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ShareMondays2020 – Circle Of Life

Circle Of Life

ShareMondays2020 – Circle Of Life

Circle Of Life

The circle of life
Constant in change
What begins
Must cease
We bud
We bloom
We wither
All too soon
Time is linear
Our pathway
Often twisted
Seemingly occluded
Cannot be resisted
Only forward
Straight backed
Stooping
Drooping
Fading
Decaying
Another will rise
And fall in time

I’ve spent the last week watching my tulips bloom and wilt, documenting their decline in photographs. Entropy is the constant in life. This composite is a visual representation of that journey. Every stage is beautiful.

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ShareMondays2020 – For The Fallen

For The Fallen

ShareMondays2020 – For The Fallen

Everyday we hear the statistics, the numbers. I don’t want to forget that every number is a person. An individual with life ahead of them. With loved ones. With hopes and dreams. This for them, the fallen. They should never just be a statistic.

As my roses started to wilt, I was reminded of a poem I wrote many years ago. I was newly diagnosed with the Crohn’s, and bit by bit, all my own hopes and dreams were stripped away from me. I survived though! I still have a life ahead of me and many loved ones. I have fought hard to live so they don’t have to grieve.

My sincere condolences to all the family and friends of those who have been taken by this dreadful virus.

Youth

A single rosebud,
Dew dropped
And heaven scented,
Plucked by its stem
As a gift presented.
A tainted token,
Its arteries broken,
Uprooted and taken.
To watch it now wilt,
All that’s felt is guilt
For natures treasures forsaken.

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Dispersion and Twirls in Photoshop

Set The Music Free 3

Dispersion and Twirls in Photoshop

With the current restrictions on going outdoors, many photographers are using this time to go through their back catalogues and learn new techniques. I am part of the fantastic SheClicks community for female photographers. Last week one member shared her experiments with the Twirl technique. I will add links to YouTube tutorials for both techniques at the end!

By the end of the week, we were all hooked! Between us all, I think we could fill a few galleries with these fun abstract pieces. You can also use the twirled images as overlays or textures. Some members used the effect to create an abstract background, revealing a part of the main image through masked layers. I loved some of the peacock twirls that others had done so I thought I’d have a go too! Here are my before and after images.

I decided this was the perfect time to finally learn a technique that I have wanted to do for years! The dispersion technique can be used to great effect to make your subject appear to be disintegrating, or exploding outwards. It’s a fun way to create a story for a portrait shoot. I went back to some images I made last year with my dear friend, singer-songwriter, Julia K. I’ll start with a simple edit where I have kept the background clean and simple. The act of singing appears to be reverent, a prayer to the gods.

Julia K

Initially we wanted to visualise sound through shapes and movement. It was a great opportunity to use long exposure and light-painting to frame a story within my images. We took inspiration from the name of her studios, Firespark, and brought in some indoor sparklers and fireworks. Yes, we did set off the fire alarm a couple of times! It’s such a joy to be able to work with a fellow creative, just exploring different ideas, even if they do sound a bit bonkers.

Firespark

I wanted Julia to be static in the images, with the sound emanating from her and surrounding her. We tried a number of different poses that allowed me to create in-camera double-exposures, as well as single images that I could turn into composites within Photoshop. Both techniques are creatively satisfying with similar, yet distinctive results. In-camera multiple exposures always have a more organic feel to them. Creating a composite using Photoshop gives you a much crisper end result. In these three edits of my image of Julia, you can now see why I had her looking up into the space above her. The spirit of music is reaching out to her.

I think I was attracted to the dispersion technique because it brings back that organic feel to a digitally created composite! In addition to using dispersion, I also brought in some overlays of musical notes that I warped, to give them a sense of movement as they explode out from the microphone. Including a bit of texture, with an overlay to the background, added to the organic feel I was looking for. I made three final images for Julia to choose from; full colour, monochrome and selective colour, that revealed the vibrant red against the black and white. Selective colour is very much Julia’s signature look, her brand. I knew she’d choose that one, but which look do you prefer?

I have called this piece Set The Music Free. It’s given me inspiration for creating more stories from other images in my back catalogue, as well as some future projects that I really hope to be able to do with Julia in the future! I hope this has given some of you a bit of inspiration to learn some new techniques and keep creative during this turbulent time. You can learn how to do these two techniques in the following video tutorials. Have fun with them!

Twirling:

Dispersion:

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ShareMondays2019 – Gold Dust

 

Gold Dust

ShareMondays2019 – Gold Dust

Inspired by the Autumn golds at RHS Wisley Gardens last week. I will let the images speak for themselves today!

Liquid AmberEye to EyeAutumn Borders

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ShareMondays2019 – Put A Spell On You

The Cat

ShareMondays2019 – Put A Spell On You

So this is what happens when a coven of six, female creatives gather together for Halloween fun, food and photos! I couldn’t resist getting Nadie to create some poses that I could work a bit of magic into in processing. I even managed to take a couple of spooky selfies!

The Crone

Put A Spell On You

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Weald Way Woods

Chestnut Woods

Weald Way Woods

This beautiful woodland sits on land alongside the ancient Weald Way. In Spring the ground is carpeted with bluebells, now, in Autumn it’s crisp with leaf litter and bracken. The golden light in the late afternoon barely breaks through the canopy of leaves remaining on the trees. Even on a really chilly, late October weekend, I felt the warmth.

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ShareMondays2018 – Ghosts And Echoes

Ghosts

ShareMondays2018 – Ghosts And Echoes

Ghosts: A colourised, black and white image of seed-pods ghosting among the grasses at Heather Farm Wetlands Centre. I loved the way they moved in the breeze, seemingly detached from the rest of the plant. The scene called to my memories of black and white film photography and experimenting in the darkroom. As I looked through the lens I could see high key, stained and etched, showing the pods off like fireworks or bursting stars. Really happy with the end result!

Echoes: One of the things that I loved doing in the darkroom was multiple exposures, either from one negative, or several, to create my art. Echoes was created from three exposures, one with more contrast and two slightly offset exposures that shifted the focal point of the subjects. This image is a homage to the way I used to work in film, now created using digital processing. Digital doesn’t dilute the origins of creative photography, it has provided me a way to recreate darkroom processes as well as opening up so many more ways to be creative with post processing in colour as well as black and white.

Echoes

Ghosts and Echoes are a memory of the past, a celebration of the present and excitement for the future of the photographic process.

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Blue Monday: In Dreams

Paintily Summer Blues

Blue Monday: In Dreams

Blue Monday is hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor in honour of Smiling Sally
Smiling Sally

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

Halloween inspired Jackdaw and Bloodmoon

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

A couple of scenes transmogrified especially for Halloween!

Haiku: From The Murk

In the mist and murk
Lost and forgotten places
Weird and wild things lurk

For Blue Monday I have included these creepy blue frogs from Marwell Zoo!

Blue Frogs

Blue Monday is hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor in honour of Smiling Sally
Smiling Sally