Monday, September 19, 2011

Edit Out Breast Cancer

If you follow my work, you may have noticed that breast cancer is my cause of choice.  I have a sister, mother, and a large group of close girl friends I love so much.  I want to find a cure before breast cancer effects any more of the women in my life or the lives of others.

I’ve been donating 5% of proceeds from photo shoots to breast cancer through Passionately Pink for the Cure.  I also have organized a number of fundraisers.  In addition to running another event this upcoming October and a special photo fundraiser for Passionately Pink (more on that soon!), I’m going to start a regular feature here and on my photography business's blog where I will edit viewer photos to raise awareness and funds for Passionately Pink for the Cure.

Here’s how it works - send your sharp, high resolution photos to  I will edit them (for FREE), then post a 500px wide copy on this blog. 

I will retouch the photo using all the fun tools and actions available to me in Photoshop and post the before and after shots.

If you sent the photo in, you will be free to download the blog sized file and use it online to your content.  If you love the photo, I will sell the high-resolution version of the file for $25, all of which I will donate to Passionately Pink for the Cure.  The high res file is great for websites and printing spectacular photos to display in your home.

Here’s an example of a fan photo sent in by Melanie that I retouched recently.

231 composite

Now she has an amazing photo of her and her daughter to print and display in her home.

To participate, send your photos to  I’ll be posting a new edit every Monday for your viewing and fundraising pleasure.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Backlighting - Photo Challenge and a Peek at Post-Processing

Over at Rock the Shot (, they’re having their September Photo Challenge - Backlighting.  One of the sponsors is also Oh So Posh Photography who makes amazing actions.  So, I thought I’d share a photo I processed using Moonlight from the Bohemian Symphony Collection by Oh So Posh.

This was from a maternity shoot I shot a long time ago.  The light coming into this covered bridge was so pretty and the way it backlit her hair looked so angelic.
I didn’t do a whole lot to this in Photoshop.  As always, I do some clone stamping to smooth skin imperfections and sharpened the eyes just slightly so they would pop against the haziness of the photo.  I used a little dodging on this one to lighten her face.  Finally, I ran moonlight from the Bohemian Symphony collection to warm up the photo a little.
I love how hazy, glowy and warm she looks in the final photo.  What do you think?
Rock the Shot

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More Night Photography

There are so many interesting things to photograph at night.  Stars, lightening, and a multitude of interesting things that can be seen during the day, but have an entirely different look at night.  Here are a series of shots I took in the backyard the other night during a lightening storm, along with the how to and some exposure guides.
First things first, I took nearly all the landscape shots at ISO 400, F4.5 for 30 seconds.  The timing worked well with both the city lights and the lightening strikes (which were far away).  Some shots are brighter than others because there were more strikes, some are darker.  Lightening has changing lighting conditions, so it’s hit or miss.
You can take 2 approaches to this.  Shoot on bulb and leave the shutter open until the lightening strikes, then close it again - OR - expose for the ambient light and take enough shots to get a few well lit stormy scenes.  I used the second technique.  If your sky-scape will be entirely filled with lightening (example, you’re closer to the storm or have a really cool telephoto lens), I suggest the first technique.
The moon was a different story.  Still at ISO 400, but at f36 for 1/2 second.  The moon is very bright, so to catch details and not a large starburst-flare-light blur, use a small aperture and shorter exposure.
However, if you want to blur out the moon and take night shots that simulate daylight, open the aperture back up and go back to a longer exposure.  ISO 400, f3.5 for 30 seconds.  The shadows and window light have an interesting almost creepy effect.  You could take this shot in the day, but it wouldn’t be half as fun.
This last strange shot is of me walking around with my cell phone using a flashing lights app on my droid.  Walk around for 30 seconds with any light to get this cool trail effect in long exposures.
So, that’s about it.  Grab a tripod and a cable release for your DSLR and experiment.  There are so many neat things lurking in the dark for you.