Experimenting with light

This is a series or photos where the only dynamic was the lamp placement and the cameras allowance to automatically decide the f-stop; the shutter speed, iso, manual focus, placement of objects to be photographed as well as the placement of the camera remained stagnant. Non of these photos have been edited yet and I didn’t realize until today that my lens is dirty! Either way, I’m going to try to work with what I got and by this weekend I’ll have [some of] these on the gallery page of soft-graphix.com for others to see and use.


Light source (LED desk lamp that can be adjusted) is pointing toward the ceiling. Two white film boards act as the back drop and also allow light to reflect back onto the aloe plant and army toy.


Light source stayed in about the same position, though the lamp was adjusted downward – facing the white film board backdrop and positioned left of the plant & toy figure.


Light source placed close and facing subject from right.


light source moved to the front and right – pointed toward white film backdrop and tilted up.


light source pointing down on the subject


light source pointing down and close to subject. I imagined summer at high noon with this position.

#websitefail – aughh

Balancing family, work, home, hobbies and anything else into your daily life can be a challenging task. In an ideal world, those things would all mesh together like bread and butter – In an ideal world. In reality, you tend to drop at least one of those things because 24 hours just simply is not enough. My ‘hobby’, for lack of a better term at the moment, is what I’ve left on the floor for a few weeks, or maybe months. So when a bit of inspiration collide with a quick ‘fashonable’ thought, I jump to it (causing my list of ‘things to do today’ to drop into chaos might I add). I’m sure you have all been there too. You get this grandiose  idea that in hindsight is not so grandiose after all.


And all this babble leads us to the main context of this post, my incomplete website that I wrote gleefully about last post (check it out here: http://soft-graphix.com/2015sgx.html) The only thing I have left to do that I originally envisioned is the fonts; however I’m so displeased with the result that I think I’m just going back to the drawing board and in a whole new direction.

I did want to share this with you though. Even though I’m going to scrap it and start from scratch I still learned some very cool technique and wanted to share that in case this attempted site inspires anyone else.

Have you had a #websitefail you want to share?

New site: Thoughts and so sorry, it’s been awhile

 So it’s been awhile since my last post… Sorry! I feel like life has been keeping me busy, so busy in fact that I think a whole year has swept past and I’ve neglected WordPress and blogging in general.

Completely unhappy with my google analytic results I’m back to the drawing board on my site – this time working with a responsive layout (not completely unfamiliar with it).

As for my idea of a new layout I would like to remove my current navigation. I do not have alot to offer in terms of pages on my site so instead I would like to have the ‘buttons’ be more images – large images/buttons on a desktop that scale down considerably on a mobile device.

Here’s the desktop draft:


I’ve been hitting a wall trying to figure out how to scale the div’s within a container to 100% height with pure css (though I’ve read flexbox is a solution, still wrapping my head around it). At this point I have decided to have large screens display a height in px while the mobile will automatically respond – this probably is not the ‘recommended’ way for a responsive design, but it will work for the time being.

drafted mobile
Here’s the css for desktop view:
@media only screen and (min-width: 768px) {
/* resize height of div */
.dtH350 {
height: 350px;
.dtH175 {
height: 175px;
and the html

< div class=”row” >
< div class=”col-3 dtH350″ >Free Photos< / div >
< div class=”col-6″ >
< div class=”col-6 dtH175″ >Illustrations< / div >
< div class=”col-6 dtH175″ >Nature< / div >
< div class=”col-12 dtH175″ >bottom< / div >
< / div >
< / div >

What that does is size the divs at 350px (or 175px) height on screens with a min-width of 768px and drops that rule for anything smaller.
I’m going for something flashy, fingers are crossed that I can do it as envisioned.
Aside from that, I’ve also set seo goals for my page:
I would like to see at least a 10% increase in organic traffic within 45-60 days after this next update. The web market is actually very saturated with free photo sites. Hopefully once the search engines see my site is more mobile friendly, they will give me a slight boost in position.
I have also tried to be social some of the major social networks.
Will also add more content to my existing pages as well as toss in a few additional (at least that’s the current plan).

Easy fall design layout

A fall design layout, and I’ll show you what I did to make it:

fall design layout

fall design layout

First lets find a background image I choose this one from my image gallery:

Second, I followed this tutorial to create the bokeh effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO2h7L-LV9A

This gave me a great background to work with and something to showcase in the foreground (a leaf in this case). I took the following pictures:

IMG_3891 IMG_3893

Using the pen tool, outline the leaf to cut it out from it’s background. I also upped the saturation of the leaf slightly, blurred the edges and brought the opacity of the background down to make more contrast.


With the wood railing that the leaf sits on in the final piece, cut along the edge paying attention to your line work and any chipping paint. The board, although it appears straight, has a bow in it. Once the siding in the background of the railing was removed a slight blur was added to try and soften that line.

Place the leaf on the railing, which will need rotated – to create the shadow I added a new layer under the leaf (above the cut railing) and used the brush with a 0% hardness tip to ‘paint’ the shadow of the leaf. I chose a deep auburn instead of black, if light would come though the thin skin of the leaf, it would take on a shade of that color.






Photo A Day & Toledo Casino Night Charity Event Update

Updates since last post:

photo a day challenge

Photo A Day Challenge: One step at a time

Photo A Day Challenge
Been able to make it to day 5 so far: http://galleries.soft-graphix.com/

More info on charity event
I’ve been helping my sons high school parent staff association with a casino night in Toledo charity event. If you are in the Toledo, OH area and you are interested, more information can be found here: http://itstartslocal.com/

Added some new photos

I feel like I have neglected wordpress recently… My bad. I have uploaded some new images to the gallery page for design project use:


Royal Flush Photo

Dealer Button

Poker Chips

These are some of the initial images that I plan to use for a project dealing with a charity casino night. The make-shift light box is still intact, though I need to experiment with (and learn more about) bouncing light.