Stop the presses! We got out of Prescott! The drive was only 17 miles or so, but we did get out of town. The impetus was that my photo group is meeting tomorrow on zoom- and the topic is “How Far Have You Gone”- meaning how far have you travelled during the pandemic. Until this weekend, my answer would have been all the way to the doctor’s office. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one in the group who is staying home most of the time- but I just didn’t feel like bringing a still life or flower photo (although I will later on).
So we drove through Skull Valley and Kirkland, and I found three photo ops along the way. Today’s photo is one I took on the way home- I’ll post the one I am using for class later on.
Spotted at Bodie
Yes, I’ve gone back 6 years to find a photo for today! This was one of my most favorite photography days- being with family, staying at Yellowstone- and seeing my first rodeo since I was a very little girl! I haven’t been to a rodeo since then, even living in Prescott where rodeo is BIG. So here’s one of my 2014 rodeo shots in a 2020 painterly style:
Beaches are open, but not for us cautious types. This is from last March’s visit to Newport.
Daydreaming about the beach . . .
This was from our last trip to California- February 27- before the lockdown but just as we were becoming aware trouble was headed our way.
Edited with one of my beach textures, created in my at home time.
The first time I heard of my second great grandfather, Thomas Mowatt, was when I was going through my father’s personal files about 1992, ten years after his death. I had started researching our family, and was following the advice to start with what you know. As far as I knew, my father had no interest in genealogy or family history, but evidently his family DID and had sent him some letters, photos, and documents over the years. He never shared any of this with me when I was growing up, but somehow had the foresight to not throw away the few things that he had that were relevant to his family history.
Thomas Mowatt was my father’s great-grandfather and had died about ten years before my father was born. I was raised knowing I was Scottish on both sides of my family and had proudly worn a wool jumper sewn by my mother out of the Mowatt tartan when I was in fifth grade- but that’s all I knew about the Mowatts. So when I looked through my father’s files and found a typewritten document about this unknown ancestor, Thomas Mowatt, I was curious.
The document reads:
This certifies that Thomas Mowatt, a native of this neighborhood, of credible parentage, leaves this country for N. Brunswick, wishing to better his situation in that land. He is a member in full communion with this Presbyterian Congregation and has always acted as becometh the Christian.
He is of a mild inoffensive disposition, exceedingly peaceable, quiet and retiring, very highly esteemed as a servant, well acquainted with husbandry in all its modern improvements. He has had for several years the oversight of a corn mill, and is very capable of managing such a concern, so he is likely to prove an acquisition to any gentleman improving his estate.
He leaves us in comfortable circumstances, with his brother, James. But if a mysterious Providence should visit them with shipwreck or disaster, the British agent or Consul must afford them protection, and the humane may rest assured that they lend aid to the deserving.
Given in the name of the members, Trustees and Elders of this congregation, Thomas Hall, minister
Crookham, County of Northumberland May 21, 1837
It had been transcribed from the original by a grandson of Thomas Mowatt.
Flash forward a few years to 1996, and my husband, son, and I were driving through Northumberland, England to Ford, the birth place of Thomas and which he had left with his wife and brother James and friends and neighbors on the Cornelius, headed for New Brunswick, Canada. Ford is a small village, but has a castle, a church, some homes- and a mill!
It turned out that the mill, restored and fully operational, is the same one where my ancestor worked- and that there has been a mill on this site since the 1300’s! There was a tour going on, and when we were approached by the person in charge, I showed him the transcribed document. He was thrilled- and introduced us all around as the Canadians who were descended from the local Mowatt family! Our status increased immensely!
I was not a photographer back then, but of course took many photos, and this one of the mill is a favorite. I had scanned the photo with a little portable scanner a few years ago so decided to make a little art piece with it for my photo class this week. I think my father would have been pleased- more with the photography than the genealogy!
I have so many Bodie photos still to edit from our photo group’s trip last fall. I submitted the image below for this week’s virtual class.
Quarantine activity- playing around with older photos and editing new ways . . .
Last night as we were getting ready for our Easter dinner, I spotted a quail kind of hunkering down in a clay pot near the patio. I grabbed my camera and took a series of photos through the window as he fluffed his feathers to warm himself in the wind. When I looked through the resulting photos, I realized that he had gradually made himself fluffier during the quick photo session. My photographer friend, Carol, had recently informed me that a fat bird is called a BORB and a fluffy one a FLOOF. So my Easter quail had transformed himself from a borb to a borb that is also a floof in a matter of seconds- your Fun Facts for today!
This was a fairly mundane image, so I decided to try some creative edits to create an image to submit today to my photo group. I have been working on creating textures for the last few months, so I made a custom background for the quail, starting with a copy of the original image and adding a painted texture and a Topaz Impression chalk drawing filter. I finished it off with a clipping mask border, another skill I’m working on.
I’ve been having a lot of fun creating my own textures using paint and ink- and old cookie sheets! The textured background in this photo was created from an intentional camera movement photo of flowers layered with one of my other textures. The possibilities are endless!
For the month of November, our church has been having us keep track of all the things we are grateful for- writing them down and saying them out loud. I am grateful for my wonderful family and friends- and this month especially I am grateful for my brand new bionic knee and the promise of a more active and pain free lifestyle!
And of course I’m grateful for autumn- my favorite season!
I loved photographing and editing this old window display in Bodie. I was in the mood for blues!
They grow lavender too!
Just a little editing fun in Topaz Impression with an Alaska petunia. . .
I froze some flowers in water a few weeks ago before we left for California and had fun taking photos of them last week. This one was taken in multiple exposure mode.
Last week’s pink moon as it rose above the trees.
All that’s left of my hydrangeas. Trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear as they say. . .
A dahlia macro
Fireweed had just begun its bloom when we were in Alaska. I used a slow shutter speed with my iPhone to create this impressionist style image.
I was housebound for almost three weeks with a tenacious virus, and am glad to say that I seem to have recovered finally. I haven’t been out with my camera since our Holbrook trip, and as a result, have been pulling photos from the archives to edit and post here, the exception being the sunflowers and chair photos from last week. Next week, we will be in Alaska- and finally I will have some opportunities for photography!
When I’m sick, I tend only seem to have enough energy for Words With Friends and photo editing apps on my iPhone. Below is one of my favorite recent iPhone creations. I took the photo out the car window as we were approaching Prescott on the trip back from Southern California in March and then edited it last week on my phone. I cropped it heavily and layered it with several textures, playing with blend modes until it looked the way I wanted. I added one more texture to the trees in Photoshop- and voila!
I was totally captivated by this little girl’s impromptu dance and couldn’t help taking a few shots.
Intentional camera movement (moving and/or wiggling the camera while taking a photo) created this photo which I took from Photoshop into Topaz Studio to add a painterly layer at low opacity.
I think our February snowstorm was likely the end of our (very mild) winter, although we did have some snow at the beginning of April last year. I have a few more snowy photos I am considering posting here, starting with this one of the rocks and snow at Willow Lake. I began with a straightforward edit, using Photoshop to bring out the detail of the Liesegang rings in the rocks. I have recently just started exploring Topaz Studio, so decided go there to see what I could use on this photo to give it an “extra something”. I played around until I created a softer, more painterly look in the image.