My amaryllises are still going strong, but I think this may be their last hurrah for the year. The three bulbs have been providing cheer continuously since the beginning of December. I’m not generally a great lover of red but the weather has been cloudy and I’ve really been enjoying the different shades of red and the way the light plays on the petals.
The one that started the display in early December is also the one that has one still unopened bud. Obviously an over achiever in more than one way!
…and the closeup of the pollen is for Sunshine’s Macro Monday.
I admire the work of both Bren of Brashley Photography and Julie Powell. I’ve learned a lot from them. This morning Bren posted a “Twirling Tuesday Challenge”. It intrigued me, but the directions (written by Julie Powell) were for Photoshop.
Being an amateur on a fixed income I haven’t sprung for the Adobe Photoshop software. I wondered if I could create a similar effect in the GIMP. GIMP stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program. It is shareware, which means the price right.
A bit of internet research and experimentation today led me to this process:
Step 1: Load my photo.
Step not taken:
Both Julie Powell’s directions and the video on Brashley photos post use a Photoshop filter in the pixelate menu called “mezzotint”. The GIMP doesn’t have that choice near that in its pixelize filter. There is a GIMP plug in to get the effect, but I decided to see what would happen without that step. I was in the mood to play with pretty things, not be a computer geek..maybe next week.
Step 2: Zoom Motion Blur
Filters>Blur>Zoom motion blur. I moved the center to the middle of the flower and cranked the blurring factor up to 0.515 and left the other parameters at default.
Step 3: Repeat step 2
If you wanted you could repeat this again.
Step 4: A positive spin on it
I made a copy of the step 3 layer and applied Filters>Distorts>Whirl and Pinch using the default settings to get this:
Step 5: A negative spin on it
I mad another duplicate of the step 3 image, moved it above the layer from step 4, and again used the Filter>Distorts>Whirl and Pinch, but for this layer I made the angle negative (I forgot to jot down the exact number, but I think it was around -200).
Step 6: Experiment with blend modes
Not much to say about this, I just tested all of the various blend modes on the layer made in step 5 until I found ones I liked. Here are my two favorites:
It was fun to give this a try and the GIMP was quite easy to use to get the twirled effect. So much so that I may become addicted to abstraction.
Here are a few photos from a walk we took round trip from Paradise Bay on Urupukapuka Island for Alive and Trekking’s Which Way Challenge. I wish I could also share with you the smell of the air, the bush had a sweet smell, and the singing of the birds, and the warmth of the air with a cool breeze for balance…
Another “way”Continue reading Which way to Paradise? It’s a loop trail!
When we were hiking in the Opua Forest in the Bay of Islands New Zealand this guy jumped onto my husbands hat.
He went laps on the hat while we tried to convince him that he would ultimately be happier in the woods. Eventually we found some growth that he was willing to climb on and we bid him (her?) adieu.
Russell New Zealand was called the “hellhole of the Pacific” by local missionaries due to the wild behavior of the whalers on shore leave. Is this sign a witty response to all of the “first recorded cricket game happened here” signs (yes, I really saw that one, but I didn’t photograph it), an indication that nothing happening is worthy of note…or a claim of virtue that may or may not be correct?
Like many I am the one usually taking the photos. But there are a few with me in them:
One of the joys we can bring with photography is the memory of the good and happy. There is plenty of the other things to go around. I made a point of having a few taken with me and Grandma:
In a previous post I talked about how my Grandmother was one to see the sunshine, For All the Saints. For our family the struggle with joy has been poignant: my mother has some type of emotional or mental illness that is progressive ( and my youngest sister seems to be following a similar path). It creates a weird situation where we forget that there was good, fun, and joy because of what came after, or even in parallel. But we do a disservice to both ourselves and the person who was, at one point, a different person if we let that joy go. Photos can be a powerful tool in reclaiming the joy that is as much a part of our heritage as the weirdness and sorrow. For this reason Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy: Say Cheese resonates with me.
I’ve resolved to try and have more photos with me in them. But I also have an avatar. During my husbands first trip to China one of my son’s co-workers gave us a safe travel deer. We named her Amie Lu. Amie is French for friend, and the woman who gave us the deer was named Amy. Lu is Chinese for deer. We’ve been bringing Amie-Lu along on our travels ever since, and while I don’t take selfies, I do take Amie-Lu-ies.
In the On the Hunt for Joy challenge, the first challenge is to go outside. Today that has very little appeal, it is much more of a curl up by the fire with the pets and drink hot drinks kind of day. Gray, chilly, breezy, rainy and gray. We did get a few, fleeting, sun rays so I popped out and took a couple of pictures.
The sky, taken from just outside my front door today:
And my favorite rose just won’t give up and call it a year:
Walking is not an option for me, the dogs insist on at least two a day, and have an active lobby for three. Many, if not most, of the photos I take are on walks with the dogs. These walks, though on nasty days like today sometimes feel like they are a very time consuming chore, help me keep on an even keel emotionally and maintain a sense that the world is a beautiful place, even when things aren’t going so well.
2019 was not a good year, and it ended poorly
I’ve been rather inactive for the last month. I can’t seem to keep up and when I don’t keep up the vast number of posts coming out every day (honestly I do not know how people manage to post everyday) make catching up in the time available impossible. So if I missed your brilliant holiday posts I apologize.
Life has been going on. When stuff happens (do you ever feel like shouting “it didn’t ‘happen’, you did it!” to someone?) I always wind up silenced for a while. It’s kind of like when you fall and it takes a moment to figure out if you are alright or not, then get back up. If you don’t pause a bit before you get back up your legs can’t hold you.
…but it wasn’t all bad
I feel like I saw many beautiful things and learned a lot last year (notice my leprechaun animated GIF?).
A great thing about photography as a hobby is being able to go back through the archives for a year and see how much happened that was beautiful and good. I feel like holding onto the good and beautiful is critical to staying as close to sane as I can manage.
Will 2020 be a year of perfect vision?
Right now I have a fear that I may see perfectly a lot of bad stuff happening.
Here’s hoping I am wrong!