Friday, December 31, 2010

Skywatch Friday ~ Sunrise 11-28-2010

Those of you who know me, know how much I love to take pics of the sunrise and I'll tell you, since I've been laid up from my back surgery, I've really missed getting out there with my camera! I'm a little out of practice, but it feels good to be getting back in the saddle again, so to speak!
Ohhh, to see those vibrant colors in the sky and capture them with my camera, just brings me such joy and I don't know why, but it just makes me feel alive!  Wow...I'm amazed everyday with the beauty of God's creation! 

Canon Rebel XSi
Canon 55-250mm lens
Manual Mode
Aperture f/22
Shutter Speed 1/40 sec.
ISO 100
Focal Length 84.0 mm
Manual Mode
Aperture f/22
Shutter Speed 1/100 sec.
ISO 100
Focal Lenth 84.0 mm

Now hop on over to SKYWATCH FRIDAY to see more beautiful skies all over the world!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Skywatch Friday ~ Saddle Mtn Under Pink Clouds!

I never get tired of this view!  I get to see it everyday, from my livingroom window, dining room window, sliding glass door and my bedroom window....I am a lucky girl for sure!  The sky is ever changing, minute by minute and I always have my camera handy, so I can capture it's beauty!

Hop on over to Skywatch Friday to see other beautiful skies all over the world!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Your Hands by JJ Heller

(***Don't forget to pause my music player in the right sidebar before you play the video)

This morning, something reminded me of this song, so I thought I would share it on here.  It seems to go right along with the things that are going on around us at the moment!  The lyrics are in the video, so I won't take the time to type them out.  Please remember to pause my music player before you start the video! :)

It was so great to be in church this morning and I have to was AWESOME!  The music was sooo good and the message was one that I'll never forget.  It was one of those where you lose track of time because you're so ingrossed in it and you almost don't want it to end! I don't know what's happening, but God is doing something in our church.....something really, really great and I love it!  Our church has really transformed into the church I always knew it could be.  One with people who are "real" and not superficial!  One with people who are loving and not judgemental! One with people who just simply love Jesus and One with people who have grace with other's, even when they may not deserve it!  Sure...we've always had a pretty loving church, but now it's's's real!  That's what happens when you go through major trials together and you keep your eyes on Jesus and not each other!

It's been a wild ride this past year, with so many trials and it's been so encouraging to see how our church family has handled them.  Of course, we are no where near perfect and yes, there are always a few who don't handle things well or in the right manner, but that's where grace comes in folks.

We're still going through some trials, with four of us recovering from major surgeries and with the loss of one of our dear members who is now in heaven.  Also, the time is drawing near, for us to part with our dear friend Dale, as the brain tumor overtakes his body.  It's so painful to watch this unfold, but soon he will be in heaven and he will feel pain no more.  My heart aches as I watch my sweet friend in anguish, as she takes care of her dad, all the while her heart breaking because she will soon have to say goodbye!

Things are bitter sweet these days, as we experience pain and loss in so many families and at the same time, we are also experiencing such joy and growth!  I'm so thankful for so many new families and for the family that joined this morning I ever remember all of their names? lol 

I hope you all like this song.  Music speaks to me and this song happens to be the theme of my life and of my church family's lives right now!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Skywatch Friday ~ A Glimmer of Pink!

I love it when the sky is pink!  Ok, truth is....I love any colors in the, red, violet, yellow, orange, gray or even blue! My husband often catches me gazing at the sky, just enjoying the beautiful cloud formations or the birds flying over and of course, I usually have my camera in hand. LOL These pics are sooc (straight out of the camera) taken on 3/31/2010.

(Taken with my Canon Rebel XSi, Aperture f/11, Shutter Sp. 1/15 sec., ISO 400, Focal Length 60mm)

(f/11, Shutter Sp. 1/60 sec., ISO 400, Focal Length 60mm)

(f/16, Shutter Sp. 1/8 sec., ISO 100 Focal Length 109mm)

(f/16, Shutter Sp. 1/8 sec., ISO 100 Focal Length 60mm)

(f/16, Shutter Sp. 1/8 sec., ISO 100 Focal Length 60mm)
(f/16, Shutter Sp. 1/60 sec., ISO 100 Focal Length 116mm)
I took this pic an hour and 28 minutes later and as you can see, the pink is gone and it's looking a bit dreary out. I just love how the sky changes from minute to minute!

Please hop on over to SKYWATCH FRIDAY and take a look at some other beautiful skies all over the world!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hummingbird Sillouettes

I LOVE MY HUMMINGBIRDS! These aren't the greatest pictures, but they're not too bad considering the fact, that I took them through my livingroom window. As you can see it was getting dark out, so I had to increase my ISO to 1600 and that's why there's so much noise (grainyness) in the pics. I was bummed about that, but I wasn't trying for prize photos....I just wanted a few shots of their little sillouettes. These little birdies are fast, so by the time I grabbed my camera, changed my lens and set my aperture, shutter speed and ISO, there was no time to even think about composition, I just started snapping pics. lol 

This one is my favorite! I wish I would have had a little more light, so I could have increased my shutter speed to freeze the motion of the wings a little more, but this isn't too bad for 1/800th of a second.  In past experience shooting hummingbirds, I've been able to freeze the wings completely, with a shutter speed of 1/3200 sec.
I wasn't able to move for fear that they would fly off, so I couldn't adjust my lens and zoom out, in order to get both of the hummingbirds in the frame. (Manual mode, Aperture f/5.6, Shutter Sp. 1/800 sec., ISO 1600)

This little birdie isn't as sharp as I would like, but I took this pic about 10 minutes after the above pics and it had gotten darker, so I had to leave it on a more open aperture to let more light in and I chose a slow shutter speed.  (Manual mode, Aperture f/5.6, Shutter Sp. 1/60 sec., ISO 1600)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Show Your Skills Linkup!

I'm participating in another Show Your Skills Link Up over at Everyday Elements.  I'm a little late posting this because I'm a little sick. *Bleh*  Anyway, my friend Amanda is hosting this fun meme every week, so if you want to show off your editing skills or if you just want the practice, what are you waiting for?  Come join in on the fun!

This is my edit and I've included Amanda's original image below, so you can see the before and after. 

I edited Amanda's flower picture in PSE 7> cropped to 4x6> levels adjustment> Photo Filter -Deep Yellow> Amanda's Color Intense action (color pop 13% opacity & intensify 15% opacity>  Amanda's Soften & Sharpen action (sharpened the stamen and pollen a little and softened just a tiny bit around the edges of the flower)> Primitive texture- softlight 81% opacity and erased it off of the flower. I can't remember where I got the texture from, but I'm thinking it is probably from Shadowhouse Creations.> added 3 of Patti Brown's overlays> Beach Glass- softlight 42% opacityForest Fire- softlight 93% opacity> Etheral 100% opacity and I erased a little bit of Etheral off of some of the petals. Lastly, I used the burn tool and burned a little around the edges on the duplicate background layerflattened> resized for the web.  Whew...and that's it!

This is Amanda's flower sooc (straight out of the camera)!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Show Your Skills Linkup!

My friend Amanda of Everyday Elements, is hosting this Show Your Skills linkup and this week, we are using her barbed wire picture with cow's hair tangled up in it! I've included her original image, so you can see the before and after.
If any of you would like to join in, there's still time and hey, if you want to learn how to edit your own pictures Amanda is a great teacher! Check out her website and all of her free video tutorials, plus free actions, textures and editing tips etc.  She also offers very affordable live online workshops, if you're interested and trust me, you will learn sooo much! 

This is my edit and here is a very quick run down of what I did....
Levels adjustment  50  1.12  222 > Hue/Sat adjustment> Saturation +22> Photo Filter> Blue 77%> added some overlays and a texture at different opacities, until I got the colors I wanted. I used Soft Light blending mode on all of them except one...on that one, I used the Saturation blending mode!  I darkened the barb underneath the wire just a smidge and I sharpened the middle of the barb just a smidge also. As you can see, I like may not be appealing to some, but I am drawn to warm colors!  :)
This is Amanda's original sooc image!  I love this shot and I thoroughly enjoyed playing with it in photoshop elements!  Thanks Amanda, this was fun! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Love Your Shot Link Up!

This is my first submission to the Love Your Shot Link Up over at Love That Shot!  I took this photo of Hannah Burk, in a recent photo shoot, for her senior pictures and I am in love with her gorgeous brown eyes and beautiful face!

Canon EOS Rebel XSi ~ 50 mm f/1.8 lens ~ Aperture f/2.8 ~ Shutter Speed 1/40 sec ~ ISO ~ 200 ~ Focal Lenth 50.0 mm  (This is my final edit and the one she will use as one of her senior pics.)  Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the original (sooc) shot and work your way up to see the Post Processing steps.
In this final edit I went back and darkened her lips just a tad and then I used the lasso magnetic tool to remove some of the texture from the background while leaving the color, then added a slight vignette  and I love the end result! 

Next I added a texture on overlay blend mode and lowered the opacity to 60% and used the magnetic lasso tool to erase the texture off of the skin, while leaving the tint (color). I then added the same texture, but this time I erased the texture off of the skin entirely and then I added one more texture on softlight blend mode, just to brighten up her eyes and skin a bit more.  

I did a clean edit using Amanda, of Everyday Elements Deep Clean 1 & 2 actions, which I adore. I removed blemishes, lightened up all of the shadows on the one side of her face, evened up her skin tone,  softened her hair just a bit etc. I then ran Amanda's Eye Tricks action and then her Newberry action and tweaked all the layers, plus I changed the color of her clothes by using the "bring out the blues" layer in Newberry. I used a white brush 63 % layer opacity and then just brushed over her clothes and raised the layer opacity to suit.

This is the original straight out of the camera shot and as you can see, it's a bit dark because the sun was setting and there wasn't much light left in the sky, but I was having too much fun shooting to stop! LOL

Friday, September 17, 2010

Post Processing on Hannah Burk's Photo!

Thought I'd share my Post Processing on Hannah's photo!  Hannah is such a sweetheart and a dear friend to our family and I appreciate her letting me practice my photography and photoshop skills on her!

This is (sooc) straight out of the camera!  I forgot to change my white balance, so it was on auto. Ugh!   As you can see her skintone, just isn't's a little too pink and the bright sun, made her skin too light on the left side of her face.  Then, the right side of her face is in the shadow, so that needs to be fixed also.

I started out in Adobe Camera Raw and did some tweaking there, but I still wasn't happy with the color of her skintone. Next I opened it up in PSE 7 and did a clean edit with Amanda's Deep Clean 1 and 2 actions (where I removed blemishes, evened out skintone, smoothed skin, burned her lips to make them a little darker etc.) and then I fixed her skintone with Amanda's Stix action. (As you can see, I also got rid of the shadow on the right side of her face and lightened up the shadow on her arm a little bit too!)

Ok, so now I softened her hair and then added the Rustic 7 texture, from Shadow House Creations, set to Normal -layer opacity 90% and erased it off of her skin and hair.  Then I added Patti Brown's Apparition Glow overlay, set to Screen -layer opacity 45%.  I then added Patti's Fantasy II Glow overlay over entire image, set to Normal -layer opacity 11%. Then I ran Amanda's Vignette Options action and only used the Multiply layer to darken the corners a bit. (Do you see the dark spot on her shirt up on her shoulder?  It's from the texture, so I had to fix that!)

I erased the Apparition Glow overlay off of the background in this image and then to fix the spot on the shoulder, I added a layer mask and chose a color next to the spot and brushed it over the shirt, with a soft black brush!

Ok, this was my final edit and in this one, I increased the opacity layer to 100% on the Rustic 7 texture and I like the end result!  I still haven't decided whether this one is my favorite or the image right before it. I was going for a very soft look and I think I accomplished it!  I just hope Hannah likes it too!  So there you have it....I listed the main steps to the post processing, but of course, I didn't list exactly everything I did to the image....just what I could remember, besides it would take way too long, to list every detail. LOL

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Andy & Dave's Road Trip Adventure!

Andy and Dave about to leave on their Harley adventure. These brother's need some serious bonding time!

Don't they look like "biker" dudes? Well, Dave really IS a biker dude, but Andy's just now becoming one!  LOL

Rev 'em up boys! Vrrroom, Vrrroom!

There goes Davey....oh, it's probably not cool to call a Harley rider, "Davey," is it? I meant, "Hey, there goes Dave, that cool biker dude!" hahaha

Annnd......they're off!  (I owe a big thank you to Jane, my sister-in-law, for taking these pics!)
Beautiful Scenery!

Dave chillin' on his Harley! Isn't he cool? This was taken at Craters of the Moon National Monument.

This is in Idaho!

I love this picture of biker Dave!

Before Sunrise in Arco, Idaho! Isn't this beautiful? His iphone takes pretty good pics!

This is highway 22 and Andy said, there was about 200 miles of this! LOL

My honey is home! Oh, how I missed him, but I'm so thrilled he had a great time with Dave. They will have to do this again, for sure!  In fact, from what I understand, next year they will be taking a trip to Alaska!  Oh....what fun they will have! 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Attention Shoplifters....Oh, I mean Photo-lifters!

I guess I will be creating a watermark for my photos soon, because someone swiped one of my photos off of my blog, somewhere around the 21st of July.  When I logged on to my blog sometime after that, it said a photo had been removed and I was shocked to find that my background was completely gone, just solid white! Fortunately, I was able to reinstall my background and nothing else was messed up, at least I don't think so, the rest appears to be ok.
Anyway, that's never happened before, so I wasn't sure what to do, but I think there's a way to track it, isn't there?  Does anyone know if you can track it, to see who took the photo?

Here's the thing....If any of you would like one of my photos, just leave me a comment and ask me if you can have a copy, especially if you're one of my friends or maybe you happen to be in the picture.....I would be more than happy to email it to you!  

I have so many pictures, that I haven't added on my blog for this very reason, until I get a watermark on them, so hopefully I will get to that soon!

Ok, well that about sums it up, so NO MORE PHOTO LIFTING....PLEASE!  Haven't y'all seen those signs in the stores that say, "Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted!"  Maybe we need to make a sign for "Photo-lifters!"  LOL 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Before & After Shots...Plus...Who I'm Learning My Photoshop Elements Skills From...

Here are some BEFORE and AFTER shots of Hannah (my friend's daughter), so y'all can see, just what you can do in Photoshop Elements 7.  These photos are just some of Hannah's senior pictures, that I've done so far, but I'm working on some more at the moment. (***NOTE: click on the images to enlarge!)

I love this one!  I need to mention that I used Amanda's actions on all of these pics......I LOVE her actions!!!  I also changed the color of the background with overlays in this one!

The original in this one is underexposed!  It was taken in a dark spiral staircase and we tried to get her somewhat close to the top toward the light, but no worries.....I fixed it in Photoshop! Now I just need to add a vignette and try some overlays to change the background a little.  I actually did this one in some brown tones with one of Amanda's actions and it's really awesome and I also did it in black & white, with another one of her actions.
I still have one more thing to fix on this one and then I will be happy with it, but I thought I'd share it anyway.  I need to smooth out her skin on the right side of her face, just a tad bit more, but this is definately a favorite of mine!  I used overlays, to change the colors in the background and I must say, that I LOVE Amanda's Vignette Options action also!

I really love this one, even with those rusty nail thingys, sticking out of the cement wall!  LOL  Oh and I used Amanda's Deep Clean 1 & 2 action on all of these pics.....I can't live without them, plus I also used a texture on this one.

I gave a shout out, for my friend/teacher Amanda recently on my facebook and so I decided to do the same here on my blog. I want you all to know who I'm learning all of my photoshop skills from.....I wanna make sure and give credit, where credit is due! Lol Fortunately for me, I happened upon her blog one day at Photography Haven which then led me to her Everyday Elements online workshops and tutorials where I signed up for her All About Actions online workshop.

I've always wanted to learn how to load actions into my PSE and learn how to use them and Amanda's workshop taught me just that! I joined her Everyday Elements Facebook Fan page  immediately and her flickr group (for workshop attendees only) where she gives a wealth of information and help and even critiques our editing to help us learn more and more about editing in PSE. If any of you out there are interested in learning how to use Photoshop Elements or actions, I encourage you to check out Amanda's workshops and tutorials, I highly recommend them. I actually won her online Advanced Intermediate workshop for free, through one of her giveaways in her flickr group.....lucky me! 

Anyway, to sum this up.....Amanda is very easy to learn from and is a very humble, generous, knowledgeable and an extremely helpful teacher. I just met her online, just before the first workshop I took on June 1st and now I feel as if I've always known her. I feel as though we are kindred spirits and we haven't even met in person, but sometimes you just know, when you've met a person of good character! I really hope and pray I can meet her in person someday, so I can personally thank her for all that she is teaching me and hug her neck, as we used to say, when I lived in the south. She really is a sweetheart, y'all.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

26 Blissful Years Together!

Today we celebrated our 26th Anniversary, so I thought I'd share some wedding pics with y'all! 

I'd also like to share something my husband wrote on Unifyer yesterday and I'll also share my response to him.  (Just in case you don't know....Unifyer is a communication tool used by churches and it's awesome.)   ***CAUTION.....YOU MAY THINK THIS IS A LITTLE SAPPY!  LOL

So here is what Andy wrote:

Things I Know About Marriage After 26 Years!

1. Marriage gets better with Age!

2. Love only becomes real through time, trials, and togetherness
3. To care for ONE person for so many years is indescribable. You HAVE to experience it.

4. Looking back shows you how far you've come.

5. 26 years is not very long, and I long for more.

6. Life After Kids is Awesome. (I loved having Kids, but they are not the highlight of our marriage)

I know that its a day early but I love my wife now more than I ever could imagine. I know that I have said that throughout the years, but it keeps growing to unimaginable depths. I never realized that love is so unstoppable and it makes me long for what our love will be in 26 more!

How can you have a marriage so full of Love?

1. Forgive one another daily.

2. Desire one another Hourly.

3. Prefer one another every minute. (put the other first)

4. Think of one another every second.

and learn how to do this through the ONE who taught it to us.
Jesus Christ.

Here was my response to what he wrote:

I'm in tears after reading this and I'm almost speechless because words can't even express my love for my husband!  Last night as I laid in my bed not able to sleep, I just watched my Andy, my honey, my best friend, sleep so sound and so calm and it made me smile, as I looked at his face and thought about how much I love him!

He means more to me than life itself and living life with him just gets better every day.  Our love just deepens more and more by the minute and the longing in my heart for him never goes away, in fact it just gets stronger and stronger!  I still light up when he walks through the door and I still want to spend every waking moment with him.

Being married for 26 years is a long time, but to me, it's not long enough!  I long for many more years to spend with my honey and he is so right......marriage does get better with age!  If it's this good now after 26 years......I can't even imagine how blissful it will be in the years to come!

I love you babe and thank you for loving me and for still making my heart go pitter patter, even after 26 years of marriage!  You're the best husband and friend I could have ever dreamed of having!  We were made for each other and I thank God for giving me you!  Happy Anniversary my love!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Surprise From Old Friends!

What a great surprise when I answered the phone recently and Wayne said, "How do I get to your house?"  I was like....what?  Are you here in town? Lol  As it turned out, they were driving through town on their way to Alaska, where they are being stationed in the Coast Guard once again.  We were so thrilled to be able to spend some time with them, after not seeing them for several years and let me tell you, they haven't changed a bit!  Oh and Wayne is still a hoot, just like he always was.....some things never change. haha  Anyway, Wayne and Cora if you see this.....thanks for the nice surprise visit!!!  We love y'all!

And now on another note.....I will be MIA for a little bit because I'm having back surgery in 5 1/2 hours and I don't know how long it will be before I'm up and able to get on my computer.  I know what some of you are thinking, "You've already been MIA, so what's new?"  Well, that's true I haven't been blogging a whole lot because I've been laid up off and on with my back for several months now and especially since February.  I think that's when my vertebrae actually broke off and is sitting on my tailbone.  Anyway, I won't bore y'all with anymore of that, I just wanted to let you know why I've been absent on here and why it will be awhile til I'm back on, unless my husband can figure out a way to rig my computer up beside my bed. LOL  Hope to be back on soon!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fireworks 7/04/10

Capturing good shots of fireworks is not easy, but I gave it a good try. I had to cheat a little on a few of these and lighten them just a bit in photoshop because they were a little dark.  Maybe I'll do better next year! Lol  These were taken with my Canon Rebel XSi ~ 55-200mm lens ~ manual mode ~ shutter speed set to BULB ~ Aperture f/16 ~ ISO 100


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