Autumn-a-tize this photo! Autumn Photography Tips…

Thanksgiving Kitten CardHere are Autumn Photography Tips for anyone that wants to “Autumn-a-tize” a photo. Let’s see how I can  “Autumn-a-tize” this cute kitten for Thanksgiving Day…

I have searched my galleries for something I can use for FALL.  I wanted flowers, and a really cute kitten- something that looks like a nice Thanksgiving Day Centerpiece for a beautiful all natural table with a “Pottery Barn” feel.  I found this adorable photo of Khloe, a rescue kitten that was fostered a month or so ago.

Mother's Day Kitten Flowers
IMG_1592 ORIGINAL

As much as I love the bright watermelon color, it is not right for Fall, and certainly does not fit the “natural color” palette.  Let’s see how I can  “Autumn a-tize” this photo!

 

Original IMG_1592 taken on a bright watermelon colored striped background, bright watermelon colored basket, with flowers.  Canon Eos 5d Mark II, EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM at F2.8, 125ss,  ISO 250, window light with one monolight bounce light off ceiling. This is the original image before any color changing.

The first thing I did was select the pink striped background. Then I duplicated it.  I hid the layer below. On the new duplicate layer I selected only the striped portion that I wanted to paint. I painted it all the darker pink stripe color.  I added a layer mask to it.  I unhid the bottom layer to see the kitten, clicked on my layer mask and used a soft black paint brush to clean any of the painted background that may be visible on my image below.  Next I created a new adjustment layer: Hue/Saturation layer and changed the Hue to a beautiful Autumn orange.

Next I followed the steps in the Photoshop CS6 tutorial for Retro Christmas Kitten .  The steps are described here: I created a new adjustment layer: Hue/Saturation and changed the preset mode to Sepia. Then I added a mask, used a soft black paint brush and painted away the sepia from the areas of color I wanted to stay. Then I created a new fill layer and chose pattern-I picked a denim textile pattern.  I changed the blend mode of the pattern to soft light.  I used the pattern layer mask with soft black brush and painted away the pattern off of my subject. Now little Khloe is ready to make her Thanksgiving Day debut!

Photoshop Change Colors
IMG_1592 changesatorange/paintedstripes

 

Autumn Kitten Card
IMG_1592 orange/sepia/pat

Cornucopia Kitten Love Brings Life

Cornucopia Kitten Thanksgiving Card rescue kitten
IMG_3023

I received this Cornucopia with a beautiful floral arrangement from my mom on Thanksgiving (thank you mom!). It was inevitable that I would use it in my Fall studio pets gallery. But this photo has greater meaning to me. What I have placed inside of my cornucopia is what makes it so special – a foster kitten supported by LuvKelly.

The foster rescue kittens I have helped this year have been life changing for myself and my family.  I really had no idea that innocent, little kittens were being euthanized  just for being born.  The lucky ones were the ones I was given the opportunity to photograph.  These beautiful creatures that do nothing but give unconditional love to humans – how can this be?

I appreciate every opportunity I have to photograph each foster kitten to celebrate that they were able to have life.   It is an unfortunate truth that many rescue organizations are not able to afford to take foster kittens in, and some refuse to take them.  There are many left abandoned in front of pet stores and vet offices by our community in hopes that someone will help them sustain life.  Unfortunately when no one is there to pick them up, they are taken to high kill county shelters and in most cases euthanized- (killed).  I am hoping that we can change that by raising money and community awareness for the rescue kittens and fund rescue kitten organizations that will NOT turn them away.   Licensing these images will help provide support and community awareness to save kittens’ lives -to help these little babies reach the adoptable stage.

How much does it cost? Most rescue kittens are found abandoned at approximately 5-7 days old or so.  They are still nursing and need around the clock foster care to feed every few hours with a nursing bottle.  It takes dedicated humans to do so. One can of KMS powder kitten milk replacement cost upwards of $20.00.  Because of the conditions in which they are born, most rescue kittens come with some sort of stomache parasite they will need to see a vet for, and also must be dewormed.  As they grow to 2-3 weeks they can begin eating canned wet food and dry.  Food cost money, as does cat litter. When they reach over 2 pounds they are ready to be vetted and then adopted out.

What does vetted mean and what exactly do they do? All rescue groups are different, however the group I work with will “Vet” each kitten as follows: give each animal their first set of shots, test for Feline Leukemia and FIV, and neuter the kitten.  They are then ready for adoption for approx $75 each (adoption fees vary per rescue , some are as high as $125 for kittens).  As you can see, in most scenarios the $75 does not begin to put a dent in the cost to care for them for their first 8-10 weeks of life, let alone the vetting fee.

I am hoping to make an impact and help save more kittens’ lives by creating beautiful images of them and licensing them worldwide.  By doing so, I can give back money to the rescue groups to help pay for the costs to get the kittens to the adoptable stage.  At the same time, I am hoping to build community awareness for the kittens to save their lives by ensuring every image that is licensed will tell their story, and that when consumers purchase a product with a LuvKelly kitten image on it, they know they are helping to save a kitten’s life.  I can personally guarantee that a portion of every LuvKelly foster kitten image will go directly to help save and foster a kitten’s life.

According to  Wikipedia, the cornucopia (from latin cornu copiae) is the “horn of plenty”. It is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers or nuts. Its first known use is 1508.

I would like to Give Thanks for the cornucopia “abundance” of love and life  helping the rescue kittens has brought to my world and everyone that I share their images with.  I hope that people around the world will consider how important our mission is to save abandoned kittens’ lives and support this cause.

I would like to take this opportunity to give a huge thank you to those very special licensees who have given their support to LuvKelly cause and have licensed rescue kitten images.

KellyLOGOpink

 

 

Retro Christmas Kitten

Retro Christmas Kitten in gift box

Retro Christmas Kitten with Sepia Tone and colorization plus snowflake pattern layer.  The original image is shown below: IMG_3395 cute kitten with a bright green background, which is adorable in itself. However for those that may want to achieve a more natural, retro, style, this can be easily achieved by simply tweaking a few buttons and using masks with painting in Photoshop. Here is a short, quick tutorial on how to accomplish this. There are many ways to achieve this look, this is just one of them. This tutorial assumes knowledge of CS6 working with layer masks.

Green Christmas Kitten
IMG_3395
Sepia Retro Christmas Kitten
IMG_3395_sepiacolorized
Retro Christmas Kitten greeting card
IMG_3395_sepiacolor_SFpat

 Image 1: the original image – First open the image in psd, duplicate the layer, creating a copy. Go to Layer menu- new adjustment layer-Hue/Saturation. Click OK.  In Hue/saturation properties box, click preset to SEPIA.  The entire image will change to Sepia tone. Click the large white box in the hue/saturation layer (mask), click paintbrush tool and use black paint brush to color. Change brush settings opacity to 30 and flow to 50.  Using a soft brush, change the size as needed to paint the color back in the image.  In my image I chose to paint in the eyes, and the gift box.  AS you paint you will see that the more you paint the same spot the brighter the colors come in.  To keep the retro look, do not repeat paint the same area over and over. Try to keep the color consistent overall.  If you have painted too much, switch the paint brush to white and erase any errors.    Image 2 is the result.

Image 3: This is very simple and similar to what we just did. Open Image 2, go to layer menu- choose new fill layer- choose pattern. Choose a black/gray/white pattern for your background click ok.  All you will be able to see is the pattern on top of your image.  (If the pattern you choose has color in it, you will have to desaturate the color from the pattern using a clipping mask and a new adjustment layer – Hue/Saturation.) Change the pattern mode to soft light.  Now you will see your image again with the pattern on top. Click the large white box next to your pattern fill layer (mask) and using a soft black brush paint the pattern off of your subject, keeping it in the background only.  Congratulations you have arrived at Image 3!

 

Photoshop Secrets – smooth out backgrounds

Kitten in HammockMaking Beautiful BETTER…

If you like this Image, wait until you see how it was made with a little Photoshop Magic. Here are some  of Kelly’s Photoshop Secrets Revealed… PSD Tutorial: Smooth out background, add a blue sky with two examples attached.
BASIC PHOTOSHOP CS6 WORKFLOW: Please note: this PSD tutorial is not for beginners.  I am assuming you have photoshop experience and understand the concept of a painting with a mask, and using layers.
Kitten in Hammock
Here is the image before PSD (never before seen unedited version- yikes!)  **Most of the time, the shadows and wrinkles in the fleece blanket can be smoothed out ahead of time and clipped down tighter to help, however this image was taken on a messy background.  I will demonstrate in this tutorial how to smooth it out in photoshop.
Fleece backgrounds are prone to wrinkle when played on, however, for me they are still a practical solution.   Fleece blankets can be picked up at the dollar store in almost every color and kittens love to play on the soft surface.
Kitten in HammockEasy fix in PSD:
**Sometimes the only thing you need to do is use the guassian blur tool to smooth out the pock marks in the fleece, but in the case of big wrinkles, painting may be the best option. Here is the workflow: Duplicate the layer first. On duplicate layer, use selection tool and select the background fleece around the subject, duplicate it. On that duplicate layer, select the transparent area, then select inverse, then paint out the blanket wrinkles with the color of the blanket. When finished painting, deselect. Then, go to filters, guassian blur- adjust settings to your liking. Reveal under layer with subject. Use a mask on your painted layer to paint with black and paint away any blur that interferes with underlying subject layer. Save all layers in PSD format.
Kitten in Hammock blue sky PhotoshopNOW, Let’s make Beautiful BETTER! Go out and photograph the beautiful blue sky, with a few clouds (raw). In Photoshop, drag the sky layer to your other open psd image, as a layer on top.  Add a mask to the cloud layer and paint away the areas of the cloud that cover your subject. Use a soft brush and play around with the brush flow. This Image is one of many beautiful kitten hammock images that can be found in the image-bank 2016 Spring Collection.
EQUIPMENT/PHOTOSHOOT:  Canon Mark II EOS 5D, Canon Macro Lens EF 100 mm L IS 2.8 SETTINGS: F 2.8 SS 125 ISO 100, shoot in RAW.  Shoot gray card and custom set white balance. Lighting set-up: Window light with 1 monolight flash bounce off ceiling. Homemade hammock, blue fleece blanket background. one sleepy kitten and an awesome assistant (my daughter!)
Following is another cute image that lends itself to a beautiful blue SKY! This image is one from a shoot of several butterfly net images that can be found in the image-bank in the 2016 Spring Kitten Collection.
BEFORE and AFTER
Kitten Stuck in Butterfly Net
IMG_3248 unedited out of camera, fleece blanket has pock marks and needs to be smoothed.
Kitten Stuck in Butterfly Net
IMG_3248 edited background smoothed out with guassian blur tool, and in severe cases, painted blue
Kitten Stuck in Butterfly Net blue sky in Photoshop
IMG_3248 sky added on top
 

Pumpkin for Fall… and pumpkin for pets too!

Puppy Sleeping on Pumpkin

Here we are in Fall, on the eave of Christmas.  Soon Black Friday will  be here and the Pumpkins for Fall will soon be put away. But not so fast! Pumpkin is for Pets too. Did you know that if you have a puppy or kitten having digestions problems canned pumpkin can help?

Feeding Canned Pumpkin to dogs and cats is a safe and healthy way to remedy digestive issues. When choosing canned pumpkin for your pet, at the grocery store, look for plain, pureed pumpkin, NOT chunks of pumpkin or pumpkin seasoned for pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling contains sugars and spices that may cause even more digestive upset.

Constipation: Canned Pumpkin will add moisture and fiber needed to get your pets digestion moving again.

Diarrhea: Add only a small amount of canned pumpkin to your pet’s food, This will add dietary fiber to their diet which will solidify your pet stools by absorbing excess water and stomach acids. Add a teaspoon or two for cats and small dogs.

Here is an article on the Health benefits Pumpkin Provides for Our Pets from PetMD for more information.

So while you are shopping this fall for Thanksgiving, be sure to grab a can of plain pureed pumpkin just in case you pets may need it someday, pumpkin is for pets too!

Check out more PUMPKIN STUDIO PETS at the following links: Kittens and Pumpkins, and Puppies and Pumpkins.

Here are a few of my favorite kitten pumpkin images!

Pumpkin Kittens

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Studio Pet TOONS

Thanksgiving Dinner Puppy Eating TurkeyThanksgiving Dinner Puppy Eating TurkeySNEAK PEEK!  don’t miss out. Kelly Richardson Images introduces her new, innovative art concept for Greeting Cards.  A combination of Cartoon Digital Art, created by Kelly, with KRI Studio Pet images Kelly is calling Studio Pet Toons. Be the first to license NEW retro comic designs that is soon to be the craze for Greeting Cards.  Be the first to jump and reap the benefits  that consumers of all ages will LOVE. Contact Kelly for more information, and to see other designs offered from Studio Pet Toons. The possibilities are endless with KRI galleries of over 1000 isolated studio pet images.

In addition to designs already created, Kelly offers custom design services. Your Art Department can work directly with Kelly to create and customize exactly what your consumers are looking for – from concept to color.

Thanksgiving Dinner Puppy Eating Turkey

 

 Kitten Standing on Books in School RoomBeing a teacher for over ten years, I couldn’t resist creating a Studio Pet Toon with a cartoon classroom.  Studio Pet Toons are not in the image-bank. If you are interested in seeing more Studio Pet Toons, please contact Kelly.

The Power of Isolated Images

Isolated Image with different colored backgrounds
The Power of Isolated Images IMG_8532

Designers and publishers love isolated images with copy space where they can add text or background images, or just add a simple color to suit their product needs.  For manufacturers, an image on white can be easily adapted to a variety of product shapes – different sizes of notepads, bookmarks, etc. If one wants color, any color, and any pattern, it can be popped right in the background if the image has been isolated properly, with little or no work.  This makes for a very attractive purchase with an image that has so much versatility.

Though it seems like it would be an easy task, creating a blown out white background is trickier than one might think.  It’s all about the lighting. You must learn how to avoid the drab grays that you can get without enough light, shadows are difficult to isolate out if they blend in with the subject. There are countless tutorials online that shows proper high key lighting set-up.  I use a light table that lights the subject from underneath to achieve a perfectly white background all around with approximately 5+ studio lights.

Of course, there is Photoshop. With CS6, one can use the refine edge tool and drop out a background very efficiently. But consider, it is always easier and less time consuming if the subject is properly lit to begin with.  Dropping out a background taken on a colored background is much more difficult and time consuming. The color tends to attach itself to the subject – there is always a reflection of color that can never really be dropped out. It is much easier to simply shoot on white if those are your intentions for the image.

Isolated images have endless possibilities – if you can imagine it, you can create it!

Chihuahua Dog on Boogie Board

Chihuahua Dog on Boogie Board Surfing
Whizbee Puppy Surf