Chasing the Light {assignment 4}

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golden morning

8:30 am – an hour after sunrise

assignment: shoot the same subject using the morning golden hour, high afternoon, and evening golden hour light

This is the do or die assignment for me. I always seem to get here and then just quit. This time I was determined to get it done so I could move on. It’s not that the assignment is hard, it’s just that I am terrible with natural light. I read the assignment and all of its accompanying material, and one line kept standing out to me: This will not work well if its overcast. Well, it was overcast for TWO WEEKS! I had given up on trying to capture the three shots in one day but then it started to look like I wouldn’t get three shots in the same week or even month. I’m just glad I was finally able to finish the assignment. I can see the difference in the lighting and I usually walk out of my house thinking , ‘wow it’s the golden hour, look at that light”. My problem is having a camera with me or something to shoot when I am aware of the light. I will definitely try to make more of an effort to get out earlier for my photo assignments and themes. I’m sure it will be worth the effort.

golden afternoon

2:30 pm –  the fence in the background changed color with the same white balance setting and the pumpkin looks bland, the overall look is much cooler

golden hour night 2

5:30 pm – the hour before sunset — much warmer and darker than the afternoon shot

First Impressions

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magazine: Elements Photographic Techniques

issue: September / October 2013

article: Making A Good Impression

author: Pete Collins

steps: 7

time: 43 minutes

This article was extremely easy to follow. I had a little trouble with the background but that was more because my lack of Elements knowledge. I could have used a little more explanation but I was able to figure it out eventually. It also took a little longer because I was playing around with some of the settings in the filters that were used to get the look I wanted. I love how it turned out and I will be adding this to my list of techniques to use again. I hope you give it a try.

original photo

LOng Key Nature Center, Davie, FL

Sketch It



magazine: Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques

issue: September / October 2012

article: Turn Photos to Sketches

author: Larry Becker

steps: 9

time: 25 – 40 minutes

 I didn’t have any trouble at all with the easy to follow instructions. It is best to use some type of architectural photograph for this technique. Initially it took me 25 minutes to complete the directions. I was pleased with the effect but wanted to go back a few steps and play around with the color and how much of the photo should be a sketch. Something about this technique just fascinates me. Give it a try and have fun playing around with the coloring and amount of sketch in your photo.

Waves {assignment 3 – part 2}

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rolling waves clear


assignment – use shutter speed to stop and blur motion

Living in Florida is great. You can watch the sun rise over the ocean, drive 2 hours, and be ready for the sun to set over the gulf. I took advantage of the waves in the gulf to practice my shutter speed. I think you can clearly see the difference between a fast (focused) and slow (blurred) speed. I love to use the shutter priority setting on my camera during sporting events. I’m also determined to find a lovely stream or waterfall to blur nicely like I see in so many great photographs.

rolling wave blur


Check Mate { assignment 3 – part 1}

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chess depth


assignment – aperture – show depth of field

Depth of field and f/stops are the first things I really learned from a photography class. I always wondered how photographers could get a great close up of a flower or animal and yet the background was pleasantly blurry. I have many photos where I too have accomplished the depth of field I was looking for, but since I am trying to get through this class (I can’t believe how long it has taken me in between lessons. I hope to get caught up soon on the 5 I am behind.) I figured I should practice it again.

The chess board was poolside on a recent weekend getaway. As soon as people would leave the chess game, I would hop over there with my camera and try to snap a few photos to practice depth of field. I couldn’t seem to get enough distance between the chess pieces with the space I had to work with but you can see a difference in the background leaves. Not my best depth of field photos by far but I’ll save the pretty flower photos for a lesson I really need them for.


chess depth 2

Sunday’s Sky {banish boring skies}

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magazine: Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques

issue: September / October 2012

article: Banish Boring Skies

author: Diana Day

steps: 12

time: 20 minutes

In the beginning of this article where it tells you what kind of photo works best, in this case a boring white sky, they didn’t tell you to have a replacement sky photo ready. Luckily, I recently traveled to the Bahamas and had lots of great skies to choose from fairly quickly. Don’t forget to crop it down to just have the sky.

Other than that the directions were easy to follow. I had a little snafu in step 9 to actually get the new sky to appear but , I think I was just working on the wrong layer.

I tried this sky technique with a few different colored and clouded skies until I found one that I thought didn’t look fake. Some were just too blue and others left clouds in a funky place. I have listed this, along with the tilt-shift effect, as one of my favorite effects. This technique could actually save a ton of photos for me. I highly suggest trying it.

my original photo with the blown out white sky


The Bride {vintage color}

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bridal portrait 04/00/1994 Diane Lupton

vintage color – 1950’s

magazine: Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques

issue: May / June 2012

article: Vintage Color

author: Liz Ness

steps: 9

time: 15 minutes

The directions were incredibly easy to follow. I’m just not sure if I actually achieved the correct look. Although the article used a photo of a bride (which is the type of photo is suggests due to the bride usually wearing white and wedding photos are usually nostalgic), our photos are so different. The bride in the article has a retro look to her so she is more suited to the 50’s style vintage color I was going for. My photo doesn’t have a 50’s vibe to start with.

I still had fun and even tried the bonus option which I added below along with the original photo.

bridal portrait 04/00/1994 Diane Lupton

vintage color – 1970’s

bridal portrait 04/00/1994 Diane Lupton

original – 1990’s

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