Transitions

I started this blog to showcase my photography when I became confident enough to consider going pro.  The transition from enthusiast to hobbyist to professional has been an adventure. My exploration of photography has convinced me I want to keep it my hobby rather than my business. I want to photograph things that move and excite me. My images reflect what I am feeling about the scene and my subjects. Tens of thousands of images later I realize I am just as passionate about photography today as I was the first time I picked up my camera and captured my first image. I remember the magic of that moment and I have never lost it.  Every image is special and continues to amaze me.

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I intend to use blogging as a way to share my images with other photography enthusiast. More changes will take place here soon. Stay positive and Enjoy and Soar!

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My favorite subjects continue to be my granddaughters.  I never tire of clicking my shutters at them. They on the other hand are not as excited to be constantly photographed by me, and the other handful of photographers in the family. This gallery contains a few of my favorite images.  Enjoy!

Playing in Polk City

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A recent addition to Florida’s charm, besides the wetlands, the beaches, and the theme parks is it’s public parks. Awesome parks are located in close proximity to most neighborhoods. One especially financially thin year for me, I opted out of the routine theme park extravaganza and took my grand-daughters on a park crawl. We visited a park every day during their summer stay with me. They loved being outdoors in the heat, and several parks had water features where kids and adults could cool off.

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I thought the growing park enhancements were a Hillsborough county project but I have found just as many awesome parks here in Polk County. It must be a movement in the entire state. Great job!

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This weekend I took all three of my granddaughters ages two – eight and eleven to visit: Depot Park also known as Centennial Park on West Park Street in Auburndale. It was a typical hot steamy day that is characteristic of Florida living but this park has lots of shade! Playgrounds are divided into two sections for age appropriate access, 2 to 5 and 5 and older. Something for everyone. Across Park Street you will find Ike’s Ice Cream Parlor and Arcade for ice cream snacks, refreshments, and cooling off the little ones and the big ones too! Great fun on a lazy Saturday afternoon.  Here is view of our day at the park from Nana’s camera. Enjoy!

MOF_3294DEPOT (CENTENNIAL) PARK
WEST PARK STREET
(Downtown Auburndale across from Civic Center)

The park parallels West Park Street in Downtown Auburndale. It features strolling sidewalks covered train tressels for picnics.  However, grills, pets and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

 

Self Teaching Photo Editing in Lightroom

Before

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After

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This Image was totally edited in lightroom. I by passed all my usual photoshop edits and I think is looks amazing! I did this using the technique Anthony Morganti teaches in his video training series. This episode focused on how to use  the detail module in light room.

Yes, I am a self-taught photographer, photo-editior, crafter, blogger, and most everything else I have learned I have self-taught. How? Reading blogs on topics of interest, following tutorials that make sense to me, by googling,  and now youtubing my way to knowledge. Mostly though, it is by practice, practice, practice!  How lucky for those of us with an insatiable appetite for learning. All this knowledge is all out there, usually free, or for a very modest cost and or donation. When an instructor I like sells something on his or her site or blog that will be of use to me, I will purchase it to support the efforts he or she puts into creating the free or low-cost access to tutorial videos from where I have learned so much. Some of my favorites are Anthony Morganti at Anthonymorganti.com, and the entire Kelby One training videos. I also read books by Peter Hurley, Bambi Cantrell, and Roberto Valenzuela.

Here is an image of my granddaughter, Mallory, who I think has a fabulous period look and I love photographing her. Mallory’s unique look is not your common all american girl next door look, but more a classic, mysterious, dreamy period look that I adore.

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Mallory has creases under her eyes that create difficult shadows and harsh lines for her young face. In the image below, I have already applied my usual edits in photoshop which involve, duplicating the original image, and setting the new copy to screen, then I use the healing brush to remove some freckles, and smooth and soften the harsh lines around her mouth and under her eyes. I then flatten the image and re duplicate the image. I set the new copy to screen again and apply an unsharpened mask. I then mask this new layer and use a brush to bring out the new adjustment on the eyes.  This makes the eyes sharper and brighter.  Finally, I flatten the layers and save the finished image to lightroom. In lightroom I use a brush to add clarity to the hair and adjust the exposure if I feel it is too light. This sounds like a lot of steps, but once you have this routine down, it really only takes a few minutes to accomplish all this. Here, is the image after the adjustments described above. I  really like the effects I achieved with the enhancements I made to the raw file in photoshop and lightroom.

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Below is the same image with a light room preset that gives a dramatic selective color effect. Presets are similar to what we used to refer to as macros. They are a set of commands that you save or record as a script of sort and you can apply to other images. In lightroom they are referred to as presets, in photoshop they are referred to as actions. In photoshop you are recording into a script a set of actions you may want to use on other images. The preset below is one included in a bundle of presets I purchased from Anthony Morganti. It is a bit darker and grungier than I wanted and if I use this one in the future I will probably adjust the exposure, and clarity to soften and lighten the image. I love the selective color though!

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This is the image I like best. In this image I took the first image in this series that I posted above with my photoshop and lightroom adjustments and added one more adjustment.  I lowered the highlights to bring in more detail to the background. Mallory pops just enough against the bokeh of the background. I love this final effect.

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Koolaid Hair

My creative souls grand-daughters are usually up to trying new things. They are eight and eleven year olds aspiring to grow up way too fast. They are very aware of trends and although not really into keeping up with these fads they are aware of make up, hair styles, hair colors, and dress styles.

This weekend, my eleven year old researched on Pinterest how to color hair using KOOLAID! Whoa! it worked. In under forty minutes they somehow talked me into heating water, mixing the KOOLAID, parting their hairs into pig tails and pony tails, and setting a timer. Yes, I drank the hypothetical koolaid on this project. They also got me to agree to rinse their hair, shampoo it so the tips didn’t get washed out, and then blow dry it. In exchange I made them help me debug the house, clean out the pantry, and pose for me! Sounds like a fair deal to me!