Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: garden

Signs of Spring

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A macro lens makes the tiny buds and leaves of early spring loom large, much larger than they actually are in reality. However, if you are as desperate as I am for any signs of spring, it’s worth grabbing a jacket and stepping outside in the rain with a camera and macro lens in search of spring. Over the weekend, I walked around the yard, moving in close with a wide aperture setting on my camera’s lens to capture these photographs. I think I’ve learned to appreciate these little details in life, especially after a long winter of cold and snow. I want my family to know how much I enjoy the coming of spring as I remove the clutter and focus on the details of the moment. Yes, I am one of those who also enjoys removing clutter as part of a good spring cleaning at home.

For my scrapbooking, I don’t think that photographs that are cropped in close are necessarily the best candidates for blending into a background. Sometimes, I just want to try a different look from my pages with extractions or blended photos. Often, I am inspired by the photography and art of others. One person who inspires me is ViVre. She makes beautiful photographs and then combines them on pages with just enough art to enhance and emphasize her photographs. Sometimes she uses templates to display her photos. There is always a clean, uncluttered look to her artsy pages along with her own creative flair for combining photos with artsy designs and elements.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve 2015-05-10_God'sArtistrybeen drawn to ViVre’s style of focusing on photos. I felt her influence as I created the page on the right last year. I share her passion for making photographs, capturing little details in life. I thought of her work again as I began combining the photos that I captured over the weekend to create the page at the top of this post.

I wanted an uncluttered balance between photos and art for this page. I would like to highlight three design ideas on my latest page that I think contribute to this look.

2016-03-26_SignsofSpringFramesRather than blending or extracting the branches or flowers I framed my photos with frames from Artsy Layered Template No. 125. I generally save Anna’s layered templates after turning off all the transfers, stains and textures so that I can see just the placement of the frames, title and spaces as I decide on a template design to use.

 

2016-03-26_SignsofSpringBackgroundFor the background paper, I recreated the design of artsy paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Bask. I placed transfer 4 vertically and recolored it using a hue and saturation adjustment layer to support the color tones in the photos. Just below, I placed ArtPlay Palette Moments solid paper 6 and blended it with a layer mask leaving the white in the file’s background revealed.

 

2016-03-26_SignsofSpringFramedTransferFor interest on the page and contrast with my photos I clipped the layers Artsy Transfer Moments 1 to one of the frame masks. In between the transfer layers, I placed a butterfly on color burn blend mode, layers from Multimedia Branches No 2 and the word spring from BigWords Spring No. 1. All layers are clipped to the mask except for the butterfly, branch and art stroke.

Even with the addition of a few more elements to move the eye down my page, I have focused on the photographs with a relatively clean and uncluttered page design. I love the white space and tension in the minimal asymmetrical page design. It’s good to be inspired by another photographer and artist, especially one who combines the two mediums so well. Now, I think I’ll spend a little time this afternoon spring cleaning before making more photographs or creating another scrapbook page.

 

Floral Fusion

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Once a month, I walk with a photography group at Lauritzen Gardens. I enjoy this time to learn from Michael, a professional photographer who leads the group, and to practice with my camera. This month there is a beautiful display of glass sculptures by Craig Mitchell Smith inside the conservatory. One of the sculptures is titled Flock of Cardinals. Some of the birds are hanging from a tree. Others are suspended from the metal structure supporting the glass ceiling, giving the appearance that they are in flight. When I uploaded my photos from my camera card into Lightroom and began to go through them, I noticed that the artist had actually etched his signature on a cardinal. Before this exhibit closes, I’m going to return and look more carefully just to see if the artist signed all of his glass sculptures in the exhibit.

Not only do I enjoy learning to use my camera, but I also enjoy using the photos that I make to create artsy scrapbook pages. I actually used four different photos to create this page, the background shot above, the close up of one cardinal and two other shots of cardinals hanging from the ceiling.

After importing the close up photo 2016-02-26_ExtractionCompositeof the cardinal from Lightroom into Photoshop and placing it on a new 12×12 inch document, I resized the photo to fit the dimensions of my page. I began extracting the cardinal with the magic wand tool, added a layer mask to the photo and then used brushes to finish. I pressed option and clicked on the mask to open the refine edges panel to fine tune my extraction.

Next, to give2016-02-26_ExtractionMaskBackground the cardinal a place to hang, I placed the photo with the view of the entire scene. I applied a painting filter from Topaz Impression to the photo to give it the look of a Monet painting. I clipped the copy to mask 2 from FramedMasks No. 2. Below that is another copy of the photo blended with a layer mask and brushes.

 

I also clipped copies of the background 2016-02-26_AllExtractionsandPaintedBackgroundpainting to some of the stains in the template I used, Artsy Layered Template No. 223. By the time I added the stains with copies of the background painting and some additional cardinals, my layout looked like this. I used the same extraction process I describe above on the other cardinals on my page. I gave each a custom shadow.

To finish my page, I added additional transfers and elements from ArtPlay Palette Sojourn and word art from Sojourn WordArt No. 1. I love creating art with my photographs!

A Tradition

For twenty years, my sister and I have been celebrating our birthday at the Rose Garden Tea Room before walking the grounds at the Huntington Library. Every time we go it’s different, despite it being mid winter. There were no star magnolias this year, but I still found some color to photograph, a few roses and some beautiful camellias. While I am here in California, we are taking a an urban drawing class together. So my sister spent a little time sketching while I explored the gardens with my camera. When I returned from my walk and noted something on her sketch, she said I had a good eye. Next time we are here, I think I’m going to make time to sketch and to create photos. I’m not really great a drawing, but maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s good enough to simply enjoy the calm feeling of sitting on a wooden bench with a pencil and sketch book in hand.

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