Monday, May 25, 2009

Blurry Backgrounds for GIMP

Today I learned how to make blurry backgrounds after the picture has been taken. I know how to adjust my aperture already, but there are time where I forget to adjust it or it's not as low as I would like. So learning how to do this was really handy. It's also great for those of you who have point and shoot cameras and want to make your pictures look like the pros.

I'm going to show you how to do it in GIMP. Why? Well because it is slightly different that Elements and also I thought there may be some people out there who don't have Elements and want to try it. It's also free, saving you money you may not have to spend. But I do really recommend Elements!!!

Here are your step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Go read MckMama's post about blurry backgrounds! It's amazing and 100% credit goes to her.

Step 2: You better have read that post! The whole thing!

Step 3: Download GIMP.

Here is the picture I'll be using. Cute picture but the bushes are much sharper than I would prefer.

Step 4: Open up GIMP and open the picture you want to work on. Do this by going to file and open and then choosing your file.

Step 5: Now with your picture open, select the free select tool from your toolbox. It looks like a lasso. (Yes I'm aware I'm missing an "s" in my screen shot. I'm just too lazy to go back and fix it.)

Step 6: Now adjust your feather edges and outline the area you would like to keep sharp. This can take a little bit of practice. Do keep it as close to the object/person/area you want to keep sharp as possible. It will be quite obvious if you don't and won't look that good.

Step 7: Once the area is selected, go to select and then invert and click invert.

Step 8: Now you are all ready for the fun part, the blurring! Woohoo! Go to filters and then blur and select Gaussian blur.

Step 9: Almost there. Now set your blur radius levels. It takes a little bit of trial and error to find what you like for each picture, so just play around with it.

Step 10: Now wait a second for it to make the adjustments. You'll see it happen. It you like what you see, save it and move on. If not, try again until you get what you like.

Step 11: Sit back and admire your work!

Step 12: Make sure you write a big thank you to MckMama (not me!) when your done!

Happy Editing!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Holly Go Lightly

My dog got groomed on Wednesday! She looked so cute and fluffy, I just had to take some pictures. She is a 9 year old Jade Mist Shetland Sheepdog. She isn't the easiest thing to shoot, as she tends to ignore you when you call her name, I'm pretty sure the cat is easier.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Week 19 I ♥ Faces Entry

Over at I Faces it's their Blurb Book contest week. Basically you are entering, in either the amateur or professional category, your best "face" pictures. Amy and Angie (co-founders) will pick a winner from each category and their will be one "reader's choice" winner. All three of these winners will be featured in their book and receive a free copy of the book. Anyone else who is chosen to be featured in the book will receive credit for their photo as well as 10% of the purchase of the book. Cool, no?

I'm entering in the amateur category since I don't really get paid for my work, and haven't really been at this that long. I actually chose one of the first photos I took, so I really was an amateur when I took it. It's one of my old favorites, you just can't get over those deep blue eyes.

Head on over and check out my competition, or if you feeling up to the challenge, enter a photo yourself. But hurry, you only have till 9 p.m. tonight (5/19). Good luck!

"I am submitting this photo into the Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting I Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I Faces web sites."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Alumni Lacrosse Game

Saturday was the alumni lacrosse game for FCA/CHEN. It's always lots of fun to watch, and the boys always seem to have lots of fun. Of course the weather was absolutely miserable, but I'm pretty sure the guys didn't notice.

Here is the video of all the pictures

And a few pictures. For the rest, visit my SmugMug site.

Praying before the game.

Bench warming, it was really cold.

Fight for the ball...

Brother against brother.

Note: Any use of these pictures, whether personal or commercial, without my permission is a violation of the copyright laws. This includes simply copying and saving them to your computer. Please contact me if you would like to purchase copies.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pretty, Pretty, Princess

So as I was posting yesterday, E came downstairs to announce to me that her CD player had turned off. I noticed that she was wearing quite a fashion statement. I told her I wanted to take her picture, but while I finished yesterday's post, she went upstairs and changed (again!). Oh well, I still took her pictures. The outfit and accessories are all her own.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Underage Drinking...

So today apparently was "let's be a grump and unphotogenic" day, and I missed the memo. SL could have cared less that I was trying to take his picture and did not find any of the ridiculous things I was doing interesting at all. So the result was lots of photos taken, and none that were all that great. Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

While I was fixing lunch though, I caught SL doing some underage "drinking." I think it's time to move the alcohol to a higher shelf.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Week 18 Entry

Over at I ♥ Faces, it's laughter week! So fun! Took me a while to decide what to enter though. Head on over and check out the other great entries. There are some amazing photographers out there!

Thought maybe I should add who these folks are.

Here is my adult entry. This is my boyfriend. My "very patient with me" boyfriend. He may not look like he is laughing, but it was a through the teeth, "will you stop taking my picture," laugh.

And my kids entry! This is E, she is 4 and I'm her proud nanny. (She's got a cute 1yo brother too!). She makes me laugh pretty much everyday and loves to ham it up for the camera. I believe I had just said something she thought was quite funny. I wish I remember what it was.

Little Miss H

This is my next door neighbor; she is such a cutie! These were taken a few weeks ago during our neighborhood yard sale. She spent a lot of time in our yard, so I couldn't resist pulling out the camera. Of course the lighting wasn't always the best, and my I should have stopped and changed my setting. But oh well, they still turned out cute.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there! Here is the picture that I, along with my boyfriend(right) and two of his 4 other siblings gave his mom for Mother's day. This is the "you know things have gone downhill when..." family picture. She loved it though and hung it up right away. She said when the kids are driving her up the wall she can can look at it and laugh.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Video of Easter

If you've never tried Animoto before, your missing out! The guys behind Animoto are pure genus. All you do is create an account, upload your photos, arrange them, pick your song from their collection of already licensed music, and viola, sit back and they will create your video and email you when it's done! I used to spend hours putting together slideshows that didn't even look half as good as these.

Now there is a catch. In order to create a video over 30 sec long, you need an all-access pass, which costs $30 for a year. But if you click on the niffty link below, you can get $5 off! Personally I think it's well worth the $30 (or $25) for what you get. Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to afford the version for photographers, which looks completly awseome, but at a price tag of $250, it will be a little while.

Animoto - The End of Slideshows

Friday, May 8, 2009

May 7th

Welcome to my new blog...

And my THIRD at that!

I've decided to take my photography out of my Everyday Morgan blog and move it here and give it it's own place. It was taking over and I wanted to leave my other blog to my everyday life and my crafting. Of course you can also find me on Confessions of a Future Teacher, too. Again, I just wanted to keep things related to school and education separate. Maybe I like things organized, although the current state of my bedroom may beg to differ.

So here it goes...