25 November 2011

Miniature World

Almost the weekend guys !
Happy Thanksgiving to those of my followers across the pond who celebrated.
So lately I've had some time on my hands to revisit my photo's, have a general tidy of my folders and archive albums onto my external hard drive. Good PC housekeeping.  I really am desperate for a new PC, it's running so slow I sometimes think it's being powered by a little man peddling on a bike somewhere around the back.... {{urgh}} frustrating to say the least.
Hey Ho... perhaps Santa will notice.
But what I wanted to share with you today is my favourite technique of the moment. It's called Tiltshift and you dive into explore and recreate a tiny, miniature world out of your photo's. Tiltshift lenses focus on a single part of the photo and shift (blur) the surrounding area to create an optical illusion of miniaturised scenery.  Tilt shift photographs create an optical illusion that makes scenes appear as if they are actually miniature models (like your great uncle’s train set).
Like all photo techniques and styles... it lends itself nicely to the right kind of photo but not all.  And I guess that's where the fun lies. I get butterflies in my tummy when I find that perfect shot or scene that looks great as a Tiltshift shot.
Ok, so the types of photo's that work best with this style are limited, but just experiment !
 Ariel views or buildings and people in crowds in streets.
 So, photos from high places, such as a tall building, a rooftop, fairground rides, from the top of a tree or a bridge would lend itself to a workable photo.
There are several methods to achieving this look in a photo. One is to purchase a lens. Lensbaby brought out a series of lenses, fairly inexpensive for SLR cameras. I shoot with a Canon, but the tilt shift lens' are crazy high prices !
Photoshop tools to experiment with a layer mask with Gaussian Blur with increased colour saturation/contrast or even easier - go to tiltshiftmaker.com who will do alot of the hard work for you. Result !
Here are my efforts.
Castlefield in Manchester.
Worsley Canal, Worsley Village, England.

The Food and Drink Festival, Manchester 2011.

Shoppers in St Annes Square in Manchester.

High Rid Reservoir is a small, stone-sided reservoir in my hometown of Bolton.

Sailing boats on Hi Rid Reservoir, Bolton.

 Mogan in Gran Canaria - July 2011 
The last photo is actually my favourite out of this group of shots. I think that's because it reminds me of our wonderful summer holiday this year.
Thanks for stopping bye to view. It's friday night here now... so time to open a bottle of red wine and chill for the evening watching wildlife on BBC Autumnwatch. *cheers*  
Jennie. x


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23 November 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Fog

Fog - The essence of clouds, soft arms of mist, gloom descending.
Crazy weather, but I love it. Photo's taken this weekend around my home town.

Happy Wordless Wednesday! Thanks for dropping by today.
Jennie. xx

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17 November 2011

Who pinched all the squirrels?

Let's go for a long walk, it's a beautiful day, why not.
We headed for Heaton Park, Manchester with it's animal centre, boating lake and donkey sanctuary. It was such a beautiful autumn day that I had to enjoy the mild weather and pretty colours before winter truly sets in.
This time LAST year we were knee deep in snow... so different to the golden hues and mild breezes we are currently experiencing.
I grabbed my camera, a bag of nuts to feed the squirrels, packed Nathans BMX bike into the car and off we went. 
I've used a texture on this photo called 'Phoebe'. Thanks to http://www.kimklassencafe.com/ for the texture.
I couldn't resist the block colour of burnt orange. Gorgeous !
Nathan was eager to get going on his bike and disappear into a small dot in the distance.
Helmet on, and start peddling !
Can you see him? Tiny boy under the giant stone pillars.
Again I used the texture Phoebe on this photo to give it an old postcard look.
It won't be long now until all these leaves are shed.  We wandered through the park, nodding politely at passing dog walkers and bike riders.... these types of afternoons make me happy. Family time.
And finally, we caught up. Nathan was loving the long stretches of pathway and grass to really stretch his legs and pick up speed on his bike. 
I loved the long shadows the low sun was casting through the wheels of his bike.  It was a beautiful light.
Ok, so here's the part where I went looking for squirrels.... leaf kicking, calf high in leaves. I think usually they make themselves known when they want food, don't they?
Not today it would seem.....
I continued to look and shake my bag-o-nuts in anticipation. Not sure what I expected to see -- a scurry of them come running after me perhaps? Usually this park is full of squirrels, seriously.
'Phoebe' texture again. I love the rustic look it's giving these leaves.
All good parks have a boating lake right? So we strolled round it with an impromtu visit to the ice cream van.  All good parks have an overpriced ice cream van too ! We were not disappointed. Ha.
But, my aim today wasn't to feed the ducks... it was to feed those damn elusive squirrels. 
I'd brought my camera especially.
I like the angle and perspective of this shot, capturing the park visitors in the distance strolling along with their baby buggies.
Amongst the decay can be found beauty.
But no squirrels it would seem. So I kept my nuts bag in my pocket until later. We were headed for the donkeys and kiddies play park.
*giggles* It looks like someone was expecting us....
Agghhhhh dammit I've only brought nuts, and they get stuck in ones teeth. 
Ummmm he's clearly not fussy. A nut it is then. Just the one.
{{{ Eeeeeeee-Hawwwwww }}}}}
The sunshine cast a pretty glow over the donkeys... they were chillin in the sun. Donkey's are so calm and docile creatures aren't they? This bunch were ever so friendly.
The Goats and Alpaca pen.
I loved the size and shape of this tree... a true giant in the park dominating the landscape.
Let's play.
Sunset is upon us.  I can't believe how quickly the darkness is upon us... hometime.
And not a hungry squirrel in sight. Do they hibernate? Not already surely.
Oh well I'll dress my bird table with the nuts when I get home.
Follow that winding path and wave at the passing train...
Sunset on the horizon.
Sunset over the horizon... a beautiful end to a lovely, relaxing day.
Jennie. x