Sunday, November 22, 2015

App Stacking Edits: Waterlogue, Tangled FX, iColorama, Distressed FX

Fall grass in Florida

Morning fog in Florida

App stacking has become my only method of altering my photos - I'm actually starting to forget how to use Photoshop Elements. I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite recent edits.

For the first photo, I used Tangled FX initially, and then merged that photo with the original one in Superimpose to make the effect more subtle. I added the birds with Distressed FX. I also played with the image in iColorama using the "Raise" effect. I've discovered if you bring the opacity way down on the Raise effect, it sharpens the image in a very pleasing way. I believe I also added a paper texture in iColorama.

I was thrilled with how the second photo came out - I had forgotten about the Waterlogue app and hadn't used it in awhile. I love the wonderful watercolor look it gives. After altering my photo in Waterlogue, I merged it with the original image in Superimpose to achieve a happy medium between the two. I then used the iColorama "raise" effect to sharpen the image, and I love how defined it made the tree limbs.

Thank you for stopping by! I'm "sherribrannon" on Instagram.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Poetry and Procreate: Thinking



My memories lie
Folded within me
In a perfect spiral
Each whorl a sheet
Of fragile thoughts
Delicate letters on
Onionskin paper
Tucked inside
Sheer envelopes

Some memories rest warm
Worn from a loving touch
While others lie cold
Keen along their folds
Glued tightly shut by
My dry tongue
Their sharp edges
Having left a
Bead of blood

Memory coils
In flawless symmetry
Unfolding their contents
Like a deck of cards
Dealing my soul a
Soothing sip of comfort
From a sun’s teacup
All sweetness and honey

Or, with an unlucky draw,
A swift unrolling of
Shadows across my heart
A callous tickle from
The oily wing of gloom
Its feathers fanned grandly
Across my spiraled
memories with aplomb.

© Sherri Brannon

I wrote this poem awhile back, but have never shared it on this blog...I have another poem in the works, but it's coming along slowly.

My girl is the result of more fun with Procreate and other apps - I drew her in Procreate and added one of my painted backgrounds. I then moved her into iColorama and used Distort and Effects to create the patterns and double exposure effect. I thought the pattern might give the effect of "whorls" and memories. That's the wonderful thing about apps - you can take a drawing that's not very good and make it look much more artistic!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Memory only slumbers—never dies. ~Thomas Paine

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Poetry and Procreate: White Flag

Procreate girl


It's time, my child, we have lived as one
for far too long...they say nothing ever changes
unless there's some pain. There's a prayer in me I whisper
each day, hoping for a healing, that this fear we've shared,
its pale white jaws, will finally be silent,
become bone dry and burnt down to their sockets.

Safe travels, my child, as I watch the small moon loving you from afar
I'll be the keeper of your secrets, I'll beg the heavens to bear
your burdens as you falter. I'll pray your rib bones
curve with the river as you wander, and I hope you remember
each stone in that river fell from a star
and contains the vastness of God.

Hear this now, I've learned there's belief in things
you can't see, like faith, and angels, and serendipity,
and I've learned little girls should never step on battlefields
armed with only the innocence of a child. I'll be strong now for both of us,
I'll shake my soul till the glory falls out, I'll wave my holy white flag
and be soft inside, and stabilized.

©Sherri Brannon 2015

A loving send-off poem to that scared little child who still resides in me, even though I'm all grown up. I've written more than one poem about this...poetry always reveals my biggest struggles. The poems are coming SLOWLY these days...but at least they're still coming, even if I'm only writing one poem every month or two.

I'm taking an online class right now and trying to learn to draw and paint with Procreate on my iPad. It's fantastic! The name of the class is Paint & Pixels, in case any of you are interested. If you read this and would like to get on the waiting list for the class in the future, click HERE. It is taught by Ivy NewPort and Robin Laws, two wonderfully talented artists - I admire them so much and they are incredibly generous with their knowledge.

I'm just a beginner, so my girl is amateurish...this is my first figure attempt. Is it possible to feel embarrassed and giddy at the same time?? Because that's how this image makes me feel...I'm cringing at the glaring flaws, while I grin from ear to ear about the new possibilities this process brings me! The thought of creating images to go along with my poems makes me really happy. I can't wait to practice and evolve.

On a side note, I want to be sure and mention that for the beautiful woods background above, I used an image from Unsplash. I LOVE their "free to use for anything" photos. (I put the image into Glaze to make it a bit more painterly).

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself. ~Samuel Butler

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Poets United: My Blog of the Week Interview

word soaked petal

I am honored to be the "Blog of the Week" over at Poets United. I was able to answer some questions about my poetry and also share a few of my poems there. My interview can be seen HERE. Thank you, Poets United!

Poetry is one of the biggest joys of my life, and I'm so glad it found me in 2006.

I added some of my own poetry to my iPhone photo above - these flowers are in my front yard. They're so pretty, a gorgeous periwinkle color.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Air Up There

sun star


I flee to a field of poppies
knee deep in ruby stalks, and
the breeze swirls their songs
through the soul of me.
Soft, murmuring melodies
float through me to the sky
into breadths of blue and
puffs of billowy clouds.
I want to hide here
forever, I whisper, and
I sway with the rhythm
of the stems, while the bees
suckle harmonies
from rouge petal cups
and velvety stamens.

© Sherri Brannon

Ah, the beauty of nature and the elements. Noticing them in the quiet is as soothing as music. Flowers, wind, sky...and to look at those skies, to really let them soak in, is so peaceful. My lungs open up and my sense of awe kicks in like magic...there's a momentary escape. Soft, murmuring melodies float through me to the sky, into breadths of blue and puffs of billowy clouds.

Yesterday I was standing in my back yard and happened to look up. This was the view that greeted me, and I ran for my camera. There were also tons of starlings swooping all around, and some enormous dragonflies buzzing through and hovering. I tried to capture them with my camera but they were too fast. That's OK - this photo I got showed how amazing the view was.

I wrote this poem several years back - I was revisiting some of my old poetry yesterday and came upon it. I had forgotten all about it - it's a nice feeling to stumble upon an older poem and still feel pretty happy about how it turned out. That isn't always the case. I thought I'd share it today because it goes well with my sky photo (and my current poem is still under construction).

Thanks so much for stopping by. I will be linking this blog post up with Poets United, a wonderful place to visit for some poetry. Please have a look HERE. I'm also honored to have some of my photography featured there this morning!

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? — it is the same the angels breathe. ~Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Morning Has Broken

morning has broken

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world

I was happy to see Kathy's Song-ography prompt back this week - I was out for my morning walk recently and captured this beautiful flower all aglow from the sunrise. This is why I love having my iPhone with me at all times! When I looked at the photo, Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken" song immediately popped into my mind...and I've been humming it ever since.

Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Poets United: The Lonely Hours

girl in woods


We have purged wonder, sitting alone with the silent furniture
in our dressing gowns
with our firewalls and collecting of Friends
like gold medallions
crafting big words in a Godless code, but saying nothing
spilling our souls from virtual thrones, but no one's listening

There's a loneliness that beats like a second heart
wireless illusions leave us uninspired, so very tired
at the break of dawn, sleeping with the TV on
playing pretend with our stories
exporting our seeming, deleting our being,
queuing up our sticks and stones to throw

The doves with tender eyes have gone blind, and
we don't seem to mind
communion with the stars has gone, and we with
our cyber wiles, our encrypted smiles and faux glories
reveling in this hum on the earth, this
"you show me your ego and I'll trump yours with mine"

The trees still know everything, outside our curtained windows
offering up their holy treasures to ears gone deaf
to their lessons...and their hearts must break, as they wait
in every wood, lonely for us listening souls
with our closed off minds, our tightly closed blinds,
our numbing escape from the sacred flow.

© Sherri Brannon 2015

The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention. ~Kevin Kelly

I've been wanting to write a poem about social media and technology for a long time...let me first say that I love my iPad and iPhone for all the wonderful things it allows me to do. I love the interaction with fellow photographers and poets in the online world. My iPad and iPhone have become the prime source of all my creativity...amazing! That's the positive side of technology, and I'm extremely grateful for it.

This poem is more about the addictive, toxic side of the worldwide's a fine line that's very easy to cross. It's the side that makes us feel rushed and unable to listen or take notice of life beyond the screen. Too much technology can make us feel disconnected. Too much social media interaction can deplete us with its "my life is perfect" presence. It can also be a vast playground for bullies and cruelty. It can be a bit soulless, and big with ego.

For the photo above, I used an Unsplash photo and edited it with apps on my iPad. I used Brushstroke to make it more painterly, DistressedFX to add the birds, and Repix to add the stars. Stackables helped me make it more moody. Even though it was a completely separate project, I was pleasantly surprised to realize it tied in really well with the fourth stanza of my poem. releases photos each month that are public domain and can be freely used however you'd like - check it out, it's a great site.

Thanks so much for stopping by - this is the first poem I've written since last November. I was sad about it, but several weeks ago I just started writing and it all flooded back...the poems never go away, they just patiently wait for the writer. It feels good to be writing again!

I'm linking up today with Poets United. Click HERE to visit and see some wonderful poetry.