Rock Stars

Have you ever spent time in a car full of kids? I don’t mean just your own kids with their constant “he’s touching me!” and “make her stop!” and “it smells funny in here”. I mean a car full of kids who are a bunch of unrelated classmates and friends.

I have. Many times over. I was thinking last night, about all the time spent in a car full of kids over the years. We were on our way home from a ball game with 3 teenage girls.

I remembered a time not so long ago that one of those girls, L, was in Brownie Scouts. I was driving a noisy van full of grade school girls down the highway on our way home from a field trip. One of the girls, ML, fell asleep in mid sentence. She was talking and just fell asleep! She woke up several miles later and finished her sentence like no time had passed at all. The other girls started laughing but poor ML had no clue what was going on.

I remembered riding in a mini bus full of Cub Scouts on our way home from yet another field trip. On this particular trip one of the boys, NL, had been walking near the fence of a lion cage when the lion let out a GROWL. // and*NL had not seen the animal and so the sound scared him half to death and he jumped back. This time the boys had a good laugh. That lion provided a lot of entertaining conversations on the ride home.

I had thought, back then, that younger kids were funny. But  now that I have spent  many hours in a car with high school girls, I have decided that older kids are much more entertaining.

While riding home late in the evening with teenage girls you hear some of the funniest conversations of all time. OK, to their credit it is at the end of another long day. These girls are busy with school, volleyball, basketball, work, clubs, homework, friends… They go full steam ahead 24/7.
Volleyball Game On Poster @*

So, when these girls are tired, you’ll hear things like “what if you got paralyzed from the neck down and you had your arms attached to your neck and…” somehow that conversation ended with the entire body being turned upside down with the, uh um… how do I put this. It ended with the backside where the face should be and talking… well I’ll leave the rest of that up to your imagination. L laughed so hard that night, she could hardly breath. Poor KR, they still give her a hard time about that one.

Oh, back to last night. My rambling thoughts were interrupted by the trio of voices coming loudly from the back seat. The girls were singing, at the top of their lungs, along with the mp3 player.

“na-na-na-na-na-na-na…I got a brand new attitude…na-na-na-na-na-na-na…I wanna start a fight…So what? I’m a ROCK STAR. I got my rock moves…”

Did anyone pack the pain killers? For some reason I’ve got another headach.

Rock On Girls!


Orton Effect

I didn’t get a chance to take that photo walk yesterday. But last night I did take a look at some wheat field photos that I took last summer.

I found one that I was not totally happy with but hadn’t tried to do anything with, so I decided to make that photo my photography experiment of the day.

Here it is straight out of the camera.

Golden Fields SOOC
Golden Fields SOOC

 It’s OK, but not great. It’s kind of dull and flat.

I had heard about and seen photos that have been done with the HDR and Orton effects but had never tried any. They all looked very complicated but I figured it was about time I gave one of these a try.

After a quick Google search I found several tutorials on the Orton effect. I was right, most of them were very complicated and used software that I do not have. I did find one tutorial that didn’t sound too difficult but it used a different version of Photoshop then what I have. I thought “OK, take these instructions and try to make them work with what  you’ve got”.

So that’s what I did and I ended up with this.

Golden Fields is available at RedBubble
Golden Fields is available at RedBubble
The Orton effect is suppose to be “painterly, ethereal, and romantic”. I didn’t quite get there but it’s a better picture now. Don’t you think?


The first thing I did with the final piece was to add it to my RedBubble gallery. Then I decided I would type up my own tutorial so that I would not forget how I did it.

So here it goes. My take on the Orton effect made with Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0.

1) Choose your image and make a copy to work with. Open that copy in PS Elements 5.0.

2) Saturate your colors if need be. Obviously I needed to do that. The wheat came out with a bit more red then I would have liked but for a first attempt it’s not so bad. (this is your first layer)

3) Copy the image to a new layer and change the blend mode to “screen” with the opacity at 100%.

4) Copy this new layer to a 3rd layer. Set the filter to Gaussian Blur somewhere between 20 and 60 pix. I used about 50 for this one.

5) Merge the 3rd layer down to the 2nd layer and change the blend mode to “multiply”.

6) Adjust opacity if needed. I set it to around 85% this time.

7) Flatten image.

8) That’s it. Save your finished piece!

Now you may have to adjust this some depending on what size your original photo is. Mine was somewhere around 7800 pix on the long side and the resolution was set at 300. I haven’t experimented with anything smaller or larger. -yet

Give it a try with one of  your landscapes. Let me know how it turns out.

Life Lit Up

%d bloggers like this: