A fun image I created for my photo group this week . . .
This image brings back great memories of our group’s trip to Lone Pine, California. We had to cancel last semester’s trip to southern Arizona a few months ago due to Covid (of course), but I’m looking forward to the day when we can start taking trips together again. As a self-taught photographer, I found this group of talented photographers so intimidating at first- the skill level, the knowledge, the gear, and the creativity. I’m still awed by the the images produced by my fellow members, but have made good friends and consider our meetings (now on Zoom) to be the highlight of my week. AND things are going my way- one assignment this semester is Shallow Depth of Field and another is Photoimpressionism!
Another trip to my photo archives- a fun edit of a barrel cactus.
Another photo for my AAUW photo group- this time a barrel cactus!
H A P P Y M O T H E R ‘ S D A Y !
Wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and grandmas out there- and to those of you who have had moms and grandmas (that’s all of us!)! I’m grateful for my wonderful mother and for the two grandmas who both lived with us- I was so lucky!
I took this photo in our yard last night and edited it with one of my own textures this morning. I’m looking forward to a barbecued hamburger for dinner tonight! Have a great day everyone!
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’ve been revisiting and editing older photos since we started staying at home during the “new normal”. I’m getting the itch to go out and shoot some new photos, but realize that for now any new photos will likely be limited to flowers, still life and maybe a hummingbird if I’m lucky.
I was so happy to find this image from last years stay at the lavender farm in New Mexico. I have a great love for photographing barns and silos and don’t get the opportunity too often. So actually staying on a lavender farm and having the time to wander around with my camera was heaven!
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.
Below is another photo art/ multiple exposure piece taken at the hospital in California.
Usually I take shots out the car window of wind turbines as we drive to and from California- they fascinate me. This time, we actually drove over near the turbines so I could take photos to my heart’s content. This one is a bit of a fantasy- a multiple exposure edited with textures and NO RULES for sure! 🙂
Dipping into the archives for a little change of pace, I found this image I barely remember doing from last year’s San Francisco trip.
I woke up way too early this morning and got up to have a play with some images from our Utah trip back in 2014. Last weekend I had been re-editing some Moab shots for class and to possibly use in an upcoming show- so these red cliffs have been in my subconscious waiting to be turned into some photo art just for fun. I have been playing recently with some phone apps (Fragment and Tiny Planets), which take chunks of your photos and re-arrange them, and wanted to see if I could do something similar in Photoshop in a more controlled way. Fun!
As this leaf skittered around on the glass tabletop in the fall breeze, I took several photos with the plain glass as backdrop. But there was something about the juxtaposition of the leaf, its shadow, and the tabletop pattern that caught my eye. I added some textures and tones in Photoshop to create this little piece of photo art.
Here is another version of my yellow daisy/sunflowers with almost the same edit as yesterday.
Photoshop, textures, Topaz Simplify and Impression- so fun!
I don’t know if there will be a Part 3. Time will tell.
The topic for this month’s photo club is an interesting one: each member randomly drew a piece of paper which had a section of a map of Prescott and the surrounding area on it. Our photo had to be taken within our section of the map. I believe the word creative was used in the description. Gah!
Lonnie and I drove out to my area, and he immediately spied an old windmill, which stands in someone’s yard. Perfect! It was midday with no clouds and 95 degrees, so we planned to go back. The following week, we drove out there again about 9 a.m., and I had a nice chat with the owner of the property. The windmill was there before the land was developed and was evidently part of the original ranch. It still works, although he doesn’t have it going right now.
I had this brilliant (hah!) idea of taking photos of the windmill, a poppy, a street sign and Granite Mountain (visible from the street) and then creating a composite that would be very artsy. I need practice in making composites- both the technical side and the creative side. I never did get all the elements into the photo- maybe someday. And neither of the two composites look at all like I envisioned. I will probably use a plain windmill shot for the photo club.
Here is my first effort. Later in the week, I’ll post my second try.
Monday was a snowy day. Although it snowed for most of the day, we ended up with only an inch or so, which melted away in the afternoon even as the snowflakes continued to fall. We went out for coffee in the morning, and then drove downtown where I took some photos as it snowed. Christmas decorations are already being put up, alas (a pet peeve of mine), even though Thanksgiving is still a week away. But actually, I think the Christmas tree adds to the photo. I edited it in Topaz Texture Effects, using one of the Fairy Light presets, and added additional textures in Photoshop.