Before and After fun with Lightroom 3

It has been a busy time since my last post. It has been crazy at work and crazy at home.  My obsession with photography is still growing and I am really falling in love with Lightroom. My most recent discovery has been the fun of downloading presets for use in Lightroom 3. I have tried various presets from various sites but my favourites have been hands down from (Matt Kloskowski).

I thought I would have a little fun and show the before and after.  This fun experiment actually earned me an Honourable Mention in projected novice with the camera club I am part of. I have to admit though a cute little girl always helps!

This is the before:

This is the after:

I used three presets and adjusted them to allow for some compensation for my photo having some blown highlights and a not so great background. I actually used a sheet that was ironed but the wrinkles showed a little more than expected. The presets I used was Matt’s soft focus level 1, Matt’s warm and fuzzy look and Matt’s noise removal (3 – color high). I had to adjust a few sliders to get the exact look, crop tighter to take out some of the background and fix a few things with the healing brush. I am pretty pleased with the results. Still need to work on getting better shots to start with so I have to less fixing in Lightroom. As a side not I post on the blog with jpegs but my original file was in raw.

I have some upcoming plans like a workshop this weekend (depends on weather) and a planned camping trip in July to Bon Echo. With the nice weather hoping I can get out more to practice using my camera and lenses. Definitely need to have a few skills mastered by the time I go camping like using a tripod and my telephoto lens. Ideally I would love to be able to hand hold my telephoto but that might be a bit tricky but I am going to try to learn.  For equipment would like to purchase a wide angle or macro lens. Going to depend what I can find used which I have had a bit of luck with.

Hopefully my next post will be sooner than later!


Campers went a little looney in the rain and cold!

So I originally planned to write this grandiose blog post about my camping trip but then decided I would tell the story with more pictures less words. Plus this post was delayed by the fact I was not that careful with the water and ended up pretty sick. New rules for the next camping trip when it comes to the water situation.  The other interesting part of our trip was the warning about bears being in the camp. I know I said I say hi but I didn’t mean it literally.

Day 1

Trip started with a stop at Hunts Falls just outside of Bracebridge for lunch and some photography. Funny story of the day was the attempt to cross a log to get to a nearby waterfall. Dad managed it pretty quick while I had to crawl. My sister thought she could walk but half way across quickly realized she was going to have to crawl too. First photo lesson of the day from Dad was how to make water do that cool angel hair effect using the speed setting.

Hunts Falls Waterfall (2)

Second photography moment was capturing the lake at sunset.  We were not quite in the right position but still got some great shots.

Sunset Log Reflection

Sunset on Wednesday

Day 2

Thursday was basically a wash out. It rained and rained and rained some more. We all gave up at one point and retired to the tents to get warm and have a nap. After the nap we wandered to the Portage Store and then to the Art Gallery. We did stop at a beach and got a few shots but it started to rain pretty hard again.

Day 3

Friday started off pretty good, rain was just a mist more than droplets.  After a quick breakfast, we  decided to go for a canoe ride. It actually stopped raining part way through the ride and warmed up a bit. We eventually saw our first loon. Dad got the better shot since I was attempting to steady the canoe.

Water Lily

Yellow Water Flower

Next stop was the art museum again. Dad originally wanted to see the paintings on display again but instead ended up trying his hand at painting on a canoe. You buy a puzzle piece and they provide the paints and brushes. Dad had a blast.

Dad painting on canoe

After mastering the art of cooking Filet Mignon over an open fire, Dad and I headed out for another canoe ride to try and capture the sunset. We did not get that great of a sunset due to the clouds but it was still a beautiful night. I also got to hear the loon and other calls of the night. I think I even heard a wolf howl. This is where I did the big duh of the night, I brought the solar lights to mark the end of the canoe trail but forgot a flashlight to get us back to camp. It was a bit nerve wracking getting back but not too bad.

DSC02782 csf

Sun down on the Lake Friday

Algonguin at Sunset on the Lake

Day 4

Saturday was our super busy day. Poor sister she just wanted to relax and read instead she ends up walking through a logging museum and then hiking up a mountain.

Logging Demo

Alligator demo

The Lookout

After a quick snack break back at the camp we decided to go for one last canoe ride, a good idea on my sister’s part. As we were paddling toward a marsh area, my sister spotted what looked like two black spots floating on the water. As we got closer we realized there were baby loons and then the two adults popped up. Dad and I had a blast taking photos, although Dad again had the better shots since he had the telephoto and did not have to get as close as I did. Still it was one of those rare and beautiful moments that made the whole trip worthwhile.

Baby Loons

Loon Babies with Parents

Baby Loon fish from Mom

The evening was pretty good until the temperature dropped and it rained again. We did try to stay by the fire in our rain gear but we got wet butts when the water ran into our chairs. My sister decided the rain was not stopping her from cooking the gourmet smores. We spent the night bundled up huddled around our lantern for heat.

Day 5

Was mostly a busy day of packing the car and then proceeding home. On this trip we drove through a wicked storm just outside of Gravenhurst. The rain was pounding and the lighting was fierce. It was impressive display of nature’s fury. We did make it home safe and sound.