Tag Archives: red

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.

Red lines

Rows of red tulips growing in the Skagit Valley in Washington State.
On a gray day it seems like the red of the tulips glows.

Since I started with red lines I thought I’d end with them as well. I feel like I ran a marathon posting every day for a month. Maybe the habit will stick and I’ll be more regular in the future.

Many thanks to Becky of Winchester for hosting this great challenge. I learned a lot about composition as I looked at people’s squares this month and spent time reshaping my own pictures to look at least okay as squares.

For Becky of Winchester’s Lines & Squares-day 31.

Red hot

This is an art installation at Carlisle Castle called “Poppies: Weeping Window” in remembrance of the lives lost in World War One. The 100th anniversary of Armistice Day is this year. In the USA we often forget it’s origin because we call it “Veteran’s Day” and it has become a more general celebration of appreciation for those who serve in the armed forces. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to arrange all of those individual ceramic poppies?

Red seems to dominate any picture it is in. For someone who doesn’t really care for red I seem to have a lot of pictures where it dominates the composition:

 

A photo a week: Red

I don”t like red all that much, so I was surprised to see how many pictures I have where it is the star. These were all taken last April, most of them in China, where red is auspicious.

Posted for Nancy Merrill’s A photo a week challenge: Red