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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Talking with Will

will1
Will wanted to tell me about something that happened at school. I asked him if I could take some pictures of him while he talked. He said no, but I did it anyway.
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How old are you?

Katie and the ATV Tracks

According to my husband’s driver’s license, he is 38 years old.

The 4 wheeler tracks in my front yard lead me to suspect he’s really only about 16.

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I set the camera on top of our TV armoire, and snapped this one.  I thought it would be interesting to take pictures throughout the year of our home and see how it changes.  We rearrange fairly often, plus there is always something going on — the table to the right of center is Lego Mindstorm Central at the moment.  And I’m noticing that the Poinsettia wallhanging never got taken back down after the holiday season.

january 24, 2009

The wall color is pretty accurate in this photo.  When we first looked at this house I thought “OMG that is YELLOW” and was sure we’d have to change it.

It has grown on me, though, and I’m glad I never could talk Mark into repainting.

january 25

The boys received a copy of the movie Wall-E for Christmas.  With the movie was a voucher for a free tree.  Mark went online, signed up, and here, finely, is our Tree.  We had to buy some potting soil and a pot last night.  Hopefully it survived it’s trip to our house, and can survive until such time that it can be transplanted to the great outdoors.

For reference, the portion fo the tree that is actually above the soil is only about 7 inches…

I think I’m all caught up now.  Well, caught up in sharing pictures, that is.

The boys should be home from basketball any moment now, and after we have our Traditional Sunday supper (popcorn, apples and cheese, that’s a well-rounded meal, right?), I might go sew for a bit.  I mean…clean up some more.

Yeah.  That’s it.  I’ll go clean some more.

TTFN-

Suzanne aka EDG

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Fraternal Twin Quilts

These were actually done last night, but it was too dark to take pictures.  And the pictures I took this morning aren’t all that great, but I wanted to have them “modeled” by my helpers.

Get it?  Fraternal Twin Quilts?  The same, but not the same?

Twin Quilts, edited

I guess it helps to know that the boys are Fraternal Twins.  (Speaking of which, I never did write any more posts about having twins, did I?  I’ll have to remedy that).

Excuse all that stuff you can see laying around in the background.  And the Be Merry sign in the window.

Honey, I found another Christmas deco that didn’t get put away.

We had our Christmas countdown calendar (frozen on 7 days til Christmas) on the wall until a few days ago.

The pictures I took this morning weren’t great.  The boys had no interest in helping me.

will-cringing

But I wanted to show you what the original picture that I showed above looks like:

twin quilts sooc

I still have a lot to do to figure out how to get the picture coming straight out of the camera (SOOC) to look good, but I feel like I’ve been let into a secret society now that I’ve figured out to make the pictures I do take look better.

Here’s the edited picture again:

Twin Quilts, edited

And then the two side by side:

side by side

(to see it larger, click on the picture, then click on ALL SIZES (up above the picture) which will give you different size options to look at)

I did several things to this picture, including sharpening it, running a noise reduction filter, and running an action called Boost, from The Pioneer Woman.

My aim is not professional photography, or doing lots of fancy touch-ups…and I’m not saying the fnial result is great, but it sure is a lot brighter and sharper.  Of course, I’m also something of a geek (OK, a LOT geek), and this sort of thing thrills me in the core of my geekiness.

Time for my inner geek to go shower and get breakfast and get moving.  Have a great day!

Suzanne

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Sock on a Keyboard

I’ve mentioned before that one of the things I want to do is learn more about Photoshop and specifically, photo editing.  I’d also like to learn more about how to use my camera, a Sony Alpha-100.   The other day I was just playing and figured out how to use the Custom White Balance setting, and tonight managed to take 2 pictures that very vividly demonstrate what that can do for you.

Backstory, or…why I took pictures of a sock on a keyboard:

My Mom’s Old Computer is going to become my Aunt’s New Computer, and I needed to clean some stuff off of it and see if I could make it not be so stinking slow.  Interestingly enough, simply uninstalling Trend Micro anti-virus seems to have done the trick as far as speeding things up…

As I was sitting and waiting and waiting and waiting for it to do things I suddenly thought HEY!  While I sit here I could be knitting! And I am now wishing that all those years ago when I actually worked with computers for a living and spent HOURS of my life waiting for them to do things, I could have been KNITTING.  Just think how much knitting I could have gotten done!!!

And now the pictures:

First picture taken using the Night mode on my camera.   The color is WAY off.  (No flash, just the overhead light).

knitting socks while waiting for computer #1

The only thing I changed for this picture was setting the Custom White Balance, using the white countertop as the white reference point and voila:

knitting socks while waiting for computer #2

Like night and day, isn’t it?

I didn’t do any further editing of the pictures, just resized them for the Internet.

If you are wondering what on Earth I mean by White Balance, here is a tutorial I just found that explains it much more clearly than I could:

Understanding White Balance (even if you just click over and read the first paragraph, you’ll get the idea)

What I know about photography could fit in a thimble, and I hope to at least expand that up to a mug by the end of the year.  I’ll try not to bore you too much in the process, but I’m such a geek that stuff like this really tickles me.

(And look!  I’m on the heel flap of my sock!  Isn’t it purty??)

Suzanne

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ice-crystals

I got caught up in a quilt yesterday, and didn’t spend much time at the computer.  The fact that my two helpers were here using the computer kept me away as well.  I’m not sure how much snow we got, but it was a fair amount, followed by that nasty, nasty wind. School was out early, and then delayed today.

And I’ve heard that another storm is on its way tonight.  Yippee.

The ice crystals above are on the front windows of the shop.  Isn’t it pretty?   I don’t know if that’ll be today’s photo or not, but I imagine I’ll be doing some weather related photos this winter.

So what it is with the daily photos?  And is she going to get through the whole year?

Two years ago, I tried, and only made it through day 50.  I don’t even recollect why I quit.  I’m not harboring any delusions that just because I’ve managed to get 12 days in this year, I’m magically going to make it through all 365, but I will say that I have different attitude about it this year.

I realized that EVERY DAY I get out of bed.  I brush my teeth and take a shower and eat breakfast and check my e-mail and do a whole bunch of other things that I don’t even think about.  EVERY. STINKING. DAY.

So I said to myself “Self.  You are an idiot.  If you can do all of THOSE thing EVERY DAY, why can’t you add in something else?”

Why does it have to be so hard to find a way to exercise every day, or to be creative every day, or to write down a note about what happened that day or to take at least one photograph every single day?

It doesn’t have to be rocket science.  Pick the camera up, take a picture of something.  I’ve been keeping up with Photoshopping the pictures every day, but I’m not going to insist on that of myself as the year goes on.  Though, I won’t let myself get too far behind, or I know I will quit.

What am I going to take pictures of?  Well, the boys (all 3) for starters.  Myself, occasionally.  The dog.  I plan to pick a tree or something else in my yard to take monthly pictures of, to show the  change in the seasons.  Quilts on the bed, little stuff around the house maybe.  I have some ideas for what I’ll do if I don’t manage to pick up the camera — I might even fake some pictures (i.e. take a picture of something that hasn’t changed from one day to the next, like the piles on my desk…).  Sometimes it’ll be places or people or other random, inanimate objects (like quilts!).

I want all of this in hard copy, too, and I sort of think I know what I’ll be doing with them, but I’m still debating.

The idea of a photo a day for a year is the latest HOT thing in the scrapbooking world, and there are tons of people giving it a whirl.  Lots of ideas and scrapbooking products being shared.  Lots of photos on Flickr you could go look at.  It can be really complicated or really simple.

I’ve got quilts calling my name, so I better go heed their call.

TTFN-

Suzanne

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We had an appointment with our financial advisor this evening, it was our annual “how are we doing” meeting.

Oy vey.

The poor guy.  I asked him how many times he has said the phrase “stay the course” over the last few months.  I think he’s glad to see 2008 gone, and he tried to sound hopeful about 2009.

After the meeting, we ate supper and then I went and did my part to stimulate the economy, because we needed groceries, bad.

One of the things I bought was new bath rugs for our bathrooms.  Our old bath rugs were wedding gifts, and we’ll be celebrating our 13th anniversary this year.  The rubber backing on the old ones is disintegrating, leaving messes allover the bathroom floors.  Yuck.

I also bought new towels and cannot wait to use them in the morning!

The boys and I arrived at our appointment early, and the only thing I had with me was my camera, so I played a bit with camera settings, while taking pictures of the Visitors Only Parking sign, my checkbook, and the steering wheel.  Really fascinating stuff.  In truth, I learned a few things I didn’t know before, but the resulting photos are nothing to write home about.

I also took a bunch of quilt photos earlier, but I’m running out of energy (and desire) to do anything about them.  Tomorrow.

In the meantime, I leave you with today’s photo.  Will sits directly behind me in the car, and it’s hard to turn around and take a picture of him.  I kind of stuck the camera behind me, and just randomly snapped, and got this one.  It’s slightly out of focus, but I still thought it was sort of cool in a totally “I’m not a real photographer” kind of way.

And then, I played with it in Photoshop and ran an action from Pioneer Woman called “Seventies” and made it even a bit stranger.  Plus, I spot-healed a weird red spot on his nose.

So, yeah.  Here’s the photo SOOC (straight out of camera):

january 6 picture SOOC

And the retouched photo with frame:

january 6, 2009

I think it’s got kind of a cool, funky feel to it.  I’m not entirely sure about the caption I gave this one.  I was trying to be clever, playing on the fact that it is Will in the picture.

I can see that I need to learn how to smooth out his poor chapped lips a bit.  Of course, I could always give the poor kid some Chapstick or Blistex or something.

Speaking of which, DANG IT.  Blistex was on Mark’s shopping list and I just now remembered that I forgot it.

It was even written down for me.  As you can imagine, he won’t be surprised that I forgot it.  I got everything else on the list.  I think.

Except.  I returned a gift that needed to be returned, but didn’t manage to go look for a replacement gift.  Oops.

I think I’d better quit rambling and go hit the sack, so I can wake up refreshed and sort through the quilt pictures I took.

Suzanne

p.s. speaking of unforgettable, you should check out the pictures my mom posted on her blog today.  she’s been digging out some more doozies.  wow.

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