Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another "What Is It?" Photo!

It's time to play "What Is It?" again...click on "comments" below to leave your guess in the comment box...this photo was shot today while I was out and about between photo shoots and marketing jobs...

A little unsure? Here's a closer look....

P.S. I might add...this photo is of something VERY appropriate for today..the day after the mess on Wall Street.

Monday, September 29, 2008

#79 Secret of Life

"I think I've discovered the secret of life -
you just hang around until you get used to it."

#79 Secret of Life Greeting Card

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The day after...

All I want to do is sleep....

All I want to do is be ticked off...

All I want to do is find out where my belly hair went!

Gosh, why do us girls have to have it so difficult? But, hey, I'm one powerful chick...I'll make it just FINE.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Big Day!

Today is the big day...the kittens and mom are going to the vet to get spayed/neutered and have their necessary shots.

"WHAT did you just say?" asks Oreo.

The others seem oblivious to the announcement as they munch on their food.

"I think I've just lost my appetite." Oreo leaves the bowl and stretches, preparing to run as soon as the crates come out the front door.

Wish us luck...


Thursday, September 25, 2008

#78 Wishes

Rowdy takes center stage with a quote about wishes.

This kitten/soon to be cat/soon to be neutered thanks to the generosity and kindness of a local vet - has the most unique and interesting coloring I've ever seen in a cat. He almost looks Siamese...I love his intense and expressive blue eyes against his light fur coloring. And he is so sweet!


#78 Wishes Mousepad

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ms. Squirrel...having dinner

Allyson gets a feature here tonight with this magnificent shot she got of one of Bill's squirrels nextdoor. Definitely a momma squirrel, and it looks like she's got a few babes out there somewhere!



Max was turning it on with a gusto yesterday while playing ball, and I got this fabulous action shot of him. Click on the photo to see it larger...the tennis ball is just about ready to be secured by those big jaws!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Experiments with Max

Well of course you KNEW I'd have to figure out this indoor shooting dilemma and how to get a good photo without the flash. The main problem is when the flash hits the subject, it 1) gives the pet "demon eyes" and 2) changes the color/hue of the fur. I learned I needed to somehow bounce the flash off the ceiling, rather than have it bounce off the animal. The problem is our camera as a built in, pop up flash, which only points in one direction - right at the subject.

So using Max as my model, and a piece of white cardboard, I came up with a solution. I took this small piece of cardboard and positioned it under the flash and by slightly moving it up or down while taking several photos, I finally got this shot of Max. His coat looks natural, and his eyes aren't glowing. The whole photo was not as bright, however, so I had to do some further editing.

On this round of editing, I adjusted brightness and contrast, and I also took out that little section of my ugly blue/green carpet that was in the upper right corner of the original photo.

By now, I'm liking this much better, except for one thing...the rug Max is laying on is almost the same colors as his fur. So I needed to do something about that.

On the third photo, you can see I took out the color on the rug, and using the burn tool on my software, I enhanced the rug markings a bit more. I think this is the look I was after...a good look at Max, his color, and his expression, with him being the focus and not blending in with that rug!

Then I decided to take Max outside and work on some motion shots. As you can see from this final photo, Max soon got a bit irritated with all this picture-taking. All he wanted to do was play, and here I was with that blasted camera in between him and I. So he was kind enough to share his displeasure with me. :)


Pistol & Max

Well we've finally done it....Allyson and I have been talking about starting a pet photography business, so we have. We're working in the Jackson, TN area and rather than the standard "bring your pets to a studio with backdrops and props", we go to the pet's home and photograph the pet in his/her natural environment....just like we do our own! We've set up a website...check it out at http://www.JaiAllyson.Com.

One of our test shots of Max is shown here. I took about 75-100 photos before I managed to get this one....this is the profile look I've been after with him for a while. It's difficult because this dog is ALWAYS moving!

At this time, we're only going to focus on outdoor photo shoots...indoors is just too tricky with lighting. We may still be able to do some indoor shoots - IF the lighting is decent enough. We were practicing on our indoor shooting in our home...(bad lighting here...very dark in our house except for a few rooms). And we picked our black cat Pistol to practice with, which was super challenging.

I didn't want to use a flash as that distorts his coloring and makes everything look...well..."flashy". We've taken probably 1,000 photos of this cat over the years, and I finally....yes...FINALLY....got a decent shot of him yesterday! Thought I'd share a few examples here.

This photo is a good one of him...but the coloring is too warm. After some adjustments in my software, I toned down the warmth and got the coloring more accurate, as shown in the second example.

But the final photo shown here really takes the cake...it got the coloring true right off the bat! To photograph him, we took him in the front bedroom. The sun hits the front of the house late in the day. So we opened up the curtains and turned on all the lights in the room so I wouldn't have to use a flash. Most photos turned out blurry because he kept moving, but I'm glad we managed to get these two.

So until I figure out a solution to indoor photos with no flash, I think we'll try to stick to outdoor shots. :)


Sunday, September 21, 2008

French Toast Ghost continued

Allyson had no clue when she ate this piece of french toast with a ghost image that she could have just eaten the answer to our financial issues. After all, this little gem could have fetched a tidy sum - especially after a Virgin Mary image in a grilled cheese sandwich (http://www.virginmarygrilledcheese.com) brought an impressive $28,000 on Ebay. Of course these days on Ebay, it might have only brought $7,000...but hey, that's nothing to sneeze at either!

Since this piece of toast - featuring an image with a likeness to Casper the Ghost in it's markings - is now history, the least I could do is preserve it with a photo and some Halloween-y type words. After all, it appeared during the cycle of the full moon this past week, and here we are in September...the month before Halloween. Coincidence? I think not. :)

This ghostly cuisine is now available on t-shirts, sweatshirts, cards, posters and more, forevermore preserved thanks to a camera and the photographer who thought to shoot a photo of it before she ate it. :)


Boo! Halloween Ghost Sweatshirt

Boo! Halloween Ghost Trick or Treat Tote Bag

Saturday, September 20, 2008

#76 Autumn

Allyson shot this photo of Oreo recently in the yard. The falling leaves had captured her attention. I found a wonderful quote about Autumn to put with the image: The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.

I love fall...it's one of my favorite times of year. :)


#76 Autumn Sweatshirt

French Toast Ghost

Niko's Catch of the Day

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A little birthday fun...

I think I've mentioned my neighbor who feeds the squirrels before. Well, he has this favorite one named "Scamper" that comes up to him. He goes out every morning before daylight and drops seeds around the trees...and this one tree in between our houses is kind of "squirrel central" for the morning feeding.

When his wife Linda told me that today Bill is *60*, I thought it would be fun to put a birthday greeting up from Scamper...so on this tree between the houses, Allyson and I made a huge sign and nailed it to the tree after dark last night, so Bill would find it this morning.

On the sign, we drew actual squirrel footprints, and taped on a B&W photo of one of his squirrels (not sure if it's Scamper, but I have not mastered the art of telling the squirrels apart yet! haha!) I had taken this photo of the squirrel while trying to photograph hummingbirds over there last week. So we added that photo to the sign for extra effect. :)

It is daylight now, and the sign is gone, so I'm assuming he found it (either that or the squirrels ate it!). So I feel it's safe to now post a photo of our handiwork in the blog now without ruining our surprise. Feel free to leave some comments wishing Bill a happy 60th birthday...he does read the blog, so he will see the comments!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

#75 Full Moon

Simplicity is at it's best in this photo of a full moon over Jackson, TN, September 2008.


#74 Amazing Heights

This is a photo of one of the pine trees lining our driveway. A branch on this tree is now down, almost totally touching the ground after the high winds we have had all night. My neighbor has a small chain saw...maybe he'll be able to cut it later today.

This was another one of those designs that the verse just "clicked" with me right away. I was looking around at some articles on confidence a little while ago, and I found this statement which I particularly liked: If you believe in what you are doing and have the confidence that it will be successful, it doesn't matter what anyone else says, you can achieve it, even if you have failed many times before.

I need to repeat that to myself daily!


#74 Amazing Heights Small Poster

Saturday, September 13, 2008

#73...Oreo simply wants to say...

...Merry Christmas.

Yeah, I know it's early. But it will be here before we know it, and I have at LEAST 3 other card choices to get put up for Christmas.

I've been busy this week...working on a new website called 1PowerfulChick.Com - stop by and take a look if you have time! I have about 60 designs created and ready to go into that shop before the end of September.

Yeah I know...I have no life. LOL But hey, I'd rather stay here and work than go out and do anything with the cost of gas being what it is. :)


#73 Christmas Kitten Greeting Cards (Pk of 20)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

#72 Through the Darkness

I shot this photo of one of my neighbor's trumpet flowers about a month ago. I love the rich orange coloring of the flower against the dark background. The perfect sentiment to put with the image came to me this morning: Through the darkness, beautiful things shall blossom.


#72 Through the Darkness Framed Panel Print

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

#71 New President (a bit of political humor from Oreo)

A bit of political humor from Oreo...

As Your New President,

I will do what I want, when I want.
I will be totally unpredictable.
I will rarely listen to anyone.
I will be moody.
I will hiss at the enemy.
I will not let sleeping dogs lie.
And I will sleep 23 hours a day,
giving you plenty of time to clean up my messes!

#71 New President Women's T-Shirt

Monday, September 8, 2008

#70 Think Pink (breast cancer awareness)

Allyson got this fabulous photo of Oreo this weekend and I didn't have a clue as to what words I would put with this one. This morning it hit me - with Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, I knew I had the purrfect image.

I've participated in functions for Breast Cancer Awareness over the past 3 years. My gallery owner, Rachel, got me involved in 2005. Some of my jewelry friends might remember this piece of jewelry, and the article. The piece of jewelry was given away to a registrant at our October luncheon. The most fitting thing was the person who won the necklace had a young daughter who had fought - and survived - breast cancer. I got to meet the daughter at the end of October. What a brave lady!

So this design is my contribution this year. Thanks to Oreo for looking so sweet in pink, and thanks to Allyson for the photograph!


#70 Think Pink 2.25" Button