Weekend Reading + Random Thoughts

April 12th, 2013

I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors this week on purpose, the weather here has been so perfect and I’m just soaking it all in. I walked out into my yard late last night and could see the stars so clearly and everything underneath it coming to life again. It felt good to breathe in the night air and know that spring is happening.

spring blooms in bottles

  

Can I tell you that I’m crushing hard on the painterly trend?

lonny watercolor roman shades

Lonny

I’ve been obsessed for a while and even have a few versions of my own I’ve created for fabrics (coming soon!) I love most anything with abstract brushstrokes or watercolors and how fun that it’s appearing everywhere from fashion to decor.

painterly trend

lucid printweekend bagwatercolor pillowlampshade

   

Speaking of trends, I’m 100% in love with this mottled paint ombre wall.   

ombre wall west elm

via

 

I posted a few more articles over at BH&G, here are the links:

decorating with glass bottles

increase your curb appeal

colorful outdoor seating

modern spring palettes

 

In family news, I watched my son break his first board with a running kick and get a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do this week. My daughter also blew the biggest bubble possible inside her batting helmet. Two very proud family moments – my kids they got skillz.

kates kids

 

In creativity news, I had a Shrink Film #craftfail happen a few days ago. I started to write a post about it but haven’t finished. It was one hot mess of a project with a pathetic end – meanwhile here are 17 more Pinterest fails to keep it real.

We lost some greats this past week: I’ve always admired this lady. He was one of us. She made fashion so fun.  

Mad Men through a 21st century lens – cool.

“Faux Realities” and the pressures of social media – well said.

My latest post at My Colortopia: semi DIY shelves.

In entertainment news, I started watching the BBC Sherlock series on iTunes and got through three episodes. I’m on the fence about continuing, I think I just really want to stare at Jude Law as Dr. Watson (update: from the movie version). Those who’ve watched it, should I keep going with the series?

Another ‘Best of the Blogosphere’ post is coming up on Sunday, wow there are some great ideas in this roundup. Have a great weekend!

kate signature

Photo Editing Trick: Fixing Blown Out Windows

April 11th, 2013

Last week a crew from BH&G came to photograph both my kids’ rooms for an online story and I had the chance to work again with a stylist and professional photographer for a day and watch them create their magic in front of and behind the lens. Several shots included windows and I watched as the photographer took two different exposures of the window view in both dark and light settings.

For any one of you who photograph interiors with window scenes, you know that when you’ve got your camera set with a wide aperture and/or slow shutter speed to pull more light into the lens and brighten the room, often you end up with a window that is all white, or “blown out”, meaning the interior looks great but you cannot see the garden or scenery beyond, or any of the architecture of the window.

You can minimize this by waiting until the absolute perfect time of day when there is no direct sunlight coming through the window but that requires excellent timing, and there is an alternative. The photographer showed me this simple way he eliminates the problem by taking two different exposures and combining them with a Layer Mask.

Here’s an example of how it works using Pixlr – that free online photo editing software I’ve mentioned before with same tools as Photoshop. (If you have Photoshop or PE, the technique uses the same tools and similar steps.)  Here is the picture of our dining room table with plenty of light coming into the lens to show the details of the table and chair.

dining room bright

 

The problem?  You can barely see the detail of the doors or that there is a garden beyond because the French doors are blown out from the light entering through them. Quicken the shutter speed and the interior falls flat and the room gets dark but you can see the divided light panels of the door and the garden beyond.

dark dining room

 

In the real world, you can see both the room in bright natural light and the outside view, but the camera has limitations in these light conditions and can have difficulty capturing both, which is where clever photo editing comes in.

layer mask combined exposures

You can combine the two and reveal the outside view while maintaining the brightness of the interior (seen above). Here’s how with a handy photo editing trick to combines the two exposures in a few simple steps.

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