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

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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