Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back it up.

I learned a valuable lesson last week...


My iMac decided to break for the third time in 3 years.  Needless to say it's at the "Genius Bar" getting a new hard-drive.

Translation - I lost everything on my computer.  Every picture, every song...projects, Photoshop brushes, digital backdrops (you get the idea).  I could have paid $800 to save everything.  I opted out.

They always say to keep three copies.  I plan on keeping 5.  Ok, let's be honest, I'll probably only keep 2 but I think it's safe to say that utilizing one of those online data storage sites is a great idea.

Monday, February 20, 2012

When to toss the tubes

Huffington Post discusses how long you should keep your lipstick, concealer, powders and skincare. 

This was a big question customers asked me when I was an in-store rep.  Click the picture above to find out...

"How germy is your makeup?"

Photoshop "Bling"

One thing I realized when I FINALLY made the switch from GIMP to Photoshop was that I lost all of my brushes. 

Luckily websites like MediaMilitia offer a LOT of freebies; brushes, fonts, background/textures, etc.

This is my favorite free addition so far - the Media Militia Bling Brushes.  It has 50 bling-brushes, totally customizable and versatile.  Check it out and tell them Ricky sent you.

I'm just kidding, that wont get you anywhere.  But download them anyway.

Take care!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just One Photo?

"Red Station"
Miamisburg, Ohio

The other day I was driving around town and taking the time to look at everything around me.  I live in Miamisburg, Ohio which, if you aren't familiar, is not the most scenic spot in Ohio.  Now that I think about it, Ohio isn't even one of the most scenic spots in the United States, period. 

I spend a lot of time in my head when I have an entire day to myself and I really tried to focus on my "why".  I enjoy to photograph because it lets me see things differently.  Considering that I don't live in a conventionally "beautiful" area it's easy to overlook spots with potential.  These photos are of a bright red garage next to a set of tracks that I don't even think are used anymore.

The purpose of having 5 different versions is to showcase how one image can be totally transformed into something that appeals to different people for different uses.  The photo above is my edit - done with Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop 5.  The images below are done with 4 different Lightroom presets from Dustin Leader - owner of Dustin Leader Photography.  The name of each preset is listed in a caption below each image and are free downloads on his website (link above).

Hot Potato Preset

Magic Hour Preset

Holgamania Black & White Preset

Gold & Blue Preset
 I'm not too proud to admit that my favorite edit is the "Gold & Blue" edit using Dustin Leader's preset.  I love the colors, the blending, the contrast, vignetting... really everything.  Although I did the initial basic edits (contrast, blacks, saturation, etc) this preset resulted in my final, and favorite, version. 

It just goes to show you that a good way to grow is to keep your eyes and options open to the styles of other artists.  Thanks to Dustin for sharing his style and allowing me to explore new processing options for free.  Please keep in mind - inspiration, not duplication.

If YOU have any presets that you have found, purchased or free downloads, share them in the comments below.

Which edit is your favorite?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Deviant Art - Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Color Actions 2
via AliceInUnderland on Deviant Art

So photoshop actions are a quick and easy way to edit your photos.  Think...Picnik or Instagram.  Some people sell them but there are a LOT of free actions on the Deviant Art website.  I wouldn't recommend basing an entire business around using "canned" effects but they can definitely be a good starting point for your edits.  Check it out and comment if you find one you really like.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kim Kardashian - Smokey Eye

Let's finish out one of Kim's signature looks...

Shadow pt. 1

Shadow pt. 2

Lashes & Lips

Kim Kardashian - Everyday Wear, Perfect Foundation & Blush

Kim always looks ridiculously flawless. This video shows how her artist, Stephen Moleski, creates a really great canvas. This artist is not who travels with her and does her "insert Kardashian show title here" makeup, which I'm about 90% sure is airbrushed. Regardless, thanks to these two for the inside scoop and if you haven't tried the Makeup Forever HD Foundation it's available at Sephora and definitely worth checking out.

New Look

After much consideration I decided I HAD to change the layout of my page.  While it's still under construction (as websites always seem to be) the main content is here and ready for your viewing pleasure.  Please let me know if you come across any broken links.  Take care.


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