Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Black and White Wednesday - "Philly 2011"

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Hello blog.......remember me?

I took a bit of a bloggy break and (tried to) catch up on a few things and took a little trip to Philadelphia with some dear buddies who share a similar joie de vivre and a passion for (gee, where do I begin) photography and kids and a whole lot more.

And I'm not sharing one picture of anybody (so don't be looking for any people) ......just some beautiful buildings and statues and interesting finds in what is a truly spectacular city.

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It's Black and White Wednesday so be sure to visit Lisa's blog for more photography and maybe a glimpse of some similar sites.

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Hope everyone is having a fabulous summer....and surviving this heat wave!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Black and White Wednesday - "a study"

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I've had quite a few emails asking different questions about my black and whites. If I use actions or presets or do them myself. I love actions and presets but can't really find a black and white that I love so I do them myself and they usually turn out according to my mood.

I lean heavily toward high contrast. (No, really?)

So, here's what I do. In Lightroom, I select my white balance (I shoot in raw so I have lots of choices). This picture was from a shoot in my studio where I have overhead natural light from a large skylight and I placed a large reflector on her lap. So, I chose daylight. I'm in color now don't forget. Then I adjust exposure - usually uping it a bit and add blacks and fill light in equal amounts - usually from 7-15 each. I choose medium contrast and then play with clarity, maybe add some highlights and shadows - sharpen and send it into Photoshop.

In PS I add an unsharp mask at about 110% and then mess with all sorts of stuff, depending on what's needed. Adding highlights to the eyes, enhancing the color, whiten teeth, clone to hide undereye bags etc. Too long to get into because I want to get to black and white.

Ok, so I'm happy with it. Save it and go back to Lightroom and import it again. (Seems complicated but it's really not.) There I convert to greyscale and start messing.

I ususally add more exposure and blacks and maybe contrast, some highlights and shadows. That's what I did for the picture at the very top.

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So then, for some changes the above picture (#2) here's how I changed it. Exposure -2.19, fill +39, contrast -50m, clarity -24, highlights -29

Huge difference from #1 to #2.

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So for #3 (above) I added more highlights, more darks and more shadows. (To me this is more artsy and I love it.)

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For #4 I lessened the exposure -1.62%, fill light +52, clarity -16. Probably the most natural looking of them all.

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And finally, for #5 I again lessened the exposure -1.62%, fiol light +30, contrast +100, clarity -60, highlights -36. This one is just so purdy, I think.

Man, what gorgeous cheekbones this girl has. To work on 5 different images like this - in Lightroom you right click on an image and select make virtual copy. You can do that multiple times.

the long road

Visit Lisa's site and take in all the wonderful photography from all over.

Hope eveyone is enjoying these hot summer days!

Monday, July 11, 2011

TODAY ......just my flowers......

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Have you ever really looked at a flower?

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No....I mean really looked!

(Ok....stop rolling your eyes....of course you have.)

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So....is it just me who thinks a flower is just about the most amazing creation in the world (chubby babies aside). (Oh, and fluffy puppies too.)

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Like....what do you suppose God was thinking? We can't eat them......they don't clean the air or give off oxygen.....

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they just sit there and look gorgeous!

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And...what's wrong with that?

Nothing. Not one thing!

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Ok....that's all the pontificating I have today (in my little corner of the world). Do visit all the other sites and take in all that gorgeousness.

Just because!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Black and White Wednesday - " Ahhh.....summer! "

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All year long we wait for days like these. Where we can throw on our flip flops and just walk out the door. Not a thing in hand. Well.....maybe the camera, but that doesn't count.

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The school year is finished, books and pencils all tucked away and the fridge is well stocked with popsicles and fudge bars. (And real fruit bars too so no slamming.)

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We've got new water guns, bouncing balls and skipping ropes (and I need to get more bubbles. What's summer without a fresh bottle of bubbles?)

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I'm tackling a few house-keeping projects this summer because I know I'll be hitting the road hard, come September. The loft is getting cleaned-up and is (somewhat) returning to it's original state of my studio. I have a lot of new lighting equipment and backdrops and props and I'm spreading out in here. Things like "what is that?" and "where did we get that?" are ringing in the air and we've already taken 2 car loads to the Salvation Army with more to go. Even the kiddos are looking around with smiles at all the room we uncovered.

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Check out all the fbulous photography at Lisa's site. The long road to China.

And enjoy these beautiful summer days!!