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


Blue Monday: Clipper Blue-Subspecies

Clipper Blue-Subspecies

Blue Monday: Clipper Blue-Subspecies

Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor has taken over hosting Blue Monday in Sally’s memory and we’re all still sharing happy blue images in her honour. Today I’m posting the last of the blue butterflies from the Butterflies in The Glasshouse event at RHS Gardens Wisley. This is a Clipper Blue-Subspecies and I will admit to having worked on this beautiful creature in Photoshop to fix some bad tears in those lovely wings! It was more damaged than I’d realised upon seeing it in the Glasshouse. The camera may tell the truth but the eye only sees the beauty 🙂

Part of Smiling Sally’s Blue Monday now hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor
Smiling Sally


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:


Weekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Paint A Happy Place

Claremont Gardens

Weekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Paint A Happy Place

Before fibromyalgia affected my manual dexterity I painted in many mediums, oils being my favourite. Chronic illness can’t destroy my creativity though! Art is not simply something that I do, it defines me. I just love Painting With Light, almost the literal meaning of photography. I’m often at my happiest finding scenes that inspire me, like these ones captured at Claremont Landscape Gardens, and using my imagination and creativity through digital processing to paint my visions. For these pieces I first processed my images in Camera Raw then worked on them extensively in Photoshop. I wanted to capture the essence of an old masterpiece by Constable or Turner, focusing on rich tones with strong elements of light and shadow.


One Four Challenge: July Week 2

One Four Challenge: July Week 2

One Four Challenge: July Week 2

Yes, I know, I’m late! My brain clearly wasn’t firing on all cylinders on Monday. Having completed the post, I then somehow forgot to actually publish it. Doh!

My second edit for July’s One Four Challenge from Robyn Gosby is a vintage style. The scene made me think of a photograph you might find in an old collection tucked away in a box. When I first started developing my own prints in a darkroom I really didn’t know much about the timings of using each chemical bath and washing my photographs. Many of my early prints are now faded and discoloured as a result of my lack of knowledge and their exposure to sunlight over time. They seem even older than they actually are! I wanted to try to recreate this feel within this week’s edit.

In Lightroom I applied a Greater Than Gatsby preset to my Week 1 edit. I used the Enchanted B&W Base which I then customised to my own liking. I opened this edit in Photoshop and created several duplicate layers of the base image. To the first duplicate I applied the Solarise filter which I then inverted, blended with Soft Light and reduced the opacity. To the second I added a Warming Photo Filter and blended using Overlay. I applied a White Masking Layer to this then using a soft black brush, gradually removed areas of the overlay to reveal the effects beneath. To the third duplicate I added a customised blur with masking layer and gradually removed the blur from certain areas. Finally I added a texture overlay of a tea stain which was again customised with a masking layer, blended with Overlay and I reduced the opacity until it felt right.

One Four Challenge: March Week 3

One Four Challenge: March Week 3

One Four Challenge: March Week 3

There’s a magical, timeless quality to the moors that I wanted to try to convey with this week’s edit for the March One Four Challenge, hosted by Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me. I could have replaced the original sky with another from my files but I decided to see just what I could do by using adjustment layers and the original image only. I’ve attempted to create an ambiguous scene; sunrise or sunset, the start or the finish, now or then?

Photoshop CC
Use HDR Background
Add Black and white Adjustment Layer modified Red Filter
Use Multiply Blending
Select Foreground using Polygonal Lasso
Layer Via Copy
Create Copy of Background Layer
Use Cloning Tool and Brush to extend sky over foreground
Duplicate Layer
Radial Zoom Blur 55%
Duplicate Layer
Radial Zoom Blur 80%
Luminosity Blending 75%
Apply Adjustment Layers for Hue and Levels to Foreground
Merge Visible

Greater Than Gatsby in Photoshop CC
Clean Slate Foundation
Golden Sunset Burst with Multiply Blending
Create Sunset effect using four radial gradient layers with appropriate colours, reducing in scale
Vignette Federal 55%
ND Gradient
Soft Light Blending
Merge Visible
Painterly Rich 25%
Flatten Image
Add Canvas Border