My first goal towards creating a studio out of my office was to get this big, old, cheap Sears bookcase that takes up half a wall cleaned out and out of the room. I told myself I would get that done this weekend, and on Sunday I finally got up the energy to give it a go. It took longer than I expected, because while cleaning out the bookcase I realized I had to find somewhere to put the stuff I cleaned out of there (the stuff that wasn’t total junk anyway) which led to me having to clean out some other drawers and cabinets to make room for it. I don’t think I realized before today, because I don’t generally pay attention much to my surroundings, just how much useless crap I’ve accumulated over the years and strewn all over the house, as well as stuffed into cabinets and drawers. Every available space here within which junk can be placed is full, and I’d wager that 97% of it is useless. So there’s that.
I ended up throwing out 6 bags’ worth of said junk, along with the bookcase, and let’s just say I achieved two goals today – getting rid of the bookshelf and getting back into a workout routine – because at the end of the day I was tired and quite sore all over. But goal #1 is accomplished, and every time I walk into my office I do a little happy dance to see that open space against the wall, which I’ve already used to move my umbrella stands against instead of having them hovering over my computer desk like they were before. At one point today I got really overwhelmed thinking about all those overstuffed drawers and cabinets and bookshelves and feeling the need to de-clutter the entire house, but I calmed myself down and reminded myself I’d do a better job of it if I stuck to the plan and took each step one at a time. I don’t want to burn out by taking on too much too soon, and forgetting to celebrate each little victory. So, here I am with one more wall of free space, a sore neck, and a sense of accomplishment. Yay me.
My next goal is to get rid of that little cheap black and white love seat that is basically a dog couch – I’m going to take it up to the school for the students to sit on in the learning center next year. Hope they don’t mind sitting on a dog bed for relaxation! I’m hoping to get that done some time this week. I’m not sure I even need a truck to move this thing; it was delivered to my doorstep in a box, so it isn’t exactly heavy, just might be too bulky to fit in my car. We’ll see. And yes, I am sorry to separate Penny from one of her favorite resting places, but my mind is made up and this room will be a photo studio, so we’re all going to have to make sacrifices. Moving on.
I also edited two more photos from Friday’s shoot:
I have no idea why I was making that face, but y’all know I like to find shots where I don’t look anything like the other 5,000+ shots of myself I’ve stared at over the years, and this one fit the bill. It kind of looks like I just spied a tarantula crawling up the wall, but I thought the expression lent an air of mystery and humor (and maybe even drama?) to the portrait, so here’s hoping I was right about that.
This next one was really frustrating – I liked it enough to run it through Photo Ninja and Photoshop, but once I started tweaking it in Snapseed I couldn’t get all that into it. It was boring me, and I felt like something was missing. I liked the focus a lot, though, and way the light played on the hair, so I kept working at it.
Even when I uploaded it to Pixlr and started trying out different effects and overlays, I couldn’t hit on anything that gave it the pizzazz I wanted, and I was about to abandon it entirely when, as a last resort, I decided to try out some borders, thinking I could edit the heavy frame out as I’d learned to do recently and just keep whatever textures the border might impose on the image. And just like that – BAM! It all fell into place.
See what I mean? The difference is subtle, but the visual interest the specks and smudges create give the portrait a grittier feel, as well as adding some warmth and light to the shot. I cropped out the dark black borders so that they weren’t so obtrusive (this was actually done using three different borders layered over each other) and was just left with the touches of texture and color that made me happy. Now I really love this shot!
Got to go in to work today, but we’re on summer hours now so I only have to be there from 9 AM to 1 PM. I’m planning on editing more from this set as well as move more furniture, so another busy week awaits. Happy Monday everyone!