Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter in Central PA

Watching the weather change from day to day - or minute to minute - has been great entertainment for me and my camera! A flock of pine siskins came to the feeders this afternoon in the midst of a snow squall. They don't look all that impressive - something plain like a sparrow... until...

When they fly, the bright yellow bar is displayed quite nicely. And from the back, the siskin is quite handsome indeed!

This fella was caught in the ice storm - his tail looks dreadful and the other squirrels are letting this one know it, too!

The fella below was just snacking at our feeder in the midst of a mini-white-out.

And then there are the crows...patiently walking across the snow in search of bread crusts or flying gracefully up into the old walnut trees or simply "caw caw cawing" their way into my life.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inkjet Printing My Bird Photos on Fabric

Continuing my lessons on Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, today I learned to resize things differently than I had done on Elements 4. I prefer version 4 because I can change the pixel size, but version 6 makes sure the image doesn't loose any quality when being downsized.

I've been wanting to create from my multitude of bird photos and finally decided to try printing them on fabric and then embellishing them with stitches and whatever else they seem to call for. I began by printing one paper and one fabric print of each image - this way I have a paper image to refer to when I'm sewing that isn't distorted by being in the sewing machine or in my hand. Since I want to maintain a certain level of accuracy, it is imperative that I have a reference photo handy.

First, I edited out the background in each photo. I want each bird to be isolated and to have the background blank so I can stitch it whatever way suits the image.

These are all printed in a 4x6" format, so I was able to put two on each sheet. Because the organza sheets don't do especially well going through the printer twice in the same direction (organza starts to unravel immediately!), the images are right side up and up side down. It really doesn't matter, since they'll all be cut apart before I begin working with them.

Above you can see what I'm doing for the Raven Challenge - there are two raven photos that I want to work with. We'll see which one turns out best.

The one above is a European Robin - or Redbreast. I took the photo in Ireland in 2007.

I'll be posting my progress as it happens...
Reminder: All images are copyrighted by the artist.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Frost in Photoshop Elements

I've been having fun playing with my new camera and with the resulting photos in Adobe Photoshop Elements (currently on sale). Here are some "before" and "after" photos. I'll post more as I learn. I'm using Gloria Hansen's new book,
Digital Essentials: the quilt maker's must-have guide to images, files, and more!." And while I've been playing with Elements 4 for a few years, I am totally self-taught and don't really know much about the program other than what I've learned through trial and error. And now I've upgraded to Elements 6 so there's a whole new learning curve. Ugh! Reading directions normally bores me to tears, but Gloria has done a great job of defining terms, explaining the steps involved in making things happen according to the way YOU want, and she provides screen images of these steps which I find an invaluable tool. Since I'm primarily a visual learner, I love the accompanying images, much as I like them in my cookbooks!

Here are a few of the images I've created this weekend in the midst of our 0 degree weather. They all were taken in our garage where the windows frosted up rather nicely.
Some "Before" shots:

Some "After" shots:

This is a walnut tree as seen from our back deck.

Below are different views of the same tree, altered in Photoshop Elements 6.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The New Year - 2009

Greetings and Happy New Year to all visitors. We've been blessed with a third ice storm in a month. They create a strange beauty in our world ~ and thankfully, for us, no real damage to plants or property. Here are a few images of the latest storm. For a larger image, click on the photo you wish to see.

And then the sun came out - just before the lake effect snow arrived...