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Now I have finally finished my last paper, having sat the exam last Wed, I have time back in the weekends and evenings YAY!

So I wanted to tackle all the training courses and videos I have downloaded and purchased but not had time to look at, and this is one from Sebastian Michels of the Fine Art Grunge course that is teaching me so much about Photoshop from a creative POV

Below is the finished image, and how I created it (along with the original image) is HERE

blue rose
24th-May-2015 08:23 pm - Experimenting with Topaz Glow
This is a filter from Topaz Labs that allows you to add interesting texture to your images. I found it a lot of fun to play with as it is very customisable and has lots of sliders and things to adjust and change the final outcome

You can see the Before and After here on my blog post

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19th-May-2015 10:53 am - Double Exposure Image
Details on how I did this and a video on the technique are here

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1st-Mar-2015 10:04 pm - Im knackered!
About 3 years ago my house got fixed up from all the earthquake damage and that involved getting all the cracks in the walls fixed and the walls repainted.

What they DIDN'T do was all the trim - doorframes, window frames and skirting boards, and they consequently looked pretty grubby in comparison. I did manage to paint the lounge and the spare bedroom before the new and very fluffy carpet went in, but after it did, it was kindof too much of a challenge to deal with.

The bathroom has really been annoying me so I decided yesterday that I would FINALLY DO IT!

Yesterday was spent clearing cobwebs away and washing all surfaces, and sanding.

Today was more sanding, filling gaps, more sanding, washing, waiting for it to dry and then the painful task of taping all the edges with masking tape, and putting down and taping newspaper on the floor.

Finally I made a start but was too tired to do much other than a couple of easy bits and it looks like the doorframes will need two coats and some other bits - the people before me did a lot of painting in bright colours and werent too bothered about clean edges, so I have some cleaning up to do while I paint.

Still the clean bright white glossy trim looks AWESOME where I have done it and it will all be worth it, but man I am knackered! Sleep well tonite
Triggered by a recent exchange over difference of opinion, I ask the hard question - do people want honest critique on the images or do they really only want positive affirmation?

The Dilemma of Honest Critique

So far have had some really thoughtful and involved comments, and from people new to the blog which is surprising. Much of what I say has come from some experiences I have had at LJ in the photo communities, where participation is more about popularity contests than anything else. Which is ok if that is what you are after, but what happens when you are looking for something more?

I have my Big Gurl Panties on, so have your say!
calm photos
30th-Jan-2015 10:27 pm - Its been a rough start to 2015
A week into my 3 week Xmas holidays I got a cold. That wouldnt go away, but luckily this time it didn't end up being bronchitis and the Cough That Wouldn't Go Away.

This time it was a chest infection that lingered for 5 weeks and still getting rid of the final dregs of it.

This week I had my very last wisdom tooth out, it was scheduled for my holidays but couldn't due to the cold. Today my face is localised achy rather than half my face extremely sore and a wicked headache for two days.

Next week I have my first mammogram - already been rescheduled twice due to health issues.

In the last three weeks I have worked only one full one and due to holidays, short weeks and other things it will be late Feb before I begin normal 5 day weeks again!

Good news is one interruption is a 4 day trip to Hamilton Island for a vendor junket which will hopefully be lovely :)

Kitten also healed up the cut on his leg nicely and with no dramas

Oh and I upgraded my C: to SSD but the image wouldnt stick so I reinstalled windows and accidentally wiped my backups on D as well. Lost the last 15 years of email history and my itunes libraries among the most annoying things.

Slowly rebuilding everything back but on a 5 year old machine a complete clean refresh probably isnt a bad thing but STRESS!

Anyway a pretty picture using my new photoshop skills to brighten your day :)

blue rose
7 min exposure as tide was going out and sun was setting at CHCH Estuary where the kiteboarders do their thing - taken with Lee Big stopper Filter

More pix here

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8th-Jan-2015 11:10 pm - Having fun with photography

I purchased a Photoshop Fine Art Grunge course around Xmas time and have been working my way through the videos in Module 1 and started Module 2 (there are 4 in total) and OMG am learning so much about Photoshop! Learning on a course thats designed for photographers and digital artists means I learn the really useful and critical things and its been fun having a play with the techniques and experimenting.

Rather than bombard you with images, here are links to some of my blog posts of what I have been up to - I got sick with a horrible head cold for last week and a half so spending time on the computer has been the most I could manage lately :)

St Bathans Old Stone Cottage (image above) and how I created it - original included

My entry for the Jan One Four Challenge Week 1 - this is where we edit the same image four different ways over a month - lots of fun :)

Experimenting with layers and swirly things and peacocks

Just plain photos here, out exploring the local scenery in Lyttleton Harbour - Colour and BW images
blue rose
I made the mistake of moving the critical iTunes library folders around without realising the impact it would have. Googling eventually found what I needed to do, you can manually tell iTunes to use a specific library which is cool.

But the problem is, iTunes doesn't TELL YOU WHAT THE FILE NAME FOR THE LIBRARY IT WANTS TO HAVE !!! just says the library you have selected is not the one it wants.

Eventually and with much faffing about digging into files and folders I found the one it wanted!

Then I had to download all my latest song purchases (the reason I started doing this is two of my fave bands released new albums end last year and I just found out) and now I not only have retained all my old music and playlists but got NEW music as well.

But fuck me sideways and call me sally, it was WAY harder than it needed to be!

Typical of Apple, its so intuitive!
3rd-Jan-2015 10:49 am - Day 5 of the Holiday Head cold
While I still sound and feel not great, I am on the way to recovery. Had massive coughing fits last night that needed me to sleep on the tri pillow which worked but has borked the left side of my neck rather painfully :(

Today I am venturing out into the world for brunch and pretend I am human. If I feel up to it later a light work out at the gym to do some weights and warm my neck up for some decent stretching.

The kitten appears fully recovered from the trauma of having 5 stitches in the cut in his leg, he is not licking or chewing the wound at all (they did the tiniest and tidiest stitches Ive ever seen) and is barely limping. He was supposed to stay inside for 10 days but as an outside cat that hasnt really been happening and its too damn hot anyway. So keeping him in at night and keeping tabs on him during the day seems the best compromise.

Some posts from my photography blog recently showing the things I was up to before I got sick, enjoying getting out in the city with my camera:

And some sample images from the links above, go on, its worth a click :)

calm photos
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