Hi ho art friends. I’m loving the 2 Lil Owls Still Stories course and not just ‘cuz I love taking classes.

I’m using this class to hone in on using my 25 mm Canon Macro lens and manual settings. I’ve become obsessed with Lensbaby lenses. I’d really like to buy one. Although I’m still deciding which one, they are manual lenses so I need to become comfortable with manual settings.

For today’s shooting session, I used the manual exposure and f-stop settings but let the camera focus. It’s coming back to me, but until I feel more fluent, I’m using the Auto setting to see what the camera chooses. I take that info and push the range a bit to find what I like. My one concern about getting one of these lenses is the manual focus. My eyes were never that great to begin with, but as I’m aging and dealing with transitions lenses, manually focusing a camera is a bit tricksy. So I’m taking it in baby steps before I go fully manual.

What I like is deep shadows and an overall dreamy feel. Blurry edges, murky foreground and background. I love macro photography. In order to get a painterly feel, my favorite Filter Gallery option is Paint Daubs.

The second lesson in Still Stories is the Camera Story. Denise has a collection of vintage cameras. I do not have such a collection but what I do have is my very first 35 mm SLR camera: the Sears KS500, body by Ricoh. This was my high school graduation gift. The camera dates from between 1976 – 1982. I received mine in the summer of 1982. It was not the fanciest model offered, but it is very serviceable. This baby was my sole camera for very many years.

It still works like a trooper, even with a hairline crack in the hot shoe area. The last time I shot a full roll of film with it was during the 2019 Seattle Snowpocalypse. Just for laughs, I took 2 shots out my studio window today. It brings back such happy memories for me of wandering around taking lots of photos.

For today’s post, I present a trio of the best images of the shooting session. In additional to my camera, I have one volume of a vintage Gourmet cookbook plus several rolls of unprocessed 35 mm film in my camera bag. I really need to take those in for processing. I have no idea what is on these rolls.

The last image is my favorite of the bunch, although the middle image is a very close second. I edited all three images in quick succession. I don’t pay much attention to specific settings, but I make adjustments to each layer.

All three images were edited in Light Room, with exposure adjustments and some sharpening. I also used presets from the Still Stories class, no I don’t recall which ones – I just click though until one speaks to me. In Photoshop, each image was duplicated and high pass (at pretty low settings – I mainly wanted the camera to be the focus of the high pass stage) applied then set to Overlay. I created a new layer from Visible and applied Paint Daubs with the Dark Blurry brush; I adjusted the other Paint Daubs settings for each image.

All three images use the 2 Lil Owls Gala 9 overlay, with the saturation dialed way down, an inverted mask applied and a large soft round brush and white set to 10% in order to selectively reveal the text. All three images used a different 2 Lil Owls Still Stories image. On 2 images, the background was set to overlay and on the third it was set to Soft Light.

“Camera Story 3” by L. Anne Thompson, Tenukihandcrafts
“Camera Story 2” by L. Anne Thompson, Tenukihandcrafts
“Camera Story 1” by L. Anne Thompson, Tenukihandcrafts

As for Takashima progress, this week’s time was spent researching publishing options. Plenty of choices; I just have to decide which route to take.

If this class has any impact on Takashima, it may be in the use of manual settings. The next bit of shooting I need to take care of is the physical locations for the story. Expect a Takashima update when you see one.

Happy creating!