Thursday, July 8, 2010


Even though every blog here shows pictures I take - such as beading - I still have a dedicated section for some of them. Like these...

Today we had some really beautiful clouds in our sky. These are the ones that result in our crazy wonderful summer thunderstorms. Between the thick and bulbous clouds and the brilliant sunshine it made for some really great stuff.

So go take some pictures of the magic in the sky, and think back to when you were a little kid and saw all kinds of amazing things in the clouds.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Picasa actions.

Here's a picture I took a few days ago - there were these three, gangly cranes flying past. This is how it looks without any tweaking:

First, I cropped it:

Then, because I felt the cranes didn't have much detail, I used the "warmify" action:

Next I selected "Glow" and cranked the intensity all the way to the right:

Because this was taken with a "regular" 18-55mm lens, there's not much more I could do to it - I couldn't crop it to make the cranes bigger, and trying to sharpen it up only made each pixel stand out like a sore thumb. Which left me with few options.... other than playing with things - this was "film grain:"

This was "Tint" where I selected a pink color and pushed the "color preservation" all the way to the right:

Here are the cranes in Sepia:

And finally, in the basic actions, "auto contrast":

For a free download, Picasa is a pretty handy program. I've been able to really give some of my pictures punch, when they'd otherwise be just so-so. It also has this neat feature where you can lay text over the top of your photos - which is how I created the custom banners at the top of each of my blog pages. If you're like me, and Photoshop is on your wish list, you can get by nicely with Picasa for a while!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Macro, the PW contest

Today, PW announced that she's having another photography contest..... Macro is the theme. I'm entering... along with THOUSANDS of other people. Maybe, if I enter enough of her contests I might actually make it to the top 50 or even win someday..... you can dream, right?

A Macro shot is one taken SUPER close to the subject, and the lens magnifies what you see. Often, the subject matter of choice for Macro shots are flowers and insects. 

I thought I'd share what I'm going to enter for this contest. You can enter one shot a day for as long as she keeps it open - so I'm picking from these....

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It all started in college.

I tried to take one class a year that was just for me. Or at least I think I did..... right now, 10 years after my bachelor's degree, I can remember only two that were "for fun" during the whole time I was in college. First was a sculpture class. I liked it, for the most part. Particularly when we got to work with clay.... the rest was ho hum.

The second class though, was "Intro to Black & White Photography" and it took me from casual snapshot to really wanting more from my pictures. Well, time passed... I went through a divorce and went to work full time. I still took family snapshots here & there, but I just didn't have the focus (no pun intended) or the energy to really make the end result something that I wanted it to be. Not that I didn't take decent pictures - particularly after we went digital....

 However, I had no idea what FUN I was in for until last month. For our 7th anniversary Dale got me a Nikon D5000.... a digital SLR with an 18-55mm lens. And because Photoshop is on my wishlist, I downloaded Google's Picasa. And then the REAL fun started - we spent a week in Ft. Bragg and this stuff happened: