Goings on

What have I been up to?

I have been using my camera, but it has mostly been for photographing clothing I have made.

When I started photography, I was looking for clothing to pretty up my shots.  I was taking photos of my kids, and Target t-shirts and leggings are just not that attractive.  I knew how to sew (my grandmother taught me when I was 12), so I started sewing.

This was one of the first outfits I sewed for my daughter.  My son is probably wearing Gymboree.

I sewed more and more, and started taking on hobby jobs for photography.  I underpriced myself, and gave a lot to the families, so I burned out within two years of taking on these occassional shoots.

It took a lot of time away from my family, so I decided that only shooting for us was the way to keep my sanity.

I make an annual book of photos on Blurb, and it is usually a pretty hefty album.  The kids have two sports each, so there are plenty of opportunities to take pictures.

The rest of the time I am taking self portraits and pictures of the kids in clothes I have made.  These are all documented on my sewing site: Stylin’ Stacy Designs.

I’m not sure there is much need for an additional “show you how to do things” photography site anymore.  There are tons of people out there that know more than I do, and are happy to share.  When I started this site it was before You Tube became a Thing, and before a lot of photographers were willing to share their processes.  Now, a quick google search can help you find just about anything!

I will update this site from time to time with, very likely, just some one off photography tips or explanations on how I made a photo.  I think it helps to see before and after photography.

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Updating site

Somehow my photography site ended up broken.  I could see my posts, but could no longer access the dashboard to add new things.  I couldn’t even extract the old posts from it.  As I am no longer trying to get photography business, I decided to start over from scratch.

Right now I am in the process of moving my photography tips over from my personal site.  Moving and updating and fixing broken links.

*sigh*

I am hoping to venture into a more creative site in future, but I want to get my photography into one site at the very least.

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Photography tips – Using a Wacom with Photoshop

If you don’t know what a Wacom is, it is a tablet mouse.  You use a special pen on a flat screen-like contraption and it functions as a mouse, but so much more precise.

In my new system, I got a Wacom Intuis in the 6×8 size.  Here’s my perceptions, tips, etc on it:

  • This size seems like it would be perfect.  The area on the tablet is the same as the area on your screen.  If you get one much bigger than a 6×8 you will be constantly moving around to go to different areas.  This size has enough room to draw, too.
  • I have it set up for the pen flicks, so I can copy, paste, delete, browse forward and back, pan up and down by just doing fast flicks with the pen in the designated direction.
  • Having the keys on the sides is really helpful.  There are several shortcut keys in Photoshop that I normally use, and now I have them set up on the Wacom.  It was really easy to do, too.  I just went to the program (under All Programs through the Start Menu) and added Photoshop to the appications.  Then I could set the Keystroke for the different buttons and the touch pad.  Now I just press the buttons with the pen or my fingers.  The user manual shows how to do this, as well.

The shortcut keys that I put in were the following:

  • B – brush
  • O – burn/dodge
  • Z – zoom
  • V – select/transform
  • C – crop
  • S – clone
  • J – one key is set for control, so I hit two keys for CTRL+J (this copies the selected layer)
  • [ ] – I set one of the touch pad areas for these two keys.  It makes your brush size bigger or smaller.

The other touch pad I left alone, as it will zoom in or out on the image.

It took maybe a week of fiddling around with it to get the hang of the pen.  I would really recommend this if you can swing one, because after processing all the images on the first session using it I was completely sold.  It was so much easier and quicker to do everything with the Wacom.  The only thing that would make it better would be if it was wireless.  I do believe you can buy a wireless one, but this was fine for me.

If you have any questions, just let me know.  I’m not very experienced with it yet, but I’m pretty much sold on it’s capabilities.  If you use one and have any tips to share of your own, please do! 🙂

Projects, projects

I have been in a bit of a photography rut lately, and rather uninspired.  Winter has a way of doing that.  Everything is white and brown outside, as it has been for the last several months.  In these subzero temperatures, you can’t really go out and shoot in the cold, regardless.  That means we are sequestered in our warm little homes, with children bouncing off the walls.  Some fresh air would do us all some good.

I started my self portrait project to try to get out of my rut.  It is starting to evolve into a different kind of project, though.  In looking at a few of the photos, they appeared as if there could be a story behind them.  Knowing there wasn’t one, as I took them in my home, brought me to thinking about creating stories for these pictures.

I like short story writing.  I used to do it a bit when I was younger, but since it was pen on paper they were really short. The hands do get to tired.  😉  This is just another way to be creative in my own design.  I’m planning on working them into a Blurb book as I go along this year, and I hope to incorporate some of Brian’s poems into it as well.  The really do deserve a good home and to be in print.  I have some photography ideas for a few of them.

My point?

It seems many people are searching for projects to help them be creative in their photography or just in general in their life.  Don’t be afraid to venture off into a different territory and create something that will give you some measure of fulfillment.  It is important to remember that these projects should be FUN, too.  For me, I’m looking forward to creating a piece of both myself and Brian that we can give our children.  I want to be able to show them that we have more in us than an IT Director and a CPA.   It may not end up being a masterful work, but it will be created by us and that is what makes it special.

Let me know if you are setting out on some projects this year, as well.  I’d love to hear about them. 🙂

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And since I find it hard to leave a post pictureless…here is a shot from last weekend.  We were at a friends house for dinner and the little ones were using Daddy as a jungle gym.  I don’t think this one needs any words, personally. 🙂