Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Anatomy of...My Boy

I was using Mary Sue's camera this weekend at a soccer tournament and I super quick snapped this shot of Wild Child~

He was lookin' so boyish at that moment...sweaty...gritty...dirt smeared on his cheek....everything a boy should be~

We were outdoors but under a shelter so it was pretty dark and I love how the background just completely blacked out. The pop up flash went off on her Canon Rebel xti at 70mm focal length, F stop 5.  Since he was so close to me, probably less than 2 feet, the flash just caught him and that's why the background blacked out.  ( least I think that's why!)

Of course I wanted to add a bit more drama so I opened my original in Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac and sharpened just his left eye with Pioneer Woman Sharpen This.  Here's my screenshot:

Next I flattened and ran Pioneer Woman Boost action and lowered the Zing layer to 73% opacity:

Finally I ran Coffeeshop Butterscotch Vintage to add the drama.  I LOVE this action on skin tones for major impact...I lowered the Contract Boost layer to 69%...

and here's my final with mcp Finish It border added...

The original was great but this just has a little more punch to it....and Heaven knows I need more punch in my life!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Orton Effect

First off, thanks again for all the helpful comments on my camera & lens issues!
Just when I think I've built the perfect Wish List, someone will suggest something else that will send me on the hunt and I'll find something new that I'm drooling over~  It's just not fair.
If any of my desires actually make it from my list to my hands you'll be the first to know!

Second thing...have any of you used the Orton Effect action?
I am absolutely lovin' this action lately!
I know it's primarily used on landscape photos for a dreamy look but I've been using it on my portraits lately to achieve the same effect...soft...daydreamy....~

Here's one that I've recently edited using the Orton Effect.  There's plenty of manual ways to achieve this look in photoshop elements but of course I use the quickest way which requires the least amount of work on my part...a free action from Coffeeshop.

Here's my original....take note that I purposely took this photo upside down.  It's part of the whole artsy, funky, creative thing us photographers do:)  Now this is not to be confused with the Upside Down dilemma I had a few weeks ago that drove me crazy.  No, this one was intentional.

First I lightened it slightly then softened the skin with the Baby Powder Room action from Coffeeshop.
Here's my screenshot for that:

You can see where I used the Smooth Skin layer, Eye Define & Bright Eyes.  

Next I flattened then applied the Orton Effect action to soften the entire photo for that dreamy, hazy's my screenshot:

I took the opacity to 81%on the Orton layer but then erased with a black brush more off of her eyes so they remained a bit sharper.  If you look at the first photo and then the above photo, you can really see the difference the Orton Effect makes.

Next I flattened my image but thought it was a bit too dreamy and wanted to add a little more hardness to it...although I know that makes no sense at all...!

So I applied one of my all-time favorite actions, Pioneer Woman Seventies, which topped it off just how I wanted.  I also darkened her hair in just a few places using the new mcp actions Touch of Light/Darkness action.

Here's my final:

I ended up using this pose in an album I built using the gorgeous Dolce template from The Album Cafe.

I LOVE building albums now but I'll gush on about those later...

I've got more edits to show you using the Orton Effect on portratis ~ Stay Tuned!

ONE MORE THING!!!  The fabulous Patti Brown is giving away her BRAND NEW TEXTURE SET on her must check them out!  I had the awesome opportunity to try out her new out-of-this-world Supernatural set this week and I can't say enough good things.  Her textures truly transform how I edit my images and I believe every person should have them.  

Head over to her blog and see how you can WIN them!  But don't worry...if you don't win those you may just have another chance right here at wayoutnumbered very be on the lookout for that!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Save $10 on Jamie Schultz Designs!

I'm a little late in getting the word out on this but here's a link to save $10 on Jamie Schultz Designs!

I mentioned last week how I looooove her Accordion Book designs and just happened to see today
on the Paperie Boutique blog they're having a giveaway and a discount for her store....head on over to
this post to enter the giveaway and grab a great savings code!

And don't forget....if you buy anything I recommend I want to see pictures of what you've created with it!!
Just go to my Facebook Fan Page and load your photos and leave me some comments...I love that!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lenses & More Lenses

I am absolutely *loving* all the tips I'm getting on the cameras & lenses!  

You cannot even begin to fathom how many hours I've poured over investigating into all the different lenses over the last few days.  I'm sure this is also due to the fact that my beloved Mac computer is getting fixed for some hard drive problems so I'm not able to do any editing....uggghh!  So instead I've spent my time reading review after review and daydreaming about my Wish List~

Here's what I've realized on the camera body....I tried out the Canon 7D yesterday at a local store and I didn't like the joystick thingy...I prefer a button or a wheel?  Also, I just didn't like the sound of the shutter that weird?  It was too "clicky" and mechanical....does anyone else obsess over those things?
But I had the 50mm 1.4 lens on it and I was so impressed...and a little depressed that I don't have one!
I'm going to a different store tomorrow to play with the Nikon d300s...I can't find a store anywhere that has both in stock!

On a side note, I also played with the Nikon d700 yesterday, which is a step up from the d300s.  That thing was Huge and Heavy!  It had a big lens on it which added to the weight but ohh how fun it was...I was shooting at ISO 3200 indoors without flash and pics were so sharp...I just couldn't believe how heavy...does anyone shoot all day with that camera?  I'd love to hear how you carry it around for long~

Now to the lenses....I think I've changed my mind completely on my original Wish List!

Somewhere along the line I stumbled across this piece of hardware...

The reviews on Amazon & B&H by owners of this lens say it's absolutely fabulous!  The 2.8 aperture is constant at any focal length which is a huge plus...and also explains the huge price.  I'm thinking this may be a more convenient option also instead of carrying around several prime lenses and a small zoom?

Does anyone have this....use this....don't really care?  

I'll have more tutorials coming as soon as I get my Mac back and start editing again...I'm going stir crazy here ~!~!~!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Camera Envy

I'm having some serious camera envy these days~

I read all the blogs...with all the tips...and all the tutorials...but the part I always, always, always want to get to is the  "What's In The Bag".

I somehow think that if I had that camera with that lens just like that person has then maybe possibly I could produce images like that too?  Am I the only one that thinks like that?

Anyway...I've been torturing myself lately and looking at cameras as if I'm actually going to be buying know, getting together my serious Wish List.  Here's what I've discovered~

I can't decide.

I've always said I wanted the Nikon d300s if I were to ever upgrade, but I've read recently about the Canon 7D and it seems to be a pretty close race.  So I figured why bother wasting my time anymore by reading boring reviews...I'll just take it to the experts...YOU!

I need opinions...I'm wanting this...(without the kit lens)
{These are all screen shots from B&H Photo}

But this is also looking pretty tempting...

And I'm wanting these...

So I'm dying to know....would you choose the Canon or the Nikon?
Does anyone have these...hate 'em...?
And what about the lenses....should these cover every situation?
The camera store lady recommended I get a 35mm too to cover the crop factor...I would have never even thought of that~

Here's your chance...pass along your wisdom and help me create the Perfect Wish List!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Accordion Books - My Newest Obsession

Now that I officially have "clients" {I prefer to call them models}, my absolute favorite thing is finding the absolute coolest products to offer them.  Accordion Books are my newest obsession as the coolest photo product ever!

I had seen them on several of the big lab sites and the ones that weren't carrying them just a few months ago are carrying them now....WHCC, Millers, BayPhoto, MPixPro....pretty much anywhere. I ordered mine from WHCC and was very pleased with the quality and quick turnaround.

These little brag books are just so perfect for throwing in your purse and then popping them out whenever you want to show off pics of the kiddos or the family.  They're small and stay together with a hidden magnet so no need to worry about your pics getting crumpled or bent.

You've probably seen them before so instead of showing you more pics of the finished product I'll show you how I created the ones I've made...

First of all, you don't need a template to place your photos in an accordion book, but I couldn't resist the templates on Jamie Schultz Designs.  She's got tons of ultra modern, way cool templates to purchase that are specifically arranged for these brag books.  I purchased the SOHO Mini Book Collections for $45 which I think was the best bang for my buck considering I got 6 different designs in the collection.

Here's the template I chose to make my first book:
 This was the front~

This was the back~

And this was the cover~

When I opened the template in photoshop elements 6 for Mac this is what my layers palette looked like:

There are A LOT of layers!  I was intimidated!
But after working with it for a while and just taking my time I figured it out.  The reason there's so many layers is because you can pretty much change/alter/delete any graphics or colors you want to.  I was really pleased with how customizable they are.

I even figured out how to change the first pic from a horizontal to vertical orientation...I was pretty proud~

Here's what my final jpeg looked like:



...and final...

I used the Pearl paper and the colors are Fantastic!  I don't think I'll even offer anything but the Pearl from now on.

I decided on the leather cover for this one but ended up using the cover design for a different session and the photo cover was excellent.

Here's one more using a different template:

Here's my screenshot of the layers palette....LOTS more layers!

But I figured out how to change the colors and here's my final jpeg:

And the beautiful product~

I just love these little things!

So if you're looking for new products to offer your clients I would definitely add Accordion Books to your list.  But even if you're not a "professional" you can still order these great brag books.  All you need to do is sign up for an account at whatever print lab you choose then make the books for yourself and everyone else you know!

As I mentioned, I love the templates at Jamie Schultz Designs but I would love to look at more templates....any suggestions for sites that offer fabulous accordion book templates?  I'd love to check them out!
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