30 Days of Creativity: Day 16

Another card!

Stamp image copyright House Mouse Designs(R)

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a 30 Days of Creativity post but then I haven’t been feeling very creative lately. This is a card that I made for my husband. The photo is not so good (slightly out of focus, I fear) but the battery died on my camera and I couldn’t take another one right away. Anyway, I think you get the idea.

This is another House Mouse stamp, one that belongs to a friend of mine. The reason why the mice look so lumpy, is because they are covered in flock, and that really doesn’t translate well in a photo. What is flock? Flock is made up a tiny fibers, so that when you glue it down, the image becomes fuzzy. So if you were to touch the card, it would be fuzzy! It’s difficult to get the image to be fine in the flock department, so it looks a little lumpy. 😦 Overall, flock is fun! 🙂

The image itself was square, and I put a border on it (another sheet of blue, cut larger than the original and glued to the back) but square does not center well on rectangle. So I decided to put it off center and then do something along the side to make it look balanced. I wasn’t sure what to put along the side, however. Then I found this squiggle punch. (I have one just like it and love it!) So I punched out squiqqles and glued them down along the edge. I was going for random, but when you are going for random, you often don’t end up with it – it’s just the nature of the human brain. Ultimately, I just wanted it to look good.

It’s not my best card-making effort, nor is it my best photography, but it is cute and it served it’s purpose. Just a little support card for my husband. I want him to know how much I love him and support him and giving a hand-made card is one way of accomplishing that task. He loves whatever I make for him, and I love him for that – and a million other reasons!

If you ever want to make a card with flock, just contact me. I have suggestions that may help. 🙂
 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 15

Motion

ISO 100, 110mm, f 5.6, 1/250s

Motion in photographs is something I struggle with.  I often just want the clearest, crispest, high shutter speed capture of and image frozen in time.  But sometimes the best images actually show motion blur.  It gives the impression that something is moving with a relative speed to the camera.  The more blur, the faster the motion.  Capturing an image with a high shutter speed eliminates any sense of motion.

I originally thought this photo was a waste because of the blur on the bird.  But the more I looked at it (and cropped it), I realized that this image really just shows how quickly these birds fly.  I was lucky to capture the bird in the frame in the first place!  Overall, I like the contrast of the lady, frozen by the camera, and the bird flying rapidly away looking for her next prey.

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 13

Birthday Card!

Mice and images (c) House Mouse Designs.
Card creation by ManicMonday.

I spent another evening with my card-making friend and this is what I came up with.  It is a birthday card for my niece and her favorite color is pink.  I used a House Mouse Designs® stamp with black ink for the design, then used colored pencils to color in the mice and cupcake.  I used yellow markers for the candle flame, which actually had to be drawn in, but I tried to shade them slightly. I mounted the white cardstock with the image on to a slightly larger light pink piece of cardstock, which was then mounted onto the dark pink card.  Inside is a simple Happy Birthday multi-colored (pink and purple) stamp.

You can see the envelope beneath the card.  In the lower left hand corner I stamped another celebrating mouse.  It’s a grey envelope because I didn’t have a white one available.  As a result, I elected not to color him.  Believe it or not, this card took me 1&1/2 to 2 hours to complete.  So if anyone ever gives you a hand-made card, keep in mind that it was not a trivial endeavor to make it! 🙂


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 12

The Joust

Today’s lesson is about cropping. I was at the Rennassiance Faire and took some pictures of the joust. I sat near the fence and because the action covers the length of the field,  I decided to forgo zooming and take the image at 18mm. (With a 16Mp camera I can take this risk without worrying too much about pixelation.) I also used continuous shooting mode so that I could catch as many shots as possible. (I was hoping for a splintered lance, but no luck that day.) I believe I was also using aperture mode allowing me to obtain reasonably fast shutter speeds.

ISO 200, 18mm, f 4.5, 1/2000 s

I made all my edits in Adobe’s Lightroom® version 4.1.  Most of the edits I made were basic: white balance, contrast, color clarity & vibrance.  I raised the exposure a little for more punch. I’ve noticed that my old SONY Alpha ran about .2 to .3 of an f-stop too low on exposure but I’m still not sure about this one.  I’ve been very frustrated with my shoots so far and wish I hadn’t spent the money on the camera.  One of these days I will get it right.  It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer anyway.

To make this picture what it is, I had to crop it.  This is not always a trivial thing.  A hair to the left or right, up or down, can really change the whole balance of the shot.  I’m including the original image so that you can see the comparison yourself.

Original image

Yes, the original is a sloppy shot, but the point was to get a shot so that I could work with it.  Action shots are very difficult.  I’ve had a lot of “almosts” in my photographic journeys. I think part of the creative journey is to know what part of an image to use.  In this case, it is obvious: the jousters and the horses.  But if you think about your own photographs, is there some crop you could make that would completely change the feel of the photograph?

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 11

Bata Shoe Museum

ISO 800, 18mm, f 6.3, 1/50s

The Bata Shoe Museum is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  This image was taken from the top floor looking down the stairwell, to the bottom floor where you see shoes scattered about.  They have a variety of unique shoes they keep in that central area for visitors to try on for fun.  I tried taking some pictures down there but the light is terrible for any shots without flash and you aren’t allowed to use flash in the museum.  So with this shot, I needed to tweek the lighting a little in order to bring out that bottom floor.  I like the image of the lady walking as it adds interest to the shot in my opinion.

However, the blank wall on the right was bothering me and I thought it needed something in order to balance the image.  So I added the title Bata Shoe Museum in the font Copperplate using Photoshop Elements®.  I like the final product.  I think it looks a little like a postcard. 😉

At the time of my visit, they had a great exhibit about shoes in the 1920s.  There were some really wild shoes during that time period, most of which could only be afforded by the rich.  I took lots of pictures (I love 1920’s period clothing) but all of the shoes were behind glass.  Unfortunately, I didn’t use a polarization filter to reduce the reflections for two reasons; first because I would have lost an f-stop of light in already dim lighting conditions, but more importantly because I didn’t think of it.  😦  So for this next image, I chose one that wouldn’t suffer as much from the lighting conditions.

ISO 400, 18mm, f 3.5, 1/10s

There are still reflections, but by turning the image black and white, I was able to accentuate the rhinestones and the style of the shoe without losing any of the color.  I made several adjustments to the exposure and added a hint of vignetting at the corners using Adobe’s Lightroom®.  These changes also helped to reduce the reflections from the glass.  Oh, and in case you are curious, the shoe in the background is gold.

If you are ever in Toronto and find yourself with a couple of hours to spare, check out the Bata Shoe Museum.  It’s a unique museum and worth a little bit of your time. 🙂

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 10

Street Painter

ISO 100, 35mm, f 5.6, 1/80s

We met this fellow while walking along the streets of Toronto last year.  He was painting the sidewalk and asking for donations towards a plane ticket to Vancouver.  He wanted to try his luck out there.

As far as the treatment of this photo goes, I can’t take much credit.  I applied a preset in Lightroom® called Creative Catalyst 19 that I picked up somewhere on the internet.  It changes the color balance, emphasizing the blues, adjusts the contrast and increases the exposure to give that washed, faded color look.  Intense sharpening and slight vignetting are also used by the preset.  I liked the result so much that I left it as is, which is rare for me. I have to confess, all I really can take credit for is the composition, but I’m pretty proud of that.  I wasn’t sure the photo was worth saving until I cropped it.  I’m glad I did because I really like the finished product.

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.