Fall Macros

Good Sunday morning folks!

I’m sorry there haven’t been many blogs recently.  I’ve been busier than a one finned fish trying to swim a straight line.  

I have been trying to get a website started, although I am not sure I want to go with tripod.  I need a free hosting (for now) site where I can begin to build something I can sell books from and something I can use to display the books and whatever else I want to do with it. 

I now have bookplates!  (Examples of bookplates can be found here)  This means I can mail signatures to people. 😀  This makes me happy.

This week’s photos are about fall colours. They are macro shots and I have been experimenting with Photoshop again.  Wait until you see what I’ve done! (All pics start with the auto contrast.)

Striking isn’t it?

I found this balloon on the beach.  It certainly seems to be a statement on the end of the season.  In Photoshop I used the Auto Contrast and upped the magenta levels in the colour balance to enhance the pink as much as possible.  The result surprised me but I love it.

 

 

The Burning Bush

This is a Euonymus bush.  The leaves turn bright red and pink in the fall.  I had to trespass a little bit to get this picture but I couldn’t resist it.  As far as fall colours go, this is one of the most spectacular.  I used the colour balance to tint the red just a little deeper and make it just a touch more vibrant.

Japanese Maple

I loved the composition of this picture, the deep dark red against the pale sand and steely stones.  After the auto contrast I opened the Curves option and adjusted it until the red nearly glows against the background.

Ahh for this next one I think I will have to post the original first.   I learned a new technique – The Colour Splash Effect.   It’s that effect where  everything is black and white except for one item.  So here’s the original:

The original

I took the picture because one, I didn’t think a cardinal would ever be on the beach and two, I loved the colour contrast.  I originally intended to apply the colour splash effect to the balloon picture but something struck me about this one so I toyed with it.  Dawn, the lovely lady who did my cover, my facebook cover and my bookplates, found me this tutorial.  It was really simple to do but very time consuming.  And I discovered that on the blurry sections it just looks messy, not skillful.  Some trimming was required.   I also darkened the background considerably.  

Here is the finished product:

Ta-da!

Wonderful isn’t it?  I love the way it came out.  And you can see on the bottom right where the blurry sections look more messy than like any good technique.  It is possible that part of it is because it was my first time with it.  It took me a long time to get that just right.  And I see I still missed parts.  Oh well, it was my first attempt.  😀  Such a fun technique!

Grape leaf

On the way to the private beach there is a path with a stone wall on one side and  a chain link fence on the other.  Growing all along the chain link is a grape vine.  The thing that gets me about the vine is how it’s changing for fall.  At the entrance to the pathway we have this deep dark purple.  At the end, just before the stairs, it is still a rich, vibrant green.  The mid-range colour is almost a bubble gum pink.  I liked this colour.  I toyed with the brightness/contrast to achieve this particular version of the colour.  It is nearly as rich here as it is on the fence.

Now, the next three pictures are me toying with the hue and saturation.  The first is the original:

Simple

The composition is absurdly simple here.  A tiny shell, less than an inch long, shining against the sand.  I wanted to take this picture because when the sun hit the shell it turned into a pearlescent rainbow.  I loved it.  Sadly, by the time I got close enough, the sun had once again been covered by clouds.  I took the picture anyway.  Here there picture is treated with a simple auto contrast.

But I discovered the Hue/Saturation option.  I just had to play.  First, the hue change.  Be sure to pay attention to the bottom right corner too.

Purple!

Imagine my surprise when this is what happened as I moved the Hue into the negative.  This is at -100 and it’s absolutely brilliant.  I love all the shades of purple in the sand.  And the green in the shell is a lovely contrast.

Purdy, ain’t it

This is the same photo but with the saturation dragging into the positive.  This is saturation +80.  There are more shades of orange than I thought possible and the blue in the shell is a wonderful addition.  

Playing with Photoshop is a lot of fun but I do like prefer toying with the camera, compositions and perspectives.  I found something on my walk that never changes colours and offered a fantastic opportunity for perspective:

Long needle evergreen tree

I do like the focus here and the textures of the …um terminal bed I think it’s called… where all the needles are growing from.  The way this picture came out just pleased me no end.  

That’s it for me folks.  NaNo starts in *gasp*  three days and I still have the plot outline to do!  So much research.  I do have a beginning now.  Trying to decide if it’s the first chapter or the prologue.  I guess we’ll find out!

Have a great week!

Muah.

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