Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peacock - Outdoor Wednesday No. 24

Male Peacock with tail by Jeanne Selep Imaging
While I wait for spring colors here in the Midwest, here is an outdoor shot from a previous year. Sigh... The lucky people down South already have flowers to take pictures of. Enjoy!

This is the 24th time I have participated in Outdoor Wednesday. Click here to visit Outdoor Wednesday

Sunday, March 28, 2010

High School Senior: Dramatic Black and White

High School Senior black and white portrait by Jeanne Selep Imaging
I am very excited to see the entries for this weeks "I Heart Faces" challenge. The theme for the week is "Dramatic Black and White". Photographers are to submit a photo with at least one person's face, that shows "dramatic, sensational and/or moody" Black and White. Conversion and editing technique is important for this theme.

I have been studying Black and White photos (and conversions) over the last decade. My "style" for Black and white conversions comes from classic film and vintage photography. In the pre-digital photography days, photographers carefully considered backgrounds, textures, and contrast. Photographers thought out and could plan out what areas of a photo would look dark and what areas would be light. Colored filters with black and white film could be used to control what colors "looked" the lightest in Black and White.

Color photography doesn't remind the photographer to remember what a background will look like in a photo - will the greens look dark or light compared to the subject. Will the blue sky look darker then the skin, or lighter? Some photographers strove to make the skin (of a Caucasian) look creamy and light, a point sometimes overlooked when converting a color photo into Black and White today. Today's photo kiosk Black and White conversion frequently leaves skin looking too dark, which the eye perceives as gray. These details are the reason some people are vaguely disappointed when converting a beautiful color photo into a black and white photo.

My current philosophy (tendency) in converting a black and white photo is somewhat classic - make the skin one of the lightest components in the photo (again, for a Caucasian subject). When you have a bride or subject in a white dress, make the white dress the lightest (but still show fabulous detail in the lace and beading); and then make the skin light, but significantly distinct from the dress.

The High School senior image I choose for the challenge shows my current philosophy of black and white conversion. The result does not feel vintage - with the relatively modern white backdrop paper, I believe the look is contemporary and stunning.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like:

high school senior portrait
Family Portrait
Africa collage
Fun Outtakes
Bundled Up

I am participating in these memes:I Heart Faces (Week 13, 2010) Click here to see the winners. 
(I was entry no. 6 out of more then 1250) I think this is a record for the number of entries to I Heart Faces.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stained Glass Treasure

I think every treasure hunter has a "Treasure of the Year" find that sticks out in their mind as the best find of the year. This window is that find for me from the year 2008.
Beveled Glass stained glass window

I had taken my 4 children to Wisconsin Dells, and on the way back I stopped at a moving sale at a gorgeous Victorian farmhouse somewhere between Wisconsin Dells and Milwaukee.

The sale was on the first floor of the house, and you could tell the house was being entirely cleared out. (Carpets rolled up, built in cabinetry emptied, all furniture removed or tagged, a room taped off as "Not for Sale" with packed boxes, etc.) The Victorian house, like lots of quality houses "of a certain age", had beautiful custom made and installed beveled windows, polished wood built-ins with beveled glass, etc. It was super clean, polished, decorator curtains, the works.

Beveled Glass stained glass window detail

The sale had a lot of nice quality antique items, but I only got
a couple of trinkets for under $5. The four children had already gone back to the car (no toys, no fun...) and I had just paid. Then I noticed this window leaning against the wall. It was "dusted" but still quite dirty (brown streaky dirt, the kind that does not come off with a light finger wipe.) (As opposed to the installed windows in the house, which were crystal clear.) Perhaps it had been stored in a garage or basement, and only recently brought inside. I said "Would you take $40 for the window?". The lady said, "Oh, it's not for sale... wait, how much did you say?" I quickly said "I'll give you $50", and she was like OK!

I ran to the car and scrapped up the last bit of cas
h from the trip, and borrowed some of the children's leftover souvenir money. (My children frequently have more cash then I do - and guess where they get it from? Then they charge me interest, too.) She had time to change her mind, and I was sure she would. But the window was very dirty, and it does have one piece of cracked glass that would be expensive to replace. (I'll let you find it, I will not point it out.) It was the only loose window, maybe from a remodel? It didn't match the installed (larger and more ornate) beveled windows that I saw.

I returned, paid, and we were bo
th beaming. (Maybe she thought I would change my mind?) She was retiring to somewhere South, (as I remember) and as I left I had the vague feeling some relative somewhere should have picked up that window sooner if they wanted it. [She had commented that her children were going to be coming back later to pack up all the left over items, it was the last day of the sale.] Lucky for me!

My heart be
at faster and I glowed all the way home. I have loved stained glass windows and beveled glass windows for years, and have contented myself with taking pictures of vintage windows I would love to own, because the ones I like are always out of my price range. (Perhaps the photos of ones I can't buy will grace a future post...)

Beveled Glass stained glass window

When I got home, I carried it in, dirt and all, before any of the luggage. Water, Murphy's wood soap, Windex and lots of rags. (This cleaning job was way beyond paper towels).  My husband Carl rolled his eyes and said - and where are you going to put it? (He knows that I don't consider that detail when I buy something, I have lots of finds that I'll someday find a place for.) Amazingly, it is almost a perfect fit for the windows in the second floor of our house. It was meant to be.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy...

Heart Window
Angel Window
Madonna Window
Beveled Window
Stained Glass
Tree Pins
Book Treasure
Garden Horses
Antique Trunk
Eggs of Stone

Other memes I am linking up to: 
Visit Romantic Home for Show and Tell, (I was entry 20 of 160)
Diane for 2nd Time Around, (I was entry 9 of 23)
Coastal Charm for
Nifty Thrifty Tues, (I was entry 95 of 104)
S Hospitality for
Today's Thrifty Treasures, (I was entry 87 of 90).
Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thur, (I was entry 78 of 88).


Wisconsin is just starting to experience nice weather days, and trees are budding out, (but not with green), but it will be months before irises appear... This is a photo from a previous year.

Click on the images to see them larger. 

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy...

Elves Chasm
Elves Chasm
Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Garden
Bonsai Wisteria

I am linking up to these memes: This is the 2nd time I am joining Macro Flower Saturday. (I was entry 5 of 17)
This is the 22th time I am joining
Outdoor Wednesday. (I was entry 19 of 117)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Angles - I Heart Faces No. 10

Family portrait by Jeanne Selep Imaging
I am making a lot of blog posts for photo 'memes'.

Here is my easy definition of an blogging Meme:
'meme' -(rhymes with "theme") - are themes that a hosting blogger will suggest to other other bloggers to post about, and then other bloggers make a post and "link" their post to the hosting blogger's post.

Photo meme's usually have a photography topic suggested, recipes meme's share recipes (perhaps with a theme), some meme's have bloggers write about a particular idea.

The photo challenge at the "I Heart Faces" meme is the largest meme that I participate in. Sometimes over 800 photographers submit a photo for a theme that is changed weekly. On the "I Heart Faces" meme, (and many other meme's I participate in), an internet widget known "Mr. Linkey's Magical widgets" manages the links that people submit.

The "I Heart Faces" theme for the week is "ANGLES". Photographers are to submit a photo with at least one person's face taken from an unexpected angle.  This is the 10th time I am joining this meme.

I took this family portrait for one of my earliest Selep Imaging customers, a friend I have known since shortly after our oldest son's were born. (15 = years now, and counting!) While I have taken photos from this angle since, this remains one of my favorite photos from above... (maybe 'cause I felt so cutting edge at the time. Ooolala.) The three sisters, their spouses and children are smiling and trusting me to not drop the camera!

I am a fan of photographs that capture more then one great expression at a time - because great multiple people photos are exponentially harder to get then a great photo of just one person. ESPECIALLY with children. (Although some adults can can be problematic also.)

Here is my own personal mathematical formula for the difficulty of getting a good photo.

DIFFICULTY = (n) squared ;
where n = the number of people in the photo.

If the difficulty of getting a great picture of one person were rated 1,
the difficulty of getting a great picture of 2 people is 2 squared = 4.
the difficulty of getting a great picture of 3 people is 3 squared = 9.
the difficulty of getting a great picture of 4 people is 4 squared = 16.
the difficulty of getting a great picture of 5 people is 5 squared = 25.
the difficulty of getting a great picture of 6 people is 6 squared = 36.
the difficulty of getting a great picture of 7 people is 7 squared = 49.
the difficulty of getting a great picture of 8 people is 8 squared = 64.
the difficulty of getting a great picture of 9 people is 9 squared = 81...

This formula is NOT to discourage anyone - it is just to encourage photographers with larger families... Take a deep breath and KNOW that what you face (pun intended) will not be easy!

The I Heart Faces challenge this week (Week 12 in 2010) is ANGLES. Click here to see the winners.  (I was entry 10 of 802).  

If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
high school senior portrait
Black and White
Africa collage
Fun Outtakes
Bundled Up

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Las Vegas at Night

View of Paris Paris Hotel Bellagio fountain from Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas at night
This is the view of Las Vegas that I had from my room at the Bellagio Hotel, which is now my favorite hotel! :)

Bellagio's Hotel in Las Vegas has this beautiful fountain, which is choreographed to music. This fountain is rated as one of the 10 best fountains in the world, so I figured it would qualify as scenic. The fountain "danced" to different songs every 15 minutes from 3:00 PM to midnight while I was there in May, 2009. My daughter and I watched the fountain about 12 times from our room, tuning to the channel of the TV that piped the fountains music into the room.

I asked the Bellagio staff for a great room for photography, and they gave me this room, which looked out on to the Hotel Paris Paris (with it's version of the Eiffel Tower) perfectly framed by the fountain. Bally's is to the left of the fountain, and Planet Hollywood is to the right of Paris Paris.

Sometimes it is worth it to upgrade your room, especially if you are a photographer.

Click on the image to see it larger.

This is also my contribution for the 'meme' Scenic Sunday. (I was entry 45 of 81)
This is my contribution to the 'meme' Outdoor Wednesday. (I was entry 19 of 117)
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy...
Misty Morning post with another covered bridge photo from Cedarburg

Cedarburg Wisconsin Covered bridge interior by Selep ImagingAnother Covered Bridge View in this post.

My 1st Scenic Sunday post Elves Chasm, Grand Canyon, USA

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Butterfly Bling

vintage Weiss green rhinestone butterfly pin
I have a minor addiction to costume jewelry, and therefore a small collection. I started my collection when I was in High School, and so now I have a handful of "vintage signed designer pieces" that are actually worth quite a bit more then I paid for them. $5 -> $50! (In light of how investments in the stock market are going, I haven't done to badly with my costume jewelry, which has the added benefit of making me smile at all my bling.) I don't wear the costume jewelry, most of it is way too gaudy, but I display some of pieces in a shadow box on my wall.

My children used to ask me all the time if we were rich and if they were "real diamonds". I think they still hold out hope that some of the pieces actually have "real" diamonds, and I just don't know it. (Don't I wish) They want me to take the case to Antique Roadshow. My children were probably some of the few first graders who knew rubies are red, emeralds are green...

I thought I would share this vintage green butterfly pin to celebrate St. Patricks Day, and I thought it might look nice against this little plate that I have. The plate was "made Expressly for Niemen Marcus", and I got them at a rummage sale a long time ago. I got 4 such plates, if they originally had cups I never saw them.

Click on the images to see them enlarged. 

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy...

hutch display
Tree Pins
Christmas pins
Butterfly pin
Floral Pins
Angel Window
Madonna Window
Beveled Window
Stained Glass
christmas china hutch
Christmas Hutch
Book Treasure
Garden Horses
Antique Trunk
Eggs of Stone

I am linking to these parties:

Click for more 2nd Time Around items (I was entry 31 of 47).
Linked to Show and Tell (I was entry 52 of 142)
Linked to Thrifty Thursdays (I was entry 83 of 94)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bundled Up I Heart Faces No. 9

The photo challenge at I Heart Faces this week is "bundled up". Hundred of photographers will submit a photo showing someone bundled up. I expect many of this weeks entries will have babies and children in snow suits.

My entry is one for the teenagers! This is one of my 'babies' bundled up in a quilt after tubing on the Little Wolf Lake, Michigan, summer of 2009. It can get very cold in between turns in the water, so I bring the quilt along. (Towels get soaked pretty quickly, the quilt can really warm you up.) We were still on the boat, (not that you can see it!); probably a cousin or sibling is being dragged through the water at the highest speed the boat can muster. The glow on Anthony's face makes me smile still. If only our teenagers were always this happy.

The I Heart Faces challenge this week is "Bundled up".  (I was entry 23 of 705).

If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
hutch display
Black and White
Africa collage
Africa Collage
Bundled Up