Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Old Chicken Ranch

Last week I spied this great old chicken ranch along side the road and was able to get a shot between traffic.  It sure was not much as a stand alone image but with the textures it now seems to have evolved into something rather magical in all its decay.  My recipe is:
*Duplicate background
*Adjust levels
*Hue Sat - de-saturate
*Kristen Frank texture Fantasy Leaves I used on the upper half only with overlay 62%
*Kristen Frank texture Handwriting Linear burn 62%
*Skeletalmess Vintage Bokah overlay 100% with mask for center part of image
*Kristen Frank Texture Moon hard light 100% , masking out foreground and barn
*another levels adjustment
*New layer for the frame effect
Enjoy ~
This can be seen better over at Flicker:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Challenge of White

A little exercise in our Totally Texture group was to use a texture with the theme being white.  I had just taken this photo of the little cherub the day before so I was happy to use it for the challenge.  This image and so much clutter in the background from Lowes garden department, I ended up taking the statue out and placing it on a soft grey background, desaturated the statue and then added two layers of Kim Klassen's Ocean Side.  Once on soft light 82% and again with multiply at 82%.  I added the little soft frame effect to finish it off.  Flattened it and bumped up the brightness just a bit and signed it.  Enjoy ~

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Crane and Turtle a Painterly Recipe

Over at Beyond Layers group Kim gave us a new texture to play with called Shine.  Mostly the group uses her textures with still life photos so me being me, I had to try it with a nature photo.  I am glad I did.  The original photo has so much distraction but there is that cool little story trying to be told of the little turtle on the log looking up at the crane.  I am thinking he might become a meal!
My recipe for this painterly image:

Background > duplicate
Levels adjustment
Hue Sat adjustment
Filter>dry brush lowest settings
KK Shine texture soft light 87%
KK Shine texture again multiply
Kristen Frank Texture Paint 64 overlay 56%

I kept an extra background image off to the side which I did in the lowest watercolor setting, and now placed that on top of the work
blend mode 88%.

Flattened the layers, added a little frame and signature and a little last minute brightness adjustment.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beyond Layers Painterly

Last week at my Beyond Layers group the challenge or the learning subject was "Painterly" effects.  Neither of these are my photos but I wanted to follow along with my old PS7  while the class proceeded with cs5 and the newest Elements from Adobe.   I did pretty good, and I find that several things that have buttons in cs5 can be done using the adjustment layers with curves and Hue Sat, plus a couple other adjustments to get the right de- saturation and colors, gradients etc.   But in the end My image is an almost perfect copy.  One thing I learned was how to use the High Pass filter with a blending mode.  I must say for me, that was really the turning point for these images and from there on it was like icing on the cake.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Profound Powers of Alchemy

As part of Beyond Layers studio trial, I set up some fabric as a background against a little wooden cabinet.  It gave extra warmth to the image over all  and then I added an orton effect and a couple layers of Kim's texture Felicity.  I like the little studio work, and need to collect some interesting things to shoot, I seem to keep using the same pieces over and over.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


This weeks challenge in Beyond Layers group with Kim Klassen was to create a little mini photo studio.  I want to get some foam core boards to make a couple sides for background but for now I am using a long strip of freezer paper pinned to the wall that drapes over a small cabinet and it allows a seamless background.  For this image I added a muslin fabric to lay the watercolor pallet on and the strawberries.  After some adjustment layers I used Kim's texture Revolution and Poetic, added a couple decorative brushes and a bit more adjustments.  Enjoy ~

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Meadow Lark

This lovely big Meadow Lark was a look out in the pasture last summer.  Boy I am going to miss that pasture, it had quite a bit of life in it.  Anyway, this big boy just sat up on his branch and sang and sang...

Texture by Kim Klassen Worn and Weathered and another texture by Distressed Jewel called Painted Days Ahead, and a little brush effects for the sky, a bit of burn to the edge of the layers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

San Juan Bautista Mission

This image was taken at the lovely Mission in San Juan Bautista of St. John the Baptist.  The light that day was very harsh but with working it over in layer adjustments and a texture layer I now really like the image I almost tossed out.   The texture I used was from Kim Klassen's collection called Worn and Weathered which I used two times.   one time at a linear burn 58% and then I duplicated the layer in a different position and set it at soft light 94%.   I really like how the texture fixed the horrible harsh sky. I did add a couple little brush squiggles in the upper right hand corner at the very end.  Enjoy ~

Monday, February 6, 2012

Flutterby Dream

For awhile I was posting birds and now it seems its butterflies.  They are so dreamy and delicate in contrast to our harsh environments.  This lovely Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was a giant in my garden last year.  I worked him over with a few textures after I did the Orton effect on the original image.  To make the Orton effect in photoshop, you duplicate the background>apply>screen 100%>blur>gausian blur about 19%
then you move that layer on top of the original.  Blend mode>multiply>adjust % and go from there.   I learned this from an article in http://www.naturephotographers.net/

I spend quite a bit of time looking at people's photography and gathering ideas to make my own images peculate with interest.  Enjoy ~

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Story Board Challenge

Our Beyond Layres group had a story board challenge this week.  Talk about out of my element here learning new tools in my old Photoshop7.  We were given some templates to use and our tutorial on using Open>File>Place.  I had never used this feature before and I am confident that after googling and reading more that .jpgs should have worked but my software said NO.  It wanted only photo shop files, so I converted my images to fit these little templates.   The Swans were my first ever and these photos I took from Fort Worth Zoo last winter.  The Shells were collages I did last summer with  random images and textures.   The swans are more of a time capsule as an event and outing, the shells reminding me of a boring block of time I decided to try digital collage and textures.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11605172@N05/6823618049/in/photostream   for bigger view

Friday, February 3, 2012


I really love macro work and if you love that you gotta love the little world of insects and bugs.  One thing I have always admired in others images was the nack to be able to give expression to bugs that sorta told a story.  Here this lovely Tiger Swallowtail is peeking over a leaf and I was just lucky to get this as he was getting off his flower and  ready to lite onto another.  Enjoy ~

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Simple Green, Cheers!

 From the Garden!  That is last years garden but some fun images to share just the same.  I had a lovely fern that grew in a shaded protected location and I always loved the little fronds that came out.  This little Simple Green was taken with my macro 150mm Sigma lens and I added a bokeh texture and then some fun little squiggles that I think really set it off and filled in the dead space.

The little skippers were not as plentiful last summer but the zinnia's were on overload so I had many chances for some fun images, always trying for some expression from my bugs and critters. I used two textures on this after working my background image to get rid of unwanted ufo's and added the little Cheer's lyric for fun since he is sipping at his favorite Zinnia bar!  Enjoy~

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Drinking Buddies

What luck, as I rummage through a couple boxes left over from the move and find some photos from last summer burned to a cd!  The couple bees that came late in the drought of summer were regulars at the bird bath.  I would fill the bath up about 3 times a day for the birds but everything was parched with thirst.
So here are my little buddies having a cool drink with a great texture from SkeletalMess called Bokah and then a great water pane texture from Distressed Jewel which gave my water a sky look with that bokah texture.  Finally some nice little brushes from French Kiss.  Enjoy~