The great ladies at Arkansas Women Bloggers are hosting another fun blogging challenge this month called ThanksBlogging. Up first for Day One is the challenge called Outside the Walls - Photo Challenge. The challenge is to take a photo of something that you are thankful for and then work with photo editing software to improve the aesthetics of the photo.
I am a poor photographer...the majority of my photos for this blog are taken using my iPhone. At our conference this summer, I was surprised at how focused on photography a lot of bloggers are. I had never even thought about composition or really putting much effort into the pictures that I post. The sessions on photography gave me lots of ideas but honestly I hadn't tried out too many of them yet since a lot of my photos are taken during workouts or races.
This challenge asked us to play with settings and photo editing. I had never tried photo editing software before so I used the site that AWB recommended in this recent post called Using Pic Monkey to take your photos for So-So to So-Cool. Gina wrote this tutorial and it was helpful as I tried it out. The most important thing that I learned was to just play.
I made several changes to the color and contrast in the image to make the color pop on my Japanese Red Maple. The other edit that I did was to add a water mark with my blog address. I see more and more people doing this on their photos and need to make it part of my process especially for photos that I want to put on Pinterest. So here is my handiwork with the before and after side by side.
The subject that I chose is the beautiful Japanese Red Maple tree that sits outside my front windows. I love the beauty that it brings to my house especially now with the changing colors. I love Fall but the change to shorter days makes me a little sad. To counter that, every year I put up my Christmas lights early. I wanted to include the Christmas lights in the photo since I'm thankful for the cheery atmosphere that they bring to my house. It is so welcoming to come home each night to my little house with the blinky lights! I also chose this subject because it is literally outside the walls! It was a dreary afternoon when I took the photo and I used my iPhone without the flash. The original photo did not capture the bright colors on the tree so I was excited to see how I could bring out the color using PicMonkey.