Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: photography (Page 1 of 5)

An Afternoon with Santa

It’s been a little hectic here, but we found time to visit Santa this afternoon at Mulhall’s Nursery. I’ll post a layout with these soon. Upon arriving, Corbin and Kate wrote letters to Santa and dropped them into his special mailbox. They hid among the Christmas trees after seeing Santa’s reindeer. Note: It’s very difficult to capture two active kids running among hanging trees.

After waiting as patiently as possible in line, Corbin and Kate listened intently while Santa discussed what they had written in their letters and asked whether they had been good all year before suggesting that they pose for a photo.

Kate was delighted that Santa helped her climb up on his knee when she asked for an individual photo.

So Corbin decided he’d get an individual photo too. My son, to whom I had given my iPhone, captured a video of Corbin giving Santa a hug; a high five just didn’t seem to be enough. Kate of course quickly approached to give Santa her own hug. I’ll have to figure out a way to get the stills of just those moments from the video.

There were some cute displays for additional photos at the nursery.

For the next two shots, I used the portrait mode on my new iPhone. I’m still learning how to use the camera app.

Before leaving we spent time playing in the miniature garden.

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What a wonderful afternoon at the nursery. I’ll go back to capture some of the beautiful Poinsettias on another afternoon.

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An iPhone and a Template

 

When Corbin and Kate spent the night a couple of weeks ago, we walked down to the trees beyond the pond. All I had with me was my iPhone 6 to capture my grandson’s gallantry towards his sister as he helped her mimic whatever he did, including leaping over a little stream. I did warn them about getting wet if they fell into the water below. As you can tell by the photos, Kate was hesitant at first, but soon enough began directing her brother exactly where she wanted him to stand in order to help her. It was getting dark so I had to increase the exposure later in Lightroom. Some of the photos were a little blurry, something I accepted as part of making photos of active children with an iPhone, or any camera for that matter, as the sun was setting.

For this two page spread, I used two templates from Anna’s new album, Project Template Album No. 3. Note: I put a title in the place of a textbox on the template and deleted the numbers as well as the tape and hipster plumes.

First, I clipped photos to the large fotoblendz masks and stains below, adjusting the exposure with adjustment layers.

Next, I clipped photos to the small frames, again making adjustments to the photos with adjustment layers. Note: I changed two of the photos to black and white with Topaz Studio.

I then placed copies of three small photos above their respective frames, extracted my granddaughter and grandson with the Quick Selection tool and cleaned up the framing with a small hard brush on the layer mask created with the extraction.

I stamped stains from ArtsyStains No. 3 and ArtsyStains No. 5 below both templates for additional color.

For the gutter, I placed another photo and changed it to black and white with an adjustment layer. I then added an inverted layer mask to the photo and stamped with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 8 and ArtsyStains No. 3 to reveal just parts of the photo.

Finally, I added paper textures from PaperTextures No. 4 and PaperTextures No. 5 to finish my page.

My layout was quick and easy to complete with the snapshots I captured that evening with my old iPhone. Digital scrapbooking can’t get much easier!!

However, technology changes quickly, definitely on phone cameras. Like my grandchildren, I made a leap too and bought a new iPhone X last week. I haven’t gotten to take many photos with it yet, but what I captured of Kate last weekend, see examples below, with the new portrait mode definitely show the technical improvements over my older iPhone. I don’t think the blur is as good as my Fuji X-T2, but if you look closely, you will see that the background is indeed blurred, much like you would get with a DSLR. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with my new iPhone.

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Embrace the Change

The Red Sunset Maple we planted in our yard in 2012 isn’t quite so little anymore. I’ve been taking photos of it every year when the leaves change. This year, it’s just now in full color. I keep trying different angles. I’m waiting for some sunshine before capturing some photos this year.

Anna Aspnes has a knack for creating shadowed overlays and transfers in her artplay palettes, but overlay 2 has got to be one of my all time favorites. I dragged just the overlay from ArtPlay Palette Rudeneja onto a new blank document with solid paper 1 below and started thinking.

Although I don’t have the skills to create the kind of shadows that Anna creates, I decided to import a photo of just a branch from my Red Sunset Maple tree and try creating something similar. I extracted the branch and created custom shadow by duplicating the extraction, filling it with a dark brown, tweaking the shape with the warp transform tool and changing the blend mode to linear burn. I added a layer mask to the shadow, reduced the opacity in order to try to get it to look more realistic.

To fill the background, I placed artsy paper 2 below my extraction. That helped give my branch more dimension.

I then placed transfer 3, transfer 5 and art stroke 1 from ArtPlay Palette Rudeneja. I adjusted the position of overlay 2 so that it was directly above the overlay on solid paper 2 and changed the blend mode of overlay 2 to multiply to add depth to the paper. Note: That overlay is part of solid paper 2.

With a title from Change WordART Mix No. 1, a mix of two psd files from MultiMedia Branches No. 9 and a sentence of journaling, I decided my page was finished.

Now, what I really want to learn is how to shadow the way Anna does!

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Carving Pumpkins

One of my goals for this year’s book has been to look back in time on some pages, something I did on this one. The earliest photos were taken in 2008, a time when only Owen, my oldest grandson, was old enough to carve a pumpkin. By 2010, Logan carved a pumpkin and by 2012, Corbin, my youngest grandson, was old enough to get involved. I captured the photos of Kate yesterday.

Have you ever started a page but had to wait to fill in the remaining photos until you could make them? That’s what happened with this page, I had everything finished, I just needed to place photos of Kate carving her pumpkin on the layout. I actually could have created an entire two page spread with just photos of Kate with all the photos I made yesterday. However, I want the boys to have pumpkin carving photos to remind them of they’ve also had this experience.

I began this page in Lightroom, searching for photos of my grandchildren carving pumpkins. I made some adjustments in the develop module and then exported them to Photoshop. Note: Lightroom is especially convenient for searches when you want to combine photos that deal with a common theme from different years.

After placing all the layers of templates 15 and 16 from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2, I turned off most of the layers. I deleted a text box and put my title there. I also deleted the hipster plumes because I didn’t think they worked with my topic.

The background of the focal photo on the left was green, so I extracted my grandson and recolored the mask a soft brown. It was simpler than finding a paper that worked.

Then I turned on the small frames on the left and clipped my photos to the frames. I added adjustment layers to the photos to create a more consistent look to the page. I added some splatters.

Next, I opened the layers of psd file 1 from ArtsyHalloween No. 1 on a new blank psd page. I wanted to add the eyes and nose from file 3, but I was finding it difficult to work with all the layers on my original document. So I stacked the layers from the two psd files on a new file and deleted most of the file 3 layers until I got the playful look I wanted.

I then dragged the layers to my original document and created a group. On the far left, I reduced the size and flipped the layers horizontally as a group. On the other side, I moved the eyes but resized the group larger than on the left.

For the page gutter, I masked a photo of just carved pumpkins. The bottom layer is on linear blend mode at 20% opacity. The copy above is on overlay at 30%.

Next, I began turning back on the layers of the template on the right. I clipped three more photos to the small frames, adding adjustment layers as needed.

I added another group of the artsy pumpkin on the far right, resizing and flipping the orientation of the eyes. At this point, I had to stop until I had some photos of Kate to add to the page.

To the large mask on the right, I clipped Kate’s photos. I added a stain from ArtsyStains No. 5 to the right of my granddaughter to fill the space that one of the plumes that I had deleted. I clipped another copy of the photo to that stain. As I’ve explained in previous posts, I often clip copies of the focal photo to stains below a fotoblendz mask.

I turned on the last two small frames, clipped photos and adjusted the exposure with adjustment layers.

Kate wanted a turn to use my camera and take my picture. I handed it off so that she could hold the camera and push the little button. I stamped a brush from ArtsyPaint No. 13 and placed that in the background, softening the edges with a brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 9. I changed the blend mode to linear burn at 30% and clipped my photo to it after giving the photo a black and white filter from Topaz Studio.

I finished my page with textures from PaperTextures No. 5 and ArtsyPaint No. 13.

I love the older photos combined with the new on this page. It won’t be long before they all outgrow pumpkin carving. Only three dressed up to go trick or treating this year; it’s a little sad to me how quickly the time has passed. Every moment with them is precious.

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Thank you and Congratulations

More than a year and a half ago, February 4, 2016, in my first blog post, I shared some photographs at Balboa Island that I had made while in California celebrating a birthday with my sister. My first few posts dealt with photographs that I captured while in California, but on February 10, I wrote a post, On a Winter Morning, about how I created a digital scrapbook page combining those photographs with Anna Aspnes’ Designs. Since those first posts, I have written 140 more, a few dealing only with photography but the majority explaining how I create artsy scrapbook pages with my photographs. When I began posting, I had no idea whether anyone would be interested in reading the content, but I loved the idea of having a place to share photographs and how I use them to create digital scrapbook pages.

This evening, I would like to thank the first 100 readers who have subscribed to my blog and encouraged me with your comments and support.  As a thank you, Anna Aspnes has generously provided a coupon to her store for me to give to one reader. Thank you to Anna Aspnes for all her encouragement. After creating a randomized list, Marie will receive the coupon to Anna’s store. Congratulations to Marie!!

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Choosing Background Paper

I arrived at Lauritzen Gardens about 5pm for an evening photography class that began at 7pm. I used the time before class to capture mums in the Victorian Garden and garden art in the Japanese Garden during the magic light just before sunset. What I couldn’t figure out was what I could capture after dark in an unlit outdoor garden without a flash, let alone the tripod that I forgot. Think about it, photography is all about light. Without it there are no photographs. Yet in the dark of night, I found a bit of light in the conservatory.

Inside the conservatory the white flowers under a light above stood out against the the darkness of the room and the black night outside the windows. If you look carefully at the small photo on the left, you can see the grid of the windows. With camera settings, 1/80 sec at f/2.4, ISO 6400, I was able to hand hold my camera securely enough to capture these white flowers. My instructor recommended I use auto white balance. This is one of the angles I tried as I walked around the large potted plant. If it hadn’t been for the light above I would not have been able to capture a photo.

Initially I tried masking the photo on the darkest black paper I could find, solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette City Limits, before I decided that I would finish this page quicker to use Artsy Layered Template No. 257. I clipped copies of one photo to several of the template layers. I masked additional copies that I had placed above other layers.

Once I knew that the template layers would work with my photos, I placed the black paper and made additional adjustments with levels adjustment layers. I recolored a few of the stains a lighter color to blend with the flowers. I deleted a couple of the template layers. I also added transfer 3, art stroke 2 and splatters from ArtPlay Palette Evanescent. I adjusted opacity and blended into the edges.

Next, I clipped my photos to the small frames. extending one photo into the frame below it. I lightened the white in the flowers with a levels adjustment layer on screen blend mode and used a brush on the adjustment layer mask to keep that part dark.

To finish off my layout, I added a button from ArtPlay Palette Evanescent, two threads from ButtonThreadz No. 2 and ButtonThreadz No. 3.

I generally use light backgrounds for my layouts, but occasionally a black background provides a better contrast for some photos. Using black paper with photos having a black background also made it easier to blend these night photos. In fact, blending is generally easier with paper that blends with the background color of photos.

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Artsy Transfers


Sometimes, I simply like to create something unexpected with a photograph. My favorite products for playing when I’m in one of these moods are Anna’s artsy transfers. I try not to make it too complicated, but I enjoy experimenting by combining a couple of different psd artsy transfers on one page. You wouldn’t think transfers from such different palettes would blend together, but they can.

I placed most of the layers of psd file 5 from ArtsyTransfers Notabilia.

Below those layers, I placed all of the layers of psd 5 from ArtsyTransfers Shine.

This is what the two look like combined.

To the white paint layer of the artsy transfer, I clipped an extraction of a flower to which I had applied a paint effect in Topaz Impression. I flipped that layer and placed it below.

To finish my page, I added a custom shadow to my flower extraction, the foliage from ArtPlay Palette Notabilia, splatters from Splatters No. 3 and several threads.

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Perspective

What I see as I look through my camera lens isn’t always what my artist side puts on a layout. Often, I don’t even know what a piece of art will look like until I begin experimenting. However, that’s the joy I find in creating, finding a different perspective than what I initially saw in my camera.

For this page, I began with a photo that I captured last week and file 4 of MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 7. After working with my photo, I clipped copies to the different layers.

Next, I extracted the gates to the Victorian Garden from another photo and placed that over the first photo. While I liked the look, I didn’t think it looked as artsy as I wanted.

So I created a composite by pressing the keys command + option + shift + 6.

I turned off my composite temporarily and placed brush 1 from Cameras No. 4 on my page and changed the blend mode to linear burn.

I used the Elliptical Marquee tool to cut a copy of the center of the lens on the brush. I placed the copy just above the original and filled it in more with brushes.

I reduced the size of a copy of my composite and clipped it to the copy of the brush lens that I had created.

Next I clipped a larger copy of my composite to the original camera brush.

I placed brush 7 from Camera No. 4 below and clipped another linked copy of the photo to it. I placed one more copy of brush 1 on normal at 40% normal blend mode.

To emphasize the lens of the camera brush, I placed two threads from UrbanThreadz No. 14 and one from UrbanThreadz No. 3. I stamped some splatters from Splatters No. 1 on new blank layers and positioned them on a diagonal.

To finish my layout, I added a title and journaling explaining why I created this piece of art. I think it important for my family to know why I create from a different perspective at times.

Artsy Flowers

Although I am behind on the course content for one class, I couldn’t resist Anna’s newest class, ArtsyFlowers. I love photographing flowers and thought this course might be just the thing I needed to create my own multimedia artsy flowers for the fotoinspired pages I am creating for a book on flowers. I began viewing Anna’s video lessons with this specific photo open on a new blank document in Photoshop. As Anna demonstrated the process with her photo, I applied her techniques with brushes, transfers and textures using my photo. I learned that while my process involved more layers for my flower type, I could repeat with the same materials on the different petals. Basically, once I had a couple of petals done, I knew what to do to get the same look on the rest of them.

Below is what my finished multimedia flower looked like. It is a combination of materials provided by Anna for the course, as well as two other brushes, a transfer from ArtPlay Palette Vintage Summer, some artsy stains, threads from UrbanStitching Misc No. 1 and file 8 from UrbanStitchez No. 1. I also added a few splatters. Once I finished my artsy flower, I wanted to use it on a page.

I placed the layers of template 1 from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1. I placed my flower over the fotoblendz mask and deleted it from the layers panel. I duplicated the photo twice and clipped it to the small frames, extracting the petals from one frame edge. I tacked down one frame with file 4 from UrbanThreadz No. 7.

I then began turning back on some of the template layers that were above the fotoblendz mask that I had deleted. I clipped the same transfer from ArtPlay Palette Vintage Summer or recolored the stains. I added a few splatters.

Finally, I rearranged the position of the stains that were below the fotoblendz mask and again clipped a copy of the coneflower photo or the same transfer from ArtPlay Palette Vintage Summer, moving them around to ensure nothing looked the same.

Not only did I love the course content for creating my own artsy flower, but I used one idea from the course for reshaping stains on the template to better fit with my needs. I will be using the course content again. In fact, I think I’m going to rework what I did with some pansies first. ArtsyFlowers is definitely worth the time to explore if you are into photographing flowers.

Water Play

We’re in Wisconsin Dells playing this week. The favorite today was the wave pool, even Kate went out to jump the waves. She and I held hands and floated on our backs together.

Kate sadly watched her brother and daddy ride down a tube slide. She wanted a turn. So I went down with Corbin, Daddy and Kate.

She loved it and went again with Corbin, Mommy and Daddy.

That helper was so kind letting me put my camera in her jacket so it wouldn’t get wet while I rode the tube slide with Kate.

Corbin and Kate played together in the kiddie play area, but Kate spent far more time in the wave pool. I think her swim lessons have given her a lot more confidence in the water.

One more capture to share, a pensive moment for Corbin. I hope to capture such a moment with each of my grandchildren this week.

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