Friday, December 29, 2006

PAD 2006 Officially Closed

Please note that this blog is officially closed and will no longer have new posts.

If you are interested in following my work, please check out my 2007 photoblog.

Saracat's PAW - Exposing the self

Thank you all for your interest and comments.

Monday, September 04, 2006

From the Beach

The girls. Taken on our trip to Charleston.
Mary (top) at Edisto Beach. This pic has some contrast masking to bring out her face (it was almost totally shadowed), but I'm still not completely happy with the editing.
Alice (bottom) at Charleston Harbor. She's sitting on a capstan. No editing other than resize and slight USM. I'm very happy with this pic.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

So much happening...

... I don't even really know where to start.

This pic was my entry for the Bits & Pieces Challenge over at DPC, titled "All That's Left Are Pieces of Her". I don't know how "appropriate" it was for the challenge, but for me, it really fit the idea behind the challenge. I wasn't trying to make a "statement" or trying to make people feel anything in particular. It just seemed like the honest truth.

Because she is gone, and all that we have are memories. Bits of the past, brought to the present by the pieces of her 'life' that we have left. July 18th we went to Edisto Beach and scattered her ashes. It was what she wanted. Dad told me about the last time - the only other time - that they had gone to Edisto. I don't recall when he said they had been there, just that it rained the entire time and she was bitterly disappointed that the weather was so bad. He said they spent about twenty minutes on the beach in between rain showers. After they got home, she kept telling him she wanted to go back when the weather was good and they could spend some time on the beach and in the water.

Not long after that, she was to take to her bed and not get up again.

So I guess it was fitting, then, that on the day we scattered her ashes, the weather was perfect. Sunny skies with puffy clouds. A light breeze. Warm. Very few people on the beach. She would have loved it.

I miss you Mom. I love you.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My Card

So. I am in the process of getting my butt in gear to get a photo studio started. This is a little brainstorming I've done in the area of business cards. I don't yet have a business website. When I get one, it will be added to the card(s).
Questions, comments, and rude remarks are welcome.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


OK. I was going through my old pictures (most of which were "recovered" (after a computer crash) by getting family members to send me a copy) and I found this pic of my mom holding my littlest one. The pic is from 2002, and I honestly don't recall who took the picture.
Anyway, I re-edited it and decided to post it here. I know it's been a while since I talked about her, and I know there's been a couple people who've expressed interest in seeing what she looked like. This is probably the best pic I have of her (and not because she's holding my baby! :P). The not having good pics of her was the main reason I did the self-portraits (and will probably continue to do them, though perhaps not as frequently - at least until I get a camera and remote!).

Friday, June 02, 2006

Hangin' On

One of my Green II outtakes. I figured the spider was the 'subject' more than the green was, and that I'd get hammered for it. So she ended up here. I'll have this one up for print sale (along with a bunch of others) by the end of the summer. I'll be posting a link to the storefront when it's up and running if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mum's The Word

Just playing around and got a good shot of a chrysanthemum. Well, a decent one anyway. :)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Baby Girls

Well, I got a 'new' picture sorting program yesterday. Picasa has been ported to a Linux platform, so even though it's the first beta release, I get to play with it. Yay!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hanging Backdrops

These are very quick shots of how I have my backdrops hung up in my den. We removed a strip of the molding from just under the picture rail and screwed the bike hooks into the space where the molding goes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rhythm Entry and Outtake

Staccato Signals, as entered in the Rhythm II challenge. And yes, it's a CD that was microwaved (2 seconds if I recall).
One of the many outtakes for that challenge. I'm thinking about making a print series from all the outtakes from that challenge, as they're all pretty neat looking. Dunno. Still playing with them a bit, so we'll see...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Pretty much straight from the camera. Rotate, crop a little off the top, resize. That's it. Whatcha think?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

30 in 30 shots moved here

I got tired of trying to maintain both blogs, plus do the DPC thing, the MySpace thing, the LJ thing, the wife/mother/maid/cook/taxi driver thing, and come up with all the stuff I need to come up with to start a business.
Was way behind on the self-portraits, so I just moved 'em over here. I have to say that I loved getting the comments and feedback, and I'm grateful that so many of you continued to check in and see what was going on.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

More proof...

...that I'm figuring this out! Last one for the day. I'm about edited out.

Proof Sheets

Well, as some of you know, last Friday I took some pics of a friend of mine, Adriane. I've been editing all week, and just today had the thought that I might, at some point in the future, want a proof sheet.
Now, the GIMP, lovely program that it is, does not have a ready-made template for proofs. I could probably have looked one up on the 'net, but I figured it would be quicker and less frustrating for me just to make one. Et voila. Two proof sheets.
Whatcha think? (Honestly, I'd like some feedback. I'm gonna post these over at DPC as well, but I thought it'd make a lovely entry for my woefully un-daily PaD project.) :)

*edit to add: Glad I looked at this again. I just realized that one of the pics on here is a little too similar to my challenge entry, so I'll have to wait until Moday to post over there. Argh!

Monday, April 17, 2006


Here's some pics.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Where We Get Baby Duckies

Just goofing around.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The View Down The Street

So, down at the end of our street there's a little hiking path that goes out through the woods. You follow the path and it takes you out onto a large granite outcropping. Climb about 3/4 up the granite, and this is the view.
Purty, ain't it?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Another of Alice

I know you're probably getting tired of seeing her, but all the pictures I took of the other one have been blurry. :( She keeps moving on me!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Yard Clean-up

I know I haven't been posting lately, but I've finally been getting some strangth back after the surgery and we've been busy. Between taking challenge pics, cleaning the house, finally getting around to cleaning up the yard, and just taking care of daily stuff, I haven't had a lot of extra time. But I managed to get this shot of the little one helping out, and I thought I'd post it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Outtake #2 and #3

So. These are the #2 and #3 outtakes for the Low Key challenge. Yeah. Same pic, different crop. Couldn't decide which was better, so I went with the other photo (which I should NOT have converted to B&W - lesson learned).
I think I need to reshoot the whole series with a little more light. Not much more, just a little.
Maybe I'll do that tomorrow. I should be able to have some help doing it (a temporary assistant since my littlest brother (age 13) is staying with us a couple of days), which, with any luck, will make it a quicker re-shoot.

I think with a little more of a 'Hollywood Glamour' lighting, these could be reminiscent of 1920's and 1930's 'vamp' pics. Maybe? Something to 'shoot' for anyway...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Low Key Entry - Advanced Editing Outtake

WARNING: This photo is the same one I entered for the Low-Key Challenge, just with different editing. If you're concerned about anonymity during voting, either don't look at this one, or don't vote on my entry if you recognize it.

The editing I used on this version is definitely not legal for basic editing. I'm not 100% sure it would be legal in advanced. But I like the way it turned out.

Anyway, I had fun shooting with this session. Mary again pressed the shutter for me (got to get a remote!), and a fun time was had by all. I think, though, that she had more fun watching me put on makeup (I don't usually wear it) than she did with actually taking the pics.

For lighting, I used a halogen work light, bounced off the ceiling. The backdrop is a navy blue fleece blanket tacked to the wall. Camera settings were f/3.2, 1/8 sec shutter speed, ISO 100. I underexposed by about 3 stops.

I think it might have turned out a little better if I had been brave enough to cobble together some sort of shutters for the lights so that I could have used it more directly on me and had a more focused beam, but those lights get so hot, and I didn't want to burn anything down. Eventually I will get a "real" lighting system (and the camera to go with them!), but for now, it's "Redneck Camera Gear to the Rescue!"


Monday, March 20, 2006

It's Spring! Yay!

Finally. After weeks of 70 and 80 degrees temps, Spring is officially here, and it's 40 degrees outside. Blech. :)
Around here, pansies are some of the first annuals to bloom really well, and around about mid-March is when happy little gardeners plant them by the thousands into their perfect little beds. Yeesh. For all the money they spend on these flowers, you'd think they would pick something that lasted a little longer. Or at least something that would come back year after year. But no. Sigh.
Doesn't anybody like perennials anymore? Tulips? Hyacinths? Iris? Crocus? Nope. None to be found. Just the silly little pansies.
I guess they are pretty. But still...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Reedy River Falls

Here's some more pics of the falls on the Reedy River at Falls Park. The first two pics are taken from the bridge that spans the upper falls (you can see part of it in yesterday's post). The third photo is the lower falls about 1/8 mile downstream.

The Reedy River Falls are probably some of the easiest falls to visit in Greenville County (with the possible exception of Wildcat Branch Falls which is roadside off of Hwy 11 in northern Greenville County). They are located just below Main Street in downtown Greenville, SC. The Camperdown Street Bridge used to be directly above the falls (effectively hiding the falls from above) until the county decided to put in the Freedom Bridge (in yesterday's photo) and remove the old bridge. It played havoc with traffic patterns, but the falls are now much easier to see and visit.

I'm sure that as more flowers start blooming I will again visit the Falls Park and show more pics from there.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Falls Park

Had a day off from the kids, so the hubby and I went to downtown Greenville and walked around and took some pictures. This is the view from the bottom of the falls (and across the bend in the river). Oh, how I wish I had a wide angle lens!
I may post some more pics of the falls tomorrow, but it's late and I'm going to bed.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Impressions of Spring

The maple trees are blooming like crazy now. Saw the red against the blue and just had to capture it, but it never quite turned out like I wanted it to - the leaves moving ever so slightly against the sky. Every picture I took was static, stark, harsh.
So I GIMP'ed it. Upped the saturation just the tiniest bit, cropped, resized, USM, and then applied the GIMPressionist filter.
At last. Visions of a spring breeze fulfilled.

(So I'm a little silly tonight. First night in a week I've felt silly, so :PPPPPP)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Texas Rose

So. The calendar says four more days until Spring. The Texas Rose in the front yard says otherwise.
I don't think I've ever seen a rose bloom this early. And the bush is just covered in these buds, not one of them larger than a dime at this point, though the flower may open up to perhaps the size of a quarter. Miniature sized roses on a normal sized bush. Can't tell yet if they have a scent, but they're sure to be pretty. I've planted some forget-me-not seeds (dark blue flowers) around the base of the rose, and there's some red hardy amaryllis bulbs around the edge of the bed. I'll be sure to post pics when they're all in bloom.

Edit to add: Wanted to post this last night but Blogger seemed to be having some sort of internal error. Ugh. Just when I'd made a resolution to get up one a day, something goes and messes it up. Ain't that just the way...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Lunch Rush

Apparently our bird feeder is popular.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Square Crop Challenge

Smile for the Camera.
This was my square crop challenge entry. Finished with a 5.305, so not too bad, and I really like the picture.

I know, I know. I'm falling behind a little with the PaD. I hereby resolve to get 'back in the habit', and by that I don't mean that I'm becoming a nun! :)
And spring is here (even though it's still one week from being official), so there's gonna be plenty of excuses for getting out and taking photos. (Warning: Be prepared for lots of pretty flowers!)

Don't know how many portraits will be put up; I'm still kinda leery after the stuff that happened with Mary's pic. I've added some security features, and I'll moderate the comments if I have to, but I really don't want to start doing that.

See you tomorrow with a new pic!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Totally Different Subject

Thought I'd post something other than portraits today. This is one of several places here in SC that I can go and relax. It's calm, it's pretty, there's a little stream with little waterfalls, and it's just kinda nifty.
This is Poinsett Bridge in Greenville County. It's the oldest standing bridge in South Carolina, and it originally went from Greenville to Asheville, NC.
Did a little desat on the stones of the bridge because they're unfortunately covered in old graffiti - sometimes people just suck. (And no, the horizon's not off, you're looking at the undersiade of the bridge at an angle.)
This view is looking up from beside the stream that runs under the bridge. Saw the leading lines when I was standing there and thought it'd be purty. No desat on the stones here - all the graffiti is further down.

Anyway, just some calm, pleasant pics for today.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Poor Baby


This photo was removed due to 2 comments that were received from a blog with the signature "your". The comments were nothing more than lists of links to XXX porn sites. The profile of "your" is not available to the public, so I have no idea who this person is. I was extremely uncomfortable with these comments being left on the picture of my daughter, so I have removed the photo.

Please check your comments for any of your pictures that contain small children to make sure that this person has not left you similar comments. Thanks for your understanding. Sara

Well, we go to the bone doctor today to see what he says about her arm. She was feeling "un-pretty" (her word), so we got her dressed up and I put my rhinestone necklace and clip earrings on her and put her hair up. So now she says she doesn't feel so bad about wearing the sling. Little girls...

Anyway, I think the photo turned out pretty decently. The floor she's standing on is actually an oatmeal color, but I think I managed to belnd it in pretty ok. The backdrop is my bedroom curtains. And I think the lighting actually looks ok, especially considering that it's lit with the overhead bedroom light and the on-board flash. In respect to the flash, I guess it helped that I was about at the edge of its range, so it didn't wash her out or look funny.

*Edit to add:
Well, it's broken. She has to wear the splint for a week (until the swelling goes down) and then she gets a regular cast. Sigh. Now if I can only convince her she can still do things for herself...

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Hubby

Well, I thought I'd post a picture of the hubby today. This is Robert, and yes, that's the natural red of his beard. I can't count the number of times people hve asked him if he dyes his beard (or hair - he doesn't dye either one).
This is probably more of a 'snapshot' than 'portrait', but it's one I like. One day I'll get around to taking some portraits of him in his Confederate uniform and some of him in his kilt. It's hard to get him to cooperate in front of the camera, though, so we'll see...

I hope to have my backdrops finished soon, but I've pretty much got my hands full at the moment. My older beastie, Mary, fell yesterday and injured her elbow. She's either got a hairline fracture or torn cartilage. We have an appointment to see the orthopedic docs tomorrow, since the ER doc felt a second opinion would be best before putting her in a cast, so at the moment she's splinted up and relaxing on the sofa (with the help of some codeine). Poor baby - she's so frustrated because the splint weighs a ton and she can't use that hand for anything.
So I get to play nursemaid on top of being mommy for the next little while, which means the backdrops have to wait.

Oh, well.