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Blue Monday: Hang On A Minute!

Nuthatch

Blue Monday: Hang On A Minute!

Nuthatches are wonderful birds to watch! It’s not often I can get close enough to show you the detail of their feathers and the beautiful slate-grey and blue colouring. I spotted this one clinging to the trunk of one of the trees near the birdhide at RHS Wisley Gardens. First came the panicked retrieval of my long lens and actually fitting it to the camera body. Then I had to try to creep down the stairs to get closer. Stairs and I don’t get on well at the best of times!! The whole time I was whispering, “Just hang on a minute!” and he did. He actually clung to the trunk for quite a while, watching the other birds coming and going from the feeders. Look closely at the image and you can see the really long toes and claws of this expert climber! I love the texture of the bark on this trunk. It’s a feature that helps the nuthatch make really good use of this tree for climbing and feeding on insects within the crevices of the bark. Among all my wonderful wildlife finds last week, this image really stands out for me so I’m putting it into the Wex Mondays challenge this week. Good luck to all those entering!

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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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Weekly Photo and Travel Theme Challenges: Textured And Endearing

Her Best Friend

Weekly Photo and Travel Theme Challenges: Textured And Endearing

I’m actually a bit late with my post this week! It’s been a busy one. I very nearly used this image for last week’s Travel Theme: Simplify, as the photo was taken in a busy park with numerous distractions in the background that I’d needed to eliminate. I decided to do this using several textured masking layers in Photoshop, to draw the viewers focus back to the endearing portrait of the girl with her young puppy.

You can create your own textures to use in this way simply by photographing interesting textured scenes or objects. Rocks, fabrics, bricks and handmade paper are all great for this! There are a number of websites offering free texture downloads for personal and commercial use and right here on WordPress you can visit Public Domain Textures for a wide selection to choose from. Thank you to Leanne Cole for introducing me to the blog, for which she is a regular contributor!

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Brush Stroke

Brush Stroke

Daily Prompt: The Power of Touch

Textures are everywhere: The rough edges of a stone wall. The smooth innocence of a baby’s cheek. The sense of touch brings back memories for us. What texture is particularly evocative to you?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TEXTURE.

Our home is filled with my artwork! The paintings hold precious memories for me. Those memories are bitter-sweet as I can no longer paint due to Fibromyalgia.

This photo is from a small section of an oil-on-board that I painted many years ago and still has great tactile appeal. I often find myself running my hand across the painting as I walk past it.