Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dreaming in sepia

My fingers are frozen as I type this. We’re under blankets, as always, in the living room because I think it’s ridiculous to waste oil on too much heat when you can stay warm by simply wearing the proper attire and snuggling a little under a blanket. Oh, we have the heat on, don’t get me wrong. Some rooms are just chillier than others. It’s quite comfortable, actually.

Well, except for the frozen fingers.

I realized as I sat down to my laptop tonight that I had absolutely nothing to say and worse yet, no photos to share. So what I did while my husband watched Jeopardy was to turn photos of flowers into sepia tones.

And when did we become our parents, watching Jeopardy every night is what I want to know.

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All of these photos were done (rather quickly, I might add) using the free actions available at Pioneer Woman’s blog. She’s updated them just today and get ready for this, Element users: a version for Elements is coming out soon.

All the photos here were processed using sepia tone (from set 2) and boost (from set 1) and each photo has a texture added. I love this texture (above) by Telzey on Flickr. It’s one of my favorites.

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Same thing here, using sepia tone and boost, along with the same texture as above. All of the textures used in this post were set to ‘soft light’ in the layer mode, with different opacities applied for each photo.

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For this I used Book Cover 3, available at Shadowhouse Creations.

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Bokah2, also from Shadowhouse Creations. I’m not thrilled with this offering. Meh.

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I used to have lots of spider plants. That’s what this little flower is. And I’ll tell you a short story about me. When things suck in my life, I kill my plants. Oh, I don’t mean to. And I don’t kill all of them. But one year after something horrific happened in my life, I realized that all my plants had died. But I was still alive, and so was everyone I loved. So I went out and bought new plants when I felt better.

Yeah, I’m a little crazy.

Please don’t hold it against me, k?

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

QUESTION FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS:

When your camera sensor needs cleaning, do you do it yourself or take it to the camera shop to have it done? Inquiring minds want to know. I have dust on my sensor and I am getting weary of cloning out all the little circles!

All photos were taken with a Nikon D80 camera and a 60mm Nikkor macro lens.

44 comments:

Low Tide High Style said...

Those are beautiful and I'm doing a happy dance that things will be coming out for PS Elements, which is all I own. And I hope your plants stay healthy, so that you'll be happy, or vice versa! Jeopardy hurts my head!

Kat :)

Hilary said...

hmm...I rave about green grass, and you do all sepia. What's up with That.
I think we have a little cabin fever. Too much winter. Ready for SPRING.

just jill said...

I really appreciate all the tips you give. Since I am a novice at dSLR photography, I am like a sponge wanting to absorb as much information as possible. I haven't attempted layers yet, but I want to. I don't have photoshop, but I was told about fotoflex which does offer that function. I have used picasa for years and sepia is one of the functions i have used quite often. I'm sure photoshop must be much better, though.

Great photos!

Marla said...

Beautiful pictures... I love PW's action sets. (Another one coming soon! How awesome is that?!)

I have no idea what to do about the sensor though... I would probably take it to the camera shop myself. I wouldn't want to mess anything up.

Country Girl said...

I will tell you that the camera shops I've called have all told me that they don't do the cleaning in-house. The camera would have to be shipped back to Nikon and there is a wait of 3-6 weeks. I would wither and die without my camera. Oh, the agony.

~ C.G.

Chrissykat said...

Love the sepia photos...they remind me of the place between, back in time & the present...dreamy like...and peaceful.

No help here on the sensor cleaning. Each time I turn my camera off it automatically cleans the sensor. Lucky me (or rather, lucky sensor!).

You may be ever so slowly inspiring me to learn the extremely intimidating skill that is PHOTOSHOP!

Gail said...

I love the sepia.

House plants would run from me screaming, no, not me, pick another, if they could.

Even my arifical flowers inside turn brown!...wait, that's dust.

Luckily I have two sisters that stop by often enough to save the few plants I have.

You are not crazy. It is hard to think of plants when your soul is weeping.

Annie said...

Quite beautiful Kate. Just beautiful, as ever.

Don't laugh when I say I don't even know what you mean by the "sensor". Am I weird or what? I presume you mean something inside the camera, and not the front of the lens?

I can hear people laughing already.

My plants all die quite regularly. I go away too often, and if some kind soul doesn't come around and look at them, and water them, well, poor things! Especially in the hot Australian climate. So I now have a garden of hardy plants!!

Caroline said...

*sigh* these are incredibly beautiful. Hope those fingers warm up soon ;)

Char said...

it's worth the money to have it done. that's what i do love about canon is the self-cleaning sensor.

my photography instructor showed us how to do it but i'm scared to do it.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thank you for reminding me to water the spider plant that's dying a slow death as we speak.

I'm with Annie. Wouldn't know a sensor if it smacked me in the face.

wv: surnatic. The sensor is located right under the surnatic valve of the camera.

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Love these shots and what you've done with them!

Cheryl said...

Don't really understand how to download elements and then use them on my Paint Shop 9.

I still can't figure this out - pic is black and white with one one area (maybe a flower) is red.

Always love your pics, to bad I don't live near you... need a few lessons!

Andi said...

They are gorgeous in sepia. I don't have a big girl camera yet. Thought I was dealing with it well until I was with my friends at the flower show yesterday and coveted their dSLR's tremendously! My Sony takes a great picture but man not like those or yours!Thanks for sharing!

These Nine Acres said...

I went to Longwood today and took 200 images of flowers. I posted one.

Flowers and spring must be on our brains ;0)

beth said...

love the sepia....but the frozen fingers...YIKES !
I waste lots of money on staying warm....I'm just saying :)

and the camera...well, I have the automatic sensor cleaning thingy that happens each time the camera is turned on, so I have only once had to take the camera in to be cleaned when some little particle refused to move and they got it....and didn't charge me anything for it :)

ELK said...

really so amazing to see in sepia . it brings a whole dimension to a photo

Oliag said...

Kate these are fantastic!...Love them! Thanks for letting us know how you did them...I will practice but I am so slow it will take me an entire day to work on one photo:)

Mr O and I watch Jeopardy every night...yet I do remember my mother being absolutely in love with Alex Trebek...he is ageless...

xo

TSannie said...

Your philosophy of life is just wonderful. And my life is not complete without a good half hour of Jeopardy each night.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Hi Kate:
Love the photos! So beautiful. And about Jeopardy...yeah. Us, too. (for this evening's Final Jeopardy...What is The Royal Air Force?) lol
Hugs
Donna

Julie Harward said...

Loved the first picture...funny about you and the plants...I DO kill mine on purpose...I hate them! As I type this I am laughing so hard because it sounds so mean...But yes, I get sick and tired of babying them so I just go throw them away! When someone gives me one, I say thank you but in my mind I am saying..I hate plants...you will die! LOL Will you still be my friend? I promise in all other ways I am a good person! LOL :D

BUSH BABE said...

*sigh* ...even your "meh" pics make me sigh happily. I am going to try a couple of those (whenever I get some TIME).

As for sensors... I am terrified of touching ANYTHING inside my camera. To the techs for me (and trust me, they get a truckload of dust out each time they get my Nikon, and shake their heads when they see the package arrive from my bush address!).

:-)
BB

Jayne said...

Ooooo... love that Book Cover 3 effect with the rose. Gorgeous!

Ann Marie said...

gorgeous.. and thank you so much for the Photoshop turn on again.. if it weren't for you I may have stayed in the dark FOREVER..

Nurse Nancy said...

I love all the photos....very peaceful. Really need to learn how to use these tools.

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Hi Kate, back from the woods again. And seeing all the beauty you've created. I want to play along too. But do I just copy and paste what she has on flickr? I still only use flickr because my photoshop program is at the doctors...grrr or do you have to copy it into your photoshop program. I love them. Thanks for sharing. Dagmar

Sandra said...

Seems you have a lot to say and all of it useful; thanks for the photo lessons.
Like you, we don't waste too much heat on rooms not daily used. I wear wool socks, sweaters and, sometimes, silk long johns in the house to keep toasty. I also quilt which helps keep me warm.
Two things help fingers/hands stay warm - Hot Hands, the small shake 'em up hand warmers hunters and skiers use and wool or other natural fiber Fingerless Mitts. I've knit myself several pair and keep the around the house and studio; it's just the thing for keeping hands and fingers toasty.

Mental P Mama said...

I have the same issue with my plants. They are the barometer of my life! And, I'll take Dead Presidents for $500 Alex....

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Just wanted you to know how much I adore your work and how you inspired me to play around. Just had to give you a shout out in my last post. Have a good day!

The Japanese Redneck said...

We put a separate free standing gas heater in our bedroom so that we wouldn't have to heat the rest of the house. So we tend to lock ourselves up for the night in our room and stay warm in there.

When it's really cold we have to bribe each other to go to the kitchen and get something because you basically have to get dressed.

Like the pictures.

Steph said...

I subscribe to the cool rooms method of heating our house as well. I hate to give the oil company so much money! When we have guests, or my husband whines too much, I turn the heat up for a few hours and/or start a fire in the fireplace. Our house is too big for us now...can't wait to "downsize".
As for cleaning the camera sensor, I do it myself by following the directions in my manual. I am a Pentax gal and my camera has a sensor cleaning setting that is easy and works for me. Haven't had any dust that it wasn't able to remove for me when I've gone through the process. I'd hate to have to give my camera up for a week nevermind 3-6! Arrrgghhh!

Talia said...

Your photos are stunning. What an incredible talent you possess!

I love visiting your blog -- eye candy at its best!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Oh, I absolutely love your photographs. I'm really getting into sepia now and can see the beauty of it.

Same here with the heating, or lack of! I have frozen fingers and find it really hard to type.
CJ xx

Diane said...

The flower shots are lovely! I rarely like my shots in sepia but yours look very nice.

Sorry to hear about your camera cleaning. I've had dust in the D80 body that I was able to remove myself but if it hadn't blown out with the puffer, I would have totally had to send it in. (shudder) After setting my camera down for a week, I can't imagine going 3-4 weeks. Ugh.

ro said...

Dear Kate,
Just love the photos especially the one of the rose that you don't like. I can imagine a old story of great love surrounding that rose. I know absolutely nothing about cameras. I am just trying to learn how to use my husbands old Canon "powershot" Maybe someday I will learn enough to be as good as you are. One of the only benefits of moving to Texas is I don't really have to worry about heating my house, it's just not that cold and the house is brand new. It stays pretty warm. have a wonderful day. Hugs and Kisses.

Carolynn said...

Very pretty. I don't seem to have found the time to tweak my photos much. I'm mostly a straight out of the camera girl, at the moment. I hope I don't forget everything I learned at my recent photoshop course...

...my camera has a sensor....???

Deb said...

I love sepia photos...even more than black and white...well when you start watching wheel of fortune every night..you know you have crossed over...LOL

Kacey said...

I would risk learning to clean my sensor myself before having my camera gone for that long!! Wow.

I love these sepias! And the textures, of course. I love your texture work.

Bella Della said...

I am so inspired to play around with some of my photos. Yours are beautiful!

Egghead said...

I love those actions. Loverly! We have been using warmer clothing as well....especially after our last heating bill. Parts of our house is colder than others as well. Funny I never watch Jeopardy but Kyla used to watch and call her friend and they would try answer before the contestant could. Weird little teenagers they were. Funny!

Emom said...

I recently read a post about the dust problem....I will search for it, in the meantime, do you have a "bulb-blower"? looks a little like the bulb thingy we used on our children to get "stuff" out of their noses when they were babies...anyway this bulb blower/duster works pretty well....maybe I'll stop there and just look for the article...smiles.

Daryl said...

I am not sure how I missed this yesterday ... do you use a clear filter over your lenses? You should. They are worth every penny and are not expensive at all .. keeps the lens free of schmutz

I once was trying to untangle a hanging pot of grape ivy .. I ended up ripping it to shreds ... it felt great.

Telzey said...

Gorgeous work!

Oz Girl said...

My Nikon has the automatic sensor cleaning when I turn it off, BUT there are times I've had the spots in my pics. I cleaned my lenses extra, extra well, and I think I may have found the problem on one of them. Not sure if I would be brave enough to clean my sensor myself even though I have several books that tell how to do it... knowing me, I'd get more dirt in there!

Glad to hear there are actions for Elements coming... even though we had full-fledged PS at our ad agency, I never opted to add it at home, due to the cost. Would love to have it someday...

Re: your houseplants. Same thing here. Everytime my life spiraled downhill in my younger days, my houseplants became neglected and died. I just did not care about anything at those times. I finally learned to not buy the houseplants, although I think I'm a much happier person these days anyway. :-)

All your pics are gorgeous, love the sepia tones!