The Daily Post: Spring

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Good morning from a rather cold and chilly Hastings morning.

The prompt from The Daily Post today is spring. Well here in the southern hemisphere we are well into autumn and driving around yesterday I noticed the lovely autumn colours of the trees now losing their leaves.

So for this post it was a matter of diving into my archives for some photos taken last spring.

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So for the first two photos I have gone for a New Zealand theme.  We always know when spring has arrived and the native bush goes gold with these golden flowers.  They are a very sweet flower and very popular with all the birdlife.

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Then there are the usual blossoms.

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And I can’t forget the daffodils.

Here are some other great posts for this challenge.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/spring-2/

Spring and Here is my Bearded Iris of the Day

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/weekly-photo-challenge-spring/

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/33200/

Step Into Christmas? No, Spring Into Summer…!

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Look Up Look Down Challenge Week 17

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Good morning from another very hot Hastings.

I know that America is experiencing a big freeze at the moment and the UK and Europe is mopping up after their terrible storm, so my thoughts go out to those suffering.

This weeks challenge  Look Up, Look Down Challenge – Week 17  with Travel with Intent was taken on the same day, but very different flora.  Looking up I have gone for spring blossoms.

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While looking down, I found some mushrooms on the berms close to my home. For those who don’t know what a berm is, it is a small stretch of grass area next to the road outside your property.  I never knew it was called this until it became local news after problems as to who is responsible for keeping them tidy – us or the local council.  It went viral here.  So I have learnt something new.

Anyway…

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The number Two

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Good morning from another sunny Hastings day.

This weeks A Word A week Challenge is two.  So again I got into my archives and found these photos of two blooms.

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The roses tend to grow in packs so to speak so it was easy to pick out photos of 2 blooms together.

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Two budding peonies.

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Two golden ranunculus.

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Two blooms on this flower head. This was used for my Halloween photos.

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Finally two gerbera.  I thought that this photo had some great potential for some special affects so here is what I did.

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A bit more dramatic I think.  I hope you think so too.

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Travel with Intent – Above and Below

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Good morning from a sunny Hastings this morning.

I loved the poppy themed post last night by Travel with Intent.  I am working on my own remembrance images of the poppy.  In New Zealand we remember our fallen soldiers on April 25th – our ANZAC day.  Usually with dawn services at the cenotaph in each town around the country.  It is a sombre day.  Anyway I digress.

Whenever I am walking around my head is usually up looking above me, or looking down for images to take.  At the moment I can’t go out much so have looked in my archives for some photos looking up and down.  I love the colours of these roses that really stand out from the sky.

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I have no idea what these flowers are but again they look strong against the sky.

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This one the leaves are highlighted in the sun against a building.

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As usual I have included some reflections in water.

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Cheers from Raewyn

Interesting nature

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Good morning from a grey Hastings morning.

 

With spring comes some interesting flowers.  I have absolutely no idea what these plants are called but they are really fascinating.

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They come in different colours as well.  They look rather alien to me.

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These are obviously popular with the bees.

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I think this could be a relative of the rhododendrons but I am not sure so don’t quote me.

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I think this is maybe a relative of the rose but again, don’t quote me.

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I love the colours in this one.

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I have taken a few photos of this rather large flower but have absolutely no idea what it is.

When I go out for a walk I am constantly looking around me for new flowers and what catches my eye.  I am constantly amazed at what I have found,  Nature is surely a wonderful thing.

Cheers and have a nice day,

Raewyn

Split toning with Sonel’s Corner and Unique So Chic

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Good morning from a windy Hastings day.

I love photo manipulation.  I have done photography for about 30 or so years.  While I lived in Austria I joined a camera club and got into it seriously.  Especially in the dark room.  I loved seeing images come alive and it was like going into a Tardis,  time didn’t matter.  Anyway I experimented with manipulating images with different papers and techniques.  This photo above is a self portrait.  I had loads of filters for my camera and the original of this was actually a photo of me at my sister’s wedding where I was her bridesmaid.  I just liked the way that I looked up just as the photo was taken.  So I used a macro filter on the lens to magnify it to make a larger portrait size.  It didn’t matter that it wasn’t sharp as I was going for a very soft look anyway.  The trouble with the dark room days is the time and paper used to get the right feel.  I used quite of bit of paper just to get the right feel.  Then it was sepia toned.  For the colour I used special photo paints to highlight the red.  As you can tell it was very longwinded and lots of wastage.  I entered this into a competition for the German magazine Fotomagazine and I came in 19th.  The brief was Nostalgia.  I based this on some old photos that my parents had taken of them just  after they got married where the photos were black and white but had been painted to give a coloured feel.  Actually the painting was really obvious, especially around the mouthes and eyes.

Fast forward to 2013 and digital photography and computer programmes.  What a difference.  What used to take days and lots of paper is now just a click and the images change before your eyes.  It is another click to get rid of the affects if you don’t like them.  Anyway I have just read  Amanda ♥ Unique So Chic‘s blog on split toning so I thought I would give it a go.  She has entered this photo challenge  at Sonel’s Corner.

I started by googling split toning and trying to follow instructions but I couldn’t manage to use the layers for some unknown reason so then I just used the colour enhancement tools from the top.  This way I was able to alter the highlights, shadows or mid tones without having to go through the individual layers.

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This is the first photo I tried to manipulate.

Blue hairsDon’t ask me what I did.  I just went by the look.

ShadowsBy accident I discovered that I could create a shadow affect of movement.

DSCF2461This is a native fern of New Zealand and I was interested in the highlights.

Green and brown fernWhich you can see here, I tried to make the fern really stand out from the background.

Two tone editing Again I just went by the look but wanted to keep the colours more neutral.

DSCF2750My third attempt.

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I went for two totally different looks.  The first photo really emphasises the raindrops while the second one they fade away a bit.

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My last attempt before I gave up for the night.

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Obviously I focused more on a natural tone for the first one, while I pumped up the green for the second.

By this stage I was ready for bed.  It was fun though, I also discovered a lot more filters as well which gave some interesting affects such as this one.

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This one I think took the longest to get the affect I wanted.  Which was to really show off the lilac petals but fade out the background a lot more.  I love the fact that with one photo you can create so many different affects and actually completely different images.  Without all the chemicals and papers.  Soooo much fun.

Cheers and have a nice day.

 

 

 

Gorgeous spring colours

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Good morning from another beautiful spring morning in Hastings.

It has been so warm and windless the last couple of days and it makes going for a walk a pleasure.  Spring has well and truly arrived and the gardens are really starting to show of.  The senses are been inundated with the sweet smell of new blossoms as well as the vibrant colours which is so lovely after a grey winter.  I am now just discovering what a beautiful flower the peony is.  There are a couple of gardens that are just a mass of colour.  They make a fantastic show.

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What can spoil a lovely walk is not having enough battery juice in the camera or too small a memory card.  Everywhere I looked there was something to take.  I left at around 10 am but by midday the light was getting too harsh, leading to hard shadows so maybe it was just as well that the battery had died.

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I did try and use the strong sun to silhouette the flowers a little to get different textures on the flowers themselves, or as in the second photo to highlight the hairiness of the plant.

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I also worked on my focusing skills.

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Then there are the hazards.  The bees are out in force.  I have to stand right back and try and zoom in on flowers when the bees are around as I am allergic to them but they epitomise what spring is about.

It is a real pleasure to go out and see the perfusion of colours and signs of life, and with my favourite music helping me along it is a great way of relieving stress.  A way of living in the moment and trying to capture the memories on a memory card.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn