Sometimes, and this has absolutely nothing to do with this photograph, life seems to be about nothing more than waiting for what comes next, and the waiting gets in the way of everything else. I have a kitchen to finish assembling and decorating, I have lots of emails to reply to, from chromasia and work, I have photographs to take, places to go, people to see, and a hundred and one other things that I should be doing. But our son was due to be born yesterday, and he's still not here, and everything else seems to be in some sort of abeyance. It's not something I'm worried about – I'm sure he'll show up at some point soon – but the waiting seems to have overshadowed most everything else.

Anyway, on a more immediate note, here's another shot from a few weeks ago when John and I attended the North City Festival in Manchester.

And finally, I discovered a handy tip in Scott Kelby's The Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers for adding a slightly diffuse effect to an image (used to smooth the skin and hair in this shot).

1) Make two duplicate layers of the main image.
2) Set the blend mode of the first to Darken and Gaussian blur it by 40px.
3) Set the blend mode of the second to Lighten and Gaussian blur it by 60px.
4) Create a blank layer above these two layers, make sure all other layers other than this layer and the two layers you just created are hidden, then merge these three layers (Merge Visible).
5) Set the opacity of this layer to around 30% and unhide your other layers.
6) With a soft brush erase any of the areas of the images you want to be sharp, or use a Layer Mask (with a portrait this would be the eyes, teeth, and so on).

I've found this really useful for softening the skin tones in portraits without affecting either the contrast or the colour balance.

captured
camera
lens
focal length
aperture
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
ISO
flash
image quality
RAW converter
cropped?
1.23pm on 23/7/05
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
100mm (160mm equiv.)
f/5.6
1/800
aperture priority
-1/3 (-2/3 FEC)
evaluative
200
580EX
RAW
C1 Pro
no
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