Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Win! ONA Nevis Leather Camera Bag over at MCP Actions Blog

Go check out MCP Actions Blog to enter the ONA Nevis Leather Camera Bag Giveaway Contest!  Hope you win, but really hope I do!!!!

Photo1 Giveaway: Win The Nevis Leather Camera Bag by ONA   $329 value!

Blogger Tutorial on Menu Buttons and How to Link a Page to the Button

This picture was taken at the Prairie Creek Preserve of my husband, and darling two daughters.

Okay, I already had menu buttons up on my site.  However, I needed to add a new button today for the 2nd Saturday Art Hop of Redding, California.  This should of been an easy task for me, since I had already spent hours researching adding buttons/pages last time I made them. took some time.  So, I thought I would write myself up a quick tutorial for the next time I need to change them so I don't make the same mistakes. 

I got all the information I needed from two different sites that I love.  The first site is The CoffeeShop Blog where I relearned how to add menu buttons to my blog.  The second site is April Showers Blog where you learn how to connect your menu button to the page you want it linked to. 

I suggest going to google docs to have somewhere to store all of our HTML code and a place to save it for the day you decide to change things around again.  Wish I had done that!

To begin I created my own buttons in CS5 and made the document 150 pixels wide by 75 pixels tall.  I used House of 3's digital negative frame for the frame you see on my buttons that looks guessed it...a film negative.  Then I added a drop shadow, but I am not too sure it is even noticeable on my blog...oh well.  Last I added my text in one of my many fonts, I think it was Adler.  After that I turned off the eye in the layers palette to make it a transparent document and saved it as both a .psd and .png.  The .psd file was so I could make more buttons without the work, just change the type layer and wah lah, now you have a new button that says About Me instead of Home.  And then saved as a .png so that my buttons would have a transparent background.

After that I followed the Coffeeshop blog's advice of going to Tiny Pics to upload my newly create menu button to get the code needed to make it appear on my blog.  After you upload the button, copy the code that says "layout".  With this now copied, go to google docs and paste it for future reference, do this with all of your buttons.  I labeled next to each code what it was for.  Example  "crazy code that I just copied from Tiny Pics    Home Menu Button"  That way I knew which code was for which button.  Do this for each button.

Now, you need to take that little code from Tiny Pics that is now in your google doc for easy access and paste that puppy right after the =" in the code below.  So, now you need to delete all of the code that says http://menubutton1-direct-link.jpg/ since you just put your button info in the correct spot.

I am not able to imput the code here is a link showing the code.

Once you have all this crazy code written in your handy google doc, lets go do something with it.  Go to blogger where you usually do your posts.  Click on "Design" which takes where you can add different things/gadges.  I chose the html/gadget right below header, since I wanted my buttons under my header.  Click on the "edit" button in the gadget below your header, and it brings you to a pop up window.  So, now is the moment of truth...paste that big code into that window and click save.  Then, if everything was imputed correctly, and pray it was...cause fixing the code is a pain in the arss!  One extra character or missing character will really mess up your code...believe me.  So, go view your blog....are there buttons?  Hope so!

The next part is easier and I got all this information from April Showers Blog.  To attach a page to the button you first need to create a page.  Go back to blogger and create a page by going to where you normally create new posts and click on "Edit Post" and click on "Edit Pages".  Write whatever you I did an "Art Hop" page.  Once I was done with my page I clicked "publish post" and it asks if you want to add a gadget, click NO.  The view post to see is it worked.  Do you see your latest post?  Click on the URL, which is the address for the page and copy it. 

Now for the easy part, go back to where you pasted your menu button codes and click "Edit" again.  You will see your box full of code...if you still have it saved in google docs then go to the next step...if you don't SAVE IT!  Just in case you goof up!  Now, click on "Rich Text" and you will see your beautiful little buttons.  Click on the button you want to connect a page to, for me it was "Art Hop" and then click on the hyperlink, the picture of the world with a paperclip on it.  Then paste your code in the little link box!   Then click save.  Go check it out, did it work?  Hope so!  Now do this to all the rest of your buttons with all of the URLs from the pages you want attached to each button.

Hope this wasn't too confusing, and if it was...go check out those links I have included for you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Favorites from the Anderson, CA Family Portrait Session - 2nd Saturday Art Hop of Redding, CA

Okay, here are a few of my pictures from the Anderson shoot!  Thanks again Lisa for letting me practice on you and your kids.  These I think were my favorites, besides the others that I have already posted.  Also, thank you SO much Lisa for the AppleBee's gift card...that was so very nice of you! 

On a different note...I am super excited to say that I am going to be the "Official Blogger" for the 2nd Saturday Art Hop for Redding, Ca.  I will give more details later, but I think this sounds like a ton of fun.  I will get to meet different artists and blog about their talent, plus practice my photography!!!!  I think it is a win win situation!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christams!

Merry Christmas!  Just messing around tonight, can't hubby is going to kill me!!!! Up crazy late again!!!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First Newborn Session....

Here are my favorites from a shoot I did last weekend with my friend and her family.  Thanks you guys for letting me practice on you!  I can't wait until spring when that little guy gets some chub on him...might have to get together again for some more pictures.

Things I learned from this session.  Might be helpful to have a couple of really cute baby yarn hats, a pad of some sort to sit baby in, and more time spent researching different ways to pose a newborn!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

GREAT GIVEAWAY!!!!!! Go Check it Out!!!!!

How cute is this little girl?  She is the daughter of one of oldest friends...way back to 6th grade!  Thanks for letting me practice on you guys!  More to come in the next few days!

So many giveaways!  April Showers Blog is giving away a blog design!  Holy cow!!!!  This is a rad gift and again...I hope I am the big winner!  I have taken one of her blog design classes and found it very helpful, plus she posts lots of blog information for free on her site.  This site is a must do go check it out!

Okay, another giveaway that is AWESOME...and I hope I am the lucky girl who wins it! :)  Check out Paislee Press's Website to get all the information, and you won't be sorry you did.  Good Luck!

Keeping you I?  Did that sorta sound Yoda like?  Sometimes I do that, not too sure what it is all about.  Hmmm....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blur Tool, Smudge Tool, and Content Aware in Photoshop CS5

So, I was editing some pictures of my friend's newborn today and came across this shot.  I really liked it, a little abstract I know...but as a mom I felt a connection to those little feet in her arms.  When I edited the shot in color that big white spot right above the newborn's feet wasn't a big deal, it just looked like the bokeh from the Christmas tree they were standing in front of.  However, I didn't really like that color and thought that a black and white/brown photo would be more appropriate for this particular photograph.  The you can tell....that blown out light circle from the Christmas tree.

I am still reading up on how to fix it....but I tried this method on the 2nd image and thought I would share my findings.  Plus, since this blog is all about my trials and errors in photography I thought it would help me have a better understanding of my error.

I started by by converting my photo to black/brown and white/cream.  After that I took the Lasso Tool in Photoshop CS5 (press L on a PC to select the tool) and drew a loose selection around the burnt highlight, but not too loose around the toes.  Then after I had my marching ants around the circle, I pressed "delete".  Pressing delete brought up a dialog box that had several options in it.  One of those options being "Content Aware"  which is what I selected and hit "ok".  CS5 worked it's fanciness and boom my white circle was gone, but still looked a little weird.  So, I selected the "clone tool" and hit "alt" on my PC to select the area that I wanted to copy and clicked down on my mouse.  I did this a few times, which helped...but still looked a little messy.  I then did a quick search and read a little bit about the "blur tool".  I had not yet tried this tool and was excited to try something new.  A couple of strokes of that "blur tool" along with the "Smudge Tool" and I fixed my problem.   I also added some texture to the photograph to hopefully disguise my error.

I am sure there is a better way out there to fix these types of errors, but this one seemed to do the trick enough.  I am curious if somebody who had not see the original picture with that blinding ball would of noticed the touched up image.  I do know that it looks like I blurred away a couple of his toes, but they were curled back a little like that in the original photograph.

Excited to have tried something new today!  And a huge Thank you goes out to Karen and her family for letting me practice on them this weekend.  I will be posting my favorites later this week. :)

Not Too Much To Say Today...

Here is a picture I took of my sister and her son. 

So, tonight I tried something new.  I created a selection to extract and used the Refine Edge button in Photoshop CS5.  AMAZING!  Creating complex selections can be a bit difficult, especially for me...the rookie.  I found this GREAT tutorial on you tube, here is the link.  It was very easy to follow and really helped me out. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MCP Actions Give Away...

Okay, I think there are a lot of great things in life!  Family, friends, my dog, the easy going life most of us have here in America, and MCP Actions blog.  If you check this blog out you will be amazed!  Why?  Let me tell absolute wealth of knowledge, great actions, great tips, great give aways.  Oh, hey...speaking of great give aways...go check them out for your chance to win a gift certificate to Adorama

Friday, December 10, 2010

Win!!!! Check it Out!!!

Okay, not that I have many people following this blog...but I have to pass the word along.  There is this site that I follow on a regular basis called April Showers Blog and it is all about blog design.  I have learned a little about html code here and am very thankful for all the free tips she posts.  I have even participated in one of her blog design classes, which was awesome!  Right now she is having a giveaway that would really make yours or my blog look better!  If you are wondering how, go check out this link to find out for yourself.  Good Luck! :)

I plan on posting a new picture here, but I have to take one first! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tears...A Couple of Smiles...Chattering Teeth...

I was lucky enough to take pictures of one of my oldest friends, way back to the 6th grade!  She was brave enough to let me experiment on her and her kids.  The really big problem we had that day was that it was crazy cold!  Teeth chattering cold!!  Before I even left for the shoot, I put on a pair of my husbands snowboard thermals under my pants, layered up with 3 shirts, and the thickest pair of snowboard socks I had.  I am telling you guys...brrrr kind of weather!  So, we all show up and the wind is blowing and the kids immediately start to freeze.  We are used to the sunny warm weather here in California and this was not making any of us happy, especially the kids.  Of course, my friend Lisa had already bribed her kids with food and video games...but that nasty bitter cold was winning this battle. 

I would say 10 minutes into the session we had our first tears, and I really can't blame them.  It was a little scary though when my friend Lisa started to cry!  :P  Just kidding around.  So, we decided to move to this abandoned train box car on the tracks to shelter us from the wind and cold.  Plus, how cool to be in a train, right?  After we finally get ourselves up in this thing, which was not an easy task...let me assure you... we start to take pictures.  Then some kid who was around 16 or so years old hops the train and starts to tell us to be quiet, and that we didn't see him jump in here.  He was strutting around with that gangsta sort of walk and seemed to just maybe be high or something!  Wonderful!  He ends up bailing and we all take a breath of relief.  After that we go our separate ways to the wonderful heaters set on high in our SUV's. 

However, on the ride home I start to itch all over my back, neck, and arms like crazy.  I get home and my husband the very, very, careful, analytical thinking engineer gives me one heck of a lecture why it isn't safe to just hop into a cargo container.  Why?  Well, apparently some people transport..oh...I don't know...nasty chemicals, etc in them. the shower I go, after I call Lisa and tell her to bathe herself and her adorable kids.  Fun stuff!

So, what did I learn?  No shoots with little ones on crazy cold days, they are miserable and that takes all the fun out of getting pictures taken.  Also, don't hop a train and roll around on the ground trying to get that great shot...could have some sort of nasty chemical eating your skin off!  Not to mention, the people and their kids that you are taking pictures of could get hurt!  What else?  Oh!  I think those movies where people just going running next to a train to escape the cops and they gracefully hop onto the train is a big pile of rubbish!  It was stinking hard enough to get in that non-moving train and I am not too sure I am a believer of the running...jumping...onto a moving train pitch!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Photoshop CS5 Image File Says "Image Name.JPEG @ 25% rgb/8"

Okay, I gave myself a mini heart attack tonight.  I was noticing when I was opening up my images in photoshop to put my watermark on the web sized photographs that my image name would say something like "Kids Playing Ball.jpeg @ 25% rgb/8".  I hadn't ever noticed this "@ 25% rgb/8" before and thought that maybe these files were only 25% of the rgb color, so they would be less rich when printed.  Or something horrible of course!  To the net I went..researching...and getting sorta ticked since I wasn't able to find anything quickly that gave me my answer and to stop making me think that I wasted a couple of hours editing.

Well, I decided to open up some older pictures that I had edited and noticed that they would say "Image Name.jpeg @ 50% rgb/8"...hmmm.  Then I noticed at the bottom left side of my workspace a little 50% next to the ruler.  So, I opened up the 25% files that I was working on tonight.  Asked my husband who was busy killing these awful looking dead skeleton zombie things on his warped game of mass killing if he could possibly pause his killing spree and check out my computer.  He looked at it for less than half a second and says, "try zooming your photo in" I do, and that stupid 25% changes to 33.3% as the image gets larger before my eyes.  So, why did I freak out?  No good reason, photoshop was just letting me know that I was viewing my image at 25%. 

Dork!  What else can I say about myself?  Big Time Dork!  Why am I even posting this...well, it might happen to some other poor sap one day and thought that I could share my experience with them.  Yes, if you have this problem as well...I hate to say it, but you might be a big dork too! ;)

On a different note, this picture is of my three year old daughter looking out our front window.  I love this picture, her hair was a mess, she was wearing a big pink fluffy dress that a friend gave us for dress up, and I am sure there is food smeared across her adorable little face.  This is why I love photography so much, you can capture such true moments in life.  When I see this picture, it just makes me want to pick her up and hug her.

One of the Edits I Did Today that I Thought was Cute...

One of the cutest families ever!  I liked the urban feel to this picture and since I haven't posted anything for a couple of days I thought this would be something fun to check out.  Thanks for looking!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Outdoor Family Portraits of Redding, CA Continued...

How stinking cute are these boys!  I can't wait to edit more of this family's pictures!  They were awesome and I am stoked that I will be able to use a bunch of their images for my portfolio that I am building currently!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Outdoor Family Portraits Redding, CA

Starting a new family's session tonight.  Here is a little sneak peak!  This girl is amazing and the crazy thing is she is super nice on top of it!  Watch out boys...much later though!!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Some of My Favorites From this Shoot

Well, what can I say about this particular photo shoot?  It has to be my favorite so far, however I do have one up for editing this week that should be just as good.  What else...most of the pictures I really liked, so it was hard to pick my favorites.  There were a lot that I have already posted in the last week that I really loved also.

I think that I will add a picture of these two to my "Sessions" tab that talks about what to wear.  I love the combination of their dresses, the jewelry, the boots, their make-up, and well...everything.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finished with the Cutest Teen and Her Stunning Mom...

I had the hardest time with this particular picture!  The reason was it was one of the last taken that night with no flash and it was getting pretty dark.  So, I had my ISO up to 800 or so, I think...but I think that caused my picture to be crazy red! Who knows what caused it, but it was really RED!!!! I tried all my usual tricks to get rid of the sunburned look, but didn't have much luck with it.  I used a texture and ran an action on it called Ashley Vintage.  I still like it despite my issues, but I wonder how it will look in print after ALL the edits I made to it.

Tomorrow, I plan on posting my favorites from this shoot.  After that on to the next family in line, which should go by pretty fast.  They were just looking for a couple of shots to choose from for the Christmas card this year.  I told her I would try and design the card too for her, so I might be posting that in the next couple of days also.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Favorites From a Shoot at the Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA...

Here are my favorites from a shoot that I did a couple of weeks ago at the Sundial Bridge.  I am always a sucker for sun flare and silhouettes, so I think that one is my favorite.  Plus, the one I posted a little while ago where she is touching his face as he looks into her beautiful eyes.  Thanks again you guys for letting me practice on you and I am so glad that you two are together.  You two seem PERFECT for one and another!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Cold Rainy Saturday Spent By the Fire Editing Some Pictures...

How adorable is this mother daughter duo?  I love editing their photos, they look like models to me!  Thanks again you two for letting me practice my photography on you, I really am thankful!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Win a Spot in Lisa Harrision's Photoshop 101 Class...

How many of you would love to learn how to edit your photos correctly in photoshop?  I know that I would kill for a spot in this class...well maybe not really kill somebody, but maybe an indian burn or something along those lines.  Anyhow, here is the link to learn how you could win a free $300 value spot in Lisa's Photoshop 101 upcoming class over at ClickinMom's website.  Good luck to you all, but I kinda hope I win! :)

If you are wondering about this game induced coma child, he is my nephew and I will have that very same look of concentration if I am lucky enough to be chosen at random for the extra seat in this class.  Yes, I am a huge dork who loves to learn anything and absolutely everything about photoshop or camera related topics!