Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Angel Wings

Well its not really wings of an angle but of a Dutch Iris using my macro and morning backlit natural light.  Added a soft texture to it to soften the image.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Circus Yellow

Another happy face from one of the 3 orchids I have.  They are such clowns in disguise.   Added several layers and adjustments, a bit of swirly brush and my haiku.   

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Woman Loves Orchids

Orchids are such a treat to lavish on ones self, and so hard to resist the happy little faces.  These white faced lovely's are a type of phalaenopsis showing up at the stores for Valentines.  I used my little 18-50 Canon lens to shoot these and worked them in a couple texture layers.  One in Pretty In Pink with a linear Dodge, and two layers of Canvas Grunge by Kim Klassen at lineral burn, some adjustment layer here and there and finally the nice little quote.  A Woman Loves Orchids Because They Make Her Feel Like She Is Floating On  A Cloud Of Possibilty!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries

Isn't this different coming from me!  Its an exercise from Kim Klassen's Test Kitchen and I found the exercise fascinating but it was even more fun trying to find things to take a still life composition.  Now I can gobble up these delightful cherries!  Enjoy, I know I will.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life in Six Words

In our Beyond Layers group, Kim ran across a fun and interesting challenge.  Your life in 6 words.   The idea originated from The Smith Magazine http://www.smithmag.net/
and so here we are taking some of our photos and putting some life words to go with our images.  Its a whole big world out there, the Smith Magazine site is very entertaining, so check it out.   My image was taken a couple weeks ago at Hagerman Wildlife Refuge in Sherman TX, and these are snow geese who were flying in by the thousands.  This photo was unusual as they were flying right over me so close that while in formation they look like someone stacked them up like a kabob.    Enjoy ~
Oh, my texture is just the cloud overlay at soft light.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Goldfinches are here!

 What a fun surprise to look out at my feeders and so a flock of Lesser Goldfinches.  My camera was ready too, amazing.  This first shot is of a single little guy waiting patiently for his turn at one of the feeders.   They did not seem very shy of me and the camera, maybe because they were so excited about a free meal!
Enjoy ~

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Whats old is New

This week in Beyond Layers Class, Kim is trying to get us to take our new photos or old photos and make them more simple.   The idea being that Less Is More!   I truly struggled with this because I like dramatic deep colors full of depth.   Both these photos I have re worked in the less is more idea.  the Texture Kim has us all using is called Awaken.

On the feather I used this texture only one time.  Its a found feather that I have kept for years.
This is one of my favorite subjects.  Old dead flower heads and pods.   This is called Spring Flower Becomes Winters Cloak.  I worked and worked on this to get it soft and delicate, added finally two textures of Awaken.  

Sometimes I use a dry brush filter on my images after I process them but not on these two.

You can view more of my work on my Flicker Photo Stream here:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Herons and Mockingbirds

Here I have included a couple more birds for you to enjoy.  The great big Mocking Birds are so stately and commanding.  In the other photo I see the Great Heron carries the same attitude in his marsh area.  Now that we have sold our old ranch and the bird bath stayed there too, I can not imagine a summer without one.  I wonder if two bird baths will find their way to my yard!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fractilius Garden

I love the way sunflowers on long stems reach out toward the sun, like little satellite dishes,  I got to playing around with one of the Redfield filters and applied it to this composition.  I was really happy with the over all effect and have not used this in a couple years, so now it is all fresh and exciting for me again.  I left the link to the plugins below if you have an urge to play.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In the Garden

 Sifting through yet more of last summers images.  I was happy to find so many photos to play with and shocked at how many more I have yet to review.

This little damselfly I did a search on for its species and for Oklahoma it seems it is called a Powdered Dancer.  How sweet to have such a wonderful name.  It was really tiny and hid down deep in the weeds in the pasture.    I have included this giant clover image along with the Damselfly because this was part of the Weed Exploration I was on with my Macro that day.  Enjoy ~

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hagerman in the Winter

Well, at last there is an image without birds!  I thought these dead looking trees in the water were so interesting with the reflection and the way the water glistened in different textures and colors.      The Great Heron's were out  in abundance at the Refuge last weekend and I got quite a few images of them doing different things.  They really blend in with water and weeds so it was hard to get nice shots of them. I hope you are enjoying these winter images.

Dining In The Muck

Hi again, with birds!  Saturday I got to visit again the great Hagerman Wildlife Refuge http://www.friendsofhagerman.com/Home
and spent 2 hours just driving and walking about trying to get some photos.  Since its winter there are not many things to shoot except , what else...birds!  I got a nice assortment of birds that I will be sharing with you.  These are not Mallards but this pair kept close enough to the edge of the water to get some nice wakes behind as they paddled along the shore.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

1000 Birds

I guess last Summer I got tired of butterflies and flowers, and became a Birder.   Well they are pretty darn entertaining and a bit more personality than a flower, so here is another baby from last summer's collection and its little Haiku I put together just for this baby bird.  Enjoy ~

Saturday, January 14, 2012

High Noon

One of my little birdies from last summer. She was a character and I remember her well.  Doesn't her expression just say it all!
I used two textures in this, one called Scripted and one called All That done at different settings and masks, I added my haiku and my frame which I darkened. Hope you enjoy it!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Bluebird Oasis

When it was hot I could not wait for winter, now that its cold I crave the heat.
I had such a great group of birds come to my birdbath last summer.  So many would come they would splash the water out several times a day.  This batch of bluebird babies which actually included 5 total were always there playing in the water.  This Image used two texture layers, a dry brush filter and simple frame.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ghost Shell

The last day of the year we went on a motorcycle ride and picnic with friends at Lake Texhoma Durant, OK.  Our friends took us along the shore line and I found amazing fossils from the cretaceous, and at the waters edge my attention was drawn to a quick flash of light in the tide as it came in.  This little shell was so rich in color and newly opened.  The bit of bubbles and froth around the shell just made it enchanted somehow.  It even has a couple bubbles in the shell making it like ghost pearls.   Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Follow Your Heart

Last summer these two lovely birds frequented my bird bath for a couple months.  They were always together and while they do not look like make and female having the same dark coloring, its possible they are siblings who stayed together during the hot spell.  I chose this photo to work on out of all of the ones I had of them, their topaz eyes set against the dark navy feathers, the blues and violets so attractive with the chocolate brown bodies.  If anyone knows this species, drop me a note!  Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Drawing Without An Eraser

I tried something new with a studio type photo of one of the rabbits in my collection and a few colorful leaves left from fall.  I just put the rabbit and leaves on some freezer paper for the background so it would be plain but I think I could have used a white flour towel too!  Maybe next try I will use that.  So here I have used a couple of layers and a recipe from The Test Kitchen
http://photoshoptestkitchen.com/.  I only did a couple little things different than the tutorial showed but I like the soft over all effect and how it took a very stark image and transformed it into something more.   The Brush I used is an art brush that was added at the last, Life Is The Art Of Drawing Without An Eraser.  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eagle Portrait my recipe

OK everyone, I have been asked how I am creating my art.  I think this eagle will be a good example.  You can see below the original photo that is just bad with awful light and reflections.  I am really happy with the new image of the eagle.
1. I use PS7.  Open the image and duplicate the background.
2. Add a gradient layer black to white at 45% opacity and then using a soft round black brush with opacity about 45% again brush away the areas you want to show through.
3. I duplicated the gradient layer and set it to blending mode screen      22% opacity.
4. Another adjustment layer was added with a soft warm peach color
   4b1506 hex code soft light blending mode at around 15%
5.I went back to the duplicate layer I added a watercolor filter
6. I now added an adjustment levels layer and brought out the whites.
7. Another adjustment layer Hue and Sat to take out the greens and yellows for a soft look.
8. I went to the top of my layers and added a very cool free texture from Deviant Art and set at soft light about 23% and duplicated that layer.
9. I added a mask layer and brushed away the area over the bird for the last part
10. I added the very nice little frame to finish it off.  Don't you think it look's much more interesting.  I feel like I saved that photo from the trash bin.

This must seem like reading Greek to my friends who visit my art here,
but the steps are quite easy to learn especially if I keep my pen and paper handy at my keyboard!   I am learning all this at:

Textures and Frames

Working through some of my old images and have always liked this little bird.  As a stand alone composition I did not like it so decided to work it over with the textures and layers in PS and add some words from a set of Dream brushes.  I love how it looks. One of the layers was a olive that brought much of the image together and allowed the little wading bird to be more of the main attraction.
At the Test Kitchen http://www.kimklassencafe.com/
there was a little tutorial on making a frame with the layers.   I tried a little studio photo of some shells and was really happy to figure out how easy it was to make this frame.  Then I added that burst of light rays which ruined it!  Oh well, after I stepped back and looked at it about 5 min later, I truly regret adding that at that strength!  But the frame is wonderful!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Humming Bird Antics

I have become so lazy, and my photos are in desperate need of organization.  I have so many interesting images and how can I do justice to each one!  I have been taking some time this last fall between selling our ranch and moving to review some of my favorite photos and moving into a folder for future work.  This is one of those photos.  Its a little hummingbird hen who constantly guarded her flower area.  She is complaining to another hummingbird who is flying above her in this composition from last summer.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I am having such fun learning new things in photoshop with Kim Klassens
"Test Kitchen".   This week we had a challenge photo called the Red Shed where we did some extra effects and texture to a great old structure.  This is not an image I shot but I am going to work this technique on a couple of my existing images and see how it goes.
Hope you enjoy and if you want to visit Kim's site it is: www.Kimklassencafe.com