Christmas Card Time

_MG_6661-Edit5x7 card_MG_2565 lighter12 days of Christmas11385757213_f66e93e8be_oDuncan ornament_1090639It’s time to create your Christmas cards. I hope you will use images from this year to send a very personal card. I have posted some of mine from past years, photographic and a simple design with clipart.  Enjoy making your own cards!


JC Raulston Moonlight in the Garden







Moonlight in the Garden gives photographers an amazing opportunity at the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Beautiful lighting for photos, food trucks, music and more!

Member night – Tuesday, November 7        7pm-9pm

November 9-11 and November 16-18             6pm – 9pm

Tickets are $10.00 for members, $20.00 for nonmembers, and $5.00 for children under 12.




Prisma App

IMG_5711IMG_5589-EditA friend of mine told me about the Prisma App for iPhones anIMG_5692IMG_5686IMG_5700A friend of mine told me about the Prisma App for iPhone and Android phones. Nifty little app that has lots of fun effects. You must take the photo with the app and process it right then as you cannot reimport it later. However, I could save the original photo on my iPhone and use in other programs later.  This included some fun with the photos shown here in Photoshop CC.

NC State Fair Preview

I was treated to a preview of the Flower Show area of the NC State Fair tonight.

With so many special lenses and techniques along with unlimited software possibilities available, I can have fun all day with just one image.  Here is what I did to create the ones below.

I bought a couple of bunches of flowers at Trader Joe’s for $3.99 a bunch.  I placed the vase on white foamcore and used a neutral wall as the background. I did use studio lights for faster shooting and greater depth of field, but you don’t have to. Each caption states the software effect I used.


_MG_0097-Amazing Watercolour

Amazing Watercolour – SmartPhotoEditor

_MG_0097-oil jim lasala-Edit


_MG_0097-White Border

SmartPhotoEditor – White Border

_MG_0097-oil jim lasala-Edit-2

Topaz Impression – Oil by Jim LaSala

_MG_0097-Belle Puss in Boots

Belle Fleur Textures – Puss in Boots

Flower Composites

Lily SPE polaroid

SmartPhotoEditor “Vintage Polaroid”


Lily SPE dreamy beach

SmartPhotoEditor “Dreamy Beach”


Lily Composite

Original Composite

I have been creating flower composites. I take one flower selected in Photoshop (made easier if you photograph it against white which I did not on these two!)… and then layering many copies of it. Take each copy and resize, rotate, etc… until you like the composition.

You can totally cover the canvas with the image as in the Iris below, or leave space and add a background. I added lilypads blurred behind the waterlilies but ended up changing the color of them so unrecognizable now as lilypads.

With SmartPhotoEditor I can then take it way further. Just printed this one of a purple iris on canvas from MasterColor Labs in Greensboro, NC.  SmartPhotoEditor can work as a standalone program or as a plugin for Photoshop.



SmartPhotoEditor is a contributor based program with over 7,000 effects, constantly being expanded by new designers. It is currently $29.99 and you can get a 10% discount by using code LL1914.  I do not receive any compensation except for the feedback that you are having a blast!

Software – SmartPhotoEffects

_4010070rainIMG_3629_3310399_4030357 edit_moody 074OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_3621I have been using SmartPhotoEditor for about a month now. This software can be used as a standalone for $29.99 or a Photoshop plugin for a higher fee. The program is built on special effects from normal processing features to vignettes and textures to really far out stuff. It also has watercolor, oils and other painterly options. It has about 7,000 effects and contributors add to this all the time.

The interface offers category breakdowns that help find what you are looking for and the ability to save any effect as a favorite so you don’t have to look for it each time. You can also create your own effects in the Effects Editor for others to use.

As a digital photo artist I am really excited with this software and encourage you to use the 30 day free trial. (cannot save images until you buy the program)

For greeting cards the vignettes are amazing.. leaving nice white edges that help with printers that leave 1/4″ edge.

Go have some fun!!!

(except for the iris image all were from a recent trip to Charleston, SC)