Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 120

I'm exhausted. Getting ready to settle down from a long day for a movie that I'll be lucky to make it more than 10 minutes through.
It was stormy in Iowa today which made all the colors really bright.

In PS I added an exposure, contrast and saturation layer.

Stormy Field:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 119

It’s been a LONG day. Started out jumping out of bed after realizing I had snoozed the alarm for an hour and a half!! I know, I know. Then off to work, albeit a little sleepy still. It was a great day at work. The first day in as long as I can remember that I didn’t have one meeting during work hours. It’s amazing (not surprising however) how much work I can get done when I don’t spend my day on conference calls and sitting in meetings. I rushed home to make a 6:00 call (what? I said DURING work hours), threw some stuff in a suitcase, ate an apple and hopped in the car.
We decided this afternoon (because, really what’s the point in rushing into a decision?) to head back to Iowa for the weekend. Mainly to see my little cousin get married (Congrats Heather!!!) and because we hadn’t made it back home since Christmas we were due.

Soooo……Howdy, from the World’s Biggest Truck Stop. No seriously, that’s where we are. And because I’ve made this damn commitment I’m here at midnight taking pictures while the occasional trucker with his 44oz Mt. Dew, 7 day old facial hair, and toothpick between his lips walks by and gives me a look that clearly says “What the hell are you doing?”

Nothing says Iowa like a Deere. No editing on this as I’m writing from the car and the new mac. I don’t have PS on it (yet!) and I didn’t want to drag two computers along with me.

Deere at Truck Stop:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 118

I had to go back to the dentist today. No, no cavities, but some other stuff that needs taken care of. Here's my advice for the day to dental hygienists around the globe: Don't ask me anything I can't shake my head to answer while there's fingers, gauze, plastic gadgets, etc in my mouth. Because well, you're unlikely to understand my muffled speech pattern when I say: "ahn okh uk oo" (I'm ok, thank you) and instead much more likely to interpret a much more unacceptable response (I'm ok, f*$# you). Point is, stick to the "yes" and "no" questions. It's better for both of us.

Troy and I met up with Nicole this evening for a quick cocktail and bite to eat. Hence, the photo of a giant pretzel. Yes, this was my dinner. No, you are not allowed to judge me.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 117

So I've sat here with my fingers laying on the keyboard for about 30 minutes. I've got nothing to say. Absolutely nothing. zip. zero. nada.

In PS I added a b&w layer along with a contrast layer to define the black and white more.

Mirror Bridge:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 116

Today is a good day! In fact, today is a great day! Wanna know why? Well I'll give you a little hint through no other than the form of a photo, or two.

More to come, but I've been too busy playing with my new toy tonight to actually have time for a long post! :)

In PS I added exposure, contrast and selective color layers:


Apple Byte:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 115

As usual, the weekend flew by. Really wish this was only Saturday.
This evening I tried my hand at cooking my wonderful husband a good meal. "Tried" being the operative word. I made roast duck with a cherry-Lambrusco reduction paired with turnips and peal onions. On the side...pretzel rolls. All in all it was ok - above average, but probably won't be attempting again anytime soon. Owell. On the upside though, I discovered I really like turnips (after I learned how to cook them - thanks Bridget!)

This was taken over by the interstate. Behind the fence is an train car that's been painted on. In PS I used an exposure, contrast, and saturation layer. I then added a distortion filter: pinch.

Distorted Fence:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 114

Well....whoever said it was the thought that counts was right. Such grand ambitions planned for today mainly involving work. But alas, we slept in too late, spent too long at the dog park (much to the boys' pleasure), ran unplanned errands and spent the rest of the day at home lounging around and watching movies. Seriously, can you say "lazy"? But, it felt fantastic!!!

In PS I did more than usual (sitting on the couch all evening allows for that). I added an exposure, contrast and selective color layer. Then, I added a warming filter. Next, I used the quick selection tool to select the background and change it to be something other than white (our current wall color). Originally my plan was to make is a completely different color but I happened upon the mustardy yellow and actually like it. Voila! Lastly, I cleaned it up a bit with the clone tool and removed a couple of pieces of dog hair that I could see! Enjoy!

Book Stack:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 113

Hanging out at home tonight. Curled up on the couch with both dogs, and the husband. One empty love seat and an over sized chair sitting across from us. What can I say, we're a close family....very close....and uncomfortably close at the moment as my legs are falling asleep!

Tried out a new PS tool today and added some Noise to the photo below. I wanted to give it the feel of an old photo. Also lowered the saturation levels to help out.

Old Entry:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 112

Another week almost gone. This is leading up to a more-than-usual work weekend. Ughhh.

This photo was taken outside the Morton Salt factory along I90. In PS I used a selective color layer to give the sky the stormy effect. I thought it went well with the Morton Salt Girl's rainy outfit. Enjoy!

Saltwater Rain:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 111

Good day. Productive day at work, dog park with the boys, errands ran, a cavity-free trip to the dentist, and wrapping it up with a good book and a glass of wine.

This was taken in an alley not far from our place. Kind of creepy but considering it was taken outside of a tattoo shop that is literally covered wall to wall with murals I guess it's not that weird. In PS I added a b&w layer. Not my favorite picture. Looked WAY better in person than it does here.

Alley Skeleton:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 110

Hey All! Hope everyone is having a fantastic Tuesday.
Ok, I have a bit of a bone to pick. I saw a commercial tonight that literally stopped me in my tracks (I was pacing while on a conference call). I'm hoping by now that everyone knows that this is Earth Week. A time to celebrate this world that we live in and educate others as to how to keep our planet beautiful. can imagine my shock when I saw this. C'mon, people!

And now on to the blog - I felt that the detour was well justified. I'm going to keep with the green theme though. I used a filter to create the top photo (polar coordinates). I was just playing around with different distortion filters and like the way this one turned out. Kind of reminds me of a planet made of trash. And, probably not far off from a future outlook if we don't all do our part to take care of what we have. The bottom photo is the original.

Trashy Planet:


Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 109

Well, Mother Nature is being a tease this season. We have other names for that where I grew up, but I'll keep those to myself for now. But seriously, how can you go from 80 one week to 40's the next? I know, every year it's the same story - if we didn't love the summers here so much we would have been gone long ago. But alas, here were are.....and again anxiously awaiting the warmer weather.

This is off of an old doc down by the lake. If I knew more about boats, fish, marinas, maybe I would know what this is. But to me this looks like a plank so that's what I'm going with. In PS I added an exposure, contrast, saturation and a selective color layer. I also used the clone tool to remove a white thing (for lack of a better word) from the background. I'm including the unedited version as well. As you can see it was overexposed which I was able to correct with an exposure layer.

Plank After:

Plank Before:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 108

We had a great time last night....maybe a little too good. The tapas place we tried was Twist located in Wrigleyville. Glad we tried it and I'm sure we'll be going back. Our favorites were the jalapeno gnocchi, the mac and cheese and of course the bacon wrapped dates. Yummm!!

Another bike tonight! I know, I know, but I like bikes. In PS I added an exposure, contrast, and saturation layer. I also added a warming filter.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 107

This is shaping up to be a great Saturday.
First I got my hair done. Since we've moved to Chicago I've given up spending $200 plus getting my hair done and have decided to put my fate in the Aveda Institute. To date they have not let me down. I mean c'mon, all I get is an all over color, how much could they possible screw it up? On second thought don't answer that.
Then the husband and I went for stroll up through the Southport corridor (while on the way I talked him into making an Anthropologie pit stop!) and around Wrigleyville. Good walk.
Now we're home and getting ready to go back out to help Nicole celebrate her birthday!! Tapas are on the menu tonight. Most likely will be a late night so I'm posting early.

Lastly I'm showing off a new PS trick! I used a contrast, exposure and saturation layer. Lastly I used a distort filter and selected spherize to give the fish eye appearance. The results? A giant life like rain drop. I like it! Enjoy!

Rain Drop Flowers:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 106

Ahhhhh.....Friday. Enjoying a fabulous evening with the husband tonight. Dinner and movie in with a glass of wine.

Tonight's shots are fun pics. The first was taken on a sidewalk not too far from our place. It makes me smile. A real life monopoly board!

Luxury Tax:

The second cracks me up! Being a dog owner I can honestly tell you that nothing irritates me more than to see someone not pick up their dog's business. Especially those owners that have the 10 pound dogs and think because their dog's poop is small it doesn't warrant cleaning up. You people suck. You're wrong. It attracts rats the same way that poop in greater proportion does. And worst of all, little dog shit smears to the bottom of my shoes the same as big dog shit does. Pick up the poop! Please.

Poop Instructions:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 105

Three hours of conference calls tacked on to a full days work make for a long day. These last weeks have just flown by and for the life of me I can't recall what all has gotten done. My days lately have been a whirlwind of meetings and conference calls which amount to a lot of unproductiveness. (Yes Barb, I realize that may not be a word but I'm too lazy to look it up right now)

This photo was taken at the Fullerton Bridge. Kind or reminds me of Central Park in a way. In PS I added an exposure, contrast, and selective color layer.

Solitude to City:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 104

Well, not necessarily the most productive day....but it wasn't bad. I guess that counts for something.
On the upside I had a fantastic girls night out. Good food, great drinks (aside from some nasty orange flavor being thrown into my standard grey goose soda - yuck!) and even better company! Happy err....25th birthday Nicole!!! :)

I'm trying to work on my action shots as last weeks Blackhawks outing proved that I am indeed not skilled in this area. This shot was minimally better. As you can see it's a bit blurred, but not in a good way. I also have the dock reflection in the water which tends to take away from the shot. In PS I added an exposure, contrast and saturation layer.

NOT a sitting duck:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 103

Almost forgot to do the blog tonight!!! Had to crawl back out of bed. Soo....tonight's is short. Enjoy!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 102

A serious case of the Mondays today. Mom went back home and took her entourage of dachshunds with her and Troy left for NY.'s just me and the boys tonight. Work was anything but productive. Another one of the those days where I get nothing crossed off the ever growing list. But, tomorrow is another day.

Tonight's shot was taken at the lake. In PS I added an exposure, contrast and saturation layer. I also added a B&W layer. Let me know which one you like best!

Black and White Dock:

Color Dock:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 101

As predicted, another fabulous day. We started the day off just lounging on the couch and getting in some much needed R&R. Then we made a trip to Home Depot to pick out paint colors for my old room at home that Mom just finished having remodeled....words can't express how happy I am to see the old wood paneling go!
Afterwards we went for a long walk along the lake with the boys followed by dinner cooked by the husband. A perfect Sunday if you ask me!
Mom's trip here has gone so fast! I can't believe she's going back home tomorrow. We'll miss her! But, we'll be back home soon.

Tonight's shot comes from our lake walk. In PS I added an exposure and contrast layer and topped it off with a b&w layer. Enjoy!!

Lake Tree:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 100

Day 100!!!! Wow, I can't believe I've made it 100 days! Thank you SO much for all of the encouragement!

Had an awesome day in the city! Mom is here visiting so we started the day with bloody mary's at Dunlay's along with a fantastic brunch! Eggs Florentine, Fruit Pancakes, Gourmet Fried Egg Sandwich, I said, fantastic!! Next we (Nicole, Mom and I) ventured down to the Wickerpark, Bucktown neighborhoods. What a great place. We wandered around, stopped and had a cocktail and then made our way home for.......a Mexican Fiesta! Well, not really, but there were beans, fajitas, guacamole, and margaritas....and best of all great company because along with the husband and I, Nicole, Becca and Mom joined us. Great day!

Tonight's photo was taken in an alley not too far from where we live. While I was taking pics the owner came out and asked if I wanted him to move it so I could get a better shot, or remove the tarp that was covering the back half of the car. So nice! I did decline, but secretely wish that I would have let him. :)

Cadi Handle:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 99

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer, take one down, pass it around....

Appropriate given the daily posting number of the blog and the fact that it is a Friday! Although to be honest I'm not sure where the week went. If you were to ask me what I did Monday - Thursday I'm not sure I could tell you. I didn't get anything done at work that I had actually planned on but not for lack of trying. Owell, Monday it will start all over! For now though it's the weekend.

In PS I added an exposure and contrast layer. I also cropped it.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 98

How is it Thursday already??

Had some wine and sushi with my friend Nicole tonight while doing a little bit of much needed house cleaning. Wine makes everything more fun, even cleaning! Thanks Nicole!

This is a pic taken outside of a convenience store. I loved the way the blue sky and store were distorted with the angles of the mirror. In PS I didn't do anything new. An exposure, contrast and saturation layer.

Things are Closer Than They Seem:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 97

Troy and I went to a Chicago Blackhawks game tonight - my first hockey game ever. And, I have to say that after only one game I've now been converted to a fan. We had a blast. Go Blackhawks!

Things I learned:
- Hockey has periods, not quarters, halves, etc., and there are three of them
- They can catch the puck with their hands - had no idea!
- A lot of sticks get broken throughout the game
- And this I already knew, but there is a lot of fighting! I lost count of how many we saw.
- Hockey has "Ice Girls" similar to cheerleaders in football, basketball, etc.
- I am absolutely NOT good at action shots

We sat 8 rows behind the glass and had fantastic seats! Unfortunately, being right behind the glass does not allow for great photos.


Extra Leg: (figure it out for yourselves)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 96

Hello Everyone!!
Tuesday was a good day. No particular reason, it was just good. I hope everyone else's was the same.

I thought this shot was interesting. Normally you see all kinds of graffiti while walking through the city, but what you don't normally see a graffiti in "layers". The green netting on the fence has worn away, but behind it you see a whole new "layer".

In PS I added an exposure, contrast and saturation layer. The last step was to add a warming filter to well, warm the picture up some. Enjoy!

Graffiti Layers:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 95

Sun, Sun, Sun!!!!!

This shot didn't turn out at all what I was going for. Although I was looking for the sun to burst through the flower pedals, what I wasn't going for was the silloutte effect. I actually wanted to show the color of the flowers against the sky as well as bright orange vase they were in. Owell, maybe next time.

In PS I added an selective color to try to bring out as much color as possible....not much obviously. I also added a contrast layer.

Sunny Flowers....Not Sunflowers:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 94

Happy Easter!!!! I hope everyone had a wonderful day!
Headed to the airport.....again. But this time I'm going to pick up my wonderful husband! Can't wait to have him back home!

I love this picture. To me, it represents the epitome of city living with outside dining, friends, and of course man's best friend....or friends in this case!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 93

Had a great lunch date with Becca today and then a relaxing afternoon at home with the boys.

I have a small fascination with bikes. They are one of the first things that I photographed back on my family's farm. So, no surprise that tonight's post is of a bike. And a rusty one at that! A way to combine my love for old stuff and my love of bicycles!

In PS I added an exposure and selective color. The last step was a warming filter.

Rusty Bicycle:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 92

Home Sweet Home! Wow, Chicago seems so small compared to New York. It's a nice feeling though after all the "stuff" to come home to a city that we call our own. Plus, my feet enjoyed the rest today!
Troy went home to KS for the weekend for an impromptu trip so I'm on my own this weekend. I've got a lunch date with my friend Becca tomorrow and then I've got nothing planned.....except to enjoy the weekend!

This shot was taken outside of a fire station. In PS I added an exposure layer.

Master Lock:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 91

Farewell New York. This is not good-bye I assure you.
I've had an absolutely amazing time while I was here. Sadly enough, the pictures just don't do it justice. This place is like a whole other world. Completely overwhelming.
Because of the enormousness of the city I found that my standard 55mm wasn't cutting it. Soooo.....I decided to rent a lens today. The pictures you see below were all taken with a 17-55 wide angle lens.

The first photo was taken in the middle of Times Square. I added and exposure contrast, and b&w layer. Lastly I duplicated the background layer and changed it to b&w as well and then used the eraser tool to select the few cabs.

Times Square Yellow Cabs:

The second shot was taken at Central Station. Wow. This place is unbelievably beautiful!! I couldn't get enough of it. High Ceilings, giant windows, people running about. To see that much wide open space in NY (aside from Central Park) is rare. I added a b&w layer and added a tint to give it that "old-timey" feel. My main goal with PS here was to bring out the rays of sun coming through the window.

Sun Rays at Central Station: