My Blog List

Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh My She Lost Ten Pounds Overnight

OK, here's one of my favorite photoshop tricks.  It works like a charm and it shaves at least ten pounds off your subject.  Here's how you do it.

I'm going to assume we're using windows, here.

1.  Open your picture in PS or PS Elements.
2.  Hit control A - note the whole shot has been selected.
3.  Hit control T - we now have handles on the sides of the picture.  Look up you will see the percentage of the transformation.  Take the left handle and move it to the right until the percentage is 94%.  Any more than that and it no longer looks realistic.
4. Click on the crop tool - it will ask you if you want to continue.  Yes
5.  Crop the picture.

Voila, your subject has just lost ten to fifteen pounds.  The desire not to be sued is keeping me from showing you a before and after.  Just trust me this works.

Hope your enjoying your holiday.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sneaking and Creeping

Well the blog looks better, but I'm still not happy.  Does anyone out there know how to get rid of the cutest blog on the block.  It's glued in there and I can't delete it.

Oh well, I was sitting up in my office this morning watching the yearling fawn, I used to call Pixie.  I say used to because Miss Pixie is developing horns. I just can't seem to get this right.  He's been a stressed out wreck, because his mother has driven him away.  I guess there will be a new fawn/fawns soon. So he's been coming up to eat by himself.  Now Mr. Pixie or whatever, knows where I store the food.  It was a riot. He'd take two steps up into the yard and then he'd stop and look around.  Then he'd take another two steps and stop and look around.  And when I say steps.  If he was a cartoon character, he'd be on tippy toes.  When he wasn't looking around his eyes were zeroed in on the food bin. He continued on this way until he was half way into the yard, then he looked up and saw me watching him.  You could almost hear him say "oh crap" as he turned around and walked back into the woods.

Oh yes, here's a recent picture I took and have been noodling around with, I call it "Fun," because it's been fun to work on,

Friday, May 28, 2010

How To Look Good in Pictures

First of all, the firings are over and I'm still employed. YEAH.  Second, the looks of this blog are going to be fixed this weekend, or those of you on the west coast will be able to hear me shriek.

Alright, as a wedding photographer, I've seen it all.  So here are my hints on how to look good in pictures that are taken of you.

1.  Always and I mean always wear pantyhose or shapewear to a function where there will be a photographer. I can hear the protesting from my office in Maryland, so first I'll deal with group one.  Group one consists of the "I don't look like a 19 year old stick insect with breast implants so it doesn't matter what I wear, I'm always going to look the same."  WRONG.  Without control top pantyhose or shapewear, you're going to look like a lumpy sack of potatoes, or worse yet a lumpy sack of jiggling, wiggling pudding.

Then there's group two. Group two consists of the "I ride, workout, run, ect, ect everyday and I have a body like a rock, so I don't need those things."  OK, here's what we're going to see on your rock hard body, visible panty, thong, or God forbid all together lines. You have no idea how adorable a dress/skirt looks bunched up in your patoot, and trust me, if you are not the bride, hostess, or event chair, the photographer will not take the time to clone it out. 

Remember, a few hours of being mildly uncomfortable is preferable to years of being embarrassed whenever you have to look at that picture.

2.  If everytime you laugh hysterically, whatever you're drinking comes out of your nose, or you have a migraine. feel sick, had a fight with your date/husband/ significant other, or generally are in a bad mood; do not position yourself anywhere near the bride, hostess, or event chair, because when the picture is shot, there you'll be clearly visible in the background looking ridiculous or just  plain God awful.

3.  Wear makeup.  The camera washes you out.  If you normally don't, do it anyway.  A little lipgloss, blush and mascara will make you look 100 times better, younger and more refreshed. Trust me on this. Putting a little paint on your face, does not mean you are not a bright competent woman.

4. The mistake that most people make when they know they're having their picture taken is to squinch up their eyes and tighten their mouths.  This action makes you look like you're about to be sick or you're a really mean person.  Open your eyes and relax your mouth. Think to yourself, you know a delicious secret about the photographer and then smile. 

So there you have my best advice.  Hopefully, by Tuesday the blog will look good again,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Post Meltdown

Well after being a stressed out wreck, I suppose I just lost it.  I'm still annoyed, but I'm going to be alright and trust me, I'm not going to do anything stupid. Today, I confirmed, ie: combing through HR policies that I will get a severance package.  If I lose my job, Tommy is going to take over my part of the bills, include Miss Kitt's board. Who'd thunk it.  I decided not to lay down and play dead, so today I emailed every single soul I thought could help me get another job and the response I got back was extremely reassuring.  Then I took another long look at some of the tough negotiations I'm right in the middle of and decided, if they sack me, those negotiations will simply cease to be my problem.

We're going to Arizona at the beginning of June and when we get to Sedona, I intend to park my patoot right next to a vortex and forget that, what should I call my place of employment, "the nut house" ever existed. Then when I'm well rested I'll come back, collect unemployment and start looking for another job.

Now if they can my assistant and my manager and think I can do it all, well now that I'm in my new frame of mind, I'll just proceed with the find another job plan.

Thanks guys for all your concern and encouragement. You are the best.

Now if I could just figure out what happened to my snazzy new blog background.  Sigh, it's always something.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Twisting InTthe Wind

Well guys they laid off the housekeepers, nursing assistants and radiology techs.  The rest of us have to wait until the first week of June to see if we're laid off. When I'm done, I'll tell you who did this and then I'll tell the local newspaper. This is so God Awful. They seriously don't care.  They just want us twisting in the wind.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

More Guts Than Glory

I nailed this wedding and it was difficult.  A middle aged couple getting married on a boat. YIKES. Why did this make me such a wreck?  When I was a baby photographer just starting out, I took two wedding assignments.  Was I competent? NO. Did I know what I Was doing? NO!  Did I do it anyway? YES.  Did I spend months sitting at my computer, crying, because I'd botched somebody's wedding, frantically trying to fix mistakes that should never have happened in the first place.You better believe it.  And to make matters worse, I did not understand the power of photoshop. Did Ratty have to fix my god awful mistakes at the second wedding. Unfortunately, yes.  So, weddings, no matter how much I love them, and I do, make me crazy.  There is nothing like the happiness of a wedding and the type of shots you can get to make you thrilled.   But I keep wondering what am I forgeting? What am I doing wrong.  What simple thing have I ignored.  Neurotic are us.  Maybe, someday down the line this won't happen.

Now, why as a professional photographer with gigs in the pipe am I nuts about maybe being laid off?  It's because of my horse, Kitt.  Tommy is willing to float us, but he is not willing to float Kitt.  She is my responsibility.  She is also my best friend.  It's hard for me to talk about what she means to me.  That has to happen in a separate post.  All I can say is this.  When she was so sick with lymes, I had my identity stolen.  I'd arrive at the barn half crazy from what was going on and she would limp out to meet me. She would wrap her neck around me and stay with me until I was calm.  She wouldn't leave me.  She would just love me and she will always be taken care of, even if that means I have to say "would you like fries, with that order."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why I've Been Skitzy and Not Around

Sometime around February, we heard that at the hospital where I work, they were going to lay off thirty or so people.  In March that 30 or so, morphed into 1/10th  of the workforce, but they weren't saying when.  Then in April, we learned that the 1/10th was going to happen, but they refused to say who and all they said was sometime in May.  Then we found out is was going to be Monday, but they still weren't saying who.  The whole hospital is a wreck.  Each day the stress gets worse. Much worse.  I figure I'll be alright, because the CMO has requested my attendance at a meeting to meet our new Director.  I figure if they're going to be canning everyone on Monday, and I'm expected at lunch meeting on Friday, I made it through.  But you never know.  Either way, I'll be back blogging on Monday.  The next lesson is "For every rule there is an exception."

Oh yes, in the middle of all of this fun, I have to shoot a wedding tomorrow.  YIKES

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Power of F4 and lower

If you'll take a look at the following picture, you'll see what I mean about the subject in focus and the background soft:

Do you see how the subjects "pop" when the background is blurred? This is the setting you should use when you want to take a still portrait of a woman, girl, baby, horse (standing horizontally to you), dog, or a single flower or a flat group of flowers.  It creates a romantic feel.  Now I've upped that soft dreaminess with an action for Photoshop called "Glamour Blur," but this is basically what it looked like.

PS:  You can duplicate Glamour Blur in Picnik by using the softness tool.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

800 Pictures Down to 150 or Baby Get Your Glow On

This is the down side.  Remember how thrilled I was when I looked all of my shots. Well I still am, sort of kind of.  I have just gone through 800 pictures, coverted 300 from  raw to TIFFS, gone through them again and singled out 150 that will go to the bride.  Mind you that this bride was a little heavy and so in every picture of her, she had to be cut down. Then I had to put the glow on the pictures and now I'm going to sharpen them, convert them to a jpeg for printing and then convert them to a view only jpeg for the slide show. It gets a bit daunting,  Then there's my problem person.  In every wedding there is one.  That's usually the child that won't stop making faces or the relative that looks like he or she was weaned on a pickle, or in one instance the bride who drank so much at the reception, you could have stood her out on Charles Street and used her face for a stop light. In this wedding it was the overweight bridesmaid, without shapewear, in the slinky dress.  Hello, if you weigh 300 pounds and they've put you in clingy chiffon, invest in Spanx. I can cut you down, I can't erase the quivering bulges.  And if you are that size and find yourself in this situation, make the best of it, by trying to look pleasant.  Don't make the poor wedding photographer spend over two hours looking at pictures of you, trying to find one where you don't look like you could spit nails.  Ahh, the joys of the artistic life.  But, I do get paid to do this and most of the pictures make me extremely happy and some make me more than happy.

I hope some of you are trying the can exercise and will be ready for the next lesson on how to use fstops.

PS:  I watched my horse, Kitt, ovulate.  The vet was giving her an ultrasound and it was just at the right time.  Way cool.

PPS:  The does are driving away last year's fawns in anticipation of the new babies to come. I've got a shell shocked group of almost yearlings at the all you can eat cafe.