January 31, 2010

"I will make you fishers of men ..."


And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him.
Matthew 4:18-20

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"
"No," they answered.

He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."

Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"

"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"

He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?"
He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."
Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.

Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

John 21:1-19

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January 29, 2010

Orange County Family Photography

I already showed four minute's worth of photos from this delightful session, but I also promised to show pictures from our "official" destination. Without further ado, here they are :-).

official destination

Feel free to drop by my Facebook page to see larger versions of each photo.

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January 28, 2010

Lightroom, How I Love Thee ... Redux

Lightroom is amazing for ever so many different tasks. But without a doubt, the presets in the develop panel are the most fun to experiment with. (please ignore my ending a sentence with a preposition. so wrong. i know.) Below & first is my SOOC image. Following the SOOC image are numerous one-click presets. If you mouse-over the picture you'll see the preset that I used.


alice's less bright dress

creative catalyst 01

bw hi contrast plus warm

CWP Boost 3

Dramatic Sky

Preset Heaven bw beach

KK Defaults warm edge

KK bw Hollywood


yellowish bw


bw landscape (for canyons)

hollywood fade

boondoggle 2

kelsey smith - just b


on the beach

preset heaven fort knox

In this post I have a list of helpful Lightroom links, including some of the places where I've found my presets.

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January 24, 2010

Let every valley be lifted up ...


... the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

A voice is calling,
"Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Luke 3:2-6 & Isaiah 40:3-5


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January 21, 2010

It's not always sunshine and sweetness round here ...

Seen around home and Laguna Beach yesterday afternoon ...

rainy day drive

Ok, maybe not sunshine, but there's still sweetness ... ;-)

rainy day drive & candy

Big Dude made a $1.50 sweet stop for the Little Dudes.

And another texture-play, this time of our stormy sea:


Here's the original, followed by the "recipe":

+ Shana Rae's Florabella Textures:
Raw Sugar - soft light mode - 25% opacity
Goddess - soft light mode - 100% opacity
Grunge Edges overlay - soft light mode - 88%

Oh, and here's a sweet bit of information: THREE of Shana Rae's complete sets of actions and textures are being given away today at iHeartFaces!!!

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Laguna Beach Photographer

January 20, 2010

Adventures in Textures, Part Tres....

I don't often use textures, much though I like them and their artsy effect. Textures take [me] time. Oodles of time. But since I'm avoiding laundry and dust and dinner I'm all cozied up in my dry home during this thunder/lightning/rain/tornado-watch (oh my!), I thought I would experiment a little.

Here's how I "play" with textures. I send my photo to Photoshop and open up several textures. I'll add layers for 3+ of the chosen textures and then play around with modes (usually overlay, soft light, and screen) and opacities and I'll liberally turn layers off and on and try them with different combos of textures layered on each other.

So, here's my test photo, sans texture:

November Sunrise at Mono Lake

I've layered 4 of Shana Rae's Florabella textures on it: Artiste, Moulin Rouge, Vintage Autumn, and Mai Tai (only Artiste is turned on below).

mono texture snipit

One of the surprising [to me] effects of textures is the warming/cooling/changing-color-tone ability of different textures. In the photo below I have Vintage Autumn clicked "on" at 100%. You can see how it warmed the photo and gave it an orange-ish glow.

mono texture 2 snipit

And here's how my final photo turned out. The recipe:
Vintage Autumn - soft light - 27% opacity (for subtle warming & slight vignette)
Mai Tai - soft light - 52% opacity (for slight light tweaking & texture)
Artiste - soft light - 92% opacity (for stronger texture)

_MG_7722 texture

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January 19, 2010

More Adventures in Textures ...

Another before and after, plus the recipe... (oh, and the "after" can be seen big here).


On this flower photo I used three of Shana Rae's Florabella textures:
Chartreuse - soft light mode - 77% opacity,
Artiste - soft light mode - 71% opacity,
Mai Tai - soft light mode - 56% opacity.

Shana generously shared her newest group of textures (Set II) with iHeartFaces Contributors as an additional tool that we might use in our Friday Fix-it feature. The textures are fabulous, her tips & tricks handy and helpful, and 'twas wonderful to have them for this week's upcoming Fix-it. Thank you, Shana!!

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Adventures in Textures ...

I'm not gonna lie. Textures don't come easily to me. They are not a tool that I go to first. But sometimes a picture just screams for a texture. Like this one did.

013_Patopoff_F1004T013_Patopoff_F1004 vmdv dream texture

And, at times like that, I'm grateful for the products and tutorials of people (like Patti Brown) who, unlike me, are brilliant with textures. On the above photo I used Patti Brown's Vintage Dream Sequence V (overlay mode 75% opacity) from her Dream Collection.

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Orange County Family, Child & Baby Photographer

January 17, 2010

i Heart Faces - We are Family


I Heart Faces is celebrating family photography this week. I "heart" taking family photos, especially of this darling family: dear friends of mine who love each other ever so sweetly.

Be sure to visit IHF this week to see all sorts of lovely family photos!

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Orange County Family Photographer

whatever is lovely ...


... whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise,
let your mind dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8

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January 14, 2010

Need a studio?

Wanna see my makeshift "studio?"


Yup. My driveway. With my dirty white garage door as my "backdrop." Works like a charm. See?...

garage studio long

The key ingredient that makes my driveway work so well: it's north-facing (full gamut pretty light) and shaded for most of the day. Check around your own home. Does your garage door face north? If not, find which wall faces north and try using that as your neutral backdrop. You just might find that you have a wonderful studio at your beck and call. :-)

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January 11, 2010

Kimberly Cash Tate.

Kim and I "met" and "clicked" several years ago on the Well-Trained Mind board. Over the years we have exhorted and encouraged each other through our individual homeschool journeys. She and I just *get* each other and have several times talked about taking a walk together some day on the beach. The hindrance to our plan has been that Kim lives way far away in Missouri.

This weekend, though, we got our walk on the beach! And it was delightful. Kim flew all the way out here so we could take pictures ... for her upcoming book that will be published in the fall, and for publicity pictures, as she will be a speaker this year for Women of Faith!

kim beach collage

After the beach, we took a little hike in my canyon ...

kim canyon collage

I love my job. I really do. And especially now that it carries with it the perk of allowing me to meet my friend for a walk on the beach. :-) Kim, it was completely my pleasure to hang out with you this weekend! Let's do it again for your next book!

You can see more pictures on my Facebook Page ...

And, you can find Kim's first fiction book, Heavenly Places, at Amazon or your local bookstore. :-)

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Orange County Portrait Photographer

January 10, 2010

IHF Birthday!! -- Best Face Photo

kim peace for IHF

This is the week when I Heart Faces turns ONE!!! As a fitting challenge this week, it's all about the face. I had the immense pleasure and privilege of taking my friend Kim's pictures just yesterday. She's as beautiful inside as she is outside.

Happy Birthday, IHF!!! What a swell ride it's been this last year :-).

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Orange County Portrait Photographer



Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse
of the heavens."

And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kinds,
and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:20-21

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January 5, 2010

Travel Reading

A roadtrip to WA affords one much time to read…

Middle Dude and I both read The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives. We both enjoyed it. Cute concept. MD will probably read the rest of the series. Eldest Dude has just begun it; he thinks it’s a fun book. So, three thumbs up from us.

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindle. I quite enjoyed this fairy tale. Good story, good characters. I think both boys will also enjoy this book.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I read the aforementioned books while waiting impatiently for Eldest Dude to read this one. It’s part 2 of Hunger Games. Again, a page-turner-thriller. Perfect vacation reading. As with Hunger Games, this book is not my favorite genre (futuristic, sci-fi, gore/violence), and yet it hooked me. The characters are well developed. The themes of courage, heroism, selflessness are rampant. We both give Catching Fire our resounding endorsement.

The Rumpelstiltkskin Problem by Vivian van Velda – Middle Dude read and liked. Said the best story was saved for last.

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January 4, 2010

Traveling with the Kellers...

brett ds

We have a bad history in regards to retaining our handheld gaming devices. Middle Dude twice left his Gameboy behind on a plane trip (the first time the airline kindly mailed it back to us. No such luck second time). So I should know better. Truly I should. Littlest Dude got a DS for Christmas. [you can see where this is going, can’t you?] I did the requisite DS check at our first hotel. But I forgot at the 2nd hotel. Luckily [this time] a phone call rescued said gaming device and it is being mailed to us. Littlest Dude is lucky indeed; because Big Dude and I do NOT replace lost toys.

Big Dude buys stuff he ordinarily wouldn’t. See proof below.


This trip’s huge IRONY: we found snow where we shouldn’t have (CA and Zion) and didn’t find snow where we should have (Spokane, MT, ID).

Dog Dude is timid. Really timid. Scared of his own shadow timid. Terrified of tile. Which makes for hilarious and frustrating circumstances when entering/exiting hotels AND my in-laws’ home. Go figure. He lives on tile at home.

All the kiddos are picky eaters (they get it from me. Sigh.). Eating on the road can be a bit monotonous – In n Out, McD’s, pizza joints, and Taco Bell. Oh, and none of us really actually like McD’s. The dudes all wanted to go there for the obvious reason (see above). By our last night traveling, I asked the dudes where they wanted to eat. I said, “how ‘bout Taco Bell?”
Middle Dude replied, “crickets.”
So now they’re even tired of what they like. Oh, fun.

Family Togetherness Moment: at the dining table one morning … myself, Big Dude, my father-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, each with our own cup of coffee and our laptop. Gosh, were we all pleased when Papa got the wireless network set up.

Our too-cool-for-school teenager, the one who wore his favorite jacket halfway thru the blazing hot summer … he maintained he didn’t need to wear it each time we went out into the great wide 19 degree outdoors. We didn’t argue. Nor did we turn up the heat in the car as he shivered and complained. (we may even have joked about opening the sunroof to let in some fresh air...) These years may be loooong ones. ;-)

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