Saturday, May 23, 2015

Self Portrait Week 20: The Baker

This week I made cake for my daughter's wedding.



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Photo Lessons I Learned:

I didn't learn a lot this week, photography-wise. I did need to manipulate the f-stops about +2.5 so that the sunlight in the background would get blown out and the subject would be lighted correctly. Even so, I had to use a fairly high ISO which made the full-size version of this photo a little grainy. In post-processing, I lightened up the face an extra bit, and cloned out a cabinet.

My favorite part of this photo is how the dripping white cake batter lines up so well in the white blown-out window.

Another thing I learned? Three pieces of copier paper can quickly be made into a chef hat.  



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Self Portrait Week 19: Basking

I paused to feel the light on my skin



Then stopped to consider who was watching me. (No one)



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Photo Lessons I Learned:

Inspiration hits at the oddest hours. I took this photo late at night when I should have been sleeping. Sometimes you have to dare yourself to get a little uncomfortable. "Hiding" inside a wig and behind a pop of lip color helps. So when photographing people, be a little playful and take some risks.

This photo was taken indoors in a mix of incandescent and fluorescent light: an overhead bedroom light, a small lamp to the right/front of the subject, and another small lamp on a dresser to the back/left of the subject. I was standing in front of a white door. The white balance on the camera was set to incandescent, so I had to fix the colors in editing. For a more timeless look, I converted to black and white.

It was a good thing I learned to click the wired remote shutter button with my toe a couple weeks ago. It came in handy this week.



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Self Portrait Week 18: Bed o' Phlox

The phlox in my backyard is in full bloom. So pretty. A floral pillow for me.




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Photo Lessons I Learned:

I bought myself a selfie stick and tried it out for the first time today.

The photo was taken late in the day in the shade where the light wasn't good. The focus is soft. My glasses have too much reflection. But sometimes it's not so much about the "pretty" as about just learning to use the tools.

In editing I flipped the photo upside down ... I like the angle better this way.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Aged to Perfection

My husband and I had dinner at Outback Steak House the other night. This was printed on the coaster.

I thought they were talking about ME!


Cheeky, I know.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Self Portrait Week 17: Purplexd

It's Lilac Bloomsday across the border in Spokane, Washington. The purples are bustin' out all over



and, from what I can see, having a good time doing it!



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Photo Lessons I learned:

This week was another study in tone-on-tone. Makeup, wig, clothing, and accessories were all shades of purple. I tried for some long shots, but once again, it was the close-ups that worked for me. 

I also wanted to see what a portrait would look like if taken with a telephoto lens. I set the camera up about 10 to 12 feet away from the subject and zoomed in. My settings were:
f 5 ... 1/40 sec ... ISO 3200 ... 155mm

I'm still trying to learn how to pull light into a semi-dark room without having to use such a high ISO. I wasn't successful with that this week. I used a key light with umbrella, a back light shining up on the backdrop, window light as fill light with a reflector to the right in this photo. I like the way the light in back gave my hair some rim lighting.

Another thing I learned was how to trip the wired remote with my toe when both hands were busy in the photo!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Emily's Afghan

Back in January, my niece Sarah had her first baby, Emily (just like my mother's name!)
I crocheted a pretty afghan to welcome her to the family.


I used Caron's Simply Soft yarn in this lilac with an accent of white stripes.



Before sent it off to Washington, I let my babydoll model it, wrapped in warmth against the winter cold.



The pattern is one I modified from an afghan I found on Pinterest. It's a row of two double crochet / chain stitch, followed by a row of single crochet / 2 chain stitches. In the white rows, I substituted two single crochets for the doubles. It makes for a nice cohesive pattern.


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Inspired by Lisa Lately via Pinterest:






Saturday, April 25, 2015

Self Portrait Week 16: Wigging Out

My daughter Jeanne came over to play in the rain with me today. We dressed up in wigs, and took a phone selfie on the deck. She chose hair my dark color; I chose hair her natural brown color.


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Photo Lessons I Learned:

Today I taught Jeanne how to  use a verbal command to take a photo. My phone didn't like her voice. Her voice command could never get the shutter to click.

The biggest lesson this week was in photo editing. Jeanne is really good at it. She showed me several ways to play with levels and contrast and other tools to make all the various shades of black in this photo pop instead of getting lost in one big black blob. So the shirts and the hair and the umbrella each have their own tone. Goodness, I have a lot to learn ... and trying to cram so much into a single session makes my brain burn. She was incredibly patient with me.