Friday, April 30, 2010

fix it friday, vol. 5



what I did...
  • adjusted levels, curves, and contrast
  • bumped up saturation
  • unsharp mask
  • clone stamp/spot healing to remove sign and stick on right side
  • crop
  • slight solid color adjustment layer in dark blue to give vintage feel
  • added texture, then cooled down temperature to contrast warmth of texture. (Texture taken free from here).
  • Edge burn.

Grab the Kleenex, your mutt and the remote

Through a Dog's Eyes aired last week on PBS. It sat in my Tivo for more than a week as I scrolled right past it in favor of Modern Family reruns. I knew it was about service dogs, but was a little hesitant to delve into something that would no doubt be emotionally charged.

Well, yesterday I finally watched it, and it was exactly what I thought it would be, but in a good way. It follows about five children and adults with varying physical handicaps as they attend training camp at Canine Assistants in Georgia. The documentary explores how they are carefully matched with their dogs and taught how to reap the emotional, social and physical benefits of a service dog.

The dogs were the cutest, sweetest bunch of labs, goldens and doodles, and the water works were in full swing about 10 minutes in. This isn't a sad show at all, just so sweet and touching.

The part that got me the most was the founder of the ranch, who used a dog herself in the past when diagnosed with MS. Every batch of dogs is born at the ranch and then spends 18 months training before being assigned to a person. Each dog is her baby, and she basically said watching the dogs go home with their new families is the most rewarding and hardest thing she does.

If you're a dog person, or even if you're not, I think you'll love this. Watch it here.

And I just noticed there is a whole slew of video extras. Sounds like a weekend plan. And I have Precious from Netflix. Can't decide if I'm up to it or not.

a reason to live

Ok. Maybe a little dramatic, but this toast does make me want to get out of bed in the morning. A little bit.

Pioneer Woman posted a study in cinnamon toast making methods earlier this week, and she had me drooling.

Her "right way" is to mash up softened butter, sugar and cinnamon with a fork, spread liberally on the bread and bake (not broil) for 10 minutes or so. And let me tell you, it's heaven. And so easy. Dangerously so.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

three for your thursday

It's You Capture day! The theme is spring. This post is on the disjointed side, but it's springy enough I think.

1. I know the interwebs are probably way sick of Honey this week. But she is the best model of the four, and I keep finding another shot I like more than the last from the weekend. And I can't keep all that cuteness to myself.

So much fun to shoot them in the pretty spring weather. Can you believe that big girl was this little girl a year and a half ago? I can't. 

2. These are my new favorite shoes. They're just 16 smacks from Old Navy, and I think I'm going to have to get some more. But I can't decide which color. I was thinking that rusty red that's already sold out online. Might have to hunt around this weekend.

3. I'm a little hung up on shooting the sun straight on and out of focus. Feels like summer. Just have to be sure not to expose on the sun. Learned the hard way that creates nothing but a dark mess.

I love Thursdays. Good tv night (Parks and Rec, Office, 30 Rock, Grey's, Private Practice. whew.). And on Thursdays you can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is the weekend! Have a happy one!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

i heart faces - smiles challenge

Little Honey all smiles this weekend after the rain finally went away.

Monday, April 26, 2010

weekend snaps. 4/26/10

Linking up with Six in the City

The weekend started off with nasty weather...

Which led to several things...

The skies finally cleared on Sunday.

This was a complete accident, but a happy one:

Friday, April 23, 2010

fix it friday, vol. 4

It's a fun one this week. Great picture to start with. Just made a few adjustments to make it really pop.



What I did:
  • levels
  • brightness/contrast
  • bumped up saturation slightly on entire image, then deselected face and increased more
  • warmed up slightly in color balance
  • increased highlights on teeth to whiten
  • dodged forehead and eye area to lessen shadows
  • eyes: dodged all, burned pupils, edges and eyelashes. dodged under eyes. bumped up saturation and sharpened.
  • clone stamp to erase snowflake on jacket
  • unsharp mask
  • cropped
More editing than I would normally do, but I get a little carried away on fix it friday!

Have a great weekend...Hope the storms stay away from your neck of the woods, as Al would say.


Maddi was being unusually well behaved the other night in an impromptu photoshoot.

Usually when I shove the camera in her face, it's barking, whining and avoidance. Not that night. I couldn't believe my luck.

Then I discovered why. This is the scene that greeted me in the other room. Complete destruction of the trash bag I had sitting by the back door.

At first, I looked around for a raccoon or some other invader. Maddi hasn't torn anything up since she was about 3. She's 10 now. Anything for the casted off remnants of a burger, I guess.

And I had just vacuumed. Of course, right?

Oh well. Guilty pictures are better than no pictures at all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

happy earth day!

Have you guys watched any of the new Life series on Discovery? It's mesmerizing. There were a few episodes on Sunday night, and I got so into it. There's a marathon tonight. I highly recommend it. Well, all but the hunters/hunted episode.
My tivo will be hard at work while I am off seeing one of my fave authors David Sedaris in town tonight. Cannot wait!

To celebrate, here are some pics of my corner of the great outdoors this week.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

fireworks success = sweet

Linking up with You Capture.


This winter, I read quite a few articles and blogs about shooting fireworks. Friday night at the Redbirds game was my first shot to test out my new knowledge.

One hiccup. Every one of those article says a nonnegotiable in fireworks shooting is a tripod. Something I don't have yet. Something even if I did have, I probably would not want to haul to a baseball game.

So I took the camera and the lenses anyway and planned to wing it. The show started, and I tried resting the camera on an unsteady rail, producing shaky images at best.

Then I sat down. The bottom of two fence rails and the ground ended up making a perfect stabilizer. I could leave the shutter open as long as I wanted, and I got sharp shots.

Then at the end I started to play. Swirling and swaying the camera while the shutter was open. So much fun.

So my reaction to my first fireworks photoshoot was "Sweet." Can't wait to try again. Who needs a tripod?

you need to make this

Sometimes you just want a burger. A burger covered in good ole processed American cheese and caramelized onions.

Where the meat is seasoned just right with S & P, garlic and worcestershire. Seasoned so well you don't want to put any condiments on the bun to get in the way of those flavors.

Just let the onions go with some butter and evoo in a skillet while you cook the burger in a grill pan. This is mine, and I love it.

Flip, add cheese and onions, and you have a winner.

It's even better with some homemade fries. Just divide into even, thin slices, coat in S&P and whatever else you feel like (I used paprika and a little chicken seasoning I think) and bake 30-45 mins, or until crispy.

Quit begging, Maddi. Not attractive. You know you're going to get a bite eventually, so there's no need for all that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

little miss snoot

Linking up with Sweet Shot Day at m3b.

Last week Liz at Mabel's House posted this photo and I became slightly obsessed with trying to replicate it.

I mean isn't that Mabel just precious looking so curiously at that...uhhh....what are those weed things called?

Anyway, my yard is brimming with them (please excuse the marsh of weeds overtaking the patio. They have since been addressed).

Me: Maddi, Come over here. Sniff this weed for a sec.

Maddi: No thanks. I'm busy.

Me: Come on, Maddi. See, it kind of looks like a marshmallow.

Maddi: (ears perk) Huh? (cautiously saunters over)

Maddi: You know good and well that is no marshmallow. Nor are you harboring a treat in your hand. You're dreaming, sister. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bark at the neighbors.

Me: Fine Maddi, be a snoot. I can get a great shot without you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

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