I am continually thankful for the kind & thoughtful people in my life. I have had a very introspective week and have learned that when you move a lot, your friends become your family and I am so thankful for the women who help me feel like I can call this place home. & that I am not alone. Physically or emotionally. I drove home last night near tears just thinking about how truly blessed I am. I have never felt more connected to so many wonderful people.
My evening was just the loveliest gathering of my MOPS friends (full of the best desserts I have had in a LONG TIME–thank you, Ashley!!) & my friend Rhonda shared her heart-wrenching story of recurrent loss. So much of what she spoke about resonated with me, for obvious reasons. She helped me through my miscarriage in so many ways. But something she said just tugged at my heart.
She touched on how experiencing a miscarriage somehow intensifies both the grief and the joy. & it is so true. My time with my daughter has never been more important to me. I hold her tighter. Hug her longer. Kiss her more often. (as if this was even possible.) Somehow, my loss has made me love her even more.
I have made the choice not to let the sadness overtake the joy that surrounds me every hour of every day. I’ve got her. & if she is the only child I ever have, I will consider myself abundantly blessed. Because she is amazing.
Now…some of you have noticed that my dear doggy, Rusty, is missing in images that he was once in. TRUE. I do love my dog. I do not love his butt. & his butt ended up in every good image! SO…easy fix using a photoshop tool called layer masks. For me, half the battle of learning photoshop was learning the terminology. I knew what I wanted to do but I had no idea what it was called in photoshop speak. Hopefully this will help! I am not going to do a tutorial at length, so read this blog post on How to Use Layer Masks.
I had enough images that were shot from the same location (as in, I clicked two or three times for each image you see above) so I had a lot of “extra” junk shots. Obviously, my dog does not stay put, so he was all over the place. Because I had images of the same landscape, some with him in them & some without him, I was able to create a “hybrid image.” Here are my two “before” images:
So you can see what area was of concern above. I layered the image on the left over the image on the right. I added a layer mask to the TOP image, the one with the cutest caroline. I then painted out Rusty using the soft black brush. I played with the top layer’s opacity as I lined up the bricks & flower bed, so I could see what I was doing behind it.
This takes a LOT of practice. It takes patience. It takes time. But once you get the hang of it, it’s a piece of cake. This is how photographers do the dreaded “head swap” garbage. I haven’t ever done one…but I am not a family photographer. ;) Unless you count my babe & my dog. Then I’m a family photographer…’cause they are never far apart!