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Category: Photography (Page 2 of 21)

Because I am happy…

Still no disguise for Halloween



Quick Photoshop trick to add Halloween colours on your photos

Halloween is coming soon!!

Last year, I showed you how I tried to make this photo eerie. This year, I thought I’ll show you how I quickly added some halloween colours to this photo, to give it a little bit more atmosphere:

Photo of Halloween Pupcakes from Feed My Paws for this week’s photo challenge. She’s a really nice lady so I don’t think she would mind very much if I use it for this quick tutorial. :P Of course, I’ll let her know I used it. 

This tutorial will require that you have a basic understanding of Photoshop CS2.

First thing, first. The regular Challenge Theme that we add to every Challenge photo.

Give the text a red glow

I double clicked the layer the #sgdogshalloween text is on so that I activate the “Layer Glow” style, by ticking the box next to that label.

Clicking on the “Layer Glow” tab itself, calls up the options for that style. The Blend Mode is usually set to “Screen” by default. I change it to “Normal” so the red colour I chose will come out stronger.


Create the mood by adding Halloween colours to the photo

The three colours we are going to use are Black, Green and Red or Vermilion.

First, create a blank layer above the photo layer. We’re going to Brush the colour black about the photo to create a sort of dark halo effect. The blend more that I’m going to use for the black layer is Soft Light. So what you see below is a slight darkening of the colours of the image.

Switch it to normal, and you’ll see that the area at the bottom of the photo is almost completely black, while the areas to the left and right margins of the photo are just slightly dark. This is because my brush opacity is set to 50%, and I’ve brushed the area at the bottom several times to get the thick black.

This is so that when I change the blend more to “Soft Light”, this area will be comparatively darker to show up the red outer glow of the text.

I repeat the same process to create a Green layer and a dark Red layer. I set the blend mode for all the colour layers to soft light. What differs is where I brush the Red and Green colours so that they show through in different areas of the photo.


Tinkering with light

I still want to tinker with the light levels of the photo a little, so I click on the button in the Layers panel that allows me to create a new fill or adjustment layer.

I select “Levels” and drag the arrows in the graphical display that appears in the pop-up box below.

Basically I made the shadows and mid-tones darken, which created more contrast in the image and help the features on the pup-cakes show up better.

I click on the button in the Layers panel that allows me to create a new fill or adjustment layer again. This time I chose Curves, and dragged in the line in the graphical display to brighten up the image just a teeny bit.

Ignore the black at the bottom of the screenshot, I forgot to switch the blend mode back to Soft light for the screen grab. 

And then what you see is what you get:



If you’re making some Halloween bakes this season and looking to try this out, I’ll love to see your pictures! :)

Calm afternoon at East Coast Park

The other day, we had a little bit of spare time in between appointments so we took Donna to East Coast Park [map].

East Coast Park is always busy, particularly on weekends. We are a small island, so it is quite typically for our beach views to be bordered by tankers in the horizon.

Popped Donna in a short stretch that is clear of humans so that I can crop out the humans later. But decided to leave the photo as is. Children building sandcastles on the left. Beach volleyball game going on on the right.

Donna in front of East Coast Beach
Donna observes beach soccer game

Donna observes the beach soccer players.

Donna dog on picnic table at East Coast Park

And finally a spot of doggy parkour on the picnic table. As I was taking this picture, I have a fellow dog owner coming up and remarking how well trained Donna is.

You could say, I had it easy because Donna is a smart dog who learns fast. Or Donna isn’t a stubborn dog. Or we are just lucky we found Donna. Or it just is easier because Donna isn’t a distracted puppy.

I adopted Donna in January 2013. It was a conscious decision to adopt an adult dog who will be calmer and easier to manage than a puppy.

It is now September 2014. That is how long it took to get to this point with the Donna you see today. Given previous experience, it’s pretty safe to say that for us the positive reinforcement needs to be consistent and continuous with her. It is an on-going process for both human and dog.

Actually Donna isn’t even particularly well-trained since her best trick is Stay and we have nothing else very spectacular to show off beyond that. HAHA!

You disappoint me, human.

1 Day 1 World Project: Donna at 06:00am – 07:00am

The human is awake!!! Let’s go out, human!!!! Let’s eat fooodddd!!! Let’s go patrol our territory!!!! Let’s eat food again!!!

Wait, why are you just standing there?

Oh no, no! No, no, no, no, no, no, dont’… don’t switch on the camera until you’re outside!!

Hmmmppfff, humans! You never listen, do you?

I’m sitting on my hip because I know we’re not going anyway. Boo you!

Human’s note: I have no defence, sleepwalked, took photos, crept back to bed. ZZzzz …

For 24 weeks, weliveinaflat will post photos taken for a specific hour in that week.
We will cover 24 hours in 24 weeks.
More about the 1 Day 1 World Project here.

Nine close ups of Donna the “Singapore Special” Dog

How often do you take photos up close of your dog?

For me, not so often. Donna’s a fan of the camera, until it starts pointing at her.

Then she just looks downright grumpy, doesn’t she?

So close up photos of Donna are scarce, but here’s eight more that I’ve taken of her since this blog was first started.

I thought it’s a good time to just take stock of the photos since there’s currently a Best Close Up Contest on Instagram. @pitterpatterfurryfeet‘s Best Close Up Contest ends September 15. Each account can submit up to three photos.

Which three photos would you pick, if you were me?

Close up

In close-up shots, the subject occupies most of the frame, allowing very little observation on the environment. Close-ups are much more dramatic than long or medium shots in cinema. They are preferred when emphasizing someone’s emotion. – elements of cinema

Extreme close up

An extreme close up isolates and shows a small detail.

I do love extreme close up of her eyes.


Taking close up photos of dog

  • Don’t get in her face right away Let her get used to the camera before closing the distance
  • Make her happy Play with her, give her treats, lots of cuddles to get the right mood going!
  • Pick moments when she is relaxed Unless you want photos of the dog looking tense and unhappy, pick moments when she is relaxed, playful, etc to snap beautiful, happy photos of her
  • Be alert Sometimes, you just have that one moment to click before you miss that look on her face.
  • Connect with your dog Don’t just look at the dog through the lens, because that will cause her to lose interest really fast. Continue to engage her and keep her attention on you!

Share with me a close up photo of your dog in the comments below :)


Foiled again!

1 Day 1 World Project: Donna at 04:00am – 05:00am


Up at 4:00am and staring bleary eyed at this post: Donna’s first IQ toy

blogging in the middle of the night

How did that happen?

Let’s just say I got a little too enthusiastic taking videos of Donna playing with the toy. The final editing of the video (I’m an amateur, ok!) took a hideously long time! *Oops*

And since I was up, I thought I might have more luck sneaking up on sleeping Donna this time round.

But nope, foiled again!

donna dog in the living room

It looked like she might have been in the crate judging from the direction she is standing. But she must have woken up when she heard me clicking the camera and making my way out the study.

I’m almost certain, my switching on the On button of the camera (makes a click sound) has become a trigger for her to  – look sharp now because a treat’s coming!

Except that it’s too early to look sharp, isn’t it?

good morning donna dog!

Her happy tail and sweet little face.


For 24 weeks, weliveinaflat will post photos taken for a specific hour in that week.
We will cover 24 hours in 24 weeks. (I’ve no idea how we will do the sleeping hours, lol!)
More about the 1 Day 1 World Project here.

Six expressive dogs with toys

donna dog with rope toy

Nothing says pleased as well as Donna, lazily lying there with her rope toy with frayed ends.

Dogs with their well-worn toys.

Surely everyone of us has taken our share of such pictures of our dogs.

Here are six expressive dogs, sometimes beautiful, sometimes quirky.

Every one showing you proof of time that the dog spent busying himself.

Nothing beats a well-used toy… unless it’s a new one ready for the fray! :P

golden doodle dog with star toy
“Ahhh!” screamed the Star, “He has torn off my arm!”
Jagger the Goldendoodle, 1 year 9 months. His instagram @catlovesjaggerdwagger

pitbull dog with torn toy
“My toy has holes. I’m all torn up. I need a new toy, human.”
Humphrey Bogart aka Bogie the Pitbull rescue, 1.5 years old. His instagram @bogiedeforest

chihuahua with toy
“Come back later, human. I’m busy.”
Big George the Chihuahua, 5 years old. His instagram @stateofmineblog

gordon setter with toy on head
“So I killed the guy… do you really have to put his carcass over my head, human???”
Murphy the Gordon Setter, 6 years old. His instagram @rmarshall89 

coon hound with toy
“Do I care how his head got blown up? Not really, human.”
Simon the Redbone Coon Hound Mix, 1 year 4 months. His instagram @simon_says_woof

maltese dog with toy
“Elmo, where are you?”
Cotton the Maltese. Her instagram @cottonthemaltese

Note: Except for the first photo, all photos in this post do not belong to weliveinaflat.com
I have used with permission from the linked Instagram accounts.  


I recently hopped on board the writing process tour. You can see the post here.

I wasn’t able to include Cotton the Maltese in my post that day. So allow me to introduce her now.

Cotton, estimated age 4, is adopted by Jamie from Hope Dog Rescue in Singapore. She was originally found abandoned and wondering in the streets in bad condition. Cotton has a history of seizures and so needs pretty constant monitoring from someone at home with her.

You’d think it is hard to find Cotton her forever home. But she certainly had her lucky stars shining on her. Today, she is transformed into a well-loved girl with a beautiful smile.  More about Cotton and Jamie’s writing process here.

Cotton demonstrates the many ways to take a photo of a dog with a toy! Haha!cotton the maltese with elmo

Do you have a photo of your dog with his/her toy to share?
Comment and leave me a link to go see! ;)

The human keeps waking me up in the middle of the night!!!

1 Day 1 World Project: Donna at 2:00am – 03:00am

She stretches whenever she wakes up from her sleep.

You can see her happy tail, regardless of what time of the night it was and how sleepy she was.

Unfortunately for her, and fortunately for me, I remembered I had forgotten to brush her teeth for the night. So yes, we were up at 2a.m. brushing her teeth. Haha!

More about toothbrushes for dog here.


1 Day 1 World Project: Donna at 03:00am – 04:00am

Taking the cue from Lisa at NWFrameofMind, I venture out on the balcony to see if I can take a picture of the moon at this inhuman hour.

There was no moon in sight, but I offer you this city scape.

I’ve never been up and out on the balcony this late before, looking at the expressway that sparkles in the distance like a golden river. On good days/nights, you can see the top half of the Singapore Flyer forming a little bracelet of light in the dark amidst skyline. This is one of those nights. :)

Down below, someone cycles off into the night at this unearthly hour.

Behind me, the Donna’s silhouette peers out silently. You can see the reflection of apartment lights opposite imprinted on her side.

For 24 weeks, weliveinaflat will post photos taken for a specific hour in that week.
We will cover 24 hours in 24 weeks. (I’ve no idea how we will do the sleeping hours, lol!)
More about the 1 Day 1 World Project here.

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