Monday, May 31, 2010

The Lensbaby Version

Minor adjustments in ACR, a little cleanup in CS5, levels for a brighter center, highpass filter to sharpen the details.  I think it is interesting how the Lensbaby captured the upper petals fairly sharply but blurred the lower layers.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Yellow Gerbera

Very little post processing in ACR, a couple of actions from Kubota to make the detail stand out, then a texture layer from Jerry Jones (Beginnings) on the background.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Another favorite activity of Maggie's is riding in the car with the windows down, head out the window, observing the world.  I haven't met many dogs who don't love that.  This shot is of the side mirror and her reflection, taken in early 2007 with my first digital camera, the Nikon D70 and was shot as a jpg in Auto mode (gasp).  The sun flare texture is by Jerry Jones again, back when he was posting on Flicker as Skeletal Mess.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Time

This is a 35mm film shot of Maggie May from 2006 or 2007, probably either Ilford or Agfa film since that is what I shot most.  Our sweet dog has gone downhill very quickly over the last few months as far as her hip dysplasia, so we took her to a surgeon in Houston who specializes in that surgery and he confirmed what we knew, it is time for at least one hip replacement for her.  She is 11 years old now and still has a few years left if she has a normal Lab lifespan and we do not want the rest of her life to continue to be filled with pain.  I was very surprised to learn she will walk out of the hospital 2 days after surgery, no rehabilitation is needed, but she cannot swim for at least 4 weeks while the bone builds around the implants.  We want to give her a few more weeks to swim since she loves that and then she will get a new hip and hopefully much less pain.  After 4 weeks she will be evaluated and then may have the other hip done too.  It is very scary to think about what she has to go through and I can relate somewhat since I still remember shattering a wrist and having to get an external fixator...that painful time is seared into my memory.  Of course I wish she didn't have to have the surgery but then I am so glad it is available to help her.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Texture used:  Florabella Serenity in Softlight mode

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I wanted to photograph seashells in a different way than I had done when I shot my series on the dark driftwood, and then processed with a sepia tone.  This is a very small shell, less than 1 1/2 inches and I deliberately shot it with a large aperture (f4) for a shallow depth of field. I shot it on a glass table outside that was covered in dew. Then I added a Florabella texture for a watery, ocean feeling.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Although this image is probably too dark to tell, I used a texture (Old World) by Jerry Jones who shares an incredible amount of free textures, frames, brushes, digital mats, digital art and even fonts on his Shadowhouse Creations blog.  He recently asked those of us who use his work to spread the word and so while I have mentioned using his textures before, I am doing so again.  There are many sites that charge for those things and you can purchase them and then find you only use one or two out of the set --- you won't have that problem with his.  But be careful, I have heard that collecting textures can be addicting...  someone I know has THOUSANDS, but I won't mention any names.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day's End

Another low key attempt from my recent trip to the hill country.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Prelude in Low Key

 Nikon D700, 60mm macro lens at f6.7 and 3 seconds, ISO 200 
2 flash on rear sync -- one behind the strings on camera right with a snoot and one from camera left with the juice container modifier pointed at the hands.

When I was 20 years old my parents had another child and I met my husband just 3 months later.  Mike and I did all the fun things with her that my parents had done with me and my other siblings, but now were ready to let someone else take over --- camping, the circus, Astroworld, etc etc and we loved doing them.  When she was just 6 or so years old she saw a harp played at our church and said that is what she wanted to do when she grew up.  She took lessons and did very well and for Christmas when she was 9 Santa delivered her first folk harp.  Several years later she got the full size harp above.  Listening to her play is a wonderful experience, and ever since I started learning photography I have tried to capture her playing but have never been satisfied with my images.  Then when the low key assignment came up, I thought maybe that sort of approach would better convey the creative and artistic soul that she is.  I tried several variations that included one or two flashes and fast enough shutter speeds to stop the motion of her hands but I really wanted the blur to give the feeling of the music being played.  I used a new-to-me post processing software, Silver Efex Pro, with the Antique Plate choice.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I knew I shouldn't have tried to fix what wasn't broken --- the previous post was the result of learning that my monitor has controls that can be adjusted for better screen images.  When I got a new system a couple of weeks ago, my computer guy showed me the controls I was not aware of on my monitor (not a new one yet) so we went through the prompts and thought we were making it even better.  I had him save my old settings just in case I needed to reverse the changes, but when I tried to find them I thought they were gone, that maybe once you closed out the window you lost the previous settings.  I hope the button worked, it was hard to tell when I clicked it.  So when I saw this image that I had edited in the new settings I was shocked how dark it was and how much it had a color cast.  I hope this one looks better on everyone's monitors.

Monday, May 10, 2010


One of the surprising and wonderful things to me during this family photo shoot was how calm and cooperative the father was for the several hours that we were trying to organize and corral all the various family members.  He never got ruffled or acted like he wished he was somewhere, anywhere else.  He had to load the horses in a trailer and bring them a few blocks down the road to this field too.  He didn't seem to mind trying several different set ups.  I don't think there are many fathers or men in general like that....just my opinion, of course!  He has a wonderful bond with both of the boys and it was a delight to see. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Brothers 2

This field of yellow flowers was wonderful to photograph in, except it was very difficult to walk because the cows had left deep footprints that we couldn't see because of the flowers.  When the sun went behind the clouds the light was gorgeous...but that never seemed to happen when I needed it.

Friday, May 7, 2010



From a recent photo shoot. Tattoos applied by their mom. I was out of practice photographing children, and these brothers, aged 4 and 2, kept us moving and improvising.  I never got a family shot of the whole gang --- mom, dad, kids, 2 horses, 5 dogs, a donkey and a calf --- that I was completely happy with.  It is hard to believe I know, but someone always had their eyes closed, a hand in the way, head turned, squinting, etc.   But it was good practice, good exercise, and fun to be around those boys (and the rest of the animals too).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I have no idea what is going on with Blogger lately, has anyone else had trouble adding text, moving images around?  What is up with the underline?

Nikon D700, 60mm macro lens at f3.2 and 1/250th, ISO 400