Sunday, May 29, 2011

Photo Play

The photograph here is me at age 18. I had promised to post a picture from my teen years, but the photos from that time are all faded to a general brown with lint-like spots that did not come from the scanning glass. I tried to minimize the lint in this image, not entirely successfully. I did not smile in photographs from that time. It was pre-braces, not pretty; I didn't wear orthodontics till I was 23 and newly a working reporter. I must have been self-conscious about my teeth before that, even though I spent a lot of persuasive energy convincing my dad there was no need to mess with nature. I couldn't correct the color of this print much, but was able to make the image sharper. I sported a kinky-fuzzy-curly afro until I graduated from college. Sometimes it got very large, like a stop sign. Not in this picture, though. I am at the back door of our house at 37 Paddington Terrace, during the summer after my freshman year. My father took this picture.

I've been playing around with photo editing programs this evening, just seeing what they can do. Here is an image taken when our girl was 11, during her summer at farm camp. It was parent visiting weekend, and the kids had already been cavorting in the lake by the time the parents arrived. I snapped this picture of my husband and daughter greeting each other. It was a precious moment but a very unsatisfying photo because the color was pretty washed out. Picnik did a fabulous job of punching up the color and now I think the photo isn't half bad.

We took our niece to the airport this morning and now she is back in Jamaica, plotting a beach trip tomorrow. Jealous. We spent the afternoon in Ikea, and came home with a chair and a bookshelf for our son's room, and some cool accent pieces. My daughter and I are having a ball putting the room together before my son returns next weekend. Oh, he got himself another tattoo over there in England. On his ribs. This is number two, which means there will most likely be a third at some point. They say people either get one or three. They never stop at two. Not sure how true that is, but it's what I've heard. Here is the first tat he got, a stone cross and wings, which he said was in honor of his grands who had passed on. I manipulated this in Picnik, too, slightly blurring everything but the tat, boosting the black and giving the image a polaroid frame.

One more. I wanted to see my son's face in this post. I wanted to make this one look like it was done with lomography, a new-old process that has me a little intrigued. I miss my boy and look forward to his coming home a week from today.

Research: What are your favorite photo editing programs? Why do you like them? What do you mostly use them to do?


  1. I feel overwhelmed by photoediting programs -- I know I just have to plunge in and try it, but I just feel like the technology changes so quickly --

    Your photos are interesting -- it seems like you've got a great handle on the manipulation. And I love the pensive picture of young you.

  2. Elizabeth, my daughter laughed when she found out I was playing with Picnik all night. She said, That one's been around for a while, mom. They know, I suppose, because of Facebook, where they manipulate their photos all the time. So yeah, I am way behind, too. In truth, I do prefer plain photos with strong color and/or contrast, where the real star of the photo is the person or thing being photographed. But sometimes, it's nice to play. Hours passed. It felt meditative.

  3. Fantastic photos, Angella. And I love them all for different reasons. Good job at that editing. I use Picassa to highlight and define most of my photos.
    Have a great Memorial Day!

  4. The only thing I ever do to edit photos is to crop them. Learning to edit them is on my vague "to do" list. You are doing beautiful things here. You have the eye.

  5. Angella! You are SO creative!! Not only with your writing, but photography as well. I don't use any of those programs becauseI don't know how to. I use my PHD camera... 'Push Here Dummy' and crop when needed.
    That's the extend of my creativity with photographs.
    Beautiful post, photos and family!
    Sending love ~

  6. I have used Photoshop for years and years, and actually used to consider myself a digital fine artist. I had a couple of pieces in gallery shows a couple of times.

    I know what you mean about the process becoming meditative, it is for me, too.

    Actually, I don't think I've ever posted any of my digital art on my blog... maybe I should.

    Good job with the photos, they all look wonderful!

  7. Beautiful photos, Angella! Although I have a ridiculously, way too advanced camera for my personal use(a Nikon 300D), the photos usually come out of the camera beautifully. When I load them onto my computer, I use i-photo which allows me to crop them and change the contrast which has saved more than a few dark photos! I have not gotten into the technical stuff but my daughter who is a professional uses Photoshop which I find absolutely above my head right now!

    I agree that going through photos and playing with them can be a meditative process. I will have to check out Picnik!

  8. gorgeous photos.

    i have yet to enter the wonderful world of photoediting software. but really should, i'm sure it would enhance my efforts to capture the beauty of the world. i'm still a timid mouse, or maybe afraid of going down yet another rabbit hole! ha ha!!

  9. Good news, Angella: I have two tattoos and have absolutely no intention of getting another.

    More good news: Got both of these tattoos when I was in my twenties, so he might just stop there.

    Best news: I hid it from my parents for years, and they finally saw them during my med school graduation weekend. Ha. My dad asked if I was crazy. But my mom? She said, "Ooh! I want to do it, too!" So as soon as she got back to Los Angeles, my then fifty-something year-old mama promptly got herself not one. . .but two. . tattoos. How awesome is that???


  10. Mark, I love your photos. And I love how you focus the camera often on your beautiful family.

    Ms. Moon, It's very calming, all that fiddling. I'd rather do it than go to work.

    Gabriele, I love that! PHD camera. yes! Love to you too.

    ellen, i'd like to learn photoshop. that's next on my list. i love your digital art! so glad you posted some of your pieces. i look forward to more.

    Candice, nice to see you! How are things?

    Debra, whatever you do with photos, keep doing it. they are always lovely. xo

    mouse, i don't think you are a timid mouse at all. maybe just a busy one! love to you, friend.

    gradydoctor, that is indeed wonderful news! and I love your mama! how cool is she. what did she choose to get tatooed and where, if you can say? (notice I didn't ask about yours, lol).

  11. Mommy got these both in one sitting:

    #1. Japanese character for "Sugar" on her left shoulder--"Sugar" is what our whole family calls her. Perfect, 'cause she is super sweet!

    #2. Four tiny hearts on her right ankle for each of her four children. I am heart number 3!

    xo, km

  12. Gradydoc, what an awesome lady. nor did her apples fall far from the tree!