Monday, May 18, 2015

Artist Tools of the Trade

I love paint brushes in all sizes, shapes, materials, long handles, short handles, covered with paint or clean.
These are a few (the clean ones) of my collection.  
I cut this picture up and made a layout with the various crops on which I had added different presets.
Can't decide which preset I like best…….but either Old English or Eve.  Presets offer so much - they can give an image mystery, depth, contrast  and generally give the same image many different looks.    I just really like working with them because they are such a quick fix.  It's like being a decorator with your images.  Pop a few colorful pillows here and there, and voila…you have a new look.
Linking up with Texture Tuesday

Kim Klassen dot com
Until next week…..
~ Calm ~

Thursday, May 14, 2015

When Did This Happen?

I'm referring to my donut addiction.  In a little strip center on what is affectionately referred to as the 17th St. Promenade in Costa Mesa, CA.  I had been watching as a new eating/gathering spot was about to open.  It's called "Sidecar".  It was all about really fresh donuts in some really wild flavors.  I recently tried their Strawberry/Elderflower flavor.   A customer next to me said I have to try the Butter and Salt, so that's my next visit purchase.
Now I have not had a donut since Krispy Kreme opened its first location in Orange County some 20 or so years ago.  I have tried to eat a more healthy diet, but I must confess I do have a sweet tooth.  I was looking for something to replace the morning buns Starbucks used to have before they purchased their own bakery company.  Since then I think their pastries have gone way downhill.  I would give anything to find that morning bun somewhere.  What in the world would I have with my morning Starbucks?
My husband kept making remarks like "I'm not paying $5 for a donut.  They won't last."  Not only have they lasted (and most of their donuts are $3 to $4 - not $5), they have gotten busier and busier.  Impossible to get a sidewalk table in front of their store.  
My favorite is the simple Vanilla Twist for $2.25.  It was my first taste, and I was hooked after that.  I didn't get a picture of it on this day as I was waiting for them to bring out a fresh batch. But this will give you a sampling of their offerings.
I used Trey Ratcliff's preset "On Recreational Drugs" from his 2014 collection on the photo above.  I used Kim's "SummerLight" preset from her new Studio Collection below.
Those donuts in the lower right corner are maple bacon.  Yes, it's real bacon!  And…Kim's "SummerLight" graces the image below too.

There are people who leave with a mixed box that cost $40 or $50.  I certainly hope these are for their office and that this person is not intending to eat them all.  
On this particular day they were playing Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors" album on a vintage turntable.  Wow, how cool is that?
  I purchased a Breville espresso machine, and I make my own espresso macchiato every day.
But you can purchase Sidecar's coffee.  I just happen to be stuck on Starbucks coffee.
Here's a sampling of the drinks you can get at Sidecar.  I used Kim's "Moody-ish" on this image.  I'm in love with her Studio Collection presets!!
If you're ever in my neighborhood, you definitely want to give this place a try.  You won't be sorry.  You may gain a few pounds though……    
~ Calm ~

Monday, May 11, 2015

Layout Playout

Hope you all had a very special Mothers Day.  I spent the day with Mike,  and my DIL and Grand #1 visited.  So nice to see them.  The grands are growing so fast.  
I've been revisiting Kim's tutorials on LR and working on layouts.  
I did apply a layer of Kim's "Coffee Tea or Me" texture though I would have been just as delighted with the SOOC images.  I added a circle and some text within.  I learned that when I took Kim and Xanthe's Behind the Scenes class.  I get so excited when I learn even the most elementary techniques.  Yay!!!
Using the same template I inserted some photos from my garden for this layout.  Just so easy in LR but then I got stuck because I couldn't remember how to save the layout to my desktop.  Finally figured that out.  I mean I just did it last week with my Be Still layout.  Hello???
I'm linking to Texture Tuesday.  See you all next week or maybe before if I get some wonderful inspiration.

Kim Klassen dot com
~ Give ~

Monday, May 04, 2015

Breathing in Stillness

In our "Be Still" class we are practicing stillness as in
Be Still - breathe just prior to taking a photo. Our photos should be better if we take the time to be still first.
Take a breath when we feel overloaded or stressed.  It interrupts that pattern of crazy thinking/feeling.
Gentle preset

As an introvert, I relish my time alone.  Don't get me wrong….I love getting together with friends.  I like to laugh and talk as much as the most social people.  
I just can't do it as long. 
For a long time I was concerned that I might be bored or lonely after I retired.  I had a crazy, stressful job in sales for 30+ years.  You see, for many years I did not realize I was an introvert.  Go figure….why would an introvert be in sales?  Who knows.  I guess I did not think of it as sales.  I loved what I did - interviewing companies and potential candidates for their jobs…..matchmaking!  It was a great career but I was ready to have some quality alone time for me!!
Dark Light preset
I collect Buddhas,  and I believe it's because they give me such a feeling of serenity.  I learned to meditate years ago.  I still don't always find the time nor am I disciplined enough to sit quietly for a length of time every day, but I find that art and photography/image editing are meditative for me. I get cranky when I don't have the quiet time to do these things.  I think I shot these images knowing they would give me that feeling of quiet stillness just as the Buddhas do.
Chocolate preset
When I do find that time, I feel just like I've had a day at the spa.  These activities refresh me.  
What refreshes you?  What do you do that gives you a blissful feeling?  Maybe it is going to the spa, or maybe it's music, or maybe prayer?   
Moodswing preset
I'll be linking up to Texture Tuesday on Tuesday as well as The Studio and Be Still. 
May you have a blissful week!  
~ Give ~

Kim Klassen dot com

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