Tag Archives: amaryllis

Whatsoever is Lovely Challenge-2022 Week 11

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

What was lovely in your life this week?

Continue reading Whatsoever is Lovely Challenge-2022 Week 11

Seeing black and white

Amaryllis

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.

Bright ending

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.

Red and white variegated amaryllis is the star of y Christmas window display.
Next to last on card.

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.

For Bushboy’s Last on Card and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

My spirit lifters

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.

Red amaryllises in full bloom.
You can see the buds in the lower left corner. The first shall be last.

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!

For Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week: Red

…and Cee’s Flower of the Day

…and the closeup of the pollen is for Sunshine’s Macro Monday.

Putting a twist on it using the GIMP

I used the GIMP to turn a photo of an amaryllis into a swirling abstract.
An abstract of my amaryllis.

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.

My bright red amaryllis in full bloom is cheering on a chilly, gray March day.
This picture seems to radiate out from the center of the flower. I thought it might make an interesting twirl.

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.

Amaryllis with the GIMP's Zoom motion blur applied.

Step 3: Repeat step 2

Amaryllis photo with the GIMP's Zoom mothion bur filter applied twice.
Same settings as for step 2 were used.

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:

Amaryllis photo with zoom motion blurring and a whirl and pinch distort added using the GIMP.
Whirled and pinched.

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).

A negative spin on it.

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:

Lighten only blend mode.
Addition blend mode.

Summary

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.

There’s one in every crowd

My first amaryllis bloom opened this morning. A welcome cheerful note on this gray day.

The stamens and pollen at the center of a red amaryllis.
A cheerful red on a gray day.

I got a group of three amaryllis for holiday cheer. Of course one of them has to be an over-achieving show-off… But in an amaryllis it’s cheerful and charming!

For Sunshine’s Macro Monday (I was sick on Monday) and Cee’s Flower of the Day.