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Smoke And Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke And Mirrors

For the Wex Mondays and Fotospeed challenges this week I have created another of my little still-life squares. I added a bit of smoke to the mirror using my vape but I must say it was harder to try and control than I thought it would be! I stacked nine images together so that I could get the smoke in all the areas that I’d wanted. I kept it soft like a sea mist. These little pieces are very self-reflective. There are many times that I feel like an empty shell, a pale reflection of the person I should have become. I can put on a mask but it’s all smoke and mirrors, tricks of the light. This shell is cracked. Not fit for purpose! Even a hermit crab wouldn’t want it. Half a life of Crohn’s will do that! It’s IBD awareness week with the theme Make The Invisible Visible (Crohn’s and Colitis) so this is a way of sharing something of the impact that the disease has had on me. I think if I took off that mask and lived showing people how I really felt all the time it would absolutely destroy me. I’m a rather fragile shell really. The mask is as much for myself as for anyone else. But still, there’s beauty even in an old, cracked and empty shell.

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Upon Reflection

Fading Out

Upon Reflection

I had another go at focus stacking this last weekend. This time my subject is botanical, the decaying petals of a hydrangea. They’re all from one flower-head but all at different stages of decay, from the age-spotted pinks through to skeletal lacy remains. The petals were arranged on glass on a black background and lit with a diffused, blue spotlight. After stacking my images in Photoshop and masking in the focused areas, I decided that the image felt more appealing, almost vintage, with some areas left soft and unfocused. I gave the whole piece a hazy, matte finish to accentuate that vintage look that is a mirror to the subject itself. I hope you like it! I’m putting this one forward for both Wex Mondays and the Fotospeed challenges this week. Good luck to all taking part!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Details Of The Scarce Swallowtail

The Scarce Swallowtail Butterfly

Weekly Photo Challenge: Details Of The Scarce Swallowtail

Jen has asked us to discover the intimate details of something unexpected, and share our images. On returning from snorkeling in Kos one day, I discovered this almost perfect example of a Scarce Swallowtail butterfly, that had sadly expired just outside our apartments. It’s not often that I get the chance to get my 30mm macro lens out to study a butterfly’s wing in such close detail! I believe it had just reached the end of it’s natural lifespan, having mated and laid its’ eggs on the citrus trees in the garden. I was very fortunate to find it before the ants did! Nature always recycles it’s own. I’ve saved the images at a slightly larger file size than I usually would so that you can see the extraordinary details of the scales on the wings. Click on the individual images for a closer look!

The hind-wing edge detailsClose up wing detailThe overlapping section of wingsClose up wing detailDetails of the patterning on the hind-wings

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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 🙂

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NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme: Colourful Comforts

NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme: Colourful Comforts

It was wet and horrible outdoors today but I made a quick stop into our local gift shop, Apples & Pears, and was confronted by all the wonderful colours and scents of Christmas! I found one or two ideas for presents but mostly I just enjoyed browsing in such a comforting atmosphere.