Hi, this is Clara back again to bring you Day 5 of our 12 days of Christmas and Holiday Cheer!!
I would first like to thank Merkeley Designs for giving us a fantastic sale today. You can find most of her store on sale for 30% off TODAY ONLY.
Today I thought I would share about a tradition in Italy I learned about during the time I lived there. The holiday is called La Befana and is celebrated on January 6, also known to many as the Day of Epiphany. I became very curious about this holiday when I first went to a Christmas market to find some gifts to send home for my family and I kept seeing these little witches for sale at all the booths. There were dolls, ornaments, painting, etc. All different shapes and sizes, cloth, ceramic, wood. You name it. Some we sweet and cute and others were gnarly and ugly. So, I started asking about them and finally talked to a friend of mine who was Italian and he explained what the witches were all about. Her name was Befana and she was an old lady known in her town as an amazing housekeeper. The legend claims that the 3 wise men were on their way to see the baby Jesus and saw her along the way. They stopped to ask her for directions but she didn’t know. She offered them a place to stay for the night so that they could rest. The next day they asked her if she would like to join them on their quest but she was so worried about cleaning her home that she decided not to go. That night she saw a bright shining star and changed her mind and sought out the 3 wise men, bringing with her gifts from her own child who had died. Unfortunately she never found them.
Now La Befana flies around on her broomstick each year on the 11th night, bringing gifts to children in hopes that she might find the Baby Jesus. Children hang their stockings on the evening of January 5 awaiting the visit of La Befana. The good children receive gifts and treats while the bad children receive coal, onions or garlic. It is also told that Befana does not wish to be seen and if you see her she will thump you on the head with her broom stick.
La Befana is one of Italy most celebrated and oldest traditions. It is often more celebrated than Christmas and marks an end to the Christmas season.
Frame from In The Loop 4 by One Little Bird
Photo of The Day: In honor of La Befana I thought we should take photos of STOCKINGS. One thing I love about winter is all the places we see stockings. Whether above the fireplace, under the tree, thick wool socks to play in the snow, or those fantastic thick tights on little baby girls. Let’s see your stockings.
Today we also have a fabulous tutorial for you. One of my least favorite parts of Christmas are the photos I take. I am terrible at night time indoor photos. They are always dark and no fun. So today Elisa aka EHStudios has a fantastic tutorial on how to make those dark yucky photos usable.
Tutorial: How To Make Dark Photos Usable
Hey guys! Elisa here! I’ve never done a tutorial before so bear with me.
I know many of us are guilty of the really really dark pictures that we don’t think are usable, (even when my job is a photographer!). Maybe you just grabbed the camera for a fast shot & didn’t check any settings, maybe the dog bumped the dial & you didn’t notice right away & still needed the shot, maybe your camera’s auto functions picked up the lights on the tree & then underexposed the rest of the shot, or maybe you just took a photo & didn’t know why it was dark.
Normally we’d use the flash to help with dark photos, but during the holidays you probably want to show off the Christmas lights & those won’t appear to be on when the flash fires. Another fix would be to use a tripod to photograph your tree & then a slow shutter speed wouldn’t be an issue, but this wouldn’t work if you added a person or an animal to the mix since they wouldn’t be still enough.
So what can you do if you have a dark photo?
(note I use Lightroom for most of my editing, but Levels in PS or Elements + Brightness/Contrast can do about the same thing.)
Below is a quick exposure fix in Photoshop. It’s the original dark photo next to some basic Levels tweeking. No other edits were made to the photo yet.
As you can see the photo was extremely dark to begin with. I’d probably adjust Brightness/Contrast too to further the edit, but at least you can see that even the worst underexposure can be fixed.
To me, changing the photo to black & white means I can push the fix even more. That’s my GO-TO fix. Black & White. I make the photo black & white because then when I increase the exposure the added grain, or “dots”, in the photo don’t matter as much as it just gives it a more artistic or film-like look. Plus I don’t have to worry about getting ugly colors if I’m increasing the exposure too much. This is what I did for the photos below.
But sometimes I’ll just really want the photo to stay in color. This is the holidays! I want to show off the festivities & their color!
Since we are Digi-Scrappers we have a bit more options. Grain doesn’t really matter if we can blend the photo into a textured paper. It can just be another effect.
And sometimes blending modes can come in extra handy since you may not even need to work on the photo first.
Since it might be fun to see a page in action. Here is a layout I made last Christmas. The photo was dark to start since I didn’t use my advice & grab a tripod for this still shot, but I knew it could look awesome blended. The small photo I also increased the exposure with, but since I made the image smaller the grain didn’t bother me.
I hope this will show you that you don’t need to toss out your “hopelessly” dark photos.
Play with changing your photos to black & white or play with your blending modes.
You are a Digi-Scrapper! You have a lot to play with right at your fingertips!!