Here’s to a Spooktacular October

It’s been a busy month and my camera has gotten one heck of a workout… from the events for A Woman’s Place and 5k’s benefiting our four-legged friends, to this year’s amazing autumn landscape and color, to getting creative with things just lying around the house and at the “Haunted Ghost House” in Lambertville…  {whew}

To commemorate such an awesome month….  I’ve put a little something together to sum it all up.
Halloween_2015

 

Want to see some more of my images from the “Haunted Ghost House?” I’ll be posting throughout the day on Instagram. So much  effort and creativity goes into Dolores Dragan’s Halloween art display for all to enjoy, so be sure to check them out HERE.  Not on Instagram or Facebook, not to worry, I’ll do an “after party” post tomorrow… stay tuned.

Hope you have a Spooktacular Halloween!

Until next time,
Maria

Shout out to Jai Art and Captured by Carrie for helping me add just the right mood to my image.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

watermark mishap 1

Hey, hey now, play nice…   and disregard the only model I had available at the time… me 🙂

So, what’s wrong with the photo I’m holding?  Edges – no, there supposed to be blurred and mirror the edges.  This is a big print on canvas and they provide the wrap.  Composition? lighting?  No and no, at least not as far as I’m concerned.  This happens to be a favorite of mine… It’s back-lit, it has lots of red,  it’s my favorite flower …poppy, and it has all the textured imperfections I love.  Try again.

How about now?  Anything…  Now? watermark mishap Look real close… across the yellow center.  Yup, that’s right… I forgot to remove the watermark before sending this big, ink consuming photo to the printer.  A complete “DUH” moment if ever there was one.

On the bright side, I did not send this out to be printed… How horrifying would that have been to open the box and see it.  Or even worse, never notice it and sell it like that… I can’t even imagine.

The .psd file I used was originally saved to be used for a note card and also had a couple layers of text, a saying, which I unchecked to print this.    What can I say, I didn’t check all the layers, because there was one, which because as you can see the opacity is turned way down on that watermark,  looked completely blank… and even when I resized this to print big, I still missed the faint watermark.

Okay, I know some of you are asking… why did I put the watermark there in the first place, especially since it is barely visible?  If you’ve been following this blog, than you probably know this is not my first post on the subject.  I do think of a watermark as a “stop sign” of sorts.  Sure, some will blow right through it like it’s not even there, and there will be no police waiting to stop them, but for many, who follow the rules, they will stop, take a look, and keep on going {lol, not a bad analogy if I say so myself 😉 }   I recently shared a post on Facebook on the topic of watermarking your photos and the debate why or why not photographers use them with some useful links.  So, back to why I use a watermark.  If I am posting a photo to social media (Flickr, Facebook, etc)  that has “print potential,” I like to use a watermark.  I make it faint so as to not detract from the image as much as possible, and put it somewhere not so obvious and where it may be a little more difficult to Photoshop out.  It’s just a little peace of mind.

The photo/file, renamed and saved and all layers not necessary to the final print version deletedwas reprinted, turned out perfect, and my initial excitement to seeing this photo printed BIG promptly returned.     But!  I will still double check…triple check… each layer before I send this photo or any photo to the printer again.  Lesson learned!

In any direction

Happy summer all!

It’s here in full swing… and green.  When summer comes to my neighborhood, the world seems to get smaller.  Those big trees I showed you covered in ice from the winter are now a canopy of green surrounding the house in which I only get a glimpse of a sunrise or sunset. It can get a little claustrophobic… sounds a little weird right.

My dream home: A little Craftsman cottage with a big front porch (okay let’s put one on the back while we’re at it), with a view that goes on for miles…

BigRed

Okay, so it’s not “little” and definitely not a “Craftsman” but that porch!  On a recent photo outing traipsing through the country side of Lancaster, PA,  I spotted this red something sitting on a hill in the distance and of course had to find it for a closer look, but then I lost sight of it as the road dipped and turned.  The road took us back to the land of traffic lights and shopping centers (which now a days are never out of sight for long), stopped at a light, having pretty much give up on it . . . and there it was!  Part of it was hiding behind a white pole barn and across the street from all things… a shopping center 😦

This is what I love about the photography I do.  I love recreating that very first feeling… what I first imagined this big red house must look like, must have looked like back in it’s prime.  … as if I am sitting on that front porch on a warm summer day.

Enjoy your summer adventures,

Til next time,
Maria

 

Cow Girls

cow girls_rev1wA rainy day, the perfect day play inside.  Learning some new techniques is a great way to bring some old photos back to life (you can see the original here http://mariadreyer.zenfolio.com/p713317777#h18d9d9fd.)  I love these cows.  They’re so unique and they knew it . . . just look at that one strut her stuff. 

Til next time,
Maria

Focus

I have a Photoshop tutorial to share with you … well, the link anyway.  So, how many times have you scanned through your photos and thought to yourself  “If only.”    Besides the usual:  if only I focused on this than or that, if only I shot at a higher speed, used a different lens, stood here, did this, did that. . .  or how about if only there was just one more element in the photo. . . to give it that little extra pop!  I have just such a photo.

When I looked at the original photo, my first thought was “Darn, I should have written on the glass or left my hand print (like in Titanic).  . .  “If only.”     So I attempted a re-do this a.m.  I had the same conditions:  a gray, foggy, and misty morning … no problem, right?  Wrong . . . the glass was almost dry.  It just did not look like it did yesterday (and me without a water bottle to spritz the glass.)

But I wasn’t ready to give up, so I decided to turn to Photoshop.   After a couple futile attempts on my own, I went in search of a how-to.   The trick here was coming up with the right combination of words in Google to get the result I wanted:  Photoshop, Photoshop hands on glass, misty glass, nope, nope, nope, and then finally. . . bingo! . .  Photoshop writing on window (but, of course, that’s what I was trying to do).     I had the photo, now I had the tutorial, now all I needed was the word. . . and I thought that would be the easy part. .  .

Here’s my before and after and a link for the tutorial. . . and another photo saved from the trash bin.

focus_orig  BEFORE

focus AFTER

So what do you think?  Yes, I am really putting the question out there.  Thoughts?  Critique welcome, but please be helpful not hurtful . . . this was, remember, my first attempt.

TUTORIAL:  http://www.photoshop-lessons.com/effects/writing-on-the-window