Themes for 2011

December 31, 2010

We had a bunch of suggestions over on the Monthly Themes Group on flickr for the themes of 2011, and I’ve decided to combine a few similar ones together to come up with 12 themes and put them in a mostly-random order, and they are as follows:

  • January: Lines
  • February: Drinks
  • March: Transportation
  • April: Leaves
  • May: Street Art
  • June: Doors/Windows
  • July: Statues/Parks
  • August: Sky
  • September: Water
  • October: Street Where I Live
  • November: Books
  • December: Pets

As a reminder, here are the “rules”:

  • Really, the only rule is that you have to take the photo during the month. The idea of the themes is to get you inspired to take photos, not just look through your old photos
  • You can take as few or as many photos for the month that you want – and you can submit all of them to the group. If you don’t like a theme, you can skip that month completely, there’s no sort of obligation!
  • The themes are meant to inspire, and can mean whatever you want it to mean. For instance, for the theme “Books” – you can take photos of books, or you can take a photo inspired by a book (like an Alice in Wonderland theme photo). Although, if you do something that’s not obviously related to the theme, you might want to put in the description of the photo how you got inspired, for those of us looking through the pool of photos.
  • Sometime after the month is over, I’ll go through the photos submitted to the group for that month and pick out some of my favorites to post in an entry here on (yes, I realize I still haven’t even done November from 2010… but I will!)

That’s about all I got… Happy New Year, everyone!

Filed under: Photography

Gimp Script Showcase: FIL

December 12, 2010
FIL Script ran with Lomo: Golden autumn, no grain, with vignette

FIL Script ran with Lomo: Golden autumn, no grain, with vignette

If you’re looking for a way to produce all kinds of old film photography looks in Gimp, then FIL (Film Imitation Lab) is the set of scripts for you.

There are a lot of things I love about these scripts (and one thing I don’t like, but I’ll get to that later), and the first is that you can actually download the documentation, too! So that makes my job here easily, because I feel I don’t need to walk through each setting and what they do, because it’s all described in the documentation!

You can download both the script and the documentation from here. If you can’t remember how to install Gimp scripts, you can check this out for some instructions.

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Filed under: Gimp Script Showcase

The Best of Monthly Theme: Lights/Lighting

December 7, 2010

I know I keep falling behind in posting these, but I’d like to say it’s just because I give you more time to edit and post your photos, right? This means you still have time to post any tree photos you took in November to the monthly themes group on flickr. And in case you forgot – December’s theme is food! So start taking some food photos. And don’t browse the group if you’re hungry, it might not be wise :)

Also, I want to play again next year. Do you? If so, start shouting out some theme ideas in over here. I’ll take all the suggestions I get over there and create a new thread where we can vote on them all.

And now, my favorite photos submitted to the group in October – the theme was Lights/Lighting:

Golden Leaf Bokeh

By thedigitaliris - the golden lighting in this is beautiful

Lovely evenings

By pambee83 - lovely, lovely soft lighting. Love it!

October 16, 2010

By Noctem Wolf - just awesome!

Day 17-10/18/2010

By Ravenspath - Love this idea, of focusing on the lampshade decorations - and well executed, too.

Held Up to the Light

By shirley319 - the light coming through the viens of the leaf is beautiful

17/10/10 - Day 111/365 - Spotlight

By caitra_ - love the colors of those bursts!

October 19 - 271/365

By melissac79 - beautiful light from a single candle!


By rachel_pics - my birthday is on Halloween, so I can't resist a jack-o-lantern - classic October lighting!


By kkaldrich - Love the movement in this photo... it makes me want to run out to an amusement park. Now.

I’ve already started to look at the November photos, people, and … for those of you that haven’t yet – be prepared to be blown away. The tree photos are just lovely – from all of you! No idea how I’ll narrow it down!

Filed under: Your Photos

26 Quick Photography Tips

November 28, 2010
I love sharpies.

I love sharpies.

I hope those of you in the States had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend – I know that I did, and I’m not looking forward to getting back to the daily grind!

During the month of October, I was tweeting and posting on flickr some daily “quick tips”. I didn’t make it through the entire month, but I did promise to share all the tips over here, so here are the 26 Quick Tips I have to share – no matter what kind of camera or editing software you use, I think you’ll find at least one tip that applies to you!

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Filed under: Photo Editing, Photography

The Best of Monthly Theme: Shoes

November 8, 2010

I realize September’s theme of shoes was a bit specific, so I wasn’t expecting a ton of entries, but I was surprised at the variety you guys were able to submit!

November’s theme is trees, so add any photos of trees you take this month to the monthly theme group on flickr!

Shining Shoes on Sleek Stuff

By asadc - Love the bright colors, and the fact that I had to look at this and wonder what was going on (click the photo to find out!)

B's shoes

By hlcombs314 - such great detail, I love that it's black and white, too.

Pedal to the Metal

By jan.etc - seriously, seriously love the fancy dress shoes against the bike. Love.

snakeskin shoes

By Stephanie.Grace - Love the depth of field, and I also have a feeling I'd love these shoes!

Day 273

By thedigitaliris - oh my, don't you just want to know the story behind these shoes?

Summer Shoes

By rachel_pics - Ok, this was actually taken just a bit into October, but doesn't it tell the perfect story of summer? Running outside barefoot... I love it.

Yellow Bench at Sunset

By team.breeze - not only are the colors just amazing in this photo, but it just so happens that my favorite shoes are Converse!

September 15 - 258/365

By melissac79 - ooh, beautiful shoes and pretty lighting, too.

Filed under: Your Photos

Using Curves to Give you a Cross-Processed Look

October 20, 2010
f/4.0; 50mm; 1/100sec; ISO 400

f/4.0; 50mm; 1/100sec; ISO 400

I know there are Cross-Processing filters available for Gimp and Photoshop, but sometimes I just prefer the simple method of adjusting my curves to give it that Cross-Processed look.

To show you what I’m talking about, here’s the photo I’m starting with – all I’ve done is converted it from RAW using UFRaw (upped the saturation during the process), and opened it up in Gimp:

Original Photo

Original Photo

Now, let’s edit it!

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What I’ve Been Reading

October 13, 2010
03.31 Things - I Love My Cats

One of the articles below talks about photographing your pets - and here's one of mine - Maia. This photo is also part of my October Photography project

For those of you that don’t follow me on twitter or flickr, you might not realize that I’m doing a project for the month of October that involves taking and posting a photo every day along with a quick tip. The photos are on flickr, and the tips are being tweeted as well as posted on flickr. If you don’t want to follow daily, just wait until the end of the month, and I’ll post all 31 tips over here.

I had an opportunity to take some Senior Photos this weekend, so I’m busy editing those at the moment… in the mean time, though, it’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my favorite recent photography articles.

Filed under: Resources

The Best of Monthly Theme: Reflections

October 5, 2010

See, I didn’t completely forget about those of you that have still been diligently uploading photos to the Monthly Themes group on flickr! I’m not surprised that August was a bit slow around there, because August was slow around here, too, so I really blame myself. I think we’ve got a great theme for October, though, that will give all of you a chance to get creative – it’s Lights/Lighting – so play with some light – natural, flash, LED, sparklers, whatever. I’m really looking forward to getting inspired by you this month!

Back in August, though, the theme was Reflections, and here are my favorites:

Elevator Lights

By shirley319 - so many reflections! My favorite part is all the lights at the top

August 11, 2010

By Noctem Wolf - Great colors and detail

Footsteps on the Beach

By team.breeze - breathtaking. I love the tones in this photo, and as for the reflections, I love how they just fade away. Beautiful.

Green T-bird

By GenBug - It's like a whole separate picture happening right there on the side of the car!


By Hynek S. - I saw this one right after it was added to the pool and loved it from day one. So simple, yet so many great lines and colors.

Day 232

by thedigitaliris - Nice ring, cool reflection!

by .:sindyHand:. - Pretty blues, awesome reflection. Perfect!

A Time to Reflect

By Christopher.F Photography - I love me some night-time city reflections. Doesn't it make you wonder what's going on in all the rooms with lights?

I’ll give you another week to edit/upload any more Shoes shots you took in September!

Filed under: Your Photos

Where to Start with Photo Editing

October 3, 2010
f/4.0; 105mm; 1/100 sec; ISO 400

f/4.0; 105mm; 1/100 sec; ISO 400

When I first decided to download gimp and start editing my own photos, I was intimidated. I knew there were so many options when it came to editing photos because I’d see what others had done to their photos. So… where should I start?

To be honest, I don’t know where the best place to start is – maybe some people learn best by diving right in and following complex tutorials, but I prefer the little-by-little approach, and if you’re the same way, here are some basic tips when it comes to editing photos for the first time.

Disclaimer: I use Gimp to edit my photos, I’ve always used Gimp, so I’m writing from that perspective, but many of these tips apply to whatever editing program you decided to use.

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The Best of Monthly Theme: Bokeh

September 16, 2010

Do you guys remember July? It was a while ago, so I don’t blame you if you don’t. The theme for July in the monthly theme group on flickr was bokeh!

Here are my long-overdue favorites from the month of July:


By Noctem Wolf - oh my. Look at how soft and smooth that bokeh is!

188:365 In Flight

By team.breeze - love the colors in this, and the timing with the butterfly having not quite landed yet.

Looking West Along the Fence

By jan.etc - love the colors, love the repeating pattern, love the bokeh.

Taken with 50mm 1.8

By miamiredbird - more pretty smooth bokeh! Pretty color green, too!


By Shotslot - I don't know why I'm such a big fan of bokeh self-portraits, but I really am.


By infion - Love the black and white here. I just feel stressed looking at all that paperwork, though!


By tpavankumar - Loving the colors in this

That's life shining :)

By Ashish_Clickbug - oh. Just... oh my. Beautiful.

31/07/10 - Day 33/365 - Vignette

By caitra_ - I just love how the combination of colors, bokeh and editing really make the flower stand out.


By Darwin's Dream - the green bokeh makes such a smooth, pretty background for that purple.

Day 211

By the digitaliris - It seems every month there's one photo I love that I can't really explain why. This is the one for July.

Olive Tree

By shirley319 - more foreground bokeh and soft colors. Love it!

By .:SindyHand:. - beautiful colors!

iffles july-2

By kkaldrich - more beautiful greens!

Now, don’t forget, September’s theme is Shoes!

Filed under: Your Photos