be thankful

Thankful

Good Morning!  Getting an early start… there’s so much to fit in today, some of the usual holiday activities… and some not so traditional like catching my son’s very first 8k Turkey Trot this morning; I do love when a new tradition starts.  Then there’s some cooking, the family gathering, and of course the big finish, the turkey dinner.  It’s quiet now, a good time to reflect on all that I am thankful for… which is so very much!  I truly am blessed for everything and everyone in my life.

   Wishing you & yours a
Happy Thanksgiving

be-grateful

Until next time,
Maria

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!

Accidental-like

Another club Photo Quest due, and as usual, I had waited until the last minute.  I nice chilly, breezy, fall day, I headed out on the fly to a local college campus.  I meandered about a bit, took some shots.  I left not feeling overly inspired…but satisfied that at least I got the task off my to-do list.  Not something you expect a photographer to say…huh?  It’s been busy, busy, busy lately, so my camera (other than for my iPhone) has been a bit idle…  In hindsight, I’m actually grateful to have an “assignment” to help break the rut.

Anyway…
So I did my first run through.  My lack of enthusiasm had shown up in my images too, although I found a reflection shot I liked at the pond.

mdreyer_BC-1-before

When I zoomed in to get a closer look at some of the details, I really liked the lines and how the composition filled the screen, and especially the window, squiggly lines and all … so I kept it. mdreyer_BC-1-after

Feeling a little more optimistic and that I just needed to look a little harder, I went back to my images.  Tried again with some of the buildings, but they just weren’t stacking up to the one above, at least not for this assignment.  I also had a shot of a squirrel sitting in a tree ~ I haven’t given up on him either ~ but since it’s not the best of exposed shots and was quickly turning into an exercise in frustration to bring the little guy out of the shadows, I moved on.  Remember, I waited until the last minute on this assignment.

Next up, another shot in the shadows, which actually was my second shot of the day, a fence-lined walk by the pond.  What I saw when I was taking the picture were lots of pretty fall colors, nice lines, a good composition.  So to say I was a disappointed when I first viewed the original image would be a vast understatement…  mdreyer_BC-2-before

But!!!! And this is a very important point to remember … at least I hadn’t overexposed the shot (like in did in my very first shot of the day).  To see what I truly had,  I messed around with the sliders in LR, discovering these red dots…bigger than dots really… going across the image.  Look closely, do you see them in the photo above?.  After a few minutes of trying to figure out what they were and how I was going to clone them out, I realized I not only had to KEEP these red dots, which were actually leaves floating on a breeze up the path, but I NEEDED to figure out a way to accentuate them. mdreyer_BC-2-after A couple actions and a turn or two in Topaz Adjust, my photo came to life! 🙂

“I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both.”
~ Forrest Gump ~

The Best Strategy

Good Morning!  I’m thinking I should start calling this blog Saturday Mornings with Mer (the nickname my the in-law family bestowed upon me =)   Even then, maybe I should preference that to Monthly …  Flashback a few months: I had all these plans for growing this blog, well, at least I thought I did.  Present day:  I now know having no strategy, for me, is my best strategy! I can’t force more hours into a day to do all the things I want any more than I can force my creative process…

So here it is, Saturday morning, everyone still asleep, the sun just coming up (a lovely site after the week of rainy days we have had here), enjoying that first cup of coffee in my favorite mug (not the steel bubba I usually haul to work with me every day, although if you’re looking to keep your drink hot or cold for hours on end, it does the job…and then some!).  The best part, sitting here telling about it … sharing…for no real good reason other than I can.

Aren’t the colors of summer fantastic?!? Our garden is exploding with color … at least what the little bunnies haven’t eaten.  Welcome to my Garden!

This rose is the newest edition to our garden, a Grandiflora, Cherry Parfait.  Isn’t she a beaut!

cherry-parfait

Rain & Flowers = ♥♥♥

the-crossing Lily-Drops

The azaela blooms have come and gone, but always put on such an impressive show!

pink-explosion

Those bad, bad little bunnies.  I’m glad I got the shot when I did… nothing left but stems 😦 now.

take-another-look

That’s it for today, folks, back out to the garden, like I said, It’s a B-E-A-utiful Morning! and the hydrangeas are feeling a little blue 😉 that I’ve been neglecting them.   Then I’m off to a local hosta and lily nursery.  Can’t wait to see what colors I can add to my garden.

Til Next Time,

Maria  MER 😉

Above All

Above-AllShort & sweet this week (kind a like me 😉 )  This week’s 52×52 is from a high angle . . . .with a splash of red,  of course.

My red ranunculus above gotta a little French Kiss …texture, that is, by Leslie Nicole  http://frenchkisstextures.com    Her painterly textures are so subtle and so eloquent… dare, I say, so French.   Oui.

jusqu’à la prochaine fois (until next time),
Maria

 

When in doubt . . .


…WEAR RED

I had a little plaque around here somewhere with that saying on it.  It used to hang on the door that opened to the red room (what else 😉 ) that used to be the “photo suite”.  However, I learned (the hard way) that a red room is not very conducive to optimal lighting for photography despite having the best window in the house for natural light.  The red room is now my son’s room.  Someday, it will return to being the photo suite … with a new coat of paint.  Where was all this leading… Oh yea, RED!  Just so happens to be my favorite color and this week’s 52×52.  The only hard part about this week’s challenge was actually deciding on what to photograph…there’s something red everywhere!

Strawberry fields forever…

strawberry-bowlMy favorite fruit, so happens it’s red.  Coincidence?

strawberry_painterlystrawberry-lineupstrawberry-colorboardI found so many things red to photograph that I haven’t even had a chance to go through them all.  Stay tuned for RED Part II.

’til next time,
Maria

Shout outs to Kim Klassen Textures, Florabella Actions, & French Kiss Textures!

 

Free & Easy Edition

Back tonight for another Texture Tuesday.  I’m really liking that it’s a free & easy edition this week and that I can combine this month’s photography club’s Photo Quest, which was not quite so free & easy, at least not for me.   The topic non-ambient light… I confess I actually had to look it up.  And I am glad I did, as I had it all wrong.   I thought it was any light that was not natural, a street light, candle light, lamp, etc…  When in fact all of those are ambient light.  Non-ambient light is …artificial light, but light supplied by the photographer, i.e. flash.  Who knew…

I do love a challenge.  They always get me to think outside my box.  I kept coming up with some pretty crazy ideas, but the conditions were never quite right… which my model was extremely grateful for.  Boy, but when I finally told her I wanted red lips and a Downton-esque mood, she was all in!
MegShe even let me “play” while she put on those red lips.
mdreyer_March_PQ03I also found myself another model and had a completely different idea in my head.  Unfortunately, the props I wanted to use just didn’t cooperate the way I had imagined.  But I still like the end result… I call it simple disparity.

mdreyer_March_PQ01Finally, reining things in just a bit.  Actually, this is where I tested my light set up before the model shoot above.  Fruit can be so very patient and forgiving…

mdreyer_March_PQ02

Loving the new KK Cloth & Paper Collection – three pears…three different textures combined from the set …. XOXO!!!

For more on ambient/non-ambient light check this out http://www.photography.com/articles/color-light/ambient-light/

That’s all for tonight … {yawn}… time to link up.