Sunday, August 10, 2008

Them's a lot o' kids!!!

Before I post pictures of anyone outside my own family, I always ask for permission - just in case someone has a thing about putting themselves (or their kids) on the internet. Some of my friends and family were willing subjects while some weren't - and then there was my own brother who emailed me: "Derf? Are you turning into a pedophile?"
I'm not sure if that meant yes or no, I can post his family pictures or not...what I am sure of is that he was trying to be funny (because he's like that....thanks Jon, that was hilarious! NOT!!!)

Anyway, thank you to those who did give me permission...including my sister-in-law, Kristin. She and my brother-in-law, Sam have 6 beautiful kids. Every year, we vacation up in Maine together. This year I got to take these - in the order of eldest to youngest:

This is Michael - he's 16. He had gotten his license the day before we went to Maine. This was also one of 2 good shots I got of him because he didn't want his picture taken - I guess I can relate - I don't like my picture taken too unless someone can find the skinny button on the camera...this is Michael's GQ cover shot (yeah, I used the GQ cover shot button on my camera). Thanks for letting me take this shot, Mike. (It also helped that I was about 15 feet away with my Canon 75-300mm out at 290mm.)

This is 11 year old Dennis - star football player of the family. We took pictures of whatever catch the boys brought back to the camp...Dennis is a great quick photo taker. If you ask him to turn around and take a picture, he's ready with a smile and can do it at a moment's wasn't the fishy. I edited this picture (and the one of Michael above) with Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0. I used an action called EZ Vignette that I got from Actions are a series of steps that you happen to get a certain result. In this case, I took the original picture and hit the EZ Vignette button which resulted in a slight vignetting around Dennis and the fish (hard to see but the edges - especially the corners are darkened to frame Dennis and the fishy). - I did the same thing to Michael's picture but not as much....Surely, you can vignette a photo without the action but I don't know how to and because I don't have enough room in my head to memorize those steps - the button approach is for me.

This is 9 year old Andrew...superstar ice hockey player of the family - he plays for his city's team and the Boston College team. (Dylan plays ice hockey too but he's just a beginner - I hope he takes after Andrew someday) Of all my nieces and nephews, this one is the biggest button pusher of them all...I hope he lightens up on the button pushing before his brothers have all but enough of him and just squash him...I don't think that would make a pretty picture. Although, I will say, when he's with me, he's an angel...never disrespectful, very helpful...maybe he likes me - he probably just wants to make sure that his uncle won't handcuff him when he's with us.

This is 7 year old Meghan. By far, she is the most photogenic and one of the most willing to have their picture taken. Thank goodness!!! I took this photo in color but it was slightly OOF. So I vignetted her after I converted the photo to mocha (another action available at and I think it made the OOF not as noticeable. Meghan is so pretty!

Then there is 5 year old, Samantha...who we call Sammy. She is 3 days older than my Angelica. She too was a willing subject. I edited this picture too because originally Sammy was underexposed relative to the background. I isolated her with the magnetic lasso tool and adjusted the shadows by 25%. Then I vignetted her. You probably noiced that vignetting works well with darker backgrounds than with lighter backgrounds (for example, it's plainly obvious that this picture has been vignetted at where Sammy's arms are resting, but not necessarily at the top where the background is the pond, sky and mountains)...

Finally, this is 1 year old EvaMarie. I vignetted her alot - 5 times...but I love how it makes you focus on her and not how her mom is holding her or how she is holding her mom like baby monkeys hold on...she was pretty little last year when we went to Maine...this year, even little Eva got more freedom...more pictures of her adventures to come. I love this picture of her though there are no lights in her eyes - that's because I took the picture with not too much light behind me to reflect in those peepers. I tried to put them in while I was editing this photo but then it made Eva look like an Alien. Yeah, not that look that I was going for....this little one is super cute - but she's a screamer....I guess you need to be one if you are the smallest of 6.

This week is just as crazy as the last - I've gotta work 6 days this week. We have a work event on Monday after work. Tuesday, I'm off to Frannie's house to celebrate Mimi's birthday with a CTMH demo. Wednesday, Adam is helping his brother move into a new apartment. Thursday, I'm working an 11 hour day and Friday, my in-laws are taking all their granddaughters (except for Eva) camping at Jellystone Park - so Dylan will have to hang out with me at work for a couple of hours. Welcome to the zoo - please don't feed the animals!

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