Oh no! Summer is Fading

Hints of Change

I walked around the house this evening and figured I’d document these first signs that the season of summer is waning. An empty nest. A red leaf. Fallen leaves. Not thrilled about the ragweed (allergies). But the fall colors can be fabulous here. Have to wait and see!

Hints of Change is also a clue that I’m working on a facelift to my website Barb Kellogg Photography. This is the first I’m formally announcing the merger of my pet photography business, Sweet Clover Pet Photography, into Barb Kellogg Photography. The new website will highlight that I capture portraits of nature (of course), people, and pets. I’ll keep you posted on the debut!

Life is just a portrait waiting to be photographed.

Of course Mulder is just in this post because he can be. :)



the making of an image...

black & white image of trees in the fog
I thought I’d shed a little light on how this image of trees in the fog was made. Part of the process of creating an image can be as simple as recognizing when to take the picture. It was foggy and quite overcast the day I took this. I came home from running errands and quick grabbed my camera. Fog is one of those things that can disappear rather quickly. (Or it can sock you in for days—one never knows!)

This tree happens to border a farm. The fog and how I processed this image disguises that. The fog did the heavy lifting here. It’s wonderful for simplifying what would normally be a busy background. Fog helps the photographer capture dreamy landscapes, or contemplative portraits.

Kaikoura, New Zealand foggy beach

man and dog sitting on a dock looking across a foggy lake

Back to the original image of this post. Because there was already so little color in the landscape, I chose to do a monochrome image. (Again, either shooting in or converting to black and white can be another way to simplify an image. Note that I said “can”, which doesn’t mean “always”.

Now let the fun begin with this image. There are several layers to this image. One is the original, that is clear and in focus. That same image was duplicated and blurred a bit in Photoshop Elements. Those images were combined. Then I added a texture layer as well. Of course “texture” isn’t in the physical sense, but visually. Texture layers are typically no more than another image (or two or three) that looks like it is has texture.  The easiest way to show you is to have you take a peek at Leslie’s French Kiss Textures. I have purchased many of her textures that she creates. You can even get some freebies to whet your creative appetite. The tree image used the texture image called Dirt. I tried to find the texture on her website for you, but she might have discontinued it, as I couldn’t find it.

To be able to create layered images, I believe Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are the only two programs that can do that. Perfect Layers 2 by OnOne is a stand alone software that can give you the ability to create layered images, but I don’t believe it has all the image editing capabilities of the Adobe products, Lightroom, or Aperture. (Of course there are many more image editors out there.) I have never used it; I only know it exists. It would be worth looking into if you don’t own either of the Photoshop programs.

For a future post, I’ll take some screen shots as I’m editing a photo. That will really give you a behind the scenes peek into what I create.



turn back time...

...photography is one of the few ways to turn back time. I thought I’d share a few images I took last fall. The early evening light was just so nice. Everything is all warm and pretty looking. And I don’t remember any mosquitoes bothering me either.



foggy and frosty...

...say that a few times and you get froggy and frosty! (ha ha) This has been a very uninspiring winter for photography for me. No snow. Which you would think was a good thing, because the weather has been very mild. As you know, mild weather makes it far more enjoyable to operate a camera when your hands aren’t freezing into numb, useless appendages. But it just looks blah outside. Like plain oatmeal.

Well finally today there was some lovely frozen fog on the trees and grasses—nature’s bling. I wish I had more time outside, but hopefully these images capture the bling of the moment.

And, as you, my loyal readers know, I’ve been working on the Sweet Clover Pet Photography website. I had imposed an arbitrary deadline of January 31st, 11:59 pm. I think it was around 11:45 pm that I finished it! And while it still needs some tweaking, I think you will enjoy taking a peek at my new business! I encourage you to sign up for the Sweet Clover blog posts, even if you aren’t in central Minnesota. You never know who knows who and where they might live! And you might get a chuckle out of reading the About Mulder page. And he’s even had a paw in writing his own blog post! He will be a frequent “guest” blogger.

I’ll be getting my feet wet in one, and possibly two, marketing events this month. Although the one is more networking. Although marketing for me IS networking. Believe it or not, I’m not one to put myself in someone’s face and tell them how great I am. But I can’t let them smell fear! I saw a phrase recently, fake it until you make it. 

So here’s to faking it!!



my favorite photography subjects...

A blogger friend of mine just created a blog post on one of her favorite subjects, and at the end of the post she wanted to know what other photography bloggers’ frequent subject matter was. (I don’t remember for sure where our virtual paths crossed—I think it was on Flickr.) Her name is Barbara and she creates the blog The Aspiring Photographer. On her blog she narrates and demonstrates her trials and tribulations in this wonderful world of photography, including some great “how to” posts. I encourage you to subscribe to her blog, as it is always worth the time to read.

Can my readers guess what my favorite subjects are? There is always the same couple of subjects that keep popping up—my dog Mulder and flowers (usually “weeds”). My dog is such a great subject to point my camera at, whether it’s capturing details like the spots on his ears, the unique “fingerprint” of his nose (I guess that would make it his noseprint), or sleeping on his back with his feet up in the air.

Flowers also have wonderful details about them. The soft wrinkles in their petals. The graceful curve of a leaf. And when the light illuminates them just right…it can be like magic! And within the category of flowers, daisies are quite common in my portfolio. Who can’t smile at a nice, clean, pretty, white daisy?

Those are my favorites. As they say, shoot what you love and it will come through.

ps — Thanks Barbara for the blog post idea!



a photo before the snow...

...tomorrow is our first snowfall. Or so they say. But it’s looking pretty certain to get a little something. So today I went looking outside near my house and found this. I don’t know what it is, or rather was. I also decided to use my Lensbaby lens today with one of the creative discs (I think it’s the “diamond” one for those interested) and +4 macro . It was this creative disc that gave a wonderful texture to the now-tan-and-dead weeds in the background of the image.
Why so many versions of the same photograph? The original—because I think most of us, whether a photographer or not, are curious to see what the artist started with. The others—just different interpretations. I think the monochrome image is my favorite. But the other two I like as well. Since it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, my plan is to take another image of the same subject with the same lens, etc. So the next post will be “a photo after the snow”. You saw that coming, didn’t you?

When you click on one of the images below, you’ll get a nice full size slideshow. :) If you’re an iPad user, let me know if the slideshow doesn’t work. That will be good to know.)