Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finding My Style

Be Still 52, a year long class on styling is in its 3rd week.  We are exploring finding props and our style of photography.  

I have been lucky to have on loan this very cool courting candle!  I bet these antiques could tell some stories.  If you are not sure what a courting candle is just imagine your father sizing up the boy who wants to come visit you and depending on how he sizes up, your father sets the candle to burn for so many hours till the candle burns to the wire, then the suitor must go home.
Each turn of the peg is worth an hour of visiting time.  The parlors, sitting rooms and porches must have been full of these in the 1800's.

Back to style.  I never seem to be able to leave my photos alone.  I just can't take an image and say, OK that's done.  I must, am compelled, obsessed to manipulate it.  I can't quit...I love the way the textures and layers play off each other to tell a little story.

In The Evening News image here I used some very fun brushes and two textures, one is kk_isobel and the other is kk_love in layers.   My personal critique of this is that the candle is in the very center - a big no no, but some how I think it works.  What do you think?
Till next time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jack Sparrow

We have to many sparrows!  They are everywhere.   I have had some nice song birds come to my yard but these little guys just chase them away, yet they are sorta entertaining especially when they look at their reflection in the water.

Little Jack here is at the bird bath mid winter.  I processed him with a dry brush and some light painting.  I added a texture called kf_painted14 and I added a texture of a bokeh that gives those nice round blobs of light.

This is truly one of those photos that got considered for the trash bin yet it still held a bit of interest for me.  The negative space I like and after the texture of the watercolor its now definately NOT going to the trash bin.

Stillness has been a theme in one of my ongoing classes, time to think and reflect, breath and find yourself.  This image became that for me.  The more I worked on it the more I lost track of time, noise and just enjoyed the moment of making art.

I have also changed my signature on my photos, and lost that word photography.  If people have found their way to my blog, they already know its about photography and art and chit chat.     I hope you like it for now, it might change next year!  Sally Papin behind my lens...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Finds

Hello all!   I am sharing my bird nest once again, but this time with a couple of the most amazing acorns ever.   Around our back fence we have some big oak trees that have let go of some of the acorns.  The size of these acorns are around 2+ inches!   Just to give an example there is a normal size acorn cap in the nest next to them.   I had planned to play with these cool little props of nature and never thought to use them in this way.   Fun happens.....

Here they are, the collections and finds from my yard this last week.  Best part is they were free!

I cropped this square.  I am a big fan of square art and many of my photos get cropped this way.  I have yet to find a great way to showcase them on my greeting cards, but I still love square!   After a bit of exposure correction in Light Room I sent it over to Elements for just a texture from Kim called kk_partings.  I liked the look  of the little typed box in the corner, was worried it might be to busy with all the twigs but decided it would stay.   I added an element of hand writing like a brush and faded it and masked it away from the nest, added my name and it was done.  

I hope you like it.  I love that fun happens in the most unexpected ways.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Unplug the noise...

Hello everyone.   This week I got a chance to use this image in two different  on line classes I am participating in.   One is an egg challenge.  I already took so many images of eggs I will have extra photos to play with when I run out of ideas.  The other was about being still and taking time to listen, be quiet, walking, breathing.   Our house always has noise, just the two of us oldies, but tv always going, washer or dryer, dogs barking.  The quiet is often very loud!

Well back to this little nest.  We had some big wind which broke down part of an old tree and I salvaged this cool nest.   I am not sure but it appears to have started  by doves and then topped off by another bird much different.   I cradled it in tissue paper and finally decided to use it in my egg challenge, but no words came to me for it so it sat a couple days untouched.   Then the little haiku I had written down so long ago just popped into my head, and then I popped it onto my image!    I never know when I might get a "spark" of inspiration or from where, but this is one I am proud of.  How can anything be prettier than a lovely songbird in the morning singing out over the breeze.  

I processed the image in Light Room and then edited in Elements with a texture called kk_rainyday at a soft overlay.  The tissue holding the next added an extra layer behind that I really like.
Hope you enjoy my little story and image.

Monday, May 19, 2014


This had to be one of the quickest images to come together in ages.  I am really pleased with one of my own textures I used at 100% overlay.  I did nothing else to my prop work other than a crop.

My resident wild rabbit has been eating these little daisy flowers and I had planned to use them in some way for my photography.  It just came together with a bowl of water and a spoon, a little yellow hankie and I shot away, many views and levels, this is the one I have chosen today to play with.

My texture is a watercolor that I will put on flicker under a folder called textures if anyone wants to try it out.  I call this one sp_oddesy.  Of course I would like credit for it in any work you post and share.  I would love to see how it makes your images pop with Joy.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hear the Dandy Lion

Hi everyone,  I hope your week is going well.   I found found a few little props to use with my photography this week.  How I love to see things with a fresh eye.  Do you see the tissue paper as part of the layers of this photo!   Of course I used the soft gossamer cheese cloth here but also toward the back is that crisp tissue paper.   It transformed this photo so well, I can't wait to play with it again.

I edited in my old Light Room and then took it into Elements for the texture work and processing.  The quote is mine, it was just something that came to me and I liked it.   In the course of finding stillness, we might actually be able to hear a dandy lion if we are quiet enough to listen. 

This month I am taking things to KISS.  Keep It Simple Silly.   So the blog is getting a make over, a re-do, and update and its needed this for oh so long...   You know how things get stale, well I am pretty sure that's why I didn't work here much.   Its like a closet with a fresh new look, you just gotta get stylin!
Till next time...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Release the Spark

Hello all,
Today is part of Friday Finds, a pretty big group of photo enthusiasts who share something they found and photographed on Friday. 

I actually am using the little bottle as my "find", but its actually the tissue paper I found and used as part of my soft prop. 

The spark is unique in its purpose.   A spark of imagination can cause us to get inspiration or an idea and take action .  The photo I posed previously with the little spoons and flowers.  Quiet Is The New Loud...  I sparked several others who tried a similar look.  There were sparks flying all over the world!  I use to have a page in my journal called ideas, now its called SPARKS.

Hope you visit me on Flicker and Pinterest for some sparks and inspiration.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Quiet is the new LOUD

Hello everyone,
I have taken my first photo for a class called Be Still 52.  I am excited about this class and all 105 members from around the world as we search for quiet, stillness and breath in our photography.

I have always loved the light softness in washed out photos that are not at all washed out!  How on earth is that done!  Truly something you need to concentrate on while prop styling, and editing your image in Light Room and Photoshop.  You sure can't have a TV blaring with talking heads or the radio spewing those tunes that get stuck in your head and rattle around all day. 

Someone asked me what the 52 stood for.  No its not my age, I am 62!  But its 52 weeks of sharing and play, looking through new eyes and hearing whats been missed.  Its like a movement of still life.  I need and seek quiet, stillness and beauty.   

Be Still,

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Start to Finish

I am so very late updating my photography blog.  It got stagnant and I got lazy.  Still life prop styling had really caught my eye, and I needed a community.  I needed inspiration and I needed a class!   I was lucky to get in the second round of Start to Finish with Kim Klassen ( and over the 8 weeks of this class, inspiration has returned.  Ideas are flowing and I am shooting again.   New looks, new ideas and new friends.

This image was prompted in the first week by the word Intentions!   Oh man, don't get me started on intentions  I had and didn't follow through with.   So without looking back, and only looking forward I shall go full tilt, and follow the path of intentions with my lens and natural light.