Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24, 2009

Here are a few I took of Courtney for her 7th b-day!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 22,2009

the boys



Black and white


Black and white

I am WAY happier with these. I think I figured out that the pic I was using with his jacket reflected on his face and I just don't like it so much. I think I am liking black and white more and more--you really see the person then and not all the colors. Anyway, I redid the one of him shirtless and like it better too. It WAS very yellow, so I think I toned it down a bit and made him less jaundiced! If only it had beed that easy when he was a baby instead of having to put him in all those machines! HA! Well, tell me what you think--don't hold back because if I am going to try and do this for other people, i have to know what works and what doesn't!

Friday, March 20, 2009

March 20, 2009

Is this one better???

March 20, 2009

We are out to take more pics. Just thought I would add these to see what you thought.

I like this one to include with announcements????

Is this too soft and sexy??

I hate to say it but I really like this one.

I will put more up later.....let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19, 2009

I love this one of Michael

this is my favorite of Andrew

Well, I got to work for a little while last night. I was having fun playing around with CS3 and trying different techniques out on the pics. They passed the Andrew test--he really liked them. Of course, who wouldn't when the subject is so good looking??? Anyway, thought you might enjoy looking at a few. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18, 2009

Here is a preview of what I am working on. Let me know what you think! I LOVE the boys pictures and I am so happy with how they turned out. can't wait to finish them all! Check back tonight and tomorrow for more!

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 11, 2009

We have been so busy lately--I know, I know, I say that all the time. And it's true! We had Courtney's B-day on Sunday with just our family and tomorrow she will have her first b-day party ever with her friends! She has three little girls coming over and we will go to Build-A-Bear and Peter Piper Pizza and back home for cake and ice cream! She is beside herself with excitement! I will have tons of pictures to upload soon, but I wanted to put up a picture I was working on tonight. She got several new outfits for her birthday so she posed for me with a few of them on. I thought you might like to see one of them. She is so cute! I love her little freckles! I will try and get her b-day pics up soon so you can enjoy those too!

On another note: MY BOY IS COMING! MY BOY IS COMING! I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4, 2009

Hey everybody! I am so excited about a new technique I learned and I thought I would share it with you--especially since I know that you have the same problem every now and again.
So first up, I want to show you a picture that I took SOOC. It is BAD....VERY bad. In fact, before yesterday, I would have tossed it.

Oops--forgot to change my settings.

BUT, since I really wanted the picture, I decided to try and save it. Now, normally when I have done this, it a.) doesn't work and b) if it does even remotely come close to working, it is SOOOO grainy that it really wasn't worth my time because I ended up throwing it out anyway. But, with my new found discoveries on PSE, I found that these photos can be saved.

Here is the after pic.

Hard to believe isn't it???? Even the color is back. Usually when you have to lighten it as much as I had to, you lose all the black till it fades to gray.

Want to learn how to do it?? If the answer is no, you better leave now because I feel a tutorial coming on....

First, Open the picture in PSE that you want to correct. When you have it opened, look to the right (where the little picture is--the one that says background next to it) Right above that picture is a black and white circle. Click the circle and it will come up with a menu--hit levels. That will create a new level adjustment layer for you. Now, when your level box popped up, in the middle of the box is what looks like some kind of graph. If your picture has perfect levels, then it will look like little black hills. If, your picture looks like mine, it has a big black mountain to the left side--that is bad--very bad. So, in order to fix it, look for the white slider that is attached to the graph--not the one a little below it that looks like a gradient, but the one attached directly to it. Move the white slider(on the right) all the way till it touches the beginning of the black mountain on the right side. You will notice the gray slider moves along with it. Can you see the picture getting lighter??? So, your goal is to have the black slider at the beginning of the black mountain on the left side, your gray slider in the middle, and your white slider on the end of the black mountain on the right side. that will balance out your lighting.

My picture looked like this when I was done with the levels adj.

To me, it is really, really, yellow and red and really, really grainy.

Soooo, want to learn how to fix that too??? i knew you would. It is so easy you will wonder how you ever got by without it!

First, with your picture already open, click on the same black and white circle you did before but this time when the menu pops up, click on Hue and Saturation. When it pops up, you will see an edit box that says Master and it has a drop down menu. Hit the drop down Menu and you will see it comes up with a list of colors. For the most part, I never touch Red or Magenta because it messes with the skin color but, because this picture is SO yellow and red, we will have to play around with them both. Go to the red first and after you click on red, you will then need to go to the saturation tab. Slide the tab to the left to decrease and right to increase that color. I am going to slide mine to the left and decrease the red tones--just a bit. I don't want to take to much out of it because the field IS a red dirt. When I get it to where I like it, I go back up to the color tab and the drop down menu and pick yellow. I decrease the yellow in my picture to where I like it making sure not to decrease it so much that the softball loses its color. Now, because I can see the grassy field back behind it, I am going to once again click the color tab, go to green, and I am going to increase--by about 20--the color green, This will really make the color pop. Then press OK. You just created a layer mask. Over on the left side of your screen, you now have your background layer and above it will be what looks like a computer and a white rectangle. The great thing about this is that if you start to work with it and later on realize that you want to adjust the color a little more, you can double click on the computer thing and it will pull your menu back up. You can then make your necessary adjustments. YEA!!

So here it is with the color corrections. Not near as yellow and the red is toned down.

but still too grainy.

So now, I am going to do the best part. For this, you will need to go to this website www.noiseware.com/download.aspx scroll down to the last orange dot and and download the Noiseware Community Edition-Standalone version. It is free and I promise you--you will LOVE it.

Now we are going to get rid of the noise in the picture. Since the noiseware is a stand alone version and not a plug in, you will need to save the picture, minimize PSE and then open your new software. Just click OK when the first window pops up. Go to the Open Folder pic--on the left side and Open your new picture and then go the the spot where it says default and go to the drop down menu. If you have time, you can play around with all of them--just hit undo between tries. I used the nightscene for mine because my pic was so dark. Make sure your preview is ON--it is right next to the default menu. Hit go on the menu (it is to the right of the default menu.) Your picture is fixed. To see the change, click and hold on the picture. You can see the change when you let go. Go to Save as and save your picture.

Here is my finished pic.

And that is how you save an unsavable pic.

Now you go try it and let me see what you did!

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 3,2009

I just finished a template for my photography offerings. I thought it would be nice to offer a little collage type thing for ALL the photos. I think it would make a nice display. What do you think?


It's time to PARTY! I finished Courtney's invitation and thought you would like to see it

Isn't it cute???

March 2, 2009--evening

Did you notice anything different on the blog today??? I did. It is official, I have my first blog follower (thanks mom) Isn't it exciting? I would love to think she comes to read my witty blogs, but I think she just comes for the pictures! Anyway, I am adding a little gift for my older sister(Ha) the one I promised her because I said she was older when she really isn't. But, I am working on trying different things, getting ready to start my photography business on the side-if only....so I wanted to see what you thought about these storyboards. Once I get my templates set up, I will be able to put a combination of pictures on one page so the can have a nice framed print when it is done. This is just my first. They make great cards or announcements. If you like them OR if you have another suggestion--leave me a comment. (you will be my first and I know you don't want to pass that up!) :)

March 2, 2009

So awhile back we had our little photo shoot with the cousins. I FINALLY finished processing those last night. I thought I would share with you what it was like to shoot these kids.

Now, at first, things started out ok. We actually got them all together--minus Andrew,of course, but the thought of pictures seems to make Amys' boys cringe. Of course, mine had just had a photo shoot at Tonkawa Park the weekend before, so they were not too happy about doing it again. But, like I said, it started out ok.

We took the boys pictures......

Aren't they precious?? never would know that underneath it all there is a dark side...a picture-hating dark side.

then we took the girls pictures......and I won't show you those now as I am sure you are sick of seeing them..(that and I haven't finished them yet....)

We even took Mimi's picture. Isn't she pretty. She doesn't look a day over 40! I love my older sister! HA!!
But all the fun came at the end of the day, when they had had enough. This is what you get when that happens....

see what I mean... picture-hating dark side. And they want me to take more..... In their dreams.

till next time....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1, 2009

Hey everyone! Can you believe it?? March already! Only 6 more days till my baby turns seven. Seven. Where has the time gone? As she was jumping in the shower this morning, I told her that it was only a week until her birthday and of course, we started talking about how big she is and what she wants for her birthday and her party and all that stuff. I told her that she needed to stop growing because she was growing up too fast. She turned slowly with a thoughtful look on her face and said "don't worry mommy, I will ALWAYS be your baby!" How true that is. She may grow up, but she will always be my baby. Over the past seven years, she has changed so much but the one constant is that she has a wild, independent streak in her that at times makes me question why I EVER wanted to have children. I can safely say that NO ONE should ever have children after your first batch has almost grown. It was almost easier raising the three kids together than it has been having her so much later. She doesn't understand the age gap and seems to think that she should be able to do everything that they can do. Consequently, when she can't, she berates herself something horrible. None of the others did that. Chances were, if they couldn't do it, neither could there brother or sister. As much as I try not to compare--because that is what the books say NOT to do, they compare themselves. With the older kids, they seemed to find their niche according to what the siblings could or couldn't do. I mean, look at them. they each have excelled in something different. Andrew is musically talented--Rachael and Leah dallied in it, but nothing like Andrew. Rachael excels at the studies. The child cares deeply about her grades--Andrew and Leah just do what they need to do to get by. Leah is all about the sports. All I have to say there is-have you seen Andrew run?? And though Rachael loves volleyball, it is not allowed to interfere with her grades. There have been many a time I have looked over at her in the stands after her game and while all her friends are laughing and playing around, her nose is in a book studying for that test the next day. Don't get me wrong, I am glad they are all so different, it keeps me busy, but I LOVE it! But I think they are all so different because they had each other. They--without knowing it--each found a place for themselves in this chaos we call a family. Carving out a spot for themselves that no one else had. But what about Courtney? I often wonder if she will find something that SHE loves because she is to busy trying to beat her sisters at what THEY love. She seems to love everything. Art. School. Sports. Dance.cheerleading. Can one person DO all that?? More importantly, can one mother afford all that? One thing is for sure, I can't wait for the next seven years. I can't wait to watch as her little personality starts to really develop and she starts to learn who she really is. What type of person will she be? If I dare to guess, I bet she will be a bat carrying, ball kicking, art loving, dancing cheerleader with a broke mother who loves her more today than she did seven years ago. At least........that's what I am hoping for. Night.