Friday, May 25, 2012

Gone to the Beach

walk on the beach

No blog posts from me for the next week - my family and I will be spending some time at Hilton Head Island. I'll be taking lots of photos! This is one of my favorite images from several years back, doing our favorite thing: taking a walk on the beach. Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back soon!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Photo Art Friday

Photo Art Friday

For this week's Photo Art Friday, we were to create an image using something abstract from nature. I chose this photo I took of a tiny yellow flower growing from between two bricks (and also surrounded by various leaves from other plants). I added several textures from old book flyleafs (they're a great source!) and also some text. I put the image into Radlab for a final tweak. Click on Bonnie's button below to visit some other wonderful creations!

Photo Art Friday

Wild Dogwood


We have a wild dogwood tree in our yard, and it always blooms after our "store bought" ones. It has pretty white flowers, and I enhanced them this week for Flower Art Friday. I added a subtle pattern to them using a reverse layer mask, and also added a crackle texture to make the image look more painterly. I also put it into Radlab and used several filters until I liked how it looked. Click on the button below to visit Leanne's blog and see more photos!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Camera Apps are Awesome

I love my iphone and all the wonderful camera apps I can's becoming addicting! Just this morning I was excited to discover a new feature on Instagram I didn't know about. If you click on the "tear drop" at the top of the Instagram screen, you can choose either the circle or the rectangle and it will pinpoint an area that you can move around (or enlarge) with your finger(s). Whatever is outside of the circle or rectangle becomes very blurry, and whatever is inside remains in sharp focus. It's awesome! Here's an example:

iphone hydrangea

Also, I discovered another new app called "Picfx", which costs $1.99. It has filters and textures, etc., but its best feature is the "Light" section. There are bokehs, including a couple of heart ones! I took the photo below of my Ruby (using my iphone) and then brought it into Picfx from my camera roll. I used Picfx to make it black and white and add the heart bokeh. I then saved it and put it straight into Instagram (Picfx lets you do that)...once there, I used the teardrop/blur feature and added one more Instagram filter to lighten the photo. I love how this came out!

iphone corgi

There are so many wonderful apps out there! I think I need to start pacing myself...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Let the Light In


Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in. ~Alan Alda

For Texture Tuesday this week, our image had to center around light. I love this shot I captured of some of my pink azalea blooms in a white bowl - the subtle shadows and light add so much interest, I think. I used Kim's "Vintage" texture at Soft Light/51%, and finished it up in Radlab.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Hydrangea Study


We are only beginning to learn what to say in a photograph. The world we live in is a succession of fleeting moments, any one of which might say something significant. ~Alfred Eisenstaedt

It amazes me that we've lived in our current house for 16 years, and this is the first year that I've truly paid attention to the growing things in my yard on a regular basis. It makes me kind of sad that all those years I had blinders on when it came to noticing the beautiful things growing right outside my front door. My camera has opened my eyes and now I'm always searching for any little growing thing. I've become especially focused on my hydrangea bush...I took lots of pictures of it last summer and into the fall as it faded away. And now here I am this spring, watching it bud and grow more beautiful with each passing day. I've been taking daily pictures...these are all shots taken in the last 10 days. In the last three days, the beautiful tinge of periwinkle is starting to show on some of the petals. On a side note, I always smile when I hear the word "periwinkle"'s my favorite color, and when my daughter was three she used to call it "purple twinkle".

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It's that time again...this week's prompts for Scavenger Hunt Sunday were rainbow, metal, fluffy, letters, and tree(s). I've been so busy this past week and found myself scrambling yesterday to finish up. Click on the button at the bottom of this post to see more photos, and to see next week's prompts. This is such a fun weekly challenge and it really encourages you to get creative!

1. Rainbow - I really took liberties with this one. I haven't seen a rainbow in years, and the last time I did see one, I was in a car without a camera. This photo is from my archives - a shot I took of some beautiful flowers at the Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C. It's the closest thing I could find that had a "rainbow of colors"...

2. Metal - I love rusty things. When a piece of rusty metal catches my eye on the street, you can bet I'm going to pick it up and add it to my collection. The filigree leaf was my latest find just a few days ago. I was with my daughter when I found it and, as always, I got the side eye when I got so excited about my These are a few of my favorite pieces. One man's trash is another man's treasure...
rust is beautiful

3. Fluffy - This is a tiny flower (weed) in my yard. It's very fluffy, and so pretty! It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Wayne Dyer: "The only difference between a weed and a flower is a judgment."

4. Letters - Last night at 10:15 p.m. I still hadn't figured out a photo for this prompt. It was getting late so I finally just added some text to this blueberry photo I took a few days now has letters (you do what you can with what you've got). The blueberries were delicious, by the way!

5. Tree(s) - This is a wild dogwood tree in our yard...the branches were over my head as I was looking up with my camera.
white dogwood

I wish you a wonderful week - thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Photo Art Friday

Abstract bridge

The assignment for this week's Photo Art Friday was to create an image with lines, angles, and/or graphic elements. I chose a photo I took of the Occoquan bridge in Virginia. I added several elements, including some handwriting and some flying birds. I added a little texture (the flyleaf of an old book), lots of blend modes, and a couple of passes through Radlab. To join in, just click on Bonnie's button below...Happy Friday!

Photo Art Friday

Flower Art Friday

macro flower

I captured this beautiful, pink flower on one of my neighborhood walks...I wish it was in my yard! For Flower Art Friday, I added a couple of textures at Multiply, including a crackled one to give it a more aged appearance. Click on the button below if you'd like to participate in Flower Art Friday at Leanne's blog.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

mirror outside

mirror in the woods

I had to share a couple more of my mirror photos...the reflection of the trees in the mirror is so magical. My daughter said it reminded her of Narnia, and it does look like you could step through the mirror into another place. That's what walking in the woods does for leads me inward, it gives me peace, it helps me calm my mind.


A walk in the woods
Stirs up my words
Ripening them to apricot
In the half-light of my memories
Some words are heavy like the fog
Draped pale across the trees
While others seem sweet
Like golden, wild honey
Yet warn of a sting if
I press my ear to their hive
And then there are those words
Flapping behind my eyes
Like foolish, feathered birds
Disbursing in a swarm
Then settling once again
On weighted limbs within

Some words echo distantly
Like a dog barking
On a far, rain-colored hill
While others bloom there
Like swollen magnolias
And letting them out
Scatters their beauty
Like raw seeds in the wind
And then there are words
Too fragile to express
So they hang inside
Releasing one by one
Like pine cones falling
Deep in the night
Gathering soundlessly
On the floor of my mind.

© Sherri Brannon

 then, she {snapped}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What's Your Pointe?

pointe shoes

I've discovered some things after participating in Texture Tuesday for almost a year now. The main thing I've discovered is that Kim's textures look the best (in my opinion) on photos with a light or white background. Outdoor photos with trees, etc., don't look as good with texture over them. For me, this has meant learning to do more indoor photography, which I have absolutely loved! Over the winter, my house was filled with natural light because of all the bare trees...and therein lies my current problem. Now that spring is here, the trees are full of leaves...and my shady house is so dark! All of my natural light is sparse, so now I'm going to have to come up with new ways to achieve a light/white background outside. Time to invest in some white fabric, I think, so I can set up a photo shoot on my deck. Meanwhile, for today's Texture Tuesday, I worked on another of my daughter's pointe shoe/tutu shots from several months back. It was one of the few photos I could find with a light background. I used Kim's "Cool Grunge" texture at Color Burn/18%. I also adjusted the Brightness/Contrast, did a High Pass of the pointe shoes and tulle, and used b&W Gradient Map to tone down the image. I finished it up in Radlab.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday prompts are mirror, inspiring, time, close up, and sidewalk. I have an eclectic bunch of photos this week...they kind of look like a drawer of mismatched socks! lol...but they were fun.

1. Mirror. I was stumped about what to do for this prompt, and then got the idea to take a mirror outside. When I mentioned it to my husband, he remembered this big, old mirror sitting unused in our basement. He was a good sport and carried it outside for me, moving it around while I took photos - it's incredibly heavy! I absolutely loved the way this turned out - it's like you're looking into another world.
mirror, mirror in the woods

2. Inspiring. People who dance inspire me...I have never been a dancer or taken dance classes, but watching my daughter dance throughout her childhood gave me such a love for this beautiful art form. I gathered some of her worn dance shoes, and when I saw her pointe shoe ribbons, it dawned on me to spell a word out with them. It seemed to look best in black and white, so I went with it.
dance shoes

3. Time. This is the face of our grandfather clock - it's been in my husband's family for several generations. You can see where someone at some point painted over the number dial and re-wrote the clock numbers by hand. I'd love to know the story behind why this was done!
grandfather clock

4. Close up. We have tiny strawberries growing wild in our side yard right now. There's a small patch of them.
wild strawberry

5. Sidewalk. I was trying to find a way to make a sidewalk picture look pretty...walking around the block, I found this beautiful flower hanging low over the curb, with the sidewalk in the background. Perfect!
curb view

Please click below to see other wonderful photos, and to all of you who are mothers, I wish you a very Happy Mother's Day! I'm looking forward to lunch with my daughter later today before we drop her back to campus - she has three finals left for Monday/Tuesday, and then she's home for the summer. I can't believe she'll be 21 next month...they grow up so fast, don't they?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Root Bound

Flower with horizon

The horizon might be as old as the soul itself—or even older—and as enduring. And, like the soul, it always lures us further into our own lives and into the great mystery of life itself. The horizon is an edge, a spirit edge. It does and does not exist. Or, more accurately, it does not exist in ordinary reality, for we can never reach it or touch it or stand there. Horizons keep moving away, challenging us to go further. ~from The Celtic Way of Seeing by Frank MacEowen

My poetic muse has returned to me full-force lately...I'm not sure why, but that's why there's been a flurry of poetry on my blog. I stopped writing for a long time when I first started my photography last year, but now the poems are coming again. I've been scribbling in my word journal and re-working poems like crazy. So, this week's Photo Art Friday came about because of the poem I wrote below, and also the quote above by Frank MacEowen about horizons (Bonnie's suggested prompt). I absolutely love the idea of a horizon being a "spirit edge". What a wonderful way of thinking about it! I wanted to try creating an image with a transparent flower that somehow showed a horizon. Change is hard, growth is hard...yet our souls, like flowers, continue to grow and bloom no matter what the elements are. They are always that silent whisper inside of us, encouraging us to push forward, to endure, to learn, to evolve. For this image I used two of my own photos - a macro white flower, and an image of the beach at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. I also used Bonnie's "Dream Wonder" texture at Multiply/50%. Since my image is of a flower, I'm also linking up to Leanne's Flower Art Friday. Click on the buttons below to visit and see other lovely photo art!


My aging body is root bound
Too small to contain
The growth my soul has made
She has overtaken my insides
Her pure roots invading
My ribs' open cages
Shooting like streamers
Through the empty spaces
Poking through curved bone
With her questionings

Startled, I clasp my chest
To grasp at a sprouting tendril
To caress a delicate petal
But I come up against skin
Knuckles raking against
The whorls of growth within
My pulse lies cocooned amidst her
Thick and tangled tenderness
My earthly breath is rich
With her soundless karma
And in the air around me
I exhale her silken perfume.

© Sherri Brannon

Photo Art Friday

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nothing Lasts Forever

pink azaleas
rhododendron in the fog
azaleas galore
foggy rhododendron

Every winter,
when the great sun has turned his face away,
the earth goes down into a vale of grief,
and fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
leaving her wedding-garlands to decay...
then leaps in spring to his returning kisses. ~Charles Kingsley

My azaleas and rhododendrons are all turning brown and fading's always so wonderful to see their gorgeous blooms each spring. But nothing lasts today, I honor their beauty with a few more pictures I captured of them in their pink peak. Until next year, lovely flowers - I look forward to your return! I'll be linking this up to This or That on the button below if you'd like to participate (tomorrow)!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Safe Keep

pink blooms

I'm taking Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class, and her assignment for today was to choose something that brings light into our lives. My immediate thought, of course, was my family and my beloved Ruby (our corgi)...they are my brightest lights, without question. But another thing that brings my spirit so much light is spring. Every year when spring shows its first signs, my winter melancholy lifts away. Everything is new, everything is growing, everything has a new beginning...there is color where none was before. I feel re-energized and replenished after months of wanting to hibernate from the cold, bleak landscape. All I want is to be outside amidst the warm sun and the blooming plants and flowers. I truly do feel filled with light during this time...I'm more positive, happy, and hopeful than at any other time of the year. For that reason, spring is one of the things I'm most grateful for! I'm including a poem I wrote about spring below, and I'm also linking this up for Kim's Texture Tuesday...I used her textures "Happy Heart" and "Now", both at Soft Light/25%. I also put the image into Radlab and tweaked it with a couple of filters.


A canopy of pink turns the wind sweet
Softly scented to soothe your shadows
Walk your troubles away, my friend
Don’t shun the morning’s vibrant pleas

Let your sadness wander free
To follow spring’s bright blooms
Celebrate the burnished hope
That shimmers on dancing leaves

Hand your sorrows to the trees
They will store them for safe keep
Etched inside as burnished rings
Cradling worn thoughts, while robins sing.

© Sherri Brannon


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

For this week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday, the prompts are shadow, keys, smile, unedited, and fish. I had a busy week and was scrambling around yesterday trying to finish things up! Click on the button at the bottom of this post to see more great photos (or to see next week's prompts if you want to join in!).

1. Shadow. The sun was setting in our back yard and the sun glowing through the trees created such pretty light/shadows.
shadows at sunset

2. Keys. We have a beautiful, old grandfather clock that belonged to my husband's great-grandparents. I borrowed the key from it and hung it on a branch outside to give it a prettier backdrop.

3. Smile. I had to pull this from the archives - there was no chance to take photos of people this week! I took this of my daughter last fall.

4. Unedited. I love Instagram! We were at Best Buy and I noticed the clouds reflecting in the windows of the store. As always, I had to pull out my iphone while people stared at the crazy lady taking a picture of the Best Buy :)
reflecting clouds

5. Fish. This was all I could come up least I got to use my pretty Anthropologie measuring cup.
fish crackers

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone~~