Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thank you....

for all the wish you wells....yes, tooth aches suck! And I would much rather go through a 13-hour labor again then go to the dentist! I had horror stories with dentists so I have a mental thing with them. I don't think I was ever numb enough when they started doing work. But the one I go to now is awesome....he numbs me like no tomorrow and that's just fine with me! =)

OK...let's get on with what I did with the self-portraits shots:

I shot them in manual with settings of ss 1/125, 3.2 and iso 200. I set it up on a tripod and I made Gracie stand on a chair where I would stand (if I was in the picture) and I focused on her....set the timer and jumped into place. If you can, close up your f-stop that way if you aren't right in the spot that you set your focus on or on a different'll have a better chance of getting everything in focus (hence the 3.2). =)

Also, some of you asked about my backdrop and how I make it black. It's a queen size black sheet from Wal-Mart! LOL!! In photoshop....I just add an adjustment layer in on the black eyedropper and then click on the black bg in the photo. Usually that will make the rest of the photo a bit dark...just pull up the middle of the curves and that should do the trick. =)
ETA: I use the BIG white foam boards that you can get from Hobby Lobby for my white bgs. I don't use a white's much harder to photoshop the wrinkles out than in a black one. =)
As far as the set up....I have 2 big windows in that room and I have them directly facing them and my back is to the windows, just flat on front lighting. =)
OH...I forgot about the skirt....don't you love it? =) I got it on ebay....yes Jeanette from the same seller that Amy mentioned. Her name is lacypetti and she has a ton of them. I did a search on ebay and really couldn't find a lot and so I snagged it up quick. I think I paid a BIN price of 35.00 and 10.00 shipping (she's from Canada) and honestly...I was watching some of them and they were selling well above 50.00 (and that's not including shipping) so if you see a BIN price of 35.00....that's about the cheapest you'll pay. =) Also, the waist is adjustable so Gracie will get a lot of wear from it too. =)
I tried to look at the actual maker's site (Sam Squaredance) but it was confusing to me so I quickly jumped outta there! LOL!! I'm not sure if they sell retail or wholesale and what the prices are but if you Sam Squaredance and check it out. =)
Oh and one more thing....I'm so forgetfull lately (see why I need "to do" lists)! LOL!!
I'm trying to make a little extra money for Christmas and I was thinking of making some actions....another b/w and maybe 2 colored ones and selling them for like 10.00...would you guys be interested in them? Just want to get a feel to see if anyone would purchase them? Or...maybe you guys can let me know what you would like and I can make actions from your requests? Any thoughts? =)
Yes, I need to post a photo...what would my blog be without a photo? LOL!! I haven't played much so only one today. =)
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Ok...maybe 2! =)

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Blogger Julie C Butler said...

Thanks for the tips Brenda! Hope your tootache feels better .. I can't begin to understand what you felt because I have never had a toothache before .. I don't wish to have one either ..
Glad to hear back from you .. hopefully we see some more of your wonderful work over the next few days!!!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Julie C Butler said...

I forgot... I was browsing through your "shopping goodies" section .. and fell in love with all of them - but expecially "Giggle Baby". Thanks for sharing those ..

9:58 AM  
Anonymous jamie cottrell said...

I would love your actions! Can't wait.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Glad you´re feeling better already, Bren *hugs*
Thanks for sharing all those great tips with us and YEAH, I think the action selling thought to make some extra money would defenitely work out for you (even though I can never really get them to look right - but then I´ll just have to bug you, no!? LOL) - especially your BEAUTIFUL simple and soft colours ♥

12:01 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Hi Bren, two more questions about your backgrounds. how do you get them to look so seamless? are they hanging on something? also, where is your light source coming from, i.e. what direction and how close are you to it? thanks for all your help!

1:10 PM  
Blogger Stueller said...

Brenda, I am glad you feel better. Your other action is one I use for practically everything, so yes! I would probably buy some actions! Thanks for the help with the blog, your a sweetie!

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes!!! I would love to buy your actions!

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Nadia said... that pic!

Sorry I haven't commented much. I've been working hard to get my website going. Crossing fingers it will be live by the end of the week.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

I would buy your actions... hey Brenda, I have braces so I totally understnad tooth related pain. Bless your heart, hope you get to feeling better soon!!!
Love that baby picture!

2:41 PM  
Anonymous maggie Holmes said...

thanks for the tips! you are so sweet to share!
sorry about the toothache - those are the worst!
i would also like to know how you hang the sheet and where you are positioned as far as your light source and one more question - do you use a white sheet for all of these photos where the background is white? or what are you doing on those?
as far as the actions go - sounds like a great idea - i would buy them as long as you include stops so that we can make adjustments and tweak things as it goes. i have bought so many actions that don't do that and then i don't end up using them because every photo is different and they all require different things. make sense? thanks again!

2:58 PM  
Anonymous frederique said...

Brenda, Glad to read you're feeling better! Thanks for the tips too!
I'd wear flip flop all year long if I could! LOL..
My 6th weirdest thing is that I don't wear socks if I can help it. Barefoot = freedom to me!!!
Yes, I'm weird!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Bren, sorry to hear about your tooth ache. Hope you're feeling better. I would be interested in buying your actions if they work for PSE4. I'm hoping DH will surprise me though and get me CS2 for Christmas...but yes, I would snag them up in a heartbeat!


4:25 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

So sorry about your tooth, I know how you feel, I am going through the same thing!

Love, love, love the shots! Her hair is getting longer, so cute!

The shop I got the hats at was called LMNOP, they don;t have a website, but melissa found the frog one at this site...hope that helps!

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'd definitely buy your actions!

6:56 PM  
Blogger Tori said...

Thanks for sharing your grave secret :)...You are so kind to do that..You looked great in your self portrait..Not sure why you hide so much, you are beautiful. :) Sam is gorgeous..She has grown so much..and Her hair is just about long enough for "Gracie's Signature Piggie-Buns".. :)

8:15 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I'll sure buy one...for both, even if I still don't know how to use it! (LOL) but hey, girl's scout motto "Be Prepared".
Glad you feel much better. Thank you for the tip.

9:05 PM  
Blogger jsbebe said...

I am so glad your tooth is feeling better... thank you for letting us in on your tips! And Sam's hair is getting long!
You know I would buy your actions if I wasn't stuck in Elements land! My DH is trying to talk me into getting Aperture (a Mac program) but, I won't! I'm waiting to get real PS so I CAN buy your actions!

P.S. I never see you on 2P's anymore :-(

11:41 PM  
Blogger Phoenixdoula said...

I'm thinking your actions would sell like hotcakes....I've still never managed to get your free action to look right for one of my pictures - feeling totally clueless....

I have to say, that those last pictures of The clarity is incredible and the conversion (if possible) is even more perfect than usual. I love, love, love them.


PS: When, oh when, are you ever going to get your butt over to Flickr??

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Clair said...

*gasp* that last photo is stunning. And thanks for the tips. It's always interesting to see how other photos set things up. :)
Hope you tooth is better soon. I hate the dentist too. :(

2:07 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks for all the tips. I can't wait to try it out. And I would definitely buy your actions!! I'd love to know a little more about how you use the white foam core (what size? how you set it up? etc) as a background!

LOVE the last picture of Sam - those eyes are AMAZING!

10:44 AM  
Blogger Julie C Butler said...

She is soooo adorable .. what a doll! Does she always pose like that for you??? I love these photos..
I would definately buy some actions off of you - I love your conversions .. I would love some color pop actions .. or color enhance .. something to give the photo that extra bit of WOW!
Thanks for posting!!

11:48 AM  
Blogger Tina Parker said...

Hope the toothache is gone!
I feel your pain!! Same thing happened to me - ouch!! and yes, I would rather give birth again, then have to go through that!
Thank God for good dentists hu!!
Love the new look to your blog- the color is so soft and so you!!
Thank you for always sharing how you do things!!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

You guys are so welcome and let me know if you need anything else! =)

Julie...isn't that stuff cute at GiggleBaby! =) Oh no...she HATES my camera....HATES IT! =)

Thanks Jamie! =)

Oh, loads better! Thank you sweetie! =)

Now promise not to laugh...with the black sheet, I have it shoved at the top of 2 closet doors. It's easy to get the wrinkles out of black in PS but not white...way to much work. I just use those big poster size foam boards that you can get at any craft store for my white bg. =)

Thanks Stephanie, Clair and guys ROCK! =)

I bet it's going to be fantastic! Let me know when you're done so I can have a looksie! =)

Hi Maggie,
I think I added the info that you asked for in the post...can't remember though. =) I know I did about the backgrounds...the light is coming from 2 big windows that are to my back and Gracie is facing them. On the recent one's of Sam....I have it as Rembrandt's coming in on her left side. =) Oh...I made them adjustable..I know exactly what you're talking about. LOL!! =)'re just eccentric like me (Amy said so)! =) I hate winter because I have to wear socks and's hard to part with my flip-flops! =) that you? I can't make them in PSE 2.0...I can't figure it out and there's no way for me to even load actions let alone start them. Now with these....I did all curves so I'm not sure if they will work. You definitely need to get CS for's so worth the money. I know alot of people think it may be to hard, but the set up is kinda the same as just get to do WAY more stuff in it. =) I'll be wishing for you to get it.....Santa better be good to you! LOL!!

Thank you Michelle...LOVE that hat! Do you think I could get away with wearing it? LOL!!'re photos from the workshop are favs from all of're so awesome girl! =)

Tori...thank you! She is growing up isn't she? "PiggieBuns"....I love that! =)

Thanks Tiffany.....what PS version do you have....they are easy to just have to know where you downloaded them too. Let me know and I can help you out. =)

Sharon...I've never heard of that program? What version of Elements do you have? I know that Adobe was running a special that if you have I think PSE 4.0 and above you could upgrade to CS2 for like 300.00....that's an awesome deal. Check out the Adobe site and see if it's still running. =)

Thanks sweetie! On my free conversion...I think that maybe this is the case with some of the people...when you get to the first levels adjustment level...really slide that middle slider over to your left a lot...until the picture looks washed out. Maybe even move the white slide over just a touch too. =)

Flickr...I LOVE that place! I think I'm going to have to break down and do it...I'm a bit nervous to post there! LOL!!

No problem's just about the size as a poster board. I just lean it up against the wall and start shooting. LOL! =)

Thanks again everyone and to the anonymous people too! LOL!! =)

1:53 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Hey Tina...we must have been posting at the same time...thanks sweetie! =)

1:54 PM  
Blogger amy m said...

Had to pop in while by dh was making a few business phone calls. I suppose it can't be all vacation. So glad you are doing better and I would love to help you make some money by buying an action or two.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Phoenixdoula said...

Okay woman, I'll be waiting for you at Flickr. That way, if I'm hankering for a little 'Brenda-liciousness' I'll have three places to check (ILP, here and there) ;)

Smooch baby

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Wow.. these shots are brilliant and the tips very helpful

7:48 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Thanks Amy and Elizabeth! =)

I might bite the bullet this week...I'll let you know! =)

1:31 PM  

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