Archive: August 2009   |   View all recent posts

Only A Few Dates Left in 2009
WHAT: News   |   WHEN: August 30, 2009

There's only a few open dates left on our calendar for 2009.  If you've been thinking about custom photography, there's no better time than now with the beautiful fall weather setting in and the holidays right around the corner.  Book an available date by September 8th and receive a little free love in the form of a $75 credit to use towards your order.  

Know someone else that would love to create a few new memoirs?  Refer them and get an additional $75 credit when they book a session.  There's no limit, so more referrals = more love for you.


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Rest Your Gentle Soul, Ally.
WHAT: Dogs, Personal   |   WHEN: August 26, 2009


My friends Jerry & Tina are facing the most difficult, compassionate decision any dog lover has to deal with later this afternoon.  Their incredibly sweet boxer Ally has been aging gracefully until the last several months, and while her love for her family is as strong as ever, her body can no longer keep up.  Her nearly 10 yr old hips and back legs are worn out, and she is struggling to keep herself up. So later today, Jerry and Tina have decided it's time to free Ally from her pain.  I tear up just thinking about it, but as difficult as it as for them, I know they're grateful for the long life she's been given and the joy she's brought into their lives.  Jerry even went to the store tonight and got a big juicy T-bone and grilled it up for Ally; a fitting treat for this loving, loyal and regal companion.

If you think about it and feel s inclined, please say a little prayer for strength and peace for them today around 4pm and that they would find the right words to console & comfort their daughter Trinity as they talk to her about Ally.

These 2 images from the archives are my favorites of this old girl.  Rest well, sweet Ally.



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Day 231 ~ August Moon
WHAT: Cityscapes & Landscapes, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: August 25, 2009
Very empty and peaceful sky last night.



The summer scorch is also lessening at night this time of year which makes the dog walks more pleasant both Mia and Kylie & I.  Even with the lower temps, though, Mia enjoys a cold shower for a quick chill.  Unfortunately that requires either Kylie are I to escort her through this exercise.  Fortunately for me, it was Kylie on this occasion.



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Image Polishing - Before and After
WHAT: For Photographers, Just the F.A.Q.s, Tips, Tricks & Tutorials   |   WHEN: August 24, 2009
Fairly frequently I get questions from other photographers asking about image post-processing.  So, I'm gonna start occasionally occasionally mixing in a few posts where I describe some of my techniques and/or descriptions about how I lit, shot, and/or edited some images.

Allow me to step on to my soapbox for just a second and say first and foremost that I'm an advocate for getting the best exposure you can in camera above all else.  Let's face it, occasionally in an effort to capture a fleeting moment, we don't always get our settings just right in the camera, but if your bread and butter approach to photography is the FLIP method (Fix Later In Photochop), sooner or later someone is going to discover you in a sleep-deprived, editing-induced coma in a chair in front of your monitor... or you'll get burned out and quit.  Photochop should not be used as a Band-Aid or crutch in place of getting to know how to use your equipment.  I've been there and got the t-shirt, and it's no fun.  Okay, I'm stepping off the soap box now.

That being said, I certainly embrace digital tools like Photochop and Lightroom to add emphasis to my images.  I heard this referred to today as "polishing images" from Ann Monteith, and I'm gonna shamelessy steal that phrase because I think it's right on the money.  And with that in mind, here's my first "Image Polishing" mix:


The Polishing Mix:

1.  Totally Rad Actions Oh Snap (70% opacity)
2.  Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, sample blue sky color with color picker and increase saturation 50%
3.  Add vignetting (merge adjustments to new layer, change blend mode to multiply, and mask out center to taste)
4.  Kevin Kubota's Actions Tea Stain (30% opacity)
5.  TRA f/Zero, used gradient tool to create a mirror gradient on the resulting mask layer, then ran f/Zero Super HQ Conversion (gives added illusion of very shallow depth of field)
6.  TRA Pool Party (50% opacity)
7.  TRA Sparta (50% opacity)

Keep in mind, this look oesn't work for every image.  Also, I have many of these steps automated via combined actions to save me time.  Total edit time was about 3 minutes.

Until next time...


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Day 229 ~ I'm Sorry, Tina N.
WHAT: Fun, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: August 24, 2009

Dear Tina N,

You don't know me, and, well, I don't really know you either, but I feel like I owe you an apology.  A little over a month ago you took care of one of my precious client orders from WHCC and made sure everything was just right as usual.  How do I repay you?  Like a schmuck.  Somewhere between the car and the entrance into the house through the garage I accidentally dropped your signature inspection card, and for the last 4 weeks now I've walked by your card, read your name, and heard the voice inside my head mutter that I need to pick that card up and throw it away.  Each day I've seen your card laying in isolation on the garage floor, often wondering who you are and what you'd think knowing I'm stepping on your name almost every day, even after you gave me that complimentary Tootsie Pop with my order like you always do.  I just want you to know that I'm sorry, and you'll be happy to know that i finally picked up your card and put it in the trash yesterday.  That doesn't sound much like a feel-better statement, but it's better than me walking all over you. 

I hope you don't hold it against me.  I'd really miss those Tootsie Pops.


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