Whoops! I accidentally had to totally redesign my blog. It all started because I purchased an iMac with a retina display about a month ago. My first problem was that I could not calibrate the screen to match my prints. I finally, finally worked that mess out (and I would be happy to help you if you are also struggling with calibrating your retina iMac, just get in touch). Next, I started to notice that my photos on my blog posts were not looking very good. Then I did a blog post last week where the photos looked really terrible. Perfect in Lightroom, perfect on Flickr, terrible on my blog. So I figured out it was the retina screen causing the issues, and then decidedly regretted buying the stupid retina screen in the first place.

I started reading a lot of discussions about this issue, and apparently the answer is to make your images twice as big as you would have in the past, and that accommodates your retina screen’s pixel density (or something like that). Great, except it didn’t work for me to do that, because I had not upgraded my ProPhoto blog theme, and it all fell apart when the larger image was downsized. Old ProPhoto can’t do that correctly, but new ProPhoto would solve everything. Fine, so I upgrade ProPhoto. Except now the theme I was using before, I can’t use anymore. I have to use a different theme, and start over. This is not something I want to do. I get so frustrated, I started contacting people to do it for me, but by the time my kids finally went to bed tonight, I sat down and just started to try to make something work. And there you have it. It is not great, by any means. It is not embarrassing either, I guess? At some point in the future I am going to have to have someone redesign this, but I guess not tonight.

That was basically my week. Deeply regretting my decision to buy an iMac with a retina display. Probably there were some other things that happened, but I don’t remember what they were. Now I will insert some photos, and they better look relatively normal, or I am going to lose even more of my mind.

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I am pulling some photos together for a particular kind of portfolio, and what I started doing is just taking all of the photos with questionable skin tones out. It is easier to take a photo of a flower than a person, at least as far as there being a relatively “right” answer. Sometimes, rather than put them out into the world, I will just not fix them. Because I don’t know how, or just don’t have that skill. I did not take the easy way out with my photos this week. They are almost all full of color casts, and difficult highlights, and lots of skin tones to correct. In all of the cases, I had to pick that photo for the day, because not choosing it would be sad. All three of my children together on the porch swing? My family together on the grass trying to get into position for a Mother’s Day photo? It would be wrong to pick another photo instead.

And speaking of photography with a ‘right” answer, I did a real estate shoot last weekend. I enjoy the concreteness of that kind of photography. I was able to use ambient light, and blend exposures in Lightroom. It was pretty impressive and fun to be able to see the magic result of blending the photos together. I am probably not going to do HDR photography under any other circumstances. I need to learn sky replacement in Photoshop. Part of that is going outside and taking various sky photos over time, and then saving them up for use in those situations. It is kind of a strange thing to pay for stock sky photos, as it is an accessible subject to shoot. It had never occurred to me, until I needed a photo of the sky.

On my way to that real estate shoot, which was a little bit of a drive, I listened to the TWIP Family podcast with Franccesca Russell. And freaked out that I wasn’t taking more video of my kids, and immediately purchased Xanthe Berkley‘s Time Capsule course that had started two days before. Like I pulled the website up in the parking lot when I arrived at my destination. My reservation is that I would not have time to focus on it, and I have not yet had time to focus on it. I will though. Because I value videos of my kids more than photos. They contain movement, and mispronounced words. It is the best personal project to invest in. And that is a really good podcast, by the way.

I have a new logo, which I think is very beautiful and perfect. It was created by a designer named Alethia Rains. I created my business Facebook page. I deleted the Facebook app from my phone, because wow, too much Facebooking for me. When I posted about my exasperation with myself regarding this behavior, I said, “Too much consumption does not facilitate creation.” This seemed to resonate with a lot of people. Reading about doing the things is so much easier than doing the things. If you look at all of the options for picking something to do, that little blue icon with the blaring red notification thing on it is always the easiest thing to pick. We will see if that impacts my productivity and if I can dig around and find my attention span somewhere.

And the photos here- Lensbaby Twist daisies. I got the lens for Mother’s Day. Fun. And the tooth she is wiggling in the mirror was lost within a few hours of that photo. The eggs. I have been trying to get the perfect egg photo for a few years now. I was really happy with this one, although it isn’t necessarily perfect. My oldest daughter said, cringing when she looking at it, “It is pretty good, mom… but the eggs are kind of blurry.” Remember the perspective of non-photographers, my photography friends…

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I am over here wading through immense amounts of information related to both artificial light and Photoshop. I don’t understand flash, either conceptually or functionally. I am gathering information about flash and studio lighting from several sources, and then trying to figure out what to buy that would work for product photography, real estate photography, and some portraits (maybe only of my own kids, but who knows at this point?). I am hoping a year from now I look back on this time from a place of photographic competence. It is similar to my feelings regarding Photoshop, or deleting photos and cleaning up my Lightroom catalog. I am pretty sure every year, at least, I post about how I am really going to start culling, for real, really, I will. And I never do. And the number of attempts at learning PS… yikes. Many. So I know my declarations and intentions are kind of worthless. I have figured out that the key to learning PS and getting it to stick is to incorporate it into my workflow more often. I take a class, then after the class I don’t use it or apply what I have learned to my own photos, and then I lose the tenuous grasp I had on the information in the first place. Pretty much the same with flash- I think I will understand it once I do it. Culling- no clue how to get that problem under control. For now I guess my solution is buying a very large external hard drive. And working towards taking fewer photos in the first place.

This week in photos- probably a little dicey. Today was a long day of medical procedure unpleasantness, and it is a miracle I took any photos at all. It has been stormy and rainy all week. And last week I inspired myself with my blog post about spending more time on studying and less time on taking new photos and editing those photos. As a result, I have tried to just shoot once and be done for the day, and to spend more time on reading and photography videos and less on editing. Here they are…

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