The Lost Mojo

It has been a while since I posted anything. A year to be exact.  I seem to have lost my MoJo for photos. The creative side of my brain was replaced with work, work, family, and expanding the family.  Medical appointments, research on genetic disorders, and did I mention work.

My other half tries to get me motivated for photography, we go out somewhere and he will ask ” Do you want to stop for a photo of that?” Knowing that normally I would be having him stop.

Don’t get me wrong, I love photography. I love manipulating the light to get the image that I see in my mind… It is just that my mind, is preoccupied. And, I have come to terms with that for now.

I knew that once we got our little cub that my hobby would have to take a seat on the back burner…

He comes first and foremost, and providing for him is the most important.

I just wanted to let those that do want to keep up with me know that I am here… I am still trying to create beautiful images and working on scripts to use with Corel PSP2019 when I have a few moments in the evening.

And, when Niagra falls and gets back up (think about that one) I will be posting more Beautiful people, and Places.



Scripts Anyone? Set 1

**I am not affiliated in anyway with the Corel Corporation. I just really like their products and chose to create user friendly scripts for all the users to purchase

Hello All!  I have, in my spare time, created my first set of scripts for the Corel PaintShop Pro program. These will work with x8-2018. (I have not tried with older versions)

**Note**  These will not work with all photos. I have tested them on multiple photos and they are awesome (in my opinion) But some photos just didn’t work well with the selected script. 

I have been using Corel PaintShop Pro since 2007! I have tried the other program, and just can not buy into the subscription service or pay an outrageous fee for something that I can get in this program. Personally, I feel that the PSP is 1000% easier to use than the other program. But, that is just my opinion.

Scripts are basically the same as “actions” in the other program. They are super simple to use and if you have a favorite script, you can run it on a full batch of photos and save time in post editing.

Corel has a multitude of tutorials on how to use scripts as well as other functions of their program. If you dont have the program, you can download a 30 free trial here!

I have taken screenshots of some sample images of the scripts you will get in the Set 1 package. There are a total of 10 scripts. However, I have only screen captured samples of 4 of them.

CC-IRgradiantsun


CC-UVcoloradjust

CC-blueredhistogram–

CC-touchoffall

The Scripts included in set 1 are:

CC-IRgradiantsun– Changes to IR photo with corner sunflare and gradient overlay

CC-UVcoloradjust– Takes all the red out of an image and changes to a UV color

CC-blueredhistogram– adjust the histogram using blue and red tones to brighten and sharpen images. *note… some images may have more of a blue tone after script process*

CC-greenlightblur–luminesce histogram green histogram center focus blur edge

CC-WarmSun– white balance with soft sunrays

CC-touchoffall2– Warm photo, changes select green tones to red/orange tones for a fall look

CC-CrispLight– *adds fill light *reduces green and *sharpens image

CC-B&WClearLight– converts to b/w image… adds fill light clarifies

CC-Marbles– converts images into an abstract marble/globe

CC-Frosted– Changes select green tones to light winter/white color

 

You will receive all 10 scripts in a digital download for only $20!

Please visit our online store to place an order! Also check out the available canvas prints! They are great to give as gifts or just to hang in your own space!

Thank you so much for taking the time to view the sample scripts and for visiting the store! I hope you have enjoyed these and please come back to check for updates!

The never ending client/photographer battle

I have been behind a camera in one way or another for going on 3o years now. And there is always that one question a client will ask that leaves a bad taste in the photographers mouth, and the answer leaves a bad taste in the clients mouth.

It is a never ending battle. The answer is never good enough, and these days the client reactions seem to get worse. With social media being the foremost way to communicate with whole communities at a time… one bad comment from a dissatisfied client can ruin a career for a photographer in an alreay dwindling profession.

What is the question and the answer???

 

“Can I have ALL the photos you took?”

“NO!”

The reason being is NOT because we are greedy photographers that want to charge you more money. You may think this is the case but it is not. In fact, after the cost of zip drives/cd’s printing costs, time to edit, taxes, gas etc.  — your photographer makes on average about $2.50 an hour…

Here are just a FEW reasons why we do not give all the photos out.

 

  • For every 15 photos– only one is usable – that means out of 150 photos there may be 10 good ones.

    DSC_0022
    Half Blink/ Squinty eyes.. Not usable to give to a client!

    DSC_0023
    Half blinked eyes do not make for a frame-able image!
  • Photographers each have individual editing techniques and editing 150 negatives take time- which costs money
  • Most photographers offer packages and to keep things “fair” across the board choose the best of the best for the packages..

    Image obtained from https://www.etsy.com/listing/158997550/photography-price-list-pricing-list-for?ref=related-7
    Image obtained from https://www.etsy.com/listing/158997550/photography-price-list-pricing-list-for?ref=related-7
  • YOU are paying for the best! You chose your photographer based on the portfolio, meaning you like their styling.  SO please, don’t give bad reviews and bash the photographer just for trying to make a living.  Be grateful there is someone there to capture moments in time for you. And remember that the camera creates the image as much as the stove creates a meal!




RAW photo processing

There is a never ending, internal battle in every photographer. Be is a hobbyist, amateur, or professional. At one point in time we all go through this battle. Why should I shoot RAW when my JPG images turn out fine?

Well, I am not here to answer the internal question… it is like trying to answer “What is the meaning of life?”  No answer is correct. But, I will give my take on RAW imaging vs. JPG.

Simply put… your memory card is your filmsdcardrollfilm

Remember using this?  If not… you are just a youngin. These cute little rolls are how old folk like me used to get our images.  When using an SLR camera, you hit the shutter button, the mirror flips up and the shutter opens and closes allowing light to ingrain the image on the film.  Well the same with DSLR. The difference is the “D” for digital. Now, with the wonders of technology, we don’t have 10 rolls of film in the refrigerator. We have the memory card… and when we hit that shutter button, the same thing happens, however the image is digitally composed and stored on the card.

 

Back in the day– we had to use chemicals or take our used rolls to a developer to do the chemical processing for us. ( I was one of the latter… never learned the chemical mixture stuff) When the processing was done we had negative strips…

Nimslostripneg

THIS WAS OUR RAW PHOTO!!

So, back to the question.. why shoot RAW?  It is the ability to (digitally)  adjust the exposure of the negative image. Just as if you wanted to develop the image above… you would need to keep it in the processing fluid for a longer or shorter amount of time to make the image lighter or darker….  It allows for more control of the negative BEFORE you do any layers, overlays, object removal etc.

Yes it is an extra step in processing.. but to me well worth it.

Think about this… you want to work with an image… one that you found in a box.. from 1992.. already developed.. colors are off.. exposure too light(over exposed).. 164603_176968805661521_7226381_n

You can scan the image.. and try to change the exposure… but this changes the whole image exposure. You can try to select just portions of the image to change… but this makes the lighting off on the rest of the image and the selection will look “cut out” . The grain and pixelation of the image will also show differences throughout the image and that my friends, makes for a bad print.

 

All that is processing a JPG image. The Camera will automatically choose the colors and exposure of the image and compress it to JPG. The ability to change exposure, and saturation of color levels  is diminished. Not gone completely, but diminished.

Either way, the choice is yours on how you want to shoot and process your images.

 

I hope my little post here helps some of you…  If I am able to help one person… my job has been done 🙂

 

 

Tripods and Telephoto Lenses

Why didn’t I use the tripod? Well, besides the fact that it was 8am and I was still sipping my first cuppa coffee when I decided that I needed to practice with my big ol Bower manual everything 500mm telephoto lens. 

Did I forget that I have BAD BAD hand shake? Especially with a Heavy lens on the camera? I sure did.  My personal mindset at the time was “Coffee is good” and trying to remember how to work the damn lens. 

I got the lens over 3 years ago to try and get the super cool moon images and soon after that I just didn’t have the time or desire to lug such a heavy lens around.  But this morning I thought it would be awesome to try and work with it some more. IF YOU HAVE A BIG LENS USE A TRIPOD!!! I preach it all the time..  but for some reason I tend to forget to practice what I preach.

I am far from expert when it comes to photography. But I do have years of trial and error ans well as a lot of successes. So lesson learned…. walk the 10 feet to the studio room… get the tripod… use it!!  The photos will have less blur from handshake

 

telephoto 5.30.16

Fiddlesticks

Fiddlesticks —

dictionary.cambridge.org/  fiddlesticks   Source= Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

May 18, 2016 – fiddlesticks definition, meaning, what is fiddlesticks: used to express disagreement or to say that something is nonsense.

Well this is fiddlesticks… It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything. Hell, It has been a few weeks since I have felt artistic and creative, or felt the desire to research and learn something new. My postal job is really trying to see if I will go postal and although they have not succeeded, they are getting close.

But I have managed some time off and took a “field trip” of sorts with my favoritest sound maker, synth player, music creator husband.. ( You can check him out here or here)    and was able to get some images. Finding time to edit the RAW, well that is a different story.

Here are a few of the images I have been fiddling with. (with a pen and tab… not fiddle sticks)–

Our first field trip was May 10th. I had really wanted to see the gardens at Shore Acres State park. I knew roses were starting to bloom and being a weekday would not be full of young punks ruining my old person time.  I was able to get some images, but after coming home.. realized that ugg I should have brought the tripod. It would have been so awesome to have because I have some serious hand shake at times.  These images sat on my hard drive begging to be edited… but here it is 2 and a half weeks later and I am just getting to them.

Here is the fiddle stick part… my brain is not in it… I looked at the images and… nothing….      No artistic inspiration- no emotional response from myself (how I judge my own photos) — there was nothing… I sat there removing the green from the images….

I know selective coloring is passe – a thing of the past- so outdated and such an amateur move. I have heard it all from other photographers. They can judge all they want… I create images for myself. If others like them it is a boost of confidence, but honestly I am looking for my own emotional response. I want my images to speak to me.

So after removing the green, I actually felt like the flowers had more “power”. They were brighter and happier being the center of attention. Yes, I felt the flowers emotions. They are stuck up flowers and want to be seen all the time.

 

shore acres gardens

 

 

still learning

I attempted another black and white photo. I believe the colors are a little better on this one but am still not happy with it.   Here are some things I learned:

  • When you choose the perfect color from the palette — it is not the perfect color… as you paint over the black and white photo.. it changes the color.
  • You Tube and online tutorials LIE! It is not as easy as they make it seem. Even with a pen and tablet for the fine lines and steadier hand it is not easy. Plan to spend hours…. I mean HOURS trying to get it semi right….  and that is not even close to right… it is just semi right.
  • Most tutorials are for Adobe Photoshop.. the ones you find for Corel Paint Shop are for older programs (x5 was the most recent I found)  I have x8…. and I am going to write to Corel and link them to this because they really need updated and more informative tutorials for things like this.
  • but most importantly.. I learned not to be too judgmental of myself. I am learning… at a slow pace between my family and day job. I can’t expect perfection on the first, second or 10th try.

I did attempt to create a video of the process of the second photo but, when it was set to render the video my computer said “Nope! not gonna make a video for you!” and the video program shut down…. so all I have is the before and after.

colorize2

The colorized photo is NOT perfect. I could not get the hair color right and the strands of loose hair…. well those stayed black and white…. mainly because I was frustrated as all get out.  I was just happy to have an almost natural skin tone and highlighting on her face… the first attempt she looked like a color book page (in my opinion anyways)

 

So after the frustration of hair and skin tone… I decided to go for something easy… a seashell on the beach… not too hard right?  Well remember the things I learned… the very first one? Coloring…. I chose a sand color and it was Orange… bright orange! But I did get a small video of the process and it was easier than skin tone… so for now I will practice with easy stuff… and gradually work my way up…. or I will just keep jumping right into the hard stuff…. since that is more like me to do 🙂

 

colorize3

 

Never too late to learn

As much as I love taking photos.. I have not had time. And when I have time.. I really just want to be lazy. That is how tired I am after walking 6 miles a day to deliver the mail.  However my time is not wasted. When I feel like being lazy, I stare at a few tutorials on the computer and think to myself.. “I want to learn how to do that”   and then I try it.

Keep in mind, many tutorials for photography or graphic arts are shown using the very overly priced Adobe product. I am a postal worker/wanna be photographer……  not a thousandaire. I have been using Corel products since 2004. I tried the 30 day free trial of the other one and well….. bleck! I didn’t like the change of format, the tools, or the cost. Guess I am old and stuck in my ways. Kind of like when grandma swore on Charmin and not MD toilet paper. She had to get the Charmin because she was in love with Mr. Ripple or something.   But anyways, I am a forever corel user and finding tutorials (even on their own discover and learn website) can be hard.  So I decided to wing it. 

Combining some non video steps on Corel Learn and some steps for the other programs, I guessed at how this is to be done. I have always thought it was awesome how they colorized old movies and photos from back in the day… My attempt is a FAR FAR cry from what professionals can do… but I did not mutilate the photo so I am going to call it a success. 

I guess one is never too old or tired to try and learn something new. 

**Note the background music is from my youtube playlist (we all need music when coloring) copyright to all the music is to the respective artists and their music publishing people.

 

Way back when….

Way back when….  Oh so long ago…. I look at these now and see how much I am still learning about becoming an alchemist of light.
Way back when I was a studio photographer things were so crisp and clear… we had a strict set of posing we had to follow, Head shot, full body shot, arm shot and one “special light” pose….  things were structured… easy and very cookie cutter…..   Then those studios closed… the “retail” photography chains were no more… and freelance became a challenge of its own……  and I still learn… with every photo….

 

Remembering when

Remember waking up in the morning and getting a bowl of sugar pops and watching cartoons in your pajamas?  Or having “stick ball” games in the front yard with your brother.. or building “forts” out of plywood sheets that were laying around in the back yard…  the innocent times before adulthood took over…. do you remember?  Or has adulting totally taken over your life?

I think in my case… adulting took over… completely. I wake up before the sun… get coffee, get dressed in my uniform and go to work.  I come home sore, with bruises that come from nowhere, paper cuts on my cuticles and broken fingernails.  The only thing similar to being a kid… is the dirt that covers my hands…..

And then the grandkids come visit…. and I just watch them…. Playing by themselves.. imagining whatever it is they can imagine… and climbing fences with the cat….  Oh the life of a child…  the freedom from bills, stress, and adulting.  Why can’t we have this kind of happiness as adults. Why cant we see the world through the eyes of a child? Why did adulting make things so serious?

I hope that my grandkids never lose the imagination and freedom they feel… I hope that even when adulting happens… being a kid will still happen more….