Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Photo Editing: Things I've Learned

The world of photography has been increasing in popularity and many are enjoying the leaps in technology that it's taken in the last couple of years...including me! Before I start,  I'll say this in the beginning: I am no expert! Just to make sure you know that. Here are some trial and error things I have learned from editing photo's. By the way, I use a program called Picasa. It's really the only program I've ever used, so I don't have a whole lot of experience with other software. I previously used the Window's Photo Editor, and then my dad downloaded picasa for me (I'm pretty sure it's a free program you can download).

The biggest thing I've learned, is: DO NOT OVER EDIT!
Okay, let me explain. The first time I found an editing program on my computer, I was super excited. I experimented with all sorts of different lighting and features. But because of lack of experience, I ended up ruining most of my photo's. I added too many shadows, and made the pictures overly bright with highlights, making the lighting look too vibrant and almost blinding.
 My experience with photography is that most people want their photographs to look professional. When I say "do not over edit" I mean that you want to enhance the lighting and effects without letting them "take away" from the beauty of the photo. Make the lighting look natural.
For example, here are two pictures. One is edited A LOT, while the other is edited to enhance. Can you guess which one is which?

Original photo:
 Photo #1
Photo #2

Personally, I like #2 better than #1. It's less blinding =). Maybe the example is a bit exaggerated, but hopefully you understand my point!

Lesson #2
This is something I've had to learn the hard way. Many a time, I've edited a photo and ruined it because I didn't make a copy of the original before I started "experimenting".

Lesson #3
Use crop! It's a great help. Although I don't suggest it as your main plan of action when taking pictures (meaning try to get a unique perspective on the item your photographing in the first place instead of just cropping it later...something I am still learning) I do think it's a great tool. Cropping helps let you get rid of excess picture space and directs the focus back to the main subject. For example, here is a picture I took:

There is lots of "excess space" in the picture.

So you can use crop to edit the picture and bring the main focus back to the flower AND make the perspective a little more interesting! I know on Picasa, and other editing programs, sometimes suggest different ways to crop the picture! Here's how I cropped it:

Lesson #4
Just have fun. Don't compare the pictures you take with the ones your friends or other photographers take, because that only discourages you! (I know!) Photography is all about capturing the moment and God's beautiful creation. Editing is another fun way to bring in the color your camera didn't capture! (or add color that wasn't there too!) Don't be afraid to experiment!

If you have any photography tips you want to add, feel free to comment below! I'm still growing in this area and I would love to learn more tips and tricks!
Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This week: an overview of the highlights

Captives (The Safe Lands, #1)

After about 20 minutes of wasting time on the internet (it wasn't really wasting, just postponing (literally!) this post) I am finally sitting down to write a semi-organized couple paragraphs about my life lately. Well, starting off, you had better put your thinking caps on, because you'll probably will have a hard time following my thinking (because, yes! What in the world could I post about that wouldn't be random, you might ask yourselves!). So anyway, to start off, I've actually had a good week. I'm serious. It hasn't been crazy of stressful (praise the Lord!) and I've actually had time to read! Yes! *stands up and does an incredibly clumsy and what many might call lame dance*
Savanna loaned me a book, and so far, I'm enjoying it! It's called captives by Jill Williamson.

Another thing I am excited about, is I think our cat, Midnight, is pregnant. I'm almost positive (don't tell Hannah that. She is very skeptical of my abilities in diagnosing cats, due to some mistaken diagnosis's!=) (I don't even know if that is a word! This will be her first litter, so the kittens probably won't survive. I'm guessing that Midnight is due in about two weeks, although I could be way off.  =)

Hannah's Birthday was on the 10th (Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I made her go on a treasure hunt to find her gift. *giggles with a hint of mischief* It was really quite hilarious watching her run around the house (I spaced the locations really far apart!=) hehe! Oh well, I made up for it. I gave her a frozen music book to play on the piano. I hope she liked it. Here are some of the clues I came up with. I had fun!

It seems to fly    
when I'm not looking
goes round and round
it's handles ticking

Answer: Clock

The smoke alarm's off again
I'm choked up with smoke
can't handle this cooking
It's gonna give me a stroke!

Answer: Oven

It growls and groans
In unsettling ways
but it's necessary to keep
the frostbite away

Answer: The furnace (it can be really creepy at night. It makes some strange noises!)

It runs without legs
It spins and purrs
Many have dreaded
this mile-length word

Answer: Treadmill

It causes nausea
And even despair
This mind twisting subject
Is hard on the hair

Pages and pages
of hateful equations
but on three twenty two
lies the next clue

Answer: Math book (look on page 322)

So anyway, I had fun with it. =)

Hannah has been watching Lord of the Rings with me! Finally! Guess what she said too? She told me she liked them okay! Yes!!!! I was excited. We watched half of The Two Towers last night. Finally I'll have someone to watch them with me!

I'd better get going! See ya!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring is here!?!?!?!

This week, I'm teaching a missionary story in the good news club Hannah, Kirk, Mrs. Weddle and I are teaching out at Riley. Prayers would be appreciated! It's been a really fun club to teach. The kids are really attentive and ask really great questions!
     I can't believe it's already April 9th! Spring IS here! Yippee! I went out and picked some of our daffodils yesterday! (okay, it made a pretty wimpy bouquet because they were the only flowers out, but, hey, they're cheerful!) I love flowers! I'm so glad it's spring. I was getting sick of winter;)
    Speaking of spring, we officially celebrated Hannah's birthday yesterday (since we'll be busy on her actual birthday tomorrow). I got her a pair of Nike shorts (they're light pink with a periwinkle and white stripe!) and my parents also got her pink shorts (hot pink) and a matching jacket. They're really cute. I think I'll have to bribe her to let me wear them (either that, or guilt her into it...just kidding!)
So anyway, that's mostly the extent or the exciting extent of my week....Oh yeah....I get to take the ACT on Saturday. Joy.  It's just for practice, but I'm still kind of nervous. Oh well, at least it isn't for "real" since I'm only a sophomore this year.
    I haven't gotten a whole lot of time to work on my room this week... I have a cork board and a white board/magnetic board that I want to hang up, but my dad wants to hang it "right". Plus, he doesn't want me using his tools (yeah, the thought of me with power tools is a little unsettling) because it seems like they always go missing after a project. Hee hee:) *guilty smile*
I'd better get going...
Until next time,

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Hey there! This week has been a different sort of week! First off, Civics/Economics class ended last week, and hence, I don't have to go anywhere today (I have more time to finish school! Yeah!). Another thing about this week that's been out of the ordinary, is this Saturday, we burnt our land! Now it looks all black and kind of depressing, but in a couple of weeks, (since we burnt off all the dead grass) it will be green, and super pretty!
Here is a picture of mom watching them burn:
It's kind of blurry because I was taking it from our upstairs window!
Here's some of after the fires died out:

I've also been working on my room and that's been really fun for me. I'm not very good at figuring out what works, and what doesn't, (just ask anyone in my family! I've been coming up with some pretty hideous stuff! =) but it's fun for me to try. I bought a white board/ magnetic board at hobby lobby yesterday, but I have to wait for my dad to hang it for me. For me, patience is not a virtue that comes naturally! Well, as I was saying, I've been working on putting my room together! It's still kind of a wreck (from me pulling stuff out, rearranging furniture etc=) but here are some pictures of my bed in process! I moved it to try to maximize space!
I want to get some throw pillows that pull together the blue walls, and the corral sheets. And in case you're thinking "wow, her room isn't as bad as she says" you should see the other half! I have piles and piles of stuff that I shoved out of the way! I had to spend about 20 minutes cleaning up the small area that you see! So, on that note, I'd better go start cleaning up! Thanks for reading! Adios amiga's!