Wednesday, April 23, 2014

App Happy Wednesday

camera app love

camera app love

camera app love

camera app love

Barb at Keeping with the Times is starting a new link called App Happy Wednesday. I'm so happy to hear about this and can't wait to join in! These days, I use camera apps for editing much more than I ever use Photoshop. I think this is a growing trend, so I'm thrilled that Barb has started her weekly link. Thank you, Barb!

For the first three images, I used my new, favorite painterly app: Brushstroke. I love the instant look of a painting you can get with just one finger tap! There are many different paint filters to choose from within this app, and each one gives a slightly different look. I tend to always go with one of the "S" series - they appeal to my eye the most. If I don't feel the painted effect is popping enough, I will often then move it into either Snapseed or Pictapgo to saturate or "crisp" up the image so it's more striking. Once it really pops, I know I'm done.

For the last photo, I used the app Mextures to add the lovely filter. I think I then moved it into Snapseed and de-saturated the pink background just slightly, so it wasn't overpowering.

Please click on the link below to participate and share your own "app happy" images! I'm "sherribrannon" on Instagram, by the way. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Keeping With The Times

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Beauty of Dogwoods

white dogwood

white dogwood

white dogwood

white dogwood

After all, I don't see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Every spring when the dogwood trees bloom with their gorgeous pink or white flowers, they bring a happy smile to my face and my heart. I treasure every day that I get to see them while they're here! And, needless to say, each year I take endless photos of them...here are a few to share. More will be coming this week...and possibly next! On this particular day, the dogwoods were cheering up the clouds with their blooms.

For Kim's Texture Tuesday this week, I used her "daisy" texture in the last photo above, at Soft Light/30%. The theme is simple, and I think the simple beauty of the dogwood bloom is breathtaking. Thank you for stopping by!

kimklassencafe

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cherry Blossoms - Continued

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

The spring came suddenly, bursting upon the world as a child bursts into a room, with a laugh and a shout and hands full of flowers. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Here is a continuation of some of the cherry blossom photos from my last post - there are too many to choose from! These are all by me with my Lumix - my husband was off somewhere with our Canon at this point. :)

Oh, how I love Radlab, and for this set I used their "Sexy 70" filter on all of them. I love its dreamy, romantic effect and use it often! It's one I'm always drawn to.

I'm linking up with Kim's Texture Tuesday - for the first and third images, I used her "cora" texture at Soft Light/20%. It's a soft pink texture, so it added a lovely, subtle touch to the pink in the cherry blossoms and sky.

kimklassencafe

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

My husband and I made a pre-dawn trip down to D.C. on Friday to see the cherry blossoms. We left the house at 5am and were lucky enough to find the last of a couple parking spots in a lot near the Tidal Basin. Or, at least we thought we were lucky...until we trekked back to our car at 7:45am to head home, and met up with the policeman writing our parking ticket! Oh well, we decided $30.00 was worth the price of admission.

Even though we arrived there by 5:40am, we couldn't believe how many photographers were already there waiting for the sun to come up. By the time we left, it was wall-to-wall people. It was a spectacular sight with all those beautiful blooms and the Jefferson Memorial right there as a stunning backdrop, not to mention the Washington Monument standing tall in the distance. The weather couldn't have been more perfect for us...and despite the incredible volume of people, it was still possible to get some great shots if you were patient.

Here are some of my favorites - I may share more later because we got so many good ones. And I must be upfront about this particular set of photos: this was a team effort by my husband and I. We had two different cameras we were using, and although I did all of the Photoshop editing, my husband took some of the initial images. Even though my signature is on all the images for the sake of the internet, he had a part in some of them!

I'm linking up today with Kathy's Song-ography, and this week's prompt is "Photograph".

The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.

~Julian Grenfell

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Grace of Spring

Spring 2014 trees

Spring 2014 trees

Spring 2014 trees

Spring 2014 trees

Grace is always present. You imagine it as something high in the sky, far away, something that has to descend. It is really inside you, in your heart. When the mind rests in its source, grace rushes forth, sprouting as from a spring within you. ~Ramana Maharshi

THE GRACE OF SPRING

A fallout of body and mind: the melancholy of winter sank in, as it tends to do. My heart was put on a shelf by my own hands, numb and dumbed down by gray snow and screen glow. There was the passing of time, the rise and fall of moods and moons. But spring's wind is like a soft, holy breath against my skin. And its blooms are like visible prayers suddenly revealing themselves. I'm drawn back to the shelf and I retrieve my heart, studying it with no noise to hinder thought, in a stillness so soft it charms. The heart is our dearest partner, I remember. We do everything with it: loving, fearing, hoping, falling apart. Our soul resides in it, in the silence. I go outside, and I take my heart. It breathes again, filling my spirit's winter hollows, replacing them with joys again, soothing my sorrows. April's flowers have magic powers.

--------------------

My first attempt at a prose poem...I'm not even sure if I did it right, but I like how it flows so smoothly, as if I'm writing in a journal. May you feel the hope and grace of spring! That is my wish for you.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring is a Happiness So Beautiful

spring is here

Hello! It's been too long...I've been M.I.A. for weeks. My back and ribs are improving tremendously and I couldn't be happier. Spring has also officially arrived in Virginia, which makes me almost giddy.

These last weeks have been tough - it's funny how, when you're ignoring the balance in your life, your body will literally bring you to your knees to get your attention. My pain issues forced me to re-evaluate and I'm spending less time sitting at the computer these days. I'm also eating much healthier, meditating, and doing yoga. It's hard to believe, but I think my injury was actually a blessing in disguise because it forced me to take a look at some bad habits I had developed. I'm now making my physical health a priority in my life, and reducing the "noise".

Our daffodils are out! And the birds were happily chirping this morning when I woke up with the sunrise. Our trees have buds on them, too...oh, how I love spring!! Thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope to be back to more regular blogging now. I will finally have pretty things to take photos of, now that things are starting to bloom! No more gray trees and brown landscapes. I'm linking up today with Kim Klassen's Friday Finds.

Spring is a happiness so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected, that I don’t know what to do with my heart. I dare not take it, I dare not leave it – what do you advise? ~Emily Dickinson

Kim Klassen dot Com

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Light and Shadows

light and shadows

I haven't been blogging much lately...my apologies for being absent and out of the loop. I've been dealing with some pretty intense rib cage/upper back pain for about five weeks now and it's just not improving...it's very uncomfortable to sit for more than a few minutes at a time. This has put a huge cramp on my blog posts, photo editing, and any other creative thing I'm wanting to do...all of which require sitting. I'm also having trouble sleeping because lying down just doesn't feel good. I've started physical therapy this week and am hoping it will start helping me heal. I'm trying to stay positive and not let my discomfort get me down. Any and all prayers and good thoughts are deeply appreciated.

The weather went crazy last night - we went from the high 60s to single digit temperatures overnight. The winds were brutal - in excess of 60 mph! It's still very gusty this morning but it's supposed to slow down soon. Needless to say, I haven't been outside and I took the above image this morning in my dining room. The grain, light and shadows are symbolic of my state of mind right now: there's an ongoing struggle between the frustration of my pain and my hope that I'll be better soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope spring is coming soon wherever you are! We're almost there...