A fear letter word.

I hope one day, fear will leave me.  Until now it has been my “companion” for as long as I can remember.
As a child I was afraid of many things, wild games, the dentist, those awkward devices in the gym room… you name it, I was – and am – afraid of it.  I always think too much, too long about something.  In my frightened mind I see things happening that probably never did and never will…

I was 19 when I looked straight into my father’s eyes the moment he died from a fatal heart attack at the age of 45.  I guess his fear and mine joined forces, grasped me and have never released me.  I’ve tried everything to free myself from its grip: relaxation, hypnosis… I’m already glad when in very anxious moments, I’m able to not loose complete control, that’s the best therapy has done for me so far.
Fear and shame, they come together.  Telling about those fears to other people lead to shame.  Remarks as: overreacting, over-worrying, exagerating, histerical, pop up quite easely, that and strange, mocking looks.  Most people don’t understand why I totally freak out when my 28 year old son isn’t home at the moment he told me he would be and I can’t reach him by phone because he fell asleep somewhere.
The label “cowardness” is also common. And finally you end up being totally alone with your fears.

I recently discovered the book “I thought it was just me” from Brené Brown.  A comforting eye opener to me.  I can recommend it to anyone living in fear or shame.  Chapter by chapter she’s convincing me that talking about your fear (and shame) actually is very courageous, quite the opposite of cowardness isn’t it?

In Beyond Layers day 17, Kim Klassen tells us about her fears (there it is again, no coincidences), especially during a particular difficult period in her life.  I relate so well to her story.  Fear is a constant struggle, it’s paralysing, it’s with you night and day.  The periods when I feel particularly vulnerable, fear just laughs at my face.  It makes me afraid of going to sleep, and of waking up.  Until finally I end up being frightened of fear itself.  But I keep searching for a solution, and I hope that one day, this Fanatic-Energy-Absorbing-Rage will move out.

Kim asked us to make a b/w image for day 17.  B/W can add a more dramatic impact on images, therefore I chose a comforting subject, because fear is allergic to comfort.

How it was made?
A b/w overlay, some playing with the levels and contrasts, KK’s texture “Not too Shabby” added at 100% soft light and brushed away here and there, vignetting + type added.
Thanks for visiting and watching!



Ssst…. whispering

Secrets are shared in whispers,
loving words too.
Gossipers whisper often,
as if their words then soften.

But the whispers I like most
are the ones nature softly speaks
without words,
for only those who want to hear.

It’s the whisper
in the trees
of a lost raindrop,
or a butterfly’s flight.
Of a budding rose,
or water gently moving,
making ripples,

’cause that’s what whispers often do.

(© Marl1een – 13/06/12)

Beyond Layers – days 15 & 16 – on the theme “Whisper”.
Here are my whispers… rippling and a feminine breeze.
Hope you like them & thanks for looking!

Making Ripples

Feminine Whisper

Colour Key

Beyond Layers – day 14 – 31/05/12

A new assignment: revert a picture to b/w and bring a little colour back into it, a phenomenon in photography often referred to as: Colour Key.

To be honest, most of the time I’m not quite fond of that technique.  I often  find it  exagerated, without adding any real value.  But sometimes it works.  And for me it works when it’s done in a subtle way, or when the coloured element is so striking that it benefits from the coloured touch.  One red umbrella in a crowd of greyness f.i., giving extra meaning to the grey, rainy day and emphasizing the positive point that can be found almost everywhere.  But, I didn’t have an image with a red umbrella… don’t even have a red umbrella :-)

So, I went for the subtle approach and chose this picture of a wild daisy put in a small grey vase on a white table cloth against a white linen background.  The original image is almost b/w in itself except for the daisy.  I converted it to b/w with Nik sw, gave it a bronze tone and added some grain.  In a layer mask I removed the b/w from the flower itself, a tiny bit from the stem in such a way that it fades to black, and from the fallen petals.  I applied some rather significant vignetting too.

My watermark brush already existed, I just had to stamp that on.  When I was taking the picture a couple of days ago, that little child’s rhyme “he loves me, he loves me not”  already came to my mind.  So, when Kim spoke about the brush-thing, I thought it would fit the occasion, plus, the picture had some nice blanc space where the text could go.  I typed, made a brush of it as explained, so now I have it for ever and a day and, that was that.

Hope you like it!