Monday, July 26, 2010

Why I Hate PhotoShop, ok, not hate but have a serious problem with

I call myself a professional photographer mostly because I get paid to take people's pictures. I don't claim to be the best photographer or to even know a lot about photography. I do claim though, to be responsible for my own photography. "What?" you say. If you were to go to my website (, the pictures you see there are the pictures I took. There were no real changes made to these pictures. The only type of enhancements I do are just to pump up (or remove) existing color and maybe a little sharpening. If needed, I will remove a stray blemish or errant trash can in the background, but that's my limit.

Professional photography these days, and for that matter, amateur photography, has become SO much more than just having a talent for taking pictures or being a good photographer. In fact, I might go so far as to say that to be a successful photographer these days, you don't even have to be good at taking pictures or working a camera, as long as you are a wiz at Photoshop. I can fully admit that my own business as a photographer will most likely not be very successful as long as I remain Photoshop averse.

I can also admit that a lot of my aversion to Photoshop stems from the fact that I don't really know how to use it. I know how to do the simple, click this one button stuff, but if I have to get into layers and lassoing stuff, I shut down. Maybe my feelings on the subject would change if I was more adept at putting it into action, but I still think it takes away from the basic art of being able to take a good picture from the start. That's what I tell my clients. I tell them that I try to focus on doing a good job of taking the best picture in the beginning therefore eliminating any need for Photoshop in the first place. (did that sounds redundant? a run around sentence maybe?)

Back in the day, before digital, you had no choice. You had to know what you were doing. If you didn't you were screwed. The taking of the picture itself was an art form. Now, fixing the picture is an art form. And that's fine. I can completely accept photoshop as an art form. I am always amazed at the cool things people can do with photoshop. I jus think the 2 (photography and photoshop) should be separate. That's all I'm saying. If you've digitally altered a pic you took to the extent that it no longer looks like the original, then you should have to include some sort of disclaimer at the bottom.

Your average joe can look at a pic and think it is an awesome pic taken by an awesome photographer. When in reality, it just a good pic, by a decent photographer made awesome by an awesome photoshoper. I just want credit to go where credit is due.

Here are some pictures that I took. No alteration necessary.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another post about food

I never know what my kids will find tasty. Things I think they'll love, they won't touch. Things I think are going to be a fight to get them to eat, they gobble up without a word of encouragement from us.

The other night we had pork chops, mashed potatoes and fried okra. This is usually a meal I can count on (minus the okra. Their mood changes around okra as to whether they like it or not.) Pork chops they love. As for the mashed taters, it prompted some, what I thought were funny comments. Our oldest (and by far the best eater) Kristin, said, "These mashed potatoes make me want to dance!" Ahhhh...what a lovely thought about food! I love to eat but never have I thought to describe my experience as making me want to spring forth in movement. I was brought down from my cheeriness over Kristin's enthusiasm over the food when our youngest (and worst eater), Elliott, says, head hung low, the best frown on her face I've seen in a while, "These mashed potatoes do not make me happy." I did not make her eat her mashed potatoes. I thought they were good. I'm not sure why they were such the topic of conversation.

Of course, I'll never forget the time our middle child, Grace around the age of 3 or 4 says (completely out of the blue, no where near a meal time) "God doesn't want you to make me eat things I don't like." That kid is always thinking of a way out of things.

The other night we had "little food." Little food started a couple of years ago on a Sunday evening when I didn't particularly have any meal planned for dinner. So I took to the fridge to find what I could find. I ended up with quite an eclectic (that is one of my favorite words. glad I found a reason to use it!) grouping of little bits of different foods. There were things like, gherkin pickles, cherry tomatoes, cheese cubes, peanut butter crackers, apple slices, olives, probably some chopped up hotdogs, and whatever else I might have had on hand that I didn't have to cook or prepare. To make it seem more appealing to the kids, I stuck toothpicks in the food. They loved it and now frequently ask, "when can we have little food again?" So a few days ago, mostly because we had a big lunch and I wasn't hungry when the kids and hus were and therefore didn't feel like cooking, we had little food. I wish I would have taken a picture. It was quite the spread. We had most of the things I mentioned above plus cherries, strawberries, fresh peaches from our trip to the farmers market today and carrot sticks. The kids were happy.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Another Field Trip

I forget which number I'm on. I think this might be field trip #5 or 6. I think I missed a few as far as posting about them goes.

Yesterday, my sister joined my girls and me for a day trip to Chattanooga. I went to college in the area (NOT UTC or anything orange colored) so it always brings back lots of memories for me when I'm there. We always go visit the college when we are there. My girls love it. They couldn't believe it when I told them you get to live there with your friends. They've decided this is where they want to go. Daddy may have other plans for them though, considering I went to a private school that I hear now costs around 30K. We have 3 girls. We can't afford to pay that much for school and 3 weddings. Maybe we'll tell them if they really want to go to school there, then they have to promise, when the time comes to marry, they'll elope.

For some reason too, they are sure my college is bigger than daddy's. Considering Paul went to the University of Alabama and I went to a school of about 1500 students, I'm pretty sure they are wrong. "But mom, your school has a restaurant in it!" Funny kids. They are so cute.

We ate a picnic lunch on one of the bluffs overlooking the valley. It's beautiful there no matter what time of year it is. It's always amazing to me how some people can experience such beauty and awe in nature and still deny the existence of God the creator. How could all that be an accident?

We then of course had to get ice cream at Mr. T's. I love it there. One scoop is always 2 and 2 is 3. Big servings. Low prices. It's great.

Then we went to ride the fastest carousel in the world. I swear one day that thing is going to fling off some unsuspecting child (or parent). For someone who's had problems with vertigo, this is not my favorite ride. The kids liked it though. Even Elliott did great. She's usually scared of the carousel. Not sure why. She'll ride a real horse and did great on all the rides at Disney. Maybe she gets dizzy easy. She seemed to enjoy it this time though.

It was kinda hot, so after that, we started to head for home. I know it doesn't sound like we did much, but it was a full day. We had to hike some to get to the bluff and then all the other walking around we did really tired the kids out. We did stop at the Moon Pie store before getting on the road. Got some fresh moon pies. Yum!

We had a nice time. I like Chattanooga. It's a nice town. My hus doesn't think he could ever live there though because of all of the hideous orange you see around (UT fans). It's nice that we are close enough for a day trip.

These pictures are from our picnic lunch at Sunset Rock.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Endorsement List

I occasionally run across an item or some such thing that I love and wonder why everyone doesn't know about or use said item. I have a few things I'd like to pass on to you in order to share my excitement and in some cases to help along a few careers.

One item I've recently come in contact with that I think is great is Healtastic.

Have you heard of it? I think I may have mentioned it in my blog before. It is supposed to heal really bad, cracked and dry heals. I can say from experience that this stuff actually works! If you've ever seen the infomercial, my heals were as bad or worse than the worse picture of the nastiest heals they had. They would get these really deep cracks, that after being just disgusting and yellow, would bleed. And they hurt, especially during the summer when I mostly where sandals or flip flops. I would stand in the shower in the mornings, my feet aching at the heals. I tried all sorts of creams and lotions, pumice stones, shavers, files, nothing helped. Healtastic works though. I will say you do have to keep using it. It doesn't seem to heal the dryness, just the symptom. My feet don't hurt anymore. They don't look disgusting. I highly recommend it.

Now, on to something entirely not Healtastic. My next endorsement goes to a musical group. Actually I have 2 of those. The first is a Christan band called Caedmond's Call. Heard of 'em? In my opinion, they are really good. More over, their message is really good. I've quoted their lyrics for lack of a better way to explain reformed theology several times. I've heard their stuff on Christan radio before, but I don't think they are one of the most played groups. I really like them. Check them out.

The second group I'd like to share with you is a little known group that describes themselves as "too energetic to be folk and not angry enough to be alternative", called Eddie From Ohio. We have had the privilege to see them in concert twice now. We first were made aware of this group by some old friends about 9 years ago and have been fans ever since. They are not a Christan group, but also not offensive (maybe uses an "ass" or "hell" word here or there but not too bad). They put on a good show. They tell good stories. Great 4 part harmony. Funny. You can check them out here:

One more thing I'd like to mention in this post...Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

I feel pretty certain I am not sharing any new information on this product with anyone whose ever had to clean anything, but just in case I am, you need to run out and get this product. It cleans anything! Crayon off walls, tables, scuff marks, marks you don't know what they are, soap scum in the bathroom, the tub itself, and with no cleaning fluid I might add. If you have a mark on a surface that you can't figure how to get out, try the Magic Eraser. It really is magic. It's also magic because it makes my girls want to clean. I give them one of those things and they love running around the house trying to find something to use it on (which unfortunately, in our house is not that hard a thing to do). I got so distracted wiping down the shower this morning while I was in the shower, that my already long shower (according to my husband that is. I think I take perfectly timed showers for the most part) turned super long. But hey, now our shower is clean!

Anyway, I suppose that's enough for now.
So I have some blogging to do. (I like to start sentences with the word “so.” It makes me feel like we are all part of one big, never ending conversation.) I really like to blog, it’s just hard to find the time. Our summer has been pretty busy. I really enjoy having my kids home and occasionally entertain the idea of homeschooling just so I can keep them here and we can do stuff together. However, I can appreciate them being away at school too. Having our sense of routine and schedule back will be kind of nice. Plus, I’ll be able to go run errands more at my leisure than feeling like I am on some sort of distorted shopping spree where a quick time is of the essence but nothing’s free. That aught to be a game show… where a mom tries to make it through the grocery store a fast as she can with a cart full of at least 3 kids. The first one through the check out with everything on her list (minus anything thrown in by the kids) and without anything in her buggy squashed or having committed child abuse, wins. Extra points for making it through without any child in tears and for no cuss words from mom.
I find my self frequently thinking of things I’d like to blog about. Some are things we’ve done this summer, some are just thoughts that pass quickly in and just as quickly out of my head. Unfortunately by the time I get around to sitting down in front of the computer to type, I’ve either forgotten what it was I wanted to blog about in the first place, or we’ve moved on to some other type of adventure and I feel like it’s too late to write about something we did 3 weeks ago because then I’d have to write about 4 or 5 different events and that might be too much for one post. **catching my breath** (much like my run on sentence there. I frequently have run on thoughts, so why not run on sentences?).
I’ve missed some pretty big events too. Going WAY back, I missed writing about our 9th wedding anniversary. That was in March. Even worse, 2 of my kids have had birthdays in the last couple months that I egregiously was remiss in writing about.
So what’s this post about anyway? Nothing really. I just wanted to write something. I’ve been caught up in my own head the last few days, thinking a lot of our present and future. Mostly just day dreaming about stuff. Not being content with my life as I should. Thinking too much about myself and not others.
We are at the pool right now. It is Hottt. I forgot my camera so I don’t have any pics to post with this entry.
I will try to post again soon. In case I forget, I’d like to post about Eclipse (the movie's been out a week now and I’ve already seen it twice) and just how incredibly the whole Twilight saga can suck you in and then keep you there. It’s a phenomenon, to me anyway. No book or movie has ever affected me this way. It's a shame it's only about vampires and werewolves and not something really redeeming. What kind of Christan am I? Shouldn't I be reading theology or listening to sermons or something? Ok, ok, enough right now. I’ll just have to cut and paste that snip-it for another post. I’d also like to post about this article I saw (but didn’t read) about how to make yourself happy. Of course, according to the article, you don’t need Christ to do this. The day after I saw that article, I read in my devotion (R.C. Sproul, Table Talk) about what you really need to be happy. You can imagine how these 2 articles were complete opposites.
Then, of course, I do need to do some catching up on our little summer “field trips.” So those are my little teasers. Maybe it'll even hold me accountable to actually write.