Monochrome Monday: Skinny Man

Skinny Man high contrast

he stands watch

the skinny man

the benevolent guardian of

hope’s illumination


he stands ready

the fearful man

a repository for worriment

consuming negativity

Skinny Man 2

This week’s Monochrome Monday is the second in my series of posts showing some of the ornaments my sister and I have around our house. Some of them are rather odd…

I quite enjoyed playing around with the editing of this statue. The first picture has very high contrast and clarity. I wanted to bring out the texture of the figure and highlight the light vs dark / hope vs fear theme of the poem. The second picture has much lower contrast and clarity, giving it quite a ghostly effect. I felt this fitted quite well with the idea of the benevolent, watching spirit within the statue.

I’d love to know what you think.


A Family Gathering

Family Group


and camaraderie

found throughout the ages

amidst the love of


Family 2

Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while may remember that I used to regularly join in with the One-Four challenge, editing a picture in four different ways over a month. Unfortunately, the challenge changed from being monthly to being quarterly, and the month when it was running always seemed to clash with NaNoWriMo, when I was off the blog, writing.

Family Vintage

This picture – taken at Lincoln Castle this summer, during the joust – just screamed out for multiple edits. As I’m sure you can imagine, I had great fun playing around with it.

Family Group Painting Framed

I’d love to know if you have a favourite version.

Moonage Daydream

Mad Moon 2.jpg

“Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah…” – David Bowie, ‘Moonage Daydream’

Like so many others across the world I waited eagerly for the supermoon to rise a few nights ago. Unfortunately I found myself to be disappointed as the overcast sky hid it from view. Luckily for me the sky did clear a few hours later, but the moon was so high by then that the pictures I took had little of interest to them – especially when compared to all the wonderful shots that had onto flooded the internet from around the globe.

Well, last night (after finishing my Nano writing for the day) I decided to have a play around with one of the shots in Photoshop. It’s been a while since I last did any real photo editing, so it was fun to get really creative with it. I found myself singing the Bowie song, ‘Moonage Daydream’, whilst doing so – one of my favourite tracks off the ‘Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ album. It just seemed to fit. If you don’t know it, you should follow the link above and check it out. 🙂

This, by the way, was the original photo I worked from. It’s quite a noisy picture, which is what gives the sky in the edited version its colour:


Back to Nano for me now. I’m still over 7000 words behind the daily target, but there are enough hours left in the day that I should be able to narrow the gap some more…

CB&W: The Lovers

The Lovers b and w 4

she leans

into his strength

knowing he’ll support her

knowing the roots of their love are


The Lovers b and w 3

This post is for Cee’s Black and White Challenge. The theme is still trees as Cee is currently taking a well-deserved blogging break.

The pictures are of a pair of trees that have grown together beside the stream, leaning out over the water. It’s these that the little ladder leans against. I love how the larger tree seems to support the smaller one as it leans at an insecure angle, its branches wrapped like arms around it. I named them ‘The Lovers’ as soon as I spotted them and their embrace.

I hope you like them.

One Four: February Week Four

This post is for week four of Robyn’s One Four Challenge. This is a quarterly photo editing challenge that asks us to edit one photo in four ways over a month, posting a different version to our blog each week. I would have liked to spend a little more time working on this final edit but, as today is the final day of February, I thought I probably ought to post it as it is!

Week Four Edit

Week Four Edit

For this final edit I wanted to create a cool, soft image with a slight painterly appearance. Thankfully, this week I actually remembered to record the steps I took to create it!

First I opened the image in Camera Raw where I decreased the temperature (-10) and increased the tint (+23). I then increased both the highlights (+61) and the whites (+26) whilst also shifting the shadows (-17) and the blacks (-2) a little. I increased the vibrance (+60), reduced both the contrast (-23) and clarity and finally increased the luminance all the way to 100 with a detail level of 21.

Next I opened the image in Photoshop Elements 13 where I added a Levels layer over the ‘campfire’ – increasing both blacks and the whites to make it stand out a little better. I also added a soft glow layer at 60% opacity, a ‘shiny sphere’ gradient map at 20% opacity and an angled strokes layer at 25%. To finish off I gave it a slight crop.

Here are all the edits together for comparison:

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As it’s week four it’s also time for a poll – please let me know which edit you like best!



One Four: February Week Three

This post is for week three of Robyn’s One Four Challenge. This is a quarterly photo editing challenge that asks us to edit one photo in four ways over a month, posting a different version to our blog each week. .

streamside camp week four 3 small

I know I said I’d try to remember what I did to achieve the final edit this week but, unfortunately, I can’t. I’ve made so many changes, going back and forth between versions, that I couldn’t retrace my steps if I tried. I do know that there’s a soft light layer (or two) in there somewhere and a few different art effects. And I cropped it slightly. Other that that, I really can’t remember!

My intention with this edit was to create an image that looked like it could be an illustration for a kids’ adventure story – a slightly magical woodland setting, a campsite beside a stream…

I hope you like it.

Here’s all of the edits so far together for comparison:

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One Four: February Weeks 1 & 2

Robyn’s One Four Challenge is back! Yay! This challenge has always been one of my favourites so it’s great to see it return.

For this challenge we’re asked to edit one photo in four ways over a month, posting a different version to our blog each week. I’m a little late joining in so rather than posting just a single edit this week, I’m posting two.

Week One

streamside camp week one small 2

Week One

I can’t remember the exact settings or even every step I took to create this edit. I know that I reduced the clarity, shifted the temperature and tint, increased the vibrancy and altered a few other settings in camera raw before opening it in Photoshop Elements 13. I then selected the area of the ‘camp fire’ and played around with the levels to make it stand out a little more. To finish off I overlaid a soft light layer in a low opacity.

Week Two

streamside camp week two small

Week Two

For this edit I reopened week one in camera raw and reduced the saturation. I again played around with settings until I was happy with the shadows and highlights, etc. In Photoshop I then added a faint ‘cooling’ photo filter to give it a chillier, bluish hint.


streamside camp original small


I hope you like them. Next week I’ll try to keep a better record of edits!