Sunday, May 31, 2009

I came upon this root this afternoon. I loved the cracks and weathering--it almost seems like the prow of a Viking ship to me. Bas Relief with a touch of Sepia tint makes the texture more tactile.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The tender shades of green of late spring are impossible to describe in words. I wanted to play up the colors as well as the patterns of the branches; Crosshatch did this nicely.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The rhododendron outside our front door was still moist with rain this morning. A combination of Chalk and Charcoal with Posterize lent a subtle emphasis to the color, the raindrops and the stamens. (At least I think they're called stamens--the little trumpet-things coming out of the middle of the flower...)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our town has a wonderful program for the school kids; it's called UpBeat. On the elementary level, it sponsors family fun nights; for the middle school, there are Friday evening drop-ins where the kids can hang out in a safe environment. The program really takes off in the high school: about 300 kids are involved in social service projects, leadership training and basically being given the tools to make good decisions. Except for the director's part-time salary, the program gets no financial support from the town. That means we have to raise the money to support our activities. Our biggest fund-raiser is the annual picnic. We invite the entire town for FREE hot dogs, popcorn and soda. We collect donations, have a silent auction, and there are things like pony rides, face painting, and games for which we charge a small fee. Last year, we gave out over 6000 hot dogs!
Here's a photo of someone dressing a dog at this year's picnic tonight. I liked the weathered look of his hands. I converted the photo to B&W, then reduced the opacity and applied a touch of the Watercolor filter to bring out the seams and veins in his hands.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It rained last night. This maple leaf that was lying on the lawn this morning held onto a few lingering drops. Applying the Pencil Sketch effect and then the Multiply blend mode enhanced the raindrops and the veins of the leaf.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Do you get the feeling these people don't want visitors? I used the Replace Color tool to subdue the green of the foliage and play up the vivid red of the warnings.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Coming from NYC as I do, where parades are huge nearly professional productions, I love our samll town Memorial Day parade. There's the bands from the high school and middle school; a contingent of politicians and veterans (Including Mr. Linn, who was in the Pacific in WW II and who still proudly wears is original Navy uniform!); various civic groups; the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, Little League, Berlin Youth Soccer, the high school robotics team, the local dance school, the nursery school; and at the end, the volunteer fire department with the fire engines. Nearly every kid of elementary school age and half the kids in the high school and middle school are in the parade. The street is lined with their doting parents, grandparents and younger siblings. The latter come with bags in which to collect the candy thrown by the marchers. It's almost as good as Halloween. My husband and I are always in the parade as "kid sweepers," walking in front of the SUV that pulls the float for UpBeat (a leadership training/social service/drug and alcohol prevention program at our high school) to keep eager little kids from being run over if they dart out after candy.

This is the high school marching band as it makes its way down the town's main street. It's almost reached the firehouse, where a huge American flag is suspended between the ladders of two of the engines. A combination of Dry Brush and Accented Edges softens the details so that the important elements--the band, the on-lookers, the flag, and the iffy sky--stand out better.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

This afternoon, we had some errands to run in West Hartford Center. This bright blue door seemed strikingly (and delightfully) out of place amid all the staid brick. Posterize makes the most of the vibrant blue.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our town's Farmers' Market opened today. One of the vendors was selling home made jellies and jams. This jar of jalapeno jam caught the light. Dry Brush brightened it just a bit.

Friday, May 22, 2009

When I was at the gym today, I looked up at the windows located high on the walls. I was intrigued to see one of the light fixtures relected in the glass and looking as if it were floating in the sky. It was surreal: as though the sun had been replaced by flourescent lights. When I finished my work-out, I fetched my camera to snap the picture. The original image is a bit too soft. Combining Poster Edges and Photocopy defines the disembodied lights.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This is the roof of St. Paul's church here in town. In light of the lowering sun this evening, the tiles really were that shade of orange and the sky really was that turquoise blue. Since the original image is so stark and abstract, I wanted to render it down to its very basic elements: color and line. A combination of Posterize and Poster Edges did just that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When we were leaving a meeting at the high school this evening, we noticed that a kids' soccer game was going on at the little field beside the school. It brought back memories. We were involved in youth soccer for years. Our girls played in a generally desultory manner, but our son was threw himself into it. My husband coached all their teams for over 15 years. It was fun to watch these young boys just starting out, with the teenaged ref teaching them the finer points of the game and the parents cheering them on. My little Nikon CoolPix P&S is not good in low light situations, so there were some degree of blur in all the shots. The Dry Brush filter (with just a touch of Posterize) takes advantage of the blur to play up the light and the action.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The wonderful thing about the orchard is that it changes week by week. The orchard I saw last Tuesday is not the one I drove past today. What I loved about this week's orchard was the fresh colors--the pale green of the leaves and grass, the intense blue of the sky, and the softer yellows of the mulch under the trees. Film Grain highlighted those elements.

Because of the graduation and attendant festivities, I got behind in posting my photos. This one was taken yesterday, Monday, May 18. We have a carton of empty soda bottles on the back porch, waiting to be returned. The patterns and subtle colors caught my eye. I used Pencil Sketch to make it seem like a drawing, which brings out the patterns better; but I left one "real" bottle for added interest.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I didn't get a chance to post yesterday. Our son, Christian, graduated from the University of Hartford yesterday with a degree in Business. We spent the morning at the graduation and the rest of the day hosting a party to celebrate his achievement. I couldn't resist posting the standard Mom-Dad-and-Grad snapshot.
As one might imagine, I took lots of photos, but the best one was this very spontaneous pose by our friends' two little girls. They were taking a break from roasting marshmallows at the firepit on the side of our house and from romping with my grandson. It really highlights their two very distinct personalities. I thought the lighting on the original was a bit harsh, so I softened it. To do this, I applied the Pencil Sketch effect, then used the Color blend mode, and finally made some adjustments with Color Curves.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My son is graduating from the University of Hartford tomorrow. This evening, there was a reception at which this trio entertained. I loved the enthusiasm of the cello player. Crosshatch simplified the lines a bit, but kept the expressions and the obvious enthusiasm of the musicians.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The light at Paper Goods Pond this evening was incandescent. Everything was lit up with an internal fire. Quite a few filters looked god; but Dark Strokes was the one that showcased the extraordinary light.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. To be honest, I'm not impressed with either of these photos; but today, it was what I had, and I'm committed to a Photo a Day!

It was so windy when I was leaving work that I had trouble forcing the door open; when I was taking the pictures of this windswept tree, it was literally hard to hold onto my little P&S. The tree is next to my office building, and the wind was sweeping the leaves over. It was fascinating to watch, but I knew it would be difficult to capture the motion of a tree on a windy day in a still photo--but what's life if not a challenge? I applied a bit of a Radial Blur, then found that the Dry Brush filter somehow enhanced the sense of restlessness.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Our son is graduating from college on Sunday, and we're having about 50 people over afterwards to celebrate. My husband is only mildly concerned about what to give them to eat and drink--but he is nearly frantic that they won't have anywhere to sit. Busly Berkeley's sying words were supposed to have been, "Stairs--more stairs!" John's will be, "Chairs--more chairs!" So off we went this evening to WalMart, Target, Lowe's in an effort to garner more chairs.
In one of those stores, there was a small display of prayer plants. This one caught my eye. I played around a bit, stumbling on this unusual graphic effect. First, I applied the Pencil Sketch effect; then the Glowing Edges filter. I inverted that (CTRL-I) and reduced the opacity.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

OK--more clouds...but I couldn't help it! I rode my bike to my women's Bible study (AKA the Bible Babes) past the reservoir between the town of Berlin and Southington. The clouds were simple magnificent. This was one of the few safe places to stop to take a few pictures. Converting the photo to B&W also converted the nature of the picture. In the original, the clouds are bright and billowing against a pleasant spring sky. One can imagine the brisk, sunny weather. B&W adds a sense of drama and a certain threatening quality. In this case, the B&W held a certain portent: by the time Bible Babes was over, it was raining, and nearby towns had had significant thunderstorms.

Monday, May 11, 2009

When I was leaving work, the sky was quite unusual. It was sunny in the parking lot, but overhead, big fluffy clouds billowed under a thin grey haze stretched high above them. Glowing Edges applied at a reduced opacity and then blended with Overlay reproduced the sense of energy and motion I saw in the sky this afternoon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today we took our 16 year old daughter and her friend to see Phantom of the Opera at the Bushnell in Hartford. This gentleman plays his trumpet outside the theater before and after the performances, regardless of the weather. With all the people trooping by for the production, it was hard to get a good picture of him (not to mention my daughter, dying of embarrassment at her mom taking "random pictures on the street.") A combination of Chalk and Charcoal with Colored Pencil isolated him from the background while still basically keeping the color.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The best thing about lilacs is their heavenly scent, but technology has not advanced to the point that I could snap that and put it on the blog. So you'll have to use your imaginations. Conte Crayon provided some subtle accents; but, alas, not the heady perfume that I love.

Friday, May 8, 2009

This is my younger gandson, Criag Morgan Patrick. I admit that--especially given I haven't seen him since January--I was too busy playing with him to want to spend too much time taking pictures of him, but I did take time out to snap a few. I liked how Colored Pencil brought out the sparkle in his eyes and his goofy grin.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

For some reason, raindrops only cling to the backs of the dogwood blossoms. Dark Strokes (with a subtle application of Blue Tint) lets the raindrops shine.