In support of my goal this year to focus more on my photography, I attended a class at Lauritzen Gardens on Saturday. The instructor, Will Fields, sent out a reading assignment via email before class. His goal was to help us see how aperture influences depth of field. He spent time with us individually. For me, the technical assignment was to photograph a single subject at three different apertures from three different angles on continuous focus as fast as I could. Here is one of my captures at aperture f/2.8. I love blurred backgrounds that isolate the subject. However, it is not easy to capture moving grandchildren at that aperture because the depth of field limits how much is in focus. There isn’t much room for focus error. I’d love to be able to consistently capture photographs that are in focus using a wide aperture. I am going to continue to practice this little assignment until the next class. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Another goal I have for the new year is to focus on the photographs that I capture as I create scrapbook pages. I’m not giving up artsy designs; I just want the photographs to pop on my pages; I want them to dominate my pages.

I began this page with the psd file 1 of MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 5. I clipped a copy of the above photo to the fotoblendz layers. I then clipped two other photos to png files 3 and 5 before clipping another copy of the first photo to transfer 7 of ArtPlay Palette Anaphora. I reduced the opacity to 40%.

From those layers, I created a composite using the keyboard shortcut keys: command+option+shift+e. By the time I had brought back in what I wanted revealed from my composite using the fotoblendz masks on layer masks and a png file, I had duplicated the composite five times.

Next, I duplicated the photos and extracted four of the orchids using the Quick Selection Tool and layer masks. I gave each extraction a custom shadow.

I then placed transfer 3 and the gold paint from ArtPlay Palette Anaphora. I also placed some of the layers from psd Artsy Transfers Anaphora 3 and 5. Note: those will be available on Wednesday in Anna’s store.

Next, I clipped another copy of the composite to a png copy of Artsy FlutterBy Templates No. 2. I changed the blend mode to linear burn, duplicated the two layers and reduced the opacity of the top copy to 75%. I added two threadz from ButtonThreadz No. 2 as well as one of the Urban LoopedThreadz No. 1.

With a title from Repeat WordART Mix No. 1 and a bit of journaling, I finished my page. What do I like about my finished page: the soft edges and subtle texture, the white space and especially the beauty of these orchids. While my page design and layering of the fotoblendz transfers changed the photograph, the orchids are still just as clear and beautiful as they were in the original photograph. Each of us has different expectations for the art we create from the photographs we capture. I still believe that as my photography improves, so will my artsy scrapbooking. I still believe that photography is my creative priority. I am focusing on the photos this year.