Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving

I try to start each day with gratitude for another day, another opportunity, for all I'm blessed with, but at this time of year I'm especially grateful for friends, family, health and abundance. 

I'm linking to Texture Tuesday today with my interpretation of the Thanksgiving holidays.  For this image I used a layer of Kim's "Leaf" and a layer of one of her other textures.  Sorry I can't remember which.   I also used Kim's 
Darklight preset.  I added a Topaz filter.  I love playing with textures and filters as I'm never sure  what will turn up in the final result.  I like how this makes the pears look like they have been gold leafed. I used the same textures and different filters below on this image.
I wish you all a beautiful Thanksgiving.


Kim Klassen dot com

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'm Sharing

I'm sharing two still lifes today which I'm linking with Texture Tuesday. These were shot at the Gather event in Sunset Beach.  You can see more about that here and here.  I used KK-Dark Light on this image….
and KK-Gentle here.
There will be many more examples of Texture Tuesday, so be sure to click on the button below and go visit.  Better yet, why don't you join us?


Kim Klassen dot com

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gather - Sunset Beach Part Two

Today I'm sharing the rest of our experience with Kim Klassen and Xanthe Berkeley.   We took shots of still lifes from all kinds of positions.  Here are Barb and Laura on the floor.  We even did one still life in the laundry room.  It had a window and the light was beautiful.

Some more of the beautiful people…. Kristina 
and Pam
and Xanthe
Just look at these shutterbugs! 
from left Xanthe, Lynne, Suzee, Barb, Kim, Kristina and Carolyn.

Many of the houses on the beach have been redone and 
"mansionized" as I call it, but here's one that has not.  It looked so quaint among the "big guys".
 The weather could not have been more perfect, and we literally jumped for joy every day!
There were all kinds of little arrangements (by Miracle Myriam) throughout the house….


Another still life
But as the saying goes…."all good things must come to an end".
I don't think any one of us wanted it to end, and we plan to keep in touch through Instagram, Facebook, etc.  Kim and Xanthe sent us a podcast at the end of their stay to remind us how special the event was and to keep in touch with each other.
I hope each of you will have an opportunity like this.  It's so special when you get to spend time with people who "get it".  I have lots of friends but very few "get it", who share my interests in art, photography, etc.  They wonder why I blog….
"You mean you're going to get together with people you met online?"
Yes, and I loved it!!





Friday, November 14, 2014

Gather Sunset Beach - Part One

My friends, seems like forever since I last posted.  I was getting ready for, and then attending, the first "Gather" hosted by Kim Klassen and Xanthe Berkeley.  Yes, all the way from Canada and England respectively.
We stayed in a beautiful home on Sunset Beach.  
As Kim said it did look like the house from the movie "Something's Gotta Give"……huge with so much light….great for photographers.  Kim and Xanthe were an integral part of the group….no structure…..just laid back fun.  Xanthe took some of us to do portrait shots, and Kim helped others with still life setups.  We spent a lot of time on the beach doing shoots…..the weather was fabulous!
Sunsets were gorgeous.  
Tracey Clark of Shutter Sisters stopped in for a couple hours.  She lives down the road in Huntington Beach.
L to R….Lynne and her sister Suzee, Tracey, Laura, Carolyn and Kim.
The light was so wonderful in the early morning and late afternoon.  Just look at the way it makes these beautiful faces glow!

From top left to right….Myriam, Danielle, Kristina, and Carolyn.
Myriam and her friend Alisha were the facilitators and what an incredible job they did to make our stay a true experience!  I'll post Alisha's pic tomorrow.
The beautiful freestanding "window" with the word "create" was created by Myriam.  We had a craft room and gathering room on the third floor which had its own kitchen too.  We set up still lifes all over that floor but also all over the house.  We even did a still life of a sunflower in the laundry room.  Xanthe did a portrait shoot of me sitting in the window on the second floor.
We had a marvelous dinner Monday night - giant crab legs and sea bass.  Yum!  
Myriam and Alisha did marvelous lunch spreads for us every day.  The last day we had a brunch of pancakes and eggs with Mimosas.  Thank you, Myriam, you and Alisha were wonderful!
Here's Xanthe creating a flowing scarf for a shoot…
and Lynne and Kim having a serious discussion.
More tomorrow as I have pictures on two different computers and my smart phone.  
I'm just learning the nuances of my Macbook Pro……and thank you, Laura for spending tons of time teaching me Instagram.  Kim was great working with me on my Lightroom shortcomings.  Thank you, Kim.  Lookout world, here comes the technology wizard LOL!!
This gathering of kindred spirits was so far beyond my expectations, I'm missing everyone already. 
Stay tuned for more. 










Monday, November 03, 2014

Thinking of the Sea

I am so fortunate to live close to the ocean……about a mile as the crow flies.  It is ever changing, some days windblown and rough….some days smooth and clear as glass.  Depending on the clouds some days it's a deep dark indigo color…..other days it's a beautiful aquamarine.  I love shells and other artifacts from the sea.  This week I went for a dreamlike feel.
This little box was a project I did sometime ago.  I think I may have done a post about my grandmother's button jar.  I covered the box with a vintage paper, glued on buttons from her jar, and tied it all up with an organza ribbon. 
For Texture Tuesday I made adjustments in Lightroom and then added two layers of Kim's "Waterfront 7" texture, one on soft light at 15%, the second on linear dodge at 33%.  I masked and "erased" a bit of the texture from the starfish, sponge and box.  I love the font…..it's called "Lemon Chicken".

  Kim Klassen dot com

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Scribble of Paint...

and a Stabilo pencil, and I'm a happy camper.  I'm posting two more of my 100 faces challenge by Dina Wakley.  I do scrape a coat of gesso on the page before I draw.  That way if I make a major blunder, I can use a baby wipe to "erase".  No gesso, no "erase".  The goal is, however, to scribble away and not worry about perfection.
#13 above and #14 below…

The paint came first and then the drawing.  I promise you I did not plan the eyes to be as they are -- one over the blue paint and one over the green.  It was just one of those serendipitous things.




Monday, October 27, 2014

Makeup Brushes

I was looking through my files for an image to process for Texture Tuesday.  I found this image of makeup brushes.  It's a full color image, but I decided to experiment with it in Lightroom.
I added Kim's Dark Day and Quiet Dreams presets.  Then I took it into Topaz Adjust to return a bit of detail and add a border... then back to LR for a slight vignette and a bit of grain.  I wanted it to look like an old Hollywood photo.  
Below I added Kim's Word texture blend mode color burn at
52% opacity.
More Texture Tuesday here.  You'll get to see Kim's post about her  article in Stampington's "Artful Blogging" publication.  Congrats, Kim! 

Kim Klassen dot com

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Joys of Lightroom

Texture Tuesday seems to arrive before I know it.
This week has been heavy on the Lightroom learning curve.  Some days I seem to spend a lot of time figuring out why something doesn't go as I planned.  As my friend says, it's almost always a selection problem.
In Kim's Start2Finish class I've been working in the print module learning to make a contact sheet.  I edited one of my photos four ways and managed to create a contact sheet of them.
I did a still life photo shoot, something else we've been working on in S2F class.  My kingdom for some light in my house.  I discovered if I set everything up about 10:00 to 10:30AM I have a window of about an hour where I get some light in my bedroom sliding glass door (depending on the whim of the sun).  That time frame is going to get a lot shorter as daylight hours dwindle.  I uploaded 47 photos to Lightroom, culled them and then worked on a couple.  I really like working with LR presets.  Since LR and presets, it seems textures can almost be an overkill depending on the look I want.  Kim has some beautiful presets, and I've made a few of my own. A project I completed for S2F…... set up a plant or flower or? using a paper bag as a holder.
I used only a preset here, but for my Texture Tuesday entry below I used Kim's "Not Too Shabby" texture on the same image.
and…..one final image…clean and simple.

Kim Klassen dot com

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Is It Fall Yet??

I'm pretending it's fall, but it's really more like Indian summer…..hot enough to sizzle the best of us.
Here goes though.  I have been dabbling with Topaz's latest addition - Topaz Impression.  
This image of white pumpkins was edited in Impression "Impasto".   
I'm so delighted I don't need to buy Corel Paint (which I've been sort of lusting for after seeing the incredible work Karen Burns does.  I drool over her art.  I know she used Corel Paint at one time.  Whatever she uses, she's very adept at it.   
Another Impasto "painting".  
Have you noticed how many different colors and styles of pumpkins appear every year?  They just get more and more spectacular……even the blue are interesting.  Oh, and the warty ones..beautiful in all their quirkiness.
Enjoy the season with friends.  Also be sure to see all the Texture Tuesday entries at Kim's.  I used her "Autumn Burst" on the image below.
and finally, a montage.


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Love Affair - Part 2

Another thing I love about Lightroom is the "Print Module".
It makes preparing layouts so fast and easy!!!
I put these images together in about two minutes.

What's even better is that I can save the template and use over and over without having to create a new template.
I do need practice because there is much to think of when creating the layout…things like do I want a border between images or an outside border or stroke,  do I want a color for that border, do I want to "lock to photo aspect ratio", etc.  I find new techniques only become second nature after I repeat the exercise a few times..  If I'm lazy and don't burn it into my memory, I have to go back and revisit how to do a particular technique.  It took me a few tries to get my blog header together. You may be seeing a few of these in the coming days while I practice!
~ Calm ~