Hi art friends. I’m writing this post the Sunday after Father’s Day. At the writing of this post, I’ve signed up for four 2 Lil Owls Studio classes: three are photography classes and one is a class on creating custom backgrounds. While I’m not taking the lessons in order, I am taking a lot of photos.

These classes have really inspired me to the point where I have a ton of canvases to post. Behind the scenes, I edit the day’s shoot and create a draft post with the three best canvases. I save a draft of each post, edit them in batches when I have time and schedule the posts. Over the next month, the posting will settle into a weekly cadence.

For this shoot, I’m using my Canon Rebel T1i with 24 mm lens. I had not yet ventured into shooting manual, so the auto settings are probably not very useful here. As I start getting a handle on shooting manual, I’ll add my shutter speed and aperture to the notes.

These photos were minimally editing in Light Room: levels adjusted and I used one of the Sci 2 Lil Owls presets. In Photoshop, I duplicate the background, run Unsharp Mask; duplicate that layer and run a high pass. For both of those, I just tweak the settings to my liking. When I’m watching Denise work in the class or on her Watch Me Edit Videos, I find my taste is very different from hers. You just have to play with the settings and find what you like. I added a couple of class overlays, and possibly any of the bazillion 2 Lil Owls overlays I have downloaded from the Texture Club, Awake, Kaizen and Photoshop Artistry Grunge classes.

Father’s Day is still a tough holiday for me, even though dad has been gone for 12 years.

I’m slowly working through the Still Stories lessons. The most recent lesson I completed was Old Camera. I got the idea for this shoot while listening to Denise in one of the early class videos on finding things around your house to a story.

I really miss dad and wanted to create a story that captured Dad with some of the objects from his life. The objects are: his West Point graduation ring, his father’s watch (a gift upon grandpa’s retirement); and an old hardbound Gourmet cookbook, which dad bought for mom as an anniversary gift. Trouble was, mom does not cook, so his gift went over life a fart in a spacesuit.

As much as I enjoy creating complex composited imagery, I am enjoying the simplicity of planning, setting up and shooting a still life and adding the drama and grunge with artsy overlays.

These series are taking everything I learned in mixed media and applying to my photography. I don’t believe in holding onto regrets, but I am so grateful that I’ve found this world of grungy photography that I’ve been in love with since the days of Somerset Studios now defunct Digital Inspiration.

Expect the next post when you see it.

Happy creating!