Fall Greetings

While searching for autumn inspiration,  I found a set of water colored plants that were being sold individually as PNG files. The idea was that they could be combined into multiple art pieces through a computer editing software. Though these files were unpurchasely expensive, I thought it might be cool to use a similar technique to create my project.

THE PAINTING PROCESS

Initially I intended to look over Botanical Photography in order to create realistic renditions of plants. As luck would have it, I was lacking internet connection, and worst of all a supply of acceptable looking specimens.

In the end, I doodled from my imagination. It went okay, I suppose. Just ok. Besides the plants, there was an additional page with just brush strokes of fall looking colors, ya know – just in case.

THE SCANING PROCESS

Turns out the scanner was not installed. Other than that, transfering the images from my sketch book into the computer went better than expected. The scanner illuminated any awkward shading in the white space that would have definitely been a problem had I used my camera. Only a bit cropping along the edges was needed.

THE EDITING PROCESS

The fall plant PNG files I’d seen for sale were individually placed on a clear background. My scans of watercolor plants did not have this luxury.

There didn’t seem to be enough time to go around each plant and cut them out from the white background. Instead, I used a filter to make the background somewhat transparent.

There was a lot of copy and pasting, sizing and readjusting. Plants were placed daintly around the edges of the card, words typed inbetween. Finally, I added texture from the fall colored page. It was  within the background, and also to the words.

Some fading was done… And it was decided the project was completed.

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Twenty Six Hour Drawing

The drawing instructor gazed at us with a smile spreading across her lips. “Create an imaginary world,” she said, enticing our imaginations. What was not as enticing, however, was the hundred sixty eight hours and  twenty four inch papers we had to complete the assignment.

Given that mermaids would be the easiest subject for me to draw, I settled on an underwater world in watercolor. My friends in the class; Paul, Amanda and Zach also chose their worlds and mediums ranging from acrylic to charcoal. In the evenings, we’d hang out in the art department to work on our projects – at least that’s how I remember it. Since it’s been a few years, well, there’s nothing like Facebook to bring back the memories. According to my roomie, the creative process looked something like this:

The RoomieMy wall elaborates a little more. In summery, I spent a lot of time singing on trees, dancing on tables, chasing and racing people down the art department,  sleeping in class and staying up till past four in the morning. Here it is, just for laughs: 26hourdrawing1

Kinda surprised that it’s not mentioned on there, but there was also an incident in which one of my classmates and I got locked out of the art department. We ended up climbing a ladder to a balcony which allowed us to squeeze through one of the second story windows. To our uttermost surprise, the drawing instructor was just down the hall from our entry point, seemingly staring in our direction. Thankfully, she didn’t see us. Otherwise, our little mission to get to our art projects late at night could have proven costly. In retrospect, my friends and I should have mapped out our schedules more diligently.

The night before the project was due, Amanda and I sat in our dorm hall for hours trying to complete our worlds. By the end of it, we were having incoherent conversations and fell asleep among the decorative furniture. The next morning, my roommate and our friend Jenny helped me color in the mermaid’s hair. I dragged the paper into class with a trail of colored water dripping behind me. Twenty six hours had been logged into completing it… it was nap time!

Underwater World, Age 20

Forbidden

A couple days ago during a meeting, I looked up and met the smiling gaze of the instructor.

“Good, I’m glad to see that you are taking notes.”

But I wasn’t taking notes… oh, I am such a horrible person!

In 1st ,2nd, all the way till high school, it was considered wrong. A distraction. Getting caught meant a blood red name up on the board displayed for the entire class to see. A destiny that involved staying in for recess.  Drawing during class was such a rebel thing to do.

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“Did you say you want us to draw on the table?”

I remember how surprised we were the first day of class as college freshmen.

“Yes, they’ve been covered with white paper so you may draw freely in class while listening to the lecture.”

No way. Finally someone understood. Within a matter of days, the tables were covered ink. Nope, they weren’t just doodles, they were professional grade sketches. Fragments of comics, storyboards, self portraits – you name it.

You can imagine the grief experienced by students the day we came in to find that the tables had been replenished with new white paper. It was horrible. Everything , all that brain storming, all those hours in class- gone!

Little by little, the white paper came back to life. Fashion sketches, zentangles, the human anatomy. When class was over and the chairs were up, the students walked out with one last glace. How long would their sketches survive?

Classroom

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Ok fine, I have to admit that back in elementary school we did have an exception to the rule. There was a designated drawing time. Our 1st grade teacher said that we could art during story time because it would help us focus. She was right – I just wish that it would have been enforced during all lessons!

Sophomore year in college, I bought myself a sketchbook. It just kinda goes everywhere. I draw during class, church or just randomly as inspiration hits. In case anyone decides to evaluate the ‘distractivity’ of doodling –  well, wondering thoughts would be worse, don’t you think?

Artistic expression should not be forbidden.

The Portrayal of Human Beauty Through the Eyes of an Ancient Artist

Throughout the ages, people have concerned themselves with appearances and the illusion of a perfect human form.  Beauty, however, is a fleeting frame of mind. What was once considered attractive is no longer main stream today.  Of course, this seems obvious. Fashion, make-up and hair styles change constantly… but so does the idealistic human form. I hadn’t really thought about this until recently while visiting Musée d’Orsay, The Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Rijksmuseum and other artistic collections. It was very interesting to see the contrast between models used in modern photography and those from ancient master pieces.

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While visiting Musée d’Orsay, it was noted that the women of ancient sculptures seemed to have smaller breasts and larger tummies than those used in modern art. Grace commented that art is often created in search of the ideal human body. Later on, after discussing the matter with several people, we decided that it is possible that the art better represented the women of it’s time.  For example, in previous ages women didn’t really work. In paintings and sculptures, they are often seen reclining. Hence, it is possible that women from ancient times were not concerned about exercising or gaining muscle.  We also discussed how in many cultures, fuller figures are a sign of wealth.  I had to look this up to verify. One website said that 2 “during the Renaissance (the wealthy and high standing) … began flaunting their large size,” and were represented this way in art.  There was another that stated the opposite, but of course, there are always two sides to a story.

Also at the Musée d’Orsay (though we did not visit their masculinity exhibit) it was noted that not much has changed as far as expectations for the perfect man. Statues, paintings, pictures… they all aspire to portray a well build form.  Even a vogue article stated that 3 “a man is “timeless”(but the same cannot be said)of a woman”.  Ifle students discussed this on various occasions. In previous generations, especially in ancient times, men engaged in physical labor. Naturally, they would develop a muscular form in doing so.  Now a day, most men work in offices. If they want to look like their ancient ancestors, they must work out in a gym. And still, this ideal vision of the male body has remained unchanged.IMG_5260 (855x1280)

Art collections around the world display the artist vision throughout time. It must be a great responsibility to capture the fleeting illusion of beauty. Whether sculpture, painting or photograph, generations will gaze up and strive to modify themselves accordingly.

References:

  1. STARR, BENJAMIN. “Classic Beauties Get A Shocking Photoshop Treatment.” Visual News. N.p., 08 Feb. 2012. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.
  2. “Dawn Center.” Dawn Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
  3. Sozzani, Franca. “Men’s Aesthetics. Let’s Discuss It.” Web log post. Vouge. Vouge Magazine, 11 Apr. 2011. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.

Images:

  1. Leda 1851 by James Pradier
  2. Grace gazes up at a piece in the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Geneva
  3. A vast hallway within Louvre

Note: I apologize for the lack of appropriate imagery to go with the title 😛

From 12 to 21

In art class, we were asked to paint something. Anything. Hardly any instruction given at all.  Well, painting portraits with Photoshop seemed to be working out. Why not? My roomate, a fine arts major,  sure makes it look so easy. The way she turns color and paper into seemingly effortless master pieces. It couldn’t be too hard.

I dipped  my paintbrush into a mixture of  gouache and water color. Well…in many ways, painting on the computer is certainly much easier than doing so on a canvas. My respect goes out to those who are dedicated in this field.

My art professor came over with a  slightly amused frown on her face. “C’est pour apprendre à faire le maquillage?” I shook  my head. No, it was not to learn how to put on makeup.  Showing her how my digital projects were composed made it worse. She did not believe that they were made from scratch. The computer had obviously evolved them in the same way textbooks say the world evolved without a creator.

There may have been one too many sighs of frustration. The teacher took the paint brush and carefully reoutlined  the features. During the next class, however, I was still trying to fix the shading. It still looked like badly placed foundation. “Oh well,” I thought “better work on that hair, eyes and foliage”.   >.<

Ignoring the badly rendered face, I finished with a satisfying grin. Surly, this new and improved project would show my progress in painting.
Amazon Mermaid, age 12 and 21You can imagine my dismay when I compared it against the Amazonian  toucan and frog I’d created at age 12. Why, the three of them really do seem to go together, don’t they? How fitting. Had a good laugh, then sent them off to Grandma who I’m sure will be delighted. Guess you can say that I’m being pissy because the 21 year old me couldn’t out do the 12 year old. 100_1707

Here is another Amazon themed painting. This one was commissioned when I was 15. Again, there wasn’t much instruction with this one either. It was supposed to represent “munchies”  and had the liberty to be interpreted any way I chose.

For some unexplainable reason, the result involved some tale in which Eve was a mermaid and the serpent was a parrot handing out chocolate covered doughnuts. WEIRD.  Oh, and if you look closely, the frog made another appearance. Well, kind of. They are not the same species.

Anyways… this got me into wondering how  artists often come up with similar compositions. How they can easily be recognized by the styles they develop and the subjects they choose.

Is it’s like  “Oh, let me draw another mermaid in the Amazon rain forest! ” or more “OMG, I randomly drew another person that looks like an Amazon mermaid!”

On further thought, guess it depends on each artist. Style can be inspired by interests, experiences, feelings and just about anything else under the sun.

Even drugs apparently O.o

But that is not something I’m currently interested in investigating.

Night on the Lac Léman

Went camping along the Lake Leman. By camping, I mean staying in cabins not too far from the water’s edge. On our first night there, Grace and I sat on one of the docks along the shore. Being there  reminded us of another lake in a country far, far away.

We talked about life and whatever else flooded our minds at the time. Both being interested in night photography, we turned on our DSLRs and challenged ourselves with the scenery.

IMG_9975a (1280x844)White balancing night shots has become my most recent issue. For this image, I lit up the subject in red and green light during exposure. Ugh! That yellowish tint still showed through!  Still, it looks better than the shots without the green and red light. Those were even yellower, probably caused by a lonely street light up on the road.

Lake Leman, maybe with MatterhornHere is a shot of the city across the lake. It could be anything from Yvoire to Thonon-les- Bains. Given our location, it was probably the latter.

I actually find this image very interesting for several reasons. First of all, do you notice that pink tint in the clouds? Given the time that this image was taken, it’s probably light pollution. That’s actually really sad. Had the night been clear and the moon gone, one probably wouldn’t be able to get good pictures of the stars.

The second thing (noticed as the picture was being up loaded) is the mountains in the background. Do you see that pyramid shaped thing? In the center, almost faded into the sky? Could that be the Matterhorn!?  It might be!

If it was, that would make me incredibly happy! MUSIC Age 15Painted this on commission at age 15.  The mountain was chosen at random but before coming to Europe, I realized that it was the one and only Matterhorn. This whole time I’ve lived less than an three hour drive yet haven’t found a way.  It was really my dream to see it but now that the time is up, even knowing that I’d seen it at a distance would be elating.

Google SnapshotOh, and here is a 2009 google image  of the dock with the boats.  The night we took the images, Grace and I were sitting on the next to the last platform on the right (behind the car).

Shadows Dancing on the Wall

Saw this image while cleaning out the hard drive. It’s of my favorite display at the Centre Georges Pompidou: Shadow Play by Hans-Peter Feldmann. It’s basically composed of little figurines casting shadows on the wall as they rotate on a disc.  You can just sit there and watch it for hours. It’s kinda funny under what circumstances I ended gazing up at this display.

IMG_5470 (1280x853)We were supposed to spend the day visiting Parisian museums.  The plan was too meet up with a friend who was running an errand. We waited at the Louvre for over two hours but he was nowhere to be seen.  Grace and I both reacted very differently to the situation. She was set on waiting longer while I wanted to explore the city.

In the end, we went out for lunch and later to the Pompidou. She introduced me to the display and we sat there in silence, trying not to worry about the situation.  We didn’t find our friend till much later that night. Thankfully everything worked out… but that’s a completely different story 🙂

 

Twirl Me

A week or so ago, I helped Kae film a choreography she’d been working on.  Being the first film project in a while, it was a little rough.  Guess that’s actually because  I’d never filmed with a 50mm Prime lens before. The result is not so bad though. Kae actually did an awesome job at editing and of course, her routine is fabulous!  LOVE it!

It’s kinda funny that the umbrella, which played such a big part, was complete coincidence. We grabbed it on the way out. Added that magic sparkle though, didn’t it?

 

Murals on the Wall

No, I haven’t quite wondered into street art yet – but digital art is something that I’ve been trying my hand at recently.

This is the first project I worked on. It was really an eye opener for how difficult digital art really is.First Digital Drawing Progress (1024x749)Guess it looks ok – but certainly premature with all the leading lines and stuff.

Next, I decided to redo AlleyCat, a character first created in Highschool. Both the highschool and Freshman versions where used to the final digital image.

Alley Cat Progress (1024x341) It took a whole month! I just kept having to redo things…her skin, cloths, hair. The eyes alone took 8 hours to complete. Finishing everything up was the best feeling. The improvement was so significant!

Right after finishing up AllyCat, I ordered a tablet. As soon as it arrived, the new project took off.

Fair Maiden Progress (1024x555)The tablet made everything so much easier and faster. Two days and everything was all done. Throughout this one, I also learned how to integrate images into the art. It was a lot easier to use pictures of starfish than to draw them out to the same extent of detail.

I didn’t trace this next one.  It just came out. Half way through – I went to the doctor to get an X-ray. They saw a medical procedure, but I saw an artistic opportunity.

X rayThe rest of the image had to be recolored to fit accordingly. Her eyes remained closed. I was still a little traumatized from spending 8 hours on the drawing board!

This is the most recent project I’ve worked on. FacesaIt was referenced from a drawing class assignment done between 3:00am and 4:30am on 2-17-2013. Really? 3am? When the hell did I ever sleep! The story behind this image is actually kind of depressing. We were supposed to draw an emotion. I was definitely sitting in front of a friend’s mirror at that ungodly hour crying for hours.

Anyway, there is still a lot to work on. The eyes came out horribly – but at least the skin looks more realistic!

Midnight of the Magic Flashlight

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Here goes to DAY2 of shooting midnight pictures at Lake Hennessey. This time it was seven of us on a Friday night after vespers.

We didn’t go onto the main dock because a group of fishermen beat us to the spot.  Instead we parked by the side of the rode, went through a gate and walked down a path to the water’s edge.

Having been there earlier in the week, the possibility of taking midnight shots was exciting. This time we decided to try out our skills at light photography.

Light Photography

From top to bottom: Our Group split in two. Grace, Victoria and Zach chatted under the stars while Ben, Larissa, Harrison and I took pictures.

Our first model was Larissa. We tried all sorts of different designs on her. The favorite resembles the popular ‘Nike Winged Victory’ from Greek Mythology.

I think Harrison was supposed to be holding a whip. He looks rather magician like, maybe a young Merlin or something.

Victoria came over for a quick picture. Well maybe the 34Sec shutter speed doesn’t imply ‘quick’ but compared to the other pictures we took – we did this one in one try.

Light ArtIt was a lot of trail and error.  Not only was it difficult to figure out the right way to carry a design, but the photographer and light artist needed to coordinate their actions. Both of us being film majors, Ben and I came up with an idea. Ready, Set, Action.  I pressed down on the shutter until he signaled to cut.

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Faceless Reflections

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Over spring break Zach, Kelanie and I found a magical field of grass. We spent the afternoon running up and down the hillside.

We spent most of our time taking pictures. While the sun was high in the sky, we used reflectors to light each other. As golden hour rolled in, we used the reflectors as props.

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I ran out of card space and Kelanie forgot her camera, so we took most of the pictures with Zach’s 6D.   This type of thing is a common occurrence. Sometimes my friends and I have to mix and match each other’s batteries, SD Cards or Cameras so that we have at least one working picture taking device.

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Both this and the picture above were taken by Kelanie. All three of us have copies of the images and we each edited them our own way.

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I can’t really decide what category to fit these images in. They are obviously portraits,  they are fashionable, artistic and arguably conceptual.
Oh well, whatever, they were fun to create 😀

Lady with an Ermine

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For my portraiture class, we were supposed to recreate a well-known image.

I chose to do Lady with an Ermine. I asked Amanda to help me out with the project. She is usually helping me behind the camera, but this time she would be in the spotlight.

After doing a little research, I found out that a lot of people mistook the ermine for a ferret. That gave me an idea. I asked my teacher, Amy, if I could borrow Phoebe for the project. She agreed 😀

Lady with an Ermine

I researched and looked at other recreations for inspiration. Some of them were closer than others to the original image.

IMG_0271Brandon and Sam came in to help with the photoshoot.

It took a little while into coaxing Phoebe into modeling for us, but once she was ready, we got some really good shots.
This was definitely a fun one.

Floating American Dream

This past weekend I was kayaking with my friend Zach when we came upon a peculiar sight. There was a house floating in the middle of the river! What a crazy sight for sure! The house looked abandoned except for the solar panels on the roof top. Zach and I where like “Oh, what a nice location to make a film!” but upon closer investigation, we saw signs that said “Please Respect My Home” and so we circled around the property but didn’t touch it.  On the nearby shore, we found a log with wooden steps and a canoe hidden in the foliage. Zach and I banked our kayaks, climbed up the log and set off to explore.
The sight was absolutely breath taking. The forest was thick with luscious foliage and the river water shone in various shades of blue and green.

We hiked quite a ways down the trails but had to return after finding a series of sketchy things. Not only that but the temperature was significantly lower than at the river. I was shattering, shivering and couldn’t feel any fingers or toes! 

Back on the river, this is one of the last images I took of the floating house.
There is something aesthetically pleasing about viewing the weathered remains of furniture in someone’s floating back yard. The pastel colors and the texture really bring character to the objects. They have been somewhere – they have stories to tell- they speak on behalf of the owner. As I was staring at this sight, I was much inspired/reminded of William Eggleston’s work.  As a pioneer of color photography, this man had the ability of turning a mundane situation into a memorable photograph.  I hope that in taking this image I was able to capture the beauty among the ordinary as  Eggleston would have done.

Making Dreams in Film and Digital


I recruited my roommate Cheyenne to help me out with a film/digital project. In between studying, I did her hair and makeup. The carnival inspired eyeliner and hair bow made her look like a little kid. Had her dress in a pretty blue dress, got some baloons and we were ready to go!

The point of the photoshoot was to capture angel lighting on film, but I decided to take advantage of the situation and capture some images on Digital that could later be manipulated.  The Result: 
I call this one “Underwater Dreaming”

Within it, Cheyenne’s reflection can be seen, as if she was resting right beneath the water’s surface.

This one is “The Fairy Tale Dream”
It’s the happily-ever-after she is dreaming.
I am super glad that Cheyenne’s boyfriend, Boris was able to dress up and come help! He actually held the reflectors so we could light up Cheyenne’s face. On the account that it was their 6th month anniversary, I took an extra series of pictures just for them. They looked so cute!

This last one is titled “The Nightmare”
It’s when she wakes up form her beautiful dream.

During the photoshoot, one of the balloons accidentally popped.  Chey immediately made a sadface and I was like “Hold it, this is perfect!”  I later had to alter the image digitally in order to get her and the grass in different degrees of light.

A few days after the  photoshoot, I went in to develop the images captured in film pictures. I have to admit, this was my worst experience in developing film ever!
To being with, I was worried about something else and was not focused on what I was doing. Halfway through the process, I absentmindedly opened the canister,  freaked out then closed it as soon as I realized what had happened.

Soon after, I spilled fixer all over my shirt and had to take it off and let it dry in the ‘film drying closet’. While the film it’self was drying off, Kelsie came over and we took pictures in the studio just for fun. Unfortunally, and because I was wearing my hoodie, I forgot about my shirt drying…
OMG – what if someone came in and just saw it chillin’ there!? Ahhhh the embarrassment! I ran to the film and television department up stairs and explained my situation.  “Do you mean to tell me that you are not wearing your blouse under the sweater!?” Sho asked.  Thankfully he had a master key that opened the door!

Out of the pictures developed, this one was the best. A little over exposed but still cute, is it not?
To view more of my work, click here 🙂

Butterfly Girl

Recently I was inspired to create this new profile picture for my photography:

Inspiration was from one of Nina Pak’s picture’s featuring a woman with a blue butterfly on her face. Unfortunately, the exact image has been removed from wordpress due to people posting it on their sites and crediting me as the photographer.

I feel like my own picture needs to be cropped and darkened on the lower right corner. It does look cool in black and white too… but I think I like the color version better.

Group Shots XD

These are some group pictures that I’ve edited.  Just randomly found them today and decided I’d post them up 🙂

This one is from Prom my senior year of highschool.

This is from a friend’s 18th birthday and promise celebration.

This is from another friend’s surprise birthday dinner.

An Afternoon With Koda

I redited some pictures that I had taken for my Digital Photography Class during winter quarter.  My first WordPress post actually has two of these images as I had turned them in to the teacher.

During the photoshoot, I got to work with Erica and her horse Koda.  It was the first time Erica had ever ridden bareback. We had a lot of fun, but almost had an accident when a biker scared Koda. He began bucking. Luckily Erica was able to jump off in time. Anyways here are some of the edited and redited shots 🙂

From left to right: Original, Edited for class, Redited.

From left to right: Original, Edited for class, Redited.
I was able to remove the second horse and have several versions of it in both color and black and white.

From left to right:  Edited for class, Redited, Original with saturated colors.

To view the rest of the images, visit:

Jouer Avec la Lumière

Je me suis un peu ennuyé, j’ai donc décidé de jouer avec la lumière. Avec un petit montage, c’est le résultat. Je dois cesser de se coucher tard. Il n’est pas bon pour moi depuis que je suis à l’école. Cette photo a été prise il ya quelques jours à 3 heures du matin.

Watching it on the BIG Screen!

So last night I went to the Cameo Theater in St. Helena for the PUC Showcase.
Strangely enough, it is only the 3rd time I have EVER been in a theater!
(And I’m a film student too!)
Anyway this is one of the two films that I redited for the showcase.

Enjoy!

Daisy Do

Euryops yellow daisies in their natural environment, abstractly out of focus.

Euryops yellow daisy in a cup of water. Sharply in focus. Notice the rainbow light outline on the upper right section of the cup. Beautiful reflections on the sides of the cup.

The Creatures

In high school – we photography students were often sent out of class to capture the perfect image for Mrs. McAllister.

Gezelle was my photo buddy – and for the sake of our pictures we did a bunch of crazy things; climbed fences, trees and even took the classroom outside.

On this portraiture assignment – I decided that I needed a backdrop. I had my friends Ryan and Leah hold a fabric behind Gezelle. Unfortunately the fabric became translucent and they appeared in the shoot.

But well that’s ok – I worked around it and came up with this:

It gives this image it’s title ; “the creatures” – and it was certainly one of my favorite shots from high school.

Evolution of my Little Bo Peep Facebook Picture!

I had the pleasure of helping out with the True Beauty Retreat for 7th and 8th grade girls this weekend.It was soo much fun – and everyone got to dress up all fancy!

Although I helped out in the kitchen for a bit – I wore this green prom dress and a beautiful apron that Amanda’s Grandma had given her. Little Bo Peep, don’t you think?

Anyways…the original unedited picture looked like this:

I did not like how short the dress was for this specific event.  So I decided that if I cut off the lower body, the image would look more childlike. The first time I posted this picture of Facebook, it looked like this:

However, Brian, a Photographer from my hometown suggested that I make the picture vertical and remove more of the column.

This actually made a really big difference in the shot, take a look:

In the future I will need to pay closer attention in how I use space within portraits. Too much or to little can make a big difference!
In the mean time, I need to go find my sheep 🙂

Rainbow Bubbles

 

I grew up surrounded by walnut trees.  Today as I looked through my old pictures, I found this one. It is of some young walnut buds. I remember the day I edited it on Paint to make the bubble effect. The picture makes me a little homesick for the rows of trees that stretched out around my childhood home.

 

Ghostly Sights

The images you are about to see are SOOC.

I took them for April fool’s day… to tell my friends on Facebook that I had befriended a spirit.

Well… not really… because the spirit scared me so badly that I sort of passed out.

And I was told not to tell, but it’s too hard not to share 😉