I’ve started taking a lot more photos with my phone than I used to take. I still shoot with my larger camera(s), but I’ve enjoyed the simplicity of using my phone: I don’t have to “pack” it up, I don’t have to lug it around, I don’t have to worry about lenses (though I do have little ones I can put on my phone). When I take photos with my phone, I get taken back to the basic idea of capturing a moment, rather than worrying so much about things like fstop and shutter speed. It’s kind of liberating! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love being able to control those elements and really create an image that looks as I’d mentally envisioned it, or have a more powerful tool so that I don’t miss a shot because of variable available light, etc. But in taking and editing a daily photo with my phone, I’ve also reminded myself that with a few basic tools, no matter how I shift those around (camera, photoshop, lightroom, scanner, iphoto…. or my phone and some apps) I can create art that sings of the world around me, who I am, and what I’m doing and feeling.
I can look back through all the photos I took in the past month (regardless of capture device) and see a story that tells all those things for me (with the help of my memories, of course). Here’s what the story of my life and thoughts in February looks like when I do that.
A simplification of huge, life bending concepts when applied daily:
big things are little.
little things are big.
it’s up to you how much credence and attention you give to any of them.
Some days you feel really small, and defeated, but you know (from experience and faith and hope and dreams that you can’t give up on) that love will help you, that love is greater than any other thing in your life that might try to distract or overpower. And so, before your journey ends, long long before, you know you should always seek it, no matter how discouraged you may be about that fight at any given moment.
I think that a lot of my life has been spent looking for perfect love. I could hypothesize about why that is (and often do) but the main issue is that it’s non-existent. There’s no scale or grade for love; no love is greater or lesser than any other. There are moments when I check the tally marks in my heart and count up all the time I’ve wasted wishing for someone who “wouldn’t hurt me that way” or someone who “really knows me,” and if I think of these as tears in a bucket, the weight feels crushing and regretful.
But I don’t want to think of this all as wasted time, rather, it’s been a journey of learning. It may have taken a long damn time, but I’m finally realizing this, and it feels really big, bigger than that bucket of tears.
All (any, every) love is a gift.
Love is bright and shiny and scarred and broken, it has wings or scales or feathers or skin, it is strong and it is weak, it is straight on or sometimes crooked or angled, it is first and second and third and fourth chances, it is falling down and getting up, it is crawling and walking and for damn sure it is flying. But it’s all love. And love is a gift. Hell, love looks funny sometimes, but it’s there all the time.
You have to learn to see it right in front of you, don’t parse it or weight it, and then take it without judgement.Read More»
If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.
~Edgar W. Howe
What do you do if your room is messy but you want to shoot a portrait? Clean it up? Hell, no. Who has time for that? Instead, just clone and heal, baby, yeah.
You can always create the illusion that you have a clean room for your portraits (or just get some encroaching couch arm and leg out of the way) by using the spot removal tool in Lightroom – and in LR5, it’s so much better than before. Previously, there was only a circle of differing sizes to do any cloning/healing work, but now you can paint with the tool to create whatever shape you need. Witness the magic unfold.
Here’s my raw photo… you can see that I am SUPER EXCITED TO THE MAX! about
how I’ve decided to just leave my crap laying around indefinitely the thought of editing this photo in Lightroom 5 soon!
I whip out the spot removal tool and make quick work of the annoying couch parts and outlet to the left.
Whew, I’m already feeling like I could do a flip even. But wait… there’s a load of stuff to my right. Totally messing up the Fung Shui up in here and that will harsh my spirit. I’ll probably land on my head. Time to get to work on the real problem…
This is no easy task, but with the new tool I can do it more effectively, without going to Photoshop. This will take some layering of spot removal swipes and a bit of patience. My trick here is that I make small painted sections like lines or even little squares, depending on the shape of what I want gone. For the first pass, I clone just to get to the general color I want. Then I go back and even things out with heal in the places where it needs to blend more. This can take multiple passes to get right.
Heck yeah! The hard part is over and I’m feeling the float. A few more things and I’ll be set! I cropped to bring in the right side a smidge and used the lens correction tools (rotate, some horizontal adjust – you can also play with the new leveling tools in LR5 which are sometimes spot on and other times not so much, but are fairly neat). Then desaturated, and hit the slider on a few things (bumped up exposure, shadow, whites, and clarity, bumped down blacks). Finally, pulled out the jazzy new radial filter and dropped an oval over my body and bumped up clarity and shadows just in there to make my body pop. You know you like it when my body pops.
Yeah, baby! Who needs to clean up? Not me.