Friday, August 29, 2008

Challenge #2 Fixing flaws with black and white

I want to thank everyone that participated in last weeks challenge! WOW>.... what an impressive group of layouts made with really blurry photos. Did you think you could pull off such great layouts using photos that were less than perfect? I think we tend to talk ourselves OUT of scrapping these photos when they seem too challenging. I encourage you to look at your photos that you wouldn't necessarily first reach for and challenge yourself to use them. Based on the layouts I saw last week, I think you'll be surprised by how creative you can be.

I encourage ANYONE to still post a layout using a blurry photo and post it to the challenge 1 thread. I am going to get those layouts up on a slider during this week.

NOW> for Challenge #2: Fixing your photo flaws by changing to Black and White.

Lighting conditions... they are most photographers worst nightmare. Too light, too dark, indoor lights (unflattering flourescent lights are the death of any photo), sporting event lights.

Improper settings on your camera (ISO set too high or too low, using flash, not using flash, etc.)

Blurry photos can even benefit from a little change from color to black and white.

All these photo flaws can be greatly improved simply by removing the color in the photos.

Why does this work? Because the color adds details and it shows when the colors are 'off' due to these challenging situations. You also reduce some of the blur because the contrast of black and white usually adds a crispness to the photo.

Your challenge *should you chose to accept it* is to change a photo that is IMPERFECT to black and white and scrap it. I want to see the BEFORE photo and naturally your layout using the black and white version.

Can't WAIT to see what you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Challenge #1 Incorporate the Blur

It is very appropriate that today is the start of the challenge blog because it is the day that I received my advance copy of When Life Gives You Lemons

As I poured through my copy I began to realize that I used to scrap this way a long time ago.

Now, my bad photos may have changed over the years but there are still times when no amount of photography expertise can prevent someone from closing their eyes as you snap and you not noticing it until it's much too late to retake. There's nothing you can do with photo editing about cutting off part of a persons head or even forgetting to take that precious shot. Sometimes we just need a few tricks up our sleeves.
That is what we will do on this challenge blog. Challenge ourselves to use those tricks. I encourage you to pick up a copy of my book, When Life Gives You Lemons but it is not mandatory to participate.

Let the challenges begin:
I cover at least 10 different types of photo imperfections in my book but I think that the most common one that nearly EVERYONE has in their stash is the blurry photo. Would you agree? Seriously, no matter how hard you try to keep that 3 year old from moving while taking their picture, those ants in their pants make it nearly impossible. How about the really poor lit room and you are trying to take pictures without a tripod. Even a pro would tell you they would have trouble preventing a blurry shot. Action and sports or how about the holidays where everyone is moving around. These all can lead to blur, blur and more blur!

That's not the challenge!
nor is it the solution.....
But you sometimes FEEL like doing that don't you?
Well, never fear (Wonder dog is here?)... no no... geesh.. I've been sniffing the stazon too long it seems! What I'm trying to say is that we are going to give you some solutions for scrapbooking BLURRY photos...

The first one is that we all have them... so why not USE them? As they are. Most of the time it can be the theme of the page... Look at our little busy guy..... or She's growing up so fast that the time is just a blur.... or how about Don't Blink or you might miss our athlete!
What I want you to do is to take a blurry photo (and don't tell me you can't find one! bet you will have to figure out WHICH one you would rather use, am I right?) and make a page that centers around the action of the photo. Centers around the REASON it's blurry. Incorporate the blur into your layout.
See a few examples of how I did just that at the top of this challenge
I want you to post a link to your page in your message here and next Thursday I will try to post those to a slider and add it to this challenge post.
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I look foward to seeing what you can do.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Introducing Making Lemonade Challenge Blog

I'm so excited to share the ideas that have been cooking in my brain for the past 18 months while I worked on When Life Gives You Lemons: Many of those ideas came out of the years that I played with my own "Lemons" and tried to salvage photos that didn't come out quite as I expected. While I worked on this book, I had the privelage of working with some amazing artists who shared some of their own ideas for working with imperfect photos. This blog will be a place to challenge you to get out all those precious memories of life that can't be retaken. That moment that you never want to forget but the photos make it harder to remember. It is my hope that I will be able to share prompts and challenges each week that you can play along with. I want you to post your creations in a gallery and leave me a comment with a link. I promise to visit every single link and leave a comment. I hope to eventually add a slider photo album each week of the entries and also guest bloggers. When I wrote this book, I felt there was a need among the sea of idea books to have ideas for photos that were blurry, under/over exposed, pixelated/grainy, off centered, closed eyed, too far away, too close, cluttered backgrounds. Do you have any photos like these? In these photos were there precious memories that you would want capture on a scrapbook page? Where do you look for ideas? I hope that through this challenge blog and the ideas covered in the book, you will find lots of inspiration.

Please join me each week while we mix up some sweet lemonade!

Sherry Steveson