The colour red – Weekly Photo Challenge – The Hue of You

DSCF8644DSCF8647

Good morning from a very warm sunny day here in Hastings – sorry Amanda ♥ Unique So Chic, I know you are going into your winter.  We are expecting 25 Degrees.

Anyway this week I am just going to focus on colours so I went out yesterday focusing on what was around me.  As you can see today is red.

Red is a hard colour to take photos off.  It depends on the actual tones of the red as well as the light.  Even these reflections are as strong as the real deal.  But I gave it a go.

DSCF8627DSCF8629DSCF8640

Now I know for sure that these are peonies.  But the colour is a lot less intense than the deep red, with more of a black hue to them, that I saw.

DSCF8796DSCF8813DSCF8779DSCF8758DSCF8756

This poppy and the ranunculas are more true to the colours in real life but these were taken in full sunshine as well, while the peonies are more in the shade.  A totally different shade of red as well.

DSCF8839DSCF8840DSCF8842

These photos are more or less true as well.

It almost seems as if the black colour of the peonies was absorbed by the shaded light.  Whereas in the bright light the colours were more true.

It is a great challenge for me to go out and see how I can improve my photography based on colour tones and hues.

Cheers from Raewyn

A sunny day at Cornwall Park

DSCF7677

Good morning from a cool but sunny Hastings day.

Yesterday turned out to be a really warm, sunny day.  It was lovely but it isn’t ideal for photography.  By 11 AM the light was really harsh as well as it was getting a tad too warm for me so it was time to give up.  I had saved up some bread crusts so I headed down to feed the ducks as  you do.  I am getting rather well known down there and people tell me where to go for the good photos.  By studying the behaviour of the ducks I can see when they will stretch their wings for a more interesting photo than a duck just swimming around.  But then again the reflections are interesting as well.

DSCF7614DSCF7617

DSCF7618DSCF7619

There are a lot of ducklings at the moment so there is always something new to see.  As I approached the duck pond I found this mother duck with all her many children asleep in the grass.  They really didn’t move when I came up to them.

It is interesting as well to see how protective the mother is of her children.  She is constantly quacking in a softer tone to reassure them and to warn them of danger.

DSCF7620DSCF7627

The duck on the right is always at the same spot and I love the rich colours of it’s feathers.

DSCF7717DSCF7718 2

Because it was so bright and sunny and there was no wind the reflections were just amazing but it is a challenge to capture what I saw on camera.  I have a polorising filter which I turn around to get the maximum affect of these reflections.

DSCF7708DSCF7710

DSCF7711DSCF7712

DSCF7713DSCF7714

I love the way the ripples can distort the branches and so the images are never the same.

DSCF7723DSCF7721DSCF7728

Later on though, the light starting bleaching out the highlights.  The contrast was just too much so it is time to give up.

DSCF7823DSCF7824DSCF7827DSCF7828DSCF7528DSCF7832

What was good about the bright light was the faster shutter speed for these photos.  Birds have a tendency to fly off quickly so you do need your wits about you to get them in focus.  i must look a sight wondering around with a camera but looking up into trees for anything to take.  That is what I mean by standing out and getting well known.  But it is a good way to work on my camera skills.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

Discovering the gradient map on Photoshop

Seat with gradient map DSCF6351

 

Good morning from a chilly but sunny Hastings day.  The tail end of yesterday’s spring storm.  At least the rain and strong winds didn’t last long, but boy it was a doozy.  Not as bad as down south.  I feel for family and friends caught up in this latest storm.

Soooo, last night I spent some time just exploring Photoshop and discovered the gradient map.  Wow.  Another way to manipulate my images.  This bench at Frimley park was just the image to start with,  The starburst design on the side stands out more than in the original.  I moved onto floral photos.

White and green lines and texturesGradient mapping

 

DSCF6047Gradient map camellia

 

The thing with the gradient map is that the colours are limited to what there is so I turned to the colour enhancement to adjust the highlights, shadows and midtones to change the colours.  Basically I went for the affect that I liked for the image and then adjusted the colours.  So it was a matter of trial and error with the different gradient colours as well.

DSCF7347Moon

 

It didn’t have much affect on this photo of the moon, other than increasing the contrasts of the contour of the moon.

DSCF7339Water puddles

 

This photo was taken after the storm had abated and while I was talking to my husband outside I noticed the strong light and these reflections.  It took a bit to keep the colours in the reflection but the editing has given the puddle a three dimensional feel to it.

Raining hardRaining

 

I got caught in the rain at Cornwall park but used the opportunity to take some photos of the ripples created by the rain drops on the water.

BubblesGreen ripples

 

 

With these two photos I really wanted to show up the lines of the water.  That was quite hard to do and I need to work on them more.

Fern linesFerns with gradient map

 

Finally this is my favourite of the night. By adding the gradient map the background is less intrusive and makes the ferns really stand out.

I find that just by playing around with photoshop and trying out the different functions I am learning a lot.  Plus it is soooo much fun  to change photos into something completely different.  In the camera club I was the only one to manipulate my images with toning, the others were purists.  The photo had to be perfect.  I love going out and taking photos, but the fun really starts for me on the computer.  My next step is to learn how to do word art.

So have fun moving around Photoshop.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

The sweet smell of roses.

Dewdrops on roses  Shades of pink

 

Good morning from another sunny Hastings day.

Going for a walk is supposed to be exercise for me.  Instead I end up stopping all the time to smell the roses.  Or take photos of them.  Roses are my favourite flower and I have used them a few times on My Word of Inspiration blog.  They have so many different meanings for colour as well as the blooms themselves.  Anyway they are coming out and some of the rose gardens I walk past are just stunning.  I should be going to the park but instead get side tracked.  I love the pink shade of these roses.

Pink rose poking up at the backPink tints

 

Proud and pinkProud roses in a row

 

As you can see I stopped at this garden for a while.

Double apricot rosesFull blown

Getting ready to open upPoking out behind the leaves

Some of them are now overblown, I have been taking photos of them just about every day from a bud to this.

gold going into redKissed by the rain

 

I love the colours in these roses.

Rose enjoying the sunRising above the rest

 

This garden was amazing with the rose bushes growing really tall.

Reflections of roses

 

Here is what was hidden behind the fence.  Just stunning.  I love the reflection of the roses in the windows.

Minature yellow roses

 

Then there are these miniature roses.  The colour is so delicate.  They make quite a show.

The smells are just wonderful, and strong on a good day.  It lifts the spirits to see them.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

 

Napier, Art Deco

Te Pania, Napier

Good morning from a grey Hastings day.

Yesterday the weather turned out to be sunny, though not that warm.  It was a great day light wise for photography.  I had to go to Napier as my son was having his braces fitted.  He didn’t want me around for that so I headed down to the Sound Shell for some photos.  Too short a time, but still I was happy with what I got.

Napier was destroyed in a large earthquake on February 3rd 1931.  It was then rebuilt in the Art Deco style and now it is a well known Art Deco heritage city.  I love the architecture and the colours of it.  When I am at the Sound Shell I can imagine people walking around it in the 30’s and having picnics on the lawn.  During Art Deco week there are all sorts of activities relating to that period, including a Great Gatsby Picnic on this lawn.  That is on my must do list one day.

This statue is of Pania of the Reef :-

Pania of the Reef was a beautiful maiden who lived in the sea on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. By daylight she swam about with creatures of her reef world but after sunset would go to a stream that ran into the bay where the city of Napier now exists. She would travel up the stream to an area where she could rest among the flax bushes. Karitoki, the very handsome son of a Māori chief, quenched his thirst every evening at the stream where Pania rested because it had the sweetest water. He was unaware she was observing him for many weeks until one night she whispered a faint spell. It carried on the wind to Karitoki who turned around to see Pania emerge from her hiding place.

Karitoki had never seen someone so beautiful and instantly fell in love. Pania fell in love also, and they pledged their lives to each other and were secretly married. Pania and Karitoki went to his whare(house), but because it was dark no-one saw them enter. At sunrise, Pania prepared to leave but Karitoki tried to stop her. She explained that as a creature of the ocean, when the sirens of the sea called her each morning, she could not survive if she did not go to them. She promised to return every evening and their marriage continued on that basis.

Karitoki boasted to his friends about his beautiful wife, but no one believed him because they had never seen her. Frustrated by this, Karitoki consulted a kaumatua (wise elder) in the village who believed Karitoki as he knew ocean maidens did exist. The kaumatua told Karitoki that being a sea creature, Pania would not be allowed to return to the sea if she swallowed cooked food.

That night, as Pania slept, Karitoki took a morsel of cooked food and put it in Pania’s mouth. As he did so, Ruru the morepork (owl) called a loud warning and Pania was startled from her sleep. Horrified that Karitoki had put her life in jeopardy, Pania fled from the whare and ran to the sea. Her people came to the surface and drew her down into the depths as Karitoki swam frantically about the ocean looking for her. He never saw her again.

When people now look deep into the water over the reef, some say they can see Pania with arms outstretched, appealing to her former lover. It is unknown whether she is imploring him to explain his treachery, or expressing her continuing love.

The sea off Napier is now protected by Moremore, the son of Pania and Karitoki. He is the kaitiaki (guardian) of the area, a taniwha (spirit) who often disguises himself as a shark, a stingray or an octopus.

Anyway I have a lot of photos today.

Enjoying the water

I noticed these two girls enjoying the water.

Garden Clock

This is near the water fountain.

Great background for a photo shootColumns and poppiesLooking through to the oceanNature versus manPalm treesSun and shadows in Napier

I love the way the shadows made these columns more interesting.  The columns also framed the Pacific Ocean.

Light shadowsGreen seats

The shadows were great and made for more abstract photos.

Contasting time zonesReflections at Napier's Museum

These two photos show just how diverse the architecture is sin the city.  Up on the hill is a house built probably around 1900, while in the foreground is the Art Deco building. The second photo is the most modern building in the Napier CBD, having only just opened it’s doors – the new museum. The reflections on the glass are interesting.

Next time I go I must allow myself more time.  There is just so much to photograph.

Cheers, and  have a nice day/

Raewyn

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.

DSCF4141

 

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

Lilaclilac2lilac3

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

 

 

A reflective time at Cornwall Park

DSCF5260

 

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.

DSCF4918

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.

DSCF4889

 

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.

DSCF4903

 

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

DSCF4874DSCF4878

 

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.

DSCF5263DSCF5261

 

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.

DSCF5075DSCF5040

 

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

 

 

 

Scrapbooking Reflections Papers

Reflections - Gold

Good morning from a cool but sunny Hastings.

I love going to Cornwall Park sometimes just to take photos of the reflections I see in the different ponds and streams.  Some days with a strong sun there are some amazing images to get.  Some are black and white while others such as the paper above are multicoloured.  I then edit them with Photoshop to make great digital scrapbooking papers.  This is my first collection, called reflections.  It is a set of 10 papers and is available as a winzip file at my website above 0 deco crafts.org.

Reflections - Purple

This was edited with the neon brush and is called purple.  It is a great all round paper.

Reflections - Pied

This is called pied for the many colours in it.  It is so versatile with the colours in it.

Reflections - Green

This green paper is great as a background for all those nature shots.

Reflections - Marble

This is a great background paper for backing cards for photos.  I use it a lot.  This one is called marble.

Reflections - Brown

This is another great background paper for nature, called brown.

Reflections - Yellow - Grey

This is another versatile paper, called yellow grey.  It makes a great statement as a background.

Reflections - Yellow-Green

Another stunning background paper.  Called yellow-green it gives an impressionistic look to your page.

Reflections = Blue

This blue paper is a great background for those water images you want to show off.

Reflections- tree

This tree image is also another great nature paper.

As I love taking photos of nature it is hard to find just the right background paper to match my images.  Plus New Zealand has a distinctive light and colours of the bush compared to other lands.  These match up to my photos perfectly.  I am constantly working on new papers so keep an eye out for new collections.

Cheers and  have a nice day.