The opposite of work…

Happy New Year!  Ahhh, a day off… and on a Thursday nonetheless.  It’s not very often I can say that…  As a work-at-home independent contractor, if there is work, it’s usually never a question… work comes first.  And if there isn’t work, there’s always something else on the to-do list, clean, cook, shop… something.  So what better way to welcome 2015 than to take the day off…really off.   But what to do?  It’s too cold outside.  I thought about taking in a museum, but it is a holiday after all.  Ah-ha! I’ll go through my photos, organize my files, etc.  It wasn’t long before that felt like work and I was just browsing through the photos I had taken over the year.  Opening this one up, and that one. . . popping it into a plug-in and seeing what this would do, what that would do.   No real goal in mind, no particular purpose.  I was playing!

And as it turns out, by the end of the day, I had created my own year in review of sorts. . .  in no particular order.

blanket-of-lavender

white-peaks

Untitled-1-15

color-spectrum

Untitled-2-15 a-day-remembered Lasting-Impression

summer-dazeheading-home

Oh well, the organizing will just have to wait for that next day off . . .

May your year be filled with Love & Joy, Health & Happiness
. . .  and time to play 🙂

Til next time,
Maria

Show & Tell

Remember last week, when I said I was spending a little more time in Photoshop?  Well, thanks to one of my readers and fellow photographers (Thanks, Jeff 🙂 ), I learned of a little gem of a tool.    The sponge tool.  Don’t let the name fool you . . . like it did me. . . it has nothing to with a sponge, at least I don’t think so.   I’m no Photoshop techie,  but I’ll give it my best shot to explain how it works.  If I lose you, you can read more about it here:  http://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Sponge-Tool-in-Photoshop

Unlike the dodge tool that lightens (and if your not careful washes out the color) and the burn tool that darkens (and, for me, seems to leave the area looking a little gray), the sponge tool when saturation is selected lightens and adds vibrancy.  And when desaturate is selected, it does just that, it removes the color.  Make your adjustments on its own layer and you can adjust the opacity to get just the right amount.

IrisIris_B

In my iris photo, I wanted to draw a little more attention to the yellows, and especially the center of the iris were there are those lovely soft yellows and purples.  In the first photo, I used the sponge tool with saturate selected at 34% flow and left the layer opacity at 100%.   The differences are subtle, but the purples and yellows are not only brighter but also more vibrant.  In Photo II, I used the dodge tool set for midtones at 13%.  The same area is also brighter, but it lost a little of its vibrancy in the process.  I also used the sponge tool in first photo on some of the other yellow areas.  Of course, there are many, many ways to achieve similar results, that’s just the nature of Photoshop, but for a quick selective adjustment, I am really liking the sponge tool (although, I think it really needs a new name).

Til Next Time,Maria