Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stretching my artistic muscle

In between the endless kid parties, various vintage film showings at the Stanford and the ever present work, I take a lot of general photos of the nieces and nephews. August was a particularly busy month, camera wise. It's also the month I finally took the time to learn how to utilize some of the photoshop effects available for my use in gussying up the photos.

We begin with a so-so photo shoot of the 3 year old and soon to be 2 year old. This is a HARD age to photograph, since they are completely mobile and completely uninterested in sitting still for any space of time longer than .8876987 of a second.

That said, I did get a few good shots. The girls are wearing dresses that are almost 100 years old:
A unscheduled harmonica jam session helped keep things fun:

Of course I had to reward the kids for their hard work with some fun play time with auntie:
(no, they are not playing naked - they actually did have pants on)

After they mercifully went home, I had some fun with photoshop. I learned how to layer and peel back to allow color in specific areas:

and I used some of the simple photo effects, like fading:
and a "fresco" paint effect:
This next shot represents what photographing toddlers really looks like:
Later on in the month, my cowgirl sister in law requested some photos of her cowpokes at the local ranch where they ride.

Here she is with her little cowpokes:
The kids did a great job posing for a ton of photos against the many natural backdrops available:

Our photo shoot was briefly interrupted by the arrival of a curious barn cat:

Three hours and almost three hundred photos later, it was time for me to play around in photoshop again:

I managed to sneak into one of the photos:
Using the color effects in photoshop was much easier than I anticipated - I think it's a great addition to a good photograph, and can vastly improve a "not so great" one. After these two photo shoots, I had a lot of requests for printouts - so I'd say they were a success!

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