This post is really self-indulgent. For two reasons.
First, I’m starting to drag my travel series out by the day. I can see the end coming, and I don’t want it to end. It was such an amazing trip, and not likely to happen again for awhile, so I’m enjoying reliving it through these posts!
And second, I’ve had one heck of a week. So this morning, I decided to take some time and do something enjoyable and stress-free.
Anyway, this is Dunnottar Castle in Scotland. It’s about 15 minutes away from where my in-laws live, and after seeing it, I couldn’t believe I’d been so close before and never gone.
So there we are. And that’s our best attempt at a family picture. Excellent.
It was a loooong set of stairs down and then up to get to the castle. I was pretty satisfied at seeing it from afar after the long day we’d had at a garden center and a long drive (I love the garden centers in the UK!), knowing the kids would be tried and it was nearing dinner time.
But in the end, we decided we were here and we should just do it. And i”m glad we did.
The castle has eleven buildings built between the 13th and 17th centuries.
I couldn’t help but wonder how on earth people that lived here didn’t die from freezing to death. It was cold enough as it was in July.
But the views were pretty spectacular.
See my family in that one?
My daughter thought the castle was great.
My son… not so impressed.
Being an American, I’m pretty easily impressed when it comes to historical buildings. And being a Floridian, I wasn’t completely prepared for the cold weather. (See socks with sandals.)
And I’m happy to report that no one fell off a cliff… as a worried mother, yes that was in the back of my head. Only bad thing? I didn’t get to see a puffin. I had high hopes, but we can’t have it all now, can we?
I’m really excited to announce that I’m now teaching all of my online classes through I Heart Faces!
I’ll still be teaching classes in Photoshop and Lightroom, and also classes in Retouching, Editing with Smart OBjects, Using Textures, and more. Go check it out and register!
Classes start TOMORROW! Hope to see you there!
Yesterday was an early release day from school. I’m not crazy about early release days. All or nothing, please.
Anyway, what that really means is now I have three extra hours of trying to keep my kids from hitting each other or screaming enough to alarm the neighbors. After two hours of multiple coloring pages, trashing their rooms and enforcing the clean-up, inevitably they wanted to watch TV. Phineas and Ferb, which I actually love. But, sensing an excellent bribery opportunity, I told my son I needed some pictures of him. Because when he’s thirty, and he looks back at all of the pictures of his sister, he’ll feel left out. And one day he’ll thank me for it. And I’m your mother and I said so. So in order to get access to the TV, he agreed to take a picture for me.
On Pinterest, I saw this great idea for making superhero capes from an old t-shirt. I love it, because it requires no effort from me, in contrast to the old hair tie and blanket method. Ever since I made this for him, he’s been wearing it non-stop, so since he already had it on, I decided to go for a superhero picture.
I sprayed his hair up crazy so it would look wind-blown and had him stand in front of the doors to the lanai, thinking the blown-out backlight would look cool.
Nope. Not even close. So then, we went into his bedroom, and I thought I might try having him jump off the table.
It’s boring and the light is flat. So I ran and put a flash on my camera and decided to bounce it off the wall to my left while he jumped off the bed to my right. I also put it on manual focus so that I could catch him as he jumped.
I closed the door to get rid of the distraction from the frame to the right. I could sense that this was on the right track, so I had him jump over and over again.
And I’m sure you can imagine how dreadful that was for him. “You mean, you WANT me to jump off the bed? A lot of times?” “Yep!” “Okay!”
His sister was quick to get in on the action, too.
I liked what I was getting, but it still wasn’t quite right, so I laid down on the ground and shot up instead of straight forward.
And that was the shot. Still far too distracting though, with the fan and the alarm, and the things on the wall. I brought it into Photoshop and went to work with the content-aware fill and the patch too. Around the areas where the fan hits his arm, I used the clone tool before using the fill and patch tool. On the left, I stretched the canvas and got rid of everything there. Finally, I felt it was too yellow, so I used and adjustment mask to lighten and desaturate the yellows.
If you’re interested in learning more about editing, check out some of the online Photoshop and Lightroom classes I teach at I Heart Faces.
Canon 5D, 24mm, f/4.5, 1/125th, ISO 2000, Canon 580EXII on TTL at +2.
Start to finish time from hair to finished edit? Probably 25 minutes, but it’s a picture that I’ll treasure forever.