Monday, April 27, 2015

Every Day is a New Miracle

That's about how I feel today.  With so much negative happening in the world, I think I'm just so lucky to live where I do.  I'm grateful for my good fortune.  Every morning when I wake up I remind myself how fortunate I am to be where I am.
I have been attempting to get a good shot of an object in back lighting.  I tried all sorts of things and didn't have any luck. Then, the other day, I just happened to walk by the bathroom and saw the light streaming in behind my beautiful Double Delight roses.  I ran and got my phone so I could snap them right at that moment.   These two SOOC images show the light beautifully,  but the images themselves are not great. I certainly didn't like the window crank showing in the background.  And….the countertop is not straight in the image.

 What to do…..  Using the top image I adjusted as much as possible in Lightroom and then took into Photoshop.  
I added a layer of Kim's "Cherish Scripted" on soft light 100% opacity and toned the texture down on the roses.  I then added a layer of Kim's "Word" on overlay 30%.  I went back into LR and added a hint of a vignette and a minimal border.
It's okay….just not a favorite.
Textures do make a difference and I tried several before I settled on these.  I had to stop though or I would have been linking to Texture Thursday instead of Texture Tuesday.
I think the second image shows the light better.  Adjustments in LR - no textures or presets on this one.  Actually I think I prefer it.
I wish you all a creative week!

Kim Klassen dot com


Monday, April 20, 2015

Amaryllis in Bloom

Five days in the life of an Amaryllis.  I've always been fascinated with the Amaryllis and how quickly it comes into bloom, once it makes up its mind to do so.  I swear I think the stem grows 2 inches every day when it begins.
I decided to make a photo project out of its life in bloom.
Every morning I took a photo pretty much at the same time of day.  I also wanted to play with depth of field and focus-falloff for Be Still
Day 1 with Kim's "Whisper" preset
Day 2 with Kim's " On Air" preset
Day 3 with her "Organic" preset
Day 4 with "Moody-ish"
and Day 5 with Serendipitous  (I really like this one.)
and a Lightroom 4-square offset
For those of you who are reluctant to attempt Lightroom, let me say that no one could be more intimidated than I, and I agree….it's a huge learning curve, but as Kim says….oh so worth it.  I still have so much to learn and I forget along the way if I don't work with a particular technique.  I just go back to Kim's class and refresh my memory.
Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Be Still 52 and The Studio

Kim Klassen dot com 

You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.
      ~Maya Angelou

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring has Sprung in Southern CA

Last week I went with my friends from Eastside Art Group to visit San Juan Capistrano Mission.  My photos for the most part were not terribly good.  It was just about high noon and sun was directly overhead.  I tried adjusting exposure but need some practice with that on my iPhone. I did get this one image of beautiful spring tulips and decided to play with it for Texture Tuesday.
I first used an HDR preset from Trey Ratcliff, one of my favorite photographers.  You can see his work here. I think the HDR really made them pop. I haven't yet tried using HDR setting on my iPhone.  
I then used Kim's "Dark Mood" preset and got this totally 
different look….
Finally I added a layer of Kim's texture "Peeling Paint" and a layer of her "Warm Grunge" to get another altogether different look.
I'm linking up with Texture Tuesday and you can see more by clicking the button below.

Kim Klassen dot com
See you soon.
~ Give ~

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Week 9 of Be Still

This week's lesson was not a new lesson, rather we took a "breather". In these images I worked on composition a little more - also worked with light (from the side).  I need to figure out a place where I can photograph a still life with light from the back.  So I'll return to that lesson. In the first image I used Kim's "Like a Dream" preset but bumped up the contrast a bit.  I also used an impasto texture called "Rumba" from French Kiss Textures.  It gives the image a painterly look.
I used Kim's "Providence" preset on the image below and then added text in PS.
On the final image below I adjusted in Lightroom and then used a filter in Topaz Adjust.  
I took shots from different angles.  I like shooting from above.
If you want to learn how to do these various techniques, I highly recommend Kim's classes.  I've taken several and they are all outstanding with great videos, concise explanations and all the tools one could want for editing photos.  A friendly community of fellow photo editing artists await you too.
I'm submitting this for Texture Tuesday and Be Still.


Kim Klassen dot com
See you soon.
~ Give ~

Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Spring

Hello all.  Hope you are having a great week.  I want to share with you some of the images I worked on the last few days.  I'm backtracking to Week 5 of Be Still…"Be Still and Look for the Light".  I managed to capture some morning light in my bedroom, and  I took advantage of it for side lighting a few images.  I was thrilled with the light shining through the flowers.
To begin, the image below was edited in LR and then taken into PS to add Kim's "Cool Grunge" texture.  I metered for the geraniums in front.  
I processed this in LR and used one of LR's black/white presets, then Topaz Adjust 5 for the fun silvery look, then into PS for addition of text.

I did nothing with this photo except adjust exposure and crop and add Kim's brush in Photoshop.  

I'll be linking this to 

Kim Klassen dot com

~ Give ~

Monday, March 23, 2015

As Promised

Before I get to my promised face and story, I want to share with you my entry for Texture Tuesday.  I did two different images from this shoot, and two different edits.  The first one I edited as Kim did in Week 7 of our Be Still class.

After some minor adjustments in Lightroom and using her "Breeze" preset I added quote and her "Simple" texture in Photoshop.  
The second image is a bit more dramatic.  I used Kim's "Darkmood" preset in Lightroom.
and now for that face and story…..
Face #16

I told you I would have a story related to my word for the year…. "Give".
Last week I stopped at Mother's Market for some produce.  In  the parking lot I saw a  young man in a wheelchair.  
One of his legs had been 
amputated at the knee.  I figured he might be a veteran, maybe even without a home.  He asked me if I had a dollar I could spare.
I opened my wallet and discovered I had no singles.  I thought to myself, "Don't be cheap", and then pulled out a $10 bill.
He was most thankful and did an immediate U-turn right there in front of me, and as fast as his wheels would take him, sped to the liquor store at the back of the parking lot! 
I started to laugh, but thinking of what Wayne Dyer said when he was laughed at for giving money to a panhandler on the street corner….."It's not between me and him, it's between me and God", I realized that it is truly between myself and God.
Have a great week!
~ Give ~
Kim Klassen dot com

Friday, March 20, 2015

Long Way to Go

Finally here is face #15
You may recall some time ago I started my "100 Faces" project.  I certainly got sidetracked.  Nothing new about that.  Happens all the time.  This is only #15!  I wasn't going to post her because…..guess why?  She's not good enough?  How am I ever going to be good if I don't practice?  So, I'm forcing myself to post the not so good with what I consider good.  Her eyes are a bit wonky, but my eyes are a bit wonky too!  In fact I bet everyone's eyes are a little wonky.  Don't we all have one foot that's just a tad larger than the other?  The great thing about the way Dina Wakley does her faces….she always uses Gesso on her pages….for more than one reason.  It's a great foundation for acrylic paint.  But it also is great for drawing with the Stabilo All #8046 pencil.   I usually just scribble over lines if they're not in the right place, 
but I can use a baby wipe to remove the pencil.  No gesso, no 
"erase".  I promise to try another face today or tomorrow.  And if I remember, I'll tell a funny on myself in relation to my word for the year - give.
~ Give ~

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Glorious Imperfection

I love the term "Wabi-Sabi" - perfect imperfection.  According to Wikepedia, "The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect. impermanent and incomplete".  Life is so 
wabi-sabi, so it makes sense that we would see the beauty of imperfection.
In week 4 of Be Still, Kim edited a photo similar to this one, and I have followed her lead as far as the edit..a bit different but with a similar effect.  I started in Lightroom with some adjustments to clarity, contrast, saturation.  I tried many presets but in the end I did not use one.  I shifted over to Photoshop and added three layers of Kim's "Dusty Rose" on soft light blend at 72% brushing it off the cut glass vase and a bit off the rose.  I think it would be fun to do a whole series of wabi-sabi flower photos.
For the image  below I did edit in Lightroom as well and used a preset "Touchof Drama".  I took it into Photoshop and added a layer of Kim's "Daisy" from the Downton collection and one layer of "Sweettart".  I added a slight faded vignette. 

~ A beautiful thing is never perfect ~
A proverb quote

Linking to:
Kim Klassen dot com
And to Be Still
~ Give ~

Monday, March 02, 2015

Anatomy of the Bouquet

A special friend sent these to me for my birthday… pretty and in colors I love.  Thank you, Shelley.
I kept looking at the bouquet all week.  What I noticed was that the vase was just crammed with flowers, each vying for attention.  The  dozen long stemmed pink roses would have been more than sufficient.  But then I do love hydrangea and stargazer lilies.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought about the importance each flower plays.  The roses, hydrangeas and stargazers are the stars, like the kids in school who were the most popular.  Then there were some type of Asiatic  lilies in the group too…..those wanna be's from school….not as spectacular but nice too.  The lemon leaves and wax flowers were there to fill out the bouquet, but they are just as important ….. they were the ones with the spectacular grades.  Then there were the tiny white carnations….they were the ones I made friends with….they were loyal and steadfast friends.  They are still here when the rest of the bouquet has been tossed.  They smile at me every morning.  They give me a peaceful, easy feeling. 
So….for Texture Tuesday and Be Still I did a little photo shoot with my good friends, the carnations.  I used Kim's "Hazey" preset,  took it into PS and added the text.  
and the top down shot
and with Kim's postcard texture
They are my good friends.

Kim Klassen dot com
Live a beautiful life this week.
~ Give ~

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


That's what I've been feeling this week…just lots of stuff going on.
That said, I'm really behind in my Be Still class, but I just have to take one day at a time.
So for Texture Tuesday I first made some adjustments in Lightroom and then added Kim's "Gentle" preset.  Next into PS 
for some texture and text.  I used Kim's "Carmel" texture on overlay at 64% opacity, and her "Luxe" texture on divide at 42%.  The text is a font called "Reswysokr".  Don't you wonder how they come up with such odd names?
I'm planning to spend tomorrow doing some photo shoots.  Hopefully I'll do some catching up in my class.  
I wish you all a beautiful week!

Kim Klassen dot com
~ Give ~