Friday, February 12, 2016

{Friday Photo Bliss} Camping Adventures AND TERROR!

I am going to admit something that might shock and disgust you.

Ready for it?

We didn't watch the Super Bowl this weekend. Instead, we headed out to Huntsville State Park to camp.

We get no phone reception there, so we didn't even know who won the game until we got home. Which wasn't a big deal since I wasn't even sure who was playing. Yes, I am really that horrible.


There were a few other crazy people camping that afternoon, but they had RV's with satellite dishes (and warm heaters), so we had the park pretty much to ourselves that afternoon. We were able to get the best camping spot in the park and Duke and Imp set up camp.

You can see Imp is really doing his best to help Duke put up the tent.


This scenario reminds me of all the times my dear husband "helps" my dad do something and Dad stands there and and tells him exactly how it should be done. Without lifting one finger to help.


Sometimes I am convinced that Imp can read my mind. He somehow knew I was silently making fun of him, look at that face.

Maybe, like Snoopy or Garfield, my sarcastic thoughts are written in little bubbles over my head? That would explain SO MUCH...


The tent went up, no thanks to Imp. Paul inspected it carefully to make sure it was secure.

You never know what wild beasts might sneak in during the middle of the night.

Foreshadowing...


The afternoon was simply gorgeous. Not a cloud in the sky. We went on a little hike and then rented a canoe.

We quickly realized that canoeing was not easy, especially when you have two kids in the canoe doing their best to act like deadweight.

I unfortunately have no photos of our canoeing trip as I was sure we would flip over and I didn't want my camera to drown.


When we returned to our tent Paul brewed a hot pot of French Press coffee.

I heart him.



That evening we had a nice roaring fire and roasted hotdogs and made s'mores. 

The kids went to bed and Paul and I sat around the fire, chatting, until the fire had completely burned down. Then we headed into the incredibly cold tent.

We crawled into our frosty sleeping bags and quickly fell asleep, not realizing that in a few hours we would be brutally awakened; (not-so-literally) scared for our lives.

I will now resort to stock photos since the tent was dark and my camera was in the car. 

Duke and I suddenly woke up when we heard Paul mumbling "What is that? Oh yuck, what is it???". He had put his hand in something very soft and gushy and he completely freaked out.

His first thought was a wild animal had snuck in the tent and defecated by his sleeping bag. 

Yes, that would have been my first thought also... 

Paul doesn't camp much.

Then a smell of banana wafted to his nose. 


He frantically rolled around, trying to escape out of his mummy sleeping bag, shouting "There are bananas EVERYWHERE!"

It was very late, very dark, and very cold. Yet for some reason Duke and I completely lost it when Paul started screaming about the ATTACK OF THE KILLER BANANAS.

I think I almost died laughing.

Paul calmed down finally when he realized that the bananas were not going to hurt him, and we all went back to sleep.

Luckily Imp was so tired after putting up the tent he slept through the entire thing.


In the cold light of dawn we found one smooshed banana under Paul's sleeping bag.

Camping is not for wimps. And watch out, there could be bananas EVERYWHERE! ;-)

Have a great weekend!!!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

CoffeeShop Lace Photographer Storyboard Set!


Today I have a really pretty set of lace-framed photographer storyboards. These are 8x10 and can be printed or used on the web.

They are both layered psd file so you can add your images using clipping masks (tutorial and free action). In the example I used images from Jill Wellington (Etsy ShopFacebook, Blog, YouTube Videos, Pixabay).

You can also change the background color from white and change the lace frame color by grouping a color fill adjustment layer to that layer. You can also flip these storyboards 90 degrees to load horizontal images in addition to vertical images, so this set actually contains four storyboards.

I hope you find these useful!

Download the CoffeeShop Lace Photographer Storyboard Set. You can also download it here.


Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CoffeeShop "Gossamer Wings Dramatic B&W Storyboard" Photoshop/PSE Action and Tutorial!


Today I am so excited to walk you through my newest tutorial for Photoshop/PSE.

Vickie contacted me on Facebook and asked if I had a tutorial on creating dramatic B&W storyboards like the one seen below. I told her I hadn't put one together yet, but I knew exactly how I would do it and planned on writing a tutorial for this week.

Well, here it is!




I think this is a lovely way to create stunning custom storyboards and it is so incredibly easy if you use my Gossamer Wings action.

So today I am going to walk you through the steps to turn your color images into stunning faded-edges B&W images and put them on a simple white custom storyboard.

I love when my readers send me questions or make suggestions for my blog. Please keep them coming, I work for you!

CoffeeShop "Gossamer Wings"B&W Storyboard Tutorial:


For this tutorial I used some beautiful baby images from Jill Wellington (Etsy ShopFacebook, Blog, YouTube Videos, Pixabay). This image is gorgeous in color, but it is also very lovely in B&W.


Download the CoffeeShop "Gossamer Wings B&W" action and run it on your image. This action is also in my CoffeeShop Download Pack.


This is what the image looks like after the action finishes, no adjustments.


I wanted to remove some of the white off the baby, so I clicked to select the "Edges Fade" layer's mask and painted over the baby with a soft black brush at 100%. You can see where I painted in red in the screenshot above. (Press the " \ " key to see it in red on your computer.)


Sometimes when you run the "Gossamer Wings B&W" action the edges won't completely fade to white. This is an easy fix.


Double click the Gradient  Fill layer on top and when the window opens, dial down the Scale. I used 94% in this example, down from 150%. Then click OK.


Now the edges completely fade to white. I used a soft white brush to remove all of the Edges Fade from the center of the image.


Once I was happy with the faded white around the image I merged the layers. You can also just flatten the image.


To create your own custom storyboard, just go to File, New, and  enter the final dimensions  (8x10, 20x10, 5x7, etc.) with white as the background. For print make sure the pixels/inch is around 240.

Drag your edited B&W image on top of your storyboard and resize it and decide on its final placement.


Often you will see some grayish edges around the image against the white background and there is an easy trick to remove them. I discuss it below.


I like to add some contrast to the image, so I added a Black to White Gradient Map layer on top and adjusted the opacity to taste. This brightens up the baby.


Then I added a new new blank layer on the very top and grabbed a soft white brush and painted over any visible edges or parts of the image I didn't want to see on my storyboard.

If you paint too much, grab your erasure tool and erase it off that layer.


I ran the action on two other images and dragged them under the B&W Gradient Map and painted white layer. I used the top layer to paint out any discolored edges on the other two images using a soft white brush.

Once I was happy with the storyboard I just flattened it and it is ready to print! This entire edit just took a few minutes.


I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial. I would love to see your own edits on my Facebook page.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Sunday, February 7, 2016

CoffeeShop "Valentine Facebook Covers"!


Happy Sunday everyone! The weather is gorgeous and we plan on spending the entire day outside.

Today I have two new Valentine-inspired Facebook covers! These are simple png files so you can use them in most editing programs. Just drag your images under the frames and resize to fit.

The pretty images in the example are from Jill Wellington (Etsy ShopFacebook, Blog, YouTube Videos, Pixabay). The adorable hand-drawn frames are from The Graphics Fairy.

Download the CoffeeShop "Valentine Facebook Covers". You can also grab them here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Check out Jill Wellington's Gorgeous Birthday Goodies PNGs on Etsy!

I love Jill Wellington's work and feature many of her portraits on action and storyboard examples and tutorials on my site. She now has an Etsy store where she sells all kinds of amazing photographer digital goodies. Let her tell you about her newest birthday goodies PNGs!

----------------------------------------


Hi! My name is Jill Wellington and in my portrait photography business, I shoot many birthday sessions.


I work hard to create magic for each birthday child in every season.


But the props like cakes, balloons, etc. are very expensive and
take time and effort to gather.

That's why I created my Birthday Goodies PNG Overlays.

I actually bought and photographed real balloons in my studio
so the PNGs would look real in the photos.  They are not drawings or vectors.

I use these in my own portrait photography business and am
now selling them in my Etsy Shop for anyone to use! 



The balloons come in various colors
and I have a balloon bouquet.


I bought wonderful glassware from thrift shops, glued them together,
and spray painted them into pedestal cake stands.

I used them to photograph birthday cakes and made them
into PNGs. This means the background is transparent, so, like the balloons, they are
ready to instantly add to your photo.




I even photographed cupcakes!


And, what goes on the cakes? 

CANDLES!

Yes, I photographed every kind of birthday candle with a lit flame,
and made them into individual PNGs.

My candle collection is my favorite because I never need to
purchase candles or have young children around lit flames!

I always have the ages and candles I need.



I also photographed some of my fun birthday props like colorful rugs.




And, I have used this wonderful girly lamp in MANY photo shoots!


I also sell birthday backgrounds so all you need to do is add your child!


My birthday PNG props can be quickly added in any
editing program that supports the use of layers.

Simply FILE>PLACE over your photo, use MOVE tool to
position and size the PNG.  Mask or erase off areas where needed.

Upon purchase of the backgrounds, you will receive a link
to my video tutorial showing you how to add your child and match tones.

Ease up on the stress and create magical birthday portraits
the fun and easy way!

To visit my Etsy Birthday Goodies Gallery:


I hope you enjoy these goodies as much as I have!


Friday, February 5, 2016

{Friday Photo Bliss}

On Fridays I like to post my favorite snapshots of the week. This week the weather was gorgeous and we were able to spend so much time outdoors enjoying it.


We went on a five-mile hike at Huntsville State Park.


We haven't had much rain the last month and the dam overflow was completely dry so we were able to hike right over it. I think this weekend we are going to go back and rent canoes.


My guys.


I love pines.


I also love how the water sparkles on the lake.

Unfortunately we did not see any alligators or snakes.


Yesterday after school we headed out to the woods at the end of our subdivision. I fenced up the kids so I could enjoy a peaceful walk, but those rascals managed to escape.


We visited the super-scary swamp and didn't see any snakes or alligators. Sigh.


We hiked (well, mostly crawled) through incredibly dense brush. I brought quite a bit of nature home in my hair that afternoon and even found a small piece of vine in there this morning.

Note to self: Brush hair before going to bed.


We returned to the place of the giant hamster wheels and this time no children were harmed in the making of these images.


We found trees that had grown around hay bale rope.  Pretty cool.


When we got home we had quite the appetite, so I made goat-cheese/fresh basil/grass-fed hamburger pizza on an almond flour crust.

This crust recipe was sent to me by my sister Heather who is also gluten-free/primal and it is the best crust I have ever eaten. Simple to make and delicious!


After our long day my youngest was really exhausted and fell asleep on "his" leather recliner while watching the news. His snores were very distracting, they almost covered up my husband's snores. Snores in stereo, you can't beat that!

Have a great weekend!!!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


More from Rita:
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