Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Four and a Half

Sometimes, having a four year old drives me a little crazy.  I am sure I’m not alone in this.  It’s this age where you have this child, who is still your baby, acting like a sassy sixteen year old.  I have been told “I told you so”, “Ya right”, “I don’t THINK so” too many times to count this year.  And the lovely one that he picked up from my own mother.. “Don’t even think about it.”   Isn’t it great when they turn those phrases around and throw them back in your face?  Or, even better, when they say it to a complete stranger in the grocery store and you pray for a sink hole to open up, right there in the produce section?

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Even with all that…. quirkiness….. there is something so amazing and wonderful for every age.  As he learns more and more advanced vocabulary, it still comes out wrong half the time.  Such as, our favorite book to read at bedtime is Where’s Waldo? and Hop on Pop.  In our house, it is called “Where’s Walder?” and he’ll “give me a mint” when I’m trying to guess where Walder might be at.  Ice cream is still “I fream”  and he still says “I la you” instead of I love you.  He has been telling me lately, “that doesn’t make any sense, mom!”.  He named a caterpillar “cocoa rockstar” today and is keeping him in a jar in our kitchen.  He laughed uncontrollably at a woman in Where’s Walder because “she’s wearing a yellow shirt!”.  He still sleeps in my bed. 

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I’ve always prioritized him.  Even though I’m a single mother, I’ve still managed to be a stay at home mom, and I’ve always worked around HIS schedule.  If he is at dad’s house, I work.  If he is at preschool (2 days a week), I work (and go to school).  It hasn’t been easy, nor are we rich.  But because I limit how much I work (and go to school), I increase how much time I’ve gotten to spend with him.  And when will I ever get this time back?  Have you ever sat down to really think about how each day passes, each moment passes, each night passes… and we never get it back?  I don’t want to ever lose sight of how important our time spent is.   

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As I enter the very last year of being a stay at home mom with him, (I really can’t believe he will be going to Kindergarten a year from now!)  I am so saddened that it’s coming to an end.  I know I should look forward to new beginnings and I do… but the days of playing in the yard, taking walks and bike rides, cooking lunch together, eating ice cream out of the carton at noon… are all coming to a close.  So, I think this is about as personal as I have ever gotten on this blog, but the love for your children should never be underappreciated.  Every day is a gift and it’s not a given.  Hug your babies tonight!

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Fix it Friday, July 9th!


Time for another Fix-it Friday with I heart Faces



Here’s the picture, straight out of the camera (SOOC)


I don’t love the tilt, but when I rotated it, cloning and patching was proving REALLY difficult so I’m going to move on from that.  First thing, white balance and exposure.  Her skin is blue from sitting in the shade.  So to warm her, I used a curves layer bumping red and yellow to counteract the cyan and blue.

step 1

It’s actually still pretty cool, so I duplicated my warm curve layer by pressing CNTRL J.  It was TOO warm after that, so I lowered the opacity to about 60%.

Next, the issue of exposure.  She’s underexposed and needs to be brightened.  I decided to go with a screen light layer this time, which brightens and lightens.

step 2

I had lowered the opacity to about 50%, screen light layers are pretty powerful.  Next, I wanted to bring out the colors, so I ran my color popping action, Popper.


You can do it by hand by selecting different colors in the scene and playing with hue/saturation.  Next, I want to further pop the image by selective contrast, which I’m going to achieve by using my burn tool, set on “shadows” at 3%.  It’s important to do this on its own layer so that your in control of how strong you want it to be.

step 4

Then, before flattening, I dropped down and chose “soft light” for my blending mode and brought the opacity down to 55%.

step 5

Beyond white balance, exposure, and contrast (the basics), I like to do a few creative things.  It varies on my mood, the picture, and … my mood. :)  I decided to try out a radial blur (at 25% opacity), and I masked her back in.

step 6

Right now, I think my processing is pretty harsh.  Some will like the heavy contrast and pop, I prefer to mute some of it, make some haze.  To do that , I flattened.  Layer>New Fill Layer> Solid Color.  And from there, I chose a soft blue.

step 7

This will cover your picture entirely in that blue.  So, to alter that, just choose “lighten” and drop the opacity.  I went with 33% opacity and 62% fill.  I think I’m about done now.  Here is the SOOC and my final.
















My Final

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Sweet Newborn on a Hot Day

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Despite weather that has us all wishing for clothing that comes with its own central air conditioning device, the sweetest family came for a shoot yesterday. 

Baby A was only 8 days old and absolutely perfect in every way. 

2 portrait slot, 8x10 ratio   

He was so bendy and poseable at 8 days old.  A testament as to why it’s important to bring them young!  These shots would not have been possible at an older age. 

And this is about the only age when double chins are cute.  And I think he knows it. ;)

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