Evensong Cafe
©2007 Ardent Photogaphy LLC

Hilary and Tim are getting married next fall. Their wedding is going to be held in Green Lake, Wisconsin at the Heidle House. I did their engagement photos at their wedding/reception location. This image was taken at the Evensong Spa at the resort. The staff was sooooo kind to let us have the run of the place. They even let us in some of the buildings that were locked up for the day.

Their wedding is going to be fabulous! They are having a lighting designer/wedding coordinator decorate the ground and reception hall.


Hrm. They called from the kindergarten. Amalie's sick. Ohwell. She's just a lil hot, but otherwise her normal, active self. I went down to the kindergarten to fetch her. Nice excuse to bring the camera along no? *smile* Just wish I was able to get her whole reflection in the little puddle..need to practice thinking like that....thinking about the whole frame kinda during shooting..

She loves her wabbit. It was lost for a while but refound after some months - dirty and all but still just as loved...

I love how she has such superb taste - I think she's starting to be as addicted to Gwen Stefani as I am!! She loves singing to her songs..... so cute to hear (and watch :D)...and sometimes her timing actually hits ;)

Anyways. Seen the news at Bad Girls? Starting with the Dec kit; if you're a subscriber or you purchase any of the current addons/project-kits....you can join the monthly challenge and get a chance to win one of those aprons.....which are very exclusive - they will be available through this monthly challenge only...12 of these..... and apparently it's not regular rhinestones, but 100% Swarovski crystals.... for more information, read the official challenge-info on the boards here :) Me wants!!

And uhm. Yikes?? Is this really the last day of November?? *faint*
I've put up the Christmas-light for the window...opted to go for a little lightglobe from Ahlens (Sirius) instead for the normal star thats more common but now that it's up I think it's a lil too small. Hmm. I also need to fix the Advent-lights before this sunday (no I don't have any. shame on me) and put up the Christmas calendar and uh. I guess I should look for more Christmas-pressies as I'm far from done. *sigh*

Anyways - happy Advent everybody - I'm really looking forward to tomorrow morning - to watch and take photos (*teehee*) of the kids opening their calendars (my kind mother always does the calendar for us) and to the start of a new Christmas - it's truly magical through the eyes of the children...(sappy I know but it's oh so true!)... as we'll be home this Christmas my aim is to try and do at least 4-5 traditional Christmasstuff together...I really suck at keeping traditions kinda but am tryin to redeem myself!! :)

Ps! HUGE congrats to Iris!!! She made the cover for the MM Magazine's January-issue.... check her blog to read her cute lil inspirational tale :)

Ps2. Will post a layout or two tomorrow ;)

Alright girls. LOADS of peeks today.
Some of them will be revealed soon (like the Bad Girls december-ones), some of them won't be revealed until like two months into the new year. Sooooo apologies in advance for being such a tease but I just really wanna show I *have* been working on stuff lately ;)

Ps. Dexter!!! Holy shit did anyone watch this the other day???? Omg. Wtf. Omg! I seriously went wtf when they ended it like that....helloo...now I have to wait another week?? Grrr..... so.good!
Ps2. Sorry for the language but really. The last ep was that great :p
Ps3: oh. first peek is just the bad girl candy I got in the kit....which the others got in the november kit for halloween...totally cool Bad Girl m&ms!

Leah & Alyssa
©2007 Ardent Photography LLC

These girls are so cool and CUTE!!! They are twins and you wouldn't even think they looked like sisters. I have done their Christmas photo for three years now... It is so neat seeing them grow up!

This year's session was done on a frigid, sleet filled day. The girls and their mom and dad were troopers! I know it took me a long time to warm up after the shoot... The shots turned out great! They will have a hard time deciding on their favorite!

I am so excited! I just booked my trip to Boston to second shoot a wedding for Gwyneth Colleen Photography. This opportunity is amazing. The wedding is going to be held here and overlooks Quincy Market which will still be decorated for Christmas. I hope to have many wonderful shots of my trip and the wedding.

I have two more upcoming trips. In February I will be flying to San Fransisco to second/third/fourth shoot a photographer friend's wedding. She invited numerous photographers as guests/shooters - this trip will be amazing too!

In March I will be headed off to Las Vegas for the annual WPPI convention. I am thrilled to get into a two day seminar with Mike Colon. I will be 1 of 20 people in the class. The following week will be about getting new ideas on photography and products to better service you in 2008!


Ahhh I think I found the perfect Holiday-family-movie!! Or well....I've yet to see it for real myself, but I fell in love with the trailer *blush* on the Disney site and the quotes provided at IMDB.com...anyways...the name's Enchanted.. looks like a fun and sweet movie no? I find the moves of Giselle pretty cool and sweet.....like, real Disney-princessish..which is kinda cool... Talking about movies, I've yet to see Stardust..grr...must.fix.soon. And now the other Gaiman-movie's out too, Beowulf.

Anyways...I was rockin' to Gwen Stefani with Amalie on my lap and then she fell asleep to Early Winter...hmm.. she did claim she liked the music tho before she started snoring :p Adrian's also into music, he totally loves High School Music 2 and has been wanting the CD w/the music...

Hrm. Was supposed to scrap lots but am a bit limited w/the sleeping one on my lap...need to whisk her away :p

(yay she woke up immediately after being placed on the couch. Ohwell)

Addin some photos from Ål - there wasn't snowing there until Thursday - the day before we were leaving. Ohwell. Amalie had great fun in kindergarten that day :)

Am workin on some peeks for upcoming layouts - I've been pretty much into Papirfest-photos lately - like 4 or 5 layouts made with photos from there now the last week. Funfun! Can't show some of these until like, anything from a week to next year and stuff, so I'll share some peeks soon just because...uh...to prove I've been scrapping! ;) (I feel like I suck if I don't have layouts or anything SB-related to show in my posts kinda :p)

Yay I'm home!!
Being away is nice and swell but coming back home....ahhh :)
I did have quite an enjoyable time - I got to meet mom, my stephdad and my uncle - I got to teach scrapbooking all day (and got quite a few projects done aswell in the evenings in the apartment while Amalie was asleep - 2 PL-Lo's and 1+2 secret project-LO's wrapped up! ;P).... I got to watch Amalie do more and more signing each day... I got to see how well she bonded with her grandma....whom she doesn't get to see too often as she lives in Oslo (and we're at the other side of the country).....

but truth to be told...I've missed home. I've missed my regular scrapbook-corner (had to postpone two projects because I needed photos or stuff at home :p), I missed my very own bed and I missed my hubby & kiddo. Oh, and having my own pc with my own inet-connection (can you believe - we didn't get the wireless network to work until the last evening before going home. Duh. Ohwell. Prob why I got so much done in the evenings anyways being wo net) :p

Anyways. At home my Bad Girls December kit greeted me - YUM! Seriously I don't know where Wendy gets that from...she always finds those fabulous RARE stuff for her kits..... totally in love with the gorgeous trims......... ahh..... I shouldn't say more - I just know I'm totally looking forward to like, do stuff with this kit this weekend.........:)

I'll leave you with a photo of the canvas I did for Sri's class at the Christmas Workshop - totally LOVED this idea so I made all my students do this project aswell on uh, weds :) They came up with all sorts of creative ideas for this one :) Anyways. My version. Orange. Yum. Love to make those colors spill kinda...Hambly, AC thickers, embossed AL stamp & a delicious ribbon which was a leftover from a previous Bad Girl kit :) I made a blue version of this one for my class aswell but forgot to photograph it - it's now in Oslo cause it's gonna be a pressie for my grandma,...ohwell :)

Anyways. Bedtime. Will see if I can put up some more photos tomorrow - haven't unloaded the photos from this week yet (what's wrong with me? :p)

Grr...the wireless network that's here just won't work on my stephfathers laptop, so I can't post some of the photos from here...ohwell...we're having a great time here - Amalie is totally loving the attention she gets here being the only child around....and she's so into grandma..... tailing her everywhere...grandma doesn't mind cause she only sees her like thrice or so a year...

I was looking forward to snow but there ain't much snow around here strangely enough...ohwell....

Anyways - as I don't have any photos to upload (yet - haven't given up the laptop...am sittin on one of the school-pc's) I'll show my pre-prepared layout from last sundays' Pencil-Lines-layout.... I tested out the vaseline-distress-thingie on the stars that's on Emily Falconbridges blog (thanks Anam for looking that up for me!) - not quite the effect I wanted then but it's still a very very cool one don't ya think? :) Also, the hedgehog (I LOVE THEM :D Aw too cute!) is one of the "buttons" I printed from the Pixelfarm-font (after an idea by Kal Bartesky). The kiddo kinda can't sit straight - always sits in funny angles & stuff...:p

Oook gotta run class has begun !!!

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I believe that in photography, the holy grail is to capture not only an image but also to be able to put every emotion of the moment that will give weight and soul to the picture. In reality, it's the candid shots that's often able to bring back the memory of what actually happened.

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Heart Throb
©2007 Ardent Photography LLC

In the beginning of November I got to photograph two cute little boys... at the end of the session they were jumping in puddles and ended up getting all wet.

This photo incorporates a texture that justs adds an element of interest to the photo. I also applied a "tea stained" effect to the overall look.

More to come...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Ok, not really fishing, but off for a week of scrapbooking and stuff at Ål :)
I'll be accessible when it comes to the email at least, no idea how good my netconnection will be though - depends on wheter there's wireless access there or not I guess. Anyways - I'm loaded - Christmas Pressies (for my relatives in Oslo - will meet mom & stephdad in Ål too - sis: I hope you appreciate this! your pressie takes like 80% of my bag!!!!!!) - check, extra materials for my class - check, clothes for me and Amalie - check, scrapbooking-stuff & piccies for myself - check (am not leaving my apartment while Amalie is in bed so I'm hoping I'll get a lot of personal scrapping done in the evenings. We'll see. Things never go as planned :p)

I'm also excited because Amalie will be attending a signed/mixed kindergarten while I'm teaching at Ål. I've tried to use signlanguage to her some (I really sucked at that dep with Adrian so I'm hoping to make up for it with Amalie) and she does sign some on her own - so it'll be interesting to see how she'll do in that kindergarten - and all week as we'll be staying in a sign-language-environment pretty much 24/7.

I have prepared some piccies for upcoming blogposts - if I'm lucky I'll still be able to share stuff during the week whenever I get my hands on tah Intarwebs. Me smart! ;)

None I can share atm though, so I'll leave you with a piccie of me and my hubs taken with my cellphone on friday...we had one of our very very rare twice or thrice a year-going-out-partying-occasion. ;) lousy quality but I still like it :)

NB: LONG post and photo/PS-heavy. Scroll down to next post if you're just interested in seeing a layout cause there's one below this wall of text™/piccies..well..after the YouTube-vids :p

By popular demand. The photos from the layout in the post below, unedited (just resized):

Tbh I think the color's a bit dull - I'd prob want to increase the contrast at least.
Sunny piccies = washed out colors normally.

From my fuss about levels and curves being totally basic. (see prev. challenge - post below :p)
I like levels and curves.

This is just a general thing dependant on the picture itself. Just to give you a general idea how to make it better..here when it comes to these kind of photos - that is - underexposed.

This is the orig file. Not that bad really. Just dark and a tad grey (I think ND-filters..or was it UV-filters? I keep mixin the diff. filters....enlight me if you know for sure please - are supposed to help a little on the "natural" greyness/dullness that's normal with most photos.)

Anyhoo.. look at it's histogram:
A histogram is kinda supposed to have all the black areas somewhat evenly spread all over kinda..or a nice modest peak towards the right area of middle.. (all those lines represent how much % of a certain color is represented in the photo ranging from black to while at the extremes...afaik anyways :p So a full 100% line at the total right means theres pure white somewhere in the photo kinda..a packed peak to the right = prob burnt out areas in the photo...). This one is kinda stuffed in the middle/to the left. Indicates some underexposment. So what to do? Pull the white arrow to where the info start - see circle. Or, if you're feelin bold, push it towards the red line, like I'd prob do. This means that some areas/colors will be really really overexposed (clipped I think it's called? Like..lost info. I think. Ugh. Don't quote me I'm tryin to understand and remember the lingo :p). Anyways. Your choice as to what to go for. Personally I don't really mind clipped areas that bad....depends on the overallphoto...yes I am babling and don't really know what I'm babling about so just feel free to ignore me :p

I decided to just pull the white arrow to where the info actually started. Decided to push the black arrow a lil to the right too - even tho it wasn't really necessary to go so far as I did. Lastly, the middle arrow was shot a lil to the left to brighten the middletones of the photo further.

See? Now we're starting to get a nice photo. Not that underexposed anymore and it feels brighter and thus prettier on the eyes ;p

Now, I wanna make the colors pop a little bit. Strengthen the contrast.
Cue the curves-window. I love CS3. I don't think the presets are there in CS2 (actually I haven't checked tho PS2 is still installed on the PC. Me lazy :p).
Normally I use Linear Contrast - sometimes Medium Contrast is needed (NB: Medium&strong contrast usually ain't good for faces/skintones. Use masks for these cases - paint over the faces w/ some opacity if you want to use medium/strong contrast but think the faces looks ugly when you do so but only the faces - the rest of the photo looks good. Also, use "add layer -> adjust" for easier&quicker access to the masks & easier editing of the curves even after you're done with it kinda). Don't have the presets? It's ok. Just make a slight S - see the circles as to where to put the points at approx. A medium contrast is heavier at the bottom - linear one is more stuck to the middle/slash-line.

Yey - a nicely contrasted piccie.

Now, I'm really into overexposing photos. Me like.
It's a personal preferrence. Copy the layer (ctrl-j. Or alt-j. Can't recall atm :p). Change the mode to screen. Lower the opacity - here I felt 65% was nice enough for this photo - but often an opacity of 15-25% is better as I usually overexpose my photos incamera when possible - hence having a brighter startingpoint already kinda.

Yey. Brightish photo. Me like.

Finish the photo with a lil sharpenin - now this part is pretty much nitpickin on my part - the difference is there but just slightly kinda...but ohwell.

Tedah! And to refresh your mind; here's the orig photo again:

Btw. I took an underexposed photo as an example to just show what I mean w/ the histogram "having" to fill the whole histogram-area kinda. Normally most of my photos aren't this bad... I think... I just shoot a lot of photos and delete the "wrong" ones unless I really love them and think they're worth tryin to save :p Hm. Which I often do. Hm. Jeje :) I also suppose you could just go straight the the screen-part then adjust the curves after you've merged the layers. Not sure what workflow is best and if you'd really get the same results :)

Anyways. I am no expert, I just try stuff and use what seem to work for me and often w/o really knowing what I do..like..the tech aspect (hence me tryin to learn the lingo properly and me babling....babling usually makes me think things more through...which I think is good..kinda...but which doesn't mean you should take the babling too seriously.) ..Im sure those of you who really know PS will just laugh at what I've just wrote cause some of my attempts on explaination prob is off and stuff and a real photographer would prob snort at my love for overexposing hence losing details/info in some areas in the pic so really, don't quote me on this whole thing! :p

So if you really wanna learn more about photo-editing; go to fotopia (for norwegians) - excellent site with good and informative tutorials from a real real certified PS-pro :) Personally I've lately learned stuff from photomags.....there's usually good tips and tricks in them aswell along with CD-ROMs where you can try the same thing as explained in the mags (I like Digital Camera Magazine. Have tried two other mags aswell, one very PS-heavy - a lil too PS-ish for me as I think it kinda borderlines on..uh..digital cheating or well, digital art/painting...retouchheavy...I don't know..I'm still undecided on such stuff..wheter I think it's ok/good or too "cheat" ..and another fairly ok balanced one. Can't recall their names - but theyre all UK based. For some reason most if not all of the English photomags in the local stores here are from UK, not US afaik.)

Ps. I don't know why I keep tryin to discredit myself. Cause I guess...I do spend and know a lil more about PS than the average person after all..and whatever I do..it certainly seem to work for me no? Which's the whole point really. Hm. Must. Work. With. Myself.

Ps2. Yes. I know about actions. I LOVE actions. Still as I mentioned some posts ago. I decided I wanted to try learn more about the manual process.....to like, learn the process properly.... I suppose it would come in handy some day. And to me...it feels better pushin the action-button to make your workflow easier when you actually know what it does - like, see this post about actions and adjusting them :p And I kinda do dare think that most of my everyday-photos these days looks great w/( just raw-editing +) slight postprocessing in PS. Hrm. Ania. Stop. Babling. Making. Excuses.

/babling off!

Ps3!! Tonight!!! the Bad Girls Christmas Workshop will start! YAY!!!