Nine Days, Nothing to Say

Nine days with nothing to say – still here, just been a bit busy with one thing or another and haven’t had a lot of spare time recently to devote to blogging, but no doubt I’ll find something that motivates me again soon enough 🙂

Flower Power

As well as the three broken gladioli stems I’ve rescued from the garden and put in a vase on the dining room table, my husband also brought home a bunch of deep purple blooms to fill out the arrangement.

I tried to photograph them looking all dramatic and interesting, but instead they just looked boring and dull so I’ve applied an online artistic creative filter effect (free to use) to give them a more abstract finish 🙂

Flower of the Day

Big Blocks of Bright Colours

I have such fun playing about with online filters, exploring which creative effects work best with which images. This particular one transforms uploaded photographs into big blocks of bright colours, and works best with simple outlines and not too much fussy detail. So here are a few rather delightful colourful views of Inverness Castle, and I have to say this filter has picked up the red sandstone building blocks beautifully 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Block

Flowers: Fun with Filters

I’ve been playing about again with applying free online filters to some of my images – this beautiful bright colourful effect is from lunapic and is called ‘flowers’, so it seemed appropriate to give it a try!

So as well as being my take on Flower of the Day, together they also create my perfect fantasy garden for this week’s Hunt for Joy 🙂

One Liner Wednesday – New House!

All being well, we get the keys for our new house tomorrow!

It’s not a brand new house, but it’s certainly new to us. It’s actually an old 1930s bungalow that (according to the Title Deed) was first sold in October 1933 for £400. We, of course, have paid a teensy-weensy bit more than that for it exactly 86 years later, but we both fell in love with it the moment we saw it, and can’t wait to move in over the next few days!

It’s going to take us some time to do it up the way we want it, but we’re just so delighted with it and are really looking forward to the ongoing process of making it our own over the next few months. The house is actually in the city of Inverness so after 10 weeks of truly rural living we’ll be townies again.

And even though we’ll be living in town we’re going to have a garden too, both front and back – outdoor space to spend time in and shops and services near enough on our doorstep again, woo-hoo! Watch this space! 🙂

One Liner Wednesday

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

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 🙂