Friday, April 30, 2010

Fix it Friday #52


What a beautiful capture of Angie’s ( co-founder of IHeartFaces) daughter. 

This one was a lot of fun to play with – didn’t need much fixing, that’s for sure!



I wish my photos would come SOOC (straight out of camera) looking like this!


Although I love the tones of this picture, it screamed B&W to me.

FIF52 copy

Here’s what I did in CS4:

1. Started with slight curves bump.

2. Used clone stamp tool to remove distracting objects.

3. Cropped 7x5

4. TRA (free) Slice like a Ninja 50%

5. Lolly’s Soft & Silky B&W (my new fav)

6. MCP Actions Burnt Edges I  67%


Have a great Friday everyone!



Thursday, April 29, 2010

Signs of Spring


You may or may not know that I run a 3 mile loop around a local lake a few times a week.  I’ve been doing this for years now.  Not only does it keep me somewhat fit, it clears my head and makes me feel good!

Part of what I enjoy so much about my lake visits is witnessing the changes.  Changes in the seasons,  foliage & wildlife.

I have been stashing my camera in my car every morning, in hopes that the babies would be out soon.  Wouldn’t you know I saw them for the first time two days ago, and it was the ONE day I didn’t have my camera with me?!

This morning I arrived, camera in car.  No babies.  Warmed up and ran, and voila, they were there to greet me when I was done!  It is now officially Spring!


Apr29th_1 f/5.0  1/320  ISO100 

Took this shot with my kit 55-200 lens.  Anxious for a 2.8 zoom lens… would love a larger aperture …and better clarity … patience, patience!





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I heart this shot ;)




Wednesday, April 28, 2010

That’s My Boy.

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Off to baseball practice.  Happy happy.




Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ahhhh, the Arboretum.

I walked out of my kids school this morning, after volunteering for several hours, and decided to treat myself to a stroll through the arboretum.  It’s one of my happy places & it’s PEACEFUL!

Unfortunately it was early afternoon, and the cloud cover moved away so I was shooting in pretty full sun (think harsh shadows).  However, I got a few shots I’m really happy with. 

I stepped out of my editing comfort zone today.  I shot in RAW, uploaded in the free Lightroom Beta, edited using sliders and a few presets, and exported as JPEG files.  Wow, Lightroom really is so much faster!


Enjoy a virtual stroll through the JC Raulson Arboretum…. Spring is definitely still in bloom!


I love the budding roses framing the blooming rose.












I think they called this flower a shooting star (note to self- write down names!).  Never seen anything like it.






Silly Bandz

I have some crucial fashion advice for you :)

If you have elementary or middle school children, you will want to listen up.

Silly Bandz are taking over our part of the world (NC).  They are a plastic ‘fashion accessory’ that come in different shapes, colors & even scents.

Boys & girls are crazy for them.  Kids wear, trade  & collect them.

Most stores in our area are sold out.  I lucked out Monday and found some & surprised my kids.

I don’t succumb to these fads often – however, I treated them since they’ve been rockin’ their grades!



f/3.5  1/60  ISO400




My Photos on the Cube @ the NC Art Museum!


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Yes, it was an exciting day!

The governor marked the opening of the new museum building by cutting a big red ribbon,

that was tied around the big photo cube.

The new wing is stunning, and we cannot wait to visit sans large crowds.



Everyone got their pic by their pic  (the mirrors were a lot fun too!)




Monday, April 26, 2010

I Heart Faces – Week 17- “Smiles” Photo Challenge

This week’s photo challenge theme is “Smiles.”  Talk about difficult to choose a photo to enter ~
I’m sure I’m not the only one with this dilemma!

DSC_4872 copy1
My baby girl.  We had a fun time playing in the rose petals ;)
Visit I Heart Faces and get happy!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jordan Lake Gang


f/6.3  1/250  ISO100

We’ve been friends with these families looooong before the children came into the picture.

Let’s just hope they behave better in their 20’s than we did ;)

I asked the kids to find a cool spot to take a group photo – did they ever – love it!




Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Pages are Updated

I have updated my pages - please feel free to take a look!
They are still a work in progress, and always will be I suppose.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Azalea Daze


f/5.0  1/250  ISO 400




April Showers


f/1.8  1/320  ISO800

Not a bad shot for an 11 year old.  All I did was curves & sharpen.  No cropping!



Early Release

Every Wednesday, our public schools release our children one hour early.

Once a month, on a Wednesday, the children are released 1/2 day.

I feel for the parents who work. 

Although this is a great resource of time for our teachers, it makes it tough on the working parents.

Luckily for me, I am home and get to do the fun stuff!

Apr21st_1mmmmm…. baking a cake.  We made Jello Poke Cake.  Have you ever had?  You can find the recipe HERE.  Such a great warm weather dessert!  And the kids love it because they get to poke holes in the cake.



Somehow violin practice is much more fun when there’s a cake in the oven, and you’re not pressed for time ;)



I Heart Faces : Fix it Friday #51

This week’s photo was submitted by Allie. She wrote that she’d like to “bring out her eyes more and brighten the colors just a bit.”

I love this picture – such a beautiful girl, nicely shot & composed!



FIF51 copy

                                          BEFORE                                                                                        AFTER

Here’s what I did in CS4:

1. Slight S Curve

2. Clone Stamp Tool – to hide & blend under eye darkness

3.  MCP Magic Powder 20% – to smooth everything out

4. MCP Eye Doctor – enhance catchlights and brighten whites

5. TRA (free action!) Sharpening – Slice Like a Ninja

6. Florabella Lighten/Brighten 24%

7. Crop to 5x7


Here’s a few more actions I played around with:

FIF51 FB SweetColor




      LOLLY’S  SOFT & SILKY BW (LOVE this action!)


Thanks for stopping by!



Thursday, April 22, 2010

I’m Honored..

… and DARN excited to tell you that I will be part of the new NC Art Museum grand opening this weekend!  A few months ago I submitted some photos to a "NC Faces & Places" Flickr Group.  Proudly, SIX of my photos were chosen to be displayed on this 'larger than life' art installation.  I call it the giant photo cube!




Of course we are attending the grand opening  this weekend, on Sunday. 

I will of COURSE share photos of my proud moment!

But for now, here is the Flickr link to the chosen photos. 



(Did you know you can VERY easily create a slideshow in Flickr, and they generate the HTML code for you?

  Copy & paste – it’s just that easy!)




Tuesday, April 20, 2010



f/2.0  1/400 ISO 400

Not feeling very inspired today.  I’m pretty tired out from taking care of my sick boy, and life in general!

Took a walk around the side of my house and found two blooming roses and these cheery fellows.  When all else fails, shoot wide open and hope for pretty bokeh :)




I Heart Faces Photo Challenge : “Collages”

My Three Kids

This is my first attempt at a collage… I know, I know… get with the program, right?!

I’m glad that I did this.  Not only did I learn that it’s NOT that hard, but it was fun and I’m pretty happy with the result.  I downloaded this template from The CoffeeShop (click on CoffeeShop for link).  If you’ve never been to this blog, run right now!  Rita operates a fabulous blog, and all of her goodies are absolutely FREE!  She also has handy dandy tutorials on how to use some of her free items.  Nice!

Some really neat collages at I Heart Faces (click HERE) this week – take a few minutes to head over and enjoy!



Monday, April 19, 2010

Some Mondays are Better Than Others



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My poor little man.  Up at 2am with a tummy bug that kept us up ‘til sunrise.

Wish us better luck tonight ~ it’s 9pm and I’m going to bed now!



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Relaxing Sunday


f/2.8  1/400 ISO200

How great are the days the kids have no schoolwork, and lots of time to play in the backyard.

(of course I forget summer is right around the corner – they’ll soon have TOO many days for this!)




Downtown ‘Cuegrass Festival


f/6.3  1/200 ISO100

Big fun with friends.   Listening to bluegrass and eating BBQ on a perfect spring afternoon.  I love NC!




Boys Will Be Boys


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Don’t worry, I was using my zoom lens!  Or do YOU call it telephoto?



Hello, again!

I must apologize for being gone for a few days.  My days have been filled to the brim, with all wonderful and fun things!

I have been shooting – and hope to catch up here on the blog before bedtime tonight.  Oh, and if you read this blog in a reader, then you cannot see my updated blog banner – so check it out ;)


Williamsburg, VA!

I travelled on a (very nice coach) bus 4hrs each direction with my daughter’s 5th grade class.  Honestly, I was not looking forward to the noise and chaos on the bus.  However, the kids were great & I even had two seats & took a nap! 

Williamsburg is such a great place to visit.  Highly recommend!  We had perfect spring weather – an added bonus for sure.



Duke of Gloucester Street, Colonial Williamsburg



                                       Just love the authenticity of the working artisans.    Purposely took this shot through the hair of  spectators – I really like the way that it turned out!



Garden upon garden upon garden of tulips blooming.  Oh my!  I was quite bummed that I couldn’t actually walk through the gardens (I was leaning WAY over a hedge to get this shot!).  I could have spent hours photographing these beauties!



My daughter on the left with two of her pals.  Love the hats & the window for framing the shot!




Friday, April 16, 2010

Fix it Friday #50


What a beautiful girl this week!  I can tell her eyes are gonna sparkle!

FIF50 Before




First step :  Bring up the exposure.  That’s all I did here.  I used MCP Actions Underexposure fixer THREE times at 100 % each to get the light up.



FIF50 copy

The rest of my steps:

1.  Curves S layer - slight

2. MCP Actions Magic Skin 35%

3. CS4 Clone Stamp Tool to remove a few blemishes on forehead and nose

4. Florabella Collection Lighten/Brighten 49%

5. MCP Sharp People 100%

6. Florabella Collection Cosmopolitan 40%

7. Crop to 5x7

I have to admit (and you can probably tell) I love to use actions!  When I first owned CS4, I purchased the Scott Kelby book and spent many a late night teaching myself how to use this awesome program. 

So, I don’t feel too badly about using actions – I do know how to do most of these actions (or close anyway!) on my own.  What time savers they are!





f/3.5  1/100 ISO400

She’s doing such a great job with violin ~ music to my ears!  Amazing what 6 year olds are capable of.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Can Still Make You Laugh…


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I never thought this day would come.  She doesn’t want me to take her picture.  I had grand ideas about capturing those sparkly baby greens and freckles in the 6pm light.  Not a chance.  I’ll try again tomorrow ~




Monday, April 12, 2010

Surprise Note


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I do love this gift ~ and the note even more.



Mini-Photo Session!


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I had the privilege to photograph my great friend Cathy’s boys, with their baby cousins, on Sunday morning!  Cathy’s sister drove all the way down from Vermont to NC with her babies and hubby – she’s much braver than I! 

I must say, all of these boys were delightful to work with!  Sooooo cooperative – I wish I had had more time with them.    MUCH more time (:




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I love this shot.  I love all of the different expressions.





f/4.0  1/125  ISO200

Doing the baby shuffle!



Sunday, April 11, 2010

I’m Lucky


f/4.2  1/320  ISO 800  (previous shot camera settings – oops – hate when that happens!)

I’m lucky to have this girl.  This girl that let me take photos of her… a lot.




f/4.2   1/500  ISO100

I’m lucky to have a model that can show me gracefully that she is tired of having her picture taken. 

(Practicing shooting with back light – nice, huh?!)





f/4.0   1/500  ISO 200

I am lucky that she enjoys life’s simple pleasures. 




f/5.6  1/100 ISO 100

I am lucky that this little person is mine.  She makes me smile every single day!