Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Create a Light Matte Effect with Photo Veils [Photo Recipe]

There is just something about perfume and eau de toilette bottles ... I have always been enchanted by the form and the way the light reflects through the glass, showing the color of the perfume, and leaving a pretty shadow on the table.

As we were traveling home after Christmas Holidays with my family a few years ago, we had some time before boarding at Helsinki Airport. As we walked about in the Duty Free shops, I fell for a delicate, light and feminine scent - that is, Coco Chanel's Mademoiselle. I bought a Mademoiselle Fresh Hair Mist to start with, and as you may guess - Mademoiselle is still my favorite scent. 

This Christmas my dear husband did surprise me with my first perfume ever ... A tiny, yet so pretty, bottle of my favorite scent! I wasn't expecting such a luxurious present at all! 

I wanted to capture this beautiful perfume bottle and the feeling of Christmas - so I placed the perfume bottle in front of the Christmas candle decorations and the perfume packages.

The photo is taken in low light, so I used a tripod, with Nikkor 18-55 mm lens and the following settings: 
ISO 800,  1/6 sec at f 5,6.

My aim in editing the photo was to achieve a dreamy feeling, focusing on the perfume bottle - letting the background be a bit blurred and out of focus. 
I wanted to add a bit of a luxurious and calm mood, with creating a light matte effect using a photo veil.

Photo recipe

This is how I proceeded with the editing:

1. I opened the image in Lightroom and adjusted the white balance, decreasing the warmth a bit. 

2. With a brush function, I sharpened the perfume bottle a bit, increasing slightly both the clarity, highlights and whites. 
I tweaked the shadows as well, opening them just a bit.

3. Thereafter I opened the image in Photoshop, and added a photo veil called Snow Lily, from the Botanical Collection. Using blending mode Screen, with opacity 10%, I created a light matte effect - with calm and a bit exquisite mood.
With the brush function with opacity 80%, I removed quite a bit of the matte effect from the perfume bottle, making it stand out eye-catching, with increased clarity and sharpness.

There are different ways of creating a matte effect - Using a photo veil of your choice, with blending mode Screen, is an easy way of creating just the amount of matte effect, you find pleasant and fitting to your image.

...Wishing you creative moments with photography and editing,


Sunday, 27 December 2015

Father of lights

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of lights, 
with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

James 1:17 NASB

 Joyful Joyful by London Community Gospel Choir

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 Blessings to your Sunday,

Here's a printable
for you   

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Photo: Nikon D3200

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas Card from Copenhagen

The sun was shining as I biked to downtown to run some errands this week... The light does make a great difference - both in our mood as well as in photography. I stopped by the bridge by the city lakes, and enjoyed the glimpses of light on the water. Beside me there was a Christmas Tree stand, so many stopped by and chose a Christmas tree - and I saw smiling people setting the tree it on a bike, or carrying it along the bridge, chatting happily.

The mannequin in front of the water Wear Boutique looked funny, wearing diving glasses and an elf hat! Well, the weather has been pretty stable in Denmark this year: The average temperature in June was +12,6 C grades, and the temperature this Monday was + 11 C grades ...

Sct. Nikolaj Church building is the third oldest chruch in Copenhagen - it was built in 1200. Sct. Nikolaj Church burned in a fire 1895 - the tower being the only part that survived . The church was rebuilt but it has not functioned as a church since 1805. Today it functions as an exhibition hall - and has a lovely play ground just outside. 

The Church very close to the shopping street, and when our boys were small, we often times stopped by the park and had a little break with sandwiches and play, when in downtown.

The shopping street is decorated with Christmas lights - creating a nice atmosphere, especially in the dark.

Having done most of my errands, I popped in to Lagkage Huset - a cozy patisserie, where I rested my feet and had a coffee and a chocolate coated marshmallow treat - sweet and so good!

The sun is setting here already at 15:35, so it was already dark, as I steppe out of the cafe, and walked back to my bike. i was in no hurry, so I was walking slowly and enjoying the Christmas lights.

Our local church held an organ concert this Tuesday evening ... The church is the oldest building in Copenhagen, built in 1180. The church is rather small, and so beautiful! Kneeling before the altar to the Lord's supper is special each time, there is place to 18 people at a time by the altar.

I remember my mom taking me to church early Christmas morning - we sat up so we could see the candles at the altar, and also the organist playing ... Eversince, I have fancied organ music. The talented organist in our local church, Bente Kiil Toftegaard, stands in the middle of the photo above.

Last year the snow fell on Christmas morning ... The photo above is from our walk in the neighborhood a year ago.

With these postcards I want to wish you a Joyous and Merry Christmas,

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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Great Joy

Do not be afraid. 
I bring you good news 
that will cause great joy for all the people. 
Luke 2:10

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 Blessings to your Sunday,

Here's a printable
for you   

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Photo:iPhone 5S, Camera+ and Snapseed, TadaaSLR & Word Swag- apps 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

This hope

We have this hope
As an anchor for the soul,
firm and secure.

Hebrews 6:19

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 Blessings to your Sunday,

Here's a printable
for you   

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Photo:iPhone 5S, Camera+ and Snapseed apps 
Textures: 2LilOwls 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Donkey's First Christmas

Today  I have the pleasure of introducing to you Susanne Tillotson Schroder -  the author and illustrator of The Donkey's First Christmas paperbook, that also is available as a download on iBooks.
Susanne  is also a very good friend of mine ~ I am excited on her behalf, as her book is published also as an interactive book application the 28th, November 2015, available at iTunes. 

Susanne lives in the UK with her husband and their two sons. She is a child educator and has an MA in Children’s Illustration. You get to know more about Susanne and her creative process in writing and illustrating books in the following interview:
What inspired you to write Donkeys First Christmas?
I  wanted to spark off an interest in the story of Christmas rather than  tell all the facts about the Nativity.  What better way than a cheeky  (and sometimes lazy) donkey.  Most children love animals, and few can  resist a cheeky one - especially one that refuses to 'play ball’ and do  what the grown-ups say!

The illustrations in The Donkeys  First Christmas are very beautiful ~ So expressive and pleasant to look  at, with soft and warm colors. Would you describe the process of  creating the donkeys appearance ~ He is so appealing, awakening the  readers sympathy for him right away?
Yes, I wanted him to be cute -  that’s why he’s got a big head, small body.  I also wanted him to look a  little bit grumpy to start with - lots of frowning so he looked like he  needed ‘cheering up’.  I wanted the character to be simple (so not too  much detail) a little bit different - hence the blue colour. I began  with a 3D model and lots of drawings until I found something I was happy  with.

Being an artist, you probably are working at the moment  with many ideas for your future projects. How do you nourish your  creativity?
With difficulty! It’s more like - how do  I prevent things from taking over my 'creative head space’!  I have to  fight my own head from drifting into worries about finance, or from  feeling there’s so much I need to do with my house, my kids etc.. The  battle is mainly in ‘allowing’ myself the time to indulge in being  creative. Once I have the time set aside - that’s half the battle won. 
I  do a regular ‘sing-song’ slot with toddlers at my church’s local  toddler group every Friday.  I have to be very animated to keep the  children’s (and their parents!) attention, so that’s really good for me  to remember when I’m writing.  Staying connected on some level with kids  and with what does and doesn’t hold their interest is invaluable for me  when it comes to the writing process. 
Another thing that has  really helped in experiencing what works when it comes to writing is  actually reading my books out to an audience.
When I’ve done this, I  realize there IS no mercy! If I don’t read clearly and quite  animated…and if it wasn’t for having something a bit funny or  interesting in the story to hold the children’s attention - I’d be a  gonner!  This is probably why it’s taken me so long to do my second book  - I’m thinking - help! It better be good - ‘cos I 'aint standing in  front of a whole school of children doing a book reading if it’s not!


Today  is the 2nd Sunday of Advent ~ we're getting closer to Christmas. Are  there some traditions that are specially dear to you at Christmas?
Yes  - I love the calendar presents.. my mum gives the kids some little  things wrapped up for each day of December - something her mum did for  me and my sister. It was so exciting I remember. Although my eldest  couldn’t really care a less my youngest loves it!  We also, give our  kids a bigger present on a Sunday…this is fun! I use it as an  opportunity to give them something special like a pot of Nutella each or  something like that. They love that - especially when I’ve held off  buying it for a few months - aren’t I mean:) I’ve got a pancake frying  pan for next Sunday - they’ll love that too - but think they will both  have run out of Nutella by that time…shame:)

Thank you Susanne for taking time to this interview - I love this cute, little Donkey, his expressions and the sweet grumpy mood! And moreover - His genuine manner of taking us with him to the road to Betlehem ... and all the things that follow!

Book Review: The Donkey's First Christmas - Read Aloud - Interactive Version

The beautifully illustrated Donkey's First Christmas gives the reader extra dimensions in the new interactive version - You can hear the donkey's E-or'ing and the sound of its hooves, and see it hiding behind the hay, protest to walk, among other capturing animations.

You can read the book aloud, and let your child touch the screen and start the animations. Or by selecting the Read Aloud -function, you can enjoy the capturing voice of the author, Susanne Tillotson Schroder, who reads the native aloud. Furthermore, you can see the words lit up in the colour coded text, as Susanne reads along.

The reader cannot do anything but identify with the little donkey who doesn't hide his stubbornness , who'se ears are flipping up when hearing a baby cry - And who in the very end learns that he has been helping Mary and God's precious son!
I warmly recommend the Donkey's First Christmas - both as a book and as an interactive read aloud version. The Donkeys First Christmas is available at Amazon as a paperback from £7.99and as a Kindle £0.99.
The Donkey's First Christmas as interactive read aloud-version is found at iTunes from $3.99 - available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.

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Wishing you a peaceful 2nd Sunday of Advent ...  
The sound of the hooves are still echoing in my mind ... 
On the journey to Betlehem, for a long time ago ...


A new king wil arise

The royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; 
but just as new branches sprout from a stump, 
so a new king will arise from among David's descendants.

Isaiah 1:1 Good News Translation

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 Blessings to your Sunday,

Here's a printable
for you   

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Photo:iPhone 5S, Camera+ and Snapseed apps

Sunday, 29 November 2015

God's wonders

Take a good look at God's wonders -
they'll take your breath away.
Psalm 66:5 The Message

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 Blessings to your Sunday,

Here's a printable
of Psalm 66:5
for you   

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Scripture & Snapshot

Still Saturday 
Weekend Whispers

Photo:iPhone 5S, Camera+ and Snapseed apps

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Advent Candles

The time for crafting Advent Candles has arrived. Making Candle decorations is a Danish tradition I have adopted to our family, since I moved here in Copenhagen for 19 years ago. 

Making Advent Candles is easy and fun
You need some candles, clay, acorns, pine cones and other things you have collected from the nature during the fall 
I like to use ribbons and other decorative elements, this year I have dried some flowers and roses to use as well. 
Pine branches, moss and mistel are to be found in the local grocery stores here in November - December, together with clay, to use in the Advent Candle decorations.  
And finally - you need small trays, plates or clay pots, where you build your Advent Candle decoration.

The process is very simple - You take a clump of soft clay, and put it on your plate or in the pot. Then you plant the advent candle in the clay, and decorate it with the things you have, as you wish.

We got snow last weekend, which kick-started my Christmas mood.
We listened to Carols and had some ginger bread-cookies, while making the Advent Candles. This is how out Advent Candles -making looked like in 2012.

Advent candles from Nina Jensen on Vimeo.

The snow has melted, but the Advent Candles decorate our home ... 
We're lighting the candles tomorrow, the first Sunday of Advent.

This year we have a special joy, when lighting the Advent candles - 
My mom is visiting us this weekend
and celebrating the first Sunday of Advent with us!

Wishing you a joyful weekend,

Sharing with 

Saturday's share Fest by The Sits Girls
 Friendship Friday Friday Photo Journal
Photo Friday by Jen

Photos: iPhone 5S, Camera+, Snapseed, VSCO & Faded Apps

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Natural Vivid Saturation with Photo Veils from Mobile Collection [Photo Recipe]

The parks and forests around The Hermitage Palace in Copenhagen are clothed in yellow, orange and red foliage each fall. The garden is a popular place for outings and walks. Besides the beautiful nature, you may be lucky and meet a deer or two, as they are crossing an open field.

We enjoyed the late afternoon sun the other Sunday, walking across the park to the Hermitage Palace. We did not spot a deer - but I noticed a symmetrical reflection on the lake. The battery of my iPhone was low, so I took this photo with my husbands iPhone 6. I have edited it with my own iPhone 5S - using two photo veils from the mobile collection from Love that Shot.

To start with, I cropped the photo in Snapseed photo application. I opened also the shadows slighgtly, and sharpened the tree in the middle. 

Thereafter I opened the photo in Enlight photo application, and edited the grain and noise in the lake using the Denoise 40% -effect. After these slight basic edits, I opened the photo in Filterstorm application, and added two photo veils from The Mobile Collection.

This is how I proceeded - Photo recipe:
  • I opened the photo in Filterstorm photo application in my iPhone.
  • Choosing the "Edit"-option, and thereafter tapping the "+Image" icon, I was able to choose a photo veil called Belladonna, from the Mobile Veil Collection. Having saved the Mobile Veil Collection on my photo library of my iPhone, I easily can add the veils to my mobile photos. Filterstorm has a "Fit Image" option, that automatically fits the veil to your photo. So you do not need to worry, if you have a square veil and a rectangular photo - the app makes the veil fit perfectly your photo.
  • I tried different blending modes - blending mode "Hue" would give a bright orange tone to the photo.
  • Going for a more natural look, I chose blending mode "Soft Light".

  • Filterstorm allows you to choose both the size of the brush both when masking and brushing.
  • I added the veil using blending mode Soft Light, with 20 % opacity.
  • Thereafter I brushed the veil effect from the tiny tree in the middle, using brush with 40 % opacity.
  • After this, I added the mobile photo veil Privet, also from the Mobile Collection, using blending mode Soft Light with 15% opacity - brushing the veil again from the little tree in the middle.

Photo veils make soft changes to your photos, when using blending mode Soft Light. I like the natural vivid effect to the saturation and colors the veils have added to my photo above.

I like to take photos with my mobile phone, and edit them as well with the photo apps and veils. My parents and family back in Finland do like to receive photos via e-mail and social media apps - "A picture is worth a thousand words".

Photo veils are available also in larger sizes - you'll find them by clicking this link to Photo Veil Collections by Love that Shot.

... Until next time, Nina

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