One Four Challenge: Christmas Special

One Four Challenge: December Week 4

One Four Challenge: Christmas Special – December Week 4

The fourth week of this great challenge from Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me will be my last post of 2014. I want to thank you all for your fantastic support and inspiration this year! I hope everyone has a wonderful Festive Season and New Year.

2015 is going to be a wonderful year for me with my wedding to Simon in Kos, Greece, in May and exciting new ventures with my photography. I may have to scale back on all the blogging Challenges and Themes to focus on other projects but I hope to continue with One Four throughout the year. It’s been great fun!

For this week’s image I made use of Photoshop CC’s Motion Blur, Warp Transform, Liquidise and Invert (among other filters) to make a free-flowing, painted look to my edit. I really wanted to fill the frame with colour and movement! This edit is now vastly different from the original photograph, which I will now reveal in my gallery! I really hope that my edits this month can inspire others to experiment with digital art, to paint with light using both the camera and post processing.

Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the poll and comments!


Travel Theme and Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle With Freedom

Travel Theme and Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle With Freedom

I love the freedom of creating abstract photography with lights and glass. It takes me back to my years of painting with oils and developing my photography in a darkroom. Starting out with a simple subject and taking a creative journey, testing, experimenting, without any agenda, just unconscious thought and the joy of the imaginative process.It often makes me feel like a small child on Christmas morning, clutching a full stocking in my trembling hands and trying to guess what’s inside from the feel and sound of its contents!

During such a busy time of year I’ve also been having fun with the freedom to artistically explore my photography with the apps on my phone! I can sit comfortably at my favourite coffee shop with a mocha and a cake and enjoy the simple pleasures of creating something that I hope might surprise and delight. I hope to spread some twinkling, festive cheer with a little gallery of stars based on our tree-topper. I used a combination of Google+ Photos, Aviary, Adobe PS Touch and the brilliantly bonkers Superphoto (all for Android). Have a wonderful silly-season everyone, enjoy the simple pleasures and have fun in all you do 🙂


One Four Challenge: December Week 3

One Four Challenge: December Week 3

One Four Challenge: December Week 3

I’ve taken some inspiration this week from the Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle. I also wanted to make more of a feature of the original subject. I’ve created so many adjustment layers and new background layers for further adjustment that it’s a bit too hard to explain my process step by step! Much of what I do when I’m creating an abstract is unconscious experimentation. To me it feels a lot like the process of painting with oils, creating layers of tone and colour that can be moved around and remoulded to continuously reshape a picture as it grows in your mind’s eye. This one felt like it was growing into a fun starburst! So I do apologise for not going through all my steps this week and just focusing on the resulting image. Hope you all find as much fun in it as I have! Thank you to Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me for hosting this fascinating challenge.

Here are the three edits so far for December:


Blue Monday and Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle

Blue Star

Blue Monday and Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder where you are?
Up above my tree on high,
A diamond sparkling in my eye!


One Four Challenge: December Week 2

December One Four Challenge Week 2

One Four Challenge: December Week 2

I love using abstract digital art to lead a viewer deep inside an image! The first edit of my December image became very vortex-like and reminded a few of us of Doctor Who. I thought I’d stick to a SciFi theme this week that is somewhat inspired by a surreal and brilliant scene within the film Interstellar. How would we see the passage of space and matter when moving at near-lightspeed? How would beings who perceive space in a different dimension to us, whether two or five dimensional, view our world? The mind boggles but it certainly makes for some fun artistic interpretations!

There are eight layers in my image this week which has once again been created using Photoshop. Initially I softened my subject with a Gaussian Blur, then applied a Faded Extrude filter to keep a boost of colour. I then applied a Motion Blur and created three copied layers which were flipped horizontally and vertically and merged with Screen Blending. As ever, many thanks to the lovely Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me for this inspiring challenge 🙂

I’m still keeping the original secret, but here are the two edits so far for this month:


RHS Photographic Competition Winner 2014

Seasons: Winter at Wisley

RHS Photographic Competition Winner 2014

On Friday morning I received an incredibly exciting email. My photograph Winter at Wisley had been awarded 1st place in the Seasons Category of the RHS Photographic Competition 2014! I’ve had to keep the news secret until the awards were made public today. It’s not been easy! If I hadn’t almost lost my voice to a seasonal bug, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. I owe a great deal of thanks to all my followers here on WordPress, not just for the encouragement you all gave me when picking my selections for the competition, but also for the support that you’ve given me since I started blogging almost two years ago. The photographic community we share is inspiring and I’ve learnt so much from you all!

The Rock Garden

In fact I started this blog only three weeks before this image was taken! The snows of early 2013 may gone, but they’re certainly not forgotten and, for me, they never will be. It was also during those winter snows that I captured a photograph called Round Robin, that is featured as the December image for the RHS Photographic Competition Calendar 2015. Last Winter was a disappointing one weather wise, for many across the UK is was more than that, it was devastating. Although my fiancé, Simon, hates the cold I really hope that it’s snow instead of the incessant winds and rain from a year ago that will come our way over the next few months! I know exactly where I’ll be when the snows come 😉

It was great to get feedback from the judges that indicated that I really do achieve my goals of trying to capture the magic of a moment, letting viewers see the world from my own perspective. This is what they said:

“RHS Garden Wisley is a popular subject for many garden photographers, but few are able to capture that balance between a wintry morning, a layering of snow and the warming tones of sunlight – all at the same time. This image brings all these elements together and more – the iced water, the movement from the fountain, the shape of the planting, and the beautiful interest of the Laboratory itself, combine to make a beautiful photograph. Like all good images, the viewer can imagine actually standing there looking out over the water, and feel the chill of the cold”

Well it’s most definitely not been a Blue Monday for me but I will share this with Sally’s weekly challenge for the beautiful blue tones in the skies and reflected in the snow! I’ve added a few extra photos to the post to show you some reworked (in Nik Colour Efex Pro) seasonal images from the Winter at Wisley and Round Robin photo shoots. I’ve also linked to this week’s WPC: Gone But Not Forgotten for the White Christmas we haven’t had for years but I’m hoping will come again!

The Glasshouse