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!!



givin' ya a little puppy lovin'...

...I should be working on my pricing for Sweet Clover Pet Photography, but a girl has to have a little fun! And I haven’t been shooting as much, so here are a couple recent shots of the Mulder Man.
It was snowing last night when I let him out. And the overhead light hitting the swirling snow looked so cool! This is my interpretation of the solar radiation storm that is hitting Earth right now. But then I had to take some pics of the MM, too! You’d think he was the fiercest beast to ever live with that muzzle on. But he loves to eat grass—I mean LOVES to eat grass—so the muzzle slows him down. A bit. And without much snow this year (yet), we still have to use it.




romping through the field...

I know I say this about every dog or cat I photograph, but after you spend a couple hours photographing them, petting them, chatting with them and their owner, well you can’t help but fall in love!
That happened again today with my neighbor’s labs, Macy and Winnie. Look how they coordinated with the landscape! And another bonus—a dusting of snow! A rare commodity so far this winter.

There will be a longer post with more photos of Macy and Winnie in January. Look for a brief post here directing you over to my new venture…I’ll be announcing Sweet Clover Pet Photography! (No worries, I plan on maintaining both blogs. My plan right now is to keep A Flick of Light the blog that has the more varied content. Sweet Clover Pet will be the business and blog site for my pet photography business, so it will focus more on, you guessed it, pets!)


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!




331/365, originally uploaded by Barb Kellogg.

Did everyone survive all the turkey eating and Christmas shopping? My mom’s Thanksgiving chicken was fabulous. And I did a bit of online shopping (had to take advantage of a deal on some new textures for my photography imagery). And I did run in to B&N to buy the Nook Touch on Black Friday for $80. I’ve only read a little bit (checked out a book from the library for it), but so far so good.

Does anyone else think “Black Friday” sounds ominous? Didn’t they call it the Black Plague a few hundred years ago? Obviously that wasn’t shopping, but that’s my association. Just a little tangent thought, here.

I thought you’d like to see some of the cards I have for sale. Works like a charm to add any photo on my website to a favorites folder and email that to me with the quantity of each you desire.

These happen to be an order from my mom that will get mailed out tomorrow. :)

Custom wording also available! $5 each, or 10 cards for $40 plus shipping; envelopes included, of course.



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.)



Christmas is coming...

...it just dawned on me the other day that Christmas is right around the corner. (I can hear some of you—“What? do you live under a rock?” Ha ha, no I don’t. :) ) I was at the mall to return something, and on the way through the store I saw something that I thought my husband would like. In my head I was thinking “well he can just return it if he doesn’t like it”, all the while thinking I would just give it to him when I got home. It took several minutes of pondering over the different choices in front of me before it even occurred to me to use this as a Christmas gift instead! (As an aside, my husband and I are very difficult to buy for, and that includes buying for each other, too.) And with no kids, the Christmas season isn’t as gift centered as with many of my friends. (And I’ve somehow managed to block out the store holiday decorations and television advertising for Black Friday from the forefront of my consciousness.)

And then today I was going over my website, and I had another light bulb moment—I’d better remind folks that I have some wonderful images for sale! (A born salesperson I’m not!) On the barbkelloggPHOTOGRAPHY website are a variety of nature images, from quiet and peaceful to colorful and energetic. I’ve recently created a gallery on my site to hold the hodge-podge of images that can’t really be classified as nature—it’s called Variance... .

You can buy prints, of course. I’ve eliminated framing from my site because you can get these framed far cheaper elsewhere, with more variety to boot. But do you want to know the super easy way of getting one of my images on the wall? (Actually, I have two easy ways.) No messing around with the time and hassle to frame and mat. Just pound that nail into the wall and hang. (Ok, if it’s a gift, you may want to wrap it first. But you’re on your own with that. :) )

Gallery wraps are a fantastic, classy way to display photography! What are they? The image is printed on a canvas (similar to those canvases that painters use), and wrapped around a wooden frame. Ok, a picture or two is worth a thousand words.


I love these things! No glass to worry about. They are super light-weight. And just take a Swiffer dry cloth to them to get the dust off. Easy peasy.

Another super easy way to display (with no framing required), is buying a Standout—a Standout is a print mounted to 1.5” thick, lightweight Gatorfoam with a lightly textured black or smooth white trim around the edges. And I even have a photo example for you! :) These have a contemporary look about them, which I think lends to the image standing front and center.

And some of you may not have seen my Stearns County Cemetery Project images. I keep them in the Personal Projects gallery. I took a risk this summer and framed a few images for my gallery display at St. Cloud Hospital. To my surprise, they sold right away. Who knew? So they are available for purchase, too.

So have I hawked my wares well enough? ;) If you love my imagery, please share this blog post with your friends. I do appreciate it!