Sunday, September 30, 2012

Someone Waits for Me ...

On New Year's Day, I was driving home along the Lake Road.  It was about 6 pm and already dark when I saw a deer standing at the side of the road.  Too late to stop for it.

I remember feeling ever so grateful that she didn't jump out in front of my car that day.  So in her honor, I wanted to capture the moment in art.  I remembered her countenance, but of course, I didn't have my camera at the time.  It was all over and done in a split second!   Still, the image is burned into my brain.  It's pretty rare that I get close enough to a deer to take a picture. 

Fortunately for me, my long-time BFF from high school's mother is a hobby photographer.  She lives in Oregon where they frequently get deer in their back yard.  Jackie Kerska took the the deer photo above (She says you can even see her own reflection in the deer's eye.  Cool!)  Jackie gave me her permission and her blessing to render this image to honor the doe who stayed at the side of the road that day.  Jackie's watermark stays on the original image.

Here's the photo processing layer-by-layer :
On JK's "Deer Friend" image :
In Picassa, minor edits (Sharpen, Boost, etc.)
In PhotoShop Elements :
Layer 1 : Background
Layer 2 : Copy Background
Layer 3 : Kim Klassen's PourVous Texture ; Soft Light blend mode at 60%
Layer 4 : Duplicate Layer 3 ; Multiply blend mode at 29%
Layer 5 : Kim Klassen's Pumpkin Grunge Texture ; Soft Light at 78%
       Image could be flattened at this point.

Round 2
Layer 1 : Green and Brown Background as frame
*** This is one of my very own textures made from melting the inks in an old National Geographic with Citrasolv.  I love this technique--and it smells good, too!
In Picassa, texture image was cropped, rotated, softened, and vingette added.
In PhotoShop Elements, this texture was set at the background / bottom layer.
Layer 2 : JK's Deer Friend (edited as listed above) was layered on top of the green/brown background.
Layer 3 : Text Layer - Ruthie Font; Luminosity blend mode at 100%.  Font color chosen from elsewhere in the picture.

Sneak Peak at Seven Sisters

I'll be working on finishing this beauty at Quilt Camp in October.  

More to come!

Beyond Layers Day 42 : Imagination Flies

At a gathering in September, someone gave me the blessing of Imagination, written on a small scrap of paper.  This was an important reminder for me ...

For the past few months, I've tried to work this image into the Beyond Layers class lessons, and it just never worked with the given lessons--until now!  There's a lesson on choosing the appropriate base photo!

Here's the photo processing layer-by-layer :
Layer 1 - Background Layer
Layer 2 - Copy background
Layer 3 - Add Texture : Lost & Taken's Colorful Grunge 8 ; Soft Light blend mode at 66% opacity
Layer 4 - Add Texture : Sirius_sdz  #2 from Texture Pack 14 - Soft Light at 56%
Layer 5 - Copy background. Use Crop Tool to extend canvas on one side.
Use Marquee Tool to select the new blank space.  Add a Gradient Layer. Select appropriate color and make adjustments to taste.
Layer 6 - Text - Imagination.  Dear Joe font - Soft Light - Blue color chosen from within the image.  Rotated to fill side bar.
Layer 7 - Duplicate Imagination Text layer.
Layer 8 - Duplicate Imagination Text layer again.  (This allows the gradient to bleed through to the text layer.)
Layer 9 - New text layer with Nabokov quote.   Papyrus font 48 point;  Zapfino 14 point for author attribution.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 41 : Bride of Amazement

Back to flowers.    This lesson, Kim gave us a recipe to recreate RadLab's Rusty Cage Stylet.  I started out with  her steps and recommendations, but then this particular image took on it's own life ...

The above is framed in Picassa.   That inner gold frame really adds a lot to this image, but I couldn't figure out how to do it in PSE.

 Here's the original photo.  The Sweet Autumn Clematis is blooming and wafting in through the dining room window.  Mmmmmh!   So I picked some for a still life this morning.  
It smells like jasmine!

Here is the photo with the Day 41 recipe applied, plus 2 of Kim's textures.  I thought it still needed a frame, but I couldn't figure out how to add the thin inner gold frame.  Although that particular framing task seemed easier in Picassa, the text tool was more sophisticated in PSE (as one would expect).  I wanted to add Mary Oliver's name to give credit for the quote, but in a slightly smaller point size.  In Picassa, it appears that all the text had to be the very same point-size.

Here is the photo processing layer by layer :
Layer 1 : Background Layer
Layer 2 : Copy Background Layer
Layer 3 : Levels Adjustment
Layer 4 : Hue Saturation Adjustment
Layer 5 : Gausian Blur - Screen Blend Mode at 19%
(Here's where I veered off on my own ...)
Layer 6 : Kim Klassen's Chase Texture - Soft Light at 56%
Layer 7 : Kim Klassen's Peony Texture - Multiply at 47%
At this point, I went back to the initial Background Layer at the bottom of the stack, and used the Crop Tool to extend the canvas beyond the image.  I changed that background frame from white to black.
Layer 8 : Text - Mary Oliver Quote in Ruthie Font at 72 point in a gold color; Lighten blend mode at 100%
Layer 9 : Duplicate Layer 8



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 34 : Charlie and the White Rose

"Charlie and the White Rose"

I debated posting this image.    It's a huge departure from the "nice" comfortable images of flowers, books and tea pots most people in the class are posting.  I also didn't want to be mistaken as disrespectful for posting something as gruesome a skull.  Kim Klassen goes to the store and comes home with flowers and an elegant tea cup for a lovely still life; I come home with a skull.   [What can I say?  Halloween is the time of year to buy them.]  Actually, it's true -- If I have my way, you'll be seeing more of "Charlie" here.  A Skull is a powerful symbol of Death, Change and Transformation.  Don't forget Love--A skull is the shell of a person, someone who probably had Love in their life.  It's unfortunate that skulls are thrown around with such irreverence this time of year.  They get your attention because most people don't know what to do with them; It's the freak-out factor.  They don't know what to do with Death.   I tried to elevate the higher ideas with the quote.      Stay tuned ...  My journal is filling up with notes and ideas.

In this lesson, Kim offered us lots of tips and tricks for processing our images.  I tried the recipe out on a picture of someone flying a kite on a beach, but the overall recipe just didn't work on that image.  I'll save that one for another day.   So I turned to "Charlie and the White Rose."

 Original image straight from my camera

Here's the image-processing recipe layer by layer :
Layer 1 : Background Image
Layer 2 : Clarify with a High Pass Filter
Layer 3 : Blur
Layer 4 : Beautiful Wings Brush added last.  This appears to be in a format not compatible with my version of PSE, or maybe Mac.  So I wound up using it as a jpg in a layer by itself.  Darken Blend mode made it's background blend perfectly with the rest of the background.  The wings could brush the skull's forehead.  Just the effect I was looking for!
Layer 5 : Levels Adjustment
Layer 6 : Gradient Fill : White > Black ; Normal blend mode - 25 opacity
Layer 7 : Color Fill (Peach) ; Screen blend mode  - 14%
Layer 8 : Copy Layer 7; Multiply blend mode - 26%
Layer 9 : Kim Klassen's Chase Texture ; Soft Light - 66%
Layer 10 : Copy Layer 9 ; Multiply blend mode - 66%
Layer 11 : Text ; Caflish Script Pro 60 pt with color chosen from elsewhere in the image
Layer 12 : Color Fill 2 - for feathering at frame
Layer 13 : In Picassa - Glow Filter
Layer 14 : In Picassa - Inner and outer borders added


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Candied Fabrics : Earth Triad Shades, Tints and Tones

I'm still dyeing samples from the Candiotic Table.  This is the Shades-Tints-Tones sample set from the Earth Triad.  I finally got the labels affixed.

 In the Candiotic Table below, you see the Earth and Sky Triads I dyed earlier this spring/summer.  Earth is lower right; Sky is upper left.  I took the pure hues from the darker Earth set and parsed them out into Shades-Tints and Tones.  
Quite a difference between them and an exercise worth doing.

Some of the pure hues were so dark, I didn't have much hope for them being anything but dark dark dark.  But this exercise really lightened them up (for the most part) and really showed off some of their personalities!

If you like what you see, sign up for Candy G's online class : Sign up here.  The class is designed to work at your own pace, so you can sign up anytime.  It's worth it! 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 37 : Thoughts Become Things

The lesson today was about making things happen.   She also talked about Hope ...  

In my recent internet wanderings, I had seen a photo similar to this one, and decided I could "roll my own" easily enough.    So here's my version.

This is not the recipe Kim shared in today's lesson.  My RadLab trial expired (It was a fun little program, but I couldn't bring myself to pay more for a plug-in than I paid for PhotoShop Elements).   I remember seeing similar treatments as this in RadLab, but I can't tell you what they were.  I'm pleased that I know enough about PSE from taking Kim's class that I can veer off onto my own.  ;-)

Here's my photo-processing recipe :
Layer 1 : Background layer with minor edits.  Used spot-healing tool to remove a fire hydrant in the background, and spider webs in the foreground.  Cropped it down, too.
Layer 2 : Copy Background Layer.  Sepia Tint Action - Normal Blend Mode at 100% Opacity.
Layer 3 : Text    - "Hope"  Brush script Italic 115 pt.  Multiply at 100%. Text color picked from elsewhere in the image.
Layer 4 : Kim Klassen's Warm Sun Texture - Soft Light blend mode at 100%
That got me this far in PhotoShop Elements. [See photo to left.]

Layer 5 : In Picassa, apply Orton-ish Filter.  [See photo at top of post.]   I'm sure this is possible in PSE, but I couldn't find it.  1 click in Picassa!  It adds so much depth and richness.  I love it!

Layer 6 [Optional] : Again in Picassa, add the Polaroid frame.  This kind of spur-of-the moment shot cried out for a Polaroid frame.  But I still liked the full shot at thetop.  Beauty is : I can have both!

Note to self : In going back and forth between PSE and Picassa, I seem to have lost the psd file with the layers in Elements.  I should be more cognizant of that in future.  I may want to go back later and add a different word!


Monday, September 03, 2012

Turquoise and Rust Journal

I made a new journal today.  I have a head-full of ideas again--lots of scenes I want to set up, lots of "stock" photos I want to capture, lots of quotes I want to file away to use with images ...  Time to set them down in a journal before they get lost along the way.  So here it is ...

The fabric is from my stash : A piece of Complex Cloth that was dyed, rust-dyed, dyed turquoise, then treated with a flour-paste resist and covered with purple paint to seep into the cracks.  After sitting in the stash for a year, it finally feels done.    So far, I haven't used my hand-dyed fabric on my journals (except for the rust-dyes).  I guess I've been saving them for something special ... like this!

Here's a detail shot of the closure and some of the rust and crackle texture on the surface design.  The button is made from black polymer clay, rolled into a ball, and pressed into a texture sheet.  Then baked according to the package instructions and painted.  Since I pressed it into shape with my thumb, it's a custom fit for my own hand. 

For the paper signatures, I like to use an antique laid paper in the stationary aisle of the local office supply store.  It's about $28 for a box of 500 sheets, but it feels so nice!  It's worth it to me!  Makes me want to run my hand over it and fill the pages ...    Now -- to fill these pages!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 39 : Wild and Precious Life

This week, we were on the hunt for inspired quotes that we can include with our photo creations.  Kim gave us 5 daily prompts.  I finally settled on this quote by Mary Oliver for the Life prompt.

I took this simple photo of a (wild turkey?) feather up at my parents' place a few month's ago.  Very simple and full of potential.   The background was a blank pallet for textures.  Yum!  But the feather itself also has a lot of meaning ...  Will you fly high?  Will you soar?  Will you inspire?  Will you be food for thought?  Will you be someone else's dinner?  Who will you nourish?  What stories will you write (hearkening back to feather pens)?  Will you build nations and help write a Constitution?  What marks will you leave on this world, and the people in it?  Will you make a difference?

I wanted the open space in the middle to be framed by the text and the feather.   Clean and ripe with potential.  The text is blood red because Blood is the pulse of life.  The background texture has a pink tinge to it to give it the Flush of life.  Flesh and Blood.

Here's the Photo Processing Recipe :
Layer 1 : Copy of Background Layer
Layer 2 : Lost & Taken Texture Subtle Grunge 2; Multiply blend mode at 100% opacity
Layer 3 : Ftexturaim045 (pink) Texture by Isabel Marchan;  Soft Light 90%
Layer 4 : Copy Layer 3; Soft Light 57%
Layer 5 : Text - Vivid Light  100%
               Quote by poet Mary Oliver
               Fonts : PeaAimee, Nueva Std, Caflisch Script Pro
               Font Color - Blood red
Museum Matte Frame in Picassa