Friday, September 30, 2011

I Clicked it Up a Notch - September

It was very hard to pick a favorite photo of the month this month, but since this one is my current desktop background and I have yet to tire of it I decided this would be the one :o). You can read more about my journey to capture and edit this shot here and here. Last month that was also one of the reasons I chose the photo that I did. I chose my August photo because I had shot it on full manual as well, which I did for this one too. I feel like I have been on such a journey shooting manual and that my ability to capture this night shot showcases that I have become more comfortable taking chances and tackling new situations with my camera. I can't wait to see what next month brings!

Settings: ISO 400, 74mm, ss3.2, f/6.3 (full manual on tripod)
Edited with Adobe Lightroom
"The day, water, sun, moon, night - I do not have to purchase these things with money." - Plautus 

Linking up with I Clicked it Up a Notch Contest - September. Head over and check out the other wonderful entries!

Click It Up A Notch

Favorite Photo of the Week: Clark Lake Sky 09.24.11

*Still a few hours left to link up with Tones on Tuesday*

After work today, I went back to Clark Lake Park and had the opportunity to explore the park more than I had the chance to on Saturday. I have some great shots to share this week, but before I do here is my favorite photo from this past week. It is also from Clark Lake Park and the sky is just beautiful. I love the light and the way the clouds go from stormy to light and fluffy. I edited it with Photoshop on Saturday and I liked how it turned out. However, I wanted to try it in Lightroom as well. I love how it turned out! I was able to bring out the light shining behind the clouds and the blue in sky. I love Lightroom :o)!

I had a bit of trouble watermarking this as my watermark was too big for the size I wanted to export it as so I had to export it and then add the watermark in Photoshop. Apparently this is a common problem in Lightroom 3 when a watermark has to be shrunk down. It was very irritating. I guess I need to do some more research on the proper size for a watermark. If you have any helpful tips I would be most appreciative :o).

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts and critiques.

Settings: ISO 100, 18mm, ss1/160, f/10 (full manual)
"There's a bright spot in every dark cloud." - Bruce Beresford

Linking up with these fabulous Friday link ups! Please spend a moment or two visiting the amazing photos of those who also participate!
   the long road Inspire Me 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good to Wow Edit: Fall Begins 09.25.11

*Please check out the announcements section to right :o).*

Yesterday I mentioned that Melissa was kind enough to make me a video demonstrating how to use the adjustment brush in Lightroom. I was so excited to try it out on my entry for Good to Wow - Fall as the sky turned out a bit drab, but I loved the color of the leaves. I painted the sky, which was tricky in some spots due to the many branches and individual leaves. I lowered the exposure and added a touch of blue. I like how my edit punched up the sky and made it look more like I envisioned it should. I still have a long way to go with mastering the adjustment brush and feel like it is not blended as well as it could have been. There is always room for improvement :o). I would love to know your thoughts and critiques. Thank you for visiting!
Taken with Canon EOS Rebel Ti1 
Settings: ISO 200, 55mm, ss1/640, f/6.3 (full manual)

Edited with Adobe Lightroom 
Adjusted basic settings and used the adjustment brush on the sky

"Ho! for the leaves that eddy down, Crumpled yellow and withered brown, Hither and yonder and up the street And trampled under the passing feet; Swirling, billowing, drifting by, With a whisper soft and a rustling sigh, Starting aloft to windy ways, Telling the coming of bonfire days." - Grace Strickler Dawson

Linking up with Good to Wow: Edit and Pixel Perfect Before and After Blog Hop. Check out the amazing before and afters! It is the last Before and After Blog Hop so be sure to take a look.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Learned: Clark Lake Berries 09.24.11

*I found out today that my sunset photo is in the running for Favorite Photo of the Month at Through A Photographer's Eyes. I would be honored if you would vote for me, or which ever is your favorite. :o)*

While there is no I Learned from Click it Up a Notch this week I find that reflecting on what I learned can be a powerful experience so I decided to do it any way :o). This week I learned that the community of photographers is not only talented, but generous as well. When I first started blogging and getting to know other bloggers I felt out of place. Most of the photographers I follow, link up with and interact with have kids or pets and take beautiful portraits. I have no kids or pets and I take landscapes. However, the language of photography seems to be a great connector and everyone is so kind and accepting.

This week I was lucky enough to have two encounters that lead me to this realization. One - Melissa who have mentioned is one of the people who led me to start this blog was kind enough to make a video explaining the Lightroom adjustment brush and give me some great information about sharing my photos. It was so helpful and I still can't get over how nice it was of her. Thank you Melissa!

Two - Misty at Through A Photographer's Eyes was kind enough to trade ad space with me. Her blog gets a great deal of traffic and mine is still growing. I really feel like I am getting the better end of the deal and yet she was still willing. If you have not visited her blog, you must. Her photos are AMAZING! Thank you Misty!

And thank you to all of you for reading! I am so happy to have you following along on this journey and welcoming me into the community. I can't wait to get to know you more :o).

Settings: ISO 400, 55mm, ss1/80, f/5.6 (full manual)
Edited with Lightroom - warmed up white balance, adjusted basic settings and used the adjustment brush to reduce the exposure on the fence (Thanks again Melissa!)
"I knew, of course, that trees and plants had roots, stems, bark, branches and foliage that reached up toward the light. But I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself." - Edward Steichen 

Linking up with these fabulous link ups! Check them out :o).

 The Paper Mama and then, she {snapped}

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tones on Tuesday #2 09.27.11

Welcome to the second ever Tones on Tuesday! With the difficulty I had last week in getting everything all set up, I am writing this post on Monday night and scheduling it to post tomorrow. I love that I can do that :o). Last week there was one entry, which made me a little sad. Then I realized that one beautiful entry is better than no entry and it can only go up from here!

Here is the entry from last week from Charlotte at Butterbean Row:
I love the brown tones, the detail and the drop of water. Very nicely done Charlotte and thank you for being the first Tones on Tuesday participant :o)!

Now for Tones on Tuesday how to's:

  • The basic idea is to share one photo where you have altered the tones. For now, a black and white photo or a sepia toned photo. Feel free to share the original and edit, or just the edit.
  • Please share a photo that you have taken and edited yourself.
  • If you have more than one photo in your post please indicate which one if for Tones on Tuesday.
  • Please link up with your permalink and not your blog address.
  • Attach our button to your post
  • Leave comments for the other participants, share the love :o)!
  • I will pick a few photos that catch my eye to share on next week's post.
  • Have fun!
Button tweak is in the work, so one more week of this one:

Disclaimer - By participating you give Scattered Horizons permission to share your photo on this blog. Photographers will be given credit for their work.

Here is my photo:
Settings: ISO 400, 55mm, ss1/160, f/6.3
Edited with Adobe Photoshop using Pioneer Woman's Vintage and Sunshine Actions
"First I shake the whole Apple tree, that the ripest might fall. Then I climb the tree and shake each limb, and then each branch and then each twig, and then I look under each leaf." - Martin Luther

Linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesday. Check out the other sweet shots!
Sweet Shot Day

Monday, September 26, 2011

Good to Wow SOOC: Fall Begins 09.25.11

This year Western Washington has been a bit behind. Summer weather came late and fall seems to be following suite. The leaves are just beginning to change and yesterday was the first day it really felt like fall with wind and rain, which continued today. The prompt for Good to Wow was Fall, which was a challenge with the late coming season. I finally found a few trees that were changing color, what I think of when I think of fall, and was excited because there was a break in the clouds. I captured a few shots and then the sun disappeared behind the clouds cutting short my shooting. I was glad to get the shots I could and am looking forward to bursts of color that are sure to develop as the season progresses.

My goal with this photo was to capture the colors of the leaves and some of the interesting light and clouds. I am a bit disappointed with the sky and light, but I love the color of the leaves. I am excited to edit this shot for Thursday as I got Lightroom back today. Oh how I have missed it! The simplicity and comfortable feel I have when using it is what I missed the most. Compared to Photoshop, Lightroom feels like an old friend :o). Don't get me wrong, I love the actions and creative possibilities in Photoshop, but it is still a bit overwhelming. I will keep learning though and hope to one day be skilled and comfortable with both Photoshop and Lightroom.

Please think about coming back tomorrow for the second edition of my new link up called Tones on Tuesday. It starts at 8am PST. All you need is a photo with altered tones - black and white, sepia, etc. Hope to see you then!

Settings: ISO 200, 55mm, ss1/640, f/6.3 (full manual)
"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - George Eliot

Linking up with Good to Wow! Head over and check out the other SOOC shots.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Project 64: Bittersweet Calf 09.25.11

Bittersweet was the color this week at Project 64 and I really didn't have anything in mind when I went out to shoot today. As we were driving between where I live and a town called Enumclaw I saw a number of cows. The brown cows had some bittersweet tones. The weather today was a mixture of wind, downpours and sun breaks. When I first saw these cows it was raining so hard I couldn't get a picture. We came back an hour later and I was able to capture this calf. My goal with the photo was to showcase the bittersweet color. In post processing, I cropped the photo and ran Oh So Posh Action Desert Oasis and MZ Golden Backlight.

Settings: ISO 200, 250mm, ss1/100, f/7.1 (full manual)
"Moo may represent an idea, but only the cow knows." - Mason Cooley

Linking up with Project 64. Check out the other Bittersweet shots!

project64 button

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Clark Lake Park Sky 09.24.11

Today was a busy day with finishing my book for book club right before having to leave. I had planned on going out to take pictures today as it was supposed to be sunny all day and it is supposed to rain tomorrow. I was running behind on finishing my book reading and pulled over at a local park, Clark Lake Park, to finish my last 30 pages and then take some pictures. It took longer than expected to finish the last few pages and I only had a few minutes for the photos. I was immediately drawn to the sky. The all day of sun turned into clouds as a storm front was moving in faster than expected. The photo below is the beautiful result! I love the way the sunlight is streaming in from behind the clouds and the heaviness of the lower clouds. My goal was to capture this with my camera and boost it with the edit. I really like the end result. 

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts and critiques!

SOOC (with a conversion to JPG from RAW)
Settings: ISO 100, 18mm, ss1/160, f/10 (full manual)

Edited with Adobe Photoshop
"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm." - Willa Cather

Linking up with SOOC Saturday. Check out the other photos!
SOOC Saturday

Friday, September 23, 2011

Favorite Photo of the Week: Sepia Fence 09.18.11

I had a really hard time picking a favorite for the week. I have come to realize that the challenge was not that I had a bunch I was in love with, but that I had a bunch of photos that I liked and not one that really stood out. The fair photos I posted throughout the week were taken last weekend when it was drizzly and gray. I miss the lighting that I had in photos taken in the sunshine. I know I am going to have this challenge in the future being as I live in Western Washington and rain is a staple most of the time. I still want to shoot outside, but I will have to combat a lack of "good" lighting. Have you come across this problem before? What do you do to make the most of a rainy day of shooting? I would love to know!

Back to my favorite for this week, I decided to go back to Sunday and my post for Project 64. If you don't know what Project 64 is, it is a weekly photo challenge based on a color crayon from the box of 64 crayons. You should check it out! It is the second challenge I found, after Click it Up a Notch's I Learned, and it really has opened my eyes to the colors in the world around me. The color for this week was Sepia, which was very inspiring for my Tones on Tuesday link up and for the photo I captured of the fence outside of my house. I love that I was able to get the depth of field I wanted and was able to edit out some spots and bump up the photo with a PW Action.

Thank you for visiting and leaving your thoughts and critiques! I am looking forward to resting and getting healthy this weekend!

Settings: ISO 200, 55mm, ss1/13, f/5.6 (full manual on tripod)
"Into each life some rain must fall." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Linking up with these fabulous Friday link ups! Please spend a moment or two visiting the amazing photos of those who also participate!

   the long road Inspire Me 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Before and After: Ferris Wheel 09.17.11

I came down with a cold or something yesterday. I am not feeling too hot today, but editing this photo made me feel a bit better :o). I took this at the Puyallup Fair on Saturday. I have seen so many gorgeous ferris wheel shots lately that I just had to try my hand at it as well. It was a rainy day and I was sad that the sky behind the ferris wheel was so drab. In my edit I decided to play with the tones using Pioneer Woman's actions. I think I have tones on the brain from Tones on Tuesday, my first link up I am hosting. I like the old photo feel. Thoughts and critiques are always welcome!

Still time to link up a photo with altered tones in Tones on Tuesday:
Scattered Horizons

Taken with Canon EOS Rebel Ti1 
Settings: ISO 200, 55mm, ss1/200, f/5.6 (full manual)

Edited with Adobe Photoshop
Used Pioneer Woman's Vintage and Lovely and Ethereal Actions
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go." - Dr. Seuss

Linking up with Pixel Perfect Blog HopHead over and see the other before and afters!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Learned: Wild Cat Rollercoaster 09.17.11

This week I learned that sometimes meeting my goal of posting a photo a day is difficult. Especially when I start a new link up. Yesterday I decided to start a link up called Tones on Tuesday, a chance to show off your photos where you altered the tones - black and white photos, sepia toned photos, etc. I ran into some problems with coding and images and my computer was not cooperating. Add to that getting home late from work and not feeling well. It was stressful to say the least. I stuck with it though and was able to get it up and running. I am afraid that the late posting may result in less link ups, but you live and learn for next time :o).

Ooh, I also learned I love Pioneer Woman's actions! Here is my photo from Tones on Tuesday just with a different tone. I used PW's Old West Action. If you have a picture with altered tones I would love it if you linked up with Tones on Tuesday here.

Thanks for reading! Critiques are welcome!

Settings: ISO 200, 32mm, ss1/200, f/6.3
“I'm always mentally photographing everything as practice.” - Minor White

Linking up with Click it Up a Notch for I Learned. Be sure to check out what others have learned this week!

Click It Up A Notch

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sky Diver Fair Ride 09.17.11

On Saturday my mom and I went to the Puyallup Fair, a Western Washington staple. We had scones, the signature fair food, and rode the Sky Ride for the first time. Then we did my favorite fair activity, looking at the photographs. I have always loved looking, but this year I saw everything through a new perspective. I wondered what aperture they used, if they used a tripod, if they shot manual, what the photos would have looked like cropped a little tighter. I had a new appreciation for how the moments were captured and I was awed by so many images. This was also the first year I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could enter a photo of my own next year. In the past I never thought I was good enough, but what I am beginning to realize through this journey and connecting with other photographers is that the beauty of an image is not necessarily directly related to how much technical knowledge you have. It is so much more than that. 

This photo was taken after riding the Sky Ride, which gives you an aerial view of the fair. It is of a Sky Diver ride that I was drawn to because of the purple lights. It was just beginning to rain and the sky was a bland gray. In post processing I wanted to give some interest to the sky so I played with the basic settings and then ran Pioneer Woman's Fresh and Colorful, Lovely and Ethereal and Boost actions. I would love some thoughts on how it turned out or suggestions on how to add interest to the sky in another way. Thank you for stopping by and for teaching me so much about photography!

Come by tomorrow for the Tones on Tuesday first ever link up!

Settings: ISO 200, 39mm, ss1/80, f/6.3
"If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun." - Katharine Hepburn

Linking up with The Creative Exchange. Be sure to take a look at the other fabulous photos!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Project 64: Sepia Fence 09.18.11

The color for Project 64 this week was Sepia. I thought the fence outside of my house was not a perfect match but it was full of sepia tones. I waited for the rain to let up a bit and then went out to shoot. I am still without Lightroom and learning Photoshop. I first warmed up the white balance and adjusted the basic settings. Then I used the healing brush to remove some of the spots on the fence. I kept some as I liked the imperfect look. Finally I ran Pioneer Woman's Lovely and Ethereal Action to soften the overall look. I think it added a bit of magic :o). I can see myself becoming addicted to actions. If you have any that you love I would love to hear about them!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts and suggestions. Don't forget to come back on Tuesday for the Tones on Tuesday first ever link up!

Settings: ISO 200, 55mm, ss1/13, f/5.6 (full manual on tripod)
"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be." - Robert Fulghum

Linking up with Project 64. Go show some love for the other sepia shots!

project64 button

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fort Ward Sunset 09.10.11

Today was filled with car shopping, which I did not like, and fair going, which I did. I came home to edit a photo to post and I realized that my trial for Lightroom expired. I ordered it but because I am a teacher and using the educational store I have to wait for approval. I am amazed by how much I miss it! I suppose something you use every day with wonderful results you will be bound to miss. In order to edit today I decided to download the free trial of Adobe Photoshop. I have been wanting to play around with it for a while as I used to have Photoshop a long time ago. My how it has changed! I really had no idea what I was doing, but after looking around on the web for help I was able to produce a pretty good edit. 

This picture was taken on Bainbridge Island at Fort Ward Park last weekend. The sunset had just ended and we were walking back to the car when through the trees this appeared begging to be captured. I love sunset photography, which I am sure you can tell if you look back through my posts :o). Since delving into manual and editing, I love it even more. The SOOC shot is beautiful, but I wanted to remove some spots, punch up the colors and do something with the sky. I used Adobe Camera Raw to adjust the basic settings and then began to find my way around Photoshop. I started by removing the lighter spots on the right by following this tutorial. I then added more color to the upper sky by following this tutorial. Finally I ran Pioneer Woman's Fresh and Colorful Action (my first PS Action after hearing about them everywhere). While it is certainly a creative edit and not a clean one, I like it!

Thank you for visiting. Thoughts and suggestions are always welcome! Don't forget to come back on Tuesday for the Tones on Tuesday first ever link up!

Settings: ISO 100, 33mm, ss1/50, f/13

Edited with Adobe Photoshop
Basic Settings, Spot Removal, Gradient
Pioneer Woman Fresh and Colorful Action

"Of course I realize that photography is not the technical facility as much as it is the eye, and this decision that one makes for the moment at which you are going to snap, you know." - Ben Shahn

Linking up with SOOC Saturday. Check out the other photos!
SOOC Saturday

Friday, September 16, 2011

Favorite Photo of the Week: Seattle Skyline at Night 09.10.11

I am going to keep this post short as I just got home from work not too long ago and I am exhausted. My favorite photo this week is an edit I did for the Shoot and Edit: Good to Wow Challenge. The theme was night and the tutorial was about reducing noise. This photo was taken from Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill looking at the Seattle Skyline. You can read more about my experience capturing this shot here. I love the perspective of the Space Needle from this vantage point and I love how this edit warmed up the shot!

One more thing...recently one of the link ups that I love was discontinued so the owner could pursue a new link up. Lisa at The Long Road to China used to host Black and White Wednesday and now hosts Favorite Photo Friday. When I found out Black and White Wednesday was ending I contemplated starting my own link up. In an effort to respect what Lisa created I emailed her about my desire to start this. I also wanted her to know that she was the one who inspired me. The outcome of all of this is a link up to start on Tuesday called Tones on Tuesday. A place to show off your black and white and sepia toned photos. I hope you will come back on Tuesday and link up! And finally, here is my photo :o)!

Settings: ISO 400, 74mm, ss3.2, f/6.3 (full manual on tripod)
"Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Linking up with the sites below and learning from amazing photographers! Be sure to check them out!