Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thanks for setting women back Ms. Lanker-Simons

I'm about to get a little political right now. I'm outraged to find out that a recent incident involving threat of sexual violence against a student based on her political views was in fact initiated by the student who the threat was directed. I'm assuming the motive behind such an absurd move was to raise tensions for a rally against rape culture that was held yesterday on campus. After reading her blog, her outrage at the comment, and the responses to her outrage, the only conclusion I can reach is she's off her rocker. I don't like her political views, they don't match mine. I would never in a million years imagine advocating violence against women by any means. Surprisingly I have seen women on her side of the proverbial fence advocate violence against women who don't share the same views as they do (see Ravelry discussion circa 2008, I think one woman said she would like to see Sarah Palin raped with a hockey stick). I would also like to point out that our society's numbness to and propagation of violence appalls me. As a society we need to view everyone as equals, by race, religion, political beliefs, gender and sexual orientation. Yet the very people who are claiming to be fighting against such violence and hatred are at the same time advancing it. That is exactly what this young lady has done. She has lost all her credibility by being the source of the comment, and in doing so has set back the fight to end rape culture; not that protesting by angry feminists achieves that goal. So here is what I have to say about the protest against rape culture. It seems to me that as of late I see more protest by women who are seeming to attempt to make themselves a target for rape. Yes there are actually bat shit crazy girls who fantasize about this stuff if only to get the poor baby response. I'm sure it is a very interesting area of psychology that I wish I had the knowledge to delve into. So how do we end rape culture? I don't have a freaking clue. But I'm sure the best way to start is to quit being the victim. Show would be rapists that we won't take the violence by fighting back, not by throwing protests. As my husband's cousin (former police officer) said, learn some pressure points, carry a means of leveling the playing field and take a little time to learn how to use it (mace, tasers and my personal choice a handgun). I know that I can't always carry my gun with me, but I can learn measures to minimize my risk. I shouldn't have to be afraid, but if I take away the opportunity and hopefully make that potential rapist afraid of me, then I fell like I win. Think of it this way, rapists feed on fear, power and control. Take that away from them and they have nothing. After that we need to be a little nicer to other women. If you advocate violence against a woman you don't like you are essentially advocating violence against all women. Stop it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Rock the shot--January challenge

Rock the shot (www.rocktheshotforum.com) put up it's January photo challenge so why not? This has to be my favorite picture I took all year and is from our Christmas photo shoot. I took a day off of classes just to hang out with my two daughters. We started off the morning with a girls day of hair and make up and the girls got into their favorite fancy dresses for pictures. Photobucket We took the pictures in our kitchen using the light from the sliding glass door. Cheap studio, oh yeah! For post processing I used Lightroom 4 and a free preset, then added vignetting, and adjusted about every slider until the pinks and peaches really stood out. The biggest challenge was this was shot with my kit lens and it's not quite as sharp as I would like. I used a preset in Photoshop CS3 to sharpen the image for the web and added my watermark. I might be a little biased because they are my children, but I love the way it catches their personalities. I've had a lot of people wonder what's going on in the little one's head. Concocting a troublesome plan or dreaming of fairies? Check out the forum here at:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

New lens!

Since the girls are going with the ex for Christmas we decided to have our Christmas this weekend. Santa visited last night and brought me an awesome new present... The Canon F/1.4 50mm prime lens...oh squee! Of course I had to do something silly and trite with the snowflake bokeh, but also a little bit of real photography. The bokeh is super fun, this was made by taking a piece of cardstock, using a snowflake punch and holding it in front of the lens. This was of our Christmas tree! Photobucket I'm in love. I now know what I was longing for now, that sharpness that comes from fast glass and wide apertures. I was looking at my two older 35mm SLR Minoltas the other day. Wow, the quality of the lenses were amazing back then. With this new lens I'm starting to fall a little more in love with digital photography. Here are some pictures from our early Christmas... Kyle and Boss Photobucket Taylor joins in... Photobucket Boss Photobucket I have this same picture from when she was a puppy somewhere... Photobucket Pouty face didn't want to take a picture... Photobucket Opening presents Photobucket Photobucket I've also been doing post processing in Lightroom after making the switch to RAW and I'm loving the presets! I also found a great photoshop action for web sharpening and made a brush for watermarking :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Law school and some fun with Photoshop

Well my first midterm is tomorrow and I guess that means I'm halfway through my first semester of hell, although by the time I publish this it will be past midterms I'm sure. Law school has been interesting so far.I'm still wondering who I hoodwinked into letting me in. They said on our first day that some time during or first year we would wonder if we were smart enough to be in law school. Well that time came about the first day. Glad we got that out of the way. Actually it's not a new feeling, I spent much if three first year of my PhD thinking the same thing. Then I switched to my masters. Hmmm. I hope that isn't a sign of things to come. The good news is that I'm not the only one who feels this way. In fact many of the other 1L students have expressed the same feeling of inadequacy.
Law school has an interesting effect on you're periphery as well. I now "think like a lawyer" and I've devised ways to sue everyone I've ever met, friend and foe alike. I've also learned new cool Latin terms like Res ipsa loquitor and slip them into conversation quite regularly. The best part is that no one else has any clue what you just said so context is inconsequential.
Well anyway back to creativity. I spend most off my class periods on Pinterest lately searching for new fun projects, inspiration to steal and stalking those that I've blocked on face book. I came across a really cool idea the other day to merge text and a picture, but when I decided to try it the site wouldn't load the photo and I couldn't use a large file..

Well I don't have a pirated copy of Photoshop CS3 for nothing (and when I say pirated I mean I stole it from my mom until such time when she might actually want to use it). So here is a quick tutorial on how to do it.I should also point out that I'm not one for calling things by proper names so there will be a lot of "click this thingy" followed by screen shots and arrows. Ok, I'm writing this while I should be paying attention to public easements in property and I don't want the people behind me looking at me taking screen shots, so those may be added later. I would also do an action for it but I'm not that sophisticated.

Well I played around and this is what I came up with at first...
I tried converted this to black and white, but I was unimpressed by the amount of detail I got. But I think that it looks pretty decent in color. Also, this looks better when viewed smaller or from father away.So I tried another one that has less detail for sepia.

How to choose a picture
  • choose a picture without much detail, it will get lost in the text and you won't be able to tell what it is.
  • Use a large file, you want to be able to have options for the size of your text as well as wanting to keep the image crisp.
  • Close ups of faces work well, get creative with cropping!
Now that you have a file picked out, open it in Photoshop and create a new layer.  I find that for this part it is easiest if you hide the back ground layer. In the new layer create a text box the size of the photo and enter your text. Make sure that you go to the paragraph tab and click "justify last left" so the text fills the box completely. Here are some tips for the text.
  • You can use any font that you want, but keep in mind that you want your text to almost "meld" so some of the more flowery fonts will be unreadable by the time you edit the text. 
  • For a clearer picture, use a smaller font.  Large fonts wash out the photograph
  • Put only one space between sentences
  • If you can't come up with enough text to fill the whole picture repeat it until you do.
  • Consider all caps as in the black and white photo to achieve higher density.
Now lets edit the text to make sure that the text is dense enough to see the photo underneath. Under the character tab in right side bar set the "leading" and "tracking" smaller than the font size until you reach a density where the letters are almost touching, but not quite. You may also want to play with anti-aliasing until it looks pleasing to you.  I used sharp. Next choose the magic wand selection tool and select the text and press delete. I have no idea how to rasterize text from the menu, but if you choose the fill tool and try to fill, it will ask you if you would like to rasterize.  Click okay and switch back to the magic wand tool.  Right click on the image and click on "select inverse." Select the fill tool and fill the area without text with white. Deselect all, unhide the background and viola! How easy was that?  By playing with settings you might be able to make the picture look better.  I found that when converting to black and white it helped to have more white.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Just go with the professionals...

Yep, save yourself some time and grief and find a reputable vendor for you wedding. When I first started planning this thing I had a friend or a friend of a friend who did everything. I had a friend who was going to do all of the bridal party's hair. He flaked out in the first month of planning. My brother in law's cousin is a florist at a grocery store and was going to do flowers on the side. Never heard back from her. My sister had a friend who does cakes, but she quit doing wedding cakes. And a friend of our officiant (also a friend) was going to do the catering. I just heard that he's possibly going to flake out too. So when it comes down to it, do yourself a favor, start looking for reviews and get someone you can trust. I now have an awesome photographer who I've seen in action even before our engagement pics. I have a cool florist who shared pics with me over pinterest to get exactly what I wanted. My cake shop comes highly recommended and sent me pics of a cake similar to ours. Found a restaurant that does catering and the price is right and I love their food. So the only service left from a friend is our officiant and he's not going anywhere. Almost planned, time to sit back and take a breather!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why is it that every time I start to get ahead of my DIY wedding list that I find something new and interesting that I want to make for the wedding? I'm finally getting somewhere with the flowers, I even fluffed out about 100 of them a couple weeks ago and ended up with a very nice pile of pretty flowers Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App I also decided to see how it would look as a centerpiece... Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Can you guess what my favorite drink is? I also decided that I really like the rufflie looking chair decor so I made a few of those. I think that I need to get some more fabric though to fill them out. Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App And last I painted my aisle runner! Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App My neighbor finished both of our signs Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App That is the ceremony sign and I love it! It turned out well even after the missing "e" fiasco. I have a smaller one that points to the reception as well. Interesting how my squiggly little arrow looks like the word "love." A happy little accident, I didn't even notice until our neighbor pointed it out to me! Now that invitations are out and RSVPs are starting to come in, I'm on full on wedding mode. I think it's starting to get to me because I'm having wedding nightmares. Last night I dreamed that I couldn't get a hold of the photographer. He didn't show up til almost two hours after the ceremony and I was very upset that I didn't get all of the pre-wedding pics, ceremony pics and the family had already changed out of their wedding garb. On top of that we were in some sleazy smoke smelling banquet hall instead of the tent. I kept telling everyone that we were supposed to be outside and playing games, but they kept saying it's going to rain, don't worry about it. The whole thing just turned into a complete mess! All I could think was, "what about all the stuff I had planned? I put so much effort into this and no one cares" For the next couple of weeks to do list, program board (I started this but it turned out a complete disaster so time for plan B), vows book, menu/reception program, and signs signs sings! Till next time!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why your girlfriends are better than a forum

I had a little frustration with something today and the one person who I talk to about every two hours every day was unavailable (Damn you!). So feeling like I had to get it out NOW, I turned to a forum that I have never posted on before. Yeah bad idea. So here is why your best friend is better than anyone on a forum.

When you call your best friend to rant, they will listen, sympathize momentarily, then tell you that you need to calm down, tell you that you are being a tad bit unreasonable, offer a suitable solution and then proceed to chat about everything else you have to get out from the last two hours that you haven't talked.

In opposition, women on a forum will call you a brat, a bitch, a snatch face, proceed to ridicule you for any and everything you've written and continue to tell you that you are the worst person alive. This is why they have no friends and must continue to post on a forum of which they should really have no valuable input for.