Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good Fences Thursday - 5/29/14 "Broken Fence"

Good Fences Thursday challenges us to post an image of a fence or gate each week.

"Broken Fence"
another fence photo taken in early morning fog
See more of my fog photos HERE.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Abstract Photo - 5/28/14 "Medallion"

NF Photography prompt: Abstract Photo

Photoshop Hint: there are lots of ways to change the colors on your photos in Photoshop.

This is one very easy way:
Create a new (empty) layer above the image layer you want to color.
At the top of your layers box, change the mode from "normal" to "color."
Choose an appropriate brush and foreground color, and start painting on the color layer.

Because this creates a transparent color, you may not achieve super-saturated colors.
If, however, you want your color to be lighter, just change the opacity of the color layer.

If you want to be sure that the color goes only in a certain area, you can select a part of the image below the color layer, then move back to the color layer and color inside the select lines with a brush or use control and F5 to fill the entire selected area. (For a more natural edge, after you select an area, you might want to feather the select area about 3 pixels.)

Although it is not necessary, you may want to add different colors to different layers so they are more easily edited or so you can make one color more transparent than another.  However, if, you color one layer red and want to add a blue layer above it, if your brush gets some blue where the lower layer was red, it will turn blue, not mix with the red to make purple.  However, you can change the opacity of the blue layer to let the red show through if you want it to look purple. (Below, see where the turquoise and magenta seem to blend near the corners ---that was done by make the magenta transparent.)

Whites and blacks will not color much or not at all. If you want a touch of color, create a new layer in normal mode, color the white or black area on that layer, then change the transparency so you can see the details of the original image and also see some color. An alternative method is to change whites to light grays and blacks to dark grays so the color layer will add a hint of color. 

Copied, pasted and repeated parts of the original photo,
inverted with added shading and color.
Original photo
of exterior terra-cotta details,
Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts,
Pittsburgh, PA (U.S.A.)
(originally the Penn Theater)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Today's Flowers and I Heart Macro 5/24/14

For Saturday's photo prompts Today's Flowers and I Heart Macro:

Scroll down for a Memorial Day poem for Open Link Monday's writing prompt for 5/26/14.

Found this single plant at a garden center yesterday.
It wasn't labeled, so I didn't know what it was.
However, I was looking at another blog this morning and saw a much

smaller pink flower just like this.  It was identified as an
Aquilegia-columbine.  These blooms were each about 4-5 inches across. 

For Open Link Monday there is no specific theme for a poem, but on 5/26/14 it was suggested that one might choose to write about Memorial Day. I find Memorial Day and Veterans' Day the saddest of holidays, because war always seems futile to me.  Even if a war's purpose is honorable, too many lives are lost when humans resort to violence to settle their differences. Even if a battle is won, were the lost lives worth the outcome? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

I decided to use my photo of a columbine as a symbol, because the 5 violet petals suggest a star. Columbines reseed and therefore come back each spring to replace what was lost in the previous fall. I used it as a metaphor for the renewing of life, even of life lost in war.

(Ode to a Columbine)

 The violet petals
In the shape of a star,
A memorial to those
Who fought vainly afar.
A white cup holds stamens
To erase battle's scar,
Renewing life's flora
Lost in unvarnished war.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Good Fences Thursday - 5/22/14 "Sunday Morning Fog"

At Good Fences Thursday, we are challenged to post a photo of a fence or gate each week. I have found so many memes or prompts I'd like to post to, that I probably will not do the same ones every week.

At 6 am on Sunday morning, I looked outside to see if it had started to rain, as the weather
reader had promised. When I saw how foggy it was, I grabbed my camera and flew out
the door.  I love taking photos in fog.  I drove on country roads for nearly 2 hours searching
for good scenes to capture in the fog.  Quite a few have fences in them, since I was driving
around farm country.  However, this fence was around a huge estate that I never knew
was there.  The sun was rising on the left when I took this ---and the fog was beginning
to lift. Later, I took a walk and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  So much for the weather forecast!
See more of my fog photos HERE.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Abstract Photo - 5/21/14 "Silver and Blue"

NF Photography prompt: Abstract Photo

Often when I create abstracts, I find one of my photos that is ugly, a mistake, blurred, or that I have no practical use for and challenge myself to make something artistic from it. I have no idea why I snapped the photo my abstract is based on. Perhaps it was the mystery of what was attached to the post and removed, leaving only scraps of tape.
"Silver and Blue"
(my high school's colors)
Cropped, enhanced, manipulated, reworked.
Original photo taken at a local park from above
a painted, square wooden post with duct tape
and other blue tape stuck to the top. The
background is shredded bark mulch.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Abstract Photo - 5/14/14 "Neutral Textures"

NF Photo has an weekly photo prompt for abstract photos.
"Neutral Textures"
In this case, I snapped the photo accidentally and

moved at the same time, so it was blurred as well.
I blurred this one even more, adjusted the colors, added
the perception of depth and texture, then rotated it.
My intention was to make it look more like a painting than a photo.

Many of the photos I take that turn out to be "abstract" were mistakes.  Perhaps I snapped a photo when I wasn't intending to or I ended up with a photo so blurred that one can't determine what the image was supposed to be.  As an artist, I save those that look interesting and that I think I might be able to use.

Now I've found the perfect reason to post them.
This is the original photo which I mistakenly took in my
home office/art studio. The darkest slanted shape is a doorway.
Almost everything else (except the walls and ceiling)
consists of art projects and supplies.
Like many artists, I'm organizationally impaired.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Art and Photo Prompts - Week of May 11th, 2014

I've been working on a bunch of time-intensive projects over the past year or so and not posting much to my blog.  Recently I searched for prompts to inspire me and found about 20 art and/or photo prompts that I plan on visiting and posting images to ---when I can.

There must be hundreds of memes out there and I cannot do them all, so I will pick and choose, based on what inspires me on a particular day.

Although I may create a new post for each, I may post one photo that will qualify for or fit the theme of several prompts or post a few images for several different prompts on a single post.  Even though I have a ton of photos and art work to choose from, I will create something new when I have the time.

I am a professional artist and an amateur photographer, so I try to combine both of my loves in many of my images.

Today's theme for NF Inspiring Photography is: CATCHING LIGHT

I 'm  also linking to Sweet Shot Tuesday Week 20.
P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley
Wednesday Around the World is for
women to show what is happening
where they live ---anyplace in the world.
Spring blossoms found along the path during a morning walk
at a community park in western Pennsylvania, USA.

I've been experimenting with blurring and textures in
my backgrounds in an attempt to add an artistic touch to my photos.
(click on any image for a larger view)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Near Manaus, Brazil - Skywatch Friday

When I flew to Manaus in August of 2011 and when I flew out of the city a few days later, there were huge cloud formations below the plane.  I particularly liked this shot I took as the sun was setting in the Brazilian skies.

Go to Skywatch Friday to see sky images others have posted, or post your own.