This challenge is simple: step back for a few minutes each week to find a lovely thing, a precious moment, anything you find lovely. Then post about it. You can just post a picture or you can go into detail and tell it as a reflection, story or poem.
It could be anything:
a smile…a rainbow…a flower…a kind act…a tasty treat
I’ve been enjoying my amaryllis this week. It just came into bloom, I have three amaryllises from Christmases through the years that have decided to pop into bloom this month. After mucking about with daffodils in black and white earlier this week I decided to give the amaryllis a try for Brashley Photography’s Mid-week Monochrome. Also for Cee’s Flower of the Day (in color it was my flower for yesterday also).
As often I find, the black and white brings out the textures and the lines in the petals. For these pictures I used the GIMP’s built-in Desaturate tools. If you are interested in trying them out I have this article about the tools on my other website: Black and white digital photo processing using the GIMP.
The header is the last on card for the year 2021. I added the one below, next to last on card, same flower from a different angle. It shows more of the full glory.
This amaryllis is the dominant subject of my photography since it started to emerge in the middle of December. It’s the only living Christmas decoration for this year, and I find its red and white stripes cheerful, especially on glum days.
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.
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.