Archive for the ‘Classes I’ve taken’ Category

Foto Friday: Found Alphabet

Friday, August 28th, 2015

This week’s assignment was to find a letter in the alphabet–specifically one of your initials–for your assignment.  Since I teach this exercise in my quilting design class, I didn’t want to go with the expected like a creek or shoreline or the neck of the pink plastic flamingo.   So I opted to take a photo of the top of the dining room chair, duplicate, flip, and tweak in Photoshop.  Fun!

Egads what a production!  Such a simple idea:  merge the tops of my dining room chair into an “S.”  Took eons with deleting, blending, re-doing, etc.  Finally used liquify when I couldn’t manage to blend the variations in the blue wall!  But I didn’t want to go find a stream or hose, so here we are!

Egads what a production! Such a simple idea: merge the tops of my dining room chair into an “S.” Took eons with deleting, blending, re-doing, etc. Finally used liquify when I couldn’t manage to blend the variations in the blue wall! But I didn’t want to go find a stream or hose, so here we are!

Been busy dyeing fabric and puttering about the house this week.  Hope to have a few more posts soon!

 

Foto Friday: Old Paint and a Tenth Blog-o-versary

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Hi everyone!  Happy Friday!  It is, according to my calendar, my TENTH anniversary of blogging?  How the heck did that happen, ten YEARS?   So I’m celebrating with TWO posts today.  The first is my Foto Friday from my 52-Week Photography Challenge class with Ricky Tims, and later today I’ll post about my Dinner@8 interview.

So this week’s challenge was Old Paint.  Here are my top three choices:

This is the photo I submitted as my class assignment. A picturesque (means falling apart) buidling on our property. LOVED this shot but it needed some work. Deepend the leaf shadows, then dodged the shadows on the left part of the hinge so it was more visible. Reduced highlights a tiny bit. Selected the cracked windowpane and lightened as it was too dark—overpowered the rest of the door. Summer in Maine!

This is the photo I submitted as my class assignment. A picturesque (means falling apart) buidling on our property. LOVED this shot but it needed some work. Deepend the leaf shadows, then dodged the shadows on the left part of the hinge so it was more visible. Reduced highlights a tiny bit. Selected the cracked windowpane and lightened as it was too dark—overpowered the rest of the door. Summer in Maine!

Here are a couple more:

This might have been my choice but once I was home (and didn't want to drive 22 miles back into town round trip). Had high hopes for this one, but disappointed in the depth of field…f/13 not enough. Would have been better with flowers and siding crisp. May try to head into town and try again.

This might have been my choice but once I was home (and didn’t want to drive 22 miles back into town round trip) I saw on my laptop that it wasn’t crisp. Had high hopes for this one, but disappointed in the depth of field…f/13 not enough. Would have been better with flowers and siding crisp. May try again the next time I’m in town with my camera.

Another shot of the picturesque (aka decrepit) building on our property. Why no door on the right? Because it LITERALLY came apart into a crumpled heap. And the plywood that has covered up the opening blew down late last winter. Need to fix. Soon. Autumn is trying really hard to begin! Decreased shadows a tiny bit, knocked back highlights a bit more. Punched up contrast.

Another shot of the picturesque (aka decrepit) building on our property. Why no door on the right? Because it LITERALLY came apart into a crumpled heap. And the plywood that has covered up the opening blew down late last winter. Need to fix. Soon. Autumn is trying really hard to begin!
Decreased shadows a tiny bit, knocked back highlights a bit more. Punched up contrast.

Other photos from this week are on my Flickr site, here. Happy Blogoversary everyone!

 

Foto Friday: Radial Symmetry

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
A tiny scrunch on the light end in Levels, smart sharpen.  Otherwise straight from the camera.

A tiny scrunch on the light end in Levels, smart sharpen. Otherwise straight from the camera.

Each week I learn a bit more.  This week’s photo challenge was Radial Symmetry.  I love Hawaiian quilts for that very reason, and wanted to try to make my own kaleidescope.  Jeannie Sumjall-Ajero has great software that, alas, works only on PCs, and I don’t want to bother with partitioning my hard drive, buying and installing Windows just to run her software.  So I tried to do it on my own in Photoshop.  It was a bear!  And in the end, I liked this photo of the bee best.  If I were to do it over I’d increase the ISO so I could increase the f-stop one or two to get both the front florets AND the bee sharp while keeping the background blurred out.  The background was our (ugh) dark brown house, but the combination of fast shutter and shallow f-stop just turned it to dark, which I like.

Here are my  better attempts, but after about 5 hours I threw in the towel!

A good idea, but I lack the knowledge of Photoshop.  Really wanted to create a 22.5 degree wedge/triangle, have 16-point symmetry, and a mask to create a star like a Mariner’s Compass.   Totally beyond me.  I’ve done so many edits I have no idea what all I’ve done.  This isn’t perfect—seams show, but enough for now!

A good idea, but I lack the knowledge of Photoshop. Really wanted to create a 22.5 degree wedge/triangle, have 16-point symmetry, and a mask to create a star like a Mariner’s Compass. Totally beyond me. I’ve done so many edits I have no idea what all I’ve done. This isn’t perfect—seams show, but enough for now!

RadialSymmetry45Grn

45 degree symmetry of bittersweet leaves and berries.

Another variation on the yellow-pink.  Like the other one better.

Another variation on the yellow-pink. Like the other one better.

Busy week:  Eli home from wrestling camp (pick up in Boston at 11:49 pm…home at 3:45 am…ugh ugh ugh).  Lots of work whacking back the goldenrod–bought a new brush cutter attachment for my Ryobi–LOVE IT!  Hair cut, visiting with Kathy, ice cream.  In other words, summer in Maine!   Also working on a project for family (lap quilts) and finishing an article for Machine Quilting Unlimited.  Got it sent off (it will publish in January), so more time for gardening.  And Saturday I head down to Lowell, Mass. to the Whistler House Museum of Art where I have two works in the current art quilt exhibit.  The Reception is Saturday–since my quilt is on the publicity I wanted to go Even MORE!   Stay tuned!

Foto Friday, Silhouette

Friday, August 7th, 2015

This past weekend we went on a 4 1/2 day trip to Nova Scotia and home via New Brunswick.   Gardening work and unpacking and starting on an article has distracted me (gee, who me?) from blogging, but promise I will.  This past week’s lesson and challenge in the Ricky Tims 52 Week Photography Challenge class was silhouette.   I tried a lot of things, but due to travel wasn’t at a time/place where I could do sunrise or sunset silhouettes.  So I ended up submitting a photo of the rigging of the Bluenose II (the Bluenose original is on the Canadian dime) in Lunenburg harbor.   Right click on photos to see larger.

adjusted levels to darken the masts, smart sharpen.  Lightened the sky by adjusting the blues slightly.  Slightly cropped on the right. The Bluenose II, a replica of the Bluenose which is on the back of the Canadian dime.  Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.  I liked the play of lines across the image.

adjusted levels to darken the masts, smart sharpen. Lightened the sky by adjusting the blues slightly. Slightly cropped on the right.
The Bluenose II, a replica of the Bluenose which is on the back of the Canadian dime. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. I liked the play of lines across the image.

Major thanks to Valerie Hearder, an art quilter in Nova Scotia, for replying to my email and suggesting stops and things to see between Yarmouth and Mahone Bay and Peggy’s Cove.  More anon!

Lightened vignetting in the top corners, crunched levels to darken masts.  Punched up sky with vibrance. The Bluenose II, a reproduction of the Bluenose on the back of the Canadian dime.

Lightened vignetting in the top corners, crunched levels to darken masts. Punched up sky with vibrance.
The Bluenose II, a reproduction of the Bluenose on the back of the Canadian dime.

The masts to the tippy top of the Bluenose II.  Essentially no edits.

The masts to the tippy top of the Bluenose II. Essentially no edits.

Photography with Ricky Tims

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

ERK!  Gosh it has been a LONG TIME.  I’m sorry!   I didn’t realize I hadn’t been here in so long.  As you might gather by my extended absence, I’ve been busy.  I’ve been prepping a new workshop that will debut in full in North Carolina in April (see my Teaching/Classes page for the workshop listing)–email me if you need a link to sign up, they’ve got an awesome online system, did a test-run of the class with a local group, have been working on a bazillion samples and writing an article for MQU (Machine Quilting Unlimited), did a quick trip to California because I’m now on San Domenico School’s (my old high school) Alumni Council

The lesson for Week 4 is to get a photo that is "sharp as a tack."

The lesson for Week 4 is to get a photo that is “sharp as a tack.”

AND …..ta daaaaaaAAAAA drum roll…. taking an online year-long workshop with Ricky Tims to improve my photography, Photoshop and Lightroom skills (the latter two were non-existent and I’ve improved to rank beginner).  So today I’ll share about week 4 of Ricky’s Photography class. In the next week or two I’ll get you caught up on the rest!

Earlier weeks focused (pun intended) on Selective Focus, Find a Line, and Windows.  We’ve also learned about organizing in Lightroom, using Photoshop, getting our copyright information into the metadata (basically digitally encoding it into the image so that if someone tries to remove the visible watermark, the copyright stuff is still embedded into the digital file/info..don’t ask me how, that is way above my pay grade!).

This shot was (duh) indoors, before I went out.  I think of this as "chaos, clutter, artist at work."  I've also taken some sketchbook courses online over the past year, and am learning to work more with watercolors.  I want to loosen up, have my art quilts be a bit more spontaneous (well, everything in my life pretty much could benefit from me being less of a control-freak).

This shot was (duh) indoors, before I went out. I think of this as “chaos, clutter, artist at work.” I’ve also taken some sketchbook courses online over the past year, and am learning to work more with watercolors. I want to loosen up, have my art quilts be a bit more spontaneous (well, everything in my life pretty much could benefit from me being less of a control-freak). Anyway, this photo is “tack sharp” from the closest edge the window and even into the view.  It was challenging because of the brightness outside, so I had to lighten the interior in Photoshop.

Since I’ve been crazy busy, I didn’t get out early enough this week to get the shot I wanted.   I got home from California between two storms, thankfully.  I got in before the “Big” Blizzard early in the week that dumped about 0-4 feet of snow—drifts around the house made it nearly impossible to figure how much we actually got.   Then yesterday, Friday, it started snowing again.  So I went out in the snowfall before it got too windy and thick to take pictures.  And took a few indoors, as well.  Eli will be pleased that I did NOT share the one of these with him trying to get out of camera range!

I totally love our view and took many photos.  I also learned a few things (some of which I knew but had forgotten) about taking pictures in "weather."

I totally love our view and took many photos. I also learned a few things (some of which I knew but had forgotten) about taking pictures in “weather.”  This is standing near the top of our driveway, looking down to the neighbors.  Our driveway is just this side of the line of dark green pines that partially obscure the neighbor’s house.

As for photography in weather,

  1. –a plastic bag around the camera  keeps it from getting wet from  melting snow
  2. –a lens hood to keep snow off the lens would have been a brilliant addition.  Next time.
  3. –a cloth (lens or cotton or linen) to wipe off the wet-from-snow lens would be good, too.  Fleece (my preferred garments in winter) don’t soak up enough water!
  4. –it is impossible to feel the timer button on the camera in gloves.  Why a timer?  Even with a tripod, if you are going to have a slow shutter speed (1/40 second or slower), using a timer helps avoid any wigging of the camera.  So gloves came off.
  5. –even if it is relatively warm for winter and snow (28 F, or about -1/2 C), even my fingers eventually get cold!
Looking West-Northwest to the pergola/walk-through to the big meadow.  There was a falling down fence when we moved in 4 years ago that is now pretty much fallen, but the posts are good snow-depth markers.

Looking West-Northwest to the pergola/walk-through to the big meadow. There was a falling down fence when we moved in 4 years ago that is now pretty much fallen, but the posts are good snow-depth markers.  I LOVE how you can see the streaks of snow falling in this shot…look above the pergola infant of the big tree.

A VERY large old apple tree (apples taste like yuck, but the deer and turkeys like them) and a huge birch tree on the stone wall/hedgerow between the big meadow and the downhill meadow.  Meadow is codeword for big open space that we don't mow but once or twice a season.

A VERY large old apple tree (apples taste like yuck, but the deer and turkeys like them) and a huge birch tree on the stone wall/hedgerow between the big meadow and the downhill meadow. Meadow is codeword for big open space that we don’t mow but once or twice a season.  This is where a cloth to wipe the lens would have been really useful.  But I like the photo so much even with the blots on it that I’m sharing.

The trees and scrub at the bottom of the big meadow; the driveway is to the right of these.

The trees and scrub at the bottom of the big meadow; the driveway is to the right of these.  Again, going for sharp through the entire depth of field–at least as sharp as the atmospheric conditions allowed.   Taken, as are all of these, on a tripod.

Eli is the only one (so far) to have tried out my Christmas snowshoes.  Got a quick snap of him going by just on the bottom side of the driveway--pretty much along the property line.

Eli is the only one (so far) to have tried out my Christmas snowshoes. Got a quick snap of him going by just on the bottom side of the driveway–pretty much along the property line.

So now I need to get to work in the studio…more samples to make for articles and classes!  Hopefully I won’t be AWOL for a month (absent without leave) before I get back and blog again!