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{ Thematic Photography }

by Lee on July 7, 2008

Here is my latest photo for the Thematic Photography challenge, which this week, is Sky. I braved the cold after work last Thursday and took my girls across the road so they could have a quick play with their netball and so I could get some stormy sky pics, it was FREEZING, I could barely feel my fingers when we got back and spent most of the time with my camera under my coat so it wouldn’t get wet, it started raining just as we got there….

Special thanks to Carmi for running the Thematic Photography challenge. I am really enjoying it.

Here are a few more sky pictures taken over the last 12 months…. this was taken at one of our favourite camping spots at Seaspray.

Again at Seaspray. I really like this one, it looks like a UFO is going to appear through that bright spot LOL.

This was taken at a place called the Railway Reserve, not far from us.

The next two were edited in Photoshop where I obviously bumped up the saturation quite a bit. Again this is Seaspray.

This one makes me sad, this is directly across the road from us, a beautiful view from our bedroom window. Despite the fact we are very close to the CBD in our town we had this wonderful rural outlook, and now all these trees are gone now, it is a disgrace that it was deemed necessary that they be removed. Now we can see the traffic on the other side, not a very nice view considering what we had before… disgusting really. Traralgon City should be ashamed that this was allowed to happen.

Rant over.

Well, I haven’t been updating as much as I wanted to this last few weeks, I have lots of excuses, but none that would stand up in a court of law so I won’t bother. There will be no free download until Tuesday or Wednesday this week as I am back on dial-up speed at the moment as I went over my 10GB limit. I just don’t have the patience to wait 5 hours to upload something! So it will have to wait a few days, sorry!

Just a quick note to say that there has been another Thesis update, which is the design I use on my blog. And WOW, WOW, WOW, is all I can say is, it just gets better and better with more features added each time, but more importantly, an easy to use and customisable theme is made even EASIER to use! I just can’t recommend it enough and the quality of service, when there are questions, is also exceptional. You can read more about the new Thesis update here and all about my experience with it and more about my blog here. Thanks Chris, you are a legend!

Oh we had a HUGE Puerto Rico day on Saturday… 11 decadent hours of playing, eating, champagning and chatting. The children were wonderful, considering they got here at 12.30pm and we finished at 11.30pm… believe it or not we only played 4 games in the 11 hours, Suzy won 2, Clinton won 1 and Jen won 1. I thought we may have put Jen and Clinton off by having such a big day, but nooooo, Clinton called on Sunday morning to say they’d had a great time, but they had both slept badly as they were strategising all night LOL.

Check back soon, I will have another post later today :-)

{ 5 comments }

{ Photoshop Tip and Photography }

by Lee on June 30, 2008

I am following the Thematic Photography over at Written Inc. This weeks Theme was wood and here is my take on it. Just a fence using shallow DOF.

Fence copy

I just love these two videos, they both use stop motion digital camera images to achieve the effect. I found them on Photojojo.


et cetera from jacattack on Vimeo.

This one I like, especially if you are travelling, I think it’s a great idea, I am also intrigued as to why most of the feet are to the right of the shot? Why do you think that is? Maybe it’s because most people look through the viewfinder with their right eye, which means the camera is moved to the left….?


looking down. from hrrrthrrr on Vimeo.

PHOTOSHOP TIP #3

Wow this is hard, always wondering which tip is most useful!The truth is they all are!

OK, lets talk Blendmodes and another handy shortcut. I use Blendmodes ALL the time, on Photos, Digital Scrapbooking Pages, Papers, lots of different ways. The thing with Blendmodes is that the results can be unexpected and it’s not always easy to predict which blendmode will give you the effect you are after. So the easiest thing to do is to look at each blendmode. This is the easiest way to scroll through and find the blendmode that gives you the effect you are after.

* Click on the word Normal in the Blendmode box (found at the top of the Layers palette next to the Opacity Slider). This will open the dropdown menu. Now just click again. The dropdown menu will close but the word ‘Normal’ will now be highlighted (in Windows it will turn blue, I’m not sure what it does with a Mac).

* Now all you have to do is use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through each blendmode and see the the results live on your image.

I hope you find this helpful. If you do, leave a comment and let me know how you have used it.

If you want specific help, post a comment and I will endeavour to help you out :-)

{ 9 comments }

{ Bad Blogger and a PS tip }

by Lee on June 28, 2008

Forgive me blog, for I have sinned, it has been too long since my last post…. I did want to try and blog 3-4 times a week, but I have been unwell with a few other things happening. I think I am on top of everything now, so I should be back on track…

Hmmm, lots to report, speaking of reports (nice segue, hey), my girls got their school reports this week, and man I could not be more proud of them both. They are bright girls so I expect that their reports are good, but all I really want to know is that they try their hardest, and it appears they both do. I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you, you get the picture…

I have also joined Through The Lens – Digital Photography 101, over at From The Rubber Room. They are a great (big) bunch of ladies and I have had a ball dropping by some of the blogs, some great talent out there too. Here is my first Assignment, which was to take a picture of something you love. Obviously my family is up there at number one, but since Bronte was in the shower and Brian was cooking a lovely Penang Gai (Dry Chicken Curry), Quinn was the guinea pig for the first assignment. I have screen calibration problems, it looked very oversaturated on my screen, so I dropped the saturation slightly and now it looks under-saturated on the web… calibration does my head in!

Quinn web

Wow, what a great response to my Subscription Offer (see sidebar announcement), if you have subscribed to the blog but haven’t received your download link for the CD calendar template, check that your subscription has been verified properly, there are a couple waiting on verification, other than that you should all have your links. I’d love to see some pics of your CD calendar made up and in use, post a link in the comments so I can see.

I have another blog freebie to post, but I am on my way out now so will do it soon, so watch out for that in the next day or two.

I got to see my blog on another computer recently and it was a little skewif (technical term) because of the “highlighted notes”, I am working on the problem and hope to have it fixed soon, sorry if it throws things out a little.

PHOTOSHOP TIP #1 (and #2)

I am sure you all know this one, but I’ll start at the basics… I didn’t know which shortcut to post first, as there are just sooo many that I use every time I open PS, I have never much used shortcuts in programs, but PS has converted me and their usefulness is never ending and makes for a much faster workflow.

BRUSH SIZE

To change brush size on the fly you can use the Left (to make the brush smaller) and Right (to make the bush larger) bracket keys. They sit next to the letter “P” on your keyboard, they are second nature to me now, so make a concerted effort to use them he next time you are using brushes in PS, this will also work, for the healing, clone, history, dodge, burn and other brush tools as well.

BRUSH HARDNESS

And because I can’t resist throwing this one in, you can also change the hardness and softness of your brush as well (this means that your brush can have a blurred or hard edge to it) to use this shortcut just add the Shift key in as well, Shift>[ makes the brush softer and Shift>] makes the brush harder, this is very useful when you are masking or erasing close to edges, to get a cleaner more realistic edge.

I hope you found this useful… leave a comment if you have.

Edited to add: We introduced Clinton and Jennifer to the joys of Puerto Rico tonight. They seemed to pick it up very well and are keen for another game, I had to report that Jen won her first ever game! Go Jen! Also, I have been accused of only reporting my wins, so just for the record, Suzy has won and so has Lincoln and I think Brian is the next highest winner, and I am fairly sure (I will be corrected if I am wrong) I am currently the overall champ. And this is my blog, so I guess I can say what I like! LOL

{ 11 comments }

{ Aussie Scrapbooking }

by Lee on June 14, 2008

My first article has been posted at Aussie Scrapbooking! You can check it out here. If you have any ideas for articles or posts that you would like to see let me know here and I’ll do my very best to accommodate.

Also congratulations to Kate for her new Digiscrapping Design Blog at LazyCow Designs (great name!), head over and check it out, she even has a great freebie there too!

Speaking of Kate, she has some beautiful pictures of one of her daughters dancing on her blog this week, they reminded me of some I took of Quinn earlier in the year, I haven’t posted the layout I did with one of the pictures because I was never sure whether you could tell what it was, (it’s hard to be objective when I took the picture!). Anyway, you be the judge and see for yourself, is it just a blur, or can you see a little girl dancing away?

Twirl Girl

Lastly, I stumbled across these You Suck At Photoshop Video Tutorials on YouTube, at the risk of offending someone, I found these very amusing, and there were a few good tips in there too, if you don’t like, how shall we say, aggressive language, perhaps it’s best not to watch, they are very tongue in cheek, I hope you are not offended. Oh I am worried for you Angela! LOL

I am going to start adding some of my favourite Photoshop/Digiscrapping Tips/Shortcuts to most of my posts (I was going to say all, but don’t want box myself into a corner!), so watch out for more entries. Or better yet, if you have a question let me know :-)

I was supposed to go away with a couple of good friends this weekend for three nights of sloth and relaxation, unfortunately I managed to contract my second case of gastro in the last three weeks, along with Quinn. I still feel miserable and I’m still not over it, so if it doesn’t get better overnight I think I will be off to the doctors in the morning, I am a bit over feeling so queezy and off colour :-(

Also a big hi *waving madly* to some of my past students who I see have joined my mailing list, great to see you guys dropping in, don’t be shy! :-)

Oh and lastly, we spent a night in Melbourne last weekend with some dear friends, we took them to their first Aussie Rules Football match along with some other friends that hadn’t been in years, 6 adults + 6 kids = a great night had by all. And to end a lovely evening we finished it off with another big game of Puerto Rico AND we managed to purchase our own copy! Taught the girls how to play last Monday (Public Holiday), had two games, both of which Bronte won. Thanks to Mandy, Dave, Mallory and Odette for a wonderful weekend.

{ 12 comments }

{ Puerto Rico Party }

by Lee on April 6, 2008

Thought I’d better blog this before Link beat me to it. He is winning the blog war at the moment….

Last night we went to Suzy and Lincoln’s and had dinner with our dear friends Mandy and Dave who recently moved to Melbourne. Mandy and Dave are in our inner camping friends circle and since the weather is getting cooler we haven’t seen as much of them as we would like. Anyway, we went to Waratah Bay with Mandy and Dave about 6 weeks a go, and while we were there they taught us a game called Puerto Rico , which is ranked as number one game on www.GameBoardGeek.com. After the initial confusion of trying to learn quite a complicated game, we finally ‘got it’. And ended up having 3 games in one day, which is quite a feat since the game we had last night lasted over 3 hours…. Any way, Brian emerged victorious and a good night was had by all, it’s not an easy game to describe, but it is vaguely like Monopoly in trying to acquire wealth and property, but instead it is setting up a new colony…. OK that doesn’t really describe it well at all, but if you like games, this could be worth a try. Mandy and Dave have left the game so we can have a play since, despite it’s ranking, it is not easy to get locally. To prove our level of addiction Suzy and Link our coming over shortly for a follow up game…. stay tuned….

I have recently purchased Foto Fusion and have created a few basic layouts with it, the first one below is of a night late last year at Suzy and Lincoln’s for a BBQ, so here are all the people that were there Puerto Rico-ing it up last night… Click on Pictures for a larger view.
Below is a layout of our weekend at Waratah Bay with Mandy and Dave. Dave was teaching the girls how to surf. I really enjoyed doing this layou as the photo’s made me smile and remember a great weekend, also the kids will remember this forever, they had a ball learning to surf with two of their best friends, Mallory and Odette. They really didn’t want to get out of the water, but all good things must come to an end. I think this is something they will try again next summer.

Below is another quick one on our Easter trip to Bright, we stayed both at the caravan park and also at Lincoln’s Mum and Dad’s house at Harrietville. Brian (Link’s Dad) was a wonderful host and we loved being there. The kids had a ball and made some new friends, Claudia and Mitchell who we have arranged to camp with next year.

Just like the divine Miss A, I too did the Smudge course at DAA along with a few other MAC girls, this Smudge I did of Quinn, before I really knew what to do. Scott Deardorf was an excellent tutor, with excellent video and written tutorials and the class was very chatty and full of inspiring people.

Here is the Eagle which was what we all did in the class.


Since Link has told you what he is reading I thought I should. I have had a bit of a reading hiatus lately, due to late nights and also the fact that I have been enjoying audible books on my iPod, but I recently caught up on all the First Tuesday Book Club vodcasts that I had missed on the ABC and it inspired me to get back into one of my loves, books. I went and bought “The Broken Shore” by Peter Temple, which had had a good review on the show and while I was at the book store I picked a book off the shelf called “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak, I bought this primarily because it was written by an Australia about the 1st world war set in Germany. Well, what a fabulous read… I like to read books slowly and savour them, but this I read in 3 days, reading the last 1/3rd of the book in one sitting, finishing at 4.30am. I can highly recommend this book, it was written with an unusual style, and was extremely engaging, I can’t recommend it enough. Unfortunatley I trued to start The Broken Shore straight after it but the writing style was so different I had to stop, will start it in the next few days.

Lastly, we ended up having a big sleep over here on Friday night, trying to take advantage of having Mallory and Odette visiting from Melbourne. So with six little girls staying in our rumpus room there was lots of, Wii-ing, SingStar-ing and DVD-ing happening, they were of course Angels and looked after themselves pretty much. Also in these pictures is Jesamine (Quinn and Bronte’s cousin) and Chantal, who is also belongs to one of our camping families. They had such a great time and here are some pics to prove it….

OK off to Puerto Rico it up now! Have a great day :-)

Updated to add: 5 games… (they ended up staying for pizza…bad I know….Lincoln NONE (although he thinks he has a better average because he kept coming 2nd…)

Score
Lee won 2
Suzy won 2
Brian won 1

{ 6 comments }

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