Thursday, 31 May 2012

This? or That?

....seems to be an apt description of how I am dealing with today!
Many things I could do (and others that I probably 'should' do)
Things I need to get started on...
Things I need to get finished!
don't know where to start ... feeling rather indecisive today

when feeling like this, there are a number of options available...I could: 
(a) grab my camera and go for a photo walk
(b) go to my computer and write a blog post
(c) have a coffee and make a list!
(d) all of the above...

I chose (d)...

The top item on my coffee list (c) was to take some photos of my Jackmanii clematis 
which bloomed this week. 
I grabbed my camera and went for a short photo walk to my back garden (a) and
I am now sitting at my computer writing a blog post about it! (b)

I love it when I can cross things off my list so quickly and easily!

So here are the backyard photo walk photos
SOOC again this week

I was pleased to see this clematis doing so well for only its second year

I just love the colours!

and I love how the centres become these fascinating little curly things after the  petals fall off.

These two shots are actually from my white clematis for the purpose of showing those curly things

I also love all the little knots in the vine and the beautiful way that the plant 'embroiders' itself..


Then I got distracted...because that's the way I roll

I got distracted by all the purple in my garden...
it seemed appropriate, after all the photos last week for 52 Photos Project 'Pink' theme,  
to focus on the purple in the garden...since most of it came about this week

the unopened bud to the side of the flower and at the bottom are about the size of a pencil...

these irises...iris'...iri? are quite tiny flowers on very tall stems
very delicate

my chives are also in bloom...though looking a bit pink here they really are mauve

this is aubrietia also known as rock cress  
as hard as I have tried, I can not find it in the nurseries anymore!!

Bet you thought I got distracted - yet again!!

Nope...this is my purple smoke bush getting ready to...
Keep your fingers crossed for me please?
Last year in the heat, these all dried up and dropped off before my smokebush could bloom!
We need rain!!

Have a great day everyone!

Joining This or That Thursday
Why not grab a cup of coffee and join me, as Deb has posted follow up photos
of her monarch caterpillars' journey into butterflyness!!
and check out all the other contributors too!

Now....where did I put my coffee cup?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

jumping in to texture tuesday

I briefly dabbled in textures a while back.
I didn't (and still don't) really know if they were truly textures....
They were more like double exposures of my own photos.

I learned more when I took the 'skinny mini' Photoshop course offered by Kim Klassen 
and have received a number of lovely textures through her "texture lovin' list"

Nancy over at A Rural Journal has some incredibly beautiful textures available!
In fact, the first of my few forays into texture used Nancy's 'Spring Fever' texture and her recipe! 
Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art also has a wide variety of stunning textures as well...

I am frequently gobsmacked by the gorgeous work so many people are doing with these textures

I have the basics....
I have the textures....
I have the photos....
So what am I waiting for???

Good question!

I think this is the answer...
I have been saving my pennies to take Kim's Beyond Layers e-course 
next time it comes around and I think have been waiting for that...

I have been 'experimenting' - 'cause I am geeky like that -
but I guess I don't feel confident in my skills & knowledge


Today I am throwing tossing caution to the wind
Today I am jumping tiptoeing in with both feet

I am putting something out there!
I guess I feel safe here...that is a good feeling!

I think this may be the first time I have produced something 
without following someone else's recipe...
I would LOVE feedback and suggestions,
ideas of what else I could try to have created a better final product...

I started with this photo 

It is a bit over exposed but I liked the bokeh.
  I used the clone stamp to fill in some of the colour and
did a duplicate layer using multiply at 93%
which made it look better, I thought...

To this I added Kim's texture 'Epiphany' in soft light at 83%
I used a soft brush to reveal the petals only and made adjustments to the hue and saturation 

I ended up with this as a final product:

which I am posting to Kim's Texture Tuesday - the warm edition!



Monday, 28 May 2012

scavenger hunt sunday 27.5.12 with a touch of macro monday

It was a crazy busy weekend but I managed to work in a photo walk at the local park,
 disguised as a dog walk,
with the intent to get a few (however misguided) shots for Scavenger Hunt Sunday!
As the mister strolled along with the pooches I happily snapped away!

With such gorgeous weather I had to make the gardens the priority
and as Saturday slid into Sunday and other family commitments,
I didn't get to downloading the photos until this morning...

hoping that the adage 'better late than never' applies: 
I am posting to both Scavenger Hunt Sunday and Macro Monday with these

1. Beneath My Feet

The bridge over my 'pond'  
I try to spend a few minutes meditating here before starting my daily Tai Chi set

2. Capturing Movement

The puppins at play in the backyard

3. Texture

captured this on my photo walk also posting this to Macro Monday

4. Face Your Fears

Horseshoe Bend    Page, Arizona (from archives)
I desperately wanted a photo that showed the entire Bend 
including the Colorado wrapping it's way around ... just like those professional photos!
A healthy fear of heights made it challenging but this was as good as I could get...

...without standing up at the edge (as documented by the mister)

I went back with a tripod and better camera the following year and did get some better shots. 
However, I realized that without a helicopter I was not going to get the shot I wanted! 
Maybe next year!

5. Currently

Okay, so in my haste I wrote "current" in my notebook...
not "currentLY"
and it was "current" I went to capture on my photo walk in the local park!

This is what the East Holland River along the Tom Taylor Trail currently looks like!

Have an awesome week all!!


Friday, 25 May 2012

abstract - photo art friday

it is photo art friday!

Bonnie, over at Pixel Dust Photo Art, has invited us to showcase
a piece of abstract photo art created with a design from nature.

This is another first for me...
I did a whole lot of exploring and messing around in my PSE
and, although I have discovered a whole bunch
of new things I CAN do (though not necessarily how to do them well)
I ended up pretty much going with a simple process of
duplicating the photo with Hard Mix @ 60%
and adjustments in hue and saturation

 I started with a photo of the leaves of my Japanese Red Maple:

and this is where I ended up....

It looks like a throwback to my 60s/70s roots! *lol*

It is shaping up to be a beautiful weekend here...
perfect for gardening!

Enjoy yours, wherever you are and whatever the weather!
See you on the flip side!

Photo Art Friday

Thursday, 24 May 2012

sky watch friday

I love the sky!
Regardless of the weather, I love the sky.
rain & snow
sunrise and sunset
and everything in between

I guess it stands to reason that I have so many photos
of the sky in my archives...
so it made sense to me, to add Skywatch Friday
to my weekly list of photo blog posts...

If you love the sky and take photos of it or just like looking at other's photos of it
you might want to hop over there and have a peek...

Today I am posting a photo that I took in Arizona last fall...
looking up from the bottom of Canyon de Chelley, Navajo Nation.
If you have never been there it is definitely a worthy addition to the bucket list!
Close enough to catch Monument Valley, UT while you are at it! 

That gorgeous sky is 'au naturel' ~ this photo is SOOC 

I miss Arizona
I think I need a vacation!

Have a great weekend and thanks for visiting!!

{pink} 52 Photos yr2/wk5 - pink! ... perfect picture prompt!

Bella, over at 52 Photos Project, couldn't have chosen a better prompt for me this week!
Pretty much every pink flower I have in my garden bloomed this week...
they are all quite early for us at this time of year, but who is complaining!
We also had a gorgeous week weather-wise...though the gardens are going to need some rain very soon 

I have plans to play with some textures when it finally rains but
it is a very busy time for me in the gardens so these are all SOOC

Posting to
52 Photos Project - why not pop over and join in or view the other entries
this or that Thursday - check out Deb's awesome monarch caterpillar shots

and of course,
 being the indecisive person that I am, it was a little work narrowing down... 
Having already peonied all over the place, I decided to leave them out as well 
as the orchid and hibiscus,  as they are house plants that I can share another time.

So...straight out of my gardens and my camera this week...



:: creeping phlox by the mailbox ::

:: anemone ::

:: bleeding heart ::

These last two I took just this morning!

If my arms were long enough to reach all the way to Nebraska
I would be giving Nancy, from A Rural Journal the hugest hug for her tip 
about using a zoom lens for macro shots!

Thanks to everyone for their tips...still saving for the macro 
and feel more knowledgable about making a selection!

For now...
these were taken with my Nikon 55 -200 mm

:: columbine ::

:: armeria ::

Unfortunately the pinks haven't bloomed yet!!

Have a great day!

52 Photos Project                

P.S. It looks like Nancy has some amazing recipes posted today at the Rural Thursday Blog Hop!

Monday, 21 May 2012

giving macro monday a shot...

Another first...

A new (for me) weekly photo gallery, this one hosted by Lisa at Lisa's Chaos, is called Macro Monday!
I love taking close ups...getting right in there and getting the shot
I don't have a macro lens... 
I do want a macro lens...
I am madly saving for a macro lens...
....any tips for purchasing, suggestions for a Nikon D3000 would be greatly appreciated!!

I was so happy to see that I didn't need a macro lens to participate!

This is my offering for this week...


It is the final day of a holiday weekend for me so I am off to enjoy the sun!
I hope everyone's weekend has been as sunny as ours...

Linking to Macro Monday!


Why not hop over to see all the other amazing entries!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

scavenger hunt sunday 20.5.12

Happy Sunday!

1. Rainbow

 Taken from the back deck on May 14
 . . . last year!
We normally have frequent and beautiful rainbows here but
haven't had the usual storms this year so found one in the archives from this week, last year 

2. Fluffy

Now this is something we have more than enough of this year!
In an effort to preserve the environment,
our government has banned many insecticides and weed killing products over the past few years.
I am not unhappy about this decision but my knees might be!

3. Letters

When I moved into this house 4 years ago
I had this wall painted with blackboard chalk so that my guests could 'sign in'.

I call them 'love letters' from my guests
When it gets full I take a photo and we start again. (with the exception of a few 'keepers')
My 6'5" son signed the top because he felt no one else could sign there without being on tip toe!

4. Metal

Right after I took this photo I knew I had to use it for that quote by Anais Nin!

5. Tree(s)

This tree is to the right of my home and I just peeked out the window at it!
In a very short time this tree has gone from having these bright new spring leaves to the darker green of it's summer frock . . .

It is shaping up to be an absolutely gorgeous holiday weekend!
Traditionally this is the weekend when planting begins (without fear of frost)
 Last year, I received a wonderful gift card for a local greenhouse from my staff when I left!
I am off to the Bradford Greenhouses to see what I can spend it on!

Posting to Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Friday, 18 May 2012

a floral photo art friday

An early morning photo foray into the garden this morning 
led to the discovery of this little guy sleeping in one of my clematis blooms...
or so I thought...
as I was shooting I realized that he was actually enjoying my clematis for breakfast!

Both peony bushes are now heavy with blooms!
I love the colours they bring to the garden in front of the house.
One bright red on one side of the steps to the porch

and a delicate pink on the other side...

I do wish they would last a little longer into the summer...
but I always have my photos!

This week, for Photo Art Friday, I decided to dive back into the world of Photoshop 
and applied Bonnie's  "Painterly" texture to one of my peony photos.

This is what I did:
duplicated the photo in soft light at 75%
adjusted the brightness slightly
applied one layer of the "Painterly" texture in soft light at 100% 
and a second in vivid light at 25%
I used a soft brush to remove the texture from the centre after each application
and made a slight levels adjustment

I was pleased with the final product...
it is easy to be pleased if you don't know what else you could have done *lol*

What do you think??
I would love feedback or suggestions on how I might have done this differently...

Wishing you all an awesome weekend!! 
It is a long one for us here in Canada!

Maybe I'll try my hand at photographing fireworks!

Linking to Photo Art Friday

Photo Art Friday