Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be Light by the Daily Post

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Good morning from another sunny Hastings.

This weeks challenge by The Daily Post is Let there be Light.  There have been some amazing photos for this so here is my contribution.  These photos were taken last winter when I headed out in the morning when it was still dark and all the street lights were still on..  There was also a slight mist around to give a halo affect to the lights which make them more interesting.

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Finally these lights were in the window of a hairdressers shop.

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An Elf among the Bluebells

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Good morning from a sunny and warm Hastings day.

I have been working on my Photoshop skills lately.  I found this book with CD ROM of designs for fairies and elves and thought it a great way to learn more about Photoshop Elements and working with layers.  I did find using a tablet a lot more satisfying that with a mouse.  I can magnify it and then work on it with more accuracy.  This is a Canterbury bells Elf.  I used different layers to add the shading and to give it a roundness to the figure.  I then used the feathering lasso to fade out the periphery in order to make it come out in the photo a bit better.

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I searched through my archives to find a good photo and found these bluebells with a lone tulip.

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It was over to All Vintage Studio for a old photo look.

Canturbury Fairy among the Blue Bells

Back to Photoshop to adjust the tone to a blue tone and then I added the elf.  It would have been better to have Canterbury Bells around but I haven’t found any so the bluebells had to do.

I used the photos taken by the girls early last century who faked the fairy photos as my inspiration.  Today we can do a far better job of combining fantasy with reality.  So this is my humble effort.  Any comments on how to improve merging photos would be greatly appreciated.

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Look Up, Look Down Challenge: Week 16

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Good morning from a drier Hastings morning.

Another week in Travel with Intent ‘s  Look Up, Look Down Challenge.  I have continued with the bird theme as I searched through my photos last night.  When I go for a walk I am always searching around for anything interesting to take a photo of.  To take photos of birds I first practiced on the ducks as they were bigger and didn’t move as fast as birds.  Then as I got more comfortable with my new camera I progressed to birds, both in trees and on the ground.  This photo is of a pigeon at Frimley Park

All spring I was thwarted by the fantails, a native bird of New Zealand that has tail feathers that fan out like well a fan.

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This is the best I got.  I swear that they knew I was coming because they would flit around me, literally and just stop long enough for me to get the camera focused on them and then would fly off.  Most frustrating.  Flighty little things they are.

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Of course there are plenty of sparrows.  They also loved the Kowhai trees with it’s sweet nectar.

I also took lots of birds on the ground as well.  When I would go and feed the ducks other smaller birds would also fly in and catch the crumbs.  That made taking photos of them rather easy.

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On another walk I came across this blackbird bathing in the stream.

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And then sunbathing.

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I do have a lot of dud photos of birds.  I probably get one good photo out of ten, but the fun is in watching them.  They can be very entertaining, except of course the fantails, they are just mean to me.

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Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge: Week 12

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Good morning from another wet and miserable Hastings morning.

Last night I was going through my photos to see what I could post today and found these photos.  I loved the post from Sonel’s Corner yesterday but of course I can’t do any exotic pets, but I do find strange cats coming up to me on my walks so of course I take photos of them.

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They all seem to be attracted to me and come up and pose for me.

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This cat was gorgeous and hung around for a long time for me to take some photos of it from it’s best side.

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Then there was this rather regal looking Siamese cat.  I haven’t really seen it since.

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It reminded me of this quote about Egyptian cats being worshipped so I scrapbooked it.

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Rather apt I thought.

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A Word a Week Photograph Challenge: HIGH

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Good morning from a wet Hastings day.  Last night we had a good thunderstorm.  Not what we normally get but it was fun. So now it is still raining.  We need the rain so I don’t mind.

This week’s A Word in Your Ear challenge is ‘High’.  I hate heights so I have gone for photos looking high up into the trees.  So I focused on a New Zealand theme with our native Tuis.  They are also called Parson Birds as they have a small tuft of white feathers under their beaks.  Last spring I spent a lot of time looking high up into the  tree canopies trying to get some decent photos of them.  It took a few attempts but I got some good ones in the end.  They are rather aggressive birds and I saw them chasing off the smaller sparrows from their favourite tree – the Kowhai.  I have edited them all with the vintage filters on FX Photostudio Pro.

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The app was able to keep the colours of the tail feathers will giving a warm tone to the background.

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Here you can see the Kowhai flowers that the Tuis love.  Also the white feathers are shown off in the photo on the right.

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I just posterised this photo for a different affect.

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Mandarin Orange Monday 69

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Good morning from a  wet and grey Hastings day.

Even though it is Tuesday for me it is still Monday for those in the United States so I can still participate in this challenge.  Well I did all the editing on a Monday anyway. I loved the groovy psychedelic feel to LorikArt‘s post this week.

I love the way editing can completely transform images from something that is interesting into something completely different.  It is also such a fun process.

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This was my first image.

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Over to FX Photostudio Pro to solarise it.

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Then to All Vintage Studio for some grainy effects.

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Then it was to Photoshop Elements 11 for some colour enhancements using both a gradient map and also the colour enhancer.  I still like each stage in their own rights.  Especially the image from FX  Photostudio Pro.

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I chose this image for the single leaf that pops out of the image.

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I used the Yellow Stroke filter in FX Photostudio Pro to make this leaf stand out.

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Then with All Vintage Studio I tried to make some of the background block out.

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Then it was to Photoshop Elements 11 for a gradient map filter for the orange.

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Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge: Directions

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Good morning from another beautiful sunny Hastings day.

Another week, another challenge by Ese’ s Voice –      Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Direction      

I had to do some thinking for this challenge as I scrolled through my archives.  Directions.  Then I searched for a quote and came up with this one.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

Dr Seuss.

So I found these photos from an early morning frosty walk at Pakowhai Park, on the side road between Napier and Hastings, last winter.    I was the only one there and the photos I got were amazing.  So I chose these photos as they had tracks leading in different directions. These have all been edited with either All Vintage Studio or FX Photostudio Pro to give a misty or vague look to them so that the directions are not always clear.  I believe totally in that quote in that life is full of choices and each choice we make determine what direction our lives take.

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We can walk alongside others as this path meanders alongside a stream.

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Or we can take a lonely road by ourselves.

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Sometimes it can be dark and lonely.

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Other times it is like a step into the unknown.

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Others cross our paths going in completely different directions to us and at different speeds.

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There are times when we have a hard time deciding what direction we should take.

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Yet other times it is easy to see what direction we should take.

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No matter what direction we take life is always interesting.

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