The Bubble That Got Away!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!  During the past week…any of us photographers took tons of family shots!    We were playing out back in the yard with our new puppy.  She is a Yorkie-Poo and is about 6 months old.  Like any little one they love to play.  My daughter had her new bubble maker from Santa and was letting bubbles fly through the air.  The pup was having a ball chasing them!   I went in and grabbed my 70-200 lens and snapped away.  I put it on Shutter priority and got a few solid shots…fun for memories.

I was lucky with this one…and when I saw it in photoshop, I wanted to make it a bit more artistic.   It does look like a painting…so here were my steps in creating this shot…

In Photoshop CS5…

Color Efex Pro – Tonal Contrast, Viveza and then added a texture in Bridge.  It was cool…then I thought why not try the Plug-In called “Pixel Bender” (its free on Adobe).  I knew it could make photos into painting like shots.  I saw a clip about this on Scott Kelby’s “Photoshop User TV” …a few weeks ago.   I downloaded it here…Pixel Bender.   And used the “Oil Painting” option.  I moved the sliders around a bit and after all my processing..the shot is above.  Very cool!

Now I have tried the Pixel Bender since on a few photos.  I think it works great when there are trees & flowers in the shot!   I will keep trying every once in a while…maybe you will see another Pixel Bender shot soon!  Ah…Plug-Ins are great!! You can create great art!   Have a wonderful week back to work, school or whatever!

2010 in review – Thanks everyone for making Places 2 Explore great!!

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 420,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 18 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 317 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 610 posts. There were 445 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3gb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was May 27th with 2,710 views. The most popular post that day was New York City – Times Square – HDR.

Where did they come from?

Some visitors came searching, mostly for hdr, times square, time square, eiffel tower, and paris france.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


New York City – Times Square – HDR May 2009


San Francisco, CA – Golden Gate Bridge – HDR May 2009


San Francisco, CA – Japanese Tea Garden – HDR May 2009


Tampa, Florida – HDR April 2009


Laguna Beach, California March 2009