Archive for July, 2011

July 29, 2011

Is There Such a Thing…

… as too much editing? Um. YES. But where do you draw the line?

The boy and I had a discussion on it this morning. He’s thinking about doing a series of running portraits with one of his clients. Said client had recently decided he wants to be a photographer, too. (Hooray for more creativity in the world! Boo for our biggest client making us obsolete!) In his quest to become the next great photog, he’s going through phases.

His current phase is to over edit EVERYTHING. Even when it’s not needed. Even when they’re just snapshots. Every photo he takes goes through Photoshop.

This one’s not too bad, but it wasn’t needed. Edited on the right. *

You remember those mini photo-studios everyone went to in high school? You and your bestie could get 40 photos for $20 or some such nonsense? You had a choice at those studios … a normal background and straight photo, or a “cool” background and really harsh “high-key” processing. 90% of the time, people wanted to look cool. Oh, and of course they’d add “electricity” and other ridiculous graphics for you if you wanted. That’s what this photog is doing right now.

I’ll be the first to tell you … this guy has a FANTASTIC eye. But he’s making the newbie mistake of calling his EDITING style his SHOOTING style. And when it doesn’t look highly edited right out of the camera, he’s disappointed and shops it with the subtlety of a machete. He’ll get there. But he’s not there yet.

It’s totally possible to do what he wants straight out of camera. Take for example this un-edited shot:

Paul Brecht is a GENIUS. This is one of my all time favorite photos. **

Straight out of the camera. No editing other than a layer with the humongous watermark (for web images only, of course). So yes … he’ll get there someday. But not today.

So all this talk about the photog friend got me to thinking … I know a LOT of photogs who bash on editing heavily. Hell, I bash on it sometimes. But sometimes, I can’t deny the allure of it. And sometimes, it’s beneficial. Here are some of our wedding shots: raw on the left, edited on the right:

 

The first one isn’t heavy on the editing, but you can definitely see the difference. The second adds ambiance, but I like it without the color wash just as much, if not more. But that third one? Heavy HEAVY editing. And the “ooh that’s pretty” photo became a stunner.

So, where’s the line? Where do you draw it, in the photos of you, and in the photos you take?

Because now I’m just confusing myself.

 

* Yep, that’s the husband. No, he doesn’t actually shoot while  biting his lip … he was goofing off.

** Have I changed much in 3 years? ::winks::

*** No, you’re not alone. The fact that those images don’t line up symmetrically is KILLING me, too.

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July 28, 2011

Support

So, we’re on week 3 of this running plan, and kids? Last night was HARD. This week’s extra-30-seconds-of-running-at-a-time wasn’t so bad for the first 20 minutes, but by the time my hour was almost up, I was ready to kick something.

Or not kick something, that would have hurt too.

On the plus side, it was 4.2 miles total. Even with the warm up and cool down walking (and there’s a lot of it), I am making the 15 minute mile race cut off. Woot!

I’ve also learned that if I can run on Wednesday nights, I need to do so to So You Think You Can Dance. Seeing what I used to be able to do (“Fun” fact, I was cast on season 3 JUST BEFORE my accident. Eff that. I watched the season and cried the whole time, that summer.) is inspiring. And when I get upset about the fact that I can’t do it anymore, I can take my anger and pain out on the treadmill. It’s a reminder why I’m doing this.

In any case, when I got back upstairs, I was done for. I stripped everything off and jumped in the shower just to stand and cool off. Then I put on my comfiest pjs and collapsed on the couch. I had to force my Gatorade down though. That’ll teach me to not check and make sure I’ve put the GOOD kind in the fridge.* My legs were stiff and my back hurt (not HURT hurt, I was just sore all over. I’m being very careful to pay attention to the little twinges, and so far, so good). I was tired. I just needed to rest.

Then the husband comes home.

Looks at me quizzically.

“What’s wrong?” “I hurt from my workout.” “How far did you run?” “4.2.” “Did you foam roll?” “No.”

Enter a 10 minute speech on the merits of foam rolling and how I’m not doing any of this right.

Now, with all my years of dancing, and my accident, I’m VERY good at listening to my body. If something feels off, I do something about it. But, the stiffness in my legs was already going away, being replaced with that soreness that comes with muscle realigning. No big deal, already improving. My back needed to be worked on, but it was fine. I wouldn’t have continued if it wasn’t.

By the time the 10  minutes was up, I was really upset. It showed. When he asked “WHAT?!” I lost it. As I sat there sobbing, trying to explain how while this is a really tiny thing to him and his marathon-length runs, it’s a huge deal to me right now. How I needed support and for him to be proud of me, and a little sympathy as I struggled to get my body back into shape.

And he just got irritated that I was upset.

::sighs::

I said forget it and, crying, went to brush my teeth and go to bed. I was still awake when he came into the room half an hour later to talk. I was able to explain to him while I was so upset (without sobbing) … but he still doesn’t get it.  He doesn’t see why I need encouragement, and why jumping straight to (what I call) correcting me on technique or telling me I’m doing something wrong hurts me. He’s only trying to help, he says. To give me the benefits of the tips it’s taken him so long to learn.

I appreciate the help, I really do. But it doesn’t negate the fact that I need the support, and I’m not getting it.

::sighs::

This is a tough one.

 

* The husband like the regular red-orange-yellow Gatorade. I think it’s foul, and will only drink the Frost varieties (the light greenish-blue and purple). Which means we always have 2 kinds in our fridge. Or, are supposed to.

July 27, 2011

Time Out

So, over the past two days I’ve tried to write about this BIG IMPORTANT (to me, anyway) THING.

And then a little thing called WORK got in the way. Pssh. Who needs that? Gettin’ in the middle of my blogging time… I say we get rid of it.

Until we can get that sorted out, I bring you a list of things floating around in my head:

 

1. I may be moving buildings. For work, not home. It’s the nature of property management.

      In the “con” column we have: I really like this building. I have made friends with my tenants. 
      I work all of a block from the husband. I have free parking in downtown. It would be my own 
      building.

      In the “plus” column we have: GREAT location, just off the metro. More exposure within the
      company. It would be my own building. Could still meet the husband for lunch (hello Bikeshare!).

Either way, things should be good. I’m kinda hoping for the move, though. Word could come at any moment. Which means I should really get all my ducks in a row.

2. I got my ticket to YAY New York! Now, to get the sparkle dress. NYC girls … I’m bringing a friend who’s in the throes of wedding planning (and lives in Astoria) for you to meet. Adopt her, please?

3. Speaking of NYC … I’ll be there next weekend. Planning on seeing Hitgirls (a new musical staring one of my good friends!) on Saturday at 9pm … who’s with me? Tickets are $18, $16 if you’ve got a student ID.

4. Miss Lauren (Mrs. Lauren?) got back from her honeymoon and has started posting about it! Go give her love and ogle her hawtness in the fancy polka dot bathing suit. Seriously. do it now.

5. I ordered stamps for the thank you notes. I’m DETERMINED to get them out before our anniversary. DETERMINED. Hopefully stamped envelopes staring me in the face will be enough kick in the butt.

6. Speaking of our anniversary … I. CAN’T. WAIT. for our trip. It’s just 3 days, but it’ll be so, so nice. We’re escaping the city and going here. I can’t wait to meet the dog. =)

 

I could go on like this all day. So, I’ll leave you with a couple new photos of the nephew.

 

The kid just keeps getting cuter every day!

July 25, 2011

Miss Seamstress

My grandmother was an amazing seamstress. AMAZING. There seemed to be no end to her talent. When my godmother (Grandma’s youngest daughter) was married in 1993, Grandma singlehandedly made the dresses for the 6 bridesmaids, jr bridesmaid, flower girl, and 3 house party girls. 11 dresses, perfectly fit. I still have my house party dress somewhere. It’s perfection. Too bad it’s sized for a 10-year-old. ::winks::

Grandma taught me to sew as soon as I was old enough to be interested in the machine that was a constant presence on the kitchen table. From practicing straight lines on random swatches of fabric (which, bless her, she always ended up putting together to use as potholders) to helping fit my baby sister’s Easter dresses, she guided me every step of the way. By my sophomore year in high school I was pulling off entire costumes (my claim to fame was the 3 full Renaissance gowns I did OVERNIGHT when we all realized we’d forgotten to get costumes to wear to the school-sponsored faire trip), and had an intricate knowledge of LA’s Fabric and Garment Districts. Seems natural that I’d go into textiles or fashion design, right?

Except … no. I have no head for designing a garment from pure imagination. I can work wonders with a pattern, I can adjust that pattern to no end, and I can draw a damn pattern* from a photo or sketch. But not just dream it up.

In college, part of my general theatre studies was to work in the costume shop. Where I fell in love with the ladies, refined my techniques (under the AMAZING Pat Skinner … who I can’t find online to save my life), and had numerous pin-in-the-foot contests.** I worked there for several semesters, and developed an undying need for a high-end serger. Which still eludes me, as I DO. NOT. have the cash for one. Stupid expensive tastes.

Long story short, I sew. This, every once in a while, comes in very handy.

Take Michelle‘s wedding gown, for example.

 

Side note … of COURSE I work to The Simpsons. Who doesn’t?

Michelle needed a bustle. CAN DO!

 

Pretty, yah? Well, that photo does NOT do it justice, I promise.  Check out how it looked on her! (Photo totally snagged from her blog, btw.)

 

 

YAY! Perfect! My ultimate goal with a bustle is to not disturb the line of the dress. If you can’t tell it’s bustled from the front, and there isn’t a big old lump of fabric in the back, I’ve done my job. I’m calling this a TOTAL success.

And you guys? Can I talk about the gorgeousness that is her dress for a second? The fabrics were TO. DIE. FOR. The design was just stunning, and it was PERFECT for her. Plus, it was a dream to work with. =)

 

My next project? This one’s a little special to this community … it’s a Sisterhood of the Traveling Dress*** gown!

The freaking amazing Rachel gifted her gorgeous gown to Jenn … pretty cool, right?

The gown itself is just beautiful … a killer silhouette with simple embellishments. Perfect for Rachel. Awesome on Jenn. But we want to make it perfect for Jenn, too, right?

So remember how I said I can’t design for crap? Well, I can alter a design like a madwoman.

Jenn had some fantastic ideas, and after a brainstorm session (or three) we came up with the final design … and you guys? It’s STUNNING. It’s been sitting in my living room for the past 36 hours, just so I can look at it and tweak any little bits of it before I begin the sewing … and I just love it. I love love love that I get to be a part of making this gown into Jenn’s dream.

And all the work that has gone/will go into it? WORTH IT.

Now, since Jenn’s wedding isn’t until September, we can’t show all of it. BUT! Here’s a sneak … a taste of things to come:

 

Gah, that lace! Am I right?

And yes, I am fully aware I used “amazing” far too much in this post. Handle it, I’m excited!

 

* Drawing a pattern is a task I hate, and will try and get out of, if at all possible. But I can do it.

** We all worked barefoot, which led to many many pins-in-the-foot. Whoever had the most at the end of the month got free lunch and the title of “Human Pin Cushion”. To this day I still work barefoot. And yes, still get pins in my feet. (Not as painful as it sounds. Generally you can’t feel it at all, the pins are so small, and the skin on your feet so tough. I promise.)

*** Re-reading the Sisterhood post, I am reminded that our get together (and Rachel sending in the photos) gave Meg the final push to setting up the book clubs. On behalf of Jenn, Rachel, and myself … YOU’RE WELCOME. ::winks::

July 22, 2011

And Again!

Oh, kids, this reunion nonsense keeps getting better and better!

Wednesday night I got this:

 

Yes, that is everyone’s email address listed, thank you very much. Way to blind copy, idiots.

Then, an hour later, this shows up:

 

OoooOOOOooooh, fighting among the ranks! But good lord, look at all those typos. I’m glad those who PERCHANCED tickets will get their money back. ::headdesk:: Also … total lack of interest. YOU THINK?!

Let’s head over to Facebook, shall we?

 

::snickers:: Well said, ladies.

Before this next post, I feel the need to let you know that the “company hired” to coordinate the reunion is owned and run by one of the committee members … specifically, the one who was named in the first email and who wrote the second one. Now, with that:

 

::blinks::

I. Have. No. Words.