shoot and edit – self portrait (part 2)

I had two main goals for this edit:

1. Correct the lens distortion or warping that you can see on the wood trim
2. Fix the glare on my glasses

Well, okay, I also corrected the white balance but Ashley taught that in week 1 so I thought I’d skip over that part. Here are my SOOC and Final images:


LR3 + PSE edit

Correct lens distortion
The SOOC shot had a very noticeable distortion caused by my wide-angle lens. The wood trim on either side of me warped inwards. This is why I don’t like using this lens on close-up facial shots and opt for my portrait lens instead to avoid facial warping. Now if grabbing another lens is not a viable option, Lightroom makes it super easy to correct lens distortion. The Lens Corrections toolbox has two tabs: Profile and Manual. The Profile tool allowed me to select the lens I used (Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm f/3/5-5/6) and Lightroom made the appropriate adjustments for me. Easy peasy!

Now after making this change I also noticed that the wood trims were straight but were angling in at the top of the photo because I had angled my camera up in order to keep my head from being cut off. In retrospect, I probably should have raised my tripod instead of angling the camera up but hind-sight is 20/20. Lucky for me, Lightroom also lets you correct this. I clicked on the Manual tab, making sure that the Constrain Crop box was also ticked, and adjusted the Vertical slider until the wood trims were parallel.

Fix the eyeglasses glare
I found that Lightroom didn’t have the fine-tuning capabilities to let me fix the glare to a point where I could see a big difference. I had to jump on PSE and used a combination of its spot healing and cloning tools to make the change. I also adjusted the brightness and clarity of parts of my eyeglasses. My fix isn’t perfect (I’m way too impatient for the intense fiddling required to get it done right). I also didn’t remove the glare completely but I think there’s a noticeable improvement.

I was going to give Ashley’s tutorial a go using my close-up self portrait from last week but the hubby is calling me to watch the American Idol results show so I’m going to have to leave that for another day. Looking forward to seeing all you’re beautiful faces.


shoot and edit – self portrait

Woohoo! A self portrait theme. I used this SOOC shot last week for my 52 week project. It’s pretty up close and personal but I like it. I’m almost half way through the project and, although it was a little jarring to see close-up photos of me at first, I’ve become very forgiving of my imperfections.

I rarely edit out my wrinkles when I post photos of me. I don’t mind the lines and spots on my face. I’ll be 45 this year. Aging happens. And I’m okay with that … at least, right now.

I rarely wear make-up but, since beginning the self portrait project, I’ve put a little on from time to time … but it’s often barely noticeable. This is the way it’s always been for me. Some things just never change.

I don’t like to fuss with my hair. I’m kind of stuck in the 80/90s with the whole Meg Ryan bed-head look. I shower. Swish my hair around a little and hope that it dries before I have to go outside. I have a blow dryer and use it for really cold days when I don’t want icicles hanging from my ears because I went out with wet hair.

I did another self-portrait shoot this morning, this time with my wide-angle lens — a dreaded torso shot.

Having lived most of my life with a flat belly, no hips and small boobies, I still haven’t completely accepted the body transformations brought on by motherhood. I sucked my gut in : ) Sometimes, I think I take self portraits in an attempt to will myself into getting back on the treadmill. So far it hasn’t worked and it’s been a half a year since I started doing selfies. I’m stubborn like that.

I think I’ll probably use this recent selfie for the Shoot and Edit challenge because there are a couple of things about this photo that jumps out at me that I’d like to change:

  • the distortion caused by my wide-angle zoom lens which is really noticeable because of the vertical wood trim on either side of me
  • the glare on my eyeglasses … this will be really tough … I usually try to avoid it when I shoot but it’s so difficult when doing selfies … I usually end up taking my glasses off

shoot and edit – love/romance

If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you’ll know that the hubby and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s. It goes without saying that there’s a lot of LOVE in our home … romance, perhaps not so much … but love, a big yes! Here is an example.

A few days ago, I found this attached to LittleR Dude’s bottom. I thought it was cute and took a quick picture.

LittleR Dude - SOOC

Later, as the boys were having lunch, I noticed this on his brother’s bottom.

Little Dude - SOOC

The boys, it seems, had given each other Valentine’s Tails. LittleR Dude put one on his older brother’s bottom and Little Dude returned the favour. Now, that’s love.

one fine day

Dear husband,

You’re going to think I’m crazy. Yes, honey, I’ve started another photography project. But it’s not what you think. There’s no timeline. Just a day when I clear all the images on my Compact Flash and go snap happy. No edits. No words. Curious dear hubby? I know you’re spying on me even when you’re miles away in warm San Fran. Well, you’ll have to check out the other blog to see what I’ve been up to on this one fine day. Or, I can explain it to you when you get home in a few hours. This is what happens when you leave me alone with the boys for 4 days.


shoot and edit – hearts (part 2)

I used Lightroom 3 (LR3) for my edits. Lightroom doesn’t have a “Levels” adjustment tool but you can mimic similar adjustments by using the Basic histogram (Blacks, Exposure & Highlight sliders) as well as the Tone tool (which is similar to PSE’s curves). LR3 also doesn’t have Layers. A quick way to add a pink wash to images in Lightroom is to adjust the Tint slider towards the magenta end. To make more fine tune adjustments to targeted colours, the “HSL | Color” panel will do the trick. If you want to limit a tint application to a specific area on your image, you can use the Adjust Brush or Graduated Filter tools and then click on the Color selector. However, my favourite way of giving a colour wash to images in LR3 is using the Split Toning tool. That’s a lot of info to take in if you’re new to Lightroom. Sorry but feel free to contact me if you have any questions about LR3.

Here are the before and after images of Little Dude.


LR3 edit

I kept my edits pretty basic and didn’t add a colour wash to the image. The left hand is slightly on the over-exposed side but I find that my eyes are drawn towards the heart-shaped fingers even more by doing this.

And, since I’ve finished with this edit, here are my before and after shots of LittleR Dude’s upside down heart-shaped “spotting scope”:


LR3 edit

The over-exposed window was impossible to correct. If it bugs me enough, I’ll probably end up cropping it out of the image or taking the photo to PSE to get rid of it and other distracting elements in the background.

I tucked the boys in their beds and decided to make one final edit to both photos … a tight crop removing distracting elements.