Weekly Prompts: Edit

I usually like to try wherever possible to compose my photographs as correctly as possible, requiring minimal editing, but sometimes I’ll find I have to crop the edges a little, or I’ll want to convert the image to black and white – the above image has had both applied in post-processing. My original has slightly more empty dark space on the right hand side and along the bottom, and even as I took the shot (in colour) I knew I wanted to greyscale the final image to fully emphasise the highlights and shadows.

Other crop-type editing gets done at home whenever I need to straighten out wonky horizons, or cut out random parts of people either coming in or going out on the edges of the shot. And as well as considering the simple starkness of monochrome, other visual changes can include making a negative image which is sometimes very effective whether in colour or in black and white. And at other times I just go completely over the top and apply a digital art filter to an entire image – I find these are truly great fun to play with! 🙂

Weekly Prompts: Edit

Advertisements

Self Portraits in Summer

I am seriously not keen on staged or posed portrait photos of me – especially just me alone – even the thought of it leaves me feeling truly uncomfortable somewhere deep down inside, all squirmy and suddenly clammy all over. The thing is, there are plenty of photos of me as a young child, sometimes caught candidly, sometime posed, and I seemed to have been fine with it then, so I wonder when did my discomfort begin?

With realisation of the not-good-enough self, perhaps, an awareness of apparently not meeting the required standards in life? Or of not liking what I see, of being a disappointment? I’m not terribly keen on being in pics with other people, either, but at least I feel a bit more at ease with that – candid snapshots with me and my grandkids, for example, make wonderful memories to be treasured however fat/old/wrinkly I look. But just me on my own… no!

I’m quite clearly not one of the millennial generation, who all seem to think nothing of taking about a million selfies every day in a hundred different public places but always with the same moue mouth, and then posting the best shots online. I always feel far too self-conscious to appear so self-absorbed in public, and all too often it shows in the end result. My husband takes some good selfies of us together, but he knows he needs to catch us quickly or I start to look either stony-faced or forced-stare-y.

But today I was on my own in our local park, lying on my back on the short grass and just looking up at the vast hugeness of the sky, like I used to love to do as a kid. There were a few clouds floating about, but overall the sky was beautifully blue and I found myself thinking (amongst other things) about what the sky might start to look like if the ozone layer depletes too much more, or worse, disappears altogether… would we still have a sky at all?

Anyway, at that point in my random reverie I sat up and spontaneously decided to take a selfie or two, just for the sheer hell of it, and of course for posterity. Phone camera on, selfie mode on, and click, click, click, squinting a bit at the screen in the sunlight. A quick look… hmmm… then click, click, click again… enough. The mood passed as suddenly as it had arrived, and the sun chose that moment to hide behind the only huge grey cloud in the sky…

When I got home and looked more closely at what I’d taken, I was, as usual, disappointed. Six pics of me, two of which were OK-ish. There I was in glorious technicolour, double chin, no make-up, hair dishevelled in the soft warm breeze and eyes all wrinked up in the sunshine. God, these phone cameras pick up every flaw in your face. But then I thought – even young people sometimes use filters to make themselves look better, don’t they? So I searched online for something suitable to soften the rather harsh look and…

Ta-da! I still look like me, with my natural dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards look and fake photo smile. The rectangular image simply has a ‘sweet caramel’ haze on it and the square image a ‘soft lilac’ haze, both quite flattering, I find. Two passable al fresco self-portraits in summer, me at 55, in a blue dress against a blue background, on the day I wondered randomly about what colour the sky might be if the ozone layer evaporates… Let’s hope I never have to find out 🙂

Stream of Conscousness Saturday: Leaves

Abstract Bluebells

Some abstract bluebells for today’s Flower of the Day – I just felt like doing something a bit different… These particular bluebells were nestled under the shade of a tree, and it was dull rather than sunny when I took the original pic so the resulting image looked a bit dull and the colours faded – but a digital art filter helped give my boring old bluebells a new, far more interesting lease of life 🙂

One Liner Wednesday

‘One happiness scatters a thousand sorrows’ – Chinese Proverb

To my mind this thoughtful proverb is not in any way trying to insinuate that forced positive thinking is all we need to deal with all of life’s troubles, insisting that one happy thought automatically erases all the miserable ones as if by magic.

Instead it reminds us that however heavy our burden of sorrow, burying us in helplessness as if trapped suffocatingly under a weighty pile of dank cloying leaves on the forest floor, often all it takes one good gust of blustery wind to get things stirring again, scattering the sodden leaves one by one, leaving us suddenly looking up in wonder at the beautiful blue sky soaring high above our heads. All the leaves, all our sorrows, are still there individually lying all around us, but are no longer smothering us with their cumulative weight, no longer pressing so heavily on our hearts.

In the same way, even one glint of happiness in the midst of countless dark sorrows brings us the promise of a welcome wind of change, a fresh breath of hope, a chance to remember that all is not lost and that we are still here, still alive, fighting and feeling and refusing to be beaten.

One Liner Wednesday

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sequence II

A fun sequence of artistic London views (cloaked in a multicolour filter effect to jazz things up a little bit) – as well as images of Tower Bridge, St Pauls, and the London Eye there is a perspective shot along the length of the inside of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, and also the entrance to Leytonstone Tube Station (where I live) and the exterior of The George Public House in Wanstead (where I work) 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sequence

On a Swing and a Prayer

me-on-swing-filter

Even now I’m firmly in a my mid-fifties, I still love to swing whenever I get the chance. Sadly I no longer fit as easily as I used to, clumsily wedging myself onto the swing seat, middle-aged thighs pressing tightly against the creaking chains… But even so, once I’m comfortably positioned I just love that forceful feeling of freedom it brings, swinging strongly back and fore in the clean fresh air with wide open skies high above you 🙂

Holding on tight you give one big push off from the ground to begin, swinging your legs back as you lean slightly forward to move back, then pushing your legs out in front and lying back looking up to the sky to swing forward. I love the natural rhythm it brings, that simple yet effective repetition of increased movement that moves you faster and higher each time, hair streaming in the breeze. And I love the flow of the air catching my breath and the latent laughter that bubbles up from my soul every time… swinging for me is always a sheer joy ❤

Word of the Day Challenge: Kira’s Sunday Scribbles