Tag Archives: photoshop

A little Daisy Love

Daisies are my favourite flowers. They are cheerful and exuberant. They are one of the few things I can grow without ever having a problem with it, unless if it’s very hot and I don’t water enough. No pests, no diseases, the dog doesn’t eat them either. Win all around.

Daisies belong to the Asteraceae or Compositae, which is an extraordinary large and widespread family of flowering plants with currently 32.913 accepted species names in 1911 genera lists and about 13 subfamilies. Quite the family tree, really.

Like in any family there are some black sheep. The Dandelion, for example, much loved by many, has become a significant weed in some parts of Northern America.

Daisies grow almost anywhere in the world in one form or another. They are mainly herbaceous plants (plants without a woody stem above ground) but they can also be shrubs and trees and climbers.

The daisy also has some fancy family members, which includes food crops, like the lettuce, chicory, globe artichoke, sunflower, amongst others. The cut flower industry enjoys Chrysanthemums, Gerberas, Dahlias, Tagetes and Zinnia. The Chamomile is a family member, also, and the Echinacea. As well as Calendula, Tarragon or Marigold.

And the whole family is good for bees, because of the abundance of pollen. Not so good for humans with hey fever. But hey, can’t have everything, right.

So I paid homage to my little daisy love with this creation of Daisy Love. I actually had some people be astounded by the fact that this grew in my garden, which of course it didn’t, but in Photoshop. Although I’m flattered because if it looks that realistic then I must have done well.

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Kaleidoscope Collection

Kaleidoscopes have been around since 1815 when one Sir David Brewster developed them. Already at their time they proved to be a huge success, with over two hundred thousand sold in London and Paris in just three months. Still today they are fascinating for old and young.

A proper kaleidoscope is ‘an optical instrument in which bits of glass, held loosely at the end of a rotating tube, are shown in continually changing symmetrical forms by reflection in two or more mirrors set at angles to each other. A kaleidoscope operates on the principle of multiple reflection, where several mirrors are placed at an angle to one another. Typically there are three rectangular mirrors set at 60Β° to each other so that they form an equilateral triangle, but other angles and configurations are possible. The 60Β° angle generates an infinite regular grid of duplicate images of the original, with each image having six possible angles and being a mirror image or an unreversed image.’

I have always been fascinated by kaleidoscopes, and even more so by their endless mathematical possibilities. To me, they are mind-boggling and deeply soothing, probably as well as many kaleidoscope images do reflect mandalas.

Mandalas are deeply rooted in Indian religions but forms of them can also be found in christian architecture and art. Over the last century, mandalas have made their way into western psychological interpretation, thanks to Carl Jung, the pioneer in the exploration of the unconscious through art making.

While mandala and kaleidoscope inspired images in colouring books and the painting and drawing of them is popular in both art therapy classes and for the art lover at home, this digital age has also given us a gazillion of plug-ins and photo-effect apps to turn any and every photo into a multitude of artworks.

My kaleidoscope collection is inspired by the mathematical rules on which kaleidoscopes operate. They are all created from an original photograph, taken by me, and then applying a number of layer effects in Photoshop, to create an image that could represent itself if we were looking at the original scene through a kaleidoscope. Many times, my creations seem to be having a tendency to want to be mandalas, too, and as there is no doubt in the balancing-process of the psyche when it comes to mandalas, I let them. This is a creative process, each image is worked on individually, no pre-fabricated action or filter is being applied.

My aim is to create an image that gives the colours, the look and the feel of the original photograph.

I’m hoping that they appeal to everyone who loves science and art, and has a taste for the quirky.

Small prints are available through my store, but large acrylic prints have proven to be popular. They do look stunning in large, if I may say so myself πŸ™‚

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Bias All The Way

Drum roll please for a new product I’ve just added to my catalogue:

DIY Papercraft Cameras: a colouring in and papercraft activity set

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I’ve had these little camera prints for a while. They were living in the studio waiting-room, ready to entertain and keep busy any sibling or parent while I was busy taking photos next door.

They were always well liked. And then one day a Mum wanted to buy some off me, because she liked them all so much.

So I refined them to get them into a proper ‘product’ look and several test runs were done to make sure it all works perfectly fine, and voila πŸ™‚

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Mouse-made by me in Photoshop. Available in my studio or in my Made It Store.

I love them, but then I do love colouring in and papercraft anyway, and then it’s cameras, so I guess I’m bias all theΒ  wayΒ  πŸ™‚


Time Flies

So they say and it is true.

I am finding myself at the computer so many hours of every day yet I don’t seem to find the time to write much for my blog.

I’ll have to do better again.

On the up-side, being so very busy, and even busier in the weeks leading up to Christmas, is a good thing. It means my little one-woman business is establishing itself a little bit better all the time. Happy days.

Spending so much time at the computer editing and creating, I continue to find great joy in the ease of Instagram, which -for me- has nothing whatsoever to do with the computer, as I don’t use big camera photos on there, but only smart phone images, which I can edit sitting on the couch with my feet up.

I found myself a little group of pages that I follow and where I participate in their daily or weekly themes when I find the time. The good thing about Instagram is that the world won’t end if you didn’t manage to catch up for a couple of days, like it does on Facebook, where you’re seeing your statistics plummet into oblivion if you neglected your pages just for half a day. I have largely given up paying too much attention to the Insights, because it’s quite depressing sometimes to be honest, but Facebook tends to send those kind reminders ….

Anyhow, as Instagram makes my heart light and still feeds my creative eye and mind, I felt it was time to send some thanks to those that engage with me there, with a snippet of some of my posts that were featured on other sites, yay πŸ™‚

InstagramThankYou


Pink Me

Early paper and ink quality wasn’t all that great and, unfortunately, when you’re looking at your old colour photographs from long(er) ago you’ll notice they’ve mostly turned a weird mush of yellows or pinks. They are likely otherwise undamaged, but the discolouration is usually not very pretty.

Like in this photo from my collection from the early 80s.

As I’m in the process of resorting and reprinting and digitizing all of our private photo albums, every now and then I’m tackling a few photos in Photoshop and fix them up.

Now, it sounds a bit easier than it is. With this particular photo I have the great advantage that I have a memory of this day. I remember it was taken just after the summer holidays, when a small pop up studio set up in the local mall. My mother used to take me there almost every year to get my portrait done and have the prints go to the grandparents as Christmas presents. It was a good idea to do it well before the festive craze (I know now where I’ve got that from) plus having portrait photos taken just after summer, before the long winter pale sets in.

So, I remember my then favourite top as being very pink, I also remember that I would have been quite tanned from many weeks at the Italian Riviera, with my hair going very light.

All this helped a lot when I set out fixing the colours in this image. There was no other damage, no cracks or weirdness, so it was really just about getting the colours right.

Obviously, this process is much harder when I don’t have a memory about the occasion. When restorating the colours in clients’ images it requires sometimes a bit of emailing back and forth, to get the exact tinge of a dress, of a flower bouquet, of the hair.

But for now, this ‘pink me’ is all good again.

PinkMe


I am no Michelangelo

Just finished this digital restoration the other day.

Obviously the original had a few issues, the biggest problem the missing arm of the subject. Then some water damage, the most visible being the stain on the ladies forehead. And a few little rips and scratches.

I was intrigued by the photo because of the blouse, I keep saying that patterned clothing in restorations will be the death of me one day πŸ˜‰ – they can be very tedious, but I never had stripes. I also loved the intricate stitching on the neck. I wanted to bring that detail out a bit more.

First I fixed the little rips and scratches. Then I fixed the arm. When I say ‘fixed’, really, I re-painted it digitally – awww the things you can do in Photoshop …Β  It took a bit of tweaking, to get the folds of the fabric right, I actually hang a shirt of my husband and arranged the arm in such a way that I could see the folds. I am no Michelangelo, he was a true genius with the folds of clothing, but I am happy how it turned out.

Then I took care of all the water stains. I then turned the image black&white, but gave it a bit of sepia, to keep the warmth. I spent a lot of time cleaning up little pixellation specks on the face, and then sharpening the eyes, the hair, the white lines on the blouse and especially the neck piece. I decided to not work much more on the background, to keep it, well, in the background.

Lastly, I gave the image a slight vignette, to darken the edges and draw the eye on the face. What do you think?

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