Tea… a view from above

For starters WordPress informed me that I’m celebrating my first anniversary here :-)  Yeaj!  One year of blogging.
Thanks guys for bringing it to my attention, I wasn’t counting… Force of habit I guess, I stopped counting birthdays when I turned 50.  It has something to do with me being an absolute failure in math ;-)

OK, time for a new picture.
Have taken a lot of them these past few days. The light was nice here in Belgium and the sun was so kind to shine into my room, so…
And then there was this mission from Kim Klassen to shoot from above for Beyond Beyond.

Once again it struck me how my dslr photography differs from my i-Phone “art” (art?).  With my phone it’s almost natural to shoot from above, with the big girl camera however, it seems much less comfortable.
Actually, it isn’t…  You have to get high, or the subject low, I’m not good at balancing with that heavy piece of equipment and I never thought of digging holes as a real good option… so my set up is much, much more work.  Got to get the tripod installed with that horizontal bar, need some weight to prevent it from topping over (it doesn’t, but as I’m kind of a control person, I don’t take the risk…).   In case you wonder: I use a door stopper as a weight feature.
In short, I guess you could also call me lazy as far as shooting from above with my dslr is concerned.

It was a difficult choice to make, between easter stuff coming up, and spring flowers all over the place… but in the end, I came up with… a Tea-picture.  Here it is:

img 1991-voyage autour du the

How it was made?

I selected a small bowl that has something to do with tea (see the inscription in the bowl);
Put the bowl on a chair with an old finishing;
Took some dried Linden tea leafs, put them in the bowl, scattered them all over the place and started shooting.

Next stop: Lightroom where the only thing I did was a little cropping.
Then into Photoshop and instead of sugar, I added Kim’s texture Yesteryear to the tea, 2 cubes – sorry, layers – one soft light (100%) and one multiply (26%).
A little tweaking was necessary to bring out the tea leafs better, meaning I brushed the texture off and adapted the color with the paintbrush so that it blended better with the creamy tones.
Added my signature and that’s it.

Hope you like it and enjoy your tea .-)
Marl1een.

Pastel-ish

By now everybody visiting my blog now and then – for which I thank you all, I’m so grateful for that – knows that I follow some of Kim Klassen’s classes.  She is a constant source of inspiration.
For the moment Kim is all into a series called Downton Abbey.
I had to look it up because over here, in Belgium, we don’t know this series… yet.  I guess it will come soon.
It obviously is that good that it inspires Kim to make a texture series around it.

This week’s mission: use at least one of her new, Downton Abbey inspired textures.
I dove into my archives where a lot of pictures lie waiting to do something with them.
The one I used for this Texture Tuesday, dates from summer 2012, and the quote that accompanies it might do with a little explanation.  If only because it’s in Dutch ;-)

Our former queen, Fabiola (still alive), wrote a fairy tale book when she was still a young girl and not yet a queen.
12 Very beautiful tales that I liked to read and listen to when I was a little girl.  The book is called “The 12 wonderful Fairy Tales of Queen Fabiola” (free translation; the original title: “De twaalf wonderbaarlijke Sprookjes van Koningin Fabiola”).  One of them, about Indian Waterlilies, is depicted at the fairy tale garden, Efteling, in Holland.

The book also has wonderful illustrations and my mom’s favorite is a drawing of a young girl’s portrait.
When I was a kid we swapped friends books (we called them Poesies and they actually were Facebook avant la lettre) and every time I started a new one, my mom was always the first to draw something in it.
Her favorite quote to accompany such a drawing was: “Jeugd droomt het leven schoon” and it also appeared in Fabiola’s book.
I thought it looked nice on this picture.  A free translation of this quote: “Youth dreams life in a beautiful way”….

img 0979-jeugd droomt

How it was made?

  • a little tweaking of levels in LR, then brought into PS
  • added 3 layers of Kim’s Downton Abbey texture, Isobel.  2 x at 100% soft light blend mode, 1 x at 37% multiply
  • the three layers were treated with a little gaussian blur, to remove the brush structure a bit.

What I particularly like about the use of this beautiful, kind of rainbow colored texture, is that it gives the image’s background such a soft pastel coating.

I hope you like it too, and that it does justice to the series.

Marl1een.

Letters from long ago

This time of year, there’s a lot of Valentine stuff going ’round.
We’re not really into that exaggerated, commercial pooha, for the simple reason that any day can be – and should be – Valentine’s day.  I much rather get a lovely flower or just a precious thought any time of the year, than on February 14.
Maybe there is a selfish thought behind that too… this way, I can get lovely presents every day :)

But photography wise, if it wasn’t for prompts or so, I probably would not be inspired by this “event” to make photos having hearts, or red, or the word “love” in them. Kim Klassen prompted her Texture Tuesday adepts to work around “heart(s)” for this week.  So, if it wasn’t for this prompt, the picture below would probably not exist.
I thought for a week about a “heart” picture, but inspiration came just this morning when I went looking for an old book.
Amidst all kinds of old things, I noticed a box I remembered very well.  Not that I think about it every day, but, when I see it, I immediately know what’s in it, and it always makes me smile.

Now for a little history…
My husband and I are married for 33 years, and we knew each other even a long time before that. 1 Year before our marriage he had to fulfill his duty to the country and was in the army for 9 months.
At that time, army service was obligatory.  Nowadays guys join the army on a voluntary basis only and most of them are professionals.

Another thing you should know, is that my husband is not the “letter writing type”.  Him being in the army in Germany (which seemed the other end of the world to me) I wrote him every single day.  And…. he wrote back… a card, a letter or just a note…. Isn’t that sweet?
Lucky for us postal services were free for mail to and from soldiers.
And thus it became a whole pile of letters, dating 1979.  I kept every single one of the ones he sent me.  What happened to those I wrote, I don’t know…. should ask him ;)
Anyway, finding the box, gave me the idea to use some of them for my Texture Tuesday heart picture.

img 1925-letters (1 van 1)

How it was made?

– Lowered saturation in Lightroom
– Brought it into photoshop and edited it with Kim Klassen’s SubtlyYours texture at soft light, 54 %. I applied a little gaussian blur to it to diminish the details. This texture – soft in itself already – set completely the tone I was looking for. Plus, it added that bit of lightness I like so much in a picture.
– resized it and that’s it.
I kinda like the result.

Happy ♥ to all of you – and to Kim: thanks for the memory
Marleen