Catching Up

I must admit I was quite shocked to see how many months have gone by since I last posted here – so now I must catch up and will start with some Hawthorn blossom.

I went over to the Pond last week , but it was very cold and very lean pickings for any water birds etc. The saving grace were lots of blossoms on the many Hawthorn trees around. They were actually all white but I fancied doing something different with them and discovered a set of ‘Retro’ effects in my PSP that I haven’t used before. I was pleased with the lovely pink colours and that it harmonised the background colours too….

I bought myself some tulips – I love their sculptural qualities and strong colours. The black background suited them very well I thought.

Other tools I haven’t really used are the Dodge and the Smudge Brushes. I really enjoyed using them to get these blending , softening effects.

I will endeavour to post again soon.   blessings,  Eileen


Creative Macro


Yellow Haze

Thought I would get a bit more ‘arty’ this time and go for a softer look. This is the centre of a yellow tulip.


I Got the Blues

Same image – different colour. I use a prog called ON1 sometimes and the title of this is taken from one of their effects.


Shades of Yellow

Back to normal tulip colour for this one.



I hope I’m not flogging the water drops on petals to death here! But I do enjoy playing around with them as you never know what gems you’ll end up with ….


Shades of Lilac

I really liked the colour of this one  ….


Variations 2

The weather is supposed to get really good this week so I’ll be visiting the Ifield Pond again. I went last week in bright sunshine and forgot to adjust the exposure number on my camera – which spells disaster when photographing swans as their pure whiteness gets blown out and un-rescuable [if there is such a word?] Plus – I wore sunglasses and I ended up not knowing what I was viewing while trying to juggle specs and camera – daft ‘apeth! The swans have 6 babies now and I did get some adequate shots of them, but overall I was disappointed and disgusted with myself…. I hope I can learn from my mistakes though.

till next time,   Eileen




Swan at Ifield Pond

These images are all of the same swan. His mate was on the far side of the lake sitting on their nest and he had conveniently come alongside the walkway. I always feel slightly guilty that I never take any bread with me because he obviously thinks he’s going to get some …. but I can’t juggle bread as well as the camera. Usually there are other people feeding them, but not today.

I made a huge mistake in not watching out for my shadow falling across him so when I got home I had to delete a lot of the pics. Not only was it my shadow, but the metal mesh at either side of the walkway cast  shadows too. Some of them I was able to rescue with a little bit of ‘cloning’. Anyway  – I still had plenty that I was pleased with and again – I enjoyed making them look a bit different with my PSP and ON1 plugin.

Swan 2

Swan 3

Swan 3

Swan 4


Digital Effects

Leaf Encounter

Leaf Encounter

Sometimes we can get so familiar with the things around us – including nature – that they begin to look ordinary and even boring when you’ve seen hundreds of ‘samey’ looking pics. So it’s always a challenge to try to present images in a different way and even taking pics from different points of view can become clichés in the photography world. eg looking up at your subject from a very low pov. [ At my age I couldn’t get down there anyway and even if I did it would need a crane to lift me upright again!]

So, for me, this is where ‘post processing’ comes into its own … in todays digital world companies seem to be falling over themselves to give us more and more instant ‘effects’ to transform our images. So I thought I would post some that I’ve done in ON1 Perfect effects and Topaz Adjust/Impressions.

Weeping Willow2

These ‘effects’ are not to everyone’s taste of course because they transform a photograph into something else entirely – a painting!  As someone who used to paint in oils nearly every day, I was curious to see what my pics would look like after the ‘treatment’.

Actually – there are so many different painting styles and other effects available in these programmes that it can become time consuming to try to find the right one. Your own artistic judgements are necessary as every photo image will need your own decisions. Not every effect will suit every image ….  but it all comes down to personal choice in the end.  It’s always a good feeling though when someone likes the same thing you do!

Boquet of Roses

I especially liked this one because it reminded me of the old glossy photo, post-card type Birthday cards with deckled edges that were around in the 30s-40s [yes – I remember receiving them as a little girl].


This one has just a hint of a painterly effect applied and is less extreme than the previous images. These effects can easily become addictive and I’ve seen so many that seem to follow the latest fad – eg – a more gritty look, especially in ‘Urban/Street photography, or there’s one that really smooths out choppy water in the sea, waterfalls and around rocks. I must confess, I don’t like to see water like that as their choppiness, to me, is their attraction.  When it comes to water in lakes and rivers you can get away with it because it can add to the glass-like quality.

Oh dear – I’m beginning to sound like a bit of an expert, when I’m nothing of the kind – it’s just my personal choices!  Anyway – the professional wisdom is that you should always do as much as you can to get a good shot ‘in camera’ and not use and rely on post processing to correct flaws etc. BUT – there are times when you use simple adjustments to remove unsightly/unavoidable telephone wires etc that spoil and detract from an otherwise good image, or use the crop tool for a better composition. The software programmes for all this is extremely clever …..InterludeAnother thing that can be slightly overdone is the use of a vignette –  I think I’ve struck just the right note her [ forgive the pun!]


This last one is an example of a light instead of dark vignette – also softened image. I recently read a comment somewhere [not here] that light vignettes were very popular in the ’70’s’ and old hat to use today – which only goes to prove what I said previously about photographers having ‘fads’. Personally I think all things are allowed – if it suits the subject – use it!

I rest my case,

Hope ya’ll have a great day, and many thanks for visiting … blessings,  Eileen