Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why I Photoshop

I think a lot of people have issues with the existence of Photoshop, and especially in the case of fashion / magazine photography and their unattainable versions of perfect people I can understand why.

But I edit photos, and I do use Photoshop. Not necessarily extensively, but sometimes I do create what Pat calls a "fake reality". I don't consider it that, though. There are a few different ways I use photoshop. One way is to create art - to make something on a canvas that matches a vision in my head, or in my client's head.

The other way that I utilize Photoshop, is to forgive the ever seeing eye of the lens. When you take a photograph, sometimes you see too much - more than you would notice if you were looking at the same subject in person. For example, if you were looking at me while I was taking my self portrait, you probably would not be focused on "Holy Cow - her eyebags are horrendous" or "Sheesh, she's got a lot of sun damage and freckles". Hopefully, you would be seeing me as a friend, a mother, a wife and a general all around nice gal :) I can transform what the camera sees, into what others see, and make an amazing image.

Does that make sense? Maybe I'm not explaining it well enough.

Anywhoozers - here's an example of pushing the envelope a bit...more in the style of fashion photography (but not *quite* as extreme). In actually, the original photo isn't half bad.....I had a TON of make up on....

Self Portrait 2010 - Retouched

Like I said...a bit extreme. I probably spent about 2 hours or so on this edit, where as a portrait touch up might only take about 30 minutes or less. I've been trying to improve my Photoshop skills and tools, and have been taking courses online - so what better way to practice than on myself! Want to know what I did here?

  • Removed stray hairs on face
  • Brightened eyes
  • Highlighted catchlights in eyes
  • Sharpened eyes
  • Removed dark under eye circles
  • Enhanced eyelashes & eyebrows
  • Enhanced hair highlights
  • Minimized bright spots on skin
  • Removed blemishes
  • Smoothed skin
  • Enhanced make up
  • Made a small smile from my weird half smirk
Extensive? Yes. Overdone? Perhaps....especially in the eye department. But you know what, I like it :) Its pretty. It makes me feel pretty - and if it takes a computer program to make myself feel pretty even for just a few moments, I'll take it :) I still feel like its the real me - so no false reality here, but its the best me that I could possibly be. Except for the smile. My mouth always does this weird frown thing when I try to close mouth smile. Its driven me nuts for YEARS!

What are your thoughts on retouching in general? I'm curious to know public perception!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Instead Of..., originally uploaded by karintobrien.

I do love myself some yard work. There's not much more wonderful than tackling a project and seeing the fruits of your labor not too many hours after. But man - is it W-O-R-K! Our latest home project was to remove a 50 sq ft patch of tiger lilies that resided smack dab in the middle of our front lawn. During this project, I came to a quite a few realizations.

1. Tiger Lilies are my arch nemesis. Although they are very pretty when they bloom in late summer, we have them all over our yard, and they pretty much choke out everything else they grow around. We learned recently, judging by their root growth, that they have probably been in the ground for quite a few years. The tubule system is extensive....and they are HUGE pain in the ass to dig up.


2. I have a new found respect for women I used to see in Mexico working and wearing a child on their back. Those of you who know me should be well aware that I'm a big baby wearing advocate, and partake in doing so quite regularly. Usually I'm just walking around or chasing after Liam while wearing Lola. During this recent project, I wore her on my back for the better part of an hour. While digging up lilies. EGADS! That is even harder to do than I imagined. Babywearing + Manual Labor = tough. All those women across the world who do it on a regular basis because they have no other choice just achieved more super hero status than before.

3. I need a nail brush. Even with gloves, dirt seems to get into every crevice. And although I contemplated using it today, I shouldn't utilize our bottle brush to get the goop out of my nails.

4. Any project that involves completion while the kids are nearby automatically takes 10,000 times longer. But it certainly is adorable when they help....or even when they sit and play in the dirt and get filthy. Not adorable? When they are in the Cozy Coupe and repeatedly headed near the street. That makes me kind of jumpy.

5. Working outside affords visibility and more interaction with neighbors. I just found out today that our neighbor had a baby....a month ago. YIKES! Granted, they just moved in a few months ago and we don't see much of them, but I feel like I should have known.

6. I'm out of shape. I really am motivated to complete a project after I start, even if that means I'm working myself to the bone....way beyond my physical capacity. I just want things to be done! This is a positive quality to have in general....but now I'm so tired and sore that it kind of hurts to type. I may have pulled something. Or somethings. I've also realized that I'm filthy to the I'm going to stop typing and try to relax in a hot shower for a while.

I'm hoping the sod takes well in the already looks nicer than the glob of lilies intertwined with weeds and grass :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Cheesy Girl

Cheesy Girl, originally uploaded by karintobrien.

I've got to say, I'm love love loving my iPhone. If for no other reason than I have a halfway decent camera on my person at alllllll times! Much better than the camera on my last phone.....AND I downloaded the awesome-est app called Hipstamatic which creates all these incredible images to look like they were taken with retro cameras and film. I'm so in love!