Archive for the ‘Still Life’ Category


Many of my photos have textures added to them.  I like the little extra “something” that it gives.

You can find textures all over the internet.  Some are free, some will cost you an arm and a leg.

Wanna know a secret?

I *often* make my own textures through photos.


Here… I’ll show you 😉

First, here’s today’s pic –

ISO 1250 ~ f/2.2 ~ 1/250

Cool huh?

Here’s how it started…

This is what today’s picture looks like SOOC {Straight Out Of Camera.}  I took some old keys, tied them together with a piece of yarn and placed them on our wood floor.  Not a horrible pic, but I wanted to rock it out a bit.

Most of the textures that you can find online are just jpeg files that you layer over your original pic in Photoshop.

You can make your own by taking pictures of things you find outside or laying around your house!  For today’s pic I wanted to add more random wood grain to it.  The harsh lines of the wood floor were way too distracting to me.

The Hubs has an old wood pile outside.  I snagged my camera and headed out there to find some “texture.”

Here’s the pic I took –

I loved how it was burned on one end and had lots of cracks and rings on it!

AKA lots of TEXTURE!

After uploading the SOOC shot of the keys and the wood texture to my computer I got busy in Photoshop.  Starting with the SOOC pic of the keys I tweaked the contrast a bit to make the details in the keys and woodgrain to pop a bit more.

Next step was to “Place” the woodgrain texture over the original photo.

{Way back on Day 47 I made a quick video showing how to place textures in Photoshop.  Click here to check it out!}

After changing the blend mode to “Hard Light” this is what I had –

Looks like a step backwards in the rocked out picture category, doesn’t it?

Stick with me for just another couple steps and you’ll LOVE it, I promise!

I lowered the opacity of the texture.  That makes it a bit more “see through” allowing more of the original photo to show.

The big cracks from the texture were overlapping my keys a bit, making them look broken.  That was fixed with a few brush strokes and a layer mask.

I also cropped in a bit removing some of the extra “stuff” from the edges and bringing the focus onto the keys.

Two more steps!

To make the picture seem even more vintage, I added a black & white adjustment layer.  Photoshop allows you to tweak *all* adjustment layers so you can get exactly the look you are going for.  Play with the different sliders in each adjustment layer until you love what you see.

For this pic, I didn’t like it completely B&W so I added a creamy “tint” to it {an option found in your B&W adjustment panel window.}

LAST step was to add the verbiage onto the pic using the Type Tool.


From this –

to THIS…

Whaddya think?

If you weren’t able to follow along with my written instructions, let me know in the comments below.  If enough of you had trouble with it I can show you the steps in a video.

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Birthdays and Fieldtrips

Today Itty Bitty turns five.

My baby is five.


Itty Bitty is my wild child with a heart of gold.

Today was also Love Bug’s field trip to Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home.

What an interesting day spending time with 26 Kindergarteners!

Totally crossing my fingers hoping that Itty Bitty gets Love Bug’s teacher when he goes to Kindergarten in the fall.  That woman is ON IT!  Nothing gets by her.  She can wrangle 26 five and six year olds without breaking a sweat.

Mount Vernon

ISO 100 ~ f/2.8 ~ 1/1600

There were some jaw dropping Magnolia trees on the Mount Vernon Estate!

ISO 100 ~ f/2.5 ~ 1/200

Of course I couldn’t forget to share pics of my two sweet (if not sweaty) boys!!

The light was hitting Love Bugs eyes soooo perfectly!

ISO 100 ~ f/2.5 ~ 1/160

Birthday Boy!

ISO 100 ~ f/2.5 ~ 1/160

Last but not least, a couple quick snapshots from our birthday celebration tonight!

Lighting the candles

Five little candles all in a row!

Happy Birthday Itty Bitty!!!!

For all three shots – ISO 3200 ~ f/2.2 ~ 1/160

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Day 56

Have you ever had a day where *nothing* inspires you to take a picture?

That was today for me.

It probably didn’t help that I’ve had the worst headache all day, but usually no matter what something catches my eye and makes me want to take a picture.


What did I do?

I went to the room that had the best light {my den because the setting sun had light streaming in through our huge windows} stood in the middle of the room and closed my eyes.  Then I turned until I could feel the light on my face.  I told myself that I was going to take a picture of the first thing that I saw when I opened my eyes and make it AH-MAZING!

This is what I saw:

Huh.  Great.  A vase.

But wait!  If I contort my body *just* right I can get the sun shining THROUGH the vase!

Suddenly the plain purple vase exploded with color!  Oh yeah!  THEN I was inspired!  I took several shots but this one was my fave.  The colors were spectacular!

Find yourself in a photography rut?  Do something crazy {like standing with your eyes closed in the middle of a room} and step outside of your comfort zone, outside the box that we often find ourselves in and make something ordinary EXTRAORDINARY!!

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 100

f/16 {to get the suns rays shining through the vase}

Shutter Speed 1/100

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Being on time…


Today got away from me!  Usually I have a plan for my daily photo or inspiration strikes way before the sun goes down.  Not today.  Today I found myself wandering around the house looking for something to photograph.  I wasn’t even being picky.

Nothing caught my eye.


So I got to thinking how I was running out of time.  Which made me think of how we were *barely* on time for church today.  Each and every week we are squeaking in during the first songs after the mad dash to drop all the Littles off at their Sunday School classrooms.  Seriously, we know when we have to leave but can *never* seem to get out the door on time.  Drives me NUTS!!


My brain started thinking of time which reminded me of this old pocket watch that I found in my parent’s things.  I have *no* idea whose it was but it does have the initials LS engraved on the front.  From a few minutes on Google I was able to find out that it was made somewhere from 1890-1910.

I’m kinda in love with it.  There was a TON of old stuff in my parents things and it breaks my heart that their stories are now lost.  I’m hoping that because this watch has initials on it that I might be able to piece together who owned it.

Today’s pic is because the watch is beautiful to me.  The quote was to bring a smile to your face 🙂

Being on time...

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 1600


Shutter Speed 1/100

Today’s picture was taken when the sun was just about to go down.  There wasn’t much light *at all* so I was left with choosing settings that maximized the light coming in to my camera.

My ISO went as high as it could which I usually try not to do because it causes lots of grain in my photos.  I wanted a vintage feel for today’s pic so grain was GOOD!

My aperture was almost all the way open.  The face on the watch is completely flat so I could get away with having only a sliver slice for my depth of field.

Shutter speed went down too.  Fortunately the photo was properly exposed at 1/100th of a second.  Any lower and I ran the risk of breaking out my tripod!  {Did I mention that I was OUT OF TIME for today’s pic?}

The set up was nothing fancy.  I found a window in my house that was still getting a bit of light and held the watch up against a white wall right next to the window.  If you noticed that the top right corner of the image is a bit darker than the rest it’s because I blurred out my sweater sleeve!!

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Before they wither away…

Watching cut flowers slowly wither and die makes me sad.  What starts out so beautiful turns shriveled and ugly in just a few days.

No matter how often I change the water or recut the stems those blooms still fade away.  Hubs got me some sweet roses for V-Day and they are starting to wither.  To forever preserve the memory I snagged a stem and snapped some pics.

This one is my fave!  I added some text that made me think of the hubs.

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 400


Shutter Speed 1/640

For today’s pic I wanted to have the red vase showing, but not the focal point of the photo.  To do that I used an uber big aperture.  That helped to blur the vase a bit drawing the eye {I hope!} up to the bloom.

I used my set up that I put together a few days ago, but there was one problem.  Taking pictures with that set up creates a white background and my bloom was white.  In hindsight I totally should have draped a colored fabric over the background, but as they say “Hindsight is 20/20.” 😉

Adding one of Kim Klassen’s textures helped to make the bloom pop, but it needed more.

In Photoshop I added a Levels’s layer.

If you click on Levels this box will appear above your Background Layer.  To adjust your blacks and whites you can play with the sliders that I’ve circled in red –

With this adjustment layer I was able to adjust how white and bright my bloom was helping it to stand out from the background!!

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Day 45

Is it Spring yet?

It’s that time of year when I start to crave Spring!  The trees have been bare for too long now and I just can’t wait for everything to be *green* again!!

Color moves me and helps me get my groove on.  It’s been months of grey, brown, and everything in between!  Give me some oranges, magentas, REDS!!

Itty Bitty and I were snacking on some strawberries today and he kept dribbling the juice down his chin.  Each and every time he would say “Mmmm JUICY!”  It totally cracked me up which gave me the idea for today’s picture!

Combining my desire for color and Itty Bitty’s “JUICY”…

Itty Bitty's JUICY strawberries.

Shot with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Lens 50mm f/1.4

ISO 100


Shutter Speed 1/100

Today’s pic was taken with the same pic as yesterday {click here to see a pullback.}

There were two versions of this photo.  One focusing on the bowl of strawberries and the other focusing on the ones in front.  I chose the ones in front to emphasize the red color.  The bowl rocks {it’s actually my Grandmother’s} but the green on it distracted from the red when it was in focus.

The set-up that I used was pretty narrow so I had to use a wide open aperture to make sure that my bowl would blur nicely in the background.  Not too blurry though, you don’t want to loose all the details!

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