Friday, December 30, 2011

Office Photo Shoot

The last two days have been spent doing 
a photo shoot with my new DSLR camera.
To get this picture took two days! 
I know, I know....
seems like a long time to get one decent photo~ 
but there is more here than meets the eye. 
First of all, notice the chandelier~
This was the first day with the new camera, 
and there were things that I suddenly noticed that bugged the crap
 out of me that I hadn't taken care of yet. 
Like the naked chandelier. 
Over time I had stripped its crystals to use on other chandeliers
 and I just forgot about how pathetic it looked.  
You will also see that these photos will vary between two color tones,
 one will be a cool and one will be a warm.
 I was practicing with settings on the camera because I was lucky enough to get my son's college friend, Brenda,  who is a photography major, to come help me figure some of this stuff out!  She was home for the holiday break and I had arranged to have her come by with her camera and take some shots....but then I bought my camera and so we used both my Canon with a new wide angle lens that she rented, as well as her Nikon!  A lens like this goes for as much as my new camera!  A whole new world was opening up with the wide angle lens.  Wait till you see how amazing it is~you can capture an entire room in one shot.  This will be on my list to purchase for sure.
Brenda with her Nikon, shot in a hurry by moi, with my Canon.
 I wanted to get better pics of the entire office, 
as well as this area with the Shabby Chic Soho samples. 
This was one of our favorite shots from the first day.
 Brenda taking closeups of the table top. 
After all of that, we decided that the pink flowers were too bright
 and we would take the whole thing over the next day. 
We were running out of daylight.
 The other thing that bothered me was the big heavy black rod. it was very bossy~so I decided I wanted to switch it out for a gold rod to go along with the softer feeling of the Louis Chair and the Soho sample board. The other thing that bothered me was the plug outlet above the basket, and that the basket looked busy with the chair...arg.  So the basket would leave and I would hide the outlet by tucking a vintage fur stole on the arm of the chair.
Day Two
Draping the fur on the chair~you can see the walkie talkie on my hip~while I was busy hanging crystals and changing out the rod upstairs, Brenda was downstairs shooting the kitchen. 
Here you can see the rod has been switched out for a historical gold number. It was a leftover custom wood rod that I asked hubs to cut down for me that morning so I could quickly get it mounted.  Brenda shot me in the hallway getting rid of a stained glass window  propped up on the hall window sill, but it was distracting from the shot. 
The chandelier got an assortment of vintage crystals from my stash. 
I decked it out with round beaded garland, crystal prism garland, 
different types of prism drops as well as a few new pink crystal prisms.
Now we were ready to take some wide angle lens shots!
 Brenda is on a ladder in the corner of the room while I am "directing" the shot!  It was a Spielberg moment!! Or a mini Martha Stewart moment!!  Hah! You can see our camera lens and stuff on the table behind me.  I want Brenda to capture the front of the room with the windows and the hutch.
 But then Dillon strolled in...
And decided to sit down.  
I tried to get him to strike a pretty pose,
but he just wanted to look like a pit bull. Go figure.
The day before Tobey kept coming into the room~
I was constantly shooing him out. I needed the door open 
to gain the light from the hallway. 
Its a dogs world alright (at least at our house).
 After two days of playing with settings and taking photos
 nonstop we ended up with some pretty detail shots 
and some nice overall room shots too.
 My frenchy phone looked pretty on the rustic desk with the sunlight hitting it.
 What is interesting is that you notice things that bother you 
after you look at them on the monitor...
like I did not like all of the black legs on the stacking tables.
Here Brenda is checking the images on the monitor.  
So we switched out the tables for a basket.
 A basket replaces the table to conceal wires that run along there.
 The camera focuses on the crystal chandy 
in this pic was taken from the top of a ladder.
 We loved this image~very dreamy and light.
And this one too...
Here is the same pic on the largest setting for the blog post, 
but as you can see from above, it cuts off the edges of the pic. 
However this is from the wide angle lens,
 and look just how much it can capture in a room that is 17 feet wide.
So this is what I have been busy doing for the last few days. 
 I will share other rooms as I get them edited. 
Like this kitchen shot~!
I love the wide angle. Need to work on getting crystal clear images.
Like this one...
So much to learn, and it is going to be incredibly fun!
 I owe Brenda a big fat hug and kiss for helping me these past two days.  
 You can see her passion for photography~
 I can totally relate!
linking to
My Romantic Home Show and Tell Friday

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Prettier Pictures for 2012

Clearer images and better photos make for a better blog. I finally got myself a new DSLR camera yesterday and after taking a few sample shots this morning, I am so excited about what it will mean for my blog.  I love pretty pictures, and so many times will look at images long before I read the text, don't you?
 So I will be practicing with my new camera and trying to get better at photography.  Taking pictures is going to be a lot more fun with this camera, I can already tell.  The images are clearer and the difference was huge from the first image I shot.  And I am still on the auto mode of my new DSLR.
 Look how sharp this picture is!
 Before I take these ornaments off of my chandelier, they were a good practice subject too.
Here I focused on the beads of the lampshade fringe~the background fades to a blur. 
I'll be busy learning as much as I can~
With my new Canon Rebel T2i (above pic taken with my iPhone).  I got it at Costco, and it came with two lenses, a camera card, battery pack and charger and a camera bag. These pics were taken without the tripod, so I am sure with the tripod they will be even sharper!  This camera has an image stabilizer to help with camera shake when you do take pics without the tripod.   Costco is offering a $150 instant rebate until the end of the year, so if you are on the fence, you might take the plunge. I am not associated with Costco in any way, just spreading the word if any of you are considering upgrading from a point and shoot to a new DSLR camera.  
You can guess what I will be doing all day long.....

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

hers~ a design book on feminine style

 I was asked if I would like to review the new book, "hers" 
on designing spaces with a feminine touch, written by Jacqueline deMontravel. 
 Jacqueline is also the editor of Romantic Homes magazine, 
so I knew I would be in for a treat!  
My decorating style is definitely romantic and feminine
 and this book was right up my alley.
It is filled with encouragement and tips on how to incorporate a woman's touch into any space in your home.
 My home office is my latest project, 
and here I was trying to reinvent a space that
 felt romantic and feminine without going too sweet and girlish.
  This book came at a perfect time to help steer me 
in the right direction and validate the things
 that I was trying to achieve in creating my own work haven.
 Hers has sections dedicated to different spaces, 
like the home office, the bedroom, the living areas, and the outdoors. 
 Here a shabby french desk with an inspiration board 
above becomes this woman's private space that feeds her romantic leanings.
 This masculine antique desk gets feminized with old books, flowers and artwork.
 Drool worthy page after page showing ideas 
on how to create feminine spaces throughout the home,
like this dining room with a collection of hotel silver.
 Jacqueline visits homes of familiar bloggers,
 like this one of Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen. 
 This vignette that Brooke created in her entry with 
the oversized french clock face and the mora clock
 along with the pretty cane settee went viral in blogland.
  I still love how this space makes me feel when I look at it.
 Jacqueline offers tips on how to claim spaces
 and add the feminine touches~like this example in a library.
  Too often a library is a masculine place in the home, 
but here there is a nice balance.
 Specifically she tells you to add more layers and accessories
 such as an embroidered table runner to give a cozier effect. 
Jacqueline says to romanticize a room with lighting and accessories.
 Above, a pretty daybed is nestled in the attic eaves
 under a vintage chandelier hung from white washed beams. 
 Chapter after chapter with tons of glossy romantic images
 made reading this book a delight!  
There were overblown french style rooms, 
gustavian white washed rooms with gilded touches,
 shabby chic cottage rooms and sophisticated traditional rooms~
all designed with the feminine touch.
 I organized my office shelves with the things
 that I find comforting with a new eye after reading "hers".
 All of us women have a romantic part that we need to pay attention to~
 Designing my  space with my romantic needs in mind 
as well as the functional aspect created a space I love.
There will be more layers added to underscore the tips I learned from "hers".
 If you are looking for a good book to add to your design collection~
 pick up a copy of "hers, design with a feminine touch
written by Jacqueline deMontravel, and printed by Crown Publishing.
P.S. Jacqueline really is a girly girl at heart~
look at what color the book is under the pretty dust cover~
shocking pink!

(The opinions I expressed were my own,
 and I was not compensated to write this review.)

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