Monday, December 26, 2011

New Toy for Christmas - HDR !

Santa Jeff got me this very cool photo processing software for Christmas that allows me to process my images in what's call High Dynamic Range, or HDR. I had heard about it, but what I read made it seem very complex, and I just couldn't get my head around trying it. Then, I read an article by a woman who had gotten "burned out" on photography and stopped taking images, until she heard about HDR, and tried it. It gave her a new passion for photography. In the article she mentioned the software she used, and commented on how easy it was to use and learn, so I was immediately intrigued! Anyway, the above image is an image of some old junk yard trucks that I took earlier this year. I applied a pretty intense effect, just for fun, and this was the result. Those trucks haven't looked so fun in years!!

This image used a different effect that created a sort of painting look to the image. It also really pulled the details that were in the dark in the original image I shot. This is a sunrise shot from our back patio. The house in the image is of one of our neighbor's house. I just love the way this process captures the details that were in the dark without losing any of the details in that sunrise sky. Some of the colors aren't quite "real", but that's the painting effect.

This last image is just lovely. The original image was really wonderful, too, but I played with it to see what could result. This image is more detailed and vivid than the original image, but it still maintains the soft quality of the original. I am in love with this software, and think I love photography even more now that I did before!!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Butterfly ATC Swap

The theme of this swap was butterflies. The ATC above uses some book page text as the background. I then applied a napkin that had some really pretty roses and added a gel transfer of a butterfly that I found in a magazine to the very top. Because it's a gel transfer and not the actual magazine image, you can still see the text thru the wings of the butterfly as it sits perched on the roses.

This ATC uses a piece of a music page as the background. Again, I applied a napkin to that, with some rose buds and leaves on it, as well as a little butterfly. I also added a butterfly stamp, just for a bit of balance.

And, finally, the piece I call Butterfly Bling. Again, music pages as a background, but this time I used a butterfly rubber stamp over it. I then colored in the wings, body and added some very obvious antenna with art glitter. I'm not sure why I really like this one, but I do!


January Bizarre Holidays

Some fun holidays in January! The first holiday, above, is Thomas Crapper Day. He is supposedly the inventor of the inside flushing toilet.....I have no idea if that's why it's called "crap", tho! (C'mon, you know that's what you were thinking!)

January 23 is National Handwriting Day. I found some old handwriting instructional pages and used a rubber stamp I had of a woman's hand writing a postcard (I only used the part of the stamp that showed her hand, so you don't see the postcard.). I was drawn to this holiday because I remember in 4th grade when we were taught cursive handwriting, mine was so atrocious, I couldn't earn enough stars on my homework pages to allow me to begin doing my homework with a pen. I was certain this was going to keep me from graduating to the 5th grade! I remember I was so afraid of opening up my final report card, that when I saw that I had been promoted to the 5th grade, I was so relieved, I almost peed in my pants....or skirt, as the case may be! It's amazing how intimidating those Catholic nuns could be!! I'm sure in some way I'm scarred for life re that, since I still remember it so vividly after all these years!!

I had some really cool stamps from Australia, so I thought I should honor Australia Day! The background is a map of the ancient world. It just looked so cool I couldn't resist using it. I do believe Australia is just off the foot of the koala bear!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

First Snowfall this Winter

What a fun weekend this is - first winter snowfall! They are still predicting more snow for tonight into tomorrow, but we did get out and enjoy it today! Jeff & I took Miki out to our 10 acres, where she enjoyed playing chase the football with Jeff!

As we wondered around the 10 acres, I saw this branch full of snowflakes that look like crystals. Isn't this lovely?

If you look close, you can see the snow falling in this image. I had just stepped out of the studio, when I saw how the little tree in our yard looked so wonderful up against the wall of the house. So, I ran inside to grab my camera, and when I came out, some snowflakes added to the special effect!

This shot is one of my favorites! Yesterday, Miki woke me up at 6am to go outside, and when I peeked out back, this was the view from our back patio. Such a peaceful scene. I especially love the fact that someone left their red Christmas lights on all night, so they were still glowing in the first light of sunrise.