Monday, June 20, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New blog site from me!

Hi my friends!
I hope you are having a wonderful week! I am just stopping by to tell you that I have moved...more about it later. But if you so desire you can find me here:

I hope to see you there!



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Texture Tuesday

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Davidson's mother, aunt and girlfriend to commemorate his graduation this Wednesday. Davidson is graduation with a business degree from Kennesaw State University and his mother and aunt came all the way from Bolivia to celebrate his accomplishment. They were just delightful to be with and I will be showing their photos as soon as I can edit them.
In the meantime, I selected one of Lorena, Davidson's girlfriend from Mexico. It is hard to take a bad picture of this girl; she is just that photogenic and loves having her photo taken.
I used Kim Klassen's pumpkin grunge and simple things textures.
Happy texturing everyone! Thanks for taking time to look!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May Flowers and other stuff

Do you have a lot of May flowers around you? Most of my blooms are not open yet. I am waiting for my pretty hydrangeas to put on their glorious show but I must be patient. My Knockout Roses were recently pruned to encourage more blooms so no show there. But entwined in my gardenias ( not blooming yet either) was a cluster of these purple clematis that always make me smile.
I am awful at flower arranging but this is the best I have to offer you. Hope you are having a wonderful day, my blogger friend. And that you will enjoy Mother's Day. Everyone is a mother in some way; to a child, a pet, a friend. So celebrate!

**Frugal Tip of the Day:
Make your own window cleaning solution. It is waaaay better than Windex. And it is "green".
Just take a spray bottle and fill with water about 3/4 of the way. Then add either white vinegar or isopropril alcohol and a squirt of dish washing liquid  and shake. You can used newspaper or a rag instead of costly paper towels. I would love to hear if you have tried it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Photo Feature Friday - Theme "Vintage"

Sadly enough when my mother died, my stepmother moved into the house with my Dad and threw out all of our childhood treasures from the attic. No notice to come and get our stuff or anything. So my old dolls, Ginny dolls, Betsy Wetsy and a special Hummel doll ( with real knitting needles in her hands) that my aunt and uncle brought me from Germany plus all my year books and date memorabilia are gone. I have nine brothers and sisters but I have not heard from them whether they were able to retrieve their priceless items or not.
But. my good friend, Paula, was gracious enough to allow me to photograph her old baby doll and carriage.
I can't wait to see what others have entered for "Vintage". Good day, everyone and blessings of the Lord be with you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Focus 52 April Showers and "It's Lady Charlotte, if you please"

Okay, so I know this is a stretch. But "April showers...bring May flowers" and so what if my posies are in the background. I just had to make my daughter the star of the show. :o)
Thanks for looking and have a wonderful week everyone!
 Forgot to mention how much I adored watching the British Wedding festivities! I love all the spectacular show of the soldiers on their horses, the horse drawn carriages, the Rolls Royce automobiles, the hats and of course, Prince William and his beloved Catherine. Weren't they gorgeous! Kate's gown was very elegant and classy, not as over the top as the one Diana wore in the 80's. And the handsome in their military gear. The fairy tale of it all was so very intoxicating. My ambition when i was little was to be a ballerina or a princess. I grew to be 5'10" tall, so the ballerina gig was out. And there were no nearby princes for me to meet so my early dreams fell apart. Ha!
I have been an Anglophile for a number of years now, enjoying Catherine Cookson's historical and romantic novels. So.....drum roll, please. I have decided that from now on, I am to be known as "Lady Charlotte". Come on, I am rather old. Indulge me. LOL

No more pretty dresses?

Taken with my camera so not sharp, sorry

Yesterday, I went shopping with my daughter, Katie. There was a sale on sun dresses and the ones in the circular looked nice. Now this is a pretty nice store in the mall; a department store. I was stunned at how ugly the dresses are these days. Is this a cruel joke? The prints are absolutely awful and gaudy! What happened to feminine, pastels and florals, checks, etc?

Here is another photo:

Prom Dresses??
Get a look at these prints!
I feel sorry for the young women who don't know how clothes used to look. They were so pretty! I remember almost salivating over the dresses, skirts and blouses at Lord & Taylor, Garfinkel's and Woodward and Lothrop. Being in a large family, we couldn't afford to buy too much though. But I could dream! Now I hate shopping. Looking for an Easter dress this year was a futile effort. Even online, I still had no luck. And another thing....just kidding. I am done ranting. LOL

What do you think?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Exciting new sites I discovered!

Blogging is like a maze of wires interconnecting with others of like minds. I don't remember how i found these new sites...oh, yes I do. I was reading Betty John's blog: and saw one of the buttons she has collected. It looked interesting so  I checked it out.
 Here it is:  From there I found this sweet site: And she led me to: where she is sponsoring a portrait contest. Well, that is my thing, y'all. I love flowers and all, but my real passion is photographing people. So I just had to get in on this. Oh, this is so much fun!

2nd Entry for Photo Contest

Ben has electric blue eyes,enhanced but not lightened with PSE 9

Smug Mug

Here is another discovery that you must check out:  It is all about shabby chic decorating. Just sooo pretty.
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Photo Feature Friday!

I just joined Tricia's group,  "Photo Feature Friday", a place where you can share your photos and tips. I love seeing other people's work and get inspired. So here are my entries: Constructive criticism is appreciated:

All the best,



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Photographing Children

Taking photos of busy little ones can be quite a challenge! Yesterday I brought some soup to my sick friend who was taking care of her grand children. Actually she wasn't "sick" sick. I think she suffers from allergies, known to afflict a lot of people here in the south.
Since I had my camera in my trunk, I brought it out to take some photos of K and C.
It was around 1pm and overcast when I got there. As soon as I attached my 50mm lens to my camera, the sun came out. Curses! This is not a good time to shoot pictures of people because of harsh glare, plus everyone is squinting to keep the sun out.

So, plan B; find the shade. I shot about 30 photos, but only could use 3; the one above and these:


Little Gardener

K with FB "Smitten" action

I know that there can be improvements here. Every photo op teaches me something.
Thanks for looking! Blessings to you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Resurrection Sunday: Focus 52 photo

I have to admit, I had a hard time with this week's challenge. Probably because with this being the most holy week of the year, my mind was not focused on photography like it usually is. I know the background is too busy but here it is anyway.
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Katie's Father

It is with a heavy heart that I write this posting. The father of our adopted daughter,my former husband of 13 years, is in the last stages of metastatic bladder cancer.
Katie got the text message from her step mother that Nick was taken to the hospital near Santa Fe, NM, and is in intensive care. Katie flew out to see him this morning, thanks to a good friend who gave her a buddy pass. With her, she took the tank top bearing the photo above, that she wore in a Marathon, running in tribute of her love for him.

It was always his dream (I shared the dream) to live out in the west. We have both had a love affair with the west for as long as I can remember. At one time we owned a house in Sedona, Arizona, but never actually lived in it. Well, he finally realized this dream and moved out west about one year ago. He and his wife and daughter are renting a house while their new house is being built. Moving day was to be Easter weekend. Now he is dying and the reality of his stepping over the threshold of his new house remains unseen.

Divorce is a painful thing for all involved. But no matter what, you always remain a part of that person. It hurts so much that someone I once loved and lived with, is suffering so much pain. I pray that God' will be done. You can't go wrong with that prayer.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Focus 53 entry for April 17

Normally, I would have waited until Resurrection Day or Easter as we call it now, to post this. But the theme this week for Focus 52 is Hope. This is the sign of my hope; the risen Christ.

In my early years I was raised a Catholic and I was a pretty good one then. But after high school, I became a wild child, unknown by my parents; they would have had heart attacks and disowned me. I was not living as a Christian. Remember the "me" generation; "if it feels good, do it". That was me. And along the way, I lost my belief in God. "God was dead" as the Time headlines said. It was a lonely time. And with all the freedom that I had to do whatever I wanted, I wasn't really happy.

So I started a lifelong search for the meaning of life. I studied a lot of different religions but they eventually came up short. Buddhism had some meaning for a while but that ended pretty quickly also.

When we moved to Atlanta, I started to read the bible from the beginning to the end. And as life would have it, my husband left me. Those hard times I think God uses to draw you near to Him. I needed Him and I cried out to Him and He heard me. He never forsook me. He was always there waiting for me.

Now in my "twilight years" I am so blessed to return to my roots; we are now worshiping at a Catholic Church right in our neighborhood and loving it. I am definitely wiser now.

Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Edits of the Engagement Photo Shoot

All afternoon I have been editing these photos. It is really a job, albeit a fun one! You have to remember to save the original and not to get too "fancy".

And remember to reflect the personality of your subjects.

And include one or two single portraits of each person, especially if they are gorgeous like this one.

And check out your surroundings to get the best backdrop for your photos.

And get different poses.

Kissing is encouraged!

Serene pose by a pond.

Instant frame from a cottage window.

It is so easy when you have such a cute couple!

 Another single portrait of F. Isn't she gorgeous? is in the air!

Sitting on an interesting tree trunk and whispering sweet nothings.

 Such pretty blooms to reflect her yellow top!

Can never get enough kissing shots. :o)

They are soooo happy!

They wanted a serious pose...this business of love and marriage is a serious path. I wish God's will and strength for this couple. Somehow I know they will be fine!

Thanks for looking! There is another post right below this one, about this photo shoot, if you are interested.

Engagement Photo Shoot

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of shooting photos to commemorate the engagement of a beautiful couple. Our setting was at the fabulous Smith Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw, GA. Sixteen acres of lovely blooms, trees and foliage! Doug, the manager, was gracious enough to allow them to use the apartment above the Carriage House to change outfits.

It was simply a lovely time. We shot between 9am and 10:30am. It was overcast but still bright. I encountered a problem: the bride-to-be, wore white, as did the groom-to-be. together, they reflected off of each other and created a "blow out" nightmare. I had my ISO set at L1, the lowest I could go. I wanted to get some good bokeh, but the 1.8 f-stop
still let in too much light. Here is the result:

I tried opening "as RAW" but a blown out picture is usually not fixable. I attempted to "fix" it by selecting the front of her dress and using a floral brush, and choosing the color of the lower dress, brushed away. But I don't like it very much. Maybe because I know that it is fake.

Good thing, it wasn't the wedding photos! I need to figure out what to do next time I have this situation. I am thinking that I need to underexpose? Anyone have any ideas out there?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Focus 52 entry for April 10 Theme Yellow

Happy Sunday to all of my Blogging Buddies! What a glorious day it is here! Sunny with just a little wispy breeze every once in a while.

This week's theme for Focus 52 is yellow. My first inclination was to ride through the neighborhood to check out some yellow blooms. But alas! Most of the yellow has quit by now. I mean the forsythia, daffodils and least around here. All that I noted were yellow pedestrian and other warning signs. Back to the drawing board.

Then I noticed that my little dog, Elmo, was still wearing his little jacket. He received his summer haircut a little early and since it has been somewhat chilly here, he needs the warmth of a coat.

You could say that Elmo and I are joined at the ankle; wherever I go, he goes. So it was a challenge to photograph him. As I would back up to take a shot, there he would be walking forward to make up for the space. LOL

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Magic of the Levels Adjustment!

My friend, Betty John, is the one who enlightened me about the Levels Adjustment Layer on PSE 7. My photos are usually underexposed, a problem that was recently solved. But it still helps to go to the Levels Adjustment. Let me show you:


It doesn't look too bad, exposure wise, to me. But let's check:

See that white triangle to the right of the input levels? If I drag it to the left to the first peak , it will make a difference in how the photo looks. Watch:

And here is the picture after the adjustment:

Much better, don't you think? Next flatten your layers.

Now look what happens when you go to make a hue/saturation levels change:

See how the background changes to more of a blue? I don't like it in this case, but don't be afraid to experiment.

Okay, now I am ready to continue with my edit. Of course, flatten at this point.

I don't like how the background is not all the way to the right, but we are going to fix that with the Marquis tool.This is a trick that I learned from Shauna at Flora Bella:

Now, you are going to grab the transform tool, shortcut is "Ctrl t". And then place your cursor on the right part of the line and drag it to the right, to fill in the purple background.
Like this:

See how that works!

Next, I am going to get rid of that little white line on the upper right by using the crop tool.

Now, that's better:

I like to do a "Screen" with opacity of about 50-55% like this:

See how the whole picture is lightened and has a softer look?
Next, I am going to run an action by Flora Bella, called Sweetness:

At this time, I like to add a texture so I am going to head over to my files by  Kim Klassen to see what I like today:

This is a Kim Klassen texture called "Life is good" and I applied it with the free MCP action {} that automatically adds the texture and gives you multiple ways of adjusting it. I chose Overlay and Color Burn, then selected each layer, I used a soft black brush with a lower opacity of about 75% and brushed away the texture from the flowers and vase.

I don't like the blank, stark white on the bottom, so I am going to do another texture called Kim Klassen's paper:

This is my final result. What do you think? :o)

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