This week in pictures: Melty, gassy and flashy

by DaniGirl on February 18, 2012 · 0 comments

in Photo of the Day

Wow, I wish I’d realized a year or three ago how much easier it is to take a photograph each day when you’re relying on your iPhone instead of your camera! There’s something a little bit more playful about the pictures I’m finding with my iPhone, and the fact that I’m using a lot of the Hipstamatic app means that I’m not spending a lot of time cropping or editing photos — I’ve discovered extra HOURS in each day. Hours that I could have used to do housework, or play with my kids, or find the cure for cancer, or follow more people on Pinterest. And what have I done with all those extra hours? Played in Photoshop, of course! I finally got around to building a timeline cover for my Facebook profile. What do you think?

FB timeline

Here’s the week in pictures. This was the Rideau Canal earlier in the week — before it got soggy and was closed just in time for the last weekend of Winterlude. I like how the arches of the Laurier Avenue bridge and its shadow create a frame that draws your eye right to the skaters.

Skaters on the Rideau Canal

A colleague left these out on Valentine’s Day. I really should go over and say thanks for the cookies, and let her know that they’re now for sale on Getty Images! πŸ™‚

Valentine cookies

This picture makes me laugh because I thought it was okay when I first took it, but I didn’t love it. It was too green, thanks to the Hipstamatic filter I’d chosen, but I liked it a lot more when I pulled it into Photoshop and warmed it up to a nicer hue. It was really just a throw-away picture, though, and if I’d had anything else for the day I would have never posted it. Not only did jump right into Flickr’s Explore, but it won me the second round of a little competition I like to play in on Flickr as well. Lesson learned: one person’s throw-away is another person’s art!

Winter sunset

The melty season can be such an unlovely time of year, as the snow compacts and condenses but doesn’t quite disappear entirely. That’s the wet, icy feel I had in mind with this one. (I don’t know why I’m fixated on ditches with weeds in them, but I do seem to be.) I lined up the composition so the bullrushes moved on a diagonal, which is more dynamic than a straight line, and held my phone at a higher angle so the stalks were against the uncluttered snowy background to make them stand out more. And, to crop out the garbage in the half-melted snow.


The gas station at the corner has been out of use since we moved in, but these pumps are still standing, getting rustier and more vintage-looking by the day. I’ve looked at them dozens of times, thinking of photographing them, but the bleak day and the melting snow finally seemed like the right conditions to capture them.

It was a gas

I haven’t abandoned my Nikon entirely, though! In fact, I’ve spent WAY too much time last weekend reading my (gasp!) camera manual and a couple of books about using flash on and off camera. In fact, for Valentine’s Day Beloved got me the reflector kit and stand I was going to buy for myself, so instead I bought one of those Gary Fong diffusers. I have to say, I’m delighted with the reflector kit and completely underwhelmed by the diffuser — so much so that I’m thinking of taking it back.

The idea behind the diffusers is that direct flash light is harsh and unflattering, but by diffusing it and making the light come from a larger and more disperse area, you make the light softer and more flattering. You can achieve similar effects by bouncing the light off the ceiling or a wall, but I’d heard about the Gary Fong diffusers for years and thought I’d try one. The darn thing was hard to put together and difficult to put on, and when I used it I found the light was still as flat as it would have been with the pop-up flash on my camera.

See how Lucas’s face looks a little bit plastic? The straight-on light, even with the diffuser, takes out all the nuanced shadows that give his skin its texture. I converted it to black and white, which made it mildly better, but I’m still not thrilled with it. I do, however, like the big smile and the sparkle in his eyes. πŸ™‚

Smiling Lucas

This was the same. This is a cute picture and the expression on the cat’s face makes me chortle every time I look at it, but it looks like a snapshot to me, like something you’d take with a point and shoot.

Willie loves Tristan

So clearly, my spring project is more portrait strobe work. Kids, consider yourselves warned! πŸ™‚ Lucky for me, they’re willing subjects.

Speaking of willing subjects, this is kind of funny. Yesterday, I got my monthly sales statement from Getty Images, and that darn cat has made his fourth straight appearance! Each month I’ve been with Getty, I’ve sold a different picture of Willie. This time, it was this picture of Katie and Willie sort of cuddling. It sold to a company in Great Britain, and someone in Chile bought a picture of our decorated Christmas tree from 2010.

274:365 Stealing a cuddle

And here I thought the pictures of the cute kids would be the big sellers. Maybe instead of more kids, I need more pets?

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