Monday, October 17, 2011

Lines and Balance

Downtown Chicago is all about lines. Straight, angled, and sometimes curvy lines. Lines soaring to the sky and back down again. For my few days in Chicago last week I was in the downtown area the whole time. In between the convention I attended, I managed to take in a few sights... an architecture cruise on the river, Millennium Park, and the Art Institute. I would have loved to spend more time there, getting to know the city. I barely scratched the tourist surface. The bottom line - I'll just have to go back!

Today's image is one of the first edited with my brand new toy - Lightroom 3. My birthday is today and this software is now installed on my computer as a birthday gift from my family. I have had this growing urge to learn something new in the last couple of months and Lightroom came out as the winner as I looked into software. Apart from the overwhelming nature of learning a new program, I can tell this is going to be fun! You will likely be seeing all sorts of crazy edits here, as I learn the software and play around. Like any new technique, I'll go overboard and then will settle into my style again eventually. That's just the way I learn.

I can also tell, I haven't been doing enough of this - playing and spending time on my art. I haven't found a good balance yet between all of the things I want to do in life as an artist/engineer/mom/friend, and I tend to overwhelm myself with "to do" lists. Finding balance is something that will be a big focus for me in the coming days and weeks. My birthday reminds me I'm a Libra, Bilancia in Italian, and the scales are my symbol.

Change is coming. Not just because it's a new year for me. Not just because I have the new website (still!) in the works. Not just because of the season. Change is coming for me because I need to find a new balance point. The scales have tipped too far.


  1. let me be the first to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! One of my girlfriends told me, "Birthdays are ordinary days sprinkled with stardust."
    May the next year be filled with the stardust of discovery!

  2. Kat,
    Doing the Happy Birthday dance for you!

    Enjoy your new toy - take it out for a wide-ranging ride, exploring all its capabilities. I look forward to seeing the results.

    You have captured some amazing Chicago lines - makes me hungry to go back.

  3. Dear Kat, Happy Birthday from one Libra to another. It is a wonderful sign but we do tend to go too far in one direction or another and we always are needing to correct course (sp?).

    I started learning Lightroom about six weeks ago and it was a stiff learning curve. I really enjoyed Julie Kost's video tutorials on tv adobe.

    Have a wonderful year.

  4. Happy Birthday Kat. I have Lightroom 3 and love it to bits.

  5. Happy birthday!!! I will third the suggestion that you will love LR! I highly recommend the Scott Kelby book and do follow it from the beginning. I'm a skip-around the book kind of girl myself, but I forced myself to start from the beginning and the way he has you set up LR for importing and maintaing the photo database is so important and vital for keeping yourself organized.

    He also does a fab job of going through each module in a very systematic way. I would also recommend Matt Koslowski's Lightroom Killer Tips -- I'm sure you can probably get to it through the NAPP website.

  6. A very happy birthday to you, Kat! My new grandbaby was born just a few days ago, so I guess she is a Libra too. So glad you enjoyed Chicago and had time for the boat tour, can't wait to see more photos.
    Finding balance in life is a constant struggle for things keep popping up and upsetting the equilibrium. It's good to stop and evaluate. Have a great day!

  7. I don't know anything about Lightroom... But I have seen some of the presets in use. I have photoshop and I'm intrigued to know how they differ actually. I'll look forward to seeing more of your work.
    I love your photo above... Crisp, good use of lines to draw the eye in and great colour - even though the dominant colour is grey there are so many variations within the shot. Nice work. X
    I too have taken Cityscape shots this weekend. :-)

  8. I can't wait to hear what you think about Lightroom. I've been debating a purchase for a while, I have an old version of Photoshop, and I wonder if Lightroom would be a better investment than a new version of Photoshop.

  9. Happy birthday- love the photo.

  10. Happy Birthday, Kat! I bought LR a few months ago when Adobe sent me an offer I couldn't refuse, because I have Elements 6, which I never use!!! I'm still very low on the LR learning curve, but I also recommend Scott Kelby's book and Julieanne Kost's video tutorials. I think the Develop module will be easy, since it's like Camera Raw in Bridge, but I'm still figuring out the Library module. I'm kind of stuck on Catalogs and Collections :~/ I will look forward to hearing how you like it :~)

  11. Happy Birthday, Kat! I too will be looking forward to hearing more about your experiences with Lightroom. I've only recently become aware of it and am not sure what it does.

    I smiled at today's photo, because I thought it looked like one of Brenda's! I love the play of lines, curves, and angles.

  12. Happy Birthday, Kat!! Love your photo, and delighted to hear about Lightroom..I'm just on Day 6 of a trial with it! Really looking forward to hearing what you discover..

  13. Kat, I just had my birthday Saturday.... and I totally get the balance thing! It's not going to be something that ever gets "solved" but always a work in progress. I know very well about those "to-do" lists - I remember blogging a while back about "delayed gratification" and how I tend to want to get everything "done" before doing the fun stuff. I have made some adjustments and happy to say I'm doing better!! Happy birthday and good luck with the changes!!

  14. Happy Happy Day Kat! I too am a Libra, and have tons of trouble with the balancing act. Too many things I want to accomplish, and too many lists and I seem to just spin my wheels. When you figure out the secret, let me in okay?
    miss you
    xoxo mo

  15. Kat,
    Happy Birthday to you!!! Hope you've had a great day and that a wonderful year is in store for you!

  16. Happy Birthday!!! :)) I hope it's a good one! It has to be since you got such a nice gift. I have LR2 and I like it for quick and large edits but I still prefer my CS5 a whole lot more. Balance is needed everywhere, in life, love, and art and this photo is a perfect example of great balance. I love it! Great capture!

  17. I hear you. balance seems such a hard thing to find. I can never keep it up for more than a few days at a time, it seems...

    and I almost forgot, happy birthday !!!

  18. Happy belated Birthday Kat!! I can't wait to hear more about lightroom. I am still using PSE7 and think it might be time to upgrade.
    Balance is so very hard.

  19. What a fantastic photograph, and Happy Birthday Dear Kat!!

  20. It's a life's work - finding that perfect balance. Happy Birthday to you!!!

  21. I just got back from being out of the country for almost 3 weeks so just catching up.

    First of all - happy birthday!!!!!!!

    Second of all - if you are ever in Chicago again, I would love to grab coffee and look at picts! :) I know that your neck of the woods will be a while coming for me, but if you love Chicago, come back and let us show you some of the best hidden-city secrets! There's so much here! :)



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