Friday, November 23, 2012

Wonders of Photoshop

What? Another post? So soon?

Thanks to the break, I actually have photos to post, and time to post them! On today's segment, I have some really cool Photoshop techniques to show off.

A really big trend in today's amateur photography is making your photo looked like it was taken years ago. Ironically, the way to make this happen is through the newest technology. Instagram is good, but Photoshop is better.

I stumbled upon a really cool tutorial on how to effectively age a photograph.



 I've altered the colors, added 'light leaks'-- the red things, and added a texture all in an attempt to make you think that just perhaps, this photo was snapped years ago, and not two days ago.

After learning this technique I just had to try it on other photos.


This picture is from our last trip to Pinnacle. I took a lot of photos but because of the awful mid-day lighting, I didn't post any.


 I liked how this portrait turned out; added interest to the otherwise straightforward picture.

Want me to age your photo? Send me a link; I need more practice ;) 

Another technique that I've been obsessing over is the ability to make a photo resemble an oil painting.

Look at those colors! I love how they swirl around each other, giving motion to the photo. I had to download an extra plugin to achieve this oil painting effect but it was free and so worth it! 

See? Pretty awesome effect. And I don't even have to do anything but run a plugin (aka hit a few buttons).

Even though everything's pretty much dead in my yard, doesn't mean that there aren't still plenty of photo opportunities!

I spent a lot of time trying to get just the perfect picture of falling leaves-- a lot harder than one might expect! I never achieved that perfect image that I had in my head, but I liked this one. I used my new 'Nashville' action on this photo.

Thanksgiving was so much fun! It was great to get together with family, watch football, and eat delicious food. I'm thankful for so many things-- I could do a long blog series ;)

I'm excited for Christmas break not only for the much needed break from stress and school, but also because I have a few craft ideas running around in my head. I can't wait to have time again to be crafty!

Thanks for reading:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give Thanks

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Tuesday afternoon, after my physics test, I quickly packed up and headed home. After the hectic weekend I had, it was nice to be home, where I could take showers without shoes.

Priorities, people. I'm done with dorm living. It just smells too bad. And there's mold. And ants. And that cockroach I found one morning and whimpered until my roommate woke up and took care of it. And the window screen that's broken. And the muggy walls.

Okay, I'll stop now. Safe to say, it's nice to be home. :)

A snapshot of my life before break. It was towards the end of a hellishly annoying physics study session. My next t-shirt project might very well include these words ;)

On a quick side note, I apparently have reached the limit of my photo storage...=| This doesn't mean I will stop blogging though! A little searching and some work later, I've set up a way to put photos on my blog that doesn't use the storage that blogger wants me to pay for.

Ha. As if. I buy clothing at Goodwill, why would I throw money into the internet? I don't make any money on blogging so I won't spend any money on it.

Anyway! This afternoon, after a wonderful amount of sleep, I headed outside. My yard has shifted from the lazy warm colors of autumn to the starkness of winter with surprising speed.

There was, however, a burst of color with the flower arrangement that my mother was working on.

 With my rare expanse of free time that break offered I've been playing around with Photoshop more. I found some cool tutorials. One of them offered to mimic the 'nashville' filter found in Instagram, so I tried my hand at the photo above.

Overall, I really liked the result. It did replicate the faded, blue toned Instagram filter.

Another really cool tutorial I stumbled upon attempted to take a photo and turn it into an oil painting. I really liked the end result, though it's polarizing in how much the photo is actually changed. What do you think?



 I love how rich the colors appear, and how they all blend together to create a dreamy haze of autumn.

I also stumbled upon this cutie. I snapped my camera up, quickly metering the scene, worried it would flutter away before I could get a picture. I still wish that I had had more time to get a good picture, but it flew away to a more promising flower.

As I have already raved, it is so nice to be on break. I mean, I know I still have to do test corrections, read my Chem textbook, and do some French work, but right now I'm ignoring all that and just relaxing.

I mean look at that face. What a one-eyed cutie ;) This is what I have to welcome me home. Like every other college student, I miss my cats when I'm away so it was nice to see them again.

In other news, I was accepted to study abroad through my school, next step is to apply to ISEP and see what happens :) Fingers crossed that next year I'll be in France!

I'm so excited for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Last year, my parents were in France and most of my relatives were out of town, so Thanksgiving was small affair. This year we're all back together. :)

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

SoCo 54!

So a couple nights ago I took a break from obsessing over homework to watch some Friends

Because I needed some joy in my life, and Friends is kind of the perfect solution. Even though I've seen almost every episode, they still crack me up. Perusing the internet still on my Photoshop kick, I ran across a couple cool editing techniques and decided to try them out. [[I kind of realized that my whole Friends comment is particularly relevant to anything....but I had to share...]]



I used this tool called Content-Aware Scale, which allowed me to shift the main clover down, toward a better spot. I wasn't thinking about rule of thirds when I took the picture, and the main focus was too much in the center of the photo.


 So I had thought this photo was kind of boring, which nothing special to it. But, I liked the green colors so I decided to try and spruce it up a bit.


 I still can't decide if I like the black and white edging or not....but I like the overall changes.

One more!


 I loved the delicate beads of water that were hanging on the spiderweb, but I wanted to make the photo pop more.


 Et, volia! I like the final product, with the heavy contrast and colors.

In other news, the last big party of the semester, SoCo 54 was last night. So much fun! They always go all out on the decorations; I wish I had some pictures of the club scene to show!

The dress was Brittany's-- a perfect 70s dress for the 70s themed party.

As always, getting all dolled up was half the fun.

Anyway, on paper I have two days until Thanksgiving break but it does not feel like that. Before I leave campus I will have finished my differential equations take home test, turned in my Physics assignment, and taken my Physics test....gahhhhh...

As always, thanks for stopping by :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adding Color to Your Life

(Title doesn't make sense? Keep reading! may help...)

It's not like I don't have things to post about. It's not even like I don't have pictures to post.

 Because I do! It's just the crazy, hectic week-long rush to Thanksgiving that has been keeping me somewhat...preoccupied.

Such a lovely place to study! Not so lovely? The fact that this was a Friday...wait maybe Saturday...or Sunday? night. Regardless, I may not remember what day it was, but I do distinctly remember not wanting to work. Who'd guessed. 

Ice skating! It has been far too long since the last time we all went ice skating so last Saturday a couple of us drove to Little Rock to go ice skating. 

We are all obviously very talented.

Except, you know, not. We have yet to master the trick of stopping. I typically find a nice wall to run into; not the best solution. 

It was a blast, despite the many wounds we all suffered-- I can't wait to go back. :D

While I have been buried under a crushing mountain of homework, I've had a few moments here and there to relax. One thing I really miss since coming to college is graphic design. I was never great at it, but it's something that I've always enjoyed. In high school I made posters for various organizations, t-shirt designs for clubs, and lots of photo manipulations. Since college kills any free time, it's been a while since I've messed around in photoshop to do more than minor edits to photos.

Until last night! On the night of the beginning of the stress-full-math-and-physics-packed-killer-weekend/ish/thing, I took a break to de-stress. (why isn't this a word?? if any concept needs to find reality in a string of letters this is it) Something I began interested in during high school was recoloring/editing old black and white photos. I scanned some from my father's childhood, but hadn't had any time to actually work on them.

So! I've messed around with one...I'm not sure how I feel about the result so I'll just post it and see what ya think.



I wasn't wild about how the grass turned out...and I ran out of things to add color to. For example, the house in the background...would just be white most likely, if the picture had color. So while I know conceptually I don't need to add color to the house, it still feels like it needs something. Also, I painted the car blue mostly because I really want some more color in the picture, even if a bright blue car would have possibly been less common.

Anyway! That's just something I do for fun, I'll post more if I have time to edit more. But for now, I'm off to go into self-exile in the library to work on some differential equations!

Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012


 Look! It's a post! By some stroke of luck I managed to finish my homework relatively early, giving me a rare break.

So I hung some Christmas lights. Unlike many bitter people I see on facebook, I was thrilled when I found stores decked out for Christmas the second Halloween had past. Christmas is, by far, my favorite holiday-- brightening up the bleak nights of winter with cheery light. 

 This year I bought some white lights to illuminated the dark corners of my desk. After a little difficulty, I managed to string them up-- and then proceeded to take copious amounts of pictures.

A week or so ago, a Chinese missionary came to my youth group to talk about her life and job. She brought Chinese stuff with her ;) They are a nice splash of red hanging above my desk.

This weekend I was lucky enough to spend with some relatives, shopping and relaxing :) I found this cute at the dollar jewelry store!

And this cutie was at my grandparent's house. :) Look at that face. Adorable.

It was such a nice change to be around family, college football, and cats, a nice break from the stress of college.

  This was the beautiful sunset as we drove to my grandparent's house. I wish I had had my actual camera with me-- this iPhone photo just doesn't do it justice.

This Oreo-laden goodness was found at our favorite local coffee house. :) It was so nice to chill and hang out with friends on Friday. 

More owl fun! I strung him up once I realized what amazing bokeh (it IS a word, stupid auto correct! It describes how the Christmas lights turned into little globes of light in the background) the Christmas lights made.

China! Would be an awesome place to visit, the culture (and the language) is just intriguingly foreign.

Well my photoshop has officially locked up so I guess I won't post any more photos! Just a quick note that assure you that I'm still alive. And it's been less than a week since my last post!

Thanks for reading :)