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 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.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 9

Faire!

It’s that time a year again, when Renaissance Fairs across the country come alive with jousts, swordplay, maypoles, and costumes galore.  I recently attended one of these fairs and took some photos to share with everyone for today’s 30 Days of Creativity post.  Originally I planned to post the pictures only, as the act of taking the photo itself abounds with creativity.  But I found I just can’t leave editing out of it when I get an idea for a picture in my head.  So I am sharing with you some of the photos I took and edited.

ISO 100, 18mm, f 11, 1/60s

This first capture is of a bagpiper and his drummer playing outside the Chapel of the Holy Grail. (I didn’t make up the name.)  I thought the original image needed a little something so after I cropped it down to size, I turned it sepia and added a bit of grain to give it an old-time feel.  I realize we are centuries before the invention of the camera and film, but I like the effect.

 

ISO 200, 28mm, f 5.6, 1/320s

What would a Renaissance Fair be without a joust?  A poor imitation, indeed.  Good versus evil dueling it out in the lists, and the final battle is usually to the death.  Jousters are very skilled and travel from fair to fair (as do vendors and other acts) riding their well-trained horses into combat.  I recently saw a reality competition show on television featuring jousting.  Who would have thought it to be such a popular sport in the 21st century?

As for the details, this image was captured as our evil knight made his rounds greeting guests lined up to watch the show.  The color original was still a pretty good shot, but I started playing with presets in Lightroom® and hit upon one I don’t often use that removes all color except for red.  I had to go back through with a brush to remove background red (for example, from spectators’ clothes and skin) by de-saturating all colors and painting the areas where I wanted to remove color.  (The preset is made by desaturing all colors except red.)  Since his costume is mostly red (the little skulls also hinting that he is the bad guy) this gives a saturated contrast to the image.  I did several adjustments to the original before turning the image black/white/red, which does improve the quality of the final product despite the B&W nature of the final photograph.  (That’s a blog post in and of itself.)

 

ISO 200, 50mm, f 5.6, 1/200s

No Renaissance fair is complete without some choreographed stage-fighting.  I didn’t do much editing to this image other than to crop it down to size, punch up the colors and add a little sharpening.  The creativity in this one is solely from capturing the shot.  And that, my friends, is where it all begins.

 

ISO 100, 18mm, f 7.1, 1/200s

Lastly, what every fair needs is a little funnel cake.  I took a picture of mine because it reminded me of a Celtic knot.  Out of period but oh so yummy!  Besides, I ate my turkey leg first. 😉

So there is this year’s adventure at Faire (proper old-world spelling for those in the know).  I hope you have enjoyed my little photo trip and inspired you to go to see your local (or even semi-local) Faire this year.

Huzzah!

 

© 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.