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Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Mugs: Minimalism

Hello! Today I am linking up with Oswald Cutie's Monday Mugs. What are Monday Mug's-well as quoted from her site

Are you in need of a mindless Monday Blog post? Are you struggling to deal with the weekend being over and can't muster the strength to type a single word? Well, Monday Mugs is for YOU! I may or may not "borrow" ideas from IheartFaces and post my interpretation of their weekly theme. Without submitting my photo for judgment and without being forced to follow the rules.
Mondays are hard! Blogging on Mondays shouldn't be!
Today's theme for Monday Mugs is: Minimalist Shot
(photos with a little something and a whole lot of nothing. i.e. lots of white space)

So here are my submissions.

As soon as I heard this theme, I knew I was choosing this picture.

So this one might not have a ton of "white space" but well I sure like it-especially with 2 of my 3 favorite guys.

I think she is one of the most beautiful brides-and yes I am bias, as this is my baby sister. I was able to take her bridals the day before her wedding.

And while this last shot doesn't have the white space of minimalism-it has very minimal in what it is a picture of
Head over to Oswald Cuties for more great Monday Mugs!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You Capture: Happiness

I am participating this week with Beth's meme You Capture. This week's theme is Happy.

And well, we have had beautiful weather, so we decided we definitely needed to go for a walk.Sunny, low 70's and happy kids=happya new shirt, a new helmet that actually fits=happy

having fun and actually getting me in a shot=happy
chillin in the grass=happyMy guy rockin his glasses=happy

and while the kids are busy watching a show sneaking one of these=happy
What makes you happy?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fix It For Me Wednesday: Light Room

This week's picture was submitted to me by my good friend Bethany. I met Bethany my freshmen year of college. We had lots of fun playing Yahtzee late into the night and would scream any time we got a Yahtzee-the girls on the floor loved us I am sure. I even was a part of her wedding and now many years later she has three adorable kids, including the cute little guy in today's picture.

She likes this picture and has been meaning to get it hung, but was hoping for that little extra punch to make it that much more special. For all of today's edits, I used Adobe Lightroom.

There are a lot of great presets for Lightroom available. Presets are one click actions that can take a picture from color to black and white or to a sepia or even a bright pop look. And the best part is there are a lot of great free presets out there. If you have Lightroom you should definitely go to Pretty Presets web site They have some of my favorite presets and they often have free ones, espeically if you are a Facebook fan. Also, make sure you check out Matt's Killer Lightroom Tips, found here. He talks about how to use Lightroom and has lists of the free presets available.

I must apologize, Lightroom is the editing software I mostly use for my photography business and so I use it a lot. And well I tend to just jump in there and do a lot of little things without really paying attention to what I am doing, so I will try to explain what I did with this picture.

Here is the original and my fixes.

This was really already a super cute picture to begin with, so why alter something that is already cute? Yes, his hand is unfortunately blurry, but that would be nearly impossible to fix, without another similar image to steal his hand from.

I cropped the image just a tiny bit, the scenery is so great so it is worth seeing but he does get lost in it a bit. I then bumped up the exposure a bit.

If you know you want an image cropped-it is best to crop it before adjusting exposure, etc as you may crop out bright or dark spots that will change the overall exposure and look of the picture.

I then used the paintbrush tool with a "Wow Eyes Sharpen" tool. I am almost positive I found this tool though Matt's Killer Lightroom Tips. I increased the black clipping, the clarity and vibrance.

I set the Tone Curve to Medium contrast. I have found this gives the colors an extra pop and often more definition. I then ran another preset I love called "Seim Fix the Flat".

This might all seem confusing and you might have no idea what I am talking about.. but the point is, to feel free to mess around with the different settings and different presets, with time you will learn what you like and what works and it will become second nature.

And just for fun here is the image in Black and White.
Next week I am going to save another really dark image for a friend. Also, if anyone is interested, I could make a video with screen shots showing how I edit a picture. If anyone is interested just let me know-and let me know what program you use and would like to see me use.

Monday, January 24, 2011

iHeart Faces: Innocent Wonder

There is nothing quite as innocent and magnificent as a new baby.
And there is nothing quite as innocent and magnificent as a little girls natural ability to nurture and love.

This picture I took of my daughter and son, who was born 8 weeks too soon, will always represent what is so good and wonderful about this world.

This is my submission for this weeks iHeartfaces them of
innocent wonder

Monday Mugs: Set the Camera Down

This week's theme for Monday Mugs is Set the Camera Down. No, it doesn't mean put it away and stop taking pictures as that would be counter productive. But to literally set it down, on the counter on the floor for a different view of the world and to show how things are.

So Saturday afternoon, I did just that.

First I saw thisA friends birthday party all morning long was enough to wipe her out. She fell asleep on the floor with her dolls and stuffed animals.

I turned around to see this...
Driving trucks on the floor

And I turned one final time to see thisBaby feet and hands.. sigh.

Surrounded by the three little loves of my life.
Doesn't get much better than that.

Head over to Oswald Cuties to check out other great Monday Mugs.
And then swing by my main blog to see a Vlog! Yep-me on camera.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Capture: Cicles

Today I am linking up with Beth from I Should Be Folding Laundry's meme of You Capture.

This week the theme is circles.

When I first heard this theme I immediately thought of clocks, or wheels on cars or bikes.. but I didn't want to shoot something that immediately came to my mind. As I was contemplating this, my baby woke up from his nap.. and well a circle was staring me in the face.
He has had this circle since that day back in May when he came two months too soon. Probably one of the cutest circles I can think of.
Head over to my main blog to see an awesome "movie trailer"-I think you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fix It For Me Wednesday's

Welcome to the first Fix it For me Wednesday's! This is the day that I will take a picture (mine or one of yours that you send me) and give it that extra special touch or fix and show you how I did it. I will use different programs to fix pictures over the weeks as I know you don't all have the same editing programs I do.

If you would like to have a picture fixed just email me the full size image at fix (at) emmymom2 (dot) com.

A rule I have learned when taking pictures is do not delete pictures on the camera, wait until you get home and upload them. Sometimes when you look at the image on the viewfinder you may look at it and think the picture is great only to find out it is blurry, or you will think it is a horribly underexposed like this one
Camera: Canon 5D Lens 85 mm ISO 100, f/9 1/320(this was incorrect)

I had been taking some other pictures, then started taking a bunch without noticing the settings on my camera. After I took about 15 I realized my exposure was way off. I was so mad as look at those cute smiles! See even professionals take horrible shots sometimes. But I decided I wanted to try and save it. I knew I would never be able to get the colors amazing and really popping like I like, but I wanted to try and save it.

For these edits I used Aperture, is is Apple's program similar to Lightroom. And with the launch of the new App store, if you have a Mac you can get Aperture for only $79! (Regularly $200-so get it!! if you have a Mac)

First I adjusted the exposure +2 stops. I also increased the brightness .12 and the recovery .20Here is a part of my screen shot when I first opened this picture in Aperture. Click on the image to see it larger.

After fixing the exposure, I grabbed the sharpen brush (from that paint brush menu next to the red eye below the picture on the left) and ran it over Ryder's face mainly, especially around his eyes. I also bumped up the contrast and vibrancy just a tiny bit (under enhance menu on left) And this is why I got.
But I wasn't done yet. The picture was a bit too warm or yellow for my taste (look at Ryder's face), I tried to keep this as simple as possible, so I went to the presets (the menu right under the histogram) chose White Balance and selected Day Light. Doing this decreased the temperature (Temp) towards the blue side and put the tint a tiny towards red to balance it out a bit.

When you are choosing a preset, previews of the picture will pop up when you hover over any of these presets so you can decide if you like it and click it if you do. Don't be afraid to experiment and bump things around. You can always undo it.

Also the grass in the lower right hand corner where the blanket doesn't cover the grass, was driving me crazy... so color balance and a bit of cropping and...
Now you may notice my horizon is crooked. As a general rule you do NOT want your horizon to be crooked. Especially shots of the beach or ocean. But if it is obviously crooked or crooked enough, as it is in this picture it can work. But if I decide I don't like that look, I can use the straighten tool (sort of like a cropping tool available in pretty much any program) and then I get this
So I went from a picture that easily could of been thrown away to a picture, that still is not photographically perfect, but is when I will personally love forever.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or even email me. And if you have a picture you would like for me to fix or give that extra pop email me them to me at fix (at) emmymom2 (dot) com.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Mugs: Winter Wonderland

Welcome to my new Emmy Mom's Photography for Me! This was previously my 365 blog, but is taking a different direction this year. You can read all about it in the previous post or even read about it on my main blog.

Today I am linking up with Oswald Cutie's Monday Mugs

The theme for this week is Winter Wonderland.

So well... I live in California, before we lived here we lived in Arizona... so our winter is a bit different. I did grow up in Illinois though, so I know cold and snow. So before I make you hate me a little envious, I dug through the archives for some winter shots.

A view from our back porch when we lived in Durango, CO
Lucas' (age 16 months) first snowman

And last Friday we were enjoying our current winter wonderland.

So head over to Oswald Cutie's to see other great Winter Wonderland pictures. And make sure you head over to my Main Blog to see Ryder's 8 month pictures!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The New Look for 2011

Okay, obviously I am not doing a 365 this year. But I do have some ideas for what I would like to do with this blog. I need to do something to get me to shoot just for me, not for pictures of my kids or my clients, but just to get out of the box a bit. So my goal is to do these three things almost every week. I say almost, because if I don't want to, then I simply won't--I don't want it to be about a have to, but something I am doing because I enjoy it.

Monday- This will be the day I do one of two things, I will either post a picture to link up with the iHeartfaces contest.

Or I will link up with my good bloggy friend Oswald Cuties with her Monday Mugs

Wednesday-Fix it For Me--this is a new feature I will be starting (hmm me thinks I need a button for this). This is where I will show a picture I took SOOC (Straight out of camera) and also the final finished shot.. and the best part- I will show you how I got there! Also, if you (any one that reads this blog) has a picture that they would like me to fix up-you can mail the full size image to me at and I will again show the before and after and tell you what I did, and then I will email you back the fixed up image that you can use however you want. Sounds cool right?

Thursday- I will be participating with Beth from I Should be Folding Laundry. She has a weekly meme called You Capture.

And to quote her words from her blog "To encourage those of you interested to pick up your cameras and try something new or just pick them up at all and snap a shot here or there. And not only that, but to see what others were doing with their camera and gaining inspiration from them." She names off a theme and you are supposed to capture a picture that fits that theme that week. So no digging through the archives but getting out and shooting something new.

So that is my plan. So no pressure to do something every day, no pressure to even stick with my three days, just for fun and just as life allows me.

And of course I will always be adding new posts at my main blog found here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fell Flat..

Well obviously 2010 is over and I didn't really finish of December as planned.. I had a lot of family in town.

I know I am not going to do a 365 this year but I will definitely do something with pictures I am sure.. just not sure what yet. Any ideas? I know some people do a weekly thing, others just post pictures as they want....

So I will hopefully figure out something soon and still share my photos.

Thanks again for all who followed me through the year.