Monday, February 19

Color Grading

"But grief is a walk alone.  Others can be there and listen.  But you will walk alone down your own path, at your own pace, with your sheared-off pain, your raw wounds, your denial, anger, and bitter loss.  You will come to your own peace, hopefully, but it will be on own, in your own time."  ~  Cathy Lamb.

It has been a while.  I believe that I am finally coming into my own peace.  The loss of my brother weighed heavy on me for quite a while.  I haven't picked up my camera since he passed.  I'm not ready to shoot yet, but I am moving on with processing.  I have been captivated recently by color grading.

Color grading is the process of altering or enhancing the color of an image.  Primary color grading affects the whole image by providing control over the color density curves of red, green, blue color channels.  Color "grading" should not be confused with color "correction".  One of the main reasons for color grading is to stylize an image to indicate a flashback, dream sequence, or re-creation—or simply to give the entire project a unique feel.  At the present, I am fascinated with the teal/orange tones in an image.  This is known as cinematic color grading.

However, you can tone with any colors you create:

Color grading with curves is not the only method.  I am also exploring gradient maps (which are awesome by the way).  Create a gradient map adjustment layer, choose any gradient available or create your own gradient, and change the blend mode to soft light.

The possibilities are absolutely endless....only limited by your imagination.

There are tons of tutorials on color grading.  Let your imagination run wild and create beautiful images.

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Sunday, December 10


“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”                    ― Anne Lamott

Oh my gosh.  This year has been a tough year.  We have lost a couple of beloved pets....

 Molly-girl, my grandson's ferret and

 Ringo, my sister's little dog.

And I lost my brother, my friend, my protector.  It was so unexpected and quick....I'm having a very hard time getting past stage 2 in the grieving process.  I'm angry for a lot of things but most angry because I don't think I had enough time with him.  I'm sure anyone who has lost a loved-one feels the same way.

My family sat and scoured through old photos and memories and it was the beginning of healing.  I have a feeling it's going to be a long process.

I love you Mikie and your leaving has left a huge hole in my life.  Rest easy brother, you have earned it.

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Monday, July 31

Petite Flowers

I recently found these pretty little flowers on Etsy and I just adore them.  

The background for these is an old crate that I have.  It is perfect for these pictures.  I love the light coming in this window (in my living room facing south).  So I experimented with things *grins*.

I used my fireplace for the background on these.  This little box I found at Ben Franklin crafts a long time ago.  The turquoise vase is from Hobby Lobby.

I couldn't resist adding this one just because I like it 😊

I recently discovered these backdrops from Mini Backdrops on Etsy.  They are fabulous.  There is no shine and they are really easy to work with.

I encourage you to look around you home for small pockets of light which will translate into beautiful photos.  Also, it's not necessary to buy props....I'm sure you already have all kinds of interesting things which will make stunning photographs.  Experiment and have fun!

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Monday, July 17

Searching for Light

Everyone would love to have ideal lighting for every photo session, especially if you are strictly a natural light photographer.  However, there are many situations where the lighting is not perfect....winter, rainy, harsh midday sun.  When used correctly, natural light indoors can be pleasing  and can also provide opportunity for some creative portraiture with contrast, shadows, and drama.  

Like any situation, do your research before you start photographing indoors. Many times the direction of the house, the position of the windows, along with the time of year plays an important part in the amount of light coming through. Is your house North-South facing or East-West? What are sunrise and sunset times where you live, or where you are going to be photographing? Does the room have a sunroof that lets in additional light? Light also changes depending on the time of day.  As light changes, so does the color of light. This directly affect the white balance (WB) of the image. If your camera has the ability to shoot in RAW use it, as white balance can then be adjusted in post-processing. If you really want to get it right in camera, experiment with the Kelvin scale.

The best source of natural indoor light is windows.  The closer you are to a window the more light you have to work with.  Also where you place your subject with also greatly affect the image.  There are three basic scenarios for using window light:  side light, front light and back light.

Side light:  you place your subject parallel to or at a slight angle to the window.
Back light:  you place your subject with their back to the window.   In this case, you meter for the subject and let the window area blow out.  You can also use a reflector to pop light back onto your subject.
Front light:  you place your subject facing the window and you are between your subject and the window.  This produces even light.

This is the first time I've photographed anything in my living room.  It was sunny and I really liked the light coming in on my lava lamp  *grins*.  

I really liked these shots and, as I am a photographer who likes to use textures, I added a little to the light in these.

Window light is awesome.  You can practice at home by placing a subject near and window and try to get as much variety as you can by moving the subject.  I hope this post will prompt you to explore the light in your home.

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Thursday, June 15

Developing Your Photographic Style

How do I find my own photographic style?  I've been asking this question for a while and I've been searching and studying and this is what I've come up with.

1.  Stop looking at everyone else.  Look around your house.  Your town.  Your family.  THERE is your inspiration.  You just haven’t seen it yet because you’re stalking someone else’s work.  You browse that “other blog” and you love it, but it makes you feel crummy about your own work.  Am I right?  Well, unsubscribe and be inspired somewhere else.

2.  Don't Copy.   Don’t copy someone else’s photography style.  Instead, take an IDEA and run with it.  Find what you like about that photography style and make it PART of your photography style.  

3.  Shoot daily.  If you shoot daily your photography style will emerge.  

4.  Learn the rules.  You NEED to know the proper technique and rules if you’re going to break them.  You have to know how to get proper white balance.  How to compose an image.  

5.  Think about what you want rather than what others want.  Shoot what makes YOU happy.  Only still life, go for it.  Only black and white, go for it.  Be yourself and make you happy with your photography.

So I took these tips and ran with it.  I've been looking over my photos from the beginning and I have discovered this about myself.   I enjoy still life photography....taking inanimate objects and "bringing them to life".  I also enjoy clean, simple styling.  And, I really like close up photography.  I adore shooting with my 35mm lens and I really like moody lighting.   

After discovering these things, I decided to explore the post-processing arena and decide what it was that I like there.  I process in Lightroom, and as I said, I like the moody lighting and I prefer a little moody processing to go along with that.  I've purchased TONS of presets and I've found that while these presets look good on someone else's photos, I don't particularly like them on mine.  Therefore, I worked to get a look of my own that I was satisfied with.  

So there you have my photography style.  How has your style developed? Have you noticed a big difference in the way you shoot or edit now, compared to where you were say, three years ago or even six months ago? Share your before and after photos in the comments section below, and any tips you might have for developing a personal photographic style.

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