Recently Amanda Lakey invited me to join a Virtual Blog Tour. This project is relatively new, and asks each participant to compose a one-time post to be published on a specific Monday. Through four questions about our creative process it lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires us to do what we do.
I felt both honored and nervous with the invitation. What was I going to say? I’m more comfortable behind a camera and in front of a computer and writing is not my thing, though sometimes haiku’s, poems or ditties might come forth effortlessly. After seeing the questions and reading the answers from those who have already completed the Virtual Blog Tour, I agreed. Thank you Amanda for the invitation and the online friendship we have. Please visit Amanda’s blog Unique So Chic to view her “artography” and answers. She’s very versatile…from creating lovely greeting cards to upcycling vintage furniture. Amanda’s simply amazing!! 🙂
Clicking on any of the photos below will make them larger and you can cycle through each group of threes.
1. What am I working on?
- Learning how to do photo montages/composites (mostly for inclusion in my other photoblog DS Photography and Graphics)
- Changing over my photo catalog system from year folders with month-day sub-folders to a subject/location based system (that will hopefully make finding photos a little easier…especially for photo challenges)
- As I find myself moving into digital artistry I’m taking more photos of textures and creating abstract colors/shapes with moving the camera during long exposures to use in my photos
- Exploring the many features of my camera (almost a year later!!)
- (trying to) Grow flowers to take photos of
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t think I fit into any genre…I basically take photos of how flowers make me feel, not necessarily what they look like. Anything from bold, bright colors to the other end where they appear more dream-like and sometimes “normal” – when I’m introducing my “models.” About 80 percent of the photos are created in-camera using multiple exposures the other 20 percent is experimenting with software and plugins; 99.999 percent of my flower photography is nothing more than experiments.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Mostly because I enjoy learning and experimenting. Being creative just feels natural and normal, like breathing. Also because both the journey and the final result bring me great joy.
4. How does your writing/creating process work?
First, it starts with the right tools. For me that includes my Olympus OM-D EM-5 camera with 12-50mm kit lens. The biggest reason I chose this camera was that it offered multiple exposures in a small package. Since it is a mirrorless camera the extra plus was that it shows the first image while you are composing the second one, either in the electronic viewfinder or on the large 3 inch screen. In my research, no other camera offered that feature.
Next is the software and plug-ins to help me achieve my vision for those times when I don’t have all of the elements in one area. Software I use includes Adobe Lightroom 5, Perfect Photo Suite 8 and Corel’s PaintShop Pro X6 Ultimate; plug-ins are fractalius, Google Nik Collection and some of Topaz Labs’ offerings.
With the tools aside my creative process actually starts with my vivid imagination and eyes that see things others may miss, or think to be mundane. You can see my post titled “Land of the Fairies” on my other photoblog for a little more insight into my process.
For the writing part…sometimes it just comes bursting forth while I’m still working on an image, other times its like pulling teeth or I might have part of it that comes easy and have to coax the rest of it while doing something else (i.e. walking the dogs, vacuuming, washing dishes, pretty much anything that doesn’t require my brain to be present).
My Invitation to Join the Virtual Tour
As part of my contribution to the Virtual Tour, I agreed to recommend one or more bloggers. My first introduction is Cee Neuner who lives in Canby, Oregon. Her site, Cee’s Photography, is host to many photography challenges and she also enters many of the photo challenges. She’s lucky to live near Adelman’s Peony Gardens and Schreiner’s Iris Gardens where she has taken beautiful photos of Peonies and Bearded Irises. Cee and I have two things in common, we’re both introverts and we both use mirrorless cameras.
My second introduction is Joe Kondrak who lives in Minneapolis, MN. His site, puncta lucis, includes beautiful and interesting photography…and original songs. On his “About” page I love his sentence “Creation and discovery are among the joyful and uplifting bright points in life” – I agree with this 100 percent!
I would appreciate it if you take time to visit both sites next Monday (June 30th) and enjoy their beautiful photography.