April 30, 2011

Once you were not. But now you are.


But you are A CHOSEN RACE,
so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him
who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
for you once were NOT A PEOPLE,
but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD;
but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

1 Peter 2:9-10

post signature

April 29, 2011

And the winner is ...... [drum roll please]

... Breanna from Breanna Peterson Photography!!

Congrats, Breanna! Contact me (susan at susankellerphotography dot com) with your email info and I'll get those presets sent to you!

Thanks, everyone, for playing along with this giveaway of Kellie Hatcher's B/W Film Set.


Kellie's Simple preset

post signature

April 28, 2011

One More Before/After before Tomorrow’s Drawing …

There’s still time to today to enter your name to win Kellie Hatcher’s Film B&W Presets …



This is Kellie’s Dream preset with just a touch of highlight recovery. 

The winner of Kellie's presets giveaway will be announced tomorrow! Click thru for the details and to enter!

April 27, 2011

Purple Ranunculus.

I’m still having a blast experimenting and playing with Kellie Hatcher’s B&W Film Presets.  Guess what?  They’re perfectly wonderful on macro floral images, too!!  Who knew?  IMG_3862-2IMG_3862Deep preset.  With slight adjustment to contrast slider.

IMG_3927Jasmine II preset. Slight adjustment to boost exposure. IMG_3927-2

Jasmine preset.  No adjustments.

So my bummer-news is that Trader Joe’s is no longer selling ranunculus [wiping a tear from my eye …].  I’ve loved having these gorgeous flowers adorning my desk these last several weeks.  My good news is:  I have a set of Kellie’s presets to give away this week.  Click thru for the details!

April 26, 2011

Giveaway!! Kellie Hatcher BW Film Presets!!

Have you seen Kellie Hatcher's beautiful lifestyle photography? Because, if you've seen her lovely images, you've already seen her fabulous black & white film presets in action. I was thrilled when Kellie offered her presets to me to try; and then I was superduper-thrilled when she offered to gift a set to one of my lucky visitors!!!

Kellie's presets are both Lightroom and ACR compatible. They are designed specifically for RAW files. I had to dig pretty deep in my files to find some RAW images from last year to experiment (y'all know I'm a jpg shooter, right?). But, oh my... Kellie's presets + RAW files = one-click wonders. Following is my SOOC image followed by edits using the presets. No adjustments were necessary! None. Nada. Zip. One-click. Easy peasy.


kellie hatcher presets raw

Despite these presets working brilliantly and easily with RAW, I just had to try them on JPGs, also. Guess what? They're pretty nice on JPGs, too, albeit needing some minimal tweaking (mostly exposure adjustments). Here are a couple JPG examples:

kellie hatcher presets jpg1

kellie hatcher presets jpg3

So, the super simple giveaway details are as follows:

1. Leave a comment here - let me know which preset is your favorite :-).

2. For a second chance of winning, go “like” Kellie Hatcher Photography on Facebook and then come back here and leave another comment letting me know that you did so.

I will randomly choose a winner on Friday morning, April 29th, and announce it here.

post signature

April 25, 2011

Reading. Laughter. And ...

a remote shutter release :-).


You can tell the frames in which Littlest Dude was controlling the shutter by his huge smile while he looks right. at. the. camera. ;-)

little dude reading

Some dear friends blessed me with this nifty gift for my birthday. It's taking some mental gymnastics for me to re-arrange my thinking regarding self-portraits. I've been shooting myself at arms-length for so long that I forget I can put myself in the picture in other ways.

So my tip of the week: buy yourself a cheapie remote shutter. And get in the picture. It's fun, easy, and you'll thank yourself in the future. :-)

post signature

April 23, 2011

Very early in the morning ... Death was swallowed up in Victory!


On the first day of the week, very early in the morning,
the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were wondering about this,
suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground,
but the men said to them,
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here; he has risen!"

Death is swallowed up in victory!

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you,
which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.
Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...

And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves,
but for Him Who died and rose again on their behalf.

Luke 24:1-6
1 Corinthians 16:54
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
2 Corinthians 5:14-15

post signature

April 22, 2011

Good Friday


For the love of Christ compels us, having concluded this:
that one died for all, therefore all died;
And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves,
but for Him Who died and rose again on their behalf.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15

And it was now about the sixth hour,
and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour,
the sun being obscured;
and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said,
And having said this, He breathed His last.
Luke 23:44-46

post signature

April 21, 2011

In need of therapy? Or a bigger hard drive?

So ... I was watching "Hoarding: Buried Alive!" It's a fairly disturbing show. Clutter makes me crazy. "Hoarding" is clutter MAGNIFIED to the max. I can't watch an episode without feeling the extreme need to start cleaning. things. out. And then I start thinking about the total mess that my computer hard drive is. It's cluttered. It needs cleaning out, for sure. And my picture files. Oh my. Talk about over-crowded. And in need of thinning out. And then I think, "gosh, I've been taking a gazillion pictures of ranunculus. How many do I really need?!? I probably have some snap-happy addiction. I should stop..."

And then I got over myself. And took a few more pics (after all, I just got the purple ones this week!) And sent about a hundred images off to the printer. And made cards.

ranunculus squares

Guess what everyone's getting for presents this year?!? ;-)


post signature

April 20, 2011

Lighter Later Evenings ...

mean a whole lot more of this is happening 'round here:


Scootering and Nerf-football-throwing at the school around the corner.




and, of course ...


the experience wouldn't be complete without Big Dude pretending he's about to crash into the camera lady!


post signature

April 19, 2011

Zoo Photography


1| First things first: Turn off your flash.

2| Second things second: You’ll want a lot of zoom.

Bring the longest lens you have. The longer, the better. And then remember to keep your shutter speed high enough to support that long lens. I brought a 70-200mm lens and adjusted my ISO to make sure I kept my shutter speed above 1/200 second.


3| The best time of day to shoot at the zoo? Morningtime.  Morning = fewer people & active animals.


4| Best time of day to shoot each individual animal?   FEEDING time!!


5| Utilize shallow DOF to your benefit. It’s advantageous to blur out backgrounds as well as foregrounds with fencing, rails, cages, mesh, etc.

6| When photographing through glass, get as close to the glass as possible. (Full disclosure: I used my 35mm lens and placed it right against the glass). Use a lens hood. Or cup your hand around your lens to lessen the intrusion of reflections/glare.


But don’t make ALL the reflections go away … some are quite cute!


7| When photographing through fencing/mesh/etc., again put your lens as close to it as possible. Again, use shallow DOF. Make sure you focus beyond the foreground to the animal. In some cases you can make the foreground disappear nearly entirely.


8| Just as with people portraits, go ahead and fill the frame.


9| Can’t get close enough to fill the frame properly? Feel free to crop, crop, and crop some more in your post processing!


10| Just as with people photography, focus on the eyes!


11| Just as with people, cloudy days are AWESOME. Like bringing a big, huge, light softbox with you. (not to mention, a nice, clean backdrop!)


12| Sometimes it can be fun to shoot the people.


And if your husband is looking at you adoringly, you should shoot that, too.
(The smiling Teen is a total bonus!!)


13| Remember that some pictures just scream to be converted to black & white.


Now, go to the zoo!  And take your camera. Smile

April 18, 2011

Before and After Floral ...

Here's my set-up. My Trader Joe's $3.99 ranunculus in an el-cheapo mason jar with glue-y residue remaining. Set up next to my computer, cuz that makes me insanely cheerful.


Here's the SOOC:


And the "after":


I used Florabella's Vintage Teal Papers.
1. VT15 soft light mode 100%
2. VT16 multiply mode 20%, texture erased of flowers

And finished with Totally Rad Action's Select o Sharp action, just on flowers to make them pop out.

post signature