Category Archives: general

Fix-it-Friday time

It’s the end of the week… and that means it’s time for another

I heart Faces logo


Today’s photo was a pretty easy edit… especially compared to some of the ones I’ve participated in recently. The biggest thing was getting the image sharp because as you will see at the end of this post, it was quite out of focus. But the lighting is pretty good… so too is the overall photo. So if I had this image in my cue after a photoshoot, I’d probably spend the time to fix it up.

That said, this is what I did to this week’s photo:

1. Open in Photoshop CS5 (this is typically my go-to program for editing… I’m most comfortable editing in here).
2. Ran Totally Rad Actions – ‘Beer Goggles’: mask with gradient tool and the brush tool to make the background slightly blurry while keeping the subject sharp. This action actually sharpens the non-blurry selection at the same time just a bit which is nice. The blur is minimal though so it looks realistic.
*Here’s a screen cap of that step*

Beer Goggles Screen Cap

3. Flatten and Snapshot in the History Pallet. (I do this so I can toggle back and forth quickly after each step – especially if I didn’t like a particular effect). Here’s where that’s located for those that are wondering – “History, what!?” =) On the bottom of that menu there’s a little camera. Clicking that takes a snapshot.

4. Ran MCP Action ‘MCP Details (Mixing Bowl)’: the action will automatically pause with a pop-up menu allowing you to tweak the layers to get whatever color mixes you would like to the image. Here’s what that steps settings were for my edit:
•Bright & Fade: 55% opacity (default)
•Blue Spice: 15%
•Mint: 9%
•Nutmeg: 21%
•Cinnamon: 0%
Continue playing the action. When it stops use the brush tool to paint the mask white where you don’t want much detail. For me, this was the background. I used a low opacity soft brush and did this mask to taste. The further away the background was, the more blur it should logically have. The closer to the camera’s area of focus (the boy in this photo), the less blur you would want. You could probably do a similar mask to the one I used above on the ‘Beer Goggles’ action…. I just wanted a little more control so I used the brush.
*I also adjusted the ‘Adjust Opacity’ layer to 18%*

5. Flatten and History Snapshot

6. MCP Quickie Collection – ‘Quickie Urban Ocean’: Quickie Urban Ocean layerl opacity to 15%, Contrast Flare layer to 33% and Over Exposure Fixer layer to 21%.

Let’s stop here for a second and take a look back at the difference between the starting image and this point:

7. The last thing I did was to crop the image. So the end result is this: (I recommend clicking the image to see it larger)


Hope you enjoyed this week’s Fix-it-Friday! Please leave me a comment below to let me know what you thought of it! Thanks so much!




My hubby just peeked at the blog here and says in his opinion, the one differently colored chair is distracting? How many of you find it so as well? Would you like to see an edit where the color of that chair is changed? Leave a comment below with your opinion! Thanks! ❤

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 4, 2011 in general, how to, Photography, tutorial


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FiF #86 – edit by

It’s the end of the week… and that means it’s time for another

I heart Faces logo


I’ve got a few screen caps this week to hopefully help you see better what I did to this photo. Not as much needed really for this photo – especially compared to last week!

So you start out with the original photo – Again, starting by opening up in Photoshop (cs5).

Click image for LARGER version

Now comes the fun part, the editing:
1. Ran MCP Action from the ‘Quickie Collection’ – Exposure Fixer, layer opacity at 30% AND Fill Flash, layer opacity at 35%.
2. Flatten and Snapshot in the History Pallet. (I do this so I can toggle back and forth quickly after each step – especially if I didn’t like a particular effect). Here’s where that’s located for those that are wondering – “History, what!?” =) On the bottom of that menu there’s a little camera. Clicking that takes a snapshot.

3. Ran Florabella Action from the ‘Spring Set 1’ – Blossom. Opened it up and set opacity to 28% on Darken layer and 50% on Blossom layer.

4. Flatten and Snapshot from History Pallet.
5. Duplicate background layer, Command + J. Use the patch tool on this layer to remove the dust spots. I circled those in red in the screen capture so you could easily see what I was talking about. *note to the original photographer – you need to clean your sensor! lol!*

Here’s the after on the patching of the area under the eyes:

6. Flatten and Snapshot.
7. Command + J again, and this time patch the area under the eyes you saw circled on that red circle screen cap. Then layer opacity at 80%.
8. Ran MCP Action from the ‘All in the Details Set’ – Quiet the Noise. Masked in background w/100% opacity large brush for main part of background. Then went back closer to subject to refine the edge with 30% opacity smaller brush. Made sure to reverse that and unmask the subject fully. I didn’t want the effect on her. EXCEPT on her black sleeve. It was kinda noisy too… so I hit it a tiny bit with the 30% opacity brush. Below are two screen caps – to better see what effect this action had on the photo. Top is without the action, Bottom is with the action.

9. Flatten/Snapshot.
10. Ran MCP Action from the ‘All in the Details Set’ – Hi-Definition Sharpening. Layer at 60% opacity.
11. Ran MCP Action – Eye Doctor, to taste on eyes.
12. Flatten/Snapshot.
13. Ran MCP Action from the ‘Magic Skin Set’ – Powder your nose. To taste on face and hand. Overall layer opacity @ 59%.
14. Cropped and found that I would like it a little more squared off… so I added a little to the background. How I did this? Crop for the size/shape you want. Select area that’s new with the rectangular selection tool and hit delete. Make sure Content Aware is selected. It sucked for this particular photo. LOL. SO! Since my normal method didn’t work, I used the rectangular selection tool to grab a part of the background and then transformed (command + t) to fit the new crop. It looked a little wonky, so I grabbed the patch tool and cleaned it up to make it look right. It’s not perfect… but it’s better than what happened with content aware! lol!

15. The VERY last thing I did was to throw a texture from Sassy on there… I went back over her skin with a 20% opacity brush to mask out that texture over her skin… but not too much. I liked the effect the color of the texture had on the photo. I did also tweak the color of the overlaid texture to better compliment the photo. Here’s a screen cap of what that looked like:

DONE! =) As usual, I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this blog post and the results of my editing! Please leave me a comment below! THANKS SO MUCH!



Posted by on February 11, 2011 in general, how to, Photography, tutorial


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Days 36 & 37

Day 36

“No Daddy!!! those birds are mean!!!”

I know I didn’t get around to posting a photo last night, but I’m posting two photos today. Chris and I headed down to one of the lakes here in Lakeland to feed all the birds. When we all got down there we were almost immediately swarmed by the large swans. At first, Makayla thought that was pretty cool… but after a few of the swans nipped at her in an effort to get her bread, she was DONE. She was fine taking small pieces of bread and throwing it out to the birds in the water, but the birds that were on land she wanted no part of.

Honestly, they weren’t biting that hard at first… but they got more and more aggressive the longer we were there. I was standing amongst all the swans (nearly ten of them on the land) just taking photos, and they were nipping at my pants and hands – and I didn’t have bread. Crazy.


Camera Info: 1/800 second, f/3.5, roughly 18mm, ISO=100 – hand held, 18-70mm 3.5 (kit) lens.
no flash – natural light. cloudy day.

Day 37

“The Hog Whisperer”

After heading over today to pick up MiCTLaN (and after our fun with the birds), we headed over to “Smoke on the Water” – a BBQ contest for the Winter Haven Boys and Girls club. The temp was dropping and the wind was really blowing by the time we made it over there. We stayed for a bit and enjoyed a bit of BBQ and cornbread too. While walking around, I saw this beast! And the name made me chuckle. =)

Also, the BBQ from this was ok. Not what I expected to look at this beast. Chris has always told me that when they look this “dirty” they put out better food. lol. Oh, well.


Camera Info: 1/60 second, f/4.5, roughly 70mm, ISO=100 – hand held, 18-70mm 3.5 (kit) lens.
no flash – natural light. cloudy/windy day.


Leave a comment

Posted by on February 7, 2010 in 365 Days, events, general, Photography, projects


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

catch up time!

I know it’s been a while since I posted a blog. I’m going with the excuse that I was moving…

Now that we’ve moved (to Lakeland for those who didn’t know) and are settled in, it’s time to get back to work. So here’s the photos from the past [I dunno] week or so? Maybe a little bit longer? lol. You can check out all the info and stories behind the photos by clicking HERE for the set on flickr.

So, I’ve made that a gallery so you can see the photos a bit larger and leave comments on a specific image if you like. I’d love to know what you think of them! Especially the ones that are not you’re standard portraits. =) I think my creative side is a bit dark.

Anywho, I hope you enjoy those photos… and now that things are returning to normal I’ll be better about posting on a regular basis on the blog. As always, I post every day (excluding those days that we were moving) on flickr! And you can also follow me on facebook and twitter too!

Also, (I posted this on my facebook page as an update to my fans, but I wanted to share it here as well).

I’d like to invite you all to participate in my 365 project!

In an effort to make this project even more interesting, I am inviting each one of you to model for one day in this project! In an effort to pay for the gas it’ll take to come to meet you for your photo and cover my time/efforts to make your image come to fruition, I’m charging the amount that corresponds to the number of the photo for the project. SO, that means that if you’re wanting me to shoot something with you on, say, DAY 24 – then it would be $24… or day 245 – then it would be $245. See what I mean?

You can think of it as a mini-photo session – and we’ll collaborate ahead of time on ideas we can do before the shoot. We can shoot anything you want! And I will also use all my photoshopping skills to make sure we get the image *you* want! So, what exactly do you get? You’ll get your one shot in digital form – emailed to you – and a release form which you’ll sign when we meet up for your shoot!

Plus, for those of you who book between days 100 and 150, you’ll get a free 5×7 print. Days 151-200 get a free 8×10 print. Days 201-250 get a free 16×20 print. Finally Days 251-365 get all of the above – a 5×7, 8×10 and 16×20! *All prints come from a professional printing service – prints are created with printers that expose light sensitive paper that is then run through a chemical process. These are real photographs, not inkjet prints. =)

I know we’ll have a blast playing with the camera!!! So, just drop me a line to let me know when you’d like to book your day! I look forward to working with each one of you!!!

And thanks again for supporting !!!



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 13.365

Day 13

So this is the staging area that I’ve set up in the house where things are slowly making their way to once boxed and ready for the move. This is normally my studio – but I broke it down today and packed it all up. I’ve been hard at work the last few days starting to get things ready for our garage sale this weekend and also start packing up the non-essentials for our move. This is actually not everything that I have packed and ready at the moment. I have another staging area upstairs where there are SEVERAL more boxes ready to be moved downstairs. I just had to wait on Chris to get home to help me move them because they are heavy!

I’m excited on the move though! As Spongebob would say, ” I’m READY!” =)

Also, for those of you willing to come and pick this up – We’re selling our big 63″ digital projection tv and it’s stand. The bulb on it blew a few weeks back and we decided that instead of paying $250 to replace the bulb, we’d sell this and get a new tv. Probably a flat screen of some type. We’re not wanting to move this behemoth, so we’re putting it up on Craigslist and I thought I’d put it up on here too in an effort to sell it. If you want to help us out and take it off our hands… please drop me a line! I works just fine, it just needs a new bulb which we’ve purchased before from this place out of California called the Digital Lamp Source. I have the card even on the fridge if you want the number to call them. We’d like to get $250 for the TV and you can make us an offer on the stand if you want them both. Here’s a photo of the tv:

You can contact me by email if you want any more info at:



Posted by on January 13, 2010 in 365 Days, general, Photography, projects, to my readers


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 8.365 – Annnnnddd…. WEEEEEE!!!!


Day 8.

Since we have a pretty early day tomorrow in our efforts to find a new home in Lakeland to move into, I decided that I would post a couple photos that I took the night I did my day 1 post at the carnival. Ever since I had seen the carnival take up residence at our local shopping area, I had been wanting to do some long exposures of the rides out there. The biggest hold up with doing that was that every time I was in the area and looked over at the carnival, there were barely any people there – so the rides weren’t running. That meant that the shots I was hoping to get were out until there were more people there to ride them. The last weekend of the carnival being there traffic picked up, and I knew I would be able to get the shots I wanted.

I don’t have any more backup images at this point… so I’ve gotta get out and shoot tomorrow. But I am looking forward to shooting somewhere in Lakeland while we’re there. Last time we were there driving around we passed by a few things that looked pretty interesting. So I’m hoping we secure some type of housing in good time tomorrow so that I can take my 365 shot out there – we have a curfew tomorrow to pick up our girls from Grandma’s tomorrow evening. Well, wish us luck!!! =)

Camera info on this – shutter: 10 seconds, aperture: f/22, iso: 100, @18mm (shot with my 18-70mm f/3.5 kit lens) – on tripod.

And for those of you unfamiliar with what I might have been referencing with the title and first line of this post, I would like to point you to the video below – and oldie but goodie!!! =)

Camera info on the above photo – shutter: 10 seconds, aperture: f/22, iso: 100, 18mm (same info as first photo) – on tripod.

Enjoy! And hope you enjoyed the video too!


1 Comment

Posted by on January 8, 2010 in 365 Days, general, long exposures, Photography, projects


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Starting a new project (GOYA)

DAY 1:

For those of you who have seen or have even followed Dustin Diaz‘s 365 project, you may recognize what I’m doing here. I have been thinking lately that there are a few areas in my skillset that is a bit lacking.

Mostly, it’s in dealing with my SB800…. since I tend to use my alien bees and a vagabond. I have been very inspired by all the FANTASTIC 365 shots that Dustin Diaz was posting and decided to give it a try myself. His style is pretty identifiable… but it’s something I’ve never really shot before… so I thought I would try my hand at it.

So I’ve decided to try my hand at doing another 365 project. It’ll be good for me to take photos each day, which is something that I don’t do right now. I am setting up a few restrictions for myself with the project in an effort to grow my skills. Firstly, I will only use my hotshoe flashes (which at this exact moment equal a total of 1 flash). Second, I will be posting the how I did it photos – as a reference for myself and also so all of you can see exactly what I did to get the photo. And lastly, I will be forcing myself out of the studio for this project.

So, that’s the project. I hope that after a year of doing this I will have grown in skill level, especially where lighting with my little SB800 is concerned. Tonight I went out with my brother (he’s spending the new year with us) to our local shopping area, called Waterford Towncenter, where a little fair has been parked for over a month. I’d been wanting to go out there and take a few shots anyway before they packed up all their stuff and hit the road. I’m pretty pleased with the result… though I forgot nearly all my light modifiers. Oh, well. It’s part of that "learn to do what you want with the gear you have" thing. So it was good practice.

STROBIST: Set up for this shot is HERE

OH! And thanks Dustin Diaz for all the inspiring 365 shots! And congrats for completing it! =)

DAY 2:

Am I too old for jumping around on stage?

YES. Yes I am. I drove up to our community stage area this evening (after the girls went to bed) and saw that they still had their pretty Christmas lights up AND on! WOOt! I found a place to park and grabbed my gear and hiked across the large lawn to set up a shot. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do… but I wanted to do something on this stage. I quickly found out that jumping from the upper stage to the lower stage was something I am clearly not coordinated enough to do. After two jumps I fell.


I fell.

Honestly, I should have known better. I mean, how many times have I fallen just walking down our stairs in the house?! Three. So why on earth did I think I could possibly jump down these? I don’t know. So now I’m sitting on the couch with ice on my knee – which has a nice swollen and scuffed up area about the size of a quarter.

No. No photos of that. Maybe tomorrow. I’m sure that tomorrow I won’t be able to walk…. so I may have to compromise on the get-outside-and-shoot thing I wanted to do and take it easy.

Lesson learned. I am not a kid anymore. I don’t bounce. And all 200lbs of me falling on one knee is NO GOOD. =)

Send my knee some good/healing vibes, please!?! =)

Set up for this shot is HERE

Both of these stories and photos are also posted on Flickr. Enjoy!  =)


1 Comment

Posted by on January 3, 2010 in 365 Days, general, how to, lighting, Photography, projects, tutorial


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,