Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: Huntington Library

Perfect Birthday

I’ve finally finished the layout with the photos I captured on our birthday. Glenda and I have had a birthday tradition for more than 20 years, having tea at the Huntington Library. This year instead of tea, we had salads under a lovely canopy at a new place on the library grounds.

We spent some time during our walk making photographs. Glenda has a new camera, but not a lot of experience using it. Personally, I’m glad that she has taken up this hobby that I love so much. Photography is a wonderful complement to her painting.

For the first time that I remember, there were geese floating in the waters of the Chinese Garden. We see them all year here at a large pond at Lakeside Park, huddling together on the frozen ice during the winter. I’m wondering if the garden staff will let them stay.

One thing that I appreciate about Anna’s templates as I create pages is how easy it is to switch masks and frames to create a new look. For this layout,I used only the frames, textboxes, stitching and a few stains from templates templates 5 and 12 of WaterColor Template Album No. 5. Below, I explain my process.

Place file 3 and the psd version of file 4 from Scenic FotoBlendz No. 1 on a new blank 24×12 document. Open the templates, drag over only the textboxes, stitching, frames and stains below the frames. Place above the large fotoblendz masks. Note: I adjusted the position of one frame on the left side to accommodate a photo.

Clip photos to fotoblendz masks. Clip a levels adjustment layer to each photo and change the blend mode to overlay at 50%. Duplicate the photo on the right and clip it to the psd layers. Note: I deleted the splatter and tape layers.

Clip photos to small masks and add adjustment layers as needed. Stamp brush 6 from ArtsyCameras No. 1 below one frame on the right. Note: I often clip photos to the stains below the frames so that I can extend the framed photo. I clipped another photo to the camera brush on the right and clipped a photo to it (lowered saturation) just to repeat the pink on the left side.

To expand or intensify the sky, place transfer 6 from ArtPlay Palette Scenic on the right below the fotoblendz mask layers. Add a layer mask to hide any part bleeding through the focal photo. On the left, place transfer 3 from Sky Transfers No. 1 below the mask. Place transfer 5 from ArtPlay Palette Scenic and png file 3 from Sky Transfers No. 1 across the gutter of the page and mask as needed. Note: I lined it up with the bridge on the right.

To finish, add the camera charm from ArtPlay Palette Traveler; add a mask to place part of the charm under the threads and create a title. In this case I combined two fonts to say what I wanted but in a format similar to a file in Scenic WordART Mix No. 2.

Huntington Library

My twin and I had a wonderful first day of celebration of our birthday. Today we walked the Huntington Gardens and had lunch on a patio; the weather was that fantastic. It was also an opportunity for me to help my sister learn to use her camera. She’s learning quickly.

I tried using the shrub to frame the Asian art.

This was shot with my 35mm, 50mm equivalent on my crop camera, so it’s not macro quality. However, I liked the bokeh behind the flower. Although I had brought my macro lens with me, I used only my normal lens on this walk.

Another favorite was this small nook in the Japanese garden.

White is really hard to capture, but it helped that I shot in raw. Moving the highlights to the left in Lightroom made a big difference.

I was surprised to see geese in the Chinese garden. It’s hard to see but there is one sitting on the bridge.

I liked the light coming through the openings of the bridge from the other side.

Of course it’s always a good idea to try a vertical perspective.

The glare from the ceiling lights made it difficult to capture Pinkie and Blue Boy, but working with ISO and aperture was a good experience for my sister. I shot these in raw with my Fuji X-T2 for a friend. No flash is allowed in the galleries at the Huntington Library.






The Camellias Are Blooming

When I remembered the three varieties of camellias that I grew in my yard in California, I thought it was quite an opportunity to photograph those displayed for judging at a camellia show as well as those growing on the large old shrubs in the Japanese Garden on a rainy morning at Huntington’s Garden and Library. When I saw all those camellias, I knew that I was going to extract several different varieties to create a page. There were so many, it was difficult to choose.

I began my page placing seven of Anna’s twigs: ArtPlay Palette Swell, ArtPlay Palette Tinge, ArtPlay Palette Yule, ArtPlay Palette Oasis, ArtPlay Palette Glance, ArtPlay Palette Festal, ArtPlay Palette Canyon. I tentatively placed them before I began to place the extracted camellias. This is the final placement.

I extracted each of the camellias using the Quick Selection Tool, the properties panel and a layer mask. The process went more quickly than I anticipated. However, I would recommend that you save your work frequently. I didn’t and lost some of my extractions. I must say, I’ve had a lot of practice with the Quick Selection Tool completing this page. I found it easier to make my arrangement by placing all the camellias on the right and then moving them over one at a time. I gave each a shadow.

Next, I placed a photo of the bridge in the garden below the camellias. I roughly masked out the bridge and applied a preset in Lightroom that gave it a sketch effect. Unfortunately, I can’t point you to a current source. It was created by Studio Romy, but I bought it at least 4 years ago. In addition to the photo, I placed a brush from Anna’s Statues No. 1 behind the bridge.

Above the bridge, I placed textures from Spackle Textured No. 1 to rough up the bridge a bit. I duplicated the twigs, moved that group up above the camellia extractions and then erased parts with the Eraser Tool.

On the right side, I placed template 18 from WaterColor Template Album No. 4. I adjusted the position of the layers and text box enough to accommodate the span of the left page. To the frames, I clipped photos of camellias that I had taken while walking in the Japanese Garden. I clipped a photo of the Japanese house to which I applied the same preset to the fotoblendz mask. I added a glow and recolored the stains.


One Normal Lens

I have a CSC, compact system camera. It’s like a DSLR in that I can change lenses. However, it doesn’t have a complex mirror system like DSLRs have. For my mirrorless, crop sensor Fuji X-T2, I have three lenses: an 18-135mm zoom, a 35mm prime and a 60mm macro. On this trip to California I decided to go light weight, taking just my little 35mm and 1:2 macro. My camera and the 35mm lens are both water resistant which proved to be an advantage since it rained 5 out of 7 days on this trip. Note: I did carry an umbrella.

On a crop sensor camera, a 35mm lens is equivalent to a 50mm on a full frame. That focal length is often called a normal lens in that it gives the perspective of what the human eye sees. I chose to challenge myself by using just my 35mm lens to capture both a landscape perspective and close ups of flowers at the Huntington Library. Most landscape photographers use a wide angle lens. Often, flowers are photographed with a 1:1 macro lens. Since I had neither with me, I experimented with my normal lens.

While my sister and I were there, we visited the camellia show and photographed the blooming camellias. I hope to create another flower page with some of the photos that I made of the camellias.

I also decided that I love my little 35mm lens and small camera body!

One More Beautiful Day

Every time I visit my sister, we have tea at the Huntington Library and Gardens. It’s our biannual tradition. Just as we finished tea and started to take photos of one another in the Rose Garden, a man passing by offered to take a photograph of us together. I handed him my camera and hoped. We don’t get many shots like this, but we agreed that this was a keeper.

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I didn’t make as many photographs as I usually do on our walks in the gardens. We were talking about sad family news my husband had received that morning.

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The Chinese Garden is one of our favorites. My sister found a bench and began sketching that bridge.

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I continued walking the paths, practicing with my camera before returning to the bench where my sister was still sketching.

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The water lilies were blooming.

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On our walk back through the Rose Garden, I wondered how it might have looked in May or June when it was at its peak.

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Time is really a gift from God; for us, one more beautiful day together!


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