Monthly Archives: March 2011

Edited Green Photo

Well, I guess God responded to my complaints as the last two days have been absolutely beautiful, with much of the snow melting away. I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath as it’s supposed to snow again today and on the weekend, but I’m just going to pretend that’s not going to happen. (Wouldn’t that be nice?)

Despite my complaining, I should be thankful that it’s no longer like this outside:

Since all our memories are now refreshed on how drab the SOOC shot looked like, let’s get to the edits:

  1. I added a high-pass filter with a radius of 40. I then changed the opacity to 30% and the blending mode to linear light.
  2. Added a hue/saturation adjustment layer. Using the little hand (the targeted adjustment tool), I clicked on the green needles (which ended up adjusting the yellow) and moved the cursor around until I reached the desired saturation. I also played around with the hue slider to make it slightly less yellow.
  3. I sharpened using “unsharp mask” under filters–>sharpen with the settings: 120, 1, 3.

Since I didn’t get a chance to play with the artistic brushes last week with my flower, I wanted to today. Apparently to use them you have to make sure that your bit depth is 8 (Image–>mode–>8bits/channel) and your colour space is RGB Color  (Image–>mode–>RGB Color). Interesting to know if it isn’t working properly!

  1. Opened up artistic filters. I ended up adding two layers: One was paint daubs and the other Sumi-e.
  2. I then opened up a hue/saturation adjustment layer and played around with the colours and presets until I found something I thought looked cool.

There you have it – my edits! Please do check out everyone else’s green edits over at Ashley’s blog! 🙂

Just so you know (because I know so many of you were dying to know :P), my photoshop class ended last night – how does 6 weeks go by so quickly? The final exam was incredibly easy as I finished in about 5 minutes – I expected it to be much harder and much longer. I guess that’s what happens when you study too hard as you partially reverted back to engineering course exam studying. haha. Even though, I did give up making notes after a while as I got distracted by making dinner and the desire to look at romantic getaways in warm places. (I blame my counsellor for that – he said that once I’m done dealing with my stuff, Mr. Bean and I should go for a vacation somewhere warm where we can spend some quality time together and not do anything. Immediately, I thought of staying in some kind of secluded resort looking over beautifully clear water in a hammock. I’ve never really had any desire to do that until now and it seems terribly appealing (especially with all the snow in the forecast!). Any suggestions of where to go that wouldn’t break the bank and doesn’t include being around 50 billion people all the time?)

Where would you go on a romantic getaway?


Filed under Photography

Vegan Banana Almond Flour Pancakes

I think it’s safe to say that I’m not the only one who enjoys having breakfast for dinner. This weekend while Mr. Bean was away for work, I decided to whip up some pancakes for dinner.  Usually I use a recipe from the Celiac Teen (so good!), but I wanted to try something different. I recently acquired Elana Amsterdam’s Almond Flour Cookbook, so I thought I would try making a vegan version of her pancakes.  Instead of eggs I added a banana and an egg replacer and didn’t add any agave nectar as the banana is sweet enough. I tried my best to make 1/3 of the recipe – this makes four very filling pancakes.

I did discover something interesting: if you’re trying to reduce the amount of sugar you’re eating and don’t want the sugar rush that syrup gives you, try melting some frozen berries and using the juice as syrup! Just as tasty and way better for you! 🙂

Vegan Banana Almond Flour Pancakes

1 banana
1 tsp. egg replacer with 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. rice milk, mixed until frothy
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. almond flour
Scant 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. tapioca starch
Pinch salt
Grapeseed Oil

  1. In a blender (I used my magic bullet), mix together the banana, egg replacer, water and vanilla extract for about a minute until well mixed.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and blend until well mixed.
  3. Heat up some grapeseed oil in a skillet or on a griddle over medium-low heat.
  4. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the hot pan. Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface of the batter. Flip over and cook until browned. Note that since these do not have eggs and use almond flour, they will take longer than regular pancakes, so be patient and cook on low heat!
  5. Enjoy!

EDIT: Erin at The Spiffy Cookie baked these pancakes for roughly 15 – 20 min and they turned out really well and the centres set! Thanks Erin!

What’s your favourite breakfast for dinner?

Looking for some good recipes? Try looking at: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Hearth and Soul Hop Volume 41 and Gluten-Free Wednesdays! (I’ve linked up this recipe at all of them!)


Filed under Food

Just When We Hoped Winter was Over…

Dear Winter & Snow,

Usually I’m pretty lenient towards you as I actually like pristine white snow covering the ground and winter sports, but I’m kind of annoyed at you. Generally by the end of March you usually stay for a day or two and I’m okay with that, but you’ve been here for a lot more than that.

I guess the only thing that I can’t complain about it how you covered the trees with ice and frost – usually it melts throughout the day, but since it just keeps on snowing, it hasn’t had the chance to yet.

I guess I also can’t complain that it is snowing and -20C or less. Thank you for that.

Another complaint I have against you is that you made me late for church this morning as I forgot that you had deposited 3″ of snow  plus some ice on my car that I had brush and scrape off.

My final wish is this: can you please let spring know that it’s more than welcome to come any time now?

Thank you,


P.S. The first photo of the pine tree is my entry for this week’s “Green” Shoot and Edit Challenge.



Filed under Photography

Edit and Shoot: Flowers

Welcome back for some photoshop flower editing fun! If you’d like to see the tutorial the lovely Ashley Sisk wrote about editing flowers and everyone else’s edits – here’s the link up!

Just for reference, here is the original shot of this crazy looking tropical flower:

So, without further ado, here are my edits:

  1. In Lightroom, I cropped the photo to follow rule of thirds better.
  2. Increased vibrance to +30, contrast to +50 and black clipping to +7.
  3. Added more red by changing tint from -10 to -5.
  4. Using the adjustment brush, I painted the flower (make sure auto mask is on!) added a slight pink colour and upped the saturation to +15.

For the following edit, I used both lightroom and photoshop. I used masks for the specific selection of the flower – you can copy and paste the selection to a new layer, but you can’t edit the edges much further if you do that. Whereas if you use a mask you can paint on the mask to cover or show things that you want!

  1. In lightroom, reduce the saturation, increase vibrance, clarify, contrast and exposure until you reach something you like.
  2. Open this photo and the previously edited photo in photoshop.
  3. Put both pictures as layers in one file, with the brighter layer on top.
  4. Using your quick selection tool, select the part of the flower you want to make “pop.” Zoom in, start with a fairly large brush and reduce the brush size by pressing “[” for more finiky parts. Use alt+click to take away selections.
  5. Click refine edges button at the top to edit the edges of the selection.
  6. Create a mask around the selection by pressing the button at the bottom of the layers menu that looks like a circle in a rectangle. You can now edit the mask by selecting the mask in the layers menu and using a brush to paint black (to hide) or white (to show) what parts of the photo are affected by your edits.
  7. Adjust flower to get desired look.

I really wanted to try using the artistic filter on this flower, but for some reason photoshop wouldn’t let me do that. Any suggestions as to why? I know way more than I used to about photoshop, but in many aspects I’m still pretty clueless!

How is your Thursday coming along?


Filed under Photography

Some Wednesday Randomness

Ever have one of those days where you spend so much time staring at your computer screen with a few blank blog posts but with so many things swirling around in your head? Yeah, me too – today is definitely one of those days.

  1. I got paid to take photos for the first time on Sunday. I was incredibly nervous at the beginning and we had a bit of difficulty identifying each other (we were at the zoo), but I think it turned out well in the end. Their son was super cute and he was a good sport for almost an hour, which I think is pretty amazing for a 7 week old baby!
  2. When we were at the zoo, I got to see some different flowers than what was in bloom when I was there last. Perfect for this week’s “Edit This!” challenge. (Whoops! It turns out I’m too late to submit it – that’s what the combination of being busy and procrastinating will do for you – but you can still look at the picture of the neat looking tropical flower.)

  3. I’m taking a hiatus from CUPS next week. I feel that it has just created a lot of superficial stress that makes it very difficult for me to work on the issues that I actually need to work on. As much as I love helping people, it gets a bit tiring to continually deal with drunk/rude/abusive/dirty/etc. people, so I need a break. I have to admit that I am excited that I don’t have to wake up super early and ride the rat race train next week!
  4. Mr. Bean and I have decided to redo part of our second bathroom. We’re getting new flooring put in tomorrow, so all we need to do is pick paint colours and a toilet. I know it seems easy enough, but it always seems to take much longer than expected. We’re also getting the tile in our front landing replaced as the geniuses who installed it did not include a sub floor, so many of the tiles have cracked and/or the grout has fallen out.
  5. I’ve decided that I want to golf more this summer. I used to be fairly good at it in my teens, but I haven’t consistently done it since I started dating Mr. Bean. My biggest problem is convincing myself that I can consistently do it without psyching myself out and doubting my abilities all the time. Hrm. I guess that’s just another example of how bigger problems with self worth plays out in my life.
  6. This week’s One Word Wednesday prompt is Nostalgic. I know we’re nowhere close to Christmas, but out of the pictures I know I have, this was the first thing that popped into my head. It’s always a tradition for my family to make Cherry Almond Crisps around Christmas and we all do our best to eat as much raw dough as possible. But, I want you to look at the table mat underneath the cookies – these were the table mats we’d use during the winter and I’ve spent many hours eating breakfast as a child staring at the mats and wondering what it would be like to be one of the people in the picture and which of the houses I wanted to live in.
    One Word Wednesday at Aspire
  7. Mr. Bean and I watched Wall-E for the first time the other day. SO. CUTE. I know we’re a bit behind in the times, but that’s okay. I highly recommend it as despite there not being much dialogue, it’s very easy to be swept up in the emotional story that Wall-E and Eve play out. Plus, it’s a not so subtle and clever social commentary of Western society. I like those kinds of things.

What’s on your mind today?


Filed under Life, Photography, Thoughts