Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Look up look down @ the museum

I’ve created a button for everyone joining in with this weekly photo project


– you can grab the code on my bar on the left – so lovely to see what everyone is seeing when they look up and down with their camera

I took my photos on a trip to the museum.  I love looking at the structure of the main foyer, as well as the exhibits.  I took the photos on the 1st floor.


Several comments mentioned the arrow frames, so I’m using them again.  I created them using a digital ‘brush’ from Ali Edwards ‘This Way 3x4 journal cards’ brush set.

Monday, January 28, 2013

If you don’t know where you are going

Browsing quotes about journeys (as you do), I found three different endings to the proposition that you don’t know where you are going




seems to be a version to fit all levels of optimism and any situation.  In my general Pollyanna style I tend towards the last one but can see that the other two are also valid.  Which speaks to you?

{the quotes are from Yogi Berra, Steve Maraboli, and Lewis Carroll}

Friday, January 25, 2013

playing with hardware

Hardware is Bonnie’s suggested theme for PhotoArt Friday this week, so at the weekend I kept my eyes open for likely subjects.  I had in mind chunky, rusty iron and just before I reached the cafe I spotted some rusting bolts and pieces on a pole.

Home again I started to play with artistic filters and textures to emphasise the hardness of the pieces.


Then I decided it would be fun to go the opposite route and combine the hard metal with some soft and fluid actions


As always I had a lot of fun playing and am pleased with both pieces.  Looking forward to see what others have done.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Look up, look down–week 3

Lovely to see other join in with the look up, look down and fun to see the similarities and differences.


All our snow has melted but still overcast.  I managed to capture some geese in flight for my ‘up’ .  And for my ‘down’ I made use of the puddles for some lovely reflection.

Looking up may well be a good idea this week as it is reportedly the most depressing week of the year in the Northern hemisphere.  If smiling can increase feelings of happiness, perhaps looking up also raises the spirits – worth a try.

Monday, January 21, 2013

lifting a group portrait

When I first saw this album cover from The Script  I wanted to replicate it with my sister and her boys


So over Christmas I asked them all to pose and was surprised  pleased that all three agreed.  I took each portrait in front of a white wall and positioned them in the appropriate positions, using a printout of the album cover as a guide.

Then using the pixel magic of Photoshop Elements I extracted each head, adjusted the light, positioned them together and tidied it up.  Much easier than I had feared, I think because of the white background and correct pose in the original photos (and I’ve used all these tools within PSE before).



As it turned out that was the easy bit.  Then I showed it to the family and had suggestions of making it lighter / darker / black and white / with a colour behind.  So I created another 8 versions


and each person has a different favourite so it looks like I’ll be ordering a series of different prints. But that’s the magic of digital images.

Which is your favourite – I’m sure we can find a backer for each of them !!

Friday, January 18, 2013

exit or entrance?

When Bonnie suggested ‘exits and/or entrances’ as the PhotoArt Friday theme for this week, I immediately knew which quote I wanted to use – a favourite since my teens when I read the Tom Stoppard play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead  at school. The line is part of a discussion amongst actors but I think it relates to live broadly.

Then I remembered that I had taken several photos of grand doors and gates in Vienna last year.  i was all set for some digital magic.


After trying lots of textures and blend levels I decided to use a different approach for the view through the gate and the rest of the photo.  At that point I was glad I had chosen a square gateway as it was easy to cut the necessary piece from the textures.

The scene through the gateway uses the perfect texture using colour burn blending.  On the outside I used 3 different textures and forgot to record the details.

The quote still resonates and I’m glad this prompt brought it to the front of my memory.  Do you have quotes that you found in your teens that still resonate?

Looking forward to seeing how others interpret entrance and exit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Up and down–moon and snow

I’ve been delighted to see how the idea of taking a photo looking up and a photo looking down has struck a chord with several others.

I really have been looking up more often on my walks over the past days, seeking out ideas for interesting up photos.


On Monday the new moon was so clear in the cloudless sky just after sunset that I had to capture it.

On Tuesday it started to hail and then snow while I was out for a walk and I liked these pushchair and footprints through the resulting ground cover (it melted an hour later).

Looking forward to seeing what other have captured in tilting the camera up and down.

Monday, January 14, 2013

52 pictures of me

Last year I took a picture of me each week. I had loose rules that included shadows and one bit of me, such as hands or feet.  I managed to keep it up for each week.

So last week I was faced with deciding how to use 52 pictures of me for a 2 page spread.  I decided not to do them chronologically as there is no discernable change.  I had been thinking of a square grid but when I came down to the creation process that was just not exciting me.  So I was looking through my digi templates and came across two sets of hexagon grids by C Livesay (Design House Digital) and decided to give them a go.


I grouped my photos roughly by type so this page has all of the feet photos and the hand photos and all the shadows are on the second page


I’m happy with the hexagon grid and will use it again.

I think the photos give a nice snapshot of the year.  I’m not repeating the project this year, although I do have a photo of me for the first 2 weeks of the year – I think I’ve got the habit now of using the self timer on the camera regularly.

On Wednesday I’ll be posting my current weekly photo project – look up – look down.  I’m delighted that two blogfriends – Miriam and Alison are joining me on this project.  Happy to have others join in too. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

PhotoArt Friday with brown rice paper


Bonnie provided a lovely texture for us to use in our photoart this week.  I looked through my photos from first week of this year and chose 2 to apply the texture.

On this first one I went with the canvas like quality of the texture and applied the PSE artistic filter ‘paint daubs’ first and then the texture using Linear Light. 

My second photo is from an event I went to on 1st January called Fortuna.  There were a series of free entertainments in different venues.  At the start you rolled dice and were given a venue card to correspond with the number you rolled.  A fun way to spread the crowd around.  One of the events was an inflatable ‘Roman temple’ for the goddess Fortuna.


I used another of Bonnie’s textures – Virtually Vintage – first on colour burn and then the Brown Rice Paper texture on Vivid Light.  I love how the image looks older and warmer.

Looking forward to seeing what others do with the texture this week.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

look up, look down, repeat 52 times


I like having a photo subject that I capture each week.  In 2011 I took a monthly photo of my feet and of my local river from the same spot.  Last year I have a weekly self portrait (working on putting them all together on 2 pages and will share soon).

I liked the weekly prompt and decided this year to have the simple ideas of up and down.  These are my two for the first week.  I think they capture the weather nicely.

It is unseasonably mild here at the moment and I was amazed to find a flowering snowdrop in my garden.  I want to record the first sighting of different flowers too.


Anyone else got plans for a regular photo theme for the year?

Monday, January 7, 2013

exploring ‘paper camera’

My nephew introduced me to a new picture app – paper camera – and I’ve been playing with it on my new mini tablet.


There are 13 effects which you use to take the picture.  The various sketch-esque ones seem to work best when there are strong shapes


And, not surprisingly, several work much better when there is good light.


I haven’t printed any yet and will be interested to see how these samples print up.  I suspect they will work best when kept small.

This app costs £1.19 which I think is well worth it for the range of effects.  It is easy to use and does allow some control on contrast, brightness and lines.  It’s available for android and apple.

Anyone else been using it?  any other image effects you’d recommend?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday PhotoArt returns

Anotehr step on the return to creative rhythm with PhotoArt ready for the Friday share on Bonnie’s blog.

When I came across this amazing strucutre someone had created on the beach on a December walk I knew I’d use it for some photoart,


and then seeing The Hobbit led me to thinking of quests and strange messages written on stone.

So I used a photo I took of me on a (different) walk recently,


added some of Bonnie’s textures, found a Tolkien-esque font (Hobbiton Brushhand) added PSE magic and creative play and here we are



here’s to curiosity and taking the first step

and plenty of shared photoart

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

December done and dusted

And for the twelfth time I bring you a numerical summary of the month just gone – thanks to Julie for the idea and connection point.


Looking forward to continuing these summaries in 2013 and thinking about doing some record keeping of more obscure numbers for some months – see how it goes.

Reading over before I press ‘publish’ I looked at my title and wondered if I should change it as I think that ‘done and dusted’ is a Scottish ?  UK?  phrase – is it a phrase with which you are familiar (formality to avoid ending sentence with a preposition!).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year Blogland



Wishing all my blog friends a Happy 2013.

Or as the Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations have it


Back with some more numbers tomorrow to wrap up 2012