Eye of the Shih Tzu

This is Oscar, our Shih Tzu. He has been a part of our family for just over a year now and he’s very devoted to my wife Jacinta. He loves playing with me too, but I know who he’d save from a sinking ship!

We were worried what would happen when the baby came along, but Oscar has been great. For the most part he has ignored Adam, but if a stranger should lean over Adam and his mom then Oscar will be out to growl and sometimes bark! That would be great if there was any danger but it’s almost always a friend or family so it’s become an annoyance we need to look out for.
Poor Oscar doesn’t get the same amount of attention as he did before baby but in general he behaves better, so that’s a good thing! I think he got a little cocky and just a little too confident of his place in the family hierarchy.

Adam and his baby soother

Adam is 5 weeks old today! Last Wednesday we saw his first smile, or perhaps it was trapped wind because he was just after feeding but it was a beautiful sight to behold. He has smiled since too, and was especially cheerful this morning!

Adam loves his baby soother though. He sucks on it like Maggie out of the Simpsons does. Non-stop and with feeling!
If a soother or dummy isn’t nearby and it’s available, a hair dryer works wonders for relaxing him. The sound soothes him and he can go from screaming the house down to docile and a gurgling baby in seconds when the hair dryer is switched on. It’s magic.

Technique: This is a high key portrait created using two layers.
1. Original image is the bottom layer.
2. Duplicate that layer.
3. Convert top layer to b/w using channel mixer.
4. Apply Gaussian blur to the top layer. I used a 75 pixel wide blur.
5. Change mode of top layer to screen.
6. Add white layer mask to top layer and reveal eyes from original image by painting over them with a black brush. Use an opacity of 10%.
7. Merge layers and save. Layers should be separate when resizing so you can unsharp mask the bottom layer.

Hope that is of use!

Caution Children

A sign at the entrance to my estate warns motorists to watch out for children playing on the street.

Just to prove that you don’t need a big digital SLR to take interesting photos, this was taken with my Panasonic FZ5. I saw the great cloudscape in the sky and illuminated the sign with the onboard flash.

Standing in the gutter

It’s pouring rain, I’m just after eating a delicious meal with family and what do I do? Go shoot the leaves in the drain across the road.

I can tell you it was difficult enough holding the umbrella in one hand, camera in the other, thinking about composition and keeping my balance, without getting wet. *Phew*

Shot in Blarney on a very wet day.

Wet Wellow Web

Early in the morning dew coats everything and water droplets on spider webs glisten in the rising sun.

I’m not sure where this was taken, it was probably somewhere in Blarney but it was taken with my Panasonic FZ5 last September and I only copied it off a few days ago!

Cappuccino Morning

A beautiful misty morning greeted us a few days ago. The mist rolled down the valley outside and when the sun rose it produced these amazing shades of brown through the fog.

Thanks Jacinta for the name, it fits!

I added a tag cloud to the site this morning. It’s quite obvious from it where I live, and what I take pictures of!

Sunrise over Blarney

This is the view that greeted me a few days ago from my office. I wouldn’t post it except that today is wet and gloomy and I want to remember what a nice sunrise looks like instead of the grey cloud I’m looking at now.

The Midleton Food & Drink Festival is this weekend. I went there last year and got some nice photos of a martial arts demo and we’ll hopefully head down tomorrow if the weather improves. You really want good weather because the town will be so packed with people you’ll hardly be able to move!

There’s something up with Flickr’s email uploader. I sent this photo off twice and it didn’t appear in my stream. I had a similar problem yesterday but the photo appeared on the second go. Manual upload and “Blog This” saved the day though!