It was a BEAUTIFUL Fall day!

And I have the photos to prove it. Check out my set on flickr here.

Free from Diversions: Christmas Owl Ornament Pattern


Hello everyone! As the holidays approach, I start feeling crafty! I get some extra time off near the holidays and always want to pull my sewing bags out! Over the weekend, I was working on a few felt ornaments in the style that I made last year and decided to try something new. I just cut this cute little owl out of felt and began stitching! Afterwards, I was really pleased, so I scanned in the piece of felt that I cut his body out of and created a pattern to share. There are so many styles of owls you could create. I really love the little snowy owl! I hope you enjoy making these little guys - Christmas ornaments are a hoot! ;) Click here to download the PDF!

Photoshop Tutorial : The HDR Effect in Photoshop

I'm not sure why, but I've always assumed that a lot of the high contrast, high detail photography was straight from the camera. But, I've learned that a lot of these fashion magazine style photos are enhanced by shooting a series of images with various rages of shadow/highlight. Those are merged into one High Dynamic Range Photo. Typically these HDR images are shot using the RAW file format on professional cameras, but I found a tutorial that gives you the run-down on getting that effect with just one JPEG image.

My camera will shoot RAW format, but they do take up quite a bit of space and are usually a waste of space and time for my needs. It is nice to have the option to shoot in that format because you can capture a lot of information that can be good for subtle and intricate ehancements.

I took one JPEG from my recent vacation photos and applied the HDR techniques from http://www.nill.cz.


This original image of Belize City was taken with my Nikon D40 from the rainy window of a bus. The rain on the window already gave it a vingetted blur effect naturally, and the colors were so vibrant, I thought I would use this photo as a test.



After the effects of the fake HDR enhancements, you see a higher contrast image, but without the loss of detail that you get with just adjusting the levels. The tutorials use of blending modes and transparency really helps create a nice surreal and dreamy effect.

For this image, I'm not sure which version I prefer but, the results of this effect can really change a photo's mood.