Monday, February 14, 2011

Because I Love Them

It's Valentine's Day, so I just felt like posting a picture of my two little loves from our trip to the park yesterday.

On the subject of photography:
I don't have a super-fancy camera, and every day of my life I think "...someday I REALLY want a DSLR..."  For now, I do the best I can with my Sony, which is the nicest point-and-shoot I could find.  I edit all my photos in photoshop - cropping, adjusting light and exposure, fixing alignment, that sort of thing.  You probably can't tell, but my younger son has a yucky eye infection at the moment.  This is why I love photoshop.  Admittedly, I am not a photoshop rookie, I've been using it for years professionally to doctor up early hand-sketched architectural concepts and make graphics for presentations, but I really know nothing about editing photos as far as effects go.  While I know my way around, I am not a photoshop whiz, by any means.  However, I can usually figure out how to do what I need to do with enough tinkering - so I was able to actually copy and paste parts of his healthy eye/lashes on top of the one that is pretty crusty looking and voila! a much more attractive munchkin. 
Recently, I discovered picnik, which is a free photo-editing software put out by Google.  It requires that you use the Chrome web-browser to download and use the software, but it is worth it!  Picnik helps with everything from cropping, editing colors, soft-focus, and all sorts of other effects like what I did above, which is called "cross processing."  The best part about picnik is that it is SOOOO easy to use and can add some artistic flair to fairly ordinary photos.  You don't need to take a class to figure out its whistles and bells.
Sometimes I mourn the fact that I don't have a little girl to dress up and take lovely photos of.  My husband was teasing me that we needed to dress our kids up in pageboy caps and knickers and have them run through a field of wheat or something.  Anybody know where I can find a good wheat field and a sunny day?  A couple weeks ago, I spent some time playing around with a photo of a friend's little girl in a beautiful white dress. 
Here is the BEFORE shot:
...and here is the photo AFTER editing:
As my friend said even before the photo was edited, this is one of those pictures you cry over 20 years later.  With just a few minutes of artistic tweaking by me, a complete novice at this sort of thing, it looks even more precious.  This was a combination of adding some soft color washes in photoshop and then a couple of effects in picnik.
If you're interested in a few pointers on photography, I found this great series of tutorials on one of my favorite blogs.

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