Saturday, January 30, 2010

It Still Looks Like Me, But...

I am usually only do very basic editing in Photoshop. Red-eye. Cropping. Brightness. Contrast. I feel that these are justifiable post-processing techniques. As much as I try to set up a great shot in-camera, sometimes it still just doesn't come out the way it's s'posed to, and the moment would be gone if I kept trying to change the settings on my camera in-the-moment. I'll even go so far as to clone out pimples, scratches, that little bit of cookie that I forgot to wipe off my nephew's mouth before I took the shot (granted, sometimes it's that bit of cookie that makes the shot!). I'm a very primitive Photoshop user. Beyond basic post-processing, I kinda feel like it's cheating to alter too much content.

But every now and then, I like to have fun. I get a bit artsy. Or a bit silly. I play around with photos. I often experiment with lighting and lens functions and what-not by taking self-portraits. Sometimes I keep even the less-than-stellar shots cuz I figure they might come in handy for something at some point. Yesterday, I took one of the plainer ones, and decided to Photoshop it big time. And it's still a far cry from the Photoshopping that professionals do to Supermodels and celebrities.

Take a look at the image below--the before and after. See if you can count how many changes I made to it in Photoshop. Then compare with the list below.

  • Got rid of the circles under my eyes.
  • Made my irises just a LITTLE bit fuller.
  • Gave myself eye shadow.
  • Gave myself just a bit of eyeliner.
  • Removed a couple small pimples and skin marks.
  • Gave myself blush.
  • Plumped my bottom lip just a bit.
  • Gave my lips a hint of colour.
  • Gave my skin the basest of tans.
  • Gave my hair some mild colour/shine.
  • Tucked in the right side (your left) of my jawline to make it more symmetrical with the left (your right).
Subtle... and yet... (and just think of all the things I didn't do!)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cat on a Small Wood Shelf

I have been paring down and packing up around my condo the last month or so, in preparation to put it on the market in mid-February. I'm hoping to finally buy a house! A house-house! ...Anyway, my realtor and I met last fall to talk about how to present my condo most effectively, and "openness" was the key word. I wouldn't call myself cluttered, but even so, my realtor suggested I pare down by about half. So I have been filling boxes and tucking them in the corner of my respite family's garage with things that I have been able to convince myself that I can live without for the next several months.

As I have been packing, and space has been opening up, it seems Princess has taken a slight obsession with the increased shelf space. Whenever a new shelf presents itself as empty (and sometimes not even then), Princess has felt the need to test it out, explore the space, or rest in it. Like Goldilocks in the three bears' house. "This shelf is too low!" "This shelf is too tight!" "This shelf is perfect!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Superheroes and Brain Surgeons

I realized it has been a couple weeks since I've blogged; what HAVE I been doing? Well, apart from jumping back into the world of work and extracurriculars after the holidays, I have spent less of my free time on my laptop and more of it lately feeding my TV addiction: Grey's Anatomy.

Over the holidays, I acquired Seasons One, Two, and Three on DVD. And in the last three weeks, I have watched them in their entirety. Sad. Or disgusting. Or hardcore. However you want to look at it. To be fair, the first week I was still on holidays with oodles of free time, and the first season of Grey's is only nine episodes; not the typical twenty-something of a regular season. But yes, I realize that's still a LOT of Grey's in a very short time period. I loved it.

I don't know exactly what it is about Grey's that I love so much. No, it's not Dr. McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey). He's great and all, and I love that I share my birthday with him, but let's get real--do you know how much older he is than me? And I'm quite beyond Hollywood crushes. The male lead is not the key factor. Maybe it's the drama. My life is not nearly as chaotic or dramatic, but they DO deal with issues that fall (or could fall) into the realm of my adult world. Maybe it's the science. My major was psych, but my minor was biology. I'm fascinated by rare conditions, the human anatomy, and anything that has to do with the brain. Maybe it's the script. The dialogue between characters right down to the one-liners--the comic relief is hilarious, and the rest is poetic and true. Maybe it's the characters. I don't really identify with any one character, but I love how each is completely unique, and I love the dynamic between them. Seriously.

I dunno. I have only ever been as intensely into one other television show, and it wasn't really the same genre. When I was in high school, I was completely into Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Not exactly similar to Grey's, hey? There was no drama. Well, not the soaps-style drama that Grey's offers. L&C was more of a catch-the-bad-guy each week with a Lex Luthor sub-plot that came up a few times each season. And there was no science. More like science fiction (obviously not too much, otherwise I wouldn't have watched it). But the script... the characters... yup, that's what drew me into that one. I strongly identified with Lois Lane, and totally wished I had personal connections to a guy who could fly. And again, the one-liners; hilarious. The dialogue; endearing.

For those of you who missed it in the 90's, and for those of you who would like a stroll down memory lane:

Yeah, I guess some of it's kinda cheezy looking back. And I'm sure ten years from now, I'll watch my Grey's DVDs and think they were kinda cheezy, too. I went from a man in tights to doctors in lab coats; kryptonite to chemo; superheroes to brain surgeons.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year's Prayer

Holy Father,
God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.
We praise You for Your unequaled greatness.
Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.
Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more.
To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.
To teach others to love by loving them,
Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us;
So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.
That we could share Love with others.
Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,
in the chirping of sparrows in our backyards,
in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.
Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,
so that we may know You better and better.
We rejoice in the world You loved into being.
Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.
We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others.
Forgive us for falling short this past year.
We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.
We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what's ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want.
I say it again, we rejoice!
In Jesus name, Amen.

Taken from: