Winter birds

I love bullfinches. And we have quite a bunch of them around here, but we hear them more than we see them. They keep to themselves. But every once in a while – especially in the winter, although it’s not very wintry here yet… – you spot them, a flock sitting in a tree and dropping down to the ground every now and then to pick at delicacies still available. Not unlike bohemian waxwings, actually. A lot more shy, though…


As I stood there, under a neighbouring tree, trying to get closer to the bullfinches, I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. There was someone who wasn’t very shy at all! A treecreeper was hopping up the trunk of the tree next to me, and if it was quick around the trunk, well, at least I had my camera ready in hand…


Though admittedly, some of the shots were better suited for a little creative editing afterwards… so it’s a good thing I like that, too! 😉




I’ve spent a couple of days photographing running water – it’s kind of classic I guess, but one should do the classics too… Unfortunately, the ‘rapids’ and the ‘falls’ I have to practice on aren’t, really, at least not unless you’re a lilliputian. Not that it matters with regards to the water and the technique (long exposures, and do use a tripod…) but little distractions like rotting leaves and scattered twigs suddenly tend to become major parts of the picture, as opposed to if I had a real waterfall to shoot.

Never mind, for once I began by clearing up a bit first where I wanted to shoot, and then ignored the rest. I set up the tripod – sometimes across the stream with one of its legs on a root and the other two on a rock each (and yes, I did step into the stream once; wet rocks and muddy banks are not an optimal combination for getting a good grip) – and shot water. Lots of fun. Then I trudged back home with one sopping shoe but fortunately still a dry camera, and processed my shots.

I was happy. They came out nice – not brilliant, but nice – and I’d learned a bit about exposures. Pretty pictures of running water, you know, where you get that almost dreamy shimmer to the water thanks to its running trough a static landscape. But then I had the surroundings… Let’s just say they don’t fit the fairytale image. Well, at least not the fairy bit… but there’s usually a dark element to fairytales, as well… right?

So I worked on them a little, adding some textures from the KKC, and ended up with something from a slightly different kind of story…



What I really liked about this was that the hues and textures worked so well to bring all the elemets of the shots together. A little abstract, perhaps, but then again – what fairytale isn’t?

Photo Art Friday – Flowers






Apple blossom, dahlia, rose, budding larkspur and poppies… I could have gone on forever here! And I’m grateful for this particular challenge, because I see a set (or several) of beautiful picture cards coming out of it – for correspondence, invitations, thanks, congratulations…

I’ve used layers in various blending modes to lighten and enhance contrast, and different textures and filters to create the sketch-effect on each of these. I did work intuitively, each flower shot had its own characteristics to accommodate, but soft light, hard light, multiply and screen blending modes were used, as were the find edges, watercolour and graphic pen filters.

All are based on a pdpa texture: Backlight, Vellum, Serve life, Blank page and Old ornate linen respectively. Wonderful stuff, Bonnie!

Find more flowers at

Home re-decoration

It isn’t my home – it’s the neighbours’.

They asked me a while back if I could make a digital copy of an old, black-and-white shot of their house that someone had let them borrow, and naturally I did.

Afterwards, having delivered the requested copy, I couldn’t resist a little creative re-decoration of their house however… (I have no idea who the original photographer was, by the way, but if they ever see this, I hope they don’t mind!)

I colorized using a different layer for each colour, using multiply or screen blending modes, and I’ve used “Replace colour” in the image adjustment menu on copies of the house colour layers to generate the variations.

So much easier than actually painting the house…

Photo Art Friday – Shadows and Light

Image components

Image components

Three variants of a shot of Lo in the window.


For portraits, I like the soft natural light that a window provides – it gives such a lovely play between light and shadow. For this first version, I just blended the original image with a soft layer of the kkc texture Felicity.

I then went a little further for the second variant, adding a Water colour filter and an edge enhancement with the Find edges stylize filter as well.


Still seeking something further, I then experimented a little with the pdpa Scratched lens texture and blending modes for the last version.


A little harsher in both light and shadows.

I’m not sure I found what I was looking for, but I did enjoy the excercise!

Find more light and shadow in the virtual showcase at

Not quite Photo Art Friday – Collage

Well, I’ve just had too much on my plate lately. But Bonnie’s optional theme of ‘Collage’ did tickle my imagination eventually, and so I decided to revisit an old friend


If you look at the original image, you’ll see that the idea was to make it look like one window with lots of panes, and Lo behind each and every one of them… well, sort of, anyway.

In this version, the filter work (Watercolour and Find edges) and pdpa Painterly texture work to create lots of little watercolours in a grid, and perhaps the “window” aspect is somewhat lost… but still. I love this collage, and I love those watercolour effects! So, there you are; my collage for this week.

It’s too late for me to join this week, but I recommend a visit to the gallery anyway, at

Photo Art Friday – Self portrait

An interesting development from last week’s challenge…

This kind of grew out of as little conscious intent as possible – I tried to stick with feelings and hunches and not think too much about it… good excercise! 🙂


The component parts


I used two of my photos and one of my own textures, along with Bonnie’s pdpa Vintage Craquelure and pdpa Dropped Petals textures (though the latter was not used with the b/w version).

For the various versions I’ve simply played with layer compositions and blending modes to change the atmosphere. Kind of fits different moods, to me.





I do love the way Bonnie’s textures lift the colours of an image – if you want them to!

Further self-portrayal can be found in the gallery at

Photo Art Friday – Portrait

My sweet Lo has to spend a lot of time in front of my camera for a lot of reasons, and he’s not always too thrilled about it. Cats generally don’t like it when you stare at them, and a camera does nothing but… These are shot through a window, however, and I’m reasonably sure he was actually unaware of my activities at the time!

Portraits are portraits, though, and after a while with the same model, you get the urge to do something a little different with them… thanks – as always – for the incentive, Bonnie!

So, with a little time to play I ended up with this:


Annd then, because I was having fun, with this:


I’ll skip the lecture, but I’d like to note that I did not, in fact, use “Find edges” for the second version… 😉 Instead, I had the first version, duplicated it to a new layer, inverted that, and set the blending mode to “Difference”, which created the contour-enhancing effect!

As a little bonus, I’m going to include a third pic today:


The title of the booklet says, in old Swedish:
“Advice for all, who intend to have their Photograph taken…”

Perhaps I should read through it for next week’s challenge… 🙂

See more portraits at