(Not So) Smooth Operator

I tried out some more skin smoothing today, but I don’t think I did as good a job as yesterday. There’s still a lot to work out using this process; I’d love to get as good at retouching and perfecting as someone like Olivia Lazer, who has a website of her photography here. I follow her on Flickr, and I’d love to have even half of her fashion photography skills (she does a lot of other stuff, but I love her fashion photography in particular). But for now, I’m just mucking about and learning from mistakes, mostly. Won’t stop me from posting the mistakes here though.

This one was not a mistake

That was about as close as I could get with the 70-200mm lens, but it’s certainly not bad. Which reminds me – I broke down and bought the macro lens I was considering, but I swore to myself it’d be my last photography purchase for awhile. There were four fairly “cheap” ones I was following on eBay, and when they all got snatched up but the last one, I figured I’d better go ahead and grab it. Just think how far up in my own eye I can get with that thing when it comes in.

This next one is OK, but it was one of several I took using my softbox, and overall the light was too bright and flat for it to be a favorite. That said, I went ahead and worked at smoothing the skin anyway, but for some reason the two portraits I worked with today just didn’t quite work as well as Friday’s. It happens when trying out a new technique; the first day goes OK because you’re just screwing around and going along, then next time you try you’re overthinking everything and mistakes get made. All part of the learning process.

It’s OK, just nothing thrilling

For this last one, I decided to go all-out and really blur the hell out of my skin to see if that satisfied me more than the work I’d done up to that point. It didn’t.

Well, this looks natural

All was not lost though – I pulled the photo into Pixlr and worked some magic on it to save the shot.

I quite like it now!

In other news, my arm is still in pretty good shape, thanks to my new gun-totin’, squirrel-shootin’ massage therapist, even after editing pics the past two days. My father-in-law appears to be on the mend, I have a new lens on the way, and for some reason I’ve gone on a TV-show watching marathon, which is so unusual for me I don’t even know how to describe why it happened, except to say that my husband insisted I watch one episode of Mad Men and that turned into a three-week long binge through all six seasons. Once I was caught up I decided to try another show all my friends have been raving about for years (Downton Abbey) and I think I’m set to finish up the first four seasons of that one this weekend. The other one I intend to try is Breaking Bad, which I’ve put off for last because it appears to be the most depressing of the three – but it can’t be called one of the best dramas ever written for television for nothing. In fact, I bet I have a whole slew of new Air Crash Investigation episodes on my iPad I’ve forgotten to watch, so I’ll have to get back on track with that too.

Speaking of airplanes, my father and I are attending a fundraiser next Saturday for a historic aviation museum in the city – it’s located on the grounds of one of our big airports, and has observation decks that take you practically right onto the runway of it. So, I should have some awesome airplane pics coming soon – along with some proper macro shots. I’ve also sent out loads of resumes but haven’t heard anything yet. Oh, and I’m pretty sure another root canal is coming soon – I’ve got a tooth that’s become quite sensitive to cold, but maybe I’m wrong and it’s just a cavity or something. Gotta get myself to the dentist to get checked out soon. Unlike most people I know, I’ve no fear of dentists, or root canals. It’s getting the damn crown that sucks, but even that is tolerable to me.

So, skin smoothing, binge-watching television, airplanes, and root canals. All in a day. Have a good one!


10 thoughts on “(Not So) Smooth Operator

  1. Yeah, I like them all, but that last one is really cool. Glad you and your FIL are on the men. Whenever I’m tempted to a TV binge I always think of how much stuff I could get done in the amount of hours spent watching TV and then I don’t do it. But relaxing would be nice–I can’t say it wouldn’t be . . . .

    • Well, there is good TV writing out there that is worth spending time on…plus, I never just sit and watch TV. I stream it on my iPad while I do other things; edit photos mainly, but even doing laundry or cooking!

      • Me too. Multi-tasking at all times! I just can’t get myself to the point of watching more than one episode of TV every other day or every 3 days. And I want to see Downton Abbey since it’s always being recommended to me. And Mad Men. And Breaking Bad. I do watch Game of Thrones and The Fosters and occasionally a Glee episode. I know those aren’t as a critically acclaimed as the ones I’m meant to watch!

  2. “Eye” like the first picture a lot. Of course all of the others are great, but in my opinion you look better with minor smoothing.
    As far as TV goes, I’m not much of a watcher. When I do, I tend to go for the light hearted network stuff, like Criminal minds, CSI, etc. 🙂

    • I’m kinda giggling that you think Criminal Minds is light-hearted! I had to quit watching it cause it was episode after episode of women getting stalked and murdered…I started getting paranoid!

        • Ha – I forgot who I was talking to for a minute. I actually thought you were serious! I should have known better. It’s actually twice as funny now…you never cease to crack me up.

  3. That was newsy and interesting. I am a Mad Men fanatic and have all of the episodes to date. Same with Downton Abbey and The Good Wife. We binged on The Good Wife and now waiting for each episode is torture. Geoff loves The Americans – it is really dark but addictive. Of course he is a big Game of Thrones addict (too violent for me, as is The Vikings). Anyway, good about both of you getting better, the macro, good luck in the resumes and dentist. What else, what else. Glad to see you back to selfies, smoothed or otherwise. I broke down and took some pictures of flowers in the yard, even though I don’t really care about that kind of photography (at least when I do it). I see it as a ‘palate cleanser’ between safaris, lol. I looked back over some of your past dramatic costumes and make up shots — that is where you truly excel. Who else comes up with such imaginative ideas in that genre?

    • I think Mad Men is so well-written, while Downton Abbey is more character-driven. I love the evolution of Peggy on Mad Men and am really in love with the relationship between Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes on Downton. Oh, and I just do not find Don Draper attractive in the least. I get why others do, but that whole rugged-man thing has never been for me.

      For me, taking pics of other things means I don’t have to spend hours on makeup and costumes and can just focus on taking the photos. Grab a camera and go – it gets so tedious to do all the other prep work. But I am sure I’ll always do it as it has advantages too – privacy of my own home and can be done at any time, mostly.

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