Archives for the month of: June, 2014

2014-06-18 17.51

Tiny spiders

Do all the work

Decorating for Halloween


2014-06-26 18.14

Sometimes you can find the neatest photos when you aren’t looking.

On a visit to a seafood market this week, I realized that colorful, beautifully-arranged stills, positioned under nearly ideal lighting were right in front of me. I pulled out my smartphone, a Motorola Atrix HD, and snapped a few pictures.

2014-06-26 18.15

My phone is programmed to upload my photos to Dropbox automatically. All I have to do to access them is to open Dropbox on my computer and download the photos. I can then manipulate them in Photoshop.

2014-06-26 18.13

I love all the colors and textures on the seafood.

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I am just starting to enjoy food photography. Next stop, produce aisle.

You know the photography mantra, if you use a long shutter speed, you should mount your camera on a tripod so that the picture is not blurred.

Well, what if you want the image blurred? What if you want to create a spinning or falling effect. Simple, use a long shutter speed and move your camera.


In order to produce this swirl, I set my camera to manual (M) setting. I decided that I needed to leave the shutter open for 1 second in order to give me time to spin my camera. Because the slow shutter speed let in so much light, I turned the ISO to 100 and relied on the internal light meter to tell me what F-stop I would need. I ended up using F18 (it really doesn’t matter since, technically, none of the shot is in focus).


Then I began taking photos by pushing on the shutter release and immediately spinning the camera to the left or right.


As you can see, the focal point of the shot ends up being the center of the spin. I tried to play up on that by putting the focal point in the very center of the shot and spinning around it. For the sake of rule of thirds composition, I then cropped the image slightly on the top and right in Photoshop.


I was especially proud of this one.


Next, I moved my camera up to produce a falling flower effect.

I plan to try some more movement shots with objects other than flowers. I’ll keep you posted 🙂


Have you ever wondered how birds can form such beautiful little works of art inside their bodies?
Each little egg shell is like a tiny Jackson Pollack painting.

I’m going to use an adjective I have never before applied to a book – cute.
The authors of this book, sisters Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson, are clever as they are gorgeous. Their blog, A Beautiful Mess, is charming. This book, a guide to taking interesting pictures with any type of camera, is not only very helpful, but cute.
I have been a professional photographer for so many years (think full manual cameras and hours in a darkroom), that I have become kinda stale in the creativity department. I regularly follow young bloggers (young enough to be my children) because they have unobstructed creativity. Since reading this book and following these ladies on their blog, my creative juices have started to flow again.
I had my plumber husband build me a PVC pipe backdrop frame, colored on pieces of transparency for filters and scoured our outbuilding for vintage props.
I recommend this charming book to anyone who likes to take pictures.

IMG_1215 fizzo

As promised, here is the second set of photos to which I applied action recipes in Photoshop Elements.

IMG_1181 fizzo

This set has a dreamy, pink hue, opposed to the greenish cast of the previous set.

IMG_1165 fizzo

I named this group of actions fizzo (I don’t know why). I choose strange names for pets too.

I just purchased Photoshop Elements 12, to which you can download other people’s action and recipes. It also contains a video option I’m excited to try.

Future PS 12 projects will follow 🙂

A very talented friend of mine created some beautiful vintage themed decorations for her daughter’s wedding recently. She asked me to take pictures of the reception hall before the guests arrived. Understandably, the decorations would not be the center of the wedding photographer’s focus and she wanted to make sure all her hard work was captured.

I completed a series of shots of the hall, which was absolutely gorgeous, and decided to give her some artfully altered pictures in addition to the regular shots I took.

I applied a series of filters in Photoshop Elements 10 to one of the pictures and after I was satisfied with the look, I saved the series of actions as a recipe and proceeded to the next photo.

I loved the way this series turned out. The photos now have a nice vintage look about them to compliment the theme.
I created another set using a different recipe. Those will follow, next post 🙂



I discovered another new photo manipulation app, this time for android. Pixlr Express gives you the option to fix your photos brightness, sharpness, crop, etc. It also allows you to apply overlays and borders like in the photo above.
The app is available on Google Play.


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