Before and after – Photo manipulation.

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This has been a challenge but I wanted to try something different to push myself creatively.
I found an image on Pixabay (commercial free images that are donated by photographers) and went to work on creating a magical Hobbit Village.
I didn’t want any people in the picture…just wanted the scene to make viewers (hopefully) imagine those that dwell here and the lives they would lead in a place such as this.
It was so much fun to create, but time consuming finding all the right elements. Luckily I had some photo’s I had taken of church doors but most of the elements I had to find through Pixabay.

Have I achieved the magical mood I set out to create?

BEFORE – The image that inspired this…
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After – Where my mind took me.

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Musings on creativity.

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I don’t know what other people do with the hurt that they have stored up inside.
I suppose some people are just able to “let it go”. They say they do anyway but part of me can’t quite believe this.
Maybe they are just better at digging holes and burying it and deep down there is a whole seething cemetery of hurt.
I can’t help think that one day….it’s going to blow- “And the dead shall walk the earth!” kind of thing, will happen.

What I have always done is to channel whatever emotions I am feeling into something creative. It’s just my way of coping and sorting through things.
It is an escape and escape is something us Pisceans in particular are very good at. We have to be or else we’d go mad or turn to alcohol or drugs for “escape”.

Over the years I’ve become a pretty good escape artist.
I’ve explored music and songwriting, tried my hand at many different crafts. Got into videography for a while which was fun…Tried painting, but failed miserably. They say cooking too is “creative” but oh God, I SUCK at that!
I can draw, a little, but nothing like my daughter who really is amazingly skilled.
I can write, and I think I would be a decent writer, if only I could find the discipline to finish things.
Then the photography bug bit, and even though I have in no way mastered it, in turn it (and my daughter) has led me into this new form of digital art – photo manipulation.

I recently asked a question on a site about this subject. “Why is it that many people seem to look down their noses at photo manipulation?” They view it as cheating somehow and because photoshop has been given such a bad rap because of the modeling industry etc.
Then it hit home the other day after reading something that photoshop was actually designed FOR creativity means!

Just like everything, the TOOLS change and what happens is that the insufferable creatives – the people who no matter what are driven to CREATE – do, by whatever means.

It explains why so many creative people, who by nature are terrible with LOGIC – usually, and wince at technology and fumble around with the most basic of modern day applications, are somehow able to adapt their dominant right brains and utilise these fancy fandangle complicated tools of today!

So many photographers, as I am discovering are VERY creative people and usually have other hobbies and passions in the artistic vein as well as their love for taking photo’s. Interesting, because the camera itself is technology.

It boggles the mind really.
What ELSE, in our future will there be that will leave, as an example, photoshop, behind in the dust?

Creative people will always find a way, no matter what is invented, to master and manipulate it in a way that allows them artistic freedom.
Just as primitive man snapped a twig and drew in the sand, the artists in the future will be utilising things WAY beyond our imagination to express their feelings and ideas.
How wonderful is that!

Ultimately art colours the world.
Creative people are often the IDEAS people.
Everything around us took creativity and vision TO invent.
Someone even has to come up with the creative ideas for what is printed on toilet paper. Remember that next time you’re sitting there…

I DO wish though that they would employ more CREATIVE people to come up with street names.

I will end this post with two of my latest pieces. Yes, I have a “thing” for hair over the face at the moment.
I’m sure I’ll get over it soon.

“The lost place”

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“Moving on”

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Image stealing – DON’T do it!

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Today a lovely private message to my blog has prompted me to write a blog post about a certain topic – image stealing.

See, recently I have been sharing some of my photographs to Pixabay and Morguefile, which if you don’t know are sites where you can get legitimately free for use, both for personal and commercial purposes, images. Quite a few of my photo manipulations have background images I have taken from these sites, so I wanted to in turn donate some of my own.

The photographers who donate there do not ask for attribution either – which includes me.
I also have some images on Pinterest – which are not exactly “free” but I guess can be shared around for interest sakes.

So this person who contacted me, and didn’t know I am a contributer there, was concerned because she did some detective work and traced one of my pictures on Pixabay back to my blog and thought perhaps someone might have stolen it and put it up there, and felt I should be aware.
I find this lovely and I really appreciate that someone thought to do that. All is good though because it was an image I donated myself! :)

I want to talk about image stealing though because it is something that is happening ALL the time on the internet.
It’s wrong, plain and simply it’s just wrong.
To be honest though BEFORE I ever began to get into photography and in my early days of blogging I might have thoughtlessly plucked a few images myself from google. (I think I amended that) to use in blog posts.

SO many people do it and they don’t think anything of it…..but, using anyones image for ANYTHING, including a harmless little blog post is really ultimately not the right thing to do.

For a start it’s just rude to take something without permission.
As a photographer now myself some images have taken quite a bit of effort to get.
We do crazy things in the quest for the perfect pic sometimes….trekking up and down mountains…stumbling over logs, fighting the weather, getting harassed by flies and mozzies and…..well….it takes EFFORT to get these pics at times.

Not only that, camera equipment is expensive! It costs money for fuel to get to locations, models cost money, costumes…props….travel expenses to exotic countries etc etc… And our time!
So when you pluck an image from google… “Ooh I’ll take that – click!”….well, you’re not just taking that image, you are taking all these other things too – and offering no credit to the person doing all the hard work!

So, please don’t.
Instead go to places like Pixabay and Morguefile where photographers are giving you permission to take their images, for free, no strings attached.

I belong to a facebook photography site and just the other day someone posted that they accidentally discovered that someone had stolen an image of theirs – of their nephew mind you, which is even worse, and had put some words on the image and were SELLING that image online – as their OWN!
That is just the ultimate of all wrongs- to try and make money from stealing someone else’s photography!
Mind you, I’m sure it goes on a lot out there.

The only way to make it less likely – (for people to make any money anyway) is to only ever put your photo’s up in a small size so that no one can print it out in any way that is going to be decent.
Watermarks are a waste of time as they can be removed so unless you want to completely spoil your beautiful photograph by splashing a HUGE watermark over the entire image…well, it’s pretty pointless either way.

So anyway…here’s the thing.
It – this message to my blog clearly demonstrated to me that the risks involved in image stealing are not worth it. People like the one who contacted ME, might dob YOU in for pinching images. There ARE honest people out there! There is also a reverse image search that can trace an image back to its original owner.

So, the moral to the story is just DON’T especially when you can do the right thing and get images that have been actually donated as free for use.

Mood swing.

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We all have them. Some more than others.
I drive my husband crazy with them.
Perimenopause and auto immune business is SO much fun…all this swinging.

I’m back to being an insomniac again :(
Never mind. It will pass!

In the meantime….my latest creation.
Yup – it’s titled “Mood swing”.

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