Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Photography Challenge: a different side of me

I'm so sorry that this post is going up late. I'm annoyed when the link-ups I want to participate in are not up when my post is ready and a really hate to be one of those bloggers with late link-ups... so I'm sorry.

This week's optional theme for your link-up is "a different side of me" or in other words a self portrait that is outside of your usual comfort zone. This was inspired by this post that was linked up the other week. I tend to do self-portraits at arms length with my DSLR but this one was taken with my iPhone capturing my reflection in our computer's screen (and you can see Josiah in the upper right corner - he's playing a video game!) and edited with Instagram. We just recently switched from PC to Mac and I'm a little lost but am glad we made the switch. I have all of the hubs music on my computer now! I'm listening to Adel right now and very happy about that.

I can't wait to see your photos!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

52 Weeks of Editing in Elements: Week 3 - crop with rounded corners

The baby is down for a nap, I just brewed my self a fresh cup of coffee (Starbucks started selling K-cups for my Keurig and I'm simply over the moon!) and now I'm ready to start week 3 of 52 weeks of editing in elements. This week I want to show you how to make those cute rounded corners for your photos. 

One way to do this - especially if you are going to be using these photos on your blog or website is to use the ever-so-talented Rita's Coffee Shop Rounder Corners for Web Action for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. This is by far the easiest way to do this. 

If you don't know how to install actions you can reference my attempt at an explanation in  last in last week's tutorial and there are links for more thorough tutorials if you're having trouble. 

a photo of my hubs, his mom and our baby Eli
Once you're installed the Coffee Shop Rounded corners for the web action, click on the action and then click "apply" to run it.

While the action is running you'll have a chance to set the dimensions for your image. If you are going to be posting these to your blog a good width is 640px 

This action has now given you rounded corners and re-sized your image. It's super easy. Make sure you save this as a copy of your original - you never know when down the road you might want to print this image or have it printed on a canvas wrap and you'll want this image closer to it's original size and without the rounded corners.

Just for the fun of it I'm going to show you another way to round your corners which is definitely more complicated- this is just one way. There are probably others, and they are probably easier but this is how I do it:

Right click on your rectangle tool. This will give you a drop down list of options - choose the rounded corner rectangle.  
Look up at the toolbar for the rounded rectangle tool - choose how many pixels you want to round the corners to - I used 100px for this demonstration. Make sure you do this before you use the tool - you can't edit it later. Draw your shape where you want to crop your image. If you need to adjust the crop switch to the transform tool and you can adjust it. 
Right click on the background layer and click "duplicate layer"
Re-order the layers by dragging your shape layer below the duplicate of your background copy
Click on the little "eye" (which toggles the visibility of a layer) to make the background dissappear
You can use the menu to Group the layers or press Ctrl+G to group the copy of your background with the rounded rectangle shape

This is how it looks in Elements!
1788 copy copy
This is your rounded corner crop completed!

If you want to add a drop shadow click on the shape in your layers tray. Click on "style" and pick a shadow

Double-click on the effect icon (the little "fx") to edit the shadow
1788 copy copy2

Live, Love, Travel
I'm linking up here
So there you go! I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them!! If there is something in particular you'd like to learn how to do let me know on my Facebook page and I'll cover it ASAP.
roundedcornerscrop Pin It

52weeks 200x200 copy

I'm not providing a link-up this week since that hasn't been popular but if you like this series you are welcome to put a badge on your blog!

Do you enjoy this style of learning? I just got my first copy of CS5 and will be working on writing a class for it soon! I'll be taking you step by step through everything I've learned how to do when it comes to editing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Registration is open...

If anybody knows where the rest of January went - could you please send it my way?! I can not believe how quickly this month has gone by!!

The beginning of February means that in just a couple weeks I will start teaching my newest photography class. I haven't written a new class in awhile and this one is probably one of my favorite and so far most challenging classes to write. It's called Simply Style and it's basically a product photography class. It's written with online shop owners in mind but it applies to anyone with product-related photos to take. Do you photograph your craft projects? This class is for you. Do you want to take better photos for the tutorials you post? You'll learn something with this class! Does your blog focus on food? This class is for you! I'm not a professional photographer so this class is not how to become a professional food photographer, but we all know one of the most important things that draws people to your blog posts, keeps them at your blog and encourages others to pin your content is your photos. 

Want to know some more details for the class? Here you go:
Week 1: I'll teach you how to re-evaluate your natural lighting, give you a crash course in light tone so that you can stop taking those photos with a strong yellow or blue haze and I'll get you to start thinking about how you style your photos. I'll also include an interview with a successful online shop owner.
Week 2: I'll teach you how to become more mindful of your background, teach you how to take a photo with perfect whitespace and give you some prompts for subjective & objective product styling. I'll include an interview from a blog designer where we discuss the power of style and color tone.

onepearlDSC_8286 2 Week 3: I'll teach you how to use artificial light to photograph your objects at night. Plus I'll show you how to work with reflectors to maximize natural light and I'll guide you through the process of finding your style for your products and I've got another interview on the importance of really good product photography from another one of my friends who sells her products on Etsy.

onepearlDSC_8848 Week 4: I'll teach you some basic editing techniques that will help your photos look their best and load quickly on your website or blog. I'll teach you how to crop your images to maximize their visual impact, as well as how to do a basic clean edit that you will be able to perform in any photo editor.

Throughout the class I'll give tips about cameras, lenses and other gear. I'll give you a few tips on how to use your SLR and I'll give you tips on how to get the most from your point-and-shoot.

Why choose my classes? The thing that sets me apart as a photography teacher is the flexibility of my classes. All of the class material is sent via tutorials and is yours to keep - no logging into a website for limited access to materials. Assignments can be done at your pace and within your schedule. At no point during the class will you have to be at a computer at a specific time for instruction. My step-by-step process guides you slowly and gently through the overwhelming process of improving your photography.

Who can join? Anyone - and I do mean anyone. Whatever your camera, whatever your level of experience and comfort with your camera - this class is for you. I had a lot of success with my test-group and the participants showed a dramatic improvement - I'll be blogging some of their before & afters soon. So if you have a camera and a desire to take better photos for your business or blog this class is for you.

What is the time commitment? You'll have one tutorial to read through each week plus three assignments. One is to help you develop your style and two are to help you develop your photography skills. You'll then load your photos into a group on Flickr so that I can give you feedback and answer any questions you might have.

Reserve your place today!
Simply Style registration $100
Simply Style  + Simply SLR and get $20 off  = $160
Simply Style  + Simply YOU mentoring and get $40 off = $260
Simply Style tutorials only (no feedback) $40

Register Here

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Featured photos

These are from last week's photography challenge. Yes, I know I am waaay behind - but I wanted to be sure that I did feature some of your beautiful photos. You can see last week's link up here.

Pink Sky Designs
I was so inspired by this photo! Makes me want to pick my  camera up and try something different.

Naptime MomTog
My friend Sarah always links up great photos but this week was a favorite!
Timothy Prust Photography
I mentioned last week how happy I am that Tim is back - this week he blew me away! Check out this post as well

Claire's 365
This is just one of a whole post of beautiful photos!

The Mommyhood Memos

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week. If you'd like to participate this week it's not too late!! Be sure to follow me on Facebook & Twitter to get a heads up on theme announcements. I usually announce upcoming themes there first. If you were featured feel free to grab a button for your blog if you'd like :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Photography Challenge: Something Different


I can not believe how quickly the past few days have gone!! Goodness gracious. They've been good days but they're over too quickly, nap time is over before it's even begun and I'm falling asleep putting the kids to bed... today my challenge for you is to photograph something you don't usually photograph, or in a way that you don't usually photograph. Find a detail of something - or step back to take a bigger picture. I have some fun pictures on my camera but they're still on my camera and need to be transferred and processed. This photo expresses pretty much perfectly what today has been like for me - gray and dreary and fuzzy but somehow in the middle of it all really beautiful and satisfying.

I'm still making my way through all of last week's photo. I've been to most of them and will be sure to get a post of favorites up really soon. I thought it would be done by now but - that's life,  I guess. Especially when you have a baby! I have so enjoyed seeing all of your photos - I hope that you take some time to visit each other's blogs and leave a comment. It's very inspiring! Also don't forget to grab a button and plan on participating in the Poetic Winter Photography Challenge which I will be co-hosting next month! It should be awesome.  I can't wait to see your photos! 

P.S. You can still register for my photography class for the month of February. It's focused on crafters, bloggers and online shop owners. My next photography mentoring session is set for March. I'd love to see you there!

Just a Monday morning photo

I'm not a big fan of the "hey, I'm still here" posts.. but here I am, writing one. I'm terribly behind (having a baby is kicking my butt!!) Plus it was my anniversary on Friday - eleven years of marriage -  whoot whoot! The hubs took me out, and of course I forgot to take a single photo, but we had a wonderful time. It was nice to have an uninterrupted, hot meal.  On Saturday I got completely lost on This Life - they let me in early, while it's in beta and I can honestly say I have never ever had such a positive experience...

So here is a photo I re-discovered the other day, when I saw it in my photo stream I was like "hey, did I take that? why yes, yes I did." That's always a nice surprise.

I promise a "real" post will be up, hopefully tonight - with tomorrow's challenge announcement.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hump Day Photo Dump

Mr. Blue Eyes

DSC_2605.JPGlove this expresion
Eli just LOVES his johnny jump-up - he spends a lot of time there every day, bouncing or just sitting and watching what everyone else is doing, always with a big smile on his face.


that tongue

I was photographing some other stuff and had my macro filter on my 18-55mm lens, it made  a really interesting effect...
with macro filterDSC_2424.JPG

first time in this walker-thingy
I put Eli in this walker thingy we were given. He liked it pretty well, Josiah loved running in circles around it!
my happy little guy

Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge 
Don't forget the Poetry of Winter Photography Challenge is starting February 3!
Get more of the details as well as the prompts by clicking here. 

 Linking up with:
  Live and Love...Out LoudNapTime MomTogand then, she {snapped}

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