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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Roses on a Blanket


My husband was sick so I decided to drop by a florist's shop and check in on their flowers. It was towards the end of a Friday afternoon and the above roses were $1.00 each. Boy did I have fun photographing roses that weekend!

The above roses are resting on a creamy colored blanket.

The only thing I did on this image was to smudge everything and clone a few places.

When I was entering competition this never won any awards, but this image got my highest score in 4 state competition - it got a score of 91.

Challenge for today:

Bring out the beauty in flowers in a simple setting.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mosaic Vase


Mosaic glassware is beautiful with light shining upon it....however......it pretty well has to be empty in order to get the best advantage of light bouncing off of it. I have photograph the above vase many times, but most of the time I have flowers in it.

Anyway, back to the photo. The background I used for this image is the same I used for the image I posted on August 18.

For the flowers I used a couple of roses which were past their prime and placed them in front of the vase.

After I photographed the image and got it into the computer I placed a textured image I had created and placed it as a layer upon the image I had just photographed. Because I only wanted the final result to look a little like a painting, I adjusted the opacity of the textured layer so that only a bit of it was showing up on the original photograph.

Challenge for today:

Remember you can still photograph flowers which are past their prime. Try it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tulips and Glassware


This may not look too creative, but for me having the glass plate in an upright position in front of a glass jar is being creative.

For me this was just a fun photo shoot experimenting with clear glass and tulips/daffodils. I actually have quite a few versions of all of this and I'll be sharing at least one more version further on.

Anyway, the background in the original image was white poster board.

After I got the image into the computer I took a textured image I had created which is just made up of colors. I then darkened it quite a bit before I placed it as a layer on the image I had just photographed. Then after quite a bit of mixing and erasing and adding back onto the original image, I got the above look.

It looks kinda wild and modern and I like the final result.

Challenge for today:

Experiment with positioning glassware in unusual positions.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Roses in a Cookie Jar


The one thing about looking at magazines - you gain new ideas. However using a cookie jar was entirely of my own thinking.

Now actually this isn't a very good picture - the roses look too pale. Yet, I like the image because I used an antique cookie jar AND the background is one of my own images printed out to a size 12" by 18" in length.

Nothing special was done to the image except smudging the foreground material a bit.

Challenge for today:

Once again, try your hand at printing out and use one of your own images as the background.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Morning Glories and Other Flowers


I had a soft, pastel colored night gown. I love it; however when you start using clothes as a part of the background/foreground, you generally are limited on how much material you actually have to use in the picture.

Anyway, I was willing to take the risk and I helped minimize my photography problem by using the material only in the foreground and I used white poster board for the background.

I'm not a floral arranger and the flowers in the vase proves it, but I do like the way the morning glories are arranged on the material. (Remember, morning glories tear easily and they are called morning glories for a reason.)

After I got the shot I wanted and downloaded the image into the computer, I got out a textured image I had created and placed that as a layer. With such light colors on the background/foreground it was easy to adjust the opacity of the layer and get just enough of a "painting" look.

Challenge for today:

Start thinking about photographing some morning glories - the blossoms are large and they can fill up a lot of space in an image.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hollyhocks and Peppermint


I love it when flowers have large blossoms because they take up a lot of space.....And to be able to photograph flowers which seem SO much a part of the past - WOW!!!!

BUT.......hollyhocks DO have major photographing problems.

1. The flower stems are extremely tall - some over 6 feet!
2. Their seed pods makes the stems top heavy which causes the stem to twirl around and difficult to arrange in a vase.
3. When you are in the flower garden you pretty much have to decide which stem to cut into. A stem may have over 25 unopened buds on it, 3 blossoms in full bloom, 1 blossom starting to open, and 7 seed pods. And everything seems to be randomly placed on the stem. You might have 1 full blossom 5 inches down from the top of the stem.....then another flower in full bloom 7 inches further down........
4. And hollyhocks are biannual.

Now back to the above image.

I chose a few stems which had blossoms close to the top. Because the blooms were toward the top, I was able to leave most of the stem still intact with the plant for further blooming.

I then picked some fresh peppermint to add a different color to the picture and to add more foliage to the image.

I chose cream color material for the foreground and background because I knew I was going to add a light colored textured background later with the computer.

After I shot the picture I wanted, I downloaded it into the computer and placed a textured layer over the hollyhock image. I adjusted the opacity and then I went into Photoshop Elements 3 and used the pastel filter. Because I wanted to offset the brightness of the pastel image, I went back and made a layer of the pastel filter and placed it over the combined textured layer/hollyhock image and then adjusted the pastel image's opacity.

Challenge for today:

Hurry up and plant those hollyhock seeds. You still might be able to get some blooms next year. But you have to hurry now!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oranges and Flowers


Many paintings use the combination of fruit and flowers and you can too. If you don't have any in your yard, next time you go to the store just purchase several oranges, apples, etc. Of course you should know ahead of time how you will use the fruit in your photo shoot.

In order to minimize the cost of purchasing fresh produce, it helps when you plan on using a small vase. A small vase means you don't have to have a lot of space to fill up with flowers and fruits/vegetables.

Now on to the above image. The vase I used in the image wasn't too much bigger in height than the oranges I used.

For the background material, I used my favorite all around Wal-Mart purchased material. It is VERY WIDE and I have at least 3 yards of it. This gives me a lot of moving around room. One thing I love about about this material is the coloring. It has different shades of brown, yellow, red, etc., in it.

One of the hard things about still life images is trying to make everything seem like it ISN'T a still life and trying to keep it from being boring. Somehow peeling one of the oranges and leaving what I peeled on the table beside the orange makes it seem more realistic and not boring.

Challenge for today:

Check out the fruits and vegetables available and try your hand at combining them into an image with flowers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pretty Petals


I fell in love with these flowers, though I'm not quite sure what they are. There is something about the petals which excite me!

I placed the flowers and some ground cover in a small vase.

For the background I used white poster board because I knew I wanted to add a textured background. White would not compete against the colors of the background I was going to add later.

After I got the image I wanted into my computer I added the textured background and adjusted the opacity of the textured layer.

I then combined the added textured layer to the original image and then saved everything as a different image.

As a finishing touch I softened the image a bit.

Challenge for today:

Take a close look at those flower petals.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Morning Glories


Morning glories are beautiful, but you DO have to get to them early in the morning for they close when it gets pretty sunny outside and they do close on you after a while inside. Also be careful in picking them because their petals are very delicate and tear easily!

For this image I picked a few and placed them in a simple vase. The background I used was white poster board. I knew I was going to place a textured background as a layer on top of the photograph so I went ahead and made everything simple by using white as the background.

After I took the photo and chose which one I wanted to use, I got the image into the computer and pasted a textured layer on top of the original photograph. I then adjusted the opacity of the textured layer.

Then when I was pleased with the way the image looked, I softened the combined image/layer and "softened" it.

Challenge for tomorrow:

See if you can find some morning glories or some wild morning glories to photograph.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Gentle Flower


I had a surprise show up in my garden - a single gladiola. I had planted it the year before and though it came up......it never bloomed. I know you are supposed to dig up those bulbs, but I've never done so. Well anyway....I sure was surprised to see the thing up and blooming the year after I planted it.

Now back to the photo. I had a medium sized nightgown which had soft colors on it. So I decided to try and use the nightgown as the material for this shoot. Since I didn't have a lot of material to work with, I had trouble hanging and draping the material. And the material had seams in it and it had a front and a back as clothes do have. So it WAS difficult to work with.

With such a shortage of material, I had to use a small vase which worked out fine since I didn't have too much of a flower to work with. (The gladiola was just about gone before I knew I had a blossom out in my garden.)

Though I really do hate the way the top part of the material drapes down, I really do like the way it ends up curving around the vase and on out to the edge of the image.

Though I did smudge the vase because it actually had a green line and small pink flowers on it, I didn't smudge anything else in the picture. I didn't want to destroy the curve of the material.

Challenge for today:

Check your flower garden again to see if something interesting has started blooming.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Fog


I had gone on a camping trip and had gotten up before dawn because I wanted to get a photo of colors of the sun rising. The above image was taken as I looked down at a river as the sun was rising. There was some fog in the area, but I sure was surprised when I got the image back from processing and I had the fog as a golden color. I scanned the negative into my computer AND the color was golden. The processing center had not adjusted the color.

The only thing I did with the above image was to clone out a couple of areas in the foreground.

Challenge for today:

Capture some of the dawns and sunsets in your area.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Cat

Sometimes You Cannot Create the Pose!

Sometimes you get poses which you cannot create, but you CAN kinda push it along.

My cat was on a table and I just put the bowl in front of her.

I then did a special effect in some software.

But the main thing is the cat looking down at an empty bowl.

Challenge for today:

Look around for possible photos with your pets.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Pathway


I took this picture about 10 years ago and it is gentle enough that I like it.

This image is the result of going into some software and letting the software do a special effect. That is all that I remember about this picture's history. I'm sorry, but at least you can enjoy a little bit of the calm of nature.

Challenge for today:

Take a walk and photograph the trees.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Spring in the City


I wanted to utilize 2 antique vases. They are called "Gufus Glassware." (I'm not sure if Gufus is the right spelling....) Anyway, the glassware is painted in the inside of the vase. So, a lot of this kind of antique glassware has the paint coming off from the inside of the vase.

Now back to the actual photo. I placed the two vases close enough together so it looks like all of the flowers are in one vase; however, I placed the vases enough at an angle that you can clearly see the flower design on each one of the vases.

I used a really dark lavender material for the background. Then I placed some yellow material on a table to be a part of the foreground.

After I shot the photo I went added a texture image and placed it as a layer onto the photo I had just taken. I then adjusted the opacity enough to give the final image some extra interesting color/texture.

Challenge for Today:

Try and photograph two vases together.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Purple Coneflower


Photographers have had fun for years merging photos together. The above image is what I merged by using the computer.

I took a photo I had taken of a purple coneflower on a small blue dish. I then took a photograph I had taken of an outside light by my front door.

And I just combined the two images together!

Challenge for today:

Again, I think I am well protected from a computer crash. As far as I know everything I've ever done I have on both DVD's and portable hard drives. Are you as well protected?????

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cosmos and Zinnias


Forgive me for such a long time between posts. I never knew that a thunderstorm can create problems for your computer even though your computer is unplugged AND the lightning is just only too close for comfort.

Now that I'm back in business, I'll start with the above image.

I chose orange and yellow and a touch of lavender because the colors go so well together.

The pot is only about 4 inches high - so you see the entire image fits quite closely together.

After I shot the image I got it into my computer and made a layer out of one of my textured images and started adjusting the opacity of the textured layer. I only wanted enough of the textured image to show to give the final image an overall idea of being a painting.

Challenge for today:

Make sure you have adequate backup for all the images you have placed into your computer and make sure you keep the backup in a safe place!