Being a child of Spring, to celebrate this beautiful season here on this blog is a must… and such a pleasure! Sooooo…. here’s a few things that filled my heart with joy the past few days… Enjoy! 🙂
Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
(Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose)
Adding golden glow to your images is a simple yet effective editing technique that allows you to bring more warmth, glow and contrast to your images.
I remembered this simple technique while editing the pictures for my latest recipe – the langos.
When I was looking at the pictures I took and compared them to reality, I thought that the delicious fried bread shown in my images was lacking a bit of the beautifully golden color that it actually possessed. The pictures were just not doing the real thing justice.
This is the image after the golden glow effect was applied.
The change is slight and rather subtle. But it did just what I was looking for – it deepened the image, added more contrast, and most importantly, it brought nice warming golden glow to my subject.
To add more glow to your pictures, just follow these simple steps.
1. Open your image in Photoshop (I am using Photoshop Elements 11 here).
2. Duplicate the background layer (Ctrl + J for PC/Command + J for Mac).
3. In the top bar of your screen press Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and in the small window that pops up move the slider to choose the setting that blurs your image completely (I went up to 37.5 % for my image).
4. Press OK.
5. Change the Blending Mode to Slight Light. You can find the Blending Mode option in the upper right part of your screen, right above the open layers.
6. If you are happy with the result, just save the image. If you’d like to reduce the effect, you can use the Opacity slider to make the effect more subtle (you can find the Opacity slider in the upper right part of your screen, right above the open layers). In this particular image, I liked the result of the effect at 63 % opacity.
I have a sweet flower for you today! A tulip. Just could not resist taking a picture of it. It feels so nice to remind myself from time to time that the simple things are my most favorite kind of things in life.
I often receive a question from you, dear readers, asking what kind of surface or background I used in this or that photo. These questions led me to an idea that it could be fun to share the pictures of surfaces and backgrounds I like to use… so, here they are.
The first picture shows my probably most often used photo surface, a simple wooden table from Ikea that I bought many years ago. It actually moves with me wherever I move and it serves as my office or studio focal point. I love that little table.
What I probably like best about it is its natural look and honey-like color. I like that color a lot and I think it makes the pictures look soft and cute.
I have used my good old table in many photo shoots – like here …
Since I really love wood and I am a big fan of wooden paneled surfaces (even the header of my site tells this very clearly), I bought these wooden babies about a year ago (you can get them in any good home store, like Home Depot in the USA or Baumax in Europe; the good people there can even cut them for you in any size you want). My official plan was to fit them together at home and use them as one piece, but, for some reason, I did not find the time neither the nails to do that.
Just lately it occurred to me that there’s actually no need to fit them together. I can easily place them on top of any surface (floor or table) and they will work just fine. And on top of that, they are much easier to store this way – as individual panels.
And you know what? I really really really love using my wooden panels. You can find them in many of my pictures … like here …
As time went by and I got more and more inspired by darker backgrounds in photography, I decided to get something like that into my life too.
So I gathered up some dark-brown wooden exterior home paint, a brush and a protective plastic sheeting, …
… I laid out my old planks …
… and I did it. In other words, I applied three coats of color to one side of each of my wooden panels.
Oh, how I loved the result. A dream come true! Now my wooden panels can work as a bright and dark background too.
I have been happily testing my new dark background in the past few weeks and I’ve been utterly impressed by the results.
Ahhh, it really makes my heart sing to see something new after years and years of using bright surfaces mostly. Change is good!
Oh, and this picture brings me to another area of photography that I wanted to mention – backgrounds.
This picture shows how the previous photo was taken. A kind of ‘behind the scenes’. 🙂
Since the natural space in my shooting corner does not offer the neatest background options, in the past I spent hours and hours thinking and trying to figure out the right solution to that situation. Luckily, one happy day, as I was walking the endless isles of Ikea, a gorgeous idea struck me – what if I used a clothes rack for this purpose? It is an inexpensive and really perfect solution!!
So I brought one of Ikea’s clothes racks home and have been happily using it since then.
I have already used a large sheet of colored paper as a background.
And I have also tried to use a dark fabric too.
Here’s the result.
When it comes to backgrounds and surfaces, I would really love to mention this simple solution, my good old buddy, the Lowel EGO Sweep.
The sweep is a table-top background support stand and it comes with many colored paper backgrounds.
Oh, and of course, then there are fabrics. They can be used as surfaces, backgrounds, props … anything. I love my fabrics. My collection comes from Ikea and the local fabric store. And as with any other props, there’s never enough, that I know for sure. We’ve definitely entered a little addictive area of my life here. 🙂