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Sensory Delights

Christmas At Kew

Sensory Delights

It’s the first proper week of the WexMondays challenge and for this week only we can include images from throughout the festive period! I thought I’d focus on the light installations that I went to at both RHS Wisley Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. They were both beautiful, but I was most definitely inspired by the incredible artists who created the various installations at Kew! The experience of both sound and light working in context with the surroundings was simply stunning. My favourite pieces were from artists at Ithaca Studios in Brighton and TILT from France.

 

I’m leading with a piece that captures elements of the final display at the Palm House at Kew. It’s a multiple exposure created from four different parts of the display, blended together using Nik Analog Efex. From across the lake a story of Wintertime enfolded before our eyes. Illumination of the glass Palm House, laser beams and a jaw-dropping projection onto a screen of water from the fountain in the pond, all accompanied by seasonal music and a bit of a crowd sing-a-long to Let It Go from the film, Frozen.

RHS Wisley Garden lights

 

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ShareMondays2018 – My Own Impression

My Own Impression

ShareMondays2018 – My Own Impression

This was the scene I wanted to see at Bushy Park but the mist had lifted at this point! I loved the poise and composition with this stag by the lake though and had to create my own impression. A bit of Nik Analog Efex and some Topaz overlays soon brought my vision together! I also processed it with more detail using Topaz Clarity. Which scene do you prefer?

The Willow Wept

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The Keep

Guildford Castle Keep

The Keep

This wasn’t my intended entry for the Fotospeed challenge today but it’s alway good to have a backup plan! It was my hubby, Simon’s birthday on Saturday so I resolved to leave the cameras packed away and refrain from doing any work. We went into Guildford for lunch at Meat The Greek in Castle Street. Wonderful little place with proper gyros and Greek lemonade! Simon dropped me off nearby while he went to park the car, so I went for a little wander through the Castle Grounds. It all seemed rather sombre under the grey skies, with bare flowerbeds and no visitors! Of course when there aren’t any visitors it’s actually a good time to photograph the castle. Well, I still had my phone. I love this pathway through to the dry moat from the arched underpass. The way it reveals and frames the view up to The Keep is like a little bit of magic. So yes, I did sort of work on my husbands birthday! He understands 😉 I took five images with my Sony Xperia Z5 and the sent them to the cloud so I could merge them and process the scene in Photoshop and Nik Software. I really like how it turned out, matching the mood of the scene that day. We did have a lovely lunch and a family meal out later on, saving Simon from having to do any cooking on his birthday! Exactly as it should be 🙂

Also linked to WPC:Windows

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Weekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Inspired Transition

 

Rainbow Over StonehengeWeekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Inspired Transition

I often find that the very scenes that I am photographing inspire me to create changes in their appearance that transform the original to something from my dreams.

Visiting Watts Chapel in Compton is always an inspiration! The chapel was created by Mary Watts, an Art & Crafts potter and sculptor, and her husband George F. Watts, the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor and painter. When I visited at the end of summer I wondered how the chapel would look at night. Here is a gallery of the Chapel’s transition through processing:

A week ago Simon and I went to visit his step-daughter, my friend Sam, in Somerset for the day. We drive right past Stonehenge every time we go to see them. This time I asked Simon if we could briefly stop near the henge so that I could capture a few photos. There’s a dirt road near the site itself that is just about okay to drive down in our car. I managed to capture the stones from a few different angles and this one pleased me the most. Being one of the most popular tourist attractions of the area, the scene was busy with people even though heavy rain was forecast and the skies were very threatening! Those fabulous skies inspired me to add a rainbow to my image. It’s the scene that I dream of seeing for real one day! Until that magic finally happens for me, my imagination will have to do. Here is a gallery showing the scene’s transition through processing:

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One Four Challenge: July Week 1

One Four Challenge: July Week 1

One Four Challenge: July Week 1

I couldn’t resist this scene captured at Dapdune Wharf in Guildford at the weekend. It seemed an ideal composition for Robin Gosby’s One Four Challenge! As you’ll see in the original image, the sun had dropped and this rundown area beyond the allotments was actually quite dark. It sparked my imagination though. There’s something magical about the setting. So much greenery, almost as if the landscape is reclaiming this lost and lonely spot for its own. I could imagine that this old and unused shed would seem quite sad and forlorn in the midst of winter but Summer has brought it light and warmth. This old shed is probably an important part of the local habitat now. Abandoned by man it can provide shelter for many small mammals and insects. This would be the perfect place for butterflies to overwinter, for hedgehogs to create a home underneath, for birds to build a warm and secure nest.

For my first edit I wanted to bring the warmth of the summer sun back to this scene. First I did an edit in Lightroom using the Greater Than Gatsby Clean Edit Base which I customised to my own liking before opening it in Nik Colour Efex Pro. I applied and customised Tonal Contrast, Detail Extractor, Polarisation, Skylight Filter, Pro Contrast, Reflector Efex, Vignette Filter and Glamour Glow. Now it feels like how I imagined it 🙂

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One Four Challenge: January Week 4

One Four Challenge - January Week 4

One Four Challenge: January Week 4

It’s the final week for January’s One Four Challenge from Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me. I’ve loved working with this Dahlia image this month and I’ve really enjoyed all your great feedback. I thought I would carry on working with the flower in a classic design theme inspired a bit by last week’s image and all the comments I received. My thoughts behind these designs were vintage fabric prints. This week I’ve kept the colour but made the overall look softer and subtle.

Photoshop CC
Select flower using polygonal lasso tool
Refine Edge
Fill Background Black
Select Black Pixels
Refine Edge
Layer via copy
Apply Radial Zoom Blur to both layers
Copy Background Layer and add Radial Swirl
Overlay Blending 20%
Merge and Flatten
Add an Invert Adjustment Layer
Difference Blending
Flatten Image

Greater Than Gatsby
Sentimental Colour Base
Sky Harbour 20%
Bright Pink Burst top left 90%
Soft Lavender Burst bottom right 75%
Eloise 30%
Paddington 20%
Moody Brush applied to flower centre
Bright Contrast 30%
Brooklyn Theatre Fire 60%
Merge and Flatten
Painterly Soft
Flatten Image

Open Paisley Texture Image
Apply Hue/Saturation Adjustment
Apply Brightness/Contrast Adjustment
Flatten Image
Add Texture Overlay to Flower
Create several copies of the flower
Transform size and opacity and place flowers diagonally across image
Merge with Multiply, Soft Light and Normal Blending
GTG Tuscan Vingnette 60%

Analogue Efex 2
Basic Adjustments: +detail -contrast +brightness
Light Leaks: Soft
Cool Film Type

Here’s my gallery of all the images for January and a poll if you would like to choose a favourite:

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One Four Challenge: January Week 3

One Four Challenge - January Week 3

One Four Challenge: January Week 3

It’s the third week of this month’s One Four Challenge, from Robin Gosby at Captivate Me, and I’ve used another combination of processing software to produce something completely different! I don’t expect anyone to try counting them, but there are twenty-four versions of my original dahlia in this composition.

Here’s the list of the processes I took and a gallery of the images.

Photoshop CC
Polygonal Lasso Tool
Select main flower head
Refine edge – feather, smooth and reduce size

Delete Background layer
Apply BW Filters: Yellow, Neutral Density, Maximum Black, Infrared, Blue, Red Filter

Create an invert of all BW versions

Add Black Fill Layer To Background

Copy and paste all versions of the BW Flower
Resize, rotate, and arrange
Duplicate selected layers to completely fill the image
Blend with a combination of Luminance, Overlay, Hard Light and Difference
Use Soft Eraser at Low Opacity to gently soften petal edges and details
Merge Visible
Flatten Image

Greater Than Gatsby
Lighthouse at 15%
Stillwater at 25%
Clean Drama at 25%
Soft Cool Burst 20% bottom right

Lightroom
Import with GTG Muted Edit Preset
Drop Clarity -10
Vignette +10

Nik Software
Colour Efex Pro 2
Tonal Contrast
Detail Extractor
Pro Contrast
Glamour Glow
Graduated ND

Export to Lightroom
Noise Reduction
Split Toning mauve highlights