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Monday, December 23, 2013

A Moment

It's 12:23 am on December 23. I just walked the puppy and now am lying on the couch with her so that she will calm down and go back to sleep. 
I should go to bed. 
I know that Chester will have me up in less than 5 hours so that she doesn't die of starvation 
I should go to bed. 
I have cookies to bake and errands to run and presents to wrap tomorrow. Today. 
I should go to bed. 
But the lights. The glow of Christmas lights fills me with peace and wonder and serenity. I am alone with my puppy and my two cats and my thoughts. 
I don't want to go to sleep. 
Tomorrow will be chaos. 
I want to enjoy the lights. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Photo Recipe: Winterizing a Photo

We got a puppy yesterday.  We've had cats for all 17 years of our marriage and while I love animals, I love cats for their lack of neediness. (Read: we can be gone for hours with no worries.)  But when my in-laws' dog had seven puppies in September, I knew we were toast.  How could we not take on of Bella's puppies?
Rue joined our family yesterday.  Boo and I went on a shopping spree at PetSmart last week and decided that she needed a winter coat.  She is a short-haired dog, after all and and it's supposed to be one doozy of a winter here in Illinois.  When my daughter got home from school, we dressed her up to go outside and of course, I had to take photos.
{Nikon D7000 | 55-300mm lens @ 85mm | f/5.6 | 1/125s | ISO 1000}

This is what I started with:



I'm not one for posing (and 10-week-old puppies and 11-year-old girls feel the same way) so we took a bunch and this one was by far my favorite.  I first adjusted the levels to get the black of Rue's fur a little "juicier." Then I decided the whites weren't white enough.  I went to Love That Shot's Simplicity Photo Veil Collection to see what I could do.  I chose Chamomile an applied it at 25% in overlay mode.  I was pretty happy with the result.  Rue's black was blacker and her whites were definitely brighter.



I am never happy with just one adjustment and I wanted a little more vignette, so I went back to the Simplicity Collection and added the Fairy's Frock Veil. I made sure to choose a veil in the cool range and with the purple-tint of this one, I thought it might be perfect.  I added it at 50%  in overlay mode.



I liked it more, but wasn't quite satisfied, so I added a hue/saturation layer and decreased the saturation to -25 to take a little of the color out of my daughter's hat and coat.  And then I discovered one more veil to really make things look ice-cold:  Vanilla Twilight.  I added this at 50% in soft light.



I really liked the end result.  I think the photo looks plenty chilly now!   If you enjoy simple ways to play with your photos, check out what they have at Love that Shot.  Misti and Michelle will take care of you!