Tag Archives: how to lighting technique

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! ❤

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


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days 38/39

Day 38

“I miss you when you’re gone!”

That’s what Makayla says all the time. I have no idea when or where she picked that up… but I think it kinda fits today….

I’m really bummed. Why? Well… because I’ve been spoiled these last few months that Chris has been working at this new job.

He’s always (as long as I’ve known him which is around 10 years now) had a job where he traveled. -Often and for long lengths at a time.- And since he’s been working at his newest job, he’s not really had to travel very much at all. And I LOVE it! And the girls LOVE it too! We’ve all been quite spoiled by his lack of travel, honestly.

But today he had to fly out to California. It’s totally bummin’ my flow today.

I’m tired, depressed and feeling genuinely uncreative and unmotivated today. Hope tomorrow is better.


Camera Info: 1/30 second, f/4.5, 50mm, ISO=630 – hand held, nifty 50 (f/1.8) lens.

Flash: SB800 at 1/16 power @70mm about 5 feet high – on manfroto nano stand – with my diy snoot straw grid – pointed down to subject from camera front/left. Triggered with PWplusII.

Day 39

bench monday

We don’t have a bench in the house… and since Chris is still traveling, I decided to improvise with stuff here in the house. But we do have a table. So I grabbed the pledge and dusted it off… effectively making it VERY slippery in the process. So I grabbed our ladder and used that to climb up on the table – as many of you know I’m not a very coordinated person, and I was trying to not injure myself today. lol.


Camera Info: 1/60 second, f/2.5, 50mm, ISO=250 – on tripod, shutter triggered remotely, nifty 50mm (f/1.8) lens.

Flash: SB800 at 1/128 power @24mm about 2.5 feet high and 2-3 feet away from subject – on manfroto nano stand – with my diy snoot straw grid – pointed slightly up to – though nearly even with subject from camera front/left. Triggered with PWplusII.



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A little…. hmmm?

Day 22

Today I was feeling a little crazy. I don’t know why. And I was packing up some more stuff and ran across my face paint and thought… what the heck! So I threw some on [with little care for what it really looked like] and played with the camera.

I tried when I was done to remove the makeup (it’s some oil based halloween makeup we had laying around) – and though I got most of it off, I’m pretty sure there’s a fair amount in my eyes. They’re watering like crazy and overall feeling irritated now. I guess I need to go digging through my (already packed) makeup kit to find my remover.


Camera Info: 1/200 second, f/10, roughly 35mm, ISO=200 – on tripod but I pressed the shutter manually.

Flash: SB800 at 1/4 power @17mm about 4 1/2 feet high, shot through umbrella. Triggered with PWplusII.

I ended up with a few images that I liked so I thought I would share them here:

And for those of you wanting to know more about the setup for these (other than the text I have above):


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Posted by on January 22, 2010 in 365 Days, how to, lighting, Photography, self portraits


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Catching up…

Here’s the last few days of 365 photos – all of which have been up on flickr.
Day 18


My daughter, Makayla, has this Wall-E toy that she just loves. So I though I would take a photo of it that she could admire… and that I could frame and put in her new room when we move. It was quite late tonight when Chris got in from work anyway… so I thought I would go ahead and post this as my day 18 photo. Hope you enjoy!


Camera Info: 1/250 second, f/1.8, 50mm, ISO=160 – hand held (shot with my nifty 50 f/1.8 lens).

Flash: SB800 at 1/64 power @28mm with my diy straw grid snoot on manfroto nano stand about 4 feet high, pointed down on Wall-E toy. Triggered with PWplusII. The red dot is a laser pointer I had handy. Shot during the late afternoon on a pretty cloudy day.


Day 19

For any of you who follow me on twitter or facebook, you know that yesterday my coffee maker went kaputt! I have no idea why… but it didn’t want to make me my precious morning nectar!

This morning I woke up and remembered that I had meant to go to pick up a new maker last night, but forgot – so today was day 2 with no coffee! UGH!

I can’t go without my morning coffee!!!

So after I fed the girls their breakfast, I loaded them up in the car and headed up to the local Super Wal-Mart to pick up a new one. I found this beauty for a whopping $17.00 !!! ((I did look for a french press, but apparently they don’t carry them at Wal-Mart, though I’ve seen them at Target before)).

Tonight I thought I would do something funny – and something I’ve not done before either. Make a video with a music track that actually made sense when watching it all together. Now I know that if I want to do more videos, I need to pick up a copy of Final Cut Pro… because using iMovie was very frustrating and limiting.

Anyhow…. I hope you enjoy my little funny video! It made me giggle when I watched it completed! =)

All the photos in the video are shot with natural lighting, so no strobist info today. I used my nifty 50mm f/1.8 @ 1.8 and ISOs from 800-1200 based on the shot.

You can watch the video HERE


Day 20

Na-cho. Yum.

So today was exhausting. Had to get up early this morning and make sure the house was presentable despite the fact that half our stuff is in boxes and whatnot because of the impending move. Why? Well… the people that handle renting the current house out have decided that even though we’re still living here, they want to show the house. They have done this twice and I am not a fan. But I had to get up early this morning and clean because they called late yesterday telling me they were coming early today.

They arrived early.

Related note: We have a door in the back that we cannot open. Not because it won’t open… but because it won’t close once opened. These people decided to open it and after they left I had the realtor come back and close it back for me. It took him a bit of effort, but he got it closed and locked up.


So the rest of the day I spent packing up more stuff. I wish I didn’t have to do this alone… I’m exhausted at the end of the day! And by the time Chris gets home (after his nearly 2 hour commute) it’s late enough that I don’t want to go out to do my 365. I can’t say enough how much I’m looking forward to our move! We’ll be like 10 minutes from Chris’ work…. so he’ll actually be home at a reasonable hour – which means my 365 shots can head back in the direction I wanted them to go.

On that note – I give you, DINNER! Chicken Nachos. Yum. =)

Camera info in the metadata… available light. =)


Day 21

Last night Chris and I watched Pixar short films playing on one of the Disney channels. No, the girls weren’t up. And we watched it anyway. =) I looked for it again today but didn’t see it – thinking that maybe Makayla would enjoy watching it. Anywho… it stuck with me today… and the thought occurred to me that my desk lamp is pretty similar to the pixar lamp. So todays 365 is inspired by that. Also, I would like to share with you my favorite Pixar short EVER! =)

Camera Info: 1/160 second, f/1.8, 50mm, ISO=200 – hand held (shot with my nifty 50 f/1.8 lens).

Flash: SB800 at 1/128 power @35mm 5 feet high, bounced off ceiling. Triggered with PWplusII.


So that catches you up to today…. which I’ll post a little bit later. Hope you enjoyed! =)

and stay tuned for more photos tonight!


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Posted by on January 22, 2010 in 365 Days, how to, lighting, Photography, projects, Videos


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Domo-hat!!! day 7.365

Day 7

Today’s photo is actually from last night too. I kinda thought that since I had a few willing models there I would take two shots with the intention of using one last night and one for today. If you head over to the blog I’m putting up a few extra shots from last night as well… though they are not part of the 365 project.

So this is Rippy. As many of you know, I used to work at Discovery Cove as an animal trainer/keeper. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of really great people over the years of working there. I’d heard of this guy “Rippy” many times… but I’d never actually met him. Well, last night I decided to go out and meet up with Adrienne (I mentioned this on yesterday’s 365), and this gave me the opportunity to meet up with a couple people I knew and hadn’t seen in a while… and also a chance to meet several others whom I’d heard about in stories or in passing, but never actually met.

Rippy is a pretty cool guy. He’s an animal trainer out at Sea World. He’s worked with all kinds of animals, including the Killer Whales! And from what I have gathered over the years… it’s a pretty cool job! But it’s a hard/physically taxing one! Anyway, I was trying my darndest to get Jenn to pose for me for my 365 project and managed to convince, quite easily, Rippy as well. I think he makes a good model! What do you think?!

Strobist info: SB800 flash on manfroto nano stand at camera left front shot through umbrella positioned 6ft high and about 2-3 feet away from subject. Flash at 24mm, 1/32 power, 3/4 CTO gel. Triggered with Pocket Wizard.

Camera info: 50mm f1.8 lens – 1/100 sec. @500 ISO – hand held.

This is Adrienne – I used to work with her in Aviculture until she moved on to greener pastures at Disney Animal Kingdom. She moved to Hawaii for a while and now is up north somewhere… I don’t remember now where she said she was. lol.

After I was done doing what I wanted – my 365 – Jenn and Rippy played around in front of the camera a bit. Fun. =)

Well… that’s it for now. Enjoy!!!



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Baby, it’s COLD outside!!!

Squeek Photography – Orlando Photography


Day 5.365

Tonight I had to run our final rent check out to the other side of town, so I decided that I would do my 365 in downtown Orlando since I would be driving right by there on my way home. I parked under the I-4 overpass and walked a few blocks to the intersection of Church and Orange and started to set up my gear. I moved quickly as the temperature dropped and the wind blew some crazy cold weather down the streets of downtown.


I know that there are plenty of you out there enjoying the *much* colder weather…. but us Florida people are pretty well known for being cold weather wimps. It’s kinda funny though. We spend all year in the heat and humidity – wishing aloud for colder weather… and when it finally comes, we all groan that it’s too cold outside. I guess we can’t make up our minds.

I do enjoy the colder weather for the most part… it’s just the bite the wind has really is not my favorite.

Anywho… I spent maybe a half hour playing around with my gear and then I’d had enough, packed up and headed home.

Strobist info (no photo today – I know… I just forgot): Flash at camera right on manfroto nano stand about 3 feet high with shoot through umbrella (which was like a kite!). SB800 Flash had a 1/4 CTO gel (I lost my 1/2 the other day – and haven’t replaced it yet), and was shot at 24mm / 1/128 power and triggered with pocket wizards. I had to weigh down the stand with my gear bag due to the wind.

Camera Info: 50mm f/1.8, ISO= 500, shutter= 1/50 second On tripod and triggered with the remote you see in my hand.

And here’s an outtake – I was soooooo cold! My cheeks and nose were frozen! so I tried to warm them up a bit and accidently hit the button on the remote I had in my hand. =)

Same strobist info as the one above. No post on this except the crop/watermark/text and resize for the web. =)


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Meet Rocky – day 3.365

Day 3

Despite the fact that I have a pretty well injured knee, I decided to go out and do my day 3 shot. I was actually headed to do something downtown when the though occurred to me that the fair (my day 1 photo) was having it’s last night tonight. While we were walking around last time we chatted for a little while with a VERY interesting man at the gold fish game. He seemed like an interesting fellow… so I decided that tonight would be his night. =)

I drove back to Waterford, parked and walked in to the area where I remembered meeting this interesting fellow who had left an impression on me. I had to wait for about a half hour for him to return from dinner on a nearby bench. This gave me a chance to chat with a few of his coworkers and get a little more info on my new friend.

His name is Rocky. (I’m horrible with names so I didn’t remember this the first time).

Apparently, Rocky is famous to an extent. For what? Well… from what I could gather, he has really lived! He is a walker… he’s walked from south florida to central florida to meet up with this carnival on several occasions. He used to be an animator “back in the day”, but has worked on and off at this carnival since 1973. He married his wife on the bumper cars which were behind me on the bench I sat at while all his friends told me these interesting tid bits.

When Rocky came back from his break I asked him if he minded posing for a photo and he happily obliged. I set up at the booth I had originally seen him and had him lean towards me as if to entice me to play. After I clicked off a few shots, Rocky informed me that he really enjoyed this game called “beer blast,” so we headed over to that booth where I managed to snag another few shots. I thanked Rocky for his time and the friendly chat and I sincerely hope this is not the last I hear from him. I gave him my card and told him that if he emails me I will email him a digital copy of his photo. He said he would do that and then mentioned that it had been years since he’d had his photo taken and that he was looking forward to seeing what I got.


I’m glad I decided to ditch the downtown shot tonight. What a great night! =)

Strobist set up for this shot is HERE


PS~ Here’s an outtake from tonight too! =)
the heckle

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Posted by on January 3, 2010 in Photography


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