Sunday, April 28, 2013

Best of Spring - Photography by Regina Hodge - A Nature Story Without Words - April Best Photos


Photos by: Regina Hodge.

LifeLookLens: Photo of the Day April 28, 2013

LifeLookLens: Photo of the Day April 28, 2013: Photo of the Day. April 29, 2013. By Regina Hodge, Lifelooklens. Inside an Iris in my backyard. Black and white pictures are the BEST. :)

Photo of the Day April 28, 2013

Regina Hodge Photo
Photo of the Day. April 29, 2013. By Regina Hodge, Lifelooklens. Inside an Iris in my backyard. Black and white pictures are the BEST. :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

LifeLookLens: Best Photo Editing Apps for iPhoneographers & Phot...

LifeLookLens: Best Photo Editing Apps for iPhoneographers & Phot...: Best Apps for iPad Iphone Top Apps for 2013 Photo Editing Apps Blog with how-to guide by Lifelooklens

Best Photo Editing Apps for iPhoneographers & Photographers - A how-to guide with Pictures

My mom took this picture. I edited the photo for fun, rather than necessity. I love adding effects to pictures that are already perfect without my meddling manipulations. I've improved upon my photography this spring, but not on my resistance to photo editing urges. No matter how good a picture is, I always wonder what it would look like with a few adjustments. Sometimes, my alterations work out- sometimes they don't. In this particular editing instance, I probably should have left the photo unaltered.
This is the original shot, taken by Cindy Cannon, my mother. We took pictures together on April 14, during my visit to their home. Mom took this picture while I took an up-close shot of a pine tree I planted with Dad when I was a little kid. That's a story worth telling, by the way, but it deserves it's own blog post. This post will give you some insight into photo editing, what apps to use, and how to manipulate pictures that may or may not need manipulation. Most people would leave the picture above alone. I probably should have, but my iPad is fun to meddle around in editing effects. I couldn't resist...

My first bit of advice for editing pictures is to use every device you've got. Camera, iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, etc. - Whatever tools you have, you need all of them if you're going to have fun with photo editing. Unless you have all devices synced to one master editing tool, you'll have to jump around during the editing process. The point is, you'll want to try them all during this experiment. I prefer all things Mac, but you may be a whiz with other devices. Just have them all when you go about your editing adventures. You'll get a better result when you combine the efforts of all editing tools. Combining effects from one program, adding an app edit effect from another, and transferring files from your computer to your iPad will be your strategy during photo editing efforts. 

STEP 1: Take a picture. (If you needed me to tell you that part, this blog is not for you.) 
STEP 2: Transfer your picture file to the device that has an editing program or app that you want to use first.  I usually opt for iPhoto, which is a Mac program that's fairly simple and user friendly. (The first picture posted here was edited with iPhoto and no other apps were combined to result in the soft glow, sepia effect.)
STEP 3: Try using Collage Creator Lite. This app will allow you to include more than one picture in your editing project. See example below...the app has an add-frame option for pictures, shadow effect, and other simple additions that you may like to try.
 I wanted to combine pictures that mom and I took for this particular project. Pic-a-pic-a-pic-a is a term I coined to describe a photography project idea- One person takes a picture of another person who is taking a picture of another person, object, or photography subject. A layered effect of one moment is captured from different perspectives when one applies this concept. In the above Collage Creator Lite effect, my mom's perspective is shown on the left and my own perspective is depicted on the right. You see what she saw and what I saw at two separate moments, here. A cool idea, I think, and the concept can be applied to use more than two photographers to add more layers of perspective(s). The collage app is great to give you a starting point for further steps of editing...

The effect above was used by transferring the first collage from a Mac to an iPad. (email, save to camera roll, or transfer your file by connecting devices manually.) I used an iPad app called PhotoEdit to get the above result. Whatever effect you add from this app will apply to all pictures added into your collage. 

PS Express will be your best friend for photo editing. It's a must-have app for photography enthusiasts. Borders and other effects can be added with this app, creating the above result and allowing for other edit options that you'll love to try.

SAVE YOUR FILE after each editing step and switch from edit app to edit app. Repeat the process until you have created a masterpiece or disaster. :) You can delete all the duplicate files when you finish. I used them to write this blog and provide a step-by-step guide with pictures. Having all the images saved will allow you to compare results and catch edit steps that you may not want to use ever again, along with effects you'll implement next time.

I jumped around from iPad apps to iPhone apps, using the following programs:

PS Express
PicShop Lite
Collage Creator Lite

 Water drops, frames, color tints, collages, and all sorts of other additions were layered and combined to create this outcome:

Here are some other photo editing apps I recommend:

- PhotoEditor
- PhotoSketcher
- iSplash
- iPhoto
- Pic Jointer
- 360
- Color Effects
- PhotoFrame
- Photo Pen HD
- Collage
-  AppiPopColor
- Photo Booth
- Vibrance
- iPhoto
- Instagram
- PixIromatic

Use screenshots. To take a screen shot on an iPhone or iPad, press and hold both the power button and main central control buttons down, simultaneously. This allows you to then save to camera roll and crop your pictures. This also saves storage space. Screenshots are your best friend. Let's say you want to edit your picture before publishing from an app. You don't have a save option in that app. You have screenshots. It's a work-around techie tip that you're gonna LOVE. You're welcome. :) 

We've all been disappointed by an app or two (hundred). Have a photo editing app that you love? Share your advice here! :)  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

LifeLookLens: Therapeutic Interventions - Foster Care Foster Par...

LifeLookLens: Therapeutic Interventions - Foster Care Foster Par...: Foster parenting is better with T.I.I. Therapeutic Interventions, Inc. has been serving families in TN for over 15 years. Our Nashville offi...

Therapeutic Interventions - Foster Care Foster Parenting - Tennessee Foster Parents Needed

Foster parenting is better with T.I.I. Therapeutic Interventions, Inc. has been serving families in TN for over 15 years. Our Nashville office is seeking foster parents throughout Tennessee! Give children a home by becoming a foster parent today!

I'm Regina Hodge...
                                 I help find homes for kids and I need your help.

This is my personal blog. I normally blog about what's on my mind. Typically, I don't write about foster care. Typically, I keep my professional and personal lives separate from each other.

Today, I'm trying something new.
I'm mixing things up to see what happens.

This is an experiment that I hope will help me achieve my ultimate goal. The goal that was first realized when I began working at Therapeutic Interventions, Inc.

We call it T.I.I.

It's easier to type for me and it's easier to remember for you- no thanks needed yet- save that for when I get your home study approved. :)

My husband just suggested that I shouldn't do this. He said it would link my company's name to my blog. I responded as follows:

"I don't have anything bad on my blog. I think it's a great idea that can help us find good foster parents. It makes us more real. It makes people realize that we are more than just a company name. We're just people. We're people that specialize in foster care and adoption. People need to be able to relate to a real person, rather than just a company name."

Husband: "Yeah, I see what you mean. I just didn't know if you needed permission to do that."

Me: "I could ask but that would take some time. Besides, people blog about their jobs all the time. My job is pretty awesome and it's definitely not going to bore people, like a lot of jobs and blogs about jobs would do, right?"

Husband: "Well, I guess. As long as there's not anything confidential in there, I don't see the problem. I'm just wondering what your plan is, here."

Me: "My plan is to let people know who the best agency is in Tennessee. If I were thinking about becoming a foster parent, I'd want to know more about it first. I'd start with Google."

Husband: "Oh, yeah? What would you Google?"

Me: "All sorts of stuff. Foster Parenting, Foster Parents in Tennessee, How Do I Become A Foster Parent, Best Foster Care Agencies in Tennessee, Be a Foster Parent....I'd do some research before I called anybody...that's all I'm trying to say.

Husband: "And you think that by linking your blog to Google Plus, it'll help you find more foster parents?"

Me: "No idea."

Husband: "Your blog doesn't have anything bad on there, so why not give it a try. People will be interested about that stuff if they're wanting to learn more about being a foster parent. I've seen you answer their questions before and it's kind of impressive to watch you when you're on the job."

Me: "What's that mean, exactly?"

Husband: "Well, you're always talking about how you all call people right back when they call you, wanting to know more about foster parenting. Don't most people have automated voice services to do that?"

Me: "I don't know about most 'people'. I know that if I were thinking about being a foster parent, I'd want to talk to a person. I'd call another agency if I got some answering service. I'd want to know that the agency would be there when I needed them."

Husband: "I would, too. It's gotta be hard (being a foster parent). At least your foster parents know that they've got people who will be there for them."

Me: "Yep. I work with some pretty awesome people. Our foster parents have stayed with us for a long time. Some of them have been with T.I.I. for over a decade. That said, I think people just need to know we're out there. We're back. Therapeutic Interventions is back. We back our foster parents and support them like nobody's business."

Husband: " Yeah...maybe you should leave all that out of your blog, Mrs. Ambitious."

Me: "Maybe. Then again, maybe somebody will like it. Maybe that somebody wants to be a foster parent. Maybe the company I work for IS really unique. People need to know about Therapeutic Interventions, Inc. Especially those who want to be foster parents. There's no maybe about that.
The family-feeling of T.I.I. is unlike any other agency. I've approved foster parents who have attested to that statement. We care about what we do. I care about what I do..."

Husband: "Well, there's no doubt about that. Get the word out, sweetheart."

Me: "That's exactly what I'm doing right now. Mixing personal with professional, business with pleasure, sacrifice with rewards...Thanks for your approval, pun'kin."


Foster parents are needed in Tennessee. Kids need homes. I train foster parents. I write home studies for foster care and adoption. Call me to find out more about becoming a foster parent in Tennessee!

Talk to your local trainer by calling : 
(615) 719-2150

Friday, April 12, 2013

LifeLookLens: Be A Foster Parent!: Be a Foster Parent

LifeLookLens: Be A Foster Parent!: Be a Foster Parent: Be A Foster Parent!: Be a Foster Parent : how to become a foster parent in Tennessee. Learn more about foster care! Talk to a trainer today ...

Be A Foster Parent!: Be a Foster Parent

Be A Foster Parent!: Be a Foster Parent: how to become a foster parent in Tennessee. Learn more about foster care! Talk to a trainer today by calling 615-719-2150