Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wonderfulicious Wednesday

What? I haven't posted since mid June?
These days I mostly post on Instagram at @gailpe.
Dancing Leaves, above.

I have a penchant for decay and or withered botanicals. 
My gardener knows that if I have leaves on the patio table that
they're not to be cleaned up. Often, a leaf needs another day or
two of weathering.

I'm not sure which version of the Plumeria leaf I prefer. 
The leaf was so delicate that pieces of it started flaking off
before I got it into the house.
I created all of the backgrounds.

My guy planted a yellow hibiscus 8 years ago that hasn't grown much
over the years, in fact, it's shrunk and has nearly died a few times.
It rarely blooms. This year I severely cut back a red hedge
of hibiscus and fertilized them, a lot. The bushes have filled out
and bloomed like crazy. But until the last few weeks the struggling yellow bush
continued to look pathetic and then suddenly it started filling out and 
producing flowers. 
The macro above is unedited. I know, rare for me . . .

The center of the yellow hibiscus is spectacular! 
There is another yellow hibiscus in the yard, but it's 
center is yellow, nice, but a bit ordinary.

Continuing with my love of creating a series of images 
the Mexican Bird of Paradise bush started blooming  . . .
I only have one bush this year after the other one
drowned last winter when the pot didn't drain. 
Decayed flowers, above.

A single flower, sculptural, went through a variety of apps
to achieve the painterly/sketch effect.

When a bunch of flowers scatter
on the ground they become precious to me.

The above flower went through a few apps to give
it a painterly/sketch effect and then it needed a background.
The background was a long process of layering and layering and layering
textures and images. I imagine I'll use the background again someday.

And finally, a macro of the Mexican Bird of Paradise 
in all of its glory! This image is only tweaked a little
to bring out the texture and colors. 

I must have flowers, always, and always.
Claude Monet

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Sea Urchin Series/study

The temp hit 118 today! I rescued the above Cactus flower from the shade
before it wilted. Three other blooms didn't fare as well.
I  normally photograph the Sea Urchins in the
 garden; I prefer natural light.

I had plans for the day but the flowers "spoke to me." 
I tend to listen when photographs 
need to be made! 

The wilted flowers, above, are just as glorious as the full 
blooms are. I felt that they were every bit as much a gift
as the perfect flower was.

Macros of the wilted flowers.

While I have taken hundreds of photos of the
Sea Urchin flowers, aka Echinopsis, I rarely 
take macros of them. 

Studying the flowers from different angles  . . .
abstracting the flowers with a macro lens on
the iPhone . . 
New perspective!

I used only one app on the iPad to edit all of the images.

I ended up concentrating on macros rather 
than full frame photos.

I probably could have taken more than a dozen photographs
but in the end a challenge to create twelve forced me to 
think about each photo  . . .
Digital photography makes it easy to make numerous 
photos and then choose the best. I come from an era when film
slowed down the process, something I don't often do anymore. 

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in
an ordinary place . . . I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do
with the way you see them." Elliott Erwitt

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wonderfulicious Wednesday

A challenging week made better by transforming photos!
Date Palms are an abundant crop in the Coachella Valley: I don't know
what the HOA was thinking when they planted Date Palm trees
in front yards. These aren't taken care of properly, sadly. 
Right now the dates look more like olives. Of course I had
to run the image through a few Apps.

I haven't done any macro photos in awhile; the perfect
subject is a yellow
Hibiscus from the garden
And then both a yellow and
red hibiscus . . .

Palm tree Vignette before pruning. 
iColorama, Mextures, and Stackables were used.

One of the lessons in Susan Tuttle's course is Self-portraits.
I'm fond of the painterly effect of this one.

Sill-life study of three miniature roses not much
 larger than a quarter along with a
pewter goblet that was mom's. 

Womderfulicious Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Wonderfulicious Wednesday

Wednesday is nearly over . . . 

Washingtonian Fan Palms are plentiful here in Coachella Valley.
This is the time of year that they're heavily pruned back; I love the way the
light hits the plumes.

Garden Vignette - Desert Landscape.

Photograph taken from the front yard and transformed using
a myriad of apps.

Back in the day . . . I worked in B/W only and spent hours in
a darkroom. I even played with Pinhole Cameras, but these days 
I'm enthralled with apps that make easy and superb Pinhole Camera images!

Because  the Sea Urchin Cactus have bloomed longer this year 
I've been able to try a variety of camera settings in Hipstamatic. 
I'm beginning to love B/W photography again.

Three still-life images based on the Susan Tuttle 
course I'm taking. 

And finally, Plumeria in the garden.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Wonderfulicious Wednesday and June!

More Photo Explorations.

 Windswept Photo-transformation created from 4 images and
apps. The barn is another of my Dad's birdhouses superimposed into a scene
photographed from a car back in the 90's; I was the passenger. 
The tree was extracted from a background. The birds-on-the-wire are an
app. iColorama painterly effect.


I  have a few metal sculptures created by a former husband. Talented.
I tried to superimpose the Victorian house into a landscape  . ..  nope, didn't work.
Brainstormed and at 2am an idea struck. 
The background texture was created by layering a lot of
textures in iColorama and Stackables then superimposed with the Victorian house. 
Deco Sketch for the lines, Reflect for the reflection and some fog added. 
The birds are from my collection of photos.

Cerseus blooms! If I don't get up early enough I miss the night bloomers!
The one above was in the process of closing up after spending the night in
full bloom. 

A record 14 blooms over 5 days!
Painterly effect for these 2.

Missed the full blooms, but
these greeted me early one morning.
Painterly effect.

Found Twig.
Tree series.

Another version of the delicate flower atop of a
prickly Barrel Cactus.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wonderfulicious Wednesday

Where has May gone!? 
Last thing I remember it was March and mom had passed . . .
And now June is upon us! Gads! 

Perhaps the time has flown due to a timely class that I'm deeply immersed in
 Susan Tuttle has a new online class, Mobile Art Mastery
that appeared just when I needed something to lift me
out of a dark place. 

Both of the above images are based on Lesson 1. Dad built about
60 birdhouses a few years before he passed in March, 2000, the year mom
started disappearing into Alzheimer's. 
For years I've wanted to use photos of the birdhouses in my work. The lesson
called for using a house or building and extracting it from a background
and blending it into a landscape. 
The first piece is of the Salton Sea; the house, sunset, tree, and
birds were added.

The landscape in the second piece was created using
two images. The line of trees needed a foreground  . . .
The sun, foreground tree, and textures were added.

Lesson 2 images. Enter iColorama!
Oh my! This is only one of the 
myriad of effects that the 
app is excellent at doing.

A leaf of chard above and 
succulents below.

Complete departure for me! Multiple apps were used
to create this image of a statue photographed in
Rome, 2009. 

Another lesson using multiple apps.
Orvieto, Italy, 2009.

For years I've wanted to learn how to combine images
and now the mystery has been solved. Yay!

Two more images based on the 
same lesson. 

Haunted Cemetery Lesson, or in
my case, Haunted Pompeii. 
Multiple apps used along with images
from my collection including two vintage ones. 
The image of Pompeii is one I consider to be
an outtake and one reason I rarely delete photos; you
never know when one might be the perfect photo.

Using what I've learned in some of
the lessons I created the photo below. 
Evening Sky.