Sunday, July 26, 2009

Confession Time...

I'm going to say it out loud, here on the blog so you all hold me to it...I'm going to run the Spokane 1/2 Marathon in October.

Whew. I said it! I started my "training" today, building milage each week until I'm ready (ha! as if!) for the 13.1 on October 11. Four miles today and next Sunday with smaller runs and cross training during the week.

I must say, when I hit mile 3 today, the calves quit hurting and I hit my stride. Could have done 5 miles today, but I'm going to stick with the schedule so I don't burn myself out.

I'll be blogging about this as I go, not so much to report out to all of you, but to have a journal of sorts for me to look back on.

So, why am I doing this? A couple of reasons:
1. I hate running, and you should do at least one thing you hate and have to really push yourself for at least once in your life. That said, I'm kinda getting hooked on the "runner's high" that I'm starting to get...
2. I need to get in shape, and having a goal to aim for is pretty motivating.
3. My sister Megan is such a great inspiration; she ran the full Spokane last year! I love my sis with all of my heart, and truth be told, I wish I were more like her in several ways. So, I'm giving this running thing a shot. THANK YOU MEGS!
4. I want to say to Oliver that your physical health is important AND walk the talk.
5. Cool t-shirt at the end. (just kidding!)
6. Hey, it's something else to scrap about! HA!
7. It will be nice to have something to also "walk the talk" about when I'm teaching my students their Health units this year.
8. Running is good thinking time. Me time. Alone time. I plan to think deeply about the problems of the world, and I'll get back to you when I've solved world hunger and the problems with the Middle East.

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 11: Selective coloring

Day 11 was a refresher of sorts for me, I had taken another Photoshop class where I learned to add a black and white layer then erase the layer where you wanted the color to show. JS had us instead add a hue/saturation adjustment layer, drop the saturation to add a very subtle sepia tone, then use a black paint brush to mask out the areas you didn't want the adjustment layer to show. I like her technique much better as you can go back and use a white paint brush to touch up the areas you got a bit overzealous with. Overall, it's not a technique I use a lot, but there are some photos that just scream for this treatment.

This photo was shot by Shawn at the Pacific Science Center butterfly house. Nice bokeh babe! (bokeh is the term used to refer to the ultra blurred background behind a sharply focused subject. Don't I sound all smart and stuff! LOL!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day Ten: A mishmash

Yes, there is no day 9, it's a pretty subtle technique that I won't bore you with. However, today's photo incorporated Day 9: The photo edge burn. Day 10 was taking a photo through the use of: layering to adjust color, layering in texture, clipping to a mask, adding a transparency, adding type, and creating an edge burned effect (darkens the outer edges so that the eye moves inward). This was taken on the Fourth of July overlooking Lake Washington from my good friend Adrienne's condo. Thanks for the invite girl! See, I DID do something with all of those sunset photos! LOL!

SOOC shot:

The same shot, cropped and "funned" up:

I'm still not real happy with the placement of the text, I think I should have moved it down a smidge.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We now interrupt this phtotography/Oliver blog to...

FREAK OUT!!! You may all know I love Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman. I love her cooking, her photography, her humor, and her sweet kids. Man oh man, can she cook. I think I'm trying these the next time we all have a family get together.

THE PIONEER WOMAN HAS JUST LAUNCHED A WEBSITE COMPLETELY DEVOTED TO FFFFFFOOOOOOOODDDDD! Diet, what diet? 1/2 marathon in Oct? What?!?!?! Healthy, low fat meals? NAH!!! I am officially addicted to yet another website. Check it out!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day Eight: Using Type with texture

Yes, I know. There is no day 7 photo. Day 7 was a quiz to recap the week, and I must say I did pretty well.

Day Eight is using texture+text. I already used text on some photos (Xmas card this year!), so today was somewhat review. But, Jessica Sprague showed a few design tips and pointers with Photoshop Elements that I wasn't aware of. It's not even the "full" version of Photoshop (that's Creative Suite 4 or CS4, it's like $660 even with my educator discount...YIKES) but it is so full of functionality that it would take some serious doing to get me to "upgrade". Like winning a copy at But I digress.

I'm not including a SOOC pict, as I didn't change it very much. However, I love this picture of Shawn and Oliver (last year before he could walk), and I think it's only fitting that the text refers to one of our favorite Tom Petty songs.

I also used one of those cool old viewfinder frames for this. It put a subtle grunge on the photo, but I especially love the black edges. Draws your eye in.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day Six: Through the viewfinder...

There is a photo technique where DSLR users (the newest form of camera) will take photos through the viewfinder of old (and I do mean OLD) cameras, creating a interesting grunged, framed effect. Since most of us don't have old Rawleys hanging around, there are jpgs of these frames around that you can apply to your photos. Again, IN LOVE with the look!

SOOC shot:

Now, with the frame added, the hue/saturation sepia toned, a digital brush and text added (click the photo to really see the texture):

Friday, July 10, 2009

Something is up with my link...

I've already contacted google about it, but the previously working link for is now directing you to a weird "pipes" website. Sorry about that. If you'd like to view Ree's blog, just click the link in this post. Strange stuff.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Where oh where has this technique been all my life? Seriously, I'm considering ditching the whole "teach the future of America" thing and going back to school for design and photography. I'm only kidding about 60%, I'm 40% serious here folks...

Without further blathering, here's the SOOC shot of Naranda Falls on Mt. Rainier:

Here it is all "grunged up" with layers of (get this!) images of a brown paper sack, an old daguerreotype, and a piece of leather. Oooooh. It totally has that old National Park bridge built ages ago feel!
Hey Papa, we need to seriously talk about getting you a digital SLR! PRONTO!!! This is SO much fun!!!

Day Four: Clipping Masks

I already knew how to use these from Jessica Sprague's books, but today's lesson included another free mask. Good times, good times! Basically, a clipping mask "clips" your photo to another shape to give it unique looks. You know when you upload photos to snapfish or Costco and they ask you if you'd like a "torn edge" look? That's what a clipping mask does. Cool thing with doing it yourself is that you can draw shapes in Photoshop and turn them into clipping masks, making your own page templates. Here's an UBER simple one. I literally just drew four "rounded rectangles" on a blank background, went through the clipping steps, and wa-la! A Photomontage of one of our stops this weekend on Mt. Rainier! No, I didn't feed the animal...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Techniques from all three days...

Day Three: Using layers to create a vintage tinted look

Ok, I'm crazy in LOVE with this technique. Here's the SOOC (straight out of camera) image:

Now, with some hue/saturation layers and blending modes. Oh boy, oh boy. Melt my heart!

Day Two: Digital Brushes

Ok, maybe not the best use of a "digital brush" (think of it as a rubber stamp on the photo...freekin phenomenal and crazy easy to use and modify!!!), but you get the idea. Off to browse for brushes, or for FREE ones...I'm hooked. Officially!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day One, Jessica Sprague Photo Editing Class

Today we added a digital "transparency" to a photo as a frame (.png file if anyone is interested...) and a piece of word art. The style of the kit we are using is OK, but I know that has loads more where this came from that I'm sure I will covet and drool over. If anyone else is taking this class with me, be sure to post a link to your picture in the comments! (Eliza, I'm talking to you girl...)