Fun with Filters

Photography has been a big part of my life since I can remember.  Somehow I got Photography Editor for my high school yearbook.  That brings back some memories.  It was my first experience with a 35 mm camera.  I haven’t looked back.  My kids always refereed to me as the paparazzi, but they loved seeing photos of themselves and their friends.  Now they are all gone and I traipse around looking for unusual sites to frame and capture.

I also like to play with photos using special effects and filters.  The following photographs show what I have done using Photoshop Elements and a photo editor called PhotoScape, which can be downloaded from the Internet for free.

I started with this photograph taken at the old Purdue farm.  I loved the shapes and textures of this building.  Using Elements I lightened it a little so that all the different textures and patterns would stand out.  I then pulled it into PhotoScape.

I used a couple of the filters to create more of a drawing or sketch look and then used one of the frame techniques and voila!  It focuses the eye on the most dramatic part of the photo.  I printed them as note cards.

That same day I took the photo below.  It has a few filters, but not as dramatic of a change.

It was worth all the bug bites and scratches from climbing around an old abandoned farm.

Shredding and Tossing

Last summer my husband, sister-in-law and I flew to AZ to clear out my mother’s house.  We had to move her to a dementia oriented nursing facility and the house needed to be cleared out and sold.  It was something I would never want to do again and never want my kids to have to do.  With this in mind we have been shredding and tossing. (BTW – I intentionally made the b&w photo blurry… in my mind it was old technology… therefore blurry black and white. 😉 )

The local library had a shredding day so I convinced my husband we could throw away 30+ years of his sales reports, taxes predating 1990, grocery receipts and other items taking up huge amounts of room in the basement.  The local high school was also collecting electronics so out went an old tv, computer, monitor, speakers and wires.  I didn’t stop there.  I went through the toy closet.  Not to throw away.  My grand kids would have a fit.  I have an amazing collection of Playmobile, Brio and Legos.

I spent the afternoon sorting through the pieces and pulling out old crayons, wrappers, broken matchbox cars (oh, forgot to mention those… lots and lots), lost puzzle pieces and more.  Some of the Lego sets were still intact and other in chunks and pieces.

It brought back many wonderful memories of children’s voices as they vocalized the story line of their play.  I can’ wait for the grand kids to visit and plow through the organization of my afternoon and make a creative mess.  It’s been too long.

(All photos were taken with my iPhone using Instagram and Photo+.  Obviously, they looked better on the small iPhone, but you get the picture.)

Weekly Photo Challenge – Together

Something caught the attention of these lady cheetahs!  Is their peaceful, quiet moment together  about to be disrupted by an outside source?

It’s not hard to guess what would attract the attention of three single ladies…

Mr. Cheetah!  What a poser!  He was really showing off for the ladies.  He knows how the blue sky sets off his streamlined physique.

(These Cheetahs currently reside in the Indianapolis Zoo.)

Garden shots in St. Louis

But which is the stone that supports the bridge?
~ Kublai Khan

This is a bridge in the Japanese section of the Botanical gardens in St. Louis.  A friend and I went a couple of years ago around Easter.  It was perfect.  The garden was in the peak of it’s spring lushness.

This was in one of the beds of tulips outside of the conservatory.


And this beauty was inside the conservatory.  I was proud of this photo because red is hard to capture under good conditions and this was a cloudy day inside a bubble.

Great place, beautiful gardens, so glad we visited.

Move over George, make room for Scotty!

When I grew up television was young, there were no computers to speak of and one’s imagination was a wonderful tool.  Books were a ticket to another world or just over the rainbow.  But then TV went from black and white to color.  The Flintstones arrived on the scene followed closely by the Jetsons.  I was entranced by the Jetsons.  Push button living, flying cars, sky high vistas and tv phone!  Jetsons had Skype!  I didn’t even know then what Skype was, it wasn’t invented, but I wanted it! I have it now and I love it.  Every long distant grandparent needs Skype and the iPhone.  We have spent many a Saturday morning talking with our kids and grandkids and laughing just like we were there with them.

Still no flying cars and robots haven’t taken over the cleaning duties, but we’re moving closer. Technology is moving quickly and I have to say I can’t wait until air travel is replaced by the simple command, “Beam me up, Scotty!”

Which digital is from a Nikon D80 and which is from iPhone?

I love photography.  I love looking at the world through a lens, I love the quiet that surrounds you as you hunt for just the right shot.  I love playing with the photos afterwards…. the ones that need a little help.  What I don’t especially love is lugging all the heavy equipment around.  I had been shopping for a small digital when we decided to get the iPhones.  Bingo!  If there is a camera app I think I have it.  I have had more fun with it.  Now the test.  I took the same basic photo with Nikon D80 with a AF-S Nikor18-105 lens.  Which is which?

For those familiar with the two it is probably very easy to tell which is which.

The first photo is the iPhone.  Look at how vivid the colors are!  I know I could tweak the colors in the Nikon shot, but I wanted to compare them shot for shot.  Pretty good for the iPhone.  They really are two distinct looks.  One very vivid the other more subtle and fine.

This clematis was also taken with the iPhone.  It is a strange flower to photograph and I used a different app.  It didn’t do well with Instagram so I used Photo+.

The second is the Nikon shot.  As you can see it is an oddly unphotogenic flower.  It really looks slightly out of focus even in person.

This last shot didn’t do well at all with the iPhone.  I think it was the contrast in the very fine details and the broad expanse of white petals.  It couldn’t decided where to focus and it just didn’t work.  Plus it was after 7:00 in the evening so the light was waning.

All in all a very restful way to end my work day  In the garden with two cameras playing.