I saw a documentary last weekend called Ghost Bird about the discovery of a thought to be extinct bird called the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. I don’t want to ruin it for you in case you want to see it, for those that think a documentary about a woodpecker is about as exciting as watching paint dry I should add that the story that unfolded for me was one of hope, the power of belief and great sadness. It’s amazing how destructive humans can be but equally amazing what humans can accomplish if they set their minds to it. The Nature Conservancy was started as a result of the Ivory-billed Woodpeckers first round with extinction. This pair of birds are Western Meadowlarks. I live in a concrete jungle, there’s pockets of nature here and there but I never see little yellow birds flitting about. This pair is as close I have ever been to seeing a bird like this in Los Angeles. I once had a hummingbird come visit my back door, I about imploded with delight. When I was a kid I’d see Blue Jays all the time, but I haven’t seen a Blue Jay since I was about six, no idea where they could have gone, but I don’t blame them for moving. I am hoping with our impending re-location that we pick a spot where seeing a beautiful bird is an everyday occurrence. I pinky promise that I would never,ever take it for granted.
This is about where I threw the towel in on this project last year. Tonight I almost did the same, not because I didn’t have an edit I sure did, but my desktop computer slowed to a snails pace and then the Photoshop threw up a white flag of surrender–I lost all my work. I would say it was devastating, but that seems a bit much, I’ll save devastating for a natural disaster not a software failure on a self-imposed assignment. This was taken with my Iphone, it’s ostrich legs in case you thought it was perhaps a dinosaur. I’ve always been curious about this large flightless bird that stands upright and can run over 40 mph. I hate to admit this, but I have actually had a bite of an ostrich burger once. I swallowed. I can’t believe I would do that, have you seen the eyelashes on this bird? How could anyone ever eat an ostrich? I still hang my head in shame, it’s not like I was starving on a deserted island and the only thing I could find was a bite of ostrich burger. It’s one of the things I regret in life, truly.
I have always received a lot of email from my blog friends/visitors, I even tried FormSpring once so the questions could be asked and answered in what I thought was a very organized fashion. It seems that my blog friends/visitors preferred answers one-on-one. As the internet grows and my email bulges with unanswered questions I thought I would just write a post and see if I can get them answered. I have been very slow with my replies lately and I don’t want you to find me rude. There’s not really an order here. If I missed your question leave it in the comments and I will either add it to this list or answer you in the comments. Happy Friday!
Q: Is your hair really square?
A: Now that it has been growing out it is no longer square, but becoming very rectangle (no joke).
Q: How is it being a Mrs.?
A: I loved having a ‘fancy’ (fiancee) but having a husband is so much better! He’s such an amazing husband but he does snore-LOUDLY.
Q: When are you going to launch the apothecary section for Besotted Brand?
A: Ah, great question that I have no answer to. I started testing new waxes for the candles and haven’t been happy with the results. I also am still playing with packaging, but thanks for the push.
Q: Why are you editing a photo-a-day?
A: I wanted to do a photo challenge like the 365 or 52 weeks, but realized I already have a ton of photographs, what I needed more than taking more poor photographs was to edit some of the ones I’ve already taken.
Q: Your ‘before’ photographs for your photo editing project are really bad, are you just a horrible photographer?
A: I hope not! I do choose the really awful ones specifically because I love the metamorphosis of the image. When I shoot professionally for a project like my product shots I am conscious of getting the photographs right in camera so I spend less time editing. You don’t want to be doing what I do for this editing project for an entire shoot. I really despise editing bad exposure, white balance etc. on hundreds of photos. I’d rather just try harder when I shoot.
Q: Will there be another Souvenir Foto School session soon?
A: Yes! We always change up the sessions so it will not be an Alphabet edition but something else entirely. I am so excited about it as we have never done a session like it before. It will be in April and I promise to make the announcement for sign-up by March.
Q: I want to know what fonts you use, can you please tell me?
A: Probably not, BUT I can tell you one font that I got tons of emails on and you should buy today because my friend Debi created it and it’s awesome. It’s called Bellucia and you can get it here. The talented girls that participate in Font Friday always find amazing fonts and I highly suggest blog hopping with them to find their discoveries. Any typophile will find great pleasure in clicking from link to link.
Q: Can I get your resource for X, Y & Z?
A: Again probably not. I’m sorry, I worked really hard to find my resources and establish relationships and it’s my livelihood to protect them (if I win the lotto this could change). I will be sharing some of my favorite printer resources with my Souvenir Foto School students though, because I think every photographer should have at least one great print of theirs in their home.
Q: Are you going to be doing a Photoshop class?
A: Yes! I will be teaching photo editing classes w/Photoshop this year online in private sessions for both beginners and intermediate students. I am madly in love with the program and I would love to be able to share what I know with others.
Q: Can you edit one of my photographs?
A: Funny you should ask…I am thinking that since I am doing the MMXII project and editing a photo-a-day that maybe once a week I’ll try my hand at editing one of your photos. I might just do that.
Today was an odd day, I was really turned around. It all started with my sleeping later than I wanted to, I was hoping for a crack of dawn morning start, but I had set my alarm for p.m. instead of a.m.–oops. I wasn’t going to let this little mix up stop me from all I needed to accomplish today and so I got my girls ready for their walk and left the house with strong coffee brewing. I figured I’d have that strong cup when I returned to start my busy day and I could not wait. The only problem with this plan was I left the apartment without my keys, without my phone and without sunscreen. The first two are a problem, but today it was 80 degrees and no sunscreen on a vampire pale girl is not a good thing. It’s amazing that no one would let me use their phone to make a call, but I guess it would be weird for a stranger to come up to you to ask you for the use of your phone, especially if she had two small dogs in tow, was sweating profusely and as bright red as an apple. I finally walked to a hotel near my apartment and the concierge called me the world’s most expensive locksmith (never let a concierge call you a locksmith it’s better to be locked out). Thus my day started many hours later and well, was really quite a bit of a mess. Souvenir Foto School sold out while I was out of doors and that was one bright note on my otherwise odd day.
With this edit I wanted to leave in artifacts that showed the context of the owls being in a display, although I tried to edit in a way that makes this owl look like it could be escaping, at least it looked that way to me. The one that got away. I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately with questions about both this project and my personal life, I know, I know, only I would get that right? So I am going to put together a FAQ, which will hopefully answer these burning questions to the best of my ability.
Hmm? Okay, I had a different idea of how this edit was going to look for the ‘after’. You’d think I’d know what I was doing by now…I tried a faux tilt shift lens effect, not the miniature concept but the selective focus (have I lost you?). And because I love more (that’s so not true), but because I lost my mind I tried an HDR effect and well I am not sure of the results. I feel like I could keep going but it’s late and I may have to come back another day to play. For right now, this is what I’ve got.