Oct 12, 2009

Things Left Undone; Pumpkin Patch Portraits

Last Sunday, I gave a talk in church. Among other things, I talked about putting the most important things in your life first and leaving the unimportant things undone. I cited a quote from a speech by Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

A wise man once distinguished between “the noble art of getting things done” and “a nobler art of leaving things undone.” True “wisdom in life,” he taught, consists of “the elimination of non-essentials” (Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living [New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1937], 162, 10).

This sentiment has been with me for weeks now as I have reflected on the reasons for slowing down the pace of my professional photography. Instead, I have been focusing on the most essential parts of my life: maintaining my son's health; learning to enjoy his life in spite of the complications of CF; taking care of myself both physically and emotionally; making sure my walk with God is sure and strong; and building my relationship with my sweetheart husband Jacob.

So, last Saturday when I might have been taking photos for other people's families, I found myself running in my first 5K and spending the rest of the day with my family at Burt's Farm. (Thanks to my blogger friend for recommending this pumpkin-patch-to-rival-all-others. My son has been talking about riding on the "orange tractor" hay ride and the "big pum-kins" all week.)

Meanwhile, I am refreshed, calm, and filled with ideas for future photo projects and photo shoots for the holiday season. Surprisingly, doing less has meant having more of what is the best in my life, and I don't think I could have made a better choice than that.

(I loved the old photo treatment on the wheelbarrow photo so much, I decided to do a version of Daddy and son the same way.)

I'm takin' these pumpkins home!

Oct 1, 2009

The Problem with Prints: Part 1

Yesterday I decided to have a few wallets printed up of our son. As much as I love getting prints from pro labs, I also love getting one-hour prints from Walgreens. Their color (at least the one I use) is excellent; the online ordering site is simple, and the prints aren't that expensive.

But there's a problem with prints -- or at least a translation error when it comes to printing something you see on the screen. You see, images on the computer are made up of bits of colored light. Images in print are made up of colored ink. That can create huge discrepancies when it comes to printing (color matching, sharpness, resolution, etc.) but one of the most apparent is the difference in brightness.

Here is the original image I submitted to the printer:

I know; the image looks a little overexposed, and the colors are a bit brighter than you might actually want, but here's the reason why. The print came back looking like this:

A beautiful photo of a beautiful boy, but definitely not as bright and vibrant as I was seeing on screen. Fortunately, the color is very close and the image retains the character of the original screen version. In all, I'm pleased. To finish them off, I borrowed my sister's idea of laminating the wallets so they wouldn't fray. Thanks, girl!

Remember, what you see on screen does not equal what you get in a print, especially when it comes to brightness. Brighten and saturate your image a little more than you think will be necessary to avoid getting a photo that is too dark. If you get a print you are pleased with, don't worry if it doesn't match your monitor in brightness. No one will notice if you have a darling little boy like mine looking back at you from the photo (grin).