Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Just 2 months into this resolution and I'm getting a lot better at editing. I already posted the picture I'm featuring today (not as part of this challenge) but I was never happy with it. I snapped this shot of a gorgeous little girl in the Himalayas but the yellow from the tent just threw the color off like crazy. As I was not shooting in RAW this was not a simple fix. While it still isn't perfect I've improved it quite a bit. Below you can see the original, my first edit, and what I did today. None really do justice to this little girl but I'm getting closer.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Light

I found a little post on via pinterest that I, of course, cannot locate at the moment that I just relocated on ApartmentTherapy. Although it didn't teach me much I didn't already know (use indirect sunlight), I'm writing about it because 1. It may be helpful for anyone looking to take better photos on anything from an iPhone to a dSLR and 2. It have me great idea on backdrop. I am constantly using the underside of an old Coca-Cola crate because the old dark wood makes a good vintage feeling negative space, but I often find it really darkens the photos. A lot of photography these days is super bright and slightly overexposed. That's hard to do with ark wood. Possibly the best $5 I have ever spent on photography was on a 2 ft x 2ft piece of light wood that I picked up from the lumber section in Lowes. The men in blue vests were happy to cut it in half for me and now I have a great little base and background that I can easily move around and use to find good light (which is exceedingly hard in an apartment because my windows only face 2 directions). So if you're keeping score so far, for around $25 at Lowes you can get a decent light and a backdrop. Not bad! Especially considering what some people pay for big backdrops. I took this photo using my new setup. #44 Bright white light!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Work in Progress

Both this post and the blog artwork are a work in progress. Not complete but I need to study and leave this be for now. But I will leave you with a little something. I went to Vermont this weekend and it actually snowed! Snapped this picture of the barn from the first day of the photo challenge just when the setting sun lit it up.

This is the inside of the barn, not exactly as pretty as the outside, but cool in an old barn sort of way.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pink Tea

Looking at different blogs and following Instagramers, I get a little jealous of the downtown jaunts that offer passerbys delicious cups of coffee and a variable selection of teas. Out in the Jersey burbs we have a Starbucks. The town I live in is in dire need of a mom and pop coffee shop. So I pull out my own chipped china and make myself some Passion tea (purchased from Starbucks ::gasp::).

Monday, February 20, 2012


Ruche is this amazing little clothing company that I am falling in love with and lusting over their clothes everyday. It might have something to do with the awesome photography on their website. They also have a great little blog with photo tutorials. Today they had a nice tutorial on creating a taped on look using some free tape patterns.

I was easily able to create this look:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Falling Behind

Went on a pretty long hiatus there due to the arrival of my boyfriend. He takes priority over a blog. He loves visiting NYC when he is here. Not even the hefty NJTransit ticket prices can deter him from bringing us both to "The Center of the Universe". As a boy that grew up in a town with a population of something ridiculous like 100 people, he is a bit floored by my ability to reach the city that never sleeps in less than an hour. And as any tourist does, he loves Midtown. As I get pissed at gawking tourists walking slow and saying things like "O M G Can you imagine driving here!" I drag him weaving through people avoiding pashmina vendors and hotdog stands yelling "NO I DON'T WANT TO SEE A COMEDY SHOW." Anyone who has been to Time's Square knows what I'm talking about. And so this picture expresses how I feel in Time's Square.

#39 Dazed in the Center of the Universe

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Sometimes you happen upon a beautiful Inn while walking around a snowy Vermont town and take a photo only to realize once safely fireside later that night that you never reset your white balance from that time you took photos in a really yellow house and now your picture is completely blue. Okay, maybe this exact scenario is rare but it has happened to all of us. We got one shot and it aint pretty! Mine in particular was this Inn. The white balance was completely off in this crazy custom mode and it was cold so I didn't take much time to compose it and I didn't have a tripod (gasp don't tell Scott Kelby) but I want to share the picture. So what do I do? Photoshop it into submission. Below is the original: crooked and blue.


Did I mention this was from before I did my shooting in RAW so fixing this isn't quite as easy as it might have been otherwise but it was really a quick fix after a couple youtube tutorials. I went to Image>Adjustments>Levels and selected the dropper on the right to set a better white balance which honestly did not do much. The best thing I did was apply a warming filter to cancel out a lot of the blue. De saturated a bit and decreased the brightness and contrast. I'm pretty much a novice at photoshop but I'm pretty happy with the result. Not quite right but better than it was and definitely presentable!

In case your wondering this is the Inn in Woodstock, Vermont. I fell in love with this town while visiting my friend Kate. This is the type of place where you pay at the general store using your phone number (which they know anyway), there is one tavern in town, and people stop their car so you can take a picture of a tree across the street (actually happened). This town has a wonderful little brook and river which means they got hit pretty hard by Hurricane Irene but they did as small towns do and really pulled together. I highly recommend a visit sometime especially given it's location near Killington Mountain.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Family Heirlooms

My sister recently got engaged which I am using as an excuse to do some pseudo wedding photography. One of the classic shots I've wanted to replicate is the ring shot. Wedding photographers love to hang sparkly things on branches or put them in the sand and take pretty pictures. Well, here's my shot at it! The ring is a family heirloom- aka the BEST kind of ring. Plus its a beautiful art decoish style piece. It's perfect for her.

 And if she was having a beach wedding, this would be a fun shot. But she's not.

And I made bread for the Superbowl this weekend. Second times a charm.

And here's a pretty picture of a cool bottle my dad dug up at a waterside work site.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Love in the Time of Cholera

The classic by Gabriel Garcia Marquez seems to be aptly named given the coming holiday, my boyfriend's pending arrival on the east coast, and well, our gastrointestinal block. I am nearly certain that the book was not named after this time in my life, but who knows. It's literature, it speaks to everyone differently. I was throwing out the very dead roses from B for my birthday and couldn't throw them away so I plucked some of the better dried up ones and thought, well that will make a great photo. Then I spotted my copy of Love in the Time of Cholera that I purchased in an old Philadelphia bookstore. This picture isn't exactly unique; it's been done. But I haven't done it. So:

  #32 Love in the Time of Cholera

And I'm a little behind and the moon looked great late this afternoon so I pulled out the telephoto and the tripod (necessary to get a stead shot at 300 mm zoom).

#33 Waxing Moon
Thanks to this little website I learned that the moon is 83% full tonight and waxing (which means it will get bigger tomorrow night).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mason Jars

They are everywhere these days. I was at an antique shop and hit the jackpot and couldn't believe I had never noticed the shelf before full of old mason jars. The shop keeper informed me that they can't keep them on the shelves. They get them in all the time and people come in same day and buy them out. A lot of wedding centerpieces are using old mason jars. I've also seen soap dispenser tutorials and lids that make them into to-go cups. Not sure what I'm doing with mine yet besides that pictures of them. I love the blue color on the old ones. A little Wikipedia factoid- older mason jars were tinted colors (like the blue seen below) because it was thought to better preserve food by blocking out some of the light. Learn something new everyday. My sister will probably be using a lot of them in her wedding since her fiance is a mason, you know like bricks and stuff. This of course begs the question, why are they called mason jars to being with? Looks like someone by the last name mason actually patented the design.