Friday, September 30, 2011

that golden hour

One thing that I like about autumn is that I am out and about during the ‘golden hour’ which is so good for photos.  On Saturday we took a walk with cameras around the harbour and caught wonderful reflections and soft warm light on the walls and great shadow and silhouettes.

Here are a sample that I tweaked in PSE


I added a brush stroke filter – brushed edges and cropped for the panoramic dimensions.


I changed the levels and hue slightly to emphasise the sunlight and shadows



In both of these I placed the camera close to the plants growing on the wall and angled so that the sky was behind them.  I added Bonnie’s dappled dawn texture in soft light.


My sister is sitting on the steps taking photos.  I used the poster edge filter (my new favourite).  I love the colours in this one.

All together I enjoyed tweaking the photos with subtle effects, sometimes less is more.

I’m linking up with Friday Photo Art – loving the range of images that people are sharing.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

recognising the everyday shot

Yesterday I walked into my living room and looked at the sofa and thought – that is an everyday shot – it sums up part of my life right now.


I used it with an overlay from Cathy Z and printed as a normal size photo.  This is becoming my favourite method of memory keeping.

Have you had one of those moments or shots recently?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Planning a travel album–suggestions please

I’m gathering ideas for a special travel album.

Over the next 3 months I will be working in 4 or 5 different cities on 3 continents: Kathmandu in Nepal; New York city in USA; Istanbul in Turkey and Nairobi in Kenya.  I’m facilitating workshops for United Nations Development Program aimed at encouraging the people who run elections to do more to ensure that women participate in the elections.  Because the trips are for work I won’t have the opportunity to go sight seeing but I do want to record my impressions of each place. 

I’ve talked before about some of the approaches I’ve taken to memory keeping on the move to suit different situations.  For a family holiday where we took masses of photos – capturing everyone’s visual memory.  For a long nomadic journey – a daily journal.  For a relaxed holiday – taster tags.  I will probably take my tag kit to record the little stories.

I also thought it would be fun to compare the places seeing as I am going to such different cities over a short period of time.  So I was thinking I want to establish a few themes and make sure I have photos of each for each city and then I will create some pages that compare cites by theme (my social scientist’s love of categorising is ever present!).  Looking back on the photos I took in Dhaka (Bangladesh) when I was working there last year, three themes emerge.

I enjoy eating local food wherever I am and also recording the related rituals of the day like the cup of tea.  Although I will be staying in big hotels in each place, all designed for business traveller, I know that there will be differences in the food.  Probably sub-themes are breakast; what I drink and dinner.

All of these photos were taken out of the window as I was driven between my hotel and office.  I like taking these kind of photos so this will be a good comparison theme too.

Some of these are taken from the window of my hotel or office and others on a walk by the lake.
I also have lots of photos of the workshops and participants which will make another good theme.  I’m thinking some details of each hotel would also be good.

What other themes would you suggest?  Remember I can’t count on having time to visit places other than my hotel and workshop venue so photos will be what I happen upon rather than being able to seek things out.

I’ll be asking for food and other suggestions for NYC nearer to my departure on that bit of the trip.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Last week I was in town, near the University campus, sitting enjoying a coffee and idly watching all the new students walking around. I became really interested in the range of shoes and boots. 

I set my camera on the table, pointing at the pavement, and clicked away as people walked by.  I took 25 in about 10 minutes.  The general plan for displaying them evolved in my head on my bus journey home.  I’m pleased with it as a snapshot of life in UK in 2011


I’m linking this up to Friday Photo Art over at Pixel Dust Photo Art.  head over and check out what others are doing – I’m loving the creativity and variety there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer scavenger hunt–final instalment

I’ve had heaps of fun doing this scavenger hunt.  I’ve visited places I wouldn’t otherwise have visited; been excited to see a unicyclist; and obsessed about pirates.

I really liked the variety of items on the list and having several months to find them.  Sharing the excitement with others in blogland as they found items added to the fun – I liked the feeling of a collective hunt for pirates and street art etc.

I’m two short, funnily they are next to each other on the list.  Here is what I managed.


Looking at them all together they represent different aspects of my summer.

Thanks Rinda – looking forward to the next one !

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

it was windy

Last week we had strong wind – not on the scale of the hurricanes – but noticeable.  I was surprised to see that the wind had toppled most of the benches in Princes Street Garden.  Wonder what kept the occasional bench upright.


I added some textures to make the large grass and pavement areas more interesting and the texture really brought out the shadows.  I used two from Kim Klassen – Silent Night (overlay blending mode) and Stamped softly (linear burn blending mode).  The font is Britannica Bold.

I’m linking up to Kim’s Texture Tuesday where this week we were free to use any subject matter and any of Kim’s textures.

Monday, September 19, 2011



journaling reads

Bubbles, big bubbles, I mean really big - I had to stop and watch.

All they were using was string looped onto canes and a big bucket of liquid - so much fun from such simple tools.

I’d watched jugglers and unicyclists and people sitting on tall poles and squeezing through tennis racquets and hoola hooping but these bubbles were my favourite street entertainment at the Fringe this year.


The big word art I used as the title is from Ali Edwards – I’m really enjoying using several of her overlays at the moment.  The texture in the background is a texture from Pixel Dust Photo Art.  I created the template – probably subliminally inspired by Cathy Z.

Are you a bubble fan?

When you date a layout to you put the date you created it or, as I have here, the date the event took place? 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Renaissance plums


Linking up with Bonnie’s Photo Art Friday again.  I love the depth and warm colours in this image.

The plums came from my Dad’s garden and are now chutney but the colours inspired me to take some photos before I cut them up.  I then used several layers of Bonnie’s Old Masters texture to create this look. Love the effect that it has on the colours and contrast.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


My Nan turns 95 this week.  She’s too frail for a big party like she had for her 90th but she will enjoy receiving lots of cards and recognition of her age.

I had a look in the shops for a 95 card but there are very few and non appealed.  I had the same trouble trying to find a 50th wedding anniversary card earlier this year.  Surely neither event is so rare that the card companies can all but ignore them.

Anyway I decided to make a card instead so gathered some supplies in gold and red – my Nan’s favourite colours.  She likes bling too but I didn’t have any in my stash.  The numbers are sold to put onto wheelie bins – I thought they would make a good stencil and make the number the real star of the card.


I used the gold for the card base; cut the numbers from the red; added gold ink to the flowers.  I used foam tape to attach the numbers.


It’s on its way in the mail now to make sure it is there by Saturday. 

And here’s a photo of my Nan and Gramp with me as a baby – their first grandchild

nan 2

and this one has 4 generations – my Mum is on the left and my Nan’s stepmum is sitting.

nan 1

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

autumn glow


I spotted these plants clinging to crevices in a brick wall when snatching a walk between rain showers on a very blustery day.

All have been texturised with Kim Klassen’s autumn glow texture using the colour burn or overlay blending modes which really bring out the contrasts in colours between plants and brick.  Check her texture Tuesday for other uses of this versatile texture.

The frame is from the Coffee Shop blog.

Monday, September 12, 2011

keeping it simple


More and more I’m drawn to recording memories by writing on a photo and adding frames or wordart. 

Here I used a gradient layer to fade the photo on the left to give a clean space to write.  The ‘document’ is from a pack by Cathy Z

Is anyone else watching the rugby?

Saturday, September 10, 2011


About three quarters of all the novels I read are in the sci-fi or fantasy genre and I enjoy the related art that imagines different worlds.  Often there are familiar elements but the colour of sky is different and contains large, colourful moons or planets.  I decided to use this as a theme in some digi art play.


The foreground is a photo I tool last week and the basis of the sea and sky is a photo I took the week before.  I added texture from ShadowHouse Creations and then used some Dark Design planet brushes. 

I enjoyed playing and like the mix of real and imagined.

I was prompted to play and create some photo based art by the new Photo Art Friday at Pixel Dust Photo Art.  I intend to play along each week with a photo based piece.  Pop over and see the wonderful range of art that people have created and shared.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer photo hunt–instalment 11


‘The hunt has got to her’ I can hear you thinking ‘there are no crocodiles on the list, or butterflies, or animals decorated with butterflies’

Don’t worry, the pressure of finding the final items hasn’t got to my sanity – this is part of a political protest that I stumbled upon when I was in town this week.


The animals have been decorated by artists and will be auctioned to raise money.  In the meantime they are hiding around the city.  The website says that the concept will travel to other cities worldwide.

Monday, September 5, 2011

love fireworks

The Festival Fireworks end the Festival season with a fabulous display that many in Edinburgh enjoy for free for various vantage points around the city.  The local radio transmits the live concert so that everyone can enjoy the full spectacle, not just those with tickets for the Prince’s street area.

I love fireworks.  I always try to photograph them – taking masses in the knowledge a few will be OK.  When I saw this template pop up on Scrapping with Liz today I knew it would work well for a selection of photos to give an overall impression and not focus on any one photo.


Journaling reads

ending with a BANG and lots of oohs and aahhs. This year we had a perfect vantage point for the Festival fireworks exploding off the castle and listened to the accompanying life music relayed on local radio. Incredible synchronicity between music and pyrotechnics. I remembered to watch and enjoy as well as press the camera shutter !!!

The font for ‘bang’ is Hootie with wow effects applied in PSE.  The rest of the text is j.d. font.

Are you a firework fan and do you attempt photographs of them?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer photo scavenger hunt–instalment 10

One of the questions on my mind this summer has been ‘what makes a pirate look like a pirate’?  prompted of course by the item on Rinda’s scavenger hunt list.

This is what I had in mind

But unfortunately it is a statue I walk past and not the specified ‘person dressed as a pirate’.

On the first day of the Fringe I was hopeful of finding pirates and spotted these two

but was not convinced – seemed to be swashbucklers and lacking the skulls, missing limbs and parrot.

In the last week of the Fringe I saw that a group were advertising Pirates of Penzance so set off to find one of the performers in costume. 


Not what I had expected but I asked him (Nathan) and he said he was in the pirate chorus.  And he is holding the flyer for the show


So I’m using him as my pirate.