As you all know I love taking pictures. I always have… albums and albums full of pictures from throughout my life prove this. Ever since getting my camera back in late June I have been trying to learn as much as possible. The same is true of how consumed I’ve been with photoshop ever since it came into my life as well. There is just so much to learn.
I have this feeling that y’all like pictures so I maybe am not really torturing you, but for those who maybe don’t so much like bunches of pictures of my kids, I’m sorry! I just don’t have a lot of other subjects these days but I must keep practicing and really… what Mom gets tired of taking pictures of her kids?
I try to grab one or more of them whenever the light is just right in whatever room we happen to be in. Yesterday they were all playing legos and the light was just lovely so I decided I couldn’t let well enough alone. I think I took a few hundred of just my toddler. What can I say? His toddlerness is just so overwhelmingly cute.
See what I mean about the light? Can you blame me now? And see what I mean about his cuteness? I am absolved of guilt.
Here is the same one, cropped. Cropping is your friend.
And here is this one cropped…
((((((long motherly sigh))))))
Now lots of these photos have been worked on in Photoshop. (I know, you are all consternation and disbelief.)
One of my favorite tricks is duplicating my first layer, making it either soft light/hard light or luminosity (I tend to like soft light or luminosity) and applying a gaussian blur of about 20% (maybe a bit less) to the top layer and lowering the opacity of the layer to something like 50% (or where ever it looks just right). It gives a wonderful ethereal glow that is especially nice on ladies and babies/toddlers. I also like trying to bump the saturation of the background layer up using the image/adjustment/hue-saturation and making the top layer black and white. I like to then take my eraser brush (with hardness set to 0%) and carefully erase the eyes in the top layer so that they do not have the gaussian blur on them, to bring back their sparkle… I sometimes do this with the lips too… though you have to be careful because, especially if the lips are very wet (like they tend to be with babies) you can put them in a bit too much contrast to the rest of the face and it then looks rather unnatural. I’m no pro by any means so you may catch these things happening in my own pictures…
Also the gaussian layer trick is great for clearing skin (we have very dry skin here in Alberta and the baby tends to get very dry cheeks, poor little guy) along with a selective color adjustment. In the selective color window, you want to go through the colors and just slightly bump up the red and yellow tones… too much and you’ll know that you’ve done it too much but with just a slight bump you can very effectively soften the skin. There are also Actions out there that you can get for this purpose but I find that I learn more by fiddling with things myself so I know what is actually happening in those actions and I do not like the results quite as extreme as they tend to be in the free actions you can get for these purposes out there (to me at least) though I’m guessing you can adjust those results as well.
So there’s my little sorry excuse for a tutorial. I get questions now and then about how I get a certain look and you have to know, as much as I love photography and really hope that I am improving over all, I have saved many an otherwise awful picture with the wonders of Photoshop! I think some of those above may be just a bit too softened but let’s face it… I stayed up too late last night playing with these as it was!
And now, back to my baby…
My baby went flying on my feet. He spreads his wings and says, “I’m a buwdy Mom! I’m a buwdy!”
“Whooooaaaaa! Tweet tweet… Fwap fwap…”
“Hi Mom. I’m a buwdy!”
And this is what I have entitled the Rocky Balboa Flying Baby Buwdy. You see my brother used to stop and rewind and play in slow motion all of the parts of the various Rocky movies in which there was blood slowly flying through the air. He would force me to watch it frame by frame (okay so force is a strong word.) His face here just reminded me of some of those torturously slow segments like when Rocky was KOed by Drago.
Then my little guy went about the business of being a school baby. He loves drawing. He and my four year old like to steal all of my computer paper to draw. He does the tiniest drawings with his pencil. But as you must know, those papers are sacred, even if we have to search for his art in the corners.
He likes to show off his work to Mom.
I love watching him draw. I’ve never taught him how to hold a pencil but I suppose he just learned by watching his brothers. He holds it just the way they do when he’s drawing.
Okay… that’s all for today. But don’t get any crazy ideas… there will be more tomorrow!