Tag Archives: digital photo editing

What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with

Opinion

My wise old grandmotherWhen I was young and living with my wise old grandmother (picture ►), she used to sit at the dining room table during the day creating her scrapbooks and photo albums. Her sons used to chastise her because she would cut up her pictures to create what she wanted. As she used to say: “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.” I can only imagine how much fun she would have in today’s world with Photoshop.

I bought Photoshop when it hit the PC market in the early 1990s. Throughout the years, my photo editing skills have continued to improve. Since I know what I can do with Photoshop, as well as video editing programs, basically I don’t believe anything I see on the Internet. Instead, if I like it, I enjoy it, perhaps even sharing it. But there is so much stuff that I know is fake, most, but not all, of it involving still pictures.

That reminds me of the broadcast from Times Square on December 31, 1999. The broadcast, of course, was live, as had been all the New Year’s Eve broadcasts for as long as I can remember. Not until later, though, was it disclosed that the broadcast wasn’t as live as we thought. Turns out that a big lighting display in Times Square was broadcasting an advertisement by a competitor of the television station that I was watching. I never saw the advertisement because it was being edited out as the video was being broadcast “live.” So even live events might not be the truth!

A couple of years ago I experimented with my own video editing. Watch this one minutes video of a Coaster train in the Miramar area of San Diego and tell me which way the train is traveling.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you think the train is traveling left to right, well, only in the video. In actuality, it was traveling from right to left. I changed it in about five seconds and one click of the mouse using Corel Video Studio Pro.

Here in San Diego, commuter trains are of the push/pull configuration. In other words, sometimes the engine is at the front, pulling the train, and sometimes the engine is at the rear, pushing the train. I have never liked the push configuration; it just looks wrong. So when I discovered the “reverse” function in Video Studio Pro, well, I couldn’t help but click on it. Voilá!

I have had fun with still pictures, too, like this one:

Sandstone arch at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In that one, there actually is only one bridge. The hole looked like an eye, so I thought that two eyes were better than one. Here is the original with just the one eye:

Sandstone arch at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

So remember: Just because you see it on the Internet and it’s been shared by 159,472 people and viewed 9,471,002 times doesn’t mean it’s true. That doesn’t mean you can’t simply enjoy it. As Edgar Degas said a century ago: “Art is not what you see but what you make others see.”

Abraham Lincoln

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift?
Check out Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos.

photograhic art taking pictures making art

Inquiring minds want to know

How I Did It

Many decades ago when I had several years experience with photography, my goal was to have a huge collection of lenses for all purposes—fisheye, wide angle, super wide angle, zoom, ultra zoom, double ultra zoom, triple ultra zoom………

Although it might be nice to have all those lenses in today’s world, I find that I am completely satisfied with my Tamron 28-300mm lens and Photoshop. Photoshop has so many cool features that allow me to simulate all those lenses so well that no one would know what I had done unless I told them.

A good example is this Photographic Art creation:

Two ladies at the window

That is based on a picture of a mural in the Little Italy area of San Diego. Ah, but I lie to you. That is based on FOUR pictures of a mural in the Little Italy area of San Diego. It was a wide mural, so it would not fit in my camera considering I couldn’t stand across the street because cars and utility poles would have been in the picture. I could have stood in the street, but it’s a busy street, and I know what typically happens when a 200-pound human takes on a 4,000-pound car. My only choice, then, was to take four pictures while standing on the walkway, just three feet or so from the mural. Here are the four original pictures:

IMG_7133 145IMG_7134 145IMG_7135 145IMG_7136 145

Along with the mismatch in color contrast, brightness, exposure, etc., you can see that the perspective is going to be weird, especially for the two end pictures. This pretty much tells you where I was standing in order to leave cars, people, and poles out of the picture—right between the two ladies if you can’t tell.

First I corrected the perspective of the pictures, which gave me these four pictures:

IMG_7133 (Custom)IMG_7134 (Custom)IMG_7135 (Custom)IMG_7136 (Custom)

Then I used Photoshop’s Photomerge function to merge the four pictures into one picture, giving me this:

img_7133 panorama (Custom)

After that it was just a question of making it into Photographic Art.

The one question that Julian had is why does the woman who is sitting down have a mustache. The attire certainly leads to one believing that it is a woman… Do Italian women have mustaches? Inquiring minds want to know.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Do you have BWS?
I have the answer:photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Pedicabs

Making something out of nothing at all

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I am a firm believer in what my wise old grandmother always used to tell me: “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

Here is a picture as it came out of the camera:

Cruddy picture

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That’s a pretty cruddy picture. It’s out of focus and noisy, to say the least. However, I really liked the colors of those two pedicabs and decided to try to make something out of the picture.

I took the picture to Photoshop CC and, seeking to take the easy way out, just started applying filters at their default settings. I quickly found one I liked: the plastic wrap filter (Filter ► Filter Gallery ► Artistic ► Plastic Wrap). The Plastic Wrap settings were Highlight Strength 15, Detail 5, and Smoothness 5. Here is the result:

Pedicabs

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The original picture would be considered a throwaway by many photographers who still seek to “get it right in the camera,” those who seemingly don’t understand that getting it right in the camera often means accepting what the camera software programmers think is “right.”

Never give up on a picture. As with all things in life, try to make something, even if you’re trying to make it out of nothing at all.

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Creating an orb in Photoshop

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I use Photoshop CS6 for most of my photo editing work — adding contrast, sharpening, correcting exposure, bringing back highlights, cropping, and so much more.

Once I finish editing, though, it’s fun to find out what other things Photoshop can do.

To me, Photoshop filters are the most fun, and recently I learned how to create an interesting orb, like this:

Flower orb

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not everything makes a good orb. The more little things in the picture, the better looking the orb will be.

Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Open your picture and crop it to a square, or a ratio of 1:1. Click on the crop icon. In your crop options bar, it probably says “Ratio.” Click on that and change it to 1:1 (Square). Your crop marks will move to the center of the image to create a square from your picture. You can move the crop area around if you want it somewhere else. (Click on the image below for a larger image.)

Crop in Photoshop CS6

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Next, click on Filter ► Distort ► Polar Coordinates…. ► Polar to Rectangular ► Okay

My flower now looks like this:

Photoshop distort polar coordinates

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That creates an interesting item in and of itself, but we’re going to go further.

Now click on Image ► Image Rotation ► Flip Canvas Vertical. That gives me this:

Photoshop Flip Canvast Verticle

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Again, you could stop there and have something interesting. We’re still going further, though!

Click on Filter ► Distort ► Polar Coordinates…. ► Rectangular to Polar ► Okay.

That gives you an orb!

If you don’t crop your picture to a square, you won’t get an orb. Instead, if your picture is wider than it is tall, you’ll get an oval on its side. If your picture is taller than it is wide, you’ll get an oval on end.

Have fun!

Lastly, guess who is in this orb?

Zoey the Cool Cat in an orb

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I would approve this post
if I wasn’t dreaming of catching birds.Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

House finches at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Look this way! Please look this way!

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On a recent hike in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, I found three house finches sitting on a wire. I took five pictures before they flew away. My intent was to get all three of them looking at me, or at least looking forward. They refused to cooperate. There was always at least one bird that was looking the other way. Begging all three birds to “look this way, please, look this way!” didn’t have any effect on them.

I got up the courage to do something about it as I was looking at the five pictures this morning. Originally, I was going to simply replace the one bird that wasn’t looking at me with one that was. Then I thought, why stop at three birds? After playing around, I came up with a nice picture of six house finches:

House finches at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me which three birds originally were not in that picture. Let us number the birds 1 through 6 from bottom left to top right. And as all good teachers would do, I require that you “show your work,” i.e., explain your decision.

My wise old grandmotherThis little exercise reminds me of my wise old grandmother. She carried her Kodak Instamatic camera in her purse everywhere she went, and she didn’t hesitate to pull it out and snap a picture. Once she got home she took all her pictures and mounted them in her scrapbooks and photo albums. However, she didn’t hesitate to crop them, cut them in two, whatever, in order to make the pictures better or make them fit the theme of her pages.

She used to always tell me, “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.” It’s still like that, so if you aren’t using Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Serif PhotoPlus, Photo Studio, PaintShop Pro, Photo-Paint, ACDSee, Gimp, Picmonkey, etc., you’re missing out on a lot of fun. The ones I use are Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, Photo-Paint X6, and PaintShop Pro X5.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Monkey at the San Diego Zoo

It’s all in the eyes!

My wise old grandmother

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I joined the seventh grade debate team, my wise old grandmother told me to look. “Look at your opponent, look at the moderator, look at the audience. It’s all in the eyes!” she said. She was right.

Obama lost the first presidential debate because he did not look at Romney, did not look at the moderator, did not look at the audience, did not look at the camera. He looked down, almost as if he were sleeping, disinterested, maybe even hanging his head in shame.

In the vice-presidential debate, Ryan (some of my friends call him “Lyin’ Ryan”) did much of the same thing. He drank so much that I thought he was drinking margaritas because I’m pretty sure mere water wouldn’t be worth a drink every five seconds. He spent a lot of time taking notes. For what? It’s not like there would be a test afterwards, and surely his memory could remember something said 30 seconds earlier. When he did look at Biden, he had this weird smirk on his face. And that Eddie Munster hairline doesn’t help matters any……….

Republicans say Biden was rude by interrupting. Better to interrupt those lies rather than let them be spouted out as fact! (Go Joe!) Joe even looked directly at the camera several times, saying, “Folks, listen to me….” or “Folks, here are the facts…..” or “Folks, who do you trust here?” That’s another area where Obama failed. He let Romney spout all those lies as if they were fact, and unfortunately the public believed them. That’s why it’s important to interrupt those lies.

Now on to serious things.

When I was at a photographic art exhibit a couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of talking with the photographer. His work was of flowers and birds. I learned from him how to get my pictures of red and yellow flowers to be more realistic than what my camera was giving me (remember that my wise old grandmother also said “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”). I also learned from him why I liked his bird pictures so much. It’s all in the eyes!

To wit, here is a picture of a monkey at the San Diego Zoo:

Monkey at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s a good picture but I wanted something a little more from it. After realizing that a lot of that monkey’s emotions is in the eyes, I knew what had to be done. I needed to photoshop those eyes so you could see what’s in them:

Oh, no! I see a Twit!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Subtle, yet seeing those eyes adds a lot to the picture, to the emotions of the monkey and to the emotions of the viewer. All I did was highlight the two eyes and then increase the brightness some. Took all of 30 seconds in Photoshop.

It’s all in the eyes!

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pinnochio

I lied (must mean I’m a Republican)

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In a recent post of mine (Imperial Beach, the most southwesterly city in the continental U.S.), I lied! I was misleading to my readers. I’ll let you decide if I should be punished by having to vote for Romney & Ryan.

Pictures in my post:

Tijuana Estuary National Wildlife Refuge, Imperial Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Imperial Beach, most southwestern city

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Original, unaltered pictures:

Imperial Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Imperial Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I thought the original pictures were too cluttered so I tried to clean them up using Photoshop CS6. Cluttered….. Hmmm. Sounds just like politics, doesn’t it? What’s my punishment?Liar!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

You don’t have to be a purist, featuring Zoey the Cool Cat

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Purist” is a word that I don’t think I’ve ever liked because it often is used to put down the creativity of others, creativity which the purist often couldn’t do or didn’t want to do. Now that doesn’t apply to all purists, just probably about 80% of them, which is a good supermajority.

Several decades ago when I was a Realtor, I used to compile a list of all the properties that were for sale in my farming area. I also had the addresses of all the properties, their most recent sale date, and the price they sold at. I got all the information from going down to the Courthouse and searching through the public records. I was told by the established Realtors that a “purist” wouldn’t work that way. Oh. (I lasted in the Texas oil-boom-to-bust longer than they did.)

When I opened a computer store in the mid-1980s, I sent flyers out to all the houses within a five-mile radius. I was told a purist would just have a grand opening and be done with it. Oh. (My competition eventually packed up and moved.)

I have many more examples, but you get the message.

Photography is the same way. Many older photographers, like me, grew up with film cameras and darkroom developing. Now that digital photography and digital photo editing programs like Photoshop, PaintShop Pro, Gimp, and others are here, some of the older photographers seem to be too proud to use them. They claim to be “photography purists.”

Some are even hanging on to the last vestiges of film cameras and developing in their own private darkrooms. Talk about expensive and time consuming. They are still using filters and filter stacking out in the field. Why? “To get the best I can out of the camera.” That’s all well and good, and it’s a lot of fun to be out and about taking pictures, but there is simply no way to get as many pictures out in the field as what Photoshop will give you back at the office.

I submit that if you want to have a lot of fun, learn a good digital photo editing program as well as your camera and your lenses. Once you know what all three can give you — their strengths and weaknesses — you can double or even triple your fun. The way I do this is to dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes each day to whatever new tasks I am seeking to learn. Right now it’s Photoshop CS6.

You don’t have to be a “purist” in order to accomplish what the “purists” accomplish. In fact, the beauty of technology is that, indeed, you don’t have to be a “purist” at all. If you have an interest in something, or see something that someone else did, don’t question whether or not it is “purist.” Just see if you can do the same thing! Explore. And if you accomplish the same thing using different tools, that’s okay! In fact, it just might give you a leg up on your competition.

I just finished reading Best Photoshop Filters, by Susannah Hall (ISBN 978-0-321-75422-6), 415 pages, retails for $49.99. It discusses all the filters in Photoshop CS6, and there are a slew of them.

Photoshop filters are basically presets that allow you to do one-click modifications to your pictures. Following are 26 examples, using Zoey the Cool Cat as our model. With all of the modifications one can make to the presets, there are probably tens of thousands of different things one can do to one’s pictures. I could have sat here all day playing with these filters but at some point, well, there is work to do and bills to be paid…. :(.

Hope you enjoy these. My favorites are 7, 12, 20, 22, and 26, with 20 being my #1. Let me know your favorites.

Picture 1Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 2Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 3Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 4Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 5Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 6Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 7Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 8Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 9Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 10Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 11Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 12Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 13Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 14Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 15Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 16Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 17Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 18Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 19Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 20Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 21Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 22Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 23Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 24Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 25Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 26Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Female lion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

I’m gettin’ good

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For some reason I have this infatuation with wildlife that is either yawning, eating, grooming, or just letting that lazy tongue have a little look-see. At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park this past weekend, the three lions were up close and personal, about two inches away (or whatever the thickness of the glass is). I got what I thought was a great photo of one of the female lions:

Female lion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is not too much that is right with that picture — the lion gets lost in the background; there are flies at the corner of its mouth, on its tongue and on the top of its nose; there’s no contrast between the lion and the background…. Aaack!

Remembering what my wise old grandmother always said as she put together her photo albums and scrapbooks — “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with!” — I first went to Lightroom because I know it better than Photoshop. I didn’t really get anything much better.

Female lion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In trying to get some contrast between the lion and the background, the color cast got shifted. On to Photoshop.

After first working in Adobe Camera Raw, I got a little better contrast and color cast. At that point I took the resulting picture into Photoshop. After duplicating the picture, I applied a layer mask and then highlighted everything around the lion. Then I simply converted the background to black & white. Once that was done, I used a combination of the healing brush, the patch brush, and the clone tool to get rid of the flies.

Photoshop has an excellent feature called Content-Aware. After highlighting the flies, I simply hit the delete key. Photoshop doesn’t actually delete the flies. Instead it fills the area where the flies are, so up pops a Fill window with some options. The option I wanted was Contents, Content-Aware:

Content Aware

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All of that gave me the result that I was looking for, and which the LCD screen in the bright sunshine at the Park indicated I had, but didn’t:

Female lion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Whaddaya think?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When the little Adobe bird chirps….

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

I was going through my flower pictures choosing some for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta when I came across this picture:

Sea lavender

 

It’s a pretty accurate picture of new flowers on a sea lavender (Limonium californicum). As they age, the flowers become a deeper purple. A little Adobe bird was chirping, telling me to play around with that picture in Photoshop or Lightroom. After heeding the chirp of the Adobe bird, this is what I got:

Sea lavender modified

 

I used Lightroom and, in order, made the following changes:

  • increased Point Curve to Strong Contrast
  • changed Contrast to +50
  • changed Clarity to +50
  • changed Blacks to -100
  • changed Shadows to -100
  • changed Vibrance to +100
  • changed Saturation to +100

I usually don’t use such extremes but the more I played around with that picture, the more fun I was having and the more extreme I got. I like the end result, though.

 

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat