Thursday, December 30, 2010

Irony and Photoshop Actions

I love photoshop actions.  They make life easy sometimes, and they also open you to a world of downloadable artistry.  I’ve made a few of my own actions, and I like to create more every day.  However, I know when I’m naming them, they don’t always make sense to me.  I have an action named “Roman” after Roman Loranc, whose moody black and white shot with red filter make me love cloudy days and intense skies.

I also find that while the actions usually in some way describe what the finished photo will look like, some of the combinations make me laugh.

Here’s my example of irony.  I edited this shot of my niece using Pioneer Woman’s Lovely and Ethereal.

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Not sure if I would describe this photo with those words…. but I did get a nice laugh out of it.

Shasta Betty

PS – I hope to be uploading my own action set soon, as a FREE download.  Keep an eye out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Year Giveaway from KLS Photography

Over at my Facebook page, I’ve finally reached 100 fans.  I am so thankful for everyone’s support!  Thanks to the wonderful people who do Facebook Page Stats, I also know that the majority of my fans are females 25-34 years old.  Fun!  I love statistics (little known fact).  Speaking as a female between the ages of 25 and 34, I love photos.  So, I thought my fans would love a giveaway!

To celebrate the launch of my Etsy shop, the end of 2010, the lunar eclipse tonight and whatever else anyone feels like celebrating, I’m giving away some things from KLS Photography.

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Grand Prize:

1 photo shoot.  Theme of your choice, up to an hour of shooting time.  Watermark free disk of final images.  (This is a $150 value, and fun!).  Also, one free print of your choice from my Etsy shop.

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For 2 Runner-Ups:

1 free print from my Etsy Shop (your choice).

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How to Enter:

Entering is easy, I’ll be drawing the winner from my Facebook fans!  If you’re already a fan, great, if not, please go to www.facebook.com/klsphoto and press “Like” to be entered.

Referral Bonus!!  I want your referrals!  However, I know you’re thinking “for everyone I refer I’m lessening your chances of winning,” so…

If you refer the winner to my page, I’ll give you a duplicate of their prize too.  That means if you send your friend over and they win the grand prize, you win it too.

That means referring people actually increases your chance of winning!

Rules:

Due to travel restrictions, I’m limiting the grand prize to fans in Southern Oregon and Northern California.  Runner up prizes are limited to residents of the United States, as I will ship your prints to you.

The contest will end on January 15th, winners announced shortly after.

 

BONUS GIVEAWAY!

One service I’d like to start offering is Photo Retouching.  In order to help experiment with providing this service and build a portfolio, I’ll be giving away Photo Retouching Services to my Facebook fans.  100% free service, no contests, just “Like” KLS Photography on Facebook and contact me.

Each person can submit 5 photos for basic retouching, and I will add creative editing to at least 1 photo of my choice.  Here’s an example of what basic retouching can do to your photos:

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Brighter colors, clearer skin, brighter teeth and eyes, corrected white balance…
take your photos to a new level!

I’ll be doing this for anyone who submits between now and January 15th.

Rules:  By submitting your photos for editing, you’re giving permission to me (KLS Photography) to use both before and after images in my portfolio.  I reserve the right to not edit a photo if I decide it’s uneditable or offensive.

Email to klsphoto@hotmail.com to learn how to submit photos.

Thanks everyone and good luck!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Nice Night Shot

I love night photography, but in this weather, they are few and far between.  For example, this shot was just under 40 minutes long, f16, 200 ISO.  I zoomed out as wide as I could, because I really wanted to grab the sky as much as I could.

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I love star trails, and I’m finally looking into a software program that can enhance star trails, but this is SOOC.

It was sooo cold out.  I might have taken more shots, but my cable release remote froze.  So did my tripod.

Shasta Betty

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Show and Tell

I took this a couple weeks ago when it snowed.

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This is Will and Isaiah. Will loves Isaiah. He got me Isaiah for Valentines day, but the two of them are good buddies now. They hang out on the back porch a lot, they have little chats. Isaiah does most of the talking.

Photography love...

Shasta Betty

I heart this furry face

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She’s just so silly, and I think she was going for the sympathy vote in this one.

Yes, I’m still on my black and white tangent.

Shasta Betty

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This is all new to me, but I’m going for it. Please click through the buttons to find out about this lovely photo challenge.

1. Holiday Colors
I’m really on a black and white kick, so I thought I’d go with muted colors

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2. Winter/Holiday Icon
Our tree top star.

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3. A tree
Really had fun with the shaped Bokeh this week. Bokeh in general. I love Bokeh. Bokeh, Bokeh, Bokeh.

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4. Quiet
There is something so wonderfully quiet about snow and fog and even the river, which technically makes noise, I guess.

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5. Your favorite color
Pink. And bokeh.

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Thanks for looking! Here’s where to go if you want to play along:

Shasta Betty

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Bokeh

I love Bokeh. Want to make it shaped? Read about that here.

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I went black and white. It’s the mood I’m in….

Go see, go enter. This photo is at:

boken party at http://my3boybarians.com

and then, she {snapped}

Shasta Betty

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I’m officially on Etsy now

I’ve held off for a while since I have such a hard time picking prints for anything, but I finally launched my KLS Photography Etsy Store.  I’ve put up 14 prints that I like, but I’m really looking for suggestions as to what prints I should add.  Leave me a comment and let me know…

In the meantime, please take a look at the shop and let me know what you think.  I’ve featured a lot of local photography, but there are some shots of Santa Barbara thrown in there.  Here are some of my favorites:

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Thanks for Looking!

Shasta Betty

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ezra Zoomed

This week’s theme for Shutter Love Tuesday (see button at the bottom) is “Zoom Zoom”. This could be interpreted a couple ways, but since we’re going with photography here, I interpreted it as referring to zoom lenses and zoomed in photos.

So, for this theme, I have both a photo and a small tutorial. Yay for tutorials!

First, the photo:

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Now, some explanation. I don’t own a great macro lens. I wouldn’t use it very often if I did. I do, however, own a set of extension tubes. According to the Wiki page,

“An extension tube is an accessory for cameras with interchangeable lenses, used primarily for macro photography. The tube contains no optical elements; its sole purpose is to move the lens farther from the image plane. The farther away the lens is, the closer the focus, the greater the magnification.”

So, in a nutshell, it attaches and takes images that are very zoomed in and can focus very close to the subject.

How to work these? First, you buy a set. My set includes one ring that attaches to the body, another that attaches to the lens and 3 rings, 30mm, 16mm and 9mm that can be placed in between. My set is not electronic, meaning that the camera can’t control the aperture or auto focus. With my 50mm 1.8 lens, I shoot wide open always at 1.8. There are electronic tubes, but they cost more. A non-electronic set is less than $15.

Now, once you’ve assembled tubes and lens, the hardest thing to figure out is focus. Your focus ring with play almost no part in focusing, and your range of focus will no longer be infinite, it’ll be within a couple inches and only at a couple inches away from your subject. The easiest way to get used to focusing with these is to use a stationary object and move your camera closer and further from it.

Finally, the best advice I can give is to practice and play. Try different combination of tube lengths. Try different lenses. See what your zoom lenses do at different focal lengths.

Once you’re feeling comfortable, try moving on to less stationary objects, like cats. Well, actually, they should be a little stationary (like lying down). Try not to yell every time the cat turns his head. Take a lot of shots and you might like one!

Good Luck and enter this photo challenge if you get a chance!

ShutterLoveTuesdays

Shasta Betty

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A little bit of backup

Backup is essential.  It’s good for a scuffle, singing in a musical, lots of sports and… photography!  I’m guessing most professional photographers already have a workflow in place that includes backup, but this is something everyone should have.  Think of how you’d feel if you lost all the digital photos of your kid when she was a baby?  Or all those photos of your dog’s tail

The degree to which you take it depends on you.

I’m OCD about backing up my photography.

Step 1:

Obviously, capturing photos on your memory cards, but I take it one step further.  I leave all photos on the memory card until I’m done with the whole backup process.  The ultimate goal is to have all photos in at least 2 places at once.

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Step 2:

Upload to computer.  Organize into folders.  Okay, if we lose the memory cards, we’ll be fine.  But what if your computer crashes?

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Step 3:

Copy files to external hard drive.  Now, the photos are on the computer, memory cards and external hard drive.  Sounds like a decent backup, right?  Until your house burns down….

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Step 4:

Upload to online database.  Whether you throw your photos in a Flickr album, or use a full online backup service like Mozy, now your photo files are safe from anything I can currently think of.

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I’d like to add that, as a normal person who has no sponsors and receives no incentive for recommending anything, that I love Mozy Home Backup.  It will backup an unlimited amount of data from any one computer for $4.95 a month.  I have over 100 gb on my Mozy and all I’d have to do is login and re download it if I lost everything.  I’ve done it once when I got a new laptop, works awesome.  5 bucks.  Awesome.  5.

I think you get it…

Another thing I am painfully drudging through is backing up all my film digitally.  Backing up 5 years worth of negatives with a film scanner is extremely time consuming, so I’m trying to tackle it in pieces.  The idea is the same, scan film, then onto steps 2, 3 and 4.

Another word of advice, don’t toss your negatives!  I did this, I treated prints like gold.  Then after 2 minutes of using the darkroom I realized with negatives, there is the possibility for infinite number of prints.  Imagine how much of my work I could show from when I was 16 from the negatives.  Before it was cut up and stuck into scrapbooks (because I didn’t think like an artist just yet).  I could really go for some 16 year old B&W portrait reprints on silver gelatin right about now.  Darnit, youth.  Just sayin’.

Shasta Betty

I heart (self portrait) faces

This week at I Heart Faces is the self portrait contest. This is for you profile photo snappers!!

I shot this hand held with a 50mm lens at arms length. My 50d is heavy. Just sayin’. It was windy that day and I had some crazy rock star hair, but I like my huge Jackie O glasses. I switched it to black and white because it felt right.

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UPDATE:
I'm also adding this one to Happy Monday Photo Challenge

Shasta Betty

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Show off your shot… and then she snapped

Here’s my shot of the week, which I’m putting up at:

and then, she {snapped}

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The sun was rising and casting a pinkish color on the mountains in the far background. I exposed to the sunrise, leaving our trees in silhouette, and just capturing the blue light through the icicle. I also had the contrast and saturation boosted in my camera settings.

Next… a tutorial on digital workflow.

Shasta Betty

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Black and White Edit

Pretty Puppy Carissa Panting on Thanksgiving. Edited and in black and white. My favorite things!

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Go check out these challenges, and vote for me if you are able and want to. ;)

The Paper Mama

Shasta Betty

Scenic Black and White

I shot this with a Hasselblad on Kodak Tri-X 400 film (that I developed myself in a darkroom and everything. I developed prints too, but this isn’t one of those) and scanned it with my fancy new film scanner.

I think it’s rather scenic for a close portrait shot. It just goes to show that sometimes you have to lay in the grass with your (well, technically borrowed) Carl Zeiss glass and enjoy the hills.

I’m accepting donations now for the Kelly-needs-this-Hasselblad-to-expand-her-artistic-endeavors Charity (dis)Organization. Or something like that… onto the photo!

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I think it’s rather moody and introspective and laid back at the same time. I loved this whole photo shoot in the parks of Yreka with that Hasselblad.

This is also an entry for the I Heart Faces weekly photo challenges, which I’m starting to enjoy on many levels. If you blog, enter photos; and if you enter photos, leave a link in the comments. I am interested to see what my readers do, and I don’t want to miss any of your entries.

Another thought… How do you feel about seeing some kind of linky-photography-contest here? I’d love to add another one of these contests to everyone’s weekly blog activities. Would you participate? Let me know!!

For now, go here to enter this contest from I heart Faces:

Love ya'all,

Shasta Betty

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eyes

Upside to photo challenges, you readers get to see mini photo posts more often.

Here’s one for eyes.  Chloe has the best puppy eyes.

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The Paper Mama

I promise a tutorial soon.  By the end of the week, at least.  Most likely tomorrow, but don’t hold me to it!

Shasta Betty

Shutter Love Tuesday

Mmmm, fall.

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ShutterLoveTuesdays

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Heart Faces

I’ve entered once before, but I’m hoping to make this a weekly thing, so look forward to (hopefully) weekly photo posts that are short and sweet and feature a pretty photo. :)

Theme: Paper

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Photoshop Action Sets

One thing I’ve really loved lately has been finding and playing with Photoshop action sets that others have created.  It inspired me to create a few of my own, automating things I use fairly frequently.

Here’s a sneak peak at a couple of the actions I’ve finished so far, which I’ve put to use on my work.  I’m also looking for a few Beta testers who will get the actions for free.  Email me at klsphoto@hotmail.com for more details.

Onto the actions:

Action Set 1 – Glamourize
This is a nice set with actions to optimize skin, teeth, eyes and overall photo look.  It gives everything a little “bling.”

Before (this particular photo was shot by Melanie, the woman in the photo.  She just gave me permission to play with it.)

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After

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This set smoothes the skin, brightens teeth and eyes and boosts eye color as well as overall color of the image.

Another one, before

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After

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I actually love the eye action so so so much, I don’t think I’ll edit another portrait without using it again.  It’s magical.

Action Number 2, I call Try-Ex and it replicates the look of one of my favorite films.

Before

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After

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This is one of my favorite films because it really sucks up imperfections and gives everything a vintage look.

Another Before

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After

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Action 3 – Great for sky and cloud landscapes.  I call it Roman

Before

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After

Before

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After

Action 4 - Finally, a nice vintage action.

Before.  I also used some of the glamourize actions on this before using the Vintage action.

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After

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Before

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After

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So, that’s what I’ve been working on over the past week or so.  I’ll post more actions as I come up with them.  In the meantime, if you’d like to test these nice actions out for free as a beta tester, get in touch.  Thanks!

SB