posted by on Holidays

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I always feel a special connection to my Norwegian side of the family at Christmastime, when my family makes lefse together.

I grew up very close to my paternal grandmother and her sister, and their mother Palma was 100% Norwegian. Palma’s grandmother Signe came to America when she was 9 years old with her parents Tone & Olav from Telemark, Norway. (p.s. “Tone” is pronounced “Too-na”, & “Signe” is “Seeg-na”. Looked it up here because I like to pronounce their names properly when I think of them ;)

Over the summer I discovered some old photos of their Norwegian families (thanks ancestry.com!), & used them to put together this little pedigree.

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I feel lefse making in our family has been something of a maternal heritage, passed on through the mothers, and to me by my grandmother and great aunt. It’s nice to have a connection to these women and families from our past, even a small one.

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Christmas fun

Dec
2014
22

posted by on Holidays

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A little snippet of our Christmastime in photos. Hope yours is very merry :)DSC_0369 DSC_0780 DSC_0811DSC_0854DSC_0877DSC_0889DSC_0606DSC_0646DSC_0945 DSC_0479 DSC_0481 DSC_0499 DSC_0509 DSC_0546DSC_0928DSC_0146DSC_0148DSC_0241DSC_0381DSC_0392DSC_0329DSC_0314-2DSC_0287DSC_0255-2

How I edit Photos

Nov
2014
24

posted by on Photography

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hiep
Last year I wrote this post about the difference shooting in manual mode has made in my photography. It was one of those things I tried to learn on my own with a lot of frustration until I came across Photography Concentrate. Photography Concentrate’s “Extremely Essential Camera Skills” made manual photography understandable and easy. After months of trying to figure it out, I learned everything I needed to know in a single afternoon.

Today I want to share about why I love editing in Lightroom, and that Photography Concentrate’s “Super Photo Editing Skills” is the way to learn it.

I put in a handful of the before & after edits I’ve made since switching to Lightroom.

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A year ago I edited in Aperture (& used iPhoto prior to that) & was happy with my results most of the time, but didn’t really know what I was doing. I’d use preset filters and hope they’d make my images look the way I wanted, which sometimes turned out great, and sometimes terribly.

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I knew that eventually I’d have to switch over to Lightroom to reach the quality of photography I wanted to (every good hobby and professional photographer I know of uses it), but learning a new program seemed overwhelming in a I seriously do not have time for that sort of way.

Photography Concentrate had a Lightroom tutorial though, and that gave me confidence that I could do it. Spending about a week’s worth of afternoon naptime with their Super Photo Editing Skills (presented in video format with some reference PDFs) taught me all I needed to have total creative control in processing every image. Now that I know how to use the tools Lightroom offers I don’t have to leave my images to chance anymore, and I love that.

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My basic edit usually involves correcting the white balance, boosting exposure, a little increase in contrast, as well as adjusting highlights & shadows as needed. Super Photo Editing Skills explains how to do all that and a lot more.

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Besides the powerful editing tools in Lightroom, I absolutely LOVE the organization it has brought to my photography. Through using tags, ratings, and collections it’s made organizing the multitude of pictures I take manageable and easy.

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When I import pictures from my camera I give videos 1 star, good pictures 3 stars, the best pictures 4 stars, and I “flag” anything I want to work on right away. Pictures that don’t get any stars I delete. I usually keep about 60% of what I import, and deleting the extra 40% really helps free up hard drive space.

I make a “collection” for the year and a subfolder for each month where I put my favorite photos taken in each month. This makes it really easy to find photos I’m looking for later.lightroom collection

I really love “tags” too. When I import an especially good picture of someone I give it a Keyword “tag” with their name and when I’m looking for a photo of them later for a birthday card, Christmas gift, or whatever it’s easy to look through and choose one.lightroom keywords

The “Kaden & Alia” tag is my favorite.lightroom k&a

Super Photo Editing Skills also includes a pack of custom made presets that can be really fun to use. This “black & white crunched” preset is my favorite.

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From importing, exporting, basic edits, fine tweaks, organization, and everything else I could have wanted to know, I was really happy with the way it was clearly and understandably presented in Super Photo Editing Skills.

This year I plan to get their “Incredibly Important Composition Skills“.

AND Photography Concentrate even offers a series of free tutorials too! Their “Shy Photographer’s Guide to Confidence” was really great for me.

They are a husband & wife photographer team, offer high quality products, everything I’ve taken from from them has exceeded my expectations, and I really can’t say enough good things about them. They even have a 60-day money back guarantee if you’re on the fence.DSC_0210-2 DSC_0210-2

This week they are running their annual Black Friday sale which is the BEST time to shop – everything is 40-60% off (now through December 5.) You can even gift them too!

Happy photographing :)

 

p.s. if you use the links above to purchase, I receive a small commission. As always, this will never influence my opinions/reviews. Thanks, friends!

christmas time

Nov
2014
20

posted by on Holidays, Life

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it comes early here, but you know, that’s how we like it.

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and this picture I feel pretty much sums up our phase of life right now.DSC_0115

oktoberfest

Oct
2014
21

posted by on Life

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We went downtown to Oktoberfest last weekend. The weather was perfect, and the kids loved the falling “leaves”.DSC_0630 DSC_0623Alia eating an ice cube…DSC_0636DSC_0642DSC_0643DSC_0647DSC_0651Ready for another one.DSC_0660DSC_0675The German band was very good.DSC_0725DSC_0722DSC_0757DSC_0733DSC_0738DSC_0749DSC_0763DSC_0767And like all great fall evenings, we ended it with pumpkin pie & “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” at Mimi’s house :-)DSC_0792