Learning wisdom

lilacs

 

Good morning from a rather chilly, but sunny Hastings day.  Just when you think the weather is getting warm we get hit by these spring storms.  At least it isn’t snowing here like down in the South Island.

By going out with my camera I am really starting to take notice of and learning about flowers.  I am not a gardener, I am actually allergic to a lot  of weeds and am prone to infections should I even go near a garden.  But I do appreciate the lovely gardens around me.  I must apologise for getting ranunculus mixed up with  peonies.  Now I must google the flowers to check that I actually  have the right name to the flower.  I do know that this image is of lilacs as I bumped into a horticulturalist who showed my what to look out for.  When I do my quotes I try to keep to the meaning of the flowers.  For example lilacs are both whimsical and childlike according to the website flower choice.com.  It is full of a gentle, sophisticated promise of wisdom, celebrating a growth of innocence into experience – from childhood into adulthood.  so I chose this quote from Confucious about the experience of gaining wisdom.

I cropped this image of some sunlit lilacs that I had taken.

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Then I made these three embellishments out of other photos from other lilac trees I have seen.

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To give a more three dimensional look I changed the opacity of two of the embellishments, one at 70% and the other at 85%, while the third one was at 100%.  It was just a matter of resizing and arranging to suit the image I had in my mind.

The text is Dumbledore 1 – chosen for it’s wise quality – I love Harry Potter.

 

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

 

Celebrating the All Blacks

All Black image

Good morning from a slightly grey Hastings day.

I make and sell these cute baby outfits on TradeMe, New Zealand’s equivalent to EBay.   I have just tweaked my design a bit so needed to update my image as well.  To start with the white logo on the outfits is my own design,  I used this unofficial flag as my inspiration.

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I then transferred that to a graph and simplified New Zealand to NZ.  I knit them on a knitting machine for speed and a nicer look, and also for the intarsia technique for the design.  After a couple of years I am getting rather good at it.  Anyway I did the bands a different way as I decided to change them to make them a bit quicker to knit, as well as less wool.  I have spent the last couple of weeks making some new outfits.  The booties also have black sprigs on them to look like real rugby boots.

So what better way to celebrate the All Blacks winning the Rugby Championship in style than redesigning my photo.

I love this image of the silver fern.

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And have used it many times.  It really just shows up the silver fern image.  This was my background which I also edited with Photoshop.

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I use a lifelike doll to make the outfits look more interesting.  My husband can’t stand the doll as it looks far to realistic for him.  I love it.  Anyway using the layers I added them onto the silver fern image.  Just to be more patriotic I googled flags and added a New Zealand flag to it as well.

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I chose this one as it was a little more realistic than just the flat image.

With Trademe the first image is free and then I have to pay for any further image so that by doing it all on one image I can show everything I want, plus say what the outfit entails – i.e. beanie, booties and jumper.

It is also on my website an my Facebook page for sale as well.

http://decocrafts.org/index.php/en/online-store#!/~/product/category=5592665&id=28529463

So check it out.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

 

Greensleeves

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Good morning from another beautiful Hastings day.

When I am out walking my eyes are everywhere. I’m not just looking for beautiful flowers and reflections.   leaves can be just as interesting and fascinating.  Especially when backlit.

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I love the strong colours and lines in this leaf.  The contours and thickness of the leaf also show up, from the sun shining through.

Brown and green fernAspiring to reach the top

 

As you can see from my first image, ferns are another favourite of mine.  There are so many ways to highlight the fronds and ways to use them as you can see from the second image.

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By pointing the camera skywards the image becomes black and white for a more interesting perspective.

 

Close to nature

 

They add a distinct New Zealand flavour and colour to my scrapbooking.

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Other leaves have strong lines to them.  These leaves just stood out as I went past them, so of course I had to stop for photos.

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I am constantly amazed at the way just small sun beams can highlight just one leaf out of many as in these two photos.  The leaves really stood out.

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The same goes for these branches against buildings.

Midges everywhere

 

This final photo was taken into the sun again, which shows the leaves and empty flower in relief.  The white spots are midges flying around.  I spent some time trying to see if I could capture these little critters, as you can see I managed to get them, but also managed to get bitten.  Ah! The life of a photographer.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

A reflective time at Cornwall Park

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Good morning from a misty grey Hastings.

Yesterday was such a beautiful spring day, not a cloud in the sky and no wind either.  Perfect weather for photography.  So I headed down to Cornwall Park and wasn’t disappointed in the range of photos I took.

The waters were so still so that they became mirrors and the reflections were just awesome.  I am fascinated by how ripples can distort the reflections and turn them into something resembling nightmares or have a gothic feel.  I take a lot of photos like that as they make great backgrounds for digital scrapbooking after they are edited.  With the light yesterday I got a lot of great photos to add to my collection.  My son and I plan to develop an app to use these as background papers for smart phones.

Anyway this above photo is taken at the Chinese Garden.  Hastings has a sister city in China and this area is dedicated to this.  There are a couple of pagodas and bright red colours which reflect really well.

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I have taken a few photos of this bridge where the reflections are totally distorted which are rather striking but yesterday it was just like a mirror.  A perfect reflection.

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Here you can see the ducks enjoying the sunshine.  This is a great peaceful place for a picnic lunch, a serene sanctuary in the middle of the city.

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Here is another angle of the same pond but focusing on the Chinese trees that frame this pond.

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Around the park are small ponds which little fountains.  As there wasn’t any wind the reflections with the bright sky were just breathtaking.

Bathing beauties

 

I just managed to catch these bathing beauties before they flew off.  They were really enjoying their bath.

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Everywhere I went there was so much to take in.  I have a polarising filter on my camera, but I can rotate it to get the maximum images on the reflections.

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We have small canals running around the park with hobbit like stone bridges.  These two photos are taken from one bridge but looking in both directions.

Since the light was rather bright and harsh it make taking photos of flowers very difficult, but with no wind the reflections I caught made my day.  That said, I did get some really great backlit flowers and leaves, but they will keep for anther day.

Now,  though, I have to be careful as I managed to get a bit sunburnt, even though it is only October.  So I will have to go out earlier now to avoid the full sun.

So cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

 

 

Satisfaction of life

Satisfaction of living

 

Good morning from a lovely sunny Hastings.

I love going out for walks just to see how beautiful the world is through my camera lens.  I love to see the bright colours of the flowers and to smell them and really appreciate the beauty around us.  It is a wonderful way to relieve stress.  I put my favourite songs on and just go for it.  A couple of hours later I arrive home uplifted by some of the beautiful sights I have seen and hopefully have on my memory card.  I am getting well known along the routes I go as I stop and take photos of colourful gardens.  I have had the owners come out and talk to me which is a little bit embarrassing but generally people are really nice about it.  It is the men who get quite uptight that I am standing on the footpath zooming in on some flowers, but the women have been really nice.

I have an idea in my mind usually when I am taking the photos as to how I would like to show up the beauty.  Not always successful but the success rate is improving.  This is a lovely garden just full of snapdragons.  All the embellishments were taken there as well.  Firstly I had the background image of the garden itself.

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I had some trouble with the opacity of the background when it came time to add the text.  In the end I just deleted the layer and started again.  I right clicked on the small lock icon on the right in the layers panel and then I found the opacity button.

Because I didn’t want to lose the embellishment arrangement and text I saved it and added it to the image.

Living well

I find it is less stressful to save as I go to avoid the problem of starting all over again.  Learnt that the hard way.

I have also learnt about adding a three dimensional look to the embellishments by adding shadows.  It is amazing the difference it makes when the shadows are added.  My daughter said it wasn’t necessary but then watched as I added some shadows and then she said it does matter.  I still get amazed at the transformations from flat images to a more three dimensional look.  I have been studying the Dummies Guide to Photoshop Elements 10 just to learn my way around the different functions and brushes.  Here are the individual embellishments.

SnapdragonWhite snapdragonsSnapdragons pink

 

Here is what I mean about the shadows.  Here is the ivy I did the other day.

 

Ivy 2

 

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Now you can see the difference it makes with the shadowing.  It is rather dramatic to see the transformation.  That is what I love about photography and editing.  It is very addictive.

Cheers and have a nice day,

Raewyn

 

A daring adventure

Page 33

 

Good morning from a rather grey Hastings.

This morning I am not going to tempt fate by watching the America’s Cup.  My nerves can’t handle it.  But anyway, I want to wish Emirates Team New Zealand all the best.

A bit ironic this morning’s image – taking the plunge so to speak, when I can’t even watch the race.  But I took these photos yesterday and love the colour combination.

I wandered down to the park to feed the ducks and just managed to take this photo of a duck diving into the water.  Then later on as the sun started to come out I saw these really interesting water ripples, which I then edited with Photoshop to make great background papers.

Multi coloured reflections

 

This is the background image.

Gold and GreyDark ripples

 

These are the accent papers.

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While this is the background card for the photo.

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I finished it off by embellishing with these buttons.  I chose these buttons for their earthy feel to them.

The font is discover beauty.

Well must go and see what is happening in San Francisco.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

Sunset Magic

Page 26

 

Good morning from a beautiful sunny day from Hastings.

Yet another nail biting morning this morning.  Yesterday’s racing was canned due to poor weather conditions.  Everywhere people were sitting in front of the TV only to see nothing in the end.  I can only imagine what the teams are both feeling.  But anyway good luck to Emirates Team New Zealand.

I love sunrises and sunsets.  There is something magic and spiritual in seeing the colours come out when the sun comes up or goes down.  During the winter it was great to be able to go out at a civilised time just to see the sun come up.  Equally the time was good for the sunsets.  I can’t describe the feeling I get just seeing the majesty of the event.

This image was taken on the 9th September.  I loved the way the rays of the sun come up through the clouds.This was the original image.

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I then edited it with Photoshop to get this image.

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I added it as a background but used the transparency tool just a smidgen to tone the colours a bit.

The photo is the same image.  The backing card is this paper from another image I had edited.

Sunset by numbers

 

The font is the Great Victorian font.

Now to bring the cup home to New Zealand.

Cheers and have a nice day