Stormy Waters Black + White Presets // Weekly Feature

We will be driving cross country next week with our little ugly camper, so I wanted to put up the Stormy Waters feature early. 

These beautiful before + after examples are from Rebecca Collegio and she shares, 

These presets are magical! I've never used such easy presets that require so little fussing with to get my vision. These have saved me gobs of time in editing that they paid for themselves in one editing session. The time Michelle has put into creating these is very evident and I can't tell you how happy I am that she's sharing them!

Seeing what these presets are doing out in the world is SO moving! These were created to empower others and to see that it's actually happening makes my heart throw confetti in the air. At first I was super nervous by the response. I worried (a lot) that I wouldn't be able to handle the task. But reading these emails, and seeing how these are really helping people, keeps me going. We are doing it! Eeeeek! 


I measure my worth in pink patterned pyrex bowls passed down through someone else's generations. Mismatched socks on toes that grew behind my belly button. Teenage leg hair and a fridge filled with forgotten film, and the outline of a song gone silent. 

I met a girl once, who drank a cup of chamomile tea each night to counter the cost of a life spent just inside the comfort zone. She had big lips and a French accent and a million dollar mansion, a head heavy with regrets and addictions insurmountable. You can worship false gods if you're not careful. I could have seen past her pain and thought she was perfect because she was so polished. It could have been so easy to do.  

And all I want to do is write books. And all I want to do is take pictures. And all I want to do is hide inside my knitting basket and pry purls from the sealed shut mouths of sailors and scaredy cats. 

Sometimes I am afraid that the things that matter most to me don't matter. Sometimes, I wish I was motivated by money. I wish I was motivated by popularity. I wish I didn't love my tiny two bedroom on the third floor with no elevator so damn much but it forces us to share bedrooms and biographies and beginnings.

It's confusing this wanting to spill it all out with others, but wanting to stay safe at the same time. The game of hide and go seek out the comfort of swimming lessons and soccer practice.  Mother/artist/animist with paperthinskin and a will made of (dande)lion's teeth.  

I wish so badly I didn't care so much what you think of me and my collection of crocheted afghans woven by stranger's hands. Is it possible to care so deeply about the world around you but shut off just the part of what the world around you thinks about you caring about them? Can I get a map from triple a with the route hi lighted in yellow, please? The easy way, please. 

Lately I've been wondering, at the end of it all, will I be proud of the choices I made to stay small? Or, will I count the shooting stars outside my bedroom window, no longer able to walk, wondering what it would have been like to dance in the stratosphere and burn in bright hues of orange and ego? Is a fall from grace any less graceful than a fall from mediocracy? 







Stormy Waters Black and White Presets | Weekly Feature

Yay! I cannot even begin to put into words how incredibly awesome it is to see these presets out there in the wild! 

This feature is by Ashley Elsmore. Ashley is also a student in my online class, and witnessing her reach deeper and explore new ways of seeing and editing has been such an honor. 

I really love this image before and after because it's a perfect example of vision. She knew that in order to craft the image she saw in her mind's eye, she needed to shoot against a darker background with the beautiful freckled face well lit. Next, she brought the RAW color file into LR and applied the Stormy Waters presets. I absolutely love the transformation here. 

Black and white has my heart. Every single time. 

Here are some words Ashley shared on instagram @aephoto20 about her experience, "I'm taking a black and white photography class from @thedefineschool. It is taught by @michellegardella who is AMAZING! It has made me fall in love with black and white photographs all over again and has made me realize I crave to be more real and honest in my photography! You're going to see a lot of change from me from here on out. If you're in your comfort zone you're not growing!"