December 7, 2009

to each his own

I want to start today by stating that I am the worlds biggest winter weather whiner. This morning, it was five below zero. When you walk outside, all the moisture in your nose freezes, a feeling that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. I know there are many other locales in this great nation of ours that will make my winter look like a sissy little girl. Places with wild wind, places with many feet of snow accumulation (I actually love snow, btw), places that stay gray and cloudy all day. I know things could be much worse. That knowledge will not, however, keep me from my winter whine fest.

My youngest has been driving for less than two weeks, and this morning awoke to the northern winter rite of passage known as "exploded frozen soda can all over your dash board, on your stereo and in every nook and cranny." It happens to the best of us, but was a major bummer none the less. Poor guy. He had just spent a bunch of time spiffing up his new ride. Live and learn. *He found out at school that he was not the only one with this sorry story today.

Now, on to what I was up to for the vast majority of the weekend, while in my pajamas for two days straight.

Late last summer, my hubby bought me the full version of Photoshop, CS4. While Photoshop Elements is a really great program, CS4 opened up a whole new world of processing options for me. These options also open up a can of worms in the photography world. Many people feel that enhancements beyond a little sharpening and contrast are not really in keeping with the true art of photography. While I understand that position and why they feel that way, I am not one of them. I love all kinds of different effects in the art of photography. I spent the weekend playing with some of my favorite photo's and trying to decide what look I like best. If I had to pick one style, which would it be? I cannot decide. I like too many things.

Most of the photo's shown here are processed with The Pioneer Woman's actions. They are awesome and they are free, but they only work with the full version of Photoshop.

Here we have my sweet little niece in the daisy patch. I just have to mention that at 18 months old she is almost completely potty trained. She's a genius.

This first series is just basic processing, a little contrast and sharpening.

And here, a vintage effect.

This is my other adorable great niece, and if squeezing baby puddin' legs was a crime, I'd be serving life. She is a doll, and said both "hi" and "bye-bye" to me on the phone this weekend. She's brilliant. She lives way too far away, and I can't wait to see her when she visits next month.

A basic version....

Deeper color in the background....

And, a hazy version....

You met this young lady in my last post. After realizing last summer that my youngest wasn't going to be at all excited about daily photo sessions, I called her up to see if she was game for some pics, and we had a ball. She's a natural.

This is Pioneer Woman's seventies action, one of my very favorites...

Here, I used a dreamy effect pretty heavily, everywhere but on her eye, and I love how it turned out.

Here, a little bit of an industrial feel...

Do you like edge burn? I do. Normally, I wouldn't use it this heavy, but for these photo's I like the drama of it.

A couple weeks after we took these photo's, I took a few shots of her little sister.

Black and white....

and half and half....

And finally, my current favorite process, as it goes really well with fall colors.

So, tell me. What do you like better?

Are you a straight out of the camera purist?

Do you like a little extra something with your photo's?

Did I just win the prize for longest post ever?

Is anyone still there?

And as for the first part of this novel, I would really love to hear everyone's winter war stories. What's it like where you live? Misery loves company.

Sincerely yours,
Cold and Photographically Confused in Montana


  1. I loved this post! Really, I did! I am JUST learning Adobe PSE6 and I am soooo confused!!!! I cannot tell you! But I am determined to learn it to tweak some cards and such....I love what you did with these photos, my fav? The one where everything was the dreamy effect except her eye...and my second. was the half and half B/W and color....that is sooo cool! LOVE IT! Thanks for this....I know eventually I will get there!

  2. I always tell Cory that photoshopping is cheating...but that's mainly because I'm a technological dunce and only very recently figured out how to crop. :)

    In truth - I can appreciate heavy edits, but I do really think I'm a purist at heart. This world is just so lovely - it really doesn't need us to make it lovelier!

  3. I agree with the above comment..the world and we are lovely enough as we are! I like "real" everything..pure and true. I trust MY eye to see and I like the way it sees!
    Too bad about the soda can..we all live and learn I guess, except for my husband who keeps putting his diet coke can i the freezer to get it cold fast..then forgets it!!! Come say hi :D

  4. Hi there! I always love your photos!
    Just to remind you that every coin has 2 in very-far-from-Meadowbrook-farm- Greece we still have great weather, sunny and pleasantly warm and...we hate every minute of it!! How much summer is too much?? We want, no, we need winter! Low temperatures, rain, some snow would be nice...! Christmas is on their way and I would like to be able to light the fireplace without opening the windows 'cause it's getting too da$@#$d hot in here!
    see my point?
    jokes aside...if winter doesn't pay a visit this year, we're going to have a hell of summer...

  5. All of the pictures are beautiful...I can't decide which affect I like the most.

    Stop by my blog and you'll see what kind of weather I have :)

  6. I like all the things you're doing with the photos. I used to be a purist, but no longer. I see so many wonderfully edited photos on various blogs. I don't have Photoshop, I just use Picnik right now. I can see how PS could become addictive very quickly!

  7. To DreamCatcher - If I had no winter I would whine even more about that! I think it's the process of whining, more than the subject of the whining that inspires me...a trait that those around me find quite endearing, I'm sure! Do you ever get snow in Greece?

  8. I love all the photos. Wow! What talent! Obviously the art in the tweaking is knowing what effect to use on what picture. In that you get an A+! Not to mention the talent and art in having a quality photo to begin with.

    All beautiful. Very enjoyable. I LOVE your blog!


  9. I love them all! I just think you do good work. I don't have a problem with either kind of photo. I just love a beautiful shot. We're good and cold here too but not quite that cold. I finally broke down and bought a winter coat today though.

  10. I love playing with different actions- there so much fun. I only have a point and click type camera so actions are the way to go for me to get what I what.

    Beautiful photos. Great job.

  11. Hmmm...I'm kind of on the fence. I love what we are able to do with photos now and I use picnik liberally with my photos because they aren't good to begin with! I tell myself that if I had a better camera I would get these great pictures without fussing with them but that may not be the case. Sorry for the world's longest sentence there. We are just a little West of you and it is COLD! Like single digits cold but no snow thank God!

  12. I feel your pain regarding the cold. It's pretty damm cold here in the desert right now. I've had an ice cream headache for the last two days and it's not from eating ice cream. I have a sweater, scarf and the heater on as I type this and I'm still cold. The photos are great! The fun of it all is having the options. Not sure what type camera you use but I'v found using the "bracket" feature is a good tool as well. It takes more than one of the same pic but in different exposures. Have fun and stay warm!!!

  13. I might be a bigger whiner than you. Maybe our husbands should talk and compare notes. Last night I was wearing flannel pajamas, knee socks, a wool sweater, two comforters and of course had my favorite thing in the HOT water bottle. I even cover my head up in bed because I can't stand cold nose syndrome. And I love to read in bed but in the winter have even worn gloves because my hands are so cold if they are out of the covers. Pathetic,I know but there a serious winter whine fest here in Ithaca,New York!!! As for the each one and I am dreaming of having a better camera and learning about all of these fancy programs like Photoshop. I love your stories, they make me feel like I am there!!!

  14. Your pictures are so pretty. I'm not sure which action I like best--maybe vintage, although I do love deep color background, too. I certainly am not a purist, a pretty picture is a pretty picture!

    Oh my gosh, I can't believe it's already -5 where you live. I so couldn't survive up there. I'm in TN and we've been having highs in the 40/50s and lows in the 20/30s and for me that's cold! In my defense, though, I spent five years living in Florida so I'm still in an adjustment period.

  15. My winter war story is -- I got stuck walking my shoes were warm and so I steped and stopped dead in my tracks - can that really happen - yes, and not funny either cause it made me fall on my warm hands which they stuck. LOL! I am the world mostest biggest winter weather whiner! I love all your photos sweet and clear! And I've have a event with the soda pop can too but that's another story!Bye the way I have you posted in my web now -- Happy Season of Joy - Kristeen

  16. You poor dear. You have every right to whine when it's 5 below!! As far as the photography all of your shots are beautiful. I, personally, am a purist and prefer straight from the camera shots and very rarely enhance my photos. My hubby bought me Photoshop CS3 several years ago for Christmas and I still haven't figured out how to use it. Now your telling me there is CS4....that is totally shameful on my part. My New Year's resolution...LEARN PHOTOSHOP.

  17. I love them all. You are really really good! My favorite was the half and half. Thanks for sharing...we are cold here too...yuck!