Saturday, June 28, 2008

I had fun with this one

Here's a picture of Elizabeth straight out of the camera. It's okay. Nothing special. But, I liked the little smirk on her face so I decided to play with it in Photoshop Elements a little.

Here's the after. I think it went from blah to beautiful. I don't know what I did without Photoshop before. It's really pretty easy to use and the results are spectacular.

I just learned some new techniques to create black and whites. I love how creamy her skin looks in the black and white shot. It's hard to decide which one I like better, the color or the black and white.

Which one is your favorite? The color or the black & white?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Picture of the Day: Blossoms on a Puddle

I boosted the colors and contrast in Photoshop on this one. The results are really stunning (at least I think so :).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When Daddy's in charge

When Daddy is in charge of the kids you never know what is going to happen. I'm sure it's true of all fathers. Eric has a whole creative section in his brain that I seem to be lacking. When I'm out and he's watching the kids, he comes up with all kinds of fun things for them to do. I come home to all kinds of interesting stories about their exploits. He can also make them laugh long and hard in a way that I can not duplicate, he comes up with creative lunches (and sometimes they're even healty!), and he is the master of messes.

This past weekend we were all outside as a family. Jonathan and Elizabeth were riding their bikes and I was on look-out-for-cars duty. Eric was watering some of the flower beds and watching the baby. Of course it wasn't long before the baby was soaking wet. Can you see the water dripping off of Gustin's chin?

I snapped the above picture then went back to helping the big kids with their bikes and taking pictures of them as they rode. After a while, it was time to go back inside. I started to put away my camera, but after catching a glimpse of Gustin, I had to pull it out for a few more shots.

This is what I saw...

A thoroughly filthy baby!
I don't think any baby in my care has gotten so dirty. But, that's one of the reasons that God invented daddies. Getting messy is an important part of being a kid and Eric is around to make sure I don't forget it!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

This is SO me!

Blair asked in a recent post, "What is SO you?" She posted some beautiful pieces of artwork that were SO her. Most of the things that came to my mind as being SO me were things that I imagine in my dream home. There are a few things, however, in our current home that qualify.

This little vase was a gift to me from my sister-in-law that she brought back from a trip to Europe. I love the colors. My house has some hue of this blue in every major room and I love this simple blue/white color combination. It also reminds me of the dark blue toile fabric of the curtains that hang in my living room.

Another thing that is SO me is Tiffany style lamps.

photo credit: Eric

Eric surprised me with this light fixture for Christmas a couple of years ago. I love the colors and the soft light it provides on quiet evenings when I curl up with a good book. Tiffany lamps also remind me of stained glass windows that I love. My dream home will have a stained glass window in it somewhere.

Thanks for such a great idea for a post, Blair!

So, what is SO you?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tooth #2 is outta there!

Jonathan lost his second tooth today! He was very proud of it and begged me to take his picture. He loves to pose for the camera and willingly flashes a smile.
After our impromptu photo session was done, he begged me to put his pictures on the computer. He wanted to see himself full size. Once I had the photos imported into photoshop, he directed all the editing. We adjusted the crop for about ten minutes until he was satisfied with the result. He also directed the amount of light and contrast in the photo.

Overall, I'd say he's got pretty good instincts. I think the finally result isn't too shabby!

Photography tip: To get a picture with great natural light, have your child sit near a north facing window. The light is bright enough so you don't need a flash, but not direct, so you don't get any harsh shadows.

Photography tip #2 (a.k.a. note to self): Don't forget to clear out all the miscellaneous toys from behind your child. That way you won't have to crop so much! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Picture of the Day: Sunset Baby

Eric's birthday

Eric's birthday was this past weekend. He turned the big 33. I finally waded through the hundreds of pictures I've taken and got to his birthday pics. Here's my birthday boy!

Happy birthday, Eric! I hope you had a good one. We love you so much!! I couldn't imagine a better husband and father.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Tiger Cub

At the end of Kindergarten this year, Jonathan became a Tiger Cub. This past Saturday, Flag Day, was the first Scouting event that he has attended. They had a ceremony for the retiring of old flags and the commissioning of new ones.

Here are all the flags to be retired.

It was a solemn ceremony that the scouts took very seriously along with some Knights of Columbus and members of the local VFW. A bugler played, we sang God Bless America, and the scouts stood at attention as the first flag was retired to the fire.

Gustin did well even though the intense heat of the day was magnified by the fire.

Here's Elizabeth clutching a brand new flag that we were given to display at our home. She seems to be taking the day very seriously as well.

Jonathan was able to personally retire a flag. He patiently waited in line for his turn.

Then, he had to hold up the flag, or "present" it, one last time.

After that he carefully folded it back up . . .

And, tossed it into the fire.

Very exciting for a six year old!

Here's all the members of the troop in attendance. Jonathan doesn't have his real uniform yet so he's just wearing his Cub Scout t-shirt. He's the littlest one with his hands in front of his face in the front row.
It was a really neat day. I think Cub Scouts is going to be very rewarding, not just for Jonathan, but for our entire family.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This is so cool

I mentioned that when I got my new camera, I also got a copy of Photoshop Elements (the cheap version of Photoshop ~$70). I also got a book so I could learn more about how to use it and I love the posts at The Pioneer Woman Photography where she teaches some Photoshop tricks. I decided to try the tricks she described in her latest post to enhance one of my favorite pictures of Gustin that I have taken so far.

I liked the picture just as it was, but I thought I would just try what the Pioneer Woman suggested just to see what would happen. After just a couple of easy clicks this is what I had.

Isn't it fabulous? I love the richness of the colors and now this picture of my messy faced boy no longer seems like a snapshot. It looks like someone who knew what she was doing took the picture (Ha!).

Here's another before and after that's a bit more subtle:

The colors are just a little more intense in the second one. I love the added intensity of the color of the grass and her pouty little lips.

Please bear with me. This probably won't be the last photography post I do. But, I'm just having so much fun that I have to share!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Baby blue

He's growing way too fast!
Somehow he's already 13 months old. I don't know when that happened because we just celebrated his first birthday didn't we?
And, he took his first steps this weekend, and I didn't see it! But, Daddy did, and I'm glad that he got to experience that special first. Now I'm watching him like a hawk so I can catch his second steps.

And, Eric's convinced that Gustin is talking. Eric takes him outside all the time and they look at the birds. Gustin now says "Buh, buh," and points at the birds when he sees them. He's says "Buh, buh," a lot, though, so I don't know if it counts. When we were in Eric's hometown last, his mother was convinced that Gustin could say "puppy" and a brother-in-law claims that he said "squash". I don't know. I don't think any of these words will be going in Gustin's baby book.

Baby Pink

My kids' first cousin should be making her debut any time now. I'm so excited because baby Carley's arrival will make me an aunt! Aunt Colleen. I like it.

Babies Pink and Blue

We found out that the triplets that Eric's brother and sister-in-law are expecting are two boys and a girl. Isn't that wonderful? A mix! I guess we should now call them Una, Duo and Trio.
Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Baby toes

I love the way a baby's toes are so short and his feet are so fat that the only way for the tips of his toes to touch the ground is if they curl all the way down.
Aren't they a riot?!?

Friday, June 13, 2008

A few pictures

So, I've been having lots and lots of fun playing with my new camera. I also got Photoshop Elements so I can snaz up my pictures. I'm still trying to figure out the whole Photoshop thing, but here are a couple of pictures that I managed to edit a little and save to a size that won't exceed my limit in blogger.

Here's a purslane flower from my front yard.

Here's some plumbago. I love the color of these flowers.
And, here's a couple of pictures of Elizabeth playing outside.

Gustin, what do you think of Mommy's new camera?

Awww... Is it that bad? What was that? You want her to look at you with her eyes and not just through her lens? Oops. I guess Mommy needs to work on that.

Here's one last one of my Rascal's smiling eyes. I decided to do a little black and white action on this one.
Taking pictures really is a blast. But, I think I had to delete at least 80% of the pictures I took and only of few of the remaining 20% were actually interesting. I have so much to learn.