This week at I ♥ Faces, the challenge is "Before and After". This photo is one of my first pictures I edited when I began getting serious about photography. At that point in my photography journey I was satisfied with the results.
Well, I've learned a lot since then. This second photo is one I took during the past month. I applied many of the skills I learned here at I ♥ Faces in the taking and editing of this picture. I focused more on cropping, grabbing the catchlights in the eyes, smoothing the skin, balancing the levels, and overall sharpening the edges. Seems I've come a long way. Maybe the young lady in that first shot would be so kind as to allow me another photo shoot :O). To see other Before and After edited shots, just visit I ♥ Faces. You can even join in the fun!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Kali and Mark both had the day off, so we headed out to Me-Pa Ranch to ride the horses. This is what we heard when we got there:
Mona: Hey, Hershey! It's our 2-leggers! Our people are here! Let's go look all cute for the nice lady! Maybe she'll talk silly to us and then feed us!
Gus: Hey, Rascal! The Treat Lady is back! I wonder how many treats we can get from her if we let her rub our noses and our faces? I bet we'll even get an extra treat if we let her kiss our cheeks!
Rascal: I guess Kali is my new momma. I should be nice while she puts all this junk on me so she can ride. It sure takes a looooong time! But I'm a good horse, so I'll wait. Then, maybe she'll give me some treats! :O)
Rascal: She does a pretty good job - she doesn't even kick me hard to make me run! She just tells me to go and acts like she expects me to do it. Is she kidding? I'm going to make her work harder than that to get a nice ride! Oh, oops! I forgot about the treats...I'd better giddyup!
Rascal: Hey! Maybe Kali and the nice lady BOTH will give me treats! I hope Gus doesn't notice!
Hershey: What about me? Doesn't someone want to ride me? Just because I'm short doesn't mean you can't ride -- you just need to pick your feet up! A lot! Wait a minute! Who said I was short? I'll have you know I'm 28 inches tall! That's ride-able! Isn't it? Hey, Mona!
Gus: Look me in the eye! Concentrate! Focus on the eye! Now --- you want to ride me! You want to ride me! You want to ride me! (Is it working yet? Can anyone say 'hypnotize me'?) You want to ride me! (And give me treats!)
Gus: Does this silly man really think he's going to stuff that metal stick in my mouth? Is he nuts? Let me stuff a metal stick in his mouth and see how he likes it!
Gus: Oh, well. I guess he wins. Anyway, seeing Rascal out riding around in the big pasture makes me want to get out there, too! Maybe I'll let the nice guy ride after all! And then he can get me some treats!
Gus: That's really funny! He has to climb onto the trailer to get onto my back! Wow! I must be taller than I thought!
Gus: Whoa! He jumped on with no saddle! Ride 'em, Cowboy! Now, how about them treats?
This is the original "fix-it-friday" photo of the week at I ♥ Faces.
This is my first edit. I did my normal editing steps, then cropped, and blurred the edges. I also ran the mcpactions.com Magic Skin/Powder My Face action.
Next, I flipped the photo into reverse, and ran the mcpactions.com Color Magic action.
For this one, I cropped in closer and ran mcpactions.com Coloring Book action.
And this is my last edit. I sharpened, saturated, and ran mcpactions.com Magic Skin action. To check out all the rest of the edits for the week, just visit I ♥ Faces. You can even join in the fun :).
Sunday, August 23, 2009
One of the things I remember about growing up was sitting on the docks of Newfoundland with my dad fishing for cod. It was about the only thing you could catch in Argentia, other than blow fish :). My mom was the best fried cod-cake cooker around. When I saw that I ♥ Faces was running a nostalgia week, I thought about this shot of my daughter. It reminds me of times fishing with my dad. Actually, my husband took this photo and I edited it with mcpactions.com urban cover model action. To see some other nostalgic shots, visit I ♥ Faces.
I'll tell you right up front, this is not my usual kind of post. There are no sweet little babies, no cute little kids, no beautiful young ladies (not by a long-shot), and no horses, beaches, sunsets, or flowers. Just this:
Mark and Mike, his friend and co-worker, have been waiting for months for their gator hunt permits to arrive. Well, gator hunting season - permits required - has finally arrived!
Kali and I have been in the Atlanta-area for the past week helping deal with a family emergency. While we were gone, Mark was getting ready for this. Last night, Mark and Mike went out in the middle of the night and baited up seven traps. This is what they found in one trap this morning.
There you go! Two happy faces! That's a big sucker! (I guess it took the two of them to get that bad boy in the truck!)
Mark usually skins and cleans his kills. Fortunately, the processor was more than willing to handle this one. I didn't ask, but I am guessing the game and fish wildlike folks have a special procedure for processing these gators. I am just hoping we get some fine gator tail out of it. Does anyone have a good recipe for a dip to go with some yummy fried gator tail?
Monday, August 17, 2009
This week at I ♥ Faces, the challenge is bubbles. I am currently out of town. This bubble shot happened to already be in my photobucket file, so here is my entry. We were doing a photo shoot in the flower field and I thought the kids might like the bubbles. You know, a way to get them to open up :). You can go over to I ♥ Faces and see all the other bubble shots.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
You have to have the proper equipment to work with horses and donkeys. Well, at least if you are going to be walking where they've been walking. How do you like my pink boots - lol!
Mark and I headed out early this morning to pick up Mona and Hershey and brought them home to the ranch. They looked so little in our big horse trailer. They stood practically on top of each other the whole time.
When we drove up to the ranch, Gus and Rascal kept a lookout. I think they could tell there was someone new in the trailer.
After luring the big boys into their stalls with some feed, it was time to get the donkeys onto the field. Mona really didn't want to get out of the trailer. It took some coersion and I think Mark finally had to pick her up and set her on the ground - lol!
Here you can see us dragging - I mean walking - her into the barn.
Hershey made things easy by climbing out on her own. I guess she saw all that green grass and just went for it.
At least she made things easy, with the exception of getting all tangled up in her lead.
We moved the two of them into their stall in the barn. Mark had it set up with their feed buckets, hay, and bedding. Even though they each had a feed bucket, they both ate out of one bucket until it was empty, then went to the second.
My sweet babies :O).
Mark let the boys out of the stalls so they could check out the mini donkeys. It looks like Rascal is wondering what those little bitty things are.
Mona finally found the hay bale. It helped that I was sitting on it, holding a handful of hay out to her. She came right up to me and started eating.
Gus looking at them from outside the barn.
I love this picture of Rascal, so much you get to see it twice :), just because I can - it's my blog!
I love these last shots of Gus and Rascal drinking out of their water tank. You can see the water dripping off Gus' chin. What a sweetheart! (Hey, Mark! I called your big male horse a sweetheart :O)). We left the minis in the barn. We'll keep the big ones and the little ones separated for a day or two, until they get more used to each other. Still looking for one more horse!
Mark and I drove the jeep pulling the horse trailer out into the woods some humpty-dozen miles from the house this morning to pick up Gus. I believe Mark said Gus is a quarterhorse paint - if that means anything to you. All I know is that Gus is huge!
I went out to the ranch this evening and watched Gus and Rascal interact a bit. When we got there they were playing chase with the neighbors' four dogs. All four dogs scoot into the field under the fence. Then they run at the horses, barking like crazy. For awhile, Gus and Rascal ran around, letting the dogs bark and chase them. After a while, Gus got fed up with the litter yappers and kicked at one of them. All four dogs fled the field at that point. In the meantime, Mark was busy putting feed in their stalls in the barn. In the above picture you see Rascal and Gus trying to figure out how to get into the barn to get to that feed. They are on the wrong side!
Rascal was the first to figure out he had to walk around the barn and enter where there is actually an opening.
Of course Gus followed. No sneaking anything past him :O).
Gus finished eating first - he wasn't quite as dainty as Rascal - and he came strolling out of the barn. Looking all nonchalant-like. And I'll check the spelling on that later :).
I'm loving that picture, so here it is again - close up!
Rascal took a loooong time to eat. He savored every nugget. And then casually strolled out past me. (Looks like he's saying, "there's that lady with the camera again!")
I was hoping for some running, or galloping, since I had my camera already set on sports mode. But, no! They both wandered off to the back of the lot and played peek-a-boo around the trees. Gotta love it!
Tomorrow morning these guys come home! Yay!!!