Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kids with Animals – 2

This is a great example of why taking pictures of kids with animals works so well. In this photo, Samantha gave me an amazing smile, one that I never would have been able to coax from her, not even with a bribe. I love the twinkle in her eyes. Her colorful jacket goes well with the bright yellow duckling. Both Jeremiah and Samantha hate having to smile on cue. It’s best to capture them in the moment, which also tells a more honest story.

To get this effect, I used Orton-ish. Besides giving the photo that warm glow that I mentioned in the previous picture, it also enhanced the colors making them more vibrant. I then added Vignette to give that dark boarder. You can find these editing tools in Picasa 3. You can learn more about Picasa 3 in "Being Herself - 3."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kids with Animals - 1

Kids always look adorable with animals. It's a great opportunity to capture their excitement on film. I took this photo of my three older children, Jeremiah, Jessica and Samantha, in 2005. We were visiting their godparents at Spier in Stellenbosch, South Africa when we came across these cute little ducklings.

In order to create this effect, I used Orton-ish and Matte in Picnik. It brings out a warm glow to the photo, which is perfect for this shot.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Being Herself - 4

In this series of “Being Herself,” I have attempted to choose photos that best depict Amanda’s inner soul. In this shot, Amanda is 2 years old. As you can see, she’s making a study of the white roses by plucking the petals and smelling them. In order to create this photoshopped effect, I used Picnik. For this one I used Sharpen, Clarity, Boost, Matte and Text. I also posted another one of Amanda on her blog, a photo that I took of her today, where I used Stickers.

As you probably already know, Picnik will be closing on the 19th of April since Google is the proud new owner of these great editing tools. The cool thing is that Google has generously unlocked their premium features for the non-paying public to also enjoy.

Something you might not know is that the creators of Picnik have a new free on-line photo editing program called PicMonkey. It’s already been highly recommended by people who love Picnik. I’m sure that I will also use PicMonkey in the future. I have given it a try and it’s easy to use. I first heard of PicMonkey through Jonathan at Blogging Your Passion. I also added a review by Yahoo! for those who want to learn more.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Being Herself - 3

As you can see in this photo, Amanda is aware that I’m there when I took the shot. However, she’s not posing for me and that is why I’ve included it in this series. I think one of us put Amanda on Jessica’s Foosball table. Of course, she wouldn’t be allowed to stay there without someone watching.

I used “sharpen” and “Lomo-ish” in Picasa 3. These are photoshop tools found in Picnik. What I like about Lomo-ish is that it makes Amanda look more baby-ish. It’s a really fun photoshop tool. Picasa is desktop software that runs on Windows and the best part is that it’s for free. You can go to download if you want it on your computer and learn more if you want to read a review on it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Being Herself - 2

Often the best photos are taken when your subject is unaware of the camera. It allows you to capture a glimpse of his or her personality that a “smile for the camera” does not evoke. I don't take enough photos to be indiscreet about it, on the rare occasion when I do, I’m impressed with the results.

This photo of Amanda at the beach is a perfect example of this. She was more interested in the ocean than she was of me and that’s how I captured the moment. Since I’m using a really basic digital camera, I often need photoshop tools to help make the photo look great. I used “sharpen” and “saturation” in Picasa 3 for this one.

You can read more about my camera on my About page.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Being Herself - 1

Is there a mom who doesn't take photos of their kids? I think all moms do. These days you don't even need a camera to take a picture, you just need your mobile phone. I am not a professional photographer. I'm just a mom who loves annoying the kids with picture time. Learn more about me or about my first cameras by visiting my pages.

Some of my most favorite photos were taken when my children weren't being asked to "smile for the camera," though it took me a long time to learn this lesson. This photo was taken of Amanda at age 1 who, as the title states, is just "being herself." As you can see, she's a real darling. I invite you to follow my blog, Amanda's Books and More, which is an inspirational parenting blog.

I used "saturation" and "retouch" in Picasa 3 to photoshop this photo. I needed the retouch for a mosquito bite on her cheek. I then used "matte" in Picnik to make the white border and "text" for my blog's name. I realize that Picnik will be closing soon. Since this is an up-to-date blog, I'll keep you posted on what photoshop tools I'm using.

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