Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Out of the Shadows

The theme this week for one of the photo projects I have been participating in in Out of the Shadows.

This is what I came up with...

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I am a teacher at heart. I love teaching! I also learn a lot more when I am teaching.
All the preparation is part of it of course, but I also tend to learn a ton
from the students I am supposed to be teaching!
So this week my new Mom*N*PopTography classes began!
First up on the lesson plan is the compositional technique of "The Rule of Thirds."
Wikipedia's definition looks like this...
"The rule of thirds is a "rule of thumb" or guideline which applies to the process of composing visual images such as paintings, photographs and designs.[1] The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.[2] Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would."
So essentially, if you were to make a tic-tac-toe grid
to help you decide where to place the subject of your picture,
instead of putting the subject dead center in the middle square,
 it is more pleasing to the eye if the subject of interest
falls along one of the grid lines or at one of the intersecting points of the grid lines.

It doesn't have to be exactly on the lines or intersections for it to count.
Just having the interest points or elements near those lines or sections
makes a photo, painting, drawing, or any image more interesting.
The photo at the beginning of this post is a good example of the rule of thirds.
The subject is completely aligned on the left vertical grid line.
Additionally, notice how the subject is looking into the space in the frame and not out of it.
Our brain likes to see that space. If he were looking out of the frame,
 there would be a tension created that would take away from
 the sweetness that was captured in this moment of childhood.
On the other hand, if you are TRYING to create emotional tension
 in the story telling of your image,
having your subject look out of the frame can be a good tool to create it.
Sometimes the main interest point may NOT be the entire subject, but only part of the subject. In the photo below, the eye that is closest to the camera becomes the main point of interest and the rest of the eyeline falls near the upper horizontal grid line but not exactly on it.

Until you can use the rule of thirds without having to think about it, most camera's have a option to turn on a grid display in the menu functions. Check your camera manual to be sure. After that, make sure you practice, practice, and practice some more!
Keep this in mind as well...
Sometimes it is more interesting to break the rules!
Play with it. Have fun! Create your art for yourself, to please yourself!
If YOU aren't pleased with it, then why should anyone else be,
and there will ALWAYS be people who don't like stuff.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

...And the Beat Goes On...


By and far, my favorite model to work with is my three year old daughter.
Most days she is very willing to be in front of the camera
and has even started requesting "photo shoots".
This series was one of those shoots
and began as a recreation of a shot taken of her as a newborn
 resting inside my husband's bass drum.
I got one good shot of her inside the drum before she had other ideas...

Are there any shots of your kids, or even of you as a kid that you would love to recreate or update?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Delaware Days

This week we have been learning about Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze.You can learn more about the artist and the painting at Artist of the Week.
Here is the project. If you don't feel like doing the project, just feel free to print out the black line as a coloring page.

You can click on any of these to make them larger. Below are PDF files. The first is step by step directions and the second is a completed black line drawing that you may feel free to use as a coloring page.
How to draw George Washington

Coloring Page

Here are some more examples from my students. I think they all did an amazing job!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Finding The Light

As an artist/photographer whose been through a few trials personally,
I want to encourage you to document the bad and the ugly right along with the good.
When you look back on the images detailing circumstances that seemed so dark at the time,
you will do so from a perspective of having lived through it.
It will give you hope that you can get through dark times ahead,
because inevitably they will come...
because without the dark you cannot see the light,
and if you are still breathing there will always be light.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Still Laughing

If you have been following my blog for a while,
you may be wondering  about how my son Ryan is doing these days...
Well, he is doing great.
He has been in remission for stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma for over a year.
We have a check up this week and
new scans will be scheduled at this appointment
so prayers are always appreciated!

On a side note...So excited that my picture of Ryan got featured on the Let's Do 52 Project at the Paint the Moon blog! You can check it out along with all the other AMAZING photos over here....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Three Short Years Ago...

This blog has seen many dramatic events in my life and one of the most joyous, though drama filled to say the least, was the birth of my precious little girl. This month she turned three! So hard to believe it's been so long and at the same time it's so hard to remember life without her being a part of it. She gets more beautiful every day and thankfully, along the way I've developed some skills to help me capture it as it happens!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Beginnings-La Quinta Family Photographer

This family headed by a single mom has recently purchased their first home. In recognition of all the hard work it took to acheive that goal, my gift to them was a family photos to adorn the walls of their new space. It was so fun to do this shoot with them. They were so willing to do whatever I asked of them, and even asked me to do some shots I never would have dared ask for!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Learning New Tricks

CreativeLIVE is an awesome place. I have learned so much from watching their free webcasts. So it was very exciting to me that they are running all the 2012 webcasts on a loop from December 17th through 31st. You can learn anything from basic photography to business and marketing all the way to creative techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Speaking of Lightroom 4... I use that program 95% of the time and very rarely even open Photoshop Elements. It is an excellent program and will take your photography to an entirely new level if you shoot in RAW format as I do. It is also not a destructive process at all. All the changes you make in RAW are entirely reversible and you are not working in layers as in Photoshop. However, it does have it's limitations. There are some things you can't do in Lightroom and there are also some things that though you can do it in Lightroom, it is far easier to do in Photoshop.

Case in point...removing or reducing dark under eye circles. Lightroom can only go so far here. So I tried out a trick I learned in one of the CreativeLIVE webcast rebroadcasts.

I created 2 duplicate background layers and then used the clone tool set to the lighten mode at around 20% opacity to make my baby girl's dark under eye circles pretty much disappear without removing the lovely contours. Here you can see the before and after...



La Quinta Maternity Photographer

I have know this beautiful lady for a very long time, which made it all that much more fun to get to be her maternity photographer! We also got a few great shots of her older little one too. Check out those blue eyes!!!!