Snapshots

Memorial-RoseI have since returned from my road trip with my daughter, celebrated all sorts of birthdays, etc., and kicked off summer and the festival season with Carversville day.  I survived May!  With hundreds of photos and lots of topics to write about, I think I’ll actually start from the beginning…  The-biltmoreno, not with my trip… not exactly… but with scrapbooking.

Road Trip HighlightsI used to spend hours (and lots of $ for double prints) cutting up my drug store developed photos, buying stickers that said cute or funny things, and pasting it all to a page.   Then, yippee, along came digital to speed up the process… and, well, that is how it all began, this fascination of mine with photography and digital art.

Of course, I wasn’t planning to start out this bog post with a flashback to my past.  I had ideas to write about things like dealing with the obstacles of shooting amongst the tourists,  during tourists’ hours and all the wrong conditions,  or how not to bore (or embarrass) those you are traveling with.  I guess this is why photographers pay good money to go on workshops or photo excursions.

the body language says it all
that body language says it all

But… feeling a bit sentimental and having read a few blog posts and articles recently on society’s new photo taking habits, it got me to thinking how my own photo practices have changed.

I recently read somewhere that the number of photos taken in 2015 will reach 1 trillion!!!  And in another article, the question (or something to the effect) was asked, just how many of those photos, all those “snapshots,” will  future generations will ever see? Or how about all the chatter about the questionable longevity of our digital images on hard drives, discs, or the cloud.  Even in my own photo-life there is now about a 5+ year gap, where my images (my memories) sit on a hard drive in no particular order (and in only a file system I can probably understand)…  for no one else to see.

So, after looking through all my shots over the past month, I started again, from the beginning, looking for my snapshots . . . for those photos that truly capture the fleeting moments that leave the biggest impressions, the unexpected finds, and the indescribable feelings and memory that a photo (that snapshot) can rekindle, and the story they tell or will tell once they are put together.

Turns out… most of my snapshots were taken with my camera phone (you know, the camera that’s always with you and much more inconspicuous than that DSLR your lugging around).

20150509_153139
Love this and all its imperfections 🙂

Maybe, some day, I can go back and scrapbook those 5 or 6 years (before they disintegrate on my hard drive), but, for now,  it’s time to start a brand new scrapbook/photo album, to put those snapshots in print, so they are ready to share…  with the grand kids (someday), family, and friends.  I’m not leaving such important memories to chance.

 

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When life gives you lemons…

KK Pop Edition
… you make Lemonade, of course.   You can apply these little words of wisdom to photography too. . . with a little help from a plug-in or two.

Is there such a thing as too many . . . plug-ins that is?  Did you catch the Perfect Effects 8 freebie a while back?  I did and have added  it to my plug-in library along with the Topaz and Nik plug-ins, and if those were not a enough, I just added the the quirky plug-in Fractalius to my library.  Like all the software I use, I wish I had more time to dedicate to learning each one of the programs inside and out.  Unfortunately, my day seems to be all about “Units of Time” (I borrowed that one from the movie, About a Boy, …love those quirky (yes, my word of the day) British films).  Anyway, so at the end of the day when all I have is about “one unit”…if that, I finally get to play.

Working with plug-ins, for me, is a lot like cooking without a recipe.  Sometimes all you need are the  basics, a good photo, add some basic adjustments (sharpening/contrast) and wah-la.   But what if your main ingredient isn’t that great?  Well, it’s not a total loss… you just add some special ingredients . . . the plug-ins.  CLP blog timeline May 2014 copy

So here’s the original.  An iPhone snap-shot.  Kind of cute… I Love how it documents the day and actually a very rare photo of me that I actually kind of like, but it’s only 72 dpi (sent to me via email attachment), dark, and kind of lifeless.meg and me in nest_no edits

Sure there are plenty of iPhone apps that probably could achieve the same result, but I wanted to do a little more.  In this case I thought it would make a fun time-line for my FB page.  So, I started with a good crop, ran it through my fave Florabella actions, brushed in my own straw with a little bit of Fractalius added, sent it into Topaz Adjust, then back again to Topaz Simplify, added a little Nik Color Efex (but at this point I can’t remember why), and then garnished with Perfect Effect 8 for some blur and vignette.  Too much?  Nope…not for me.  Because now I have a photo that I can share with you and my FB friends.

CLP blog timeline May 2014Am I suggesting everyone run and and get some plug-ins.  Nope.  Most everything I did here can probably be done in one of the many editing programs available, but for me, when time is short, they really come in handy.

Til next time,
Maria

 

Boo ‘tiful

Even though Halloween is not a true “holiday” (i.e. a day off from work) and what with no costumes to make or candy to confiscate, it is a day that puts an exclamation point on the best season of all (well, at least my favorite)…Fall! From now until next March or maybe even April/May, the landscape will go gray.  Maybe if we’re lucky at some point there will be some coating of white… but mostly just gray.  So until then, I will enjoy every last little bit of color that clings on…
when in doubt

on my way

The above photos were taken with my iphone and processed with Snapseed and a wonderful little App, by from the same talented woman that brought us Distressed Textures, called DistressedFX (♥!)

Halloween is veritably a fitting finale to Fall and in in keeping
with the SPIRIT of the day,
here’s 
Witching Everyone A Frightfully Delightful ...

inviting(above) Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia PA
 
The great pumpkin{above – texture courtesy of Lenabem-Anna}

happy halloween 2013{above – texture courtesy of Kerstin Frank}

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Til next time,
Maria

. . . in the Clouds

That is exactly where my head has been all week, as this week’s 52×52 happens to be clouds.  Before I share my week of clouds, I’d like to share one of my little cloud adventures with you…   It’s not always advisable to walk with your head in the clouds.  My dogs will attest to that.   A week with a beautiful full moon (and some clouds), one morning, I caught a glimpse of the full moon low in the sky (maybe 6 a.m. ish).  So I made sure my iPhone was in my back pocket when it was time to take the “boys”* out.   The “boys” were thrilled as this meant an extra long predawn walk.  On our way…   But every time I got to where I thought there would be an unobstructed view, the moon continued the game of hide & seek.   I picked up the pace (I still had to get to work, after all) … and …then… BAM!  Down I went!  I found a small patch of black ice…the hard way.  The “boys” and I became a tangled mess.  I picked myself up and made sure all my bones were intact and that the “boys” were good to go (I swear Charlie was laughing at me).  More determined than ever now, I quickly continued … on the grass now … only to find the moon had almost completely gone behind a bank of clouds and if that weren’t bad enough … the flash on my phone fired (didn’t even know it was on).  And for all my efforts, bumps, and bruises this was the one and only shot… and what?!?!… no clouds?!?

Cloud_oops(cropped and processed via Instagram)
It’s okay to have your head in the clouds, but remember to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground…  and that’s exactly what I did the rest of the week.

CLOUDS, CLOUDS, . . . AND MORE CLOUDS 🙂

Cloud_birds

Above photo:  another iPhone shot.  Lovely texture & birds provided by
distressed fx  app

Cloud_predawnAbove photo:  Another predawn/moon iPhone shot.  Apps:  Mobile Monet & distressed fx

Cloud_sunriseFinally… made it to work!  HDR and panoramic features on iPhone…fun,fun,fun!!!

Cloud_butterfly-copy

The Clouds …or should I say cloud… moving in.

Cloud_afternoon-lightEvery afternoon winter skies seemed to return, only to start to disappear again just as the sun was starting to set (yep, iPhone again)

Cloud_coffee

So this morning, I finally got my head out of the clouds (well, kinda).

Next week: The color RED

Have a wonderful day!  Hoping to HOP 🙂 in again tomorrow with an Easter greeting.

Til then, 
Maria

* The “boys” , in this post and all posts from this time on, refers to my two Golden Retrievers.  Charlie will be 3 shortly and Parker is 5.  Their personalities are identical (seriously, no exaggeration here) to that of Tigger (that’s Charlie) and Eeyore (that would be Parker).

_DSC1490-Edit

It’s only a day away…

…spring, or so they say.   The cold 40-ish temps are much more typical for around these parts compared to last year (some of you may remember those 70ish temps ~ aaahhh).   I can take the cooler temps (for a little longer), just give me a little more light at 6:00 a.m.  That’s all I ask…

photo

 

#iphone, processed with a Distressed Textures app <3!