i heart faces – sun flare

I’m temporarily coming out of a self-imposed blogging break to participate in this week’s i heart faces challenge. I had actually planned to share a very recent sun flare photo but, today, I’m drawn to this outdoor shot taken last spring. Could it be that I want to replace my reality of cold, snow-covered days with memories of much warmer times when the boys and I spent our afternoons at the park? Yep, sounds about right.

In the photo, my then 2 1/2-year-old is lying on the boardwalk to get a closer look at the swans. The swans, thinking that they’re about to be fed, swam a little closer. And I, armed only with my compact digital camera snapped away, marvelling at the great luck of having swans, my son and sun flare reflections in the water all in one shot. The planets aligned then. Perhaps, it might happen again tomorrow. I see warmer days ahead. Don’t you?


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 – pink (part 2)

Hmmm. I finished this edit on the 24th and even created a post but didn’t finish writing it … and then life happened … and then I got distracted by another photography project … and then the deadline for linking up came and went … and then …

Well, I thought I might as well publish what I’ve got which is simply the before and after shots.


I can’t remember how I edited this exactly. I used PSE 8 mostly to add the texture and quote but ended up finishing the edit in Lightroom.

shoot and edit – pink

Even though the males in my house outnumber me 3 to 1, finding something pink wasn’t a big stretch for me. Deciding on which pink thing to photograph was a different matter. So I gave in and indulged myself today. I went around the house photographing anything pink.

I think I could’ve gone on and on but … uhm … the kids got hungry/bored. I still haven’t completely decided which photo to edit but I am leaning towards the measuring cup guy in the cupboard full of glasses because it needs the most work and I’m thinking of experimenting with textures. But don’t hold me to it : )

scavenger hunt sunday

I had only one shot as of this morning and it wasn’t even originally intended for this photo challenge. But then my hubby put these in the oven …

Nothing like chocolate chip oatmeat cookies to get me inspired. I think I might have eaten half of them today.

I photoshopped the number on this wall. For the story behind it, you'll have to go to my other blog ...

This is an icky photo in more ways than one. I didn't bother to wipe the cans down nor did I get sharp focus on any of the cans. I just took a peek at Ashley's interpretation and am now wishing I had reshot this.

Our emergency flashlight/radio powered by rotating the handle or with batteries.

The boys working on a masterpiece with their blocks this aft.

Visit Ramblings and Photos by Ashley Sisk to see how others interpreted this week’s themes.

Here are the themes for next weekend’s challenge:

  1. Capture the Sky (Exploring with a Camera prompt)
  2. Everyday (February 2011 Photo Hunt item)
  3. Furry (February 2011 Photo Hunt item)
  4. Life (Sarah’s suggestion – hopefully we’ll see signs of “new life” this week)
  5. Blurred (Sarah’s suggestion – could be bokeh, motion blur, unfocused shot, etc.)

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.