictures, there are only a handful that really turn out that I really like. Like this one with Little Man and the nugget. I actually shot this totally and completly on manual. I was really excited when I saw it. The only editing I did on this one was to sharpen and enhance his eyes. No color change, just the sharpen tool. Ya' like?



A shot of some of the trees in the park...


There is a really big pond in the center of the local park...just a shot from the walking trail.


This is a shot of one of the foul poles at the ball field next to the park. I used layering to touch up the color. Seemed like a good 'artsy' shot.



I liked the way that the shadow was hitting the concrete here...


Anywho. We are going down to the beach one day this weekend. We decided to wait until the weather warms up because it was crazy cold here in Florida earlier. And no need to drag the Little Man down to the beach. Don't want him getting sick. Hope you all have a fantastic day!

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A Look at Nature

>> Sunday, February 14, 2010

I took a lot of really cute photos of Little Man yesterday when we went to Build-A-Bear that you can find on my other blog. But, today I spent some time shooting a few nature shots around what little bit of yard area we have. I shot all of these, again, in the "Aperature" mode and edited them using paint.net and the layering effect. {I was super amazed at easy and effective it was! If you've never edited using layers, The Pioneer Woman has a great tutorial here.} I tried out a few different layering techniques, and these were some of my favorites...


I have mixed feeling about how I feel about the branch protruding from the top of the flower...in a way, I lilke the effect it gives, but I wish I would have had it a little more in focus. I like the darker background. It makes the colors in the flower really stand out. And I would have like the center part of the flower to have been more in focus than it is.

I liked this because it gave a whole different color scheme than the first photo did.


It wasn't dark when I took this...it wasn't even sunset yet. I was just able to capture the sun coming through the clouds and then use layering, again, to darken the trees to add emphasis on the sky behind it. Loved the way this one turned out.


Just a little something from me to you on Valentines Day :)


This was just one I was playing with the get the whole "black & white photo with color enhancing" thing down...I'm really more partial to the original photo:

With this one, I was able to capture the shadows of the candle-light without even using the flash...love the way the light is shining on the photo just enough to see the picture.

Anywho. That will be all for tonight. We're heading to the park and the beach tomorrow afternoon, so I'm hoping to have a few silhouette pictures for you...and some killer sunset photos.
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Aperature Shots with the New Camera

>> Saturday, February 13, 2010

I purchased my beloved new camera yesterday. Didn't get a bad price for it either. We went to Best Buy initially, and naturally, they didn't have it in stock. Me, having done my research, new that aside from Best Buy, Sears actually had the best price for this camera. {It was even cheaper than Walmart!} We ended up paying $658.00 for the camera, 4 GB Memory Card, and tax. And of course, when I got home last night I started shooting. Took a few really crappy shots just to see how the picture quality was and make sure everything worked okay [which, I will not be showing you.] And then I got serious. I skipped using the 'Auto' mode completely and went straight to the 'Aperature' setting. Here are the best ones I took:





 I didn't edit any of these {other than just adding the watermark}, so these are all SOOC shots. I am amazed at the clarity and precision of my new camera. I have never taken pictures this clear before. Like I said before, I was playing around with the aperature...that's why these are all toy shots because there wasn't a lot to photograph at 8:30 last night when I got home. I tried to focus in on a few different things [the big red ball, the different letters]. Most of these were taken at f 4.0 or  f5.6. Would love feedback from you guys!  :)



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A Little Welcome Message...

>> Thursday, February 11, 2010

So. I've decided to take up photography.

I've always enjoyed it, always wanted to be better at it, always admired it...and now, I'm finally going to get my rear end in gear and make it happen. I'm so unbelievably excited! For the sake of my "future" business, I want to document my journey to become a professional photographer on a completely different blog. I will be adding some photography posts to my personal blog, but for the most part, anything and everything involving my camera can be found here.

With anything, you need goals.  I am the kind of person that if I don't have a set deadline for something, I won't ever accomplish it. I need boundaries, guidelines, rules, etc. For the sake of not spending my entire life attempting to 'go pro' in the photography business, I have given myself a time line, if you will. A rough sketch of my plans to take my hobby and turn it into a successful, money making career.

  • Purchase my very first Digital SLR Camera:  I know what those of you reading this are thinking..."What?! You want to be a photographer and you don't even have the camera yet? Isn't that kind of essential?!" Yes and yes. I do not as of today {February 11, 2010} have my camera. But I will by February 15. Hubby is very supportive of my decision and is offering unbelievable amount of encouragement, but he has a hard time letting go of that kind of cash. So, poor guy is putting it off as long as possible. Kidding. We are actual just waiting on payday to roll around this weekend.
  • Build my portfolio: Fortunately for me, I have my own 24 hour model unwilling to pose for me whenever I want him to. I also have a few friends with young children and my very best friend is expecting her first child, so I've already lined up my first maternity shoot this summer. I also have a few 'photo projects' in mind to help with random and spontaneous shooting to give me a feel for my camera and all that it will do.
  • Read, Study, Practice, Shoot...a lot:  This is explanatory in itself. I've found a lot of up and coming photographers through blogging {you can find their links in my sidebar}, as well as a few great self-teaching websites. I have intentions of spending a lot of time learning my camera, reading as much as I can about the art of photography and practicing. Which means a ton of photos [which you will all be able to view and comment on].
  • Enroll in Photography Classes:  We are expecting another PCS move this year, and once we get relocated, I will begin taking photography classes. I want to gain as much knowledge as I can, and the only way to do that is to dig in and take what I can get. 
  • Set up a Business: And by this I mean a full blown business, complete with business cards, a professionally designed [and professional priced, no doubt] website, and all of that lovely paperwork and tax information. If I'm going to do this, I want to do it right. 
I am very aware of the fact that not only is this going to be hard, especially in today's economy, but it's also going to be a long process. This isn't something that I can do overnight. Which is why I am giving myself 12 Months to complete and get started on these things. Over the next 12 months, I expect to have built up a nice portfolio with a wide array of options and shots, using the knowledge I find via the internet, tutorials and books. I am not sure I will have completed my first set of photography classes by the time 12 months is up, just on account of the whole military thing. {Never know when you're going to be moving} But I should at least be getting ready to start. And hopefully, I will be nearing the point of actually launching a business. I don't expect to have a abundantly successful business by this time next year, but I plan to be established and set up and on my way.

As I learn, I will post tutorials and information-including websites I find helpful, software I use, and whatever tips and tricks I discover. I am so excited about this journey, and I hope many of you will follow along with me. I also plan to start up a fun new meme in the coming weeks [photography related, of course] for everyone to participate in. Please spread the word about my new blog! I hope to 'see' you all soon!


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About This Blog

I'm a SAHM learning my way around my SLR and striving to open a professional photography business. I spend most of my time in my Manual and reading tutorials online. This blog is my way of documenting the things that I learn and the sessions that I photograph along the way.

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