Eclectic Collection

Happy mid-NaNo… er… November, everyone!

It’s been a few weeks since I posted a photoblog and I feel bad about it.  I love the pictures I take and I love sharing them.  But, frankly, I have been so busy with NaNo I haven’t given my photography much of a thought.

Except for this one:

Interesting, eh?

I was making breakfast and when I sliced the banana into my cereal I noticed the pattern on it.  (“It was 6:30 in the morning!” is my excuse.  *laughs*)  I decided I needed to do a macro shot to share with you all.

Then when I sat down to write I was having some serious brain blockage so I thought to myself, “Self, what if we did a colour splash and the banana was the only colour in it?”  Myself thought back, “Self, I think you’re procrastinating but that would potentially be cool.”

Yeah, I talk to myself when I’m on writer’s block. *laughs*  I did the colour splash effect here and then darkened the non-mask layer so that the banana really stood out.  It almost seems to float on the Rice Chex here.  

As for NaNo and all the starts & stops, blocks and  struggles getting in my minimum word count I am at 34,000 words!  That is 68% done, folks, on the 17th.  And I’m only in March out of the year.   March is a short section though.  Two, maybe three chapters all on the same subject, then we are moving on to April and I might skip a couple months.  “A year in the life” doesn’t mean I HAVE to hit every month, eh?

This week’s pictures are in no particular chronological order (although I will try to make it make sense 😀 ) but they are the favourites from the last few weeks.  And all of them are Photoshopped.  I will try to say what I’ve done to them as we go along.  Sometimes it’s as simple as auto-contrast.  Sometimes it’s a lot more.  

We were driving to London one drizzling, ugly day and happened to see a rainbow.  The Boyfriend, being the wonderful guy he is, pulled over at a convenient-but-with-a-view spot so I could take a picture.  It took me a couple tries to get it – mostly because a car drove through my shot at the exact right timing to end up perfectly centered in the photo. 😀  It was great but frustrating.  

First, we have his view of the rainbow:

Peter’s view of the rainbow

He took it through the windshield, I’m the one foolish enough to get out into the mud and wet to take pictures.  Trying to remember what I did to this and I think it was a brightness/contrast thing.  The rainbow was a bright spot in the day and I wanted to show that.

My view of the rainbow

Oh my goodness!  I just noticed the vehicle.  *facepalms*  Ah well.  I liked the rainbow against the trees and structures and that’s what I was focusing my editing on.  I used the Curves option in Photoshop to make it darker here and lighter there in order to make the rainbow pop. A while ago I discovered, quite by accident, that you can move the line in Curves in at least two ways to manipulate the light.  I really do need a book about Photoshop 7 in order to understand everything I’m doing.  I just like what comes out.  

I have taken a few walks on the beach since Sandy.  The first one was within a day or two of the end of the storms.  I didn’t find as much glass as I had hoped but I did find some other interesting things.  Like this:

It was definitely a “wtf?” moment.

What, you may ask, on earth is a tractor tire doing buried in the sand a scant twenty feet from the water??   I have no idea.  There was an old white wall on the other side of the little causeway too.  This here is your basic auto-contrast tweak.  I have discovered too that I don’t like what auto-levels and auto-colour does to the colour of the sand most of the time.

The next two pictures are from the same day.  The first is on the way down to the beach.

On the way down to the beach.

I tweaked the green a little bit after an auto-contrast click.  I think I also toyed with Curves just to get that vibrancy.  But you see that wide swath of water and wet sand cut into the beach?  That’s from the street drainage pipe buried in the bottom of the hill.  It was still windy and wet out but the storm was passing.  

I went down the stairs and this is what I saw from the other side:

A lot of damage

Not as much damage as the east coast certainly but for our little part of the world here, where we only got a small portion of the storm, this broad of a causeway means a lot of water has carved its way through the sand.  At the back of the picture, middle-right, it’s a good 12-14 inches high.  

The following week I took this picture of a section of this very spot.  It’s well after the water had drained away and stopped running to that extent.  

Even knowing it’s sand, does it look like that to you?

I put this picture up on a couple of social media places and asked “Do you know what this is?”  Feathers and fur were the most popular answers. But no, it’s sand.  I used Curves on this picture to darken it a little and add some depth and texture.

However, for extreme depth and texture, I went another way.

Awesome, isn’t it? 😀

This is the same picture with high contrast.  It’s gone from looking like fur to wood.  It’s a little grainy (ha! I slay me! *Alf voice*) but I love the texture in this one too.

I took several other pictures on the same day, starting with the top of the stairs.  

It’s the perfect book cover… or the opening scene of a suspense/thriller movie.


Seriously though, I loved the way this looked when I got there – the stark bare trees, with a smattering of leaves here and there.  The lone bench, the way the world just seems to fall over the edge where the stairs begin (they are steep).  And I thought, why not put it in grayscale?  So I did.  And then I lowered the contrast some to give it a film noir look.  

Oh so peaceful.

The water was really low and had created sand dunes, along with a convenient path to get to a couple of them.  I was standing on one such connected dune enjoying the soft lap of the water against the shore, the cry of the gulls and the otherwise almost perfect silence.  I used Curves just to get it closer to what I was actually looking at.  

As you may have figured out by now, I love the texture of sand especially when combined with wind and water.  When I saw what the elements had done to the sand in the water I had to take a few pictures of it.  

Reminds me of an 80s song. Can’t grasp the lyrics enough to figure out which one. I’d hum it for you but… you’re kind of far away.

These have been abandoned by the water.  I love the lines and the colour contrasts of the sand alone, never mind adding the pebbles. This is manipulated by changing the contrast and jacking it up to about +30 I think.  Everything appears so much larger than they really were.  

And that’s it for me today folks.  It is time to bury myself in Ari & Ren and they scum they’re about to take down.  They didn’t set out for this but now that they’ve found them it’s time to take them down.  And oooh… oh that’s a good idea.

I leave you with a song:  (but not the unidentified one in my head)








5 thoughts on “Eclectic Collection

  1. I love the high contrast version of the furry/feathery sand the best!! I love your pics and the way you manipulate them to express even more than what the eye casually sees. 🙂


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