Friday, April 30, 2010

Fix it Friday #52

Today's I heart Faces Fix it Friday was fun to play with in Camera Raw and PS. I didn't use LR this time because I wanted to see if my presets loaded into Camera Raw like they were supposed to. 
 This is the before image

This is the after image.

I opened the RAW file in Camera Raw and checked the color temperature. I liked it pretty well, so I just upped the exposure just a tad and applied a Sesame Ellis preset called Daydream. It's my favorite right now. After this I opened in PS4. Then  I cloned out the out of focus street sign, the pink ribbon and the bridge warning thingies. When applying the preset, I noticed the dress became a little too dark, so I dodged and burned just enough to get some light in there and Viola!

I wanted to crop it to make the girl more accessible, but changed my mind since the scene seemed to be calling out to be noticed.

The Death of Confidence

The process of confidence dying isn't over night. It comes because of waves....waves of uncertainty that crashed into me. I remember being 30...that was a long time ago, sort of....and the world was at my feet. Everything seemed to be going right. I had a great husband, great kids, a great job, we finally had our own home, newish cars. It was all going right...and then it happened. I still have the great husband, kids, and home, so I should be grateful for that alone. I mean, I know there are people with none of those things EVER. Knowing that I'm lucky is sort of making it hard for me to try to regain my confidence really. I mean, I feel really guilty when I start to think about it....

Anyway, it hit me. Part of my confidence died a few years's the long, sorted tale....

It was the night before Easter in 2004 when the phone rang. My mom (that is really an aunt that raised me) called to tell me some bad news. My biological father passed away. Well that is bad news, but that wasn't the end of it. She also said that he had two boys that were young and they were in foster care. You could have blown me down with a feather. I really didn't know about the boys and man, they were young, 7 and 9.

See, I hadn't spoken to my father in ....hmmm....since 1994. He was some more piece of work. I had to cut myself off from him to save my sanity. I mean, what child should have to threaten their father with 'punishment' to make them act like decent human beings??? Seriously. So when I married my husband and moved, I just didn't give him my information. Later I regretted it, and even more so when I found out how despicable the living conditions were where he lived with my two half brothers. (More on that later maybe)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I went to their town and sought custody of J and J. God was truly looking out for them, though. They had wonderful foster parents and the city did everything they could to help us all out during this time.

The boys needed somebody. I fought for them and brought them home. Boy, was I in for a surprise....Life was NOT happily ever after. It was a long and hard two and a half years of trying to 'fix' them...btw, you can't fix anybody. Boy did we all learn that the hard way. So after that time, we gave custody to their biological mom. I miss them, I really do, but I think we are all better off now.

So that's part one of the death of my confidence.


I was just sitting here thinking about something someone said to me the other day about getting my confidence up. I've pondered it for a long while, wondering why I can't seem to get my confidence up. I used to be very confident in myself....and then it died. The epiphany was that it finished dying when I lost my job this past December. Then I got to thinking about what my friend said...about getting it back. That's like saying "Don't worry." My brain can not turn off and on feelings. Can anybody REALLY do that? Please tell me how.

So, ponder that and let me know what you think. I will post more on the subject of confidence later.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Holy cow, holy cow, holy cow!

I can NOT believe The Pioneer Woman is coming to my area next week, The day after my birthday, in fact. I have been reading her blog off and on for over two years. She is THE funniest, smartest lady. She cracks me up constantly. Ok, so I will calm down now. I will have to be sure to not gush all over her when I see her. Is it possible? I doubt it...but I will have to try.

Now I definitely have to go get my hair cut. I can't be seen in public, meeting a celebrity with this mop. Trying to let your hair grow out is the pits!! Especially, when you start out with an odd style to start letting it grow. I bet my stylist will have to cut at least two inches off of the front to get it to match the back. So I guess I'm getting a bob.

Do you read the Pioneer Woman's blog? What's your favorite part?

What about hairstyles? Just what do you do when your hair is NASTY?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fix it Friday

Here is my entry to fix it friday by I Heart Faces
The first image is after.
The second image is before. I don't understand how blogs work, yet.

To explain my process:
Opened in Lightroom 3 beta
Used LR preset Punch
Added a Sesame Ellis preset called -park bench
Then using the brush masks
I used clarity at 70% over the face and jacket
Then used an preset by WOW (don't remember where that was found but it is a free preset) called Background darken to further put emphasis on the little girl and adjusted the temperature and tint to make everything pop.

The end.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm doing what I shouldn't, but it's so much fun!

That title means I'm mixing my business with pleasure and I'm sure that's not a good thing. However, I love photography. It is my passion outside of my family. I love to capture moments and details that show life, love and all that is wonderful. That may sound naive, but what do we have in this world if we only focus on the negative?

I am not a writer. I usually have no clue what to write. This is just a blog to get me started in this new world of blogging. I hope to one day be better at this. So that when I actually have readers, they will actually read. lol For now I will just muddle through.

I found a storyboard template the other day and couldn't wait to try it on my latest clients. It was so much fun to play with, and the family loves it too. I am including it here for you to see.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Adventures in the Backyard

Today started with poor hubby waking up to his phone alarm alerting him to a forensic call. Poor fella. At least he made me coffee before he left. So after a few cups of java, I was soaring through my morning work. Okay, so that is boring even me, so here's the point of the post....After lunch I went looking for a lily I found and photographed once a few years ago. I did not find it, but I did find quite a few other unique things to photograph. I even identified a new tree in the backyard. Well, it's not new, but I just noticed it. It's an Empress Tree. Beautiful blossoms and weird looking seedpods. So there are more images, but I'm sure I'll post them soon.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Don't know if this will stick

....but I'm going to give it a go. A friend suggested treating it like a diary. I don't know about that. If people knew my thoughts, they would definitely send me to the psychiatric ward.

Today I slept 'til 1pm.When I got up, I went and ran some errands and took some photos. Before going back home, I stopped by my sis'-in-laws and discussed my nieces upcoming prom photos. I was very excited about it.

Then I talked to my daughter via facebook and my night has turned to poo. I guess that's to be expected. When a child goes against everything you taught her and throws it in your face....

so, I thought I might upload some photos I took, but I'm too lazy to get the card out of the camera. Maybe tomorrow. For now, I'm going to finish my water and smoke a couple of cigarettes before finally passing out. Seems I can't sleep anymore without waiting until I'm exhausted or I just toss and turn....So until later.....