Death by Photoshop

A full moon floats over downtown Atlanta

Two weekends ago, my sister's best friend, Amy, was in town from California, and we all spent Saturday together. 

First was lunch at my parent's house and then back to Atlanta for the evening.

We got Amy checked in for her conference at the Marriott Marquis and then headed over to Polaris. Can you believe I've lived in the city for five years and I've never been to Polaris? 

Polaris is the blue-domed, rotating restaurant at the top of the Hyatt Regency.

My sister (JoJo), Amy, and I sat at the bar where we had a great view. A storm raged outside.

The rain poured down and the lightning was spectacular. I thought I was looking at light reflecting in the glass from a nearby TV. Then I realized - oh hell no - those were lightning strikes right outside the window! 

The three of us talked and talked, got caught up, had some apps and a drink, and enjoyed the amazing view. After about an hour, and a full rotation, we headed to Pulse at the Marriott Marquis.

At Pulse, we tried the fried green tomatoes - gotta love the south. Where else could they take a perfectly healthy fruit/veggie (a tomato is both!) and fry it to utter deliciousness?

I avoid fried foods as much as possible but sometimes you just gotta do it. 

And then there was that moment when we got up to leave and a handsome and very sweet guy asked me out to dinner...

The ladies and I left the Marriott and made one more stop at Ray's in the City. It's a fun little lounge with good food.

We shared the lobster risotto and some macaroni and cheese. I rarely eat pasta or rice, I was, without a doubt, in a food coma after that!

The bartender at Ray's made a pretty good vodka gimlet too!

We had a fun night downtown - so fun I had to go back on Sunday with Lauren and get some photos! I'm working on updating and rearranging the prints on my site. I'm aiming for lots of Atlanta photography!

The city shot was a 5-second shot taken on a tripod at f/9.0, ISO 100. I added the moon later. 

The rotating sign on top of the Hard Rock Cafe was challenging.

I was trying to get my remote to trigger at just the right moment to catch and freeze "Save the Planet." It was already pretty dark, and I needed about 1/100th of a second to freeze the motion of the sign. That meant the rest of the photo was going to be too dark.

I also wanted a shot with the sign blurred, which was easier:

The rotating sign on top of the Hard Rock Cafe at night

The blurry sign was taken on the tripod - a 2-second shot at ISO 100 and f/11. How to freeze the motion on the sign?

I took a shot of the sign at 1/100th of a second, f/4.5, ISO 100. The sign was perfect and the rest of the photo was dark. Instead of pulling the shadows up, I combined a dark shot with a long-exposure and used a mask to keep the parts I liked. 

Save the Planet sign in freeze motion

What does all that have to do with "Death by Photoshop?"

I'm going crazy learning my stylus and tablet. I've made so many mistakes that have led to Photoshop mishaps! On top of that, after the last Photoshop update, the program kept crashing. When I got help from Adobe, the tech lost all my workspace preferences. 


What's a Photoshop mishap?

It's when the stylus slides across the tablet too quickly (because I haven't figured out how to control it yet) and grabs something I didn't mean to grab and inadvertently rearranges the desktop. It happened multiple times yesterday. I was almost in tears. 

But...perseverance is key.  

I refused to go back to the mouse. In the end, I managed to get these two photos edited. I won't tell you how long it took. 

I'm editing a fantasy portrait right now for a friend's daughter. It's taking a long time but I'm getting the hang of the stylus - yeah!

It's turned cold, cold, cold in Atlanta (well - cold to me - in the 20s!). 

I was at the Capitol all day yesterday lobbying for funding for the arts with the Capitol Arts Campaign. I'll talk about that in next week's post. I felt fine all day, though it was cold inside the Capitol, and I kept my jacket on most of the time. 

I walked to my monthly neighborhood meeting last night. By the time I got home, I had a slight cough. This morning I feel like I'm coughing up a lung...ugh. 

I can't complain. I almost never get sick, but this came on so fast! I've got a lot to get done today - no worries - I'll stay home. I avoid spreading germs!

I hope you're healthy and having a great week!

If you haven't signed up for the print giveaway contest, there's still a couple of days - sign up here

And see you between the raindrops!