Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An Aside: Meet the New Man in My Life

A Smooch from Daddy, originally uploaded by Sheba Wheeler.

I know I promised a blog post about fine tuning my business plan on Sunday. But my sister blessed me with the best gift ever for Christmas this year that kept me busy all weekend -- a surprise visit to Denver with her son and my new nephew, 8-month old Eli! Turns out the best present had nothing to do with coveted photo equipment, but instead was time well spent with family. My sister lives in Texas, and I had yet to meet Eli (short for Elijah), so I’m sure you can understand my absolute excitement when I got the local phone call, showing that my sister was indeed in Denver with the baby.

After our mother’s untimely death in 2005 at the age of 48, I wasn’t sure if I would ever see my sister would ever truly smile again. The tragedy sparked my passion for photography, but my sister was lost, given that she was only 17 at the time, and it would take her longer to find her new place in the world. Now, there is definitely a light sparkling in her eye since she has her life to share with Eli, and I know his birth will lead to new life and meaning for my sister in other ways as well.

Now, back to the photography part of this post:
To get this image, I told AJ, Eli’s father, to just play with his son and pretend I wasn’t there snapping away like a mad woman. I love this simple image of a smooch between father and son. But I wanted to add something new to the old-standby pose. In this case, it was a cool new Photoshop action that made the photo black and white with an almost golden tint.

An action is a series of tasks that you play back on a single file or a batch of files - menu commands, palette options, tool actions, and so on. You can create an action that changes the size of an image, applies a filter to the image for a particular effect, and then saves the file in the desired format. I had fun all weekend playing with the actions.

I’m still very new to photoshop actions, but the options they present are almost infinite when you combine them with your own post processing workflow. Do a random Google search of “free photoshop actions," and download some today to take your imagery to a new level.

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