Rounded WordPress Photo Challenge

Finally I am getting there… I have am catching up with the WordPress Photo Challenges I have missed.. and boy was there a few.  The final topic, which was last week’s topic was called Rounded.  Objects which are rounded and have curves within their structure are all around us, whether it be flowers or architecture.

For instance, on a trip to South-on-Sea late at night you can clearly see the rounded not just in the water jets but in the water itself.

Water Fountain

Photograph of the illuminated water jets along the seafront at Southen-on-Sea

As you can see there is even a curve in the water as it falls back to ground.  Originally I thought this topic might be hard to fill… which it wasn’t.  However, one thing this topic did was to make me look deeper into photographs.  To look at the lines, the curves and the angles that the subject makes.

Another photograph that I love which has curves to it.. is a favourite place of mine called The Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California.

You see the curves of the arches and even the lake has a natural curve to the water line.

The curves are more clear in this photograph of Taiko drumming which was taken as a festival in Sandwich, Kent.

Taiko Drumming

A photograph of Taiko drummers at Sandwich in Kent.

You can see the curves and rounded edges of the drums…  Rounded edges are everywhere.. you just have to look deeper into an image to find them.  Believe it or not even Tulips have rounded edges to their petals.


A photograph of tulips with their curved petals.

The photograph of the tulips were taken at Merriments Gardens in East Sussex during spring.


Scale WordPress Photo Challenge

Scale is the topic for the Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge for the Week beginning the 11th October 2017, and I have only just got around to processing a photograph for this particular challenge. As I said in my previous post I have a lot of catching up to do. 😀 😀 😀

And for my subject I am going to use this yellow rose which was photographed back in September 2014 at Chartwell in Kent.  The former home of Sir Winston Churchill.

Chartwell Rose

A photograph of a yellow rose taken at Chartwell in Kent.

Now I totally admit there has been some enhancement both in Photoshop and Lightroom to this image, simply because this rose had some blemishes on the petals which distracted you from the rose.  However as the topic is scale, I wanted to show you the size difference and scale of a future rose to a full bloomed rose.  Can you see how small the rose starts out before it reaches its final glory.

Lightroom Scale

scaleNow another form of scale is software scale… especially in Lightroom.  The rose above was not set in the position of where I wanted it to be on the canvas so by using the sliders in Transform Panel  of Lightroom called the Scale and Y Offset, I have been able to:

  • Increase the size of the rose
  • Alter the rose’s position to give it a better compositional look

The Scale Slider can be your friend especially if you have not had the room to get closer to your subject… however on saying that just check your image in 1:1 preview just to make sure that the detail is still sharp and you haven’t lost too much quality of the image.

You can read more about scaling in my Lightroom Quick Tip Post by clicking on this link.

So until next time… happy snapping. 😀 😀

Glow WordPress Photo Challenge

My God I can’t believe it is over a month since I posted to this blog and participated in a WordPress Photo Challenge. Anyway one of the challenges I have missed is called Glow.  Now for me the meaning of glow is something bright.. the sun glows and casts light to enhance things.  Anyway going through my catalogue of images in Lightroom I came across this Chrysanthemum, with its glowing hint of yellow in its petals.

Chartwell Chrysanthemum

Read More

Windows WordPress Photo Challenge

It is Wednesday evening and a new WordPress Photo Challenge called Windows has just been set.  And to be perfectly honest the weather is dank and miserable here and my garden is not in a very good state at the moment, so I thought for this challenge I would think about the kind of view I would love to have from my window.

I started out with this image..

A walk along one of the paths at Sheffield Park Gardens.

Read More

Layered WordPress Photo Challenge

Layered is the subject for this week’s photo challenge curated by WordPress.  And there is nothing like the layers of branches on a tree full of red coloured leaves like this one at Sheffield Park Gardens, taken only last week.

A photograph of an acer tree and seat by the lake at Sheffield Park Gardens

Sheffield Park Gardens is one of my favourite places to visit.. I love autumn colours, and wandering around the lakes.

A photograph of the lake at Sheffield Park Gardens in East Sussex.

When we arrived last week, the autumn colours were just starting to show.. and believe me that place is buzzing with people at weekends, especially when the trees show their true autumn colours.  It is spectacular.

A photograph of the lake at Sheffield Park Gardens in East Sussex.

There are plenty of resting places to catch your breath… each having a glorious view… strolling around those gardens, watching the wildlife is pure heaven.  It is so peaceful and tranquil.. especially when visitor numbers are low.

And this photograph is my first one taken in my street photography project…  using my Galaxy S7 I managed to pluck up the courage to take this photograph.  What I love about it is this gentleman is doing what everybody does whilst crossing that little bridge – rest on the railings and admire the wonderful view.

A photograph of one of the visitors at Sheffield Park Gardens admiring the view.

If you are looking for somewhere to visit and you live in the South East of England, believe me a trip in Autumn to Sheffield Park Gardens is absolutely astounding for autumn colours and I would highly recommend visiting this wonderful National Trust Location.  Situated in East Sussex it has to be one of the most beautiful locations I have ever visited.

Windows WordPress Photo Challenge

It is Wednesday evening and a new WordPress Photo Challenge called Windows has just been set.  And to be perfectly honest the weather is dank and miserable here and my garden is not in a very good state at the moment, so I thought for this challenge I would think about the kind of view I would love to have from my window.

I started out with this image..

A walk along one of the paths at Sheffield Park Gardens.

And through the powers of Photoshop I was able to add some sun rays bursting through the trees.

A walk along one of the paths at Sheffield Park Gardens.

After some processing in Lightroom, I thought this is the kind of view that I could stare at forever and a day and wish that through my window I could have such a beautiful view.  The scene is of a photograph taken at Sheffield Park Gardens… only last week.  Could you just imagine having a property in such grand surroundings.  Watching the spring, summer and autumn seasons come and go and hanging on in hope that when winter arrives snow will fall and you will have a winter wonderland outside of your window.

So again in Photoshop I added a window frame..

A walk along one of the paths at Sheffield Park Gardens.

As the window frame was pure white… again in Photoshop I added a colour overlay, to the frame, and a gradient overlay using the effects option.  I know that this image is a photo manipulation but believe me it is far better tan the view of my garden at the moment…

Lightroom -v- Photoshop -v- Photomatix for Interior HDR Shots

Now if I can stay within one program to do all my processing.. I am one happy bunny.  Simply because a) my computer is not very good at handling loads of photo-editing programs all at one time and b) it is easier for me and I like the easy life.  However, when it comes to HDR software which one is the best for HDR photography. So I decided to compare Lightroom -v- Photoshop -v- Photomatix for HDR photography.

For my trial I used 10 photographs shot at different exposures, with no editing whatsoever.

Read More

Rochester Cathedral Catalpa Tree



Catalpa Tree

The family tree at Rochester Cathedral processed with an Infrared Lightroom Preset.

Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and living in Rochester, I can remember this tree… As we walked through the Vines in Rochester heading towards the Castle we would stop off and play around this wonderful.  The Catalpa Tree (American Indian Bean Tree) was planted outside Rochester Cathedral was planted over 150 years ago. Read More

Lightroom sluggish… some tips to speed up Lightroom

Is Lightroom sluggish for you?  Well here are a few tips to speed up Lightroom.

  • Import using at least Standard Previews (if you have enough disk space import using 1:1). This might slow down the import but will benefit you during your workflow.
  • And not for the faint hearted – clear develop history. But don’t fret I will go into further detail within this post.
  • Limit the number of Presets you store.
  • Optimize your catalogue

For experimental purposes I have used the following image I took of Rochester Cathedral when we visited the Medieval Merriment Festival.

Rochester Cathedral

A monochrome photograph of Rochester Cathedral in Rochester, Kent.

Import using 1:1 if possible or at least Standard Preview.

Now I know this is cheating but I am going to copy and paste what Adobe says about using standard, minimal and 1:1 previews as their explanation is a lot better than mine.

Lightroom uses previews to display photo thumbnails in the Grid view, the Loupe view, and in the Develop, Slideshow, Print, and Web modules.

When you import photos, you can choose from three types of previews of progressively higher quality:

Read More

Waiting WordPress Photo Challenge

Honestly, that was me yesterday… Waiting to get some peace and an afternoon nap…  You see the day started out with a loose kitchen tap… yes it needed tightening up and I got a phone call from hubby saying, ‘If you clear the under-sink cupboard out and find the monobloc spanners, which are in the under-stairs cupboard, I’ll tighten that tap up when I get in.’ Read More

Structure WordPress Photo Challenge

Here we are again with another WordPress Photo Challenge and this week’s theme is Structure. Structure is all around us and as a photographer I do love to capture the structure of buildings.  Whether they may be.

And for me this challenge leads on from last week’s challenge of Corner, where I posted a photograph of the Palace of Fine Arts which is in the Marina district of San Francisco, USA.  For this week’s challenge theme of structure again is another photograph of the Palace of Fine Arts, where you can see the structure of columns as they hold up the lintels which have intricate mouldings to them. Read More

Corner WordPress Photo Challenge

Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California.

The topic for this week’s photo challenge is called Corner and you are asked to type of corner evoke emotion within yourself.  Well for me it has to be corners in Architecture.  Especially when you have such great architecture like the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco with its columns and the intricate mouldings on each corner of each column. Read More

Ooh, Shiny! WordPress Photo Challenge

The WordPress challenge this week is called Ooh, Shiny! and it asks what distracts you? For me it has to been raindrops on petals.. and how they glisten as the sun’s rays touches them.  Roses are a distraction for me anyway, as they are one of my favourite flowers.  And if I see a rose I just have to photograph it.

For this challenge I am using an image I processed a few days ago.. and is of a rose with raindrops on its petals which was photographed at Chartwell in Kent.. the home of the late Sir Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine. Read More

Rework of a Little Egret

Back in 2016, I processed a photograph of a Little Egret which I took at Northward Hill Nature Reserve and processed the image in a blue wash.  Today I decided to rework that image.. and the first thing I did was to flip the photograph horizontally.

Little Egret wading through the marshes at Northward Hill Nature Reserve.

I wanted to do this image in black and white with a gold and mauve split tone.  And this is the first time I have used the Reference View in Lightroom.  You see I processed the following image in Photoshop and then on re-import  to Lightroom I then added a coloured Preset which still kept the image in black and white,  but added a split-toned effect to the image.

A little egret at Northward Hill Nature Reserve grooming its wing.

However, since I applied the Preset I had to a black and white image I processed in Photoshop… I got the desired effect.  But! When I used the same Preset on a coloured image, even if I then converted it to black and white, in Lightroom, I still didn’t get the same effect.  So it was a case of having to come up with a Preset of my own to create this effect to a coloured image.

And to do this I used the Reference View in Lightroom.  And I played around with the split toning after converting my image to black and white and then added a couple of radial filters and a coloured graduated filter.  Once I was close enough to the reference view as I could get.  I then saved the Preset in Lightroom using the same name as the original Preset and by adding BW to the end of the name.

Little Egret wading through the marshes at Northward Hill Nature Reserve.

Never having used the Reference View in Lightroom before, at times I wondered if it was worth having this element available in Lightroom.  But now!  My god it is invaluable, especially if you are trying to replicate a Preset or toning you did on another image to a new photograph.

This is the advantage of using Presets in Lightroom, apart from cutting down your processing time, if you have a desired effect and know you will be using it again; by creating that Preset you have the settings at the click of a button.

A collection of old photographs

Arthritis is such a pain… and lately my hands have really been hurting and I have noticed that some of my photographs have a lot of camera shake when I am using my heavy DSLR.  I love my Canon EOS70D but by the time you add a lens to the camera… boy is it heavy.  And after holding the camera for a few minutes by hands really hurt. Read More

New Lens Cover Kit for Street Photography

As I said my confidence is lacking in Street Photography so I through I would start off with just my mobile phone… Anyway whilst scouring the internet the other night I came across a Samsung S7 Lens Cover Kit… costing £34.  In this kit you get a wide angled lens, a telephoto lens and a back-cover which enables you to screw the lenses into.

I had some birthday money left over so I made the purchase. And in less than 24 hours the kit was delivered to my door.  Talk about that for speed and efficiency from Samsung,  I didn’t order it until gone 5pm last night and I was playing with it by 11am.


I snapped these two photos with the telephoto lens.. and the garden picture one was shot through the kitchen window…



Both images not processed by any apps or filters, and you can see how well the Telephoto lens does.. The image below is the image I shot of the garden, without the telephoto lens on.


And I have even sussed out how to automatically import my images taken with my ordinary camera app into Lightroom Mobile.  Now who’s a clever girl 😀 😀 😀  All the above images are jpegs and have had no editing processes applied to them.

Of course, I had to process and edit the images in Lightroom and I do hope you like the finished images…

Beating up little sis

Stewie beating up his little sis, who was quite happy laying there asleep.


Photograph of garden taken with the telephoto lens on my Samsung S7

So far I am rather impressed with my new purchase… and I look forward to my street photography now with more confidence because I don’t have to get that up-close to people to get my shots.  Plus being light-weight the lenses are easy to carry.  And at the moment that is a Godsend, especially as my hands are hurting more with arthritis and holding a heavy DSLR camera is getting rather tricky at times, especially with this PMR disease affecting my neck, arms, and shoulder muscles.  I don’t think it will be long before a point and shoot camera is added to my Christmas list to make my life easier, which of course will be a shame.  Because I do like my Canon EOS 70D, I just don’t like the weight of it with an 18-135mm or 55-250mm lens on it.

Working on old images and using Twitter

Over the last couple of days, I have shared more of our photography to Twitter, Viewbug and 500px.  All in all it is rather time-consuming.  I’ve been a member of these sites for a few years, especially Twitter.  So I thought it was about time that I utilised these social platforms for displaying our images.

Photograph of a boat jetty at Lake Windermere in Cumbria

The above photograph was taken at Lake Windermere in Cumbria .. and is of a jetty where small boats land.  On that particular day the weather wasn’t too brilliant.. and the rain clouds were looming in the sky.. but luck was on our side and the rain never arrived.

Photograph of a boat jetty at Lake Windermere in Cumbria

As an alternative I decided to process the same image in black and white… Personally I can’t decide which one I like the best… but who is to say that you can’t like both equally.  And enjoy viewing both images for their different processing techniques.

Another image I played around with over the last couple of days is one of a little pond by the roadside at Ashenbank Woods near Cobham in Kent.  By using Photoshop I created an autumn toned image.

A photograph of roadside pond at Ashenbank Woods

For my last image.. it was one I took at Northward Hill Nature Reserve of a little egret, using my Pansonic Lumix FZ48 which has a great zoom lens on it.

A little egret at Northward Hill Nature Reserve grooming its wing.

I love writing a blog post now and again, but sometimes, I just want to post images.  I know I could just post images to this blog on a daily basis but that is something that I did before, and for me the blog became too messy and disorganised.  That is why I have created Portfolios for various locations and subjects.  So for now I will limit my posts to this blog and incorporate processed images to their respective portfolios and promote more of our photography on social media.

Strolling around Rochester – Street Photography

A monochrome panoramic of the River Medway taken from Rochester Bridge – Strood side.

Over the weekend at Rochester in Kent was the Medieval Merriment Festival which was held in the Castle Gardens, not far from the High Street in Rochester.   With Knights in armour, and period traders, this event gave me the perfect opportunity to practice my Street Photography.

A photograph of a man at the Medieval Merriment Festival in Rochester.

And because there were tourists there I didn’t feel out-of-place with my DSLR as I strolled along the High Street taking photographs.  Mind you I was very apprehensive at times and I tried hard to be as inconspicuous as I could possibly be. 😀 😀

Rochester High Street has many café bars, and restaurants with outside seating..  which gave me the perfect opportunity to capture these lovely people deciding on what to have for lunch.

A photograph of people dining outside in Rochester High Street.

Not far from that setting, just across the road, is the High Street War Memorial which is situated within gardens in front of the Cathedral.  With women sitting there taking in the sun to young people sunbathing on the grass, that little square is full of activity at times.

Two ladies sitting on a bench admiring the Cathedral at Rochester


A photograph of two young girls sunbathing in Rochester.

Rochester is full of history and has many Victorian buildings with great architectural elements to them, which are worthy of being photographed..  I just love the walk by the Cathedral through these memorial gardens and then down through College Yard, which leads you back to the High Street.  You have excellent views of the Cathedral and the Castle, as well as plenty of places to get refreshments.

Archway at Rochester

Yes I was apprehensive and I think in some of the photos I rushed my image… but that is down to lack of confidence.. which I hope will improve over time.  But I went in head first and really should have stuck with my phone as I originally had intended to do.  But for my first outing out… I’m pleased I put my fears aside and it is just a matter of time before I hopefully will become more confident in taking photographs in the street.

Elemental WordPress Photo Challenge

This week’s subject for the WordPress Photo Challenge is called Elemental and WordPress asks you to explore the elements of earth, air, water and fire. For my elemental subject I decided to use water. Water can be rough and choppy or reflective and calm.  And within a bat of an eyelid elements like wind and rain can turn calm waters into the most dangerous seas ever.

From the onset of high waves at Sidmouth in Devon. Read More

Creating Watercolour Effect Photography

On Sunday we took a trip to Sissinghurst Castle… in Kent.  Albeit under protest at the last controversy surrounding the outing of a squire as being gay, which I didn’t approve of.  Anyway, we decided to go and I shot this photograph of some red flowers and wanted to see if I could create a watercolour effect in Photoshop.

A photograph of red flowers taken at Sissinghurst Castle.

I did my usual processing technique and as the photograph was captured by using a macro lens, I had a beautiful depth of field.  Now one thing that I would love to be able to do is paint… but my artistic sills are zilch.. so it was either Photoshop doing the magic or me just accepting defeat and admitting I couldn’t paint a picture to safe my life.

Photoshop Steps

  • Opened Image in Photoshop directly from Lightroom as a Smart Object
  • Added a black and white gradient Map set to Linear Light Blending Mode
  • Duplicated Gradient Map layer and set the opacity to 50% with a Luminosity Blending Mode
  • Added a green grunge  dark edged texture set the opacity to 35% with a Subtract Blending Mode
  • Saved Image which was then reimported back into LIghtroom.

I really like the effect the above steps did to my image.  And it gave me a perfect starting base to work further on this image in Lightroom by applying different Presets.

A paint effect given to a photograph of red flowers.

Using a couple of presets I have saved in Lightroom (as favourites) I then created different versions of this image.  I like the softness this image and how it gave a watercolour effect to the flowers.  Playing around with Photoshop is something I am getting more au fait with and my confidence is growing and I am beginning to experiment more with using different techniques.

Here is a selection of the above image processed with different Lightroom Presets.

In fact, I could well imagine the golden toned image of my watercolour effect photography, being printed as a metallic wallpaper.



Next Step in Street Photography

Since I wrote my blog post yesterday about lacking confidence in doing Street Photography, the more I’ve thought about it and the more my passion for doing this type of photography has grown.  So what is my next step.

How do I approach this methodically without scaring the living daylights out of myself and talking myself out of doing street photography?

A little girl at the Rochester Sweeps Festival in 2013

Of course I will use my phone camera for a little while.. before aimlessly wandering  the streets with a DSLR snapping at whatever takes my fancy.

You see one thing we’ve never done in photography is portrait photography.  And the more I think about street photography the more it involves taking photographs of people.  Which all in all will be good practice for any photographer.  Especially when learning a new concept in photography.

Living in the Medway Towns in Kent.. I am lucky!  You see there are plenty of festivals going on during the years especially as Charles Dickens is renowned for their links to Rochester.  And Dickens is celebrated in our local area twice a year with the Dickens Festival in Summer and Christmas Dickens.

Dancers at the Rochester Sweeps Festival in May 2013.

From early Bank Holiday Monday in May we start with the Sweeps Festival at Rochester.  Which means  these types of festivals are the types of festivals where you wouldn’t look out of place with a DSLR.

With a quick Google, there are things going on everywhere during the year in Medway ranging from the Sweeps, Festival to Medieval Festivals in the Castle Gardens at Rochester.

And there are a variety of things to do, ranging from reminiscing and recapturing the days of the 1940’s at the Chatham Dockyard to Art and Music Festivals.  These to me are ideal things to concentrate on to improve my street photography.

Getting Questioned

Well the more I’ve thought about street photography, the more I realise that there are times when people are going to stop and ask what you are doing?  Which is understandable, because I know I would question someone photographing me in the street.  So to get over this problem.. I will get some business cards printed.. giving our contact details and of course a link to our website.

It seems a whole lot easier explaining you are a photographer … albeit an amateur one.., or a student learning a new concept of photography but unless you have something to give to a person then how the hell do you expect someone to take your word for it.  With most people having mobile phones, with a link to our website it will say who we are and that I am not some crazy lady with a camera.  Or the new Jane Bond in the making.   Hopefully, that will work if I’m questioned!!! 😀 😀 😀

A guided tour of the cell blocks at Alcatraz

This is getting to sound like an adventure for me.  And one I am thoroughly going to enjoy, especially when I gain my confidence.  You see today, just driving back from the wound clinic there were a couple of great opportunities to photograph people on their travels as they strolled through the streets.

Camera Settings

This is another element I am going to have to learn.. I have been reading a few blogs and plenty of tips for street photography.  And a lot of street photographers have written about what lenses they’ve used and their camera settings.  I think the two elements that you mainly have to concentrate on are shutter speed and ISO.

And I know I am going to like processing street photographs because I love highly contrasted, monochrome photos.  And I love, when processing black and white images, playing around with various gradient filters in Photoshop

Again this can’t be a bad thing, can it?  You are learning more about your camera and the settings you need to use to get the shot you desire.  And by all accounts the two lenses I mentioned yesterday are recommended by street photographers.  Which is of course a bonus… and not an expense.  Which photography often is.

It seems I am now creating an action plan…   And I can’t wait to get started.

Further Reading

Friday Quick Tip – Lightroom – Dodge and Burn

dodge and burn

When it comes to processing images, one part of my work flow is to dodge and burn an image to depth and highlight light sources and shadow sources. To me dodging and burning gives a new dimension to a photograph. It was only yesterday I was speaking to a friend who runs a blog called Heritage Basket Studio about dodging and burning. And I showed them this video about the benefits of dodging and burning. Read More

Textures WordPress Photo Challenge


A photograph of an old tree with it’s textured bark at Ashenbank Woods.

Textures are all around us… whether it be leaves on the ground, or the bark on an old tree.  We don’t have to look far before we find textures in a variety of objects.

We can also add textures to an image to create more depth.. textures can come from many places, paving slabs, bricks, tree bark, clouds, plaster and many other things.  Even a photograph of crumpled paper can be used to add texture to an image. Read More

No Confidence for Street Photography

A photography chum I have come to known since my journey into photography is Stacy P Fischer from Washington DC.  I got to know Stacy through her One Photo Focus Monthly Challenges and during the years I have seen her grow as a photographer and I love her work in Street Photography.  Her artistic talent is endless and truly inspirational.

Now for me, I would love to try Street Photography, but I lack confidence in picking up my camera and heading into town to photograph life on the streets.  Perhaps it is the fear of someone verbally abusing you or threatening you should they not want their photograph taken.  But I yearn to try street photography.

Whilst in America I did do some photographic shoots on the streets.. one being a classic car in a Mall in Los Angeles

Photograph of a classic car taken at a mall in Los Angeles

Throughout my photography journey I’ve never been a photographer who photographs people, either in portrait photography or landscapes.  In fact, I will go as far as saying, I will wait until everyone has walked out of the scene I want to shoot before I click the shutter button.  I felt in my comfort zone just taking photographs of flowers, castles, and landscapes.

However, we need to venture out of our comfort zones if we are to do something that has been drawing us towards… like street photography.

But where do you start?

Today I read an excellent blog post from Eric Kim on the Ultimate Guide to Street Photography.. they say:

If you are a beginner in street photography, all you need is this guide to get started. I was quite frustrated when I started street photography. I had no idea what camera to use, what settings to use, what to look for, how to approach strangers, and most of all– how to overcome my fear of shooting in the streets.

And that is exactly how I am feeling now… and longing to overcome my fear of shooting in the streets.

You see I have two great little lenses for Street Photography… my trusted nifty-fifty and my 24mm Pancake lens.. as well as my 18-55mm kit lens.

What attracts me so much to Street Photography is contrast of the black and white images.  I love monochrome photography and to me Street Photography is all about an image being black and white, telling you a story about everyday life on the streets of our towns and cities.

Whilst in the USA, I had no fear of shooting on the street, maybe because I was a tourist and nobody knew me there… and of course everyone else was doing the same.

A photograph of one of the streets in San Francisco.

But back home where do you start?  It is a whole new ball game and one that needs a hell of a lot of confidence… something that I know I am lacking.

So just to sit here and talk about it and do nothing is the easy option for me.  Getting the confidence to go out and shoot is a fear I need to overcome. So for me, to overcome my fear,  I am taking this new challenge in little steps.  I never go anywhere without my mobile phone… so instead of heading to the streets with a DSLR camera and shaking knees and trembling like a Chivers jelly… I will use my mobile phone to start taking photographs.  And hopefully by taking these small steps, my confidence will grow, so that I can then use  my DSLR out there on the streets with confidence.  I so want to photograph every day life that is buzzing around in the hustle and bustle of our streets.

So stay tuned!  Who knows what I will photograph.  But it will definitely be mission accomplished if I can overcome my fear of Street Photography.

Friday Quick Tip – Lightroom to Photoshop – Smart Object

smart objects

Opening your image from Lightroom as a Smart Object in Photoshop

Well the weekend is nearly upon us and hopefully the weather will be good to us. And gives us photographers, both professional and amateur, good weather to go out and shoot our images. For this week’s Friday Quick Tip I give you another video by Benjamin Ward about opening your images as Smart Objects in Photoshop, directly from Lightroom. Read More

Satisfaction WordPress Photo Challenge


So what is satisfaction?  For me it is when I accomplish something that I only dreamed of.  Like taking a photograph and transforming it into something else. My original image was this deep cerise flower.

Flower Shower

Weekly WordPress Challenge – Satisfication

Even though I liked the original image I wanted to create something different and the colour I had in mind was a violet shade. So I started my processing in Lightroom, where I carried out the following steps: Read More

Reflecting WordPress Photo Challenge

A reflection of abstract art.

Another photography challenge set by the WordPress Photo Challenge theme is called Reflecting where they ask you create an image with a reflection. And for my submission to this theme I have used a twirl photo I created and sent it to Photoshop, where I created the reflection by using layers, layer masks and blending modes.

It was a challenge as I had to make sure the reflection didn’t look out of place.. and to soften the reflection I used a Gaussian Blur on the reflection itself.  I also cropped the image so that it was only a partial reflection.  And should you wish to try reflections and are not sure where to start I found an excellent tutorial.  Written by Darlene Hildebrandt  for a blog called Digital Photography School, the tutorial tells you how to create and transform the reflection of your image.

Once my image was back into Lightroom, I played around with a gradient filter and a radial filter and a few sliders in the to alter the exposure and highlight of my adjustments. After that I lowered the exposure of the image and then  I added a vignette.

Unusual WordPress Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is called Unusual and Lignum Draco has set the following Challenge:

For this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, please post a photo that is unusual in some way for you, whether it be through technique, by subject, or in some other unique way. This theme is wide open to interpretation because only you know what is unusual to you.

Well as the topic is about technique I thought I would take this image of a flower, photographed by hubby:

And use the twirling technique.

Using Photoshop I used my usual twirling technique but then I merged the layers and using the transform tool flipped the image horizontal and then vertical, to create this image.  As well as changing various blending modes to create the effect.

Abstract artwork using twirl effect and photo of a blue flower.

Once I was happy with my image I saved the image and as I used Lightroom initially to send my image to Photoshop, when I saved the image it was automatically re-imported back into Lightroom.  I could have just left the image as created but I wanted to create different perspectives of the image.  And I did this by using various settings and Presets in Lightroom.


Should you wish to learn the twirling technique you can read the technique on how to twirl, which is included in this post.  You can view more examples of twirling in our Portfolio dedicated to Twirling images.

Friday Quick Tip – Lightroom – Sharpening using a Mask


One of the edits I do to each photo I process in Lightroom is Sharpening in the Details Panel in the Develop Module. How ever using the masking slider can be hit or miss as it doesn’t automatically show a mask. By holding down the Option key on MAC or the Alt key on PC you can clearly see what areas are being sharpened. Black = no sharpening, White = Sharpening.  Some theory as in Photoshop.. black conceals, white reveals. Read More