November’s Newsletter!

https://www.mermozinefineart.com/post/november-s-newsletter-is-finally-here

Struck by Lighting!!!

Once upon a time….

In a not so far away country (well it all depends on where you live really….)

Lived a photographer (yes, it might be me)

Within the first days of Covid-19 confinement

She got very motivated about using this time to boost her inspiration

To learn new skills, develop her craft!!!

But days followed days

Weeks followed weeks

And at some point she realised that

The initial motivation was long gone

What is Monday or Sunday?

Would they ever get out again? (very dramatic, I know…)

And then… one evening….

As she was walking by the study to go to the kitchen

She saw the light!!!

And she dropped her washing the dishes plans

To meet her camera again…

https://www.mermozinefineart.com/

How to Create a Composite Image with Photoshop.

Sometimes you have a picture in mind you really want to create but it’s not practical to do it directly in camera (sadly…).
 
What to do?????
Well, photoshop of course!!
 
I know, at first, it can be a little bit intimidating, but with just a little bit of practice (and some patience) it’s easily accessible to everyone (no need to have special geeky superpowers … well at least not for what I do).
 
So last month we celebrated one of my daughter’s birthday.
Usually I go outside to do portraits but this year we are confined inside. And to make it worse there was a thunderstorm and the light inside was horrible…. but never mind that…
 
Anyway, I had a small space to work with (basically just a white wall).
I had in mind a picture of her with ballons falling all around her!
And really just the few balloons I could find in the store (most stores are of course closed), and just my husband and her siblings to throw balloons.
 
So, the easiest way was to take many pictures, and then combine them in Photoshop to create the final image I had in mind.
 
So here you can see a sample of the pictures I used (view from my Lightroom Catalog).
 
Photography © Catherine Houston
 
 
 
The first one is the one I will call the Base Picture.
 
It’s the one on which I liked the most her expression, so I added the balloons from the other pictures onto that one.
 
So that is my Base Picture:
 
Anniv Elea-8296
 
No, after a few seconds spent cleaning up the base picture (adjusting contrast, light, cleaning up the background, I started to add the balloons.
 
For example I liked the purple balloons on that picture:
 
Photography © Catherine Houston
 
So I selected the Lasso Tool on Photoshop
Photography © Catherine Houston
 
And selected an area around the balloon (the background being white, I did not have to worry too much about the selection being perfect, as long as the whole ballon was included).
 
Photography © Catherine Houston
 
You can then copy paste your selection onto your Base picture.
And then you can Edit-Transform your selection to adjust the size, orientation, …, to fit into your Base picture.
 
Photography © Catherine Houston
 
I’m not going to do all the balloons (I added about 10), each time using the same steps.
But at the end you should have your Base picture, plus all the Layers of the added objects. This will look like that:
Photography © Catherine Houston
 
Your Base picture is at the bottom (Background) and all the above layers are the objects added (copy/pasted) from the other pictures.
 
If necessary you can do minor adjustments to each layer to blend as nicely as possible to the Base picture (for example you may need to adjust a little the Brightness/Contrast if the light conditions changed a little between your picture (to avoid having the added object for example to dark compared to the Basic Picture).
 
Photography © Catherine Houston
 
 
You just have to click on the layer you want to adjust, and then go to Image – Adjustments -Brightness/Contrast
 
Photography © Catherine Houston
 
When you’re satisfied with your final image, you just have to Flatten all the Layers (basically combine them all into one single file). Just go to Layer – Flatten Image.
Photography © Catherine Houston
Et Voilà…
Photography © Catherine Houston
 

My Lay-Flat Mondays (13)

Week 13 of my new series: My Lay Flat Mondays!!
The purpose: describe my past week in just one picture, boots my creativity vibes at the same time, and stop going through life one week at the time without even noticing it.
So here it is!

My Lay-Flat Mondays © Catherine Houston
Personal weekly photography Challenge

– Palm tree branch: living tropical (yes, I know It’s getting old… looking forward to the plant shops to re-open!!)
 
– Mini-red roses:, from my balcony
 
– Mother’s Day Card: made by my big girl. All my kids made my mother’s Day yesterday just magical.
 
– Black board: I resumed my home school duties this week (it seems that I’m at the same time a kindergarten, 2nd grade and 4th grade teacher – they’re in bilingual classes so I have to teach both in french and english – and no I’m not even trying the Mandarin, they’re on their own for that!!)
 
– mask: made in Singapore and now mandatory to go out.
 
– Camera
© 2020 MermozinePhotography

My Lay-Flat Mondays (12)

Week 12 of my new series: My Lay Flat Mondays!!
The purpose: describe my past week in just one picture, boots my creativity vibes at the same time, and stop going through life one week at the time without even noticing it.
So here it is!
Week 12: Apr 27 – May 03

My Lay-Flat Mondays © Catherine Houston

 
– Palm tree branch: living tropical
 
– Red Leaves: from my “Chinese Evergreen” (Aglaonema) plant, from my balcony
 
– Seeds: doing new plantations with the girls
 
– Insta Pictures: passion fruits and passion fruit fondant cake (yummy!!!)
 
– Medication: because I’ve been feeling quite under the weather this week
 
– Blue Nail polish: the girls opened a “feel good” salon at home, with nail services, hair brushing and massages!!! I love that game :-).
 
– Scissors and baby hair: because their little brother went to their beauty salon, and I said they could “take care” of his hair – meaning brush it, but it appears that you always have to be super specific with kids!!! (the result is quite good)
 
– mask: made in Singapore and now mandatory to go out.
 
– Camera
© 2020 MermozinePhotography

My Lay-Flat Mondays (11)

Week 11 of my new series: My Lay Flat Mondays!!
The purpose: describe my past week in just one picture, boots my creativity vibes at the same time, and stop going through life one week at the time without even noticing it.
So here it is!
Week 11: Apr 19 – Apr 26

My Lay-Flat Mondays © Catherine Houston
Lay-Flat weekly photography challenge.

– Palm tree branch: living tropical
 
– Anthurium flowers: from my balcony
 
– Candles: 10, because this week my big girl turned 10 years old!!!
 
– Click Magazine: the new (spring) issue
 
– Black board: for one more week of homeschooling, and the bars on it because this week we learned that we will be confined one more month (until June)…. and even if now I’m okay with it, the first couple of days after the announcement I was pretty depressed.
 
– mask: made in Singapore and now mandatory to go out.
 
– Camera
© 2020 MermozinePhotography

My Lay-Flat Mondays (10)

Week 10 of my new series: My Lay Flat Mondays!!
The purpose: describe my past week in just one picture, boots my creativity vibes at the same time, and stop going through life one week at the time without even noticing it.
So here it is!
Week 10: Apr 13 – Apr 19

My Lay-Flat Mondays © Catherine Houston
Lay-Flat weekly photography challenge.

– Palm tree branch: living tropical
 
– Orchids: same same as the weeks before (for the 5th week in a raw!!!)
 
– Limes: from my little lime tree, the second time this year that it gives me fruits
 
– Headset: being used a lot this week, between zoom meetings with the school teachers, skype with family and friends
 
– Fancy pink and shiny crayon box: homeschooling girls 😉
 
– Hibiscus flower: also from my balcony, it did not blown for the last two months, but several flowers coming out this week!!
 
– Doll: because mornings are for homeschooling but in the afternoon the Barbie Dolls take over the house
 
– mask: made in Singapore and now mandatory to go out.
 
– Camera

A day in our confined lives…

Most of the world is on stand-by…
It’s called “lockdown”, “confinement”, or here in Singapore “Circuit Breaker”..
Either way, everything/everyone seem to be standing still…
 
seem to be standing still …
 
But life is still going on inside homes.
Kids are still being kids, and parents, well, they are trying to make the best of it, multitasking teleworking, homeschooling, housekeeping, sanity keeping, …
 
Wandering how it is a an apartment with 4 kids?
 
It is manageable but you have to seriously lower your expectations.
Our home is a school all mornings – my office has been taken over by little girls – the living room is being transformed in a giant doll house every afternoon, and the whole place look as it has been through a tornado daily.
 
Here is a few pics into one day in our confined lives…
Our confined lives © Catherine Houston
There is a lot of teleworking for the kids too.
Our confined lives © Catherine HoustonIt’s sometimes difficult to get motivated for schoolwork .

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston
“A day in our confined lives”… documentary family photography.

But we are usually done by lunchtime and then the fun time can begin.

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston
“A day in our confined lives”… documentary family photography.

Then the toys take over the place.

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston
“A day in our confined lives”… documentary family photography.

May the fun begin….

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston

For my little one having his big sisters home all the time is super exciting… and a little bit tiring…

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston

Fights and meltdowns also fill up our days!!

Our confined lives © Catherine HoustonOur confined lives © Catherine Houston

But usually all it takes is a big cuddle, and they are back in business!Our confined lives © Catherine Houston

So yeah, it’s exhausting for us parents, but at the same time we have a unique opportunity to spend loads of time with our little ones. So let’s try to make the best of it. And to be totally honest, even if I find the days very long right now, I will miss them when schools will reopen...
 
Stay home, stay healthy but keep living!!!

My Lay-Flat Mondays (9)

Lay-Flat weekly photography challenge.
Week 9 of my new series: My Lay Flat Mondays!!
 
The purpose: describe my past week in just one picture, boots my creativity vibes at the same time, and stop going through life one week at the time without even noticing it.
 
 
So here it is!
Week 9: Apr 06 – Apr 12

My Lay-Flat Mondays © Catherine Houston
Lay-Flat weekly photography challenge.

 
– Palm tree branch: living tropical
 
– Orchids: same as last week (probably the last week, but still they lasted about a month!!)
 
– Ester eggs, chocolate eggs and big chunk of dark chocolate: Happy Easter!!
 
– Drawing: my little 5 year old girl made me this drawing this week, and I love love it!
You can see the big green mean (but smiling) monster virus on the right, but our home is protected by a rainbow of love… I feel like this time puts a lots of pressure on us as parents: trying to keep the kids mostly out of all the stress, keeping some sort of normalcy in their lives, and pressure to keep up with their school works, …, so this little picture meant the world to me :-).
 
– Fancy pink and shiny crayon box: homeschooling girls ;-).
 
– mask: Singapore gave everyone reusable masks this week. Feeling thankful for living here. (#sgunited)
 
– Camera
© 2020 MermozinePhotography

My Lay-Flat Mondays (8)

Week 8 of my new series: My Lay Flat Mondays!!
 
The purpose: describe my past week in just one picture, boots my creativity vibes at the same time, and stop going through life one week at the time without even noticing it.
 
I can’t believe I started this photography challenge already 8 weeks ago!! (feels like yesterday…)
 
So here it is!
Week 8: Mar 30 – Apr 05

 
 
– Palm tree branch: living tropical
 
– Orchids: same as last week, and still looking fresh (which I find amazing)
 
– Paper fishes: for the First of April (April’s Fool day). In France a tradition is to stick paper fished on other people back… my kids obviously love that tradition, but they made those fishes just for my Lay-Flat challenge. I love how much they like this weekly project and invested themselves in it.
 
– Ester eggs and paintbrushes: well, this one is pretty much self-explanatory. We started this week or traditional easter eggs painting.
 
– Picture: our family outing this week-end to the Tree Top Walk in MacRitchie Reservoir. Quite a serious walk in the Singapore’s heat (with 4 little kids in toe). Although lots of activities are slowly shutting down, parks are still an option (still need to think about social distancing though). And two good things out of this: 1- we got a lot of exercise, and 2-the kids were so exhausted they wont ask to go outside for a while :-).
 
– Playstation Controller: for some indoor fun.
 
– mask: sadly no need to introduce that one anymore, and yes I have been using the same exact mask for these pictures for the last 7 weeks (and to ride the bus when necessary), so no worries, no wasting here!
 
– Camera

 

 

https://www.mermozinefineart.com/

© 2020 MermozinePhotography