Monthly Archives: July 2013

Rowboat Ripples

Another Restoration. Pretty straight forward:  Fix all the visible cracks and rips as well as the faded colour.

This photograph was taken in 1940 or 1941 in Pennsylvania. It shows a happy moment in time, seems to have no cares, but only smiles and summer joy.

To fix the visible cracks and rips was easy, but once I zoomed in there was a lot more going on, especially in the shadows of the photo. I took great care to fix the boat and the water in the foreground. There was also a lot of damage in the trees in the background, where the dye started separating from the paper.

It was not a crystal clear scan, so I chose to use some adjustment layers to bring in a bit more clarity, especially in the faces. I opted for a Black and White image with just a hint of sepia, but not too strong.



Cute Visitors

With many of the native flowers now in bloom, we get a lot of native birds visiting our garden. One of my favourites are these ones: Rainbow Lorikeets. Cutest little parrots. Watching them from the window they munch away on the little seeds and climb up and down all over the trees and bushes. They chat to each other and seem to have the most fabulous time.

Most mornings I cannot resist, drop everything else that I’m doing, including making school lunches, finding notes, doing the washing, feeding the dog, you know, Mum-stuff  😉   instead grab my camera and head outside to try to capture some of these little beauties.

‘Try’ I said, indeed. Taking photos of animals is my worst nightmare. Doesn’t matter whether dog or cat or chicken or duck … or parrot. They may look trustful and calm and cute from the distance, as soon as I come closer than 10 m they turn their backsides on me, or fly off. Try as I may to look like a tree or turn into a bush, they see right through me.

So these few photos are very special indeed   🙂


Winter Beach

I really love going to the beach in winter. It really is not cold on most days and the light is just fabulous. Look at the sparkle in the sea, it was a gorgeous day.

Very happy as this photo found a new home already, it’s a great privilege to know someone will look at it every day and enjoy it.


Impromptu Portrait

Taken some years ago, my young one had a little nap on the couch one afternoon. The sun shone on him and it was quiet in the room. One of those magical moments. I didn’t move much for a long time, was working as quietly as I could. But eventually I couldn’t resist anymore. My little Lumix was lying on the table, so I grabbed it and took a few shots. Of course, he was waking up …. So when, after a while, he couldn’t pretend to be sleeping anymore and giggling took over this impromptu portrait shoot was finished.

I don’t use the manual focus function on this camera, it’s great it’s there but I find it too complicated. So selective blur was done in post-production, as well as high pass on the eyelashes and a bit of monochrome playing.

Love those eyelashes. Psss….. keep still my beating heart  ♥



Danger Zone

The beach can be a dangerous place. With recent winter storms causing havoc up and down the coastline it was a timely reminder to stay safe, away from the surf and the wind and the rocks.

Humans. We are so vulnerable. Cannot be without food and drink, obviously. Cannot be without shelter either, which separates us much more from any animal on the planet, I think. Going down the beach on a beautiful and sunny day it is especially fascinating to think that there are so many creatures exposed to wild weather 24/7, with nowhere to hide. And just when I had that thought, this little guy caught my eye.

The sun glare was strong and I couldn’t really see anything through the viewfinder, my hands were slippery from the sunscreen, so I just checked the settings and pressed the shutter release and hoped for the best. And yes, the wave was barely knee-high, but in photography everybody knows it’s all about the angles  😉



Black & White Beauty

A beautiful image, I really love this one. It’s obvious that the photographer cared very much about his (or her) subject and was so focused on her pretty face that he didn’t pay attention to her feet. The pretty young woman had to look into the sun, and by the length of the shadow I’m guessing it was probably mid-afternoon, so it would have been fairly low and really right into her eyes. Yet she looks very calm and dignified, not overly smiling but just really pretty. I really like this photo.

The clients brief was to crop to 6×8″, which would have cut off a lot of the photos right side, as the subject obviously was meant to stay centered. Therefore I suggested to move the bushes & tree on the right side a bit more into the frame, to cover more of the fence without taking it out completely. The power pole was removed (why are they everywhere?). The shade on the legs took some time, especially as I had to partially recreate the shoe. Now, I am not a shoe person, and even if I was, that would probably not have helped with late 1930s fashion 🙂  I hope I did it justice.

I took great care cloning the grass, tidying up the edge of the garden bed and particularly of the graded shade on the legs. Some minor cracking in the dye was visible once zooming in, especially on the dress, which I fixed using the cloning tool. I opted for a slight sepia tone, to give it some warmth, instead of pure black and white.

Another example why digital retouching does not deserve the bad reputation it has. By cleaning up the photo this way and getting it reprinted it is sure to get a special place in the family’s home, instead of being tucked away in an album. It now can help preserving the memory of a loved-one in a much more visible way, and it also provides a glimpse into a time long ago.


56 days to go – and no idea yet

OK, Father’s Day in Australia is on the first Sunday of September, which means this year I have another 50something days to get thinking.

Yes, we’ve been down the road with socks, ‘Dad’s the Best’ mugs, chocolates, funny undies, taking him to movies, breakfasts, cooking him special dinners, getting him control of the remote for the day….. We have given up on the Father’s Day Stall at school, really, it has always been a little, well, let’s say understocked. Most years we got creative ourselves, the boys and I, making cards and banners, taking photos and painting frames and making clay card holders. Done it all.

We did a little brainstorming just last week and this is what we came up with: nada, nothing, totally zero!

We should have known. We should have known last year already, when we organised that super duper present for him, that the year after would be a step down, no matter how hard we try. Because last year, after he got a new car after a nine months wait, we figured that the new apple of his eye should be in his office, too, to be admired all day. Dad loves his cars. Always has. They get polished and spoken to, and all of them had names. Since I love anything photo and I had done some of these for clients just shortly before, the boys suggested this. They decided on colours, and it was their idea to write this text on the number plate.


Needless to say that Dad was stoked. I can see him sitting in his office and lovingly looking up at that canvas  🙂

So this year we are in trouble, the boys and I. No ideas. Nothing big anyway. So maybe we just have to get back to basics, picnic at the beach, or breakfast at the Cafe in the park and kicking the ball around afterwards. And lots of extra hugs and kisses. Cause Dad loves his Auto. And we love our Dad.