Spring Flowers; After-Before Friday

Cherry Bloosoms in Spain

Cherry Bloosoms in Spain 

The Cherry trees were starting to bloom while we were in Spain, I couldn’t resist taking several images of the tiny buds and flowers. Now that I am back in Canada, home of the ice and snow it is nice to have these images to look at. I know that sometime in May I will have another opportunity to photography the lovely spring flowers!

It is friday and time for an after-before blog post. This is where I describe a little of my editing process. Some image on the blog have very little work done, others have way to much work, it all depends on the photo and what I want the final image to look like.

Here is the image that I started with……

spring blooms before

spring blooms before 

I edited the photo in Photoshop; the first step was to crop and remove the distracting branches in the bottom of the frame. Next I applied a Florabella Action called Soft Color Pop. Florabella has some great actions, templates and textures, I don’t use them a lot, but always fun to play a little. The action I used had a reduce red layer, and I masked the flowers to keep the nice pink color. I liked what the action did for the flowers, but it really washed out the nice blue sky.

Rather than mask the action to bring back the sky I thought I would add a textured layer, something that would add the blue with a painted quality.  I have a folder of textures I have collected over the years, from the internet artists like Kim Klassen, as well as painted papers, cement and stone walls, fabric, scrapbooking paper, I have photographed myself. The textured I decided to use was a soft blue painted paper. The edges of the blue paper is a little darker and has a little more texture than the center of the frame, this worked perfectly for the flowers. I sent the blend mode to darken, and the opacity at 80%.

There you have it, my custom-made spring flowers. I would love to hear from you if you have questions or comments regarding my process or photography. You can find more of my work on Instagram, or we can connect on Behance  If you would like to see more after-before images head on over to Stacy Fischer’s Virtual Venturing blog

Tulips in Black and White

Tulips

Tulips 

we have been busy getting our lives organized here in Calgary, I am not sure where the time goes, but my routine for photography, blogging, exercise, and reading seems to have gone right out the door!

I hope you enjoy the tulips, I am hoping to start back into photographing at least one still life a week! I think that should be feasible?!

Drop a line, let me know what you think of the tulips. Share the post with your friends if you like it, and you can find me on instagram if that is where you like to hang out to look at pretty pictures!

My Sunday Still-Life; Tulips for the Table

Sunday Still-life Tulips; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

Sunday Still-life Tulips; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015  

Working on a still-life, or table-top image once a week is a great excuse to have flowers in the apartment, and the tulips are at the flower market in town.

I am not sure what I am going to do next week, as we are on the move, more trains, planes and automobiles as we travel from Malaga Spain to London England to Toronto Canada, we are going to enjoy a little time with some family.

After-Before Roses

Roses_after; copyright jmeyersforem 2015

Roses_after; copyright jmeyersforem 2015

It’s Friday, and that means another After-Before Friday Blog Post, I am becoming a regular contributor to Stacy’s After-Before Friday Forum, were photographers share they photographs and their working process. For some, or at least me, it is an opportunity to read and learn some new Photoshop or Lightroom skills. The photographers who submit to Stacy’s forum range in skill level from novice to those with advanced skills. The one thing I have learned is  there is more than one way to process an image, and personal style is more likely to affect the final results as software! Each photographer has a unique way of looking at the photos and deciding the final outcome and I never fail to learn something, mostly keep it simple!

I have been taking an on-line still-life course with Kim Klassen, she has provided the inspiration for this weeks post. The florist down the street had these beautiful roses for sale! Kim’s Friday blog is Friday Finds, it is all about the week and what she has found this week. I am going to give a shout out to her this week as well, as I have found her on-line course very inspiration, and I have used one of her Lightroom presets on the image. But let me start from the beginning. Above, the image I ended with, below, the image I started with…..

Roses_before; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Roses_before; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

The work on this image was done in Lightroom, I love that, because I can go back through my history panel for details, it makes learning, and writing this blog post so much easier! First I cropped, that is pretty obvious. In the Basic Develop module I went to my auto button. I like to do this, sometimes Lightroom is right, and there is little to do after that.

For this image I also moved the Highlight slider to -24, then added a preset from Kim-Klassen called kk_truegrit.  This preset does affect the exposure, contrast, whites and blacks as well as clarity. Presets are a good way to establish a style or a particular look if you want a cohesive look for a group of photos, and to automate your workflow.

Next I moved down to the Lens Correction Module to enable lens profile and remove chromatic aberrations, added a little post-crop vignette, and I was satisfied with the outcome.

Stacy’s After-Before Friday Forum has links to several great photographers and you can read more “how it was done” type posts, and Stacy usually has a video showing her workflow, if this interests you. I always learn a something from the contributors.

If still-life, textures and presets is something you want to learn more about head on over to Kim Klassen’s Cafe.

My Friday find: beautiful roses, and learning about presets and how to use them in Lightroom. I hope your week has been a good one, and you get to spend time being inspired this weekend.

Share your thoughts with us, in the comments box below,

remember to share with your friends if you think they might be interested

Queen Anne’s Lace in the rain

Queen Anne's Lace soaked from the rain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Queen Anne’s Lace soaked from the rain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Visiting family in Saskatchewan this week and it’s cold and rainy. It could be worse, watching the news and Facebook I have learned that it snowed in Calgary! We know that the snow and rain won’t last, well at least we live in hope!

Queen Anne’s Lace like everything else was drenched from the rain, but I love the way the tiny raindrops hang off the slender leaves and run along the stem.  I created this image in black and white, simplifying the image to textures, and to bring out the raindrops that rest so gently on the stems.

Leanne Cole published Monochrome Madness each week, and I have submitted this image for week 28 to be published Wednesday, if I haven’t left it too late, in the meantime check out Monochrome Madness week 27 for some amazing monochrome images.  Check out the latest submission for Monochrome Madness week 28. 

to view the flower gallery visit my website, purchase of prints and or licensing is also available.

The Jardin des Plantes; the Floral Garden, Nantes France

creative plant sculpture at the Jardin de PLante, Nantes France

creative plant sculpture at the Jardin de PLante, Nantes France 

We have been wandering around Nantes for a couple of days now. Nantes tourism has developed a map and route, follow the green line through the heart of the town and see all there is to see on the “Voyage of Nantes” trail.  Along the trail we found the “Jardin des PLants” simply translated to English “the Floral Garden.” Set in 7 hectares of town centre, over 50,000 flowers are planted each season, and over 10,000 species live in under 800 m2 of greenhouse space. Given the growing sculptures, winding pathways, pools, ponds, bridges, children’s playground  and potted plants set among the flower beds, we can see why this garden is ranked top 4 gardens in France.

I hope you enjoy the gallery of image below, just a small sample of the photos taken during our visit.

the Jardin de Plantes; the floral garden in Nantes France the Jardin de Plantes; the floral garden in Nantes France the Jardin de Plantes; the floral garden in Nantes France the Jardin de Plantes; the floral garden in Nantes France the Jardin de Plantes; the floral garden in Nantes France the Jardin de Plantes; the floral garden in Nantes France the Jardin de Plantes; the floral garden in Nantes France

the Jardin de Plantes; the floral garden in Nantes France the Jardin de Plantes; the floral garden in Nantes France

Fuchsia Flowers: Llanes Spain

Double exposure; Fuchsia Flowers:  copyright jmeyersforeman

Double exposure; Fuchsia Flowers: copyright jmeyersforeman 

We were wondering the streets of LLanes Spain, a little seaside town along the north coast in the province of Asturias. The northern route of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela runs through the town, and each day we would see several pilgrims as they passed through town. Llanes is a resort town, and a wide range of accommodation is available as well as restaurants and cafe’s serving daily menu.

There are remnants of 800 year old city walls, unfortunately the tower is now closed, there is a small harbour and along the port you can see the Cubos de la Memoria, however the main attraction is the beaches, within walking distance of the centre of town. It was on the walk home, late one afternoon that I found this large, rather overgrown fuchsia shrub, with the beautiful red and magenta flowers starting to bloom.

Not satisfied with the photos I was getting of the flowers I tried zooming several exposures to get the streaks of light. After merging the two images together I was able to achieve the affect I was looking for, that of the flowers gently blowing in the breeze. Intentional camera movement has been around for as long as I remember it, but digital cameras and the use of photoshop have given me the tools to better achieve the pre-visualized results.

We have moved onto Leon Spain, and we are enjoying our wedding anniversary amidst one of the many great festivals of Leon. We should have photos soon.

Field of Poppies and Sunshine

field of poppies and sunshine

field of poppies and sunshine

The Poppies are lining the roads and ditches, here in Spain, blowing gently in the breeze, and providing beautiful bright colour that contrasts with the grass.

I used a couple of different steps in Photoshop first to emphasize the green and “hairy” stems of the poppy, another to keep the warm sunshine that was filtered through the grass, and yet another to enhance both the colour and delicate nature of the poppies that were gently dancing with the breeze.

 

Calla Lilies in Merida Spain

Calla Lily

Just outside the Visgoth Museum is Merida Spain was a lovely garden, and the Calla Lilies were blooming, the garden was lovely. I wanted to share them with you. The Visigoths spread over much of the western Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries, and the museum  owns a collection of more than a thousand pieces of Visigothic art and is one of two Visigothic museums in Spain. It is a must see for anyone travelling to Merida Spain. We have been walking up the Via la Plata on our way to Caceres, the scenery is beautiful, but it cannot beat the lovely Calla Lilies. I hope you enjoy your Sunday.

More beautiful flower images are available for viewing and purchasing at my gallery.

Almaden de la Plata to Monesterio, Spain; Via la Plata Day 6

Leaving Alamaden de la Plata

Leaving Alamaden de la Plata 

The walk the last couple of days has been very pleasant; we walked through pastures, farmland, and part of the Sierra Norte de Seville, a nature reserve that protects more thank 177,00 hectares. We have walked past farms, and seen sheep, pigs, goats, cows, horses,  and of course plenty of farm dogs. We walked groves of olive, orange and apple trees, as well as oak and cork trees. The spring flowers are blanketing the meadows, growing along the ditches, and beside the lanes. While we have also spent a little time walking on dirt roads, and highways, the last two days has been very pleasant. We have also seen a couple of old castles, one in El Real de la Jara that are being restored, the one pictured below is about a 10 minute walk along the Via la Plata from El Real de la Jara, and has been left to the storks….

via la plata, leaving El Real de Jara, Spain

via la plata, leaving El Real de Jara, Spain 

resting in the shade

resting in the shade 

baby goat

  baby goat  

daisies

daisies 

wild lavender

wild lavender 

Castle Towers near El Real de la Jara, Spain

Castle Towers near El Real de la Jara, Spain 

The towns have been small and quiet, and we are finding our way.  We have only met 3 – 4  pilgrims, and seen a few more on the road from time to time, but very few in comparison to the Camino Francis, the most well known of the Camino routes.  I remember the Camino Francis and walking out-of-town each morning we would see a line of pilgrims in front of us and behind us. While on the Via la Plata we can walk all day and not see anyone, except the occasional passing vehicle, or farmer driving a tractor, so the walk is much quieter. I realized on this walk, just how much we relied on other pilgrims to interpret for us, as we speak little or no Spanish. In fact to say we speak a little Spanish would be an exaggeration, but we have been able to get by, with the help and patience of some friendly people; sign language, the occasional passer-by that speaks a little English, and by using goggle translate when we have wi-fi.

Overall spring is a beautiful time in Spain and we are enjoying the Via la Plata….