Friday, March 23, 2012

The Calm Before

The other day, just before evening fell, there were these gorgeous puffy white cumulus clouds in the sky. I know they were because I Googled it. I have been waiting for one of these blue sky, sunshine, puffy white cloud days so I could head over to a nearby hill and take some pictures. That is what I did. Proof:

This is the kind of puffy white clouds in the sunshine over a hill kind of day where you expect to see the Von Trapp kids come out with Julia what's her name singing about the hills being alive with the sound of music whilst wearing outfits fit to make curtains with.

And as usual, I had an outcome in mind as to what I wanted to do with the photos I took. The sun wasn't involved. So, picture with no sun involved was the focus.

Since I knew that I would be messing around with the photos to create some sort of artwork master pieces, I wasn't too concerned with the exposures and depth of field. But I did want some focus. Sort of.

I chose a picture and added a layer which I got, if memory serves me correctly (and it usually does not),  at one point from here

and looks like this:

Then I combined the two dropping the texture to about 50 % opacity.

From here I upped the contrast and dropped the brightness. This will bring out the texture and later I went in and made the whole thing brighter.

I did make the whole thing brighter and then decided to change the hue and saturation a bit before burning in some dark edges. This is my final example:

Them hills seems if they are actually alive with music, no?
These following photo images are for sale in my online shop here:

I hope you enjoy these sing in the sun shine images and the storm never catches up with you. Take care until our next adventure....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Catnip

and Thyme and Basil! I took a trip to the nursery to get some annuals for the garden.  Of course I took my camera with me! I had in mind to make some 6" x 6" kitchen artworks of herbs. I played with different setting at the nursery. Here is the sage straight out of the camera (SOOC):

and the Parsley and Thyme and Rosemary. I did those out of order, didn't I?

I like how the Rosemary came out, but it didn't fit what I had in mind. I tried some different textures over the herb photos but it just wasn't working out the way I had envisioned it. Much of the artwork I do with my photos seems to be worked out ahead of time in my mind, I just have to figure out how to get to the result I want. I ended up cropping the photos to squares and working two layers, one in sepia and then I worked in the plant leaves in color. This one is the Basil:

Finally I wanted words on the photos. So after working the burned edges, I brought the file into CorelDraw to add text and exported as a .tif file. Here are two more with their text: 

I will offer these as Kitchen Art Decor in my online shop soon as probably 8 x 8 prints. But I decided to make a digital download scrapbook art sheet as well. I like to offer something different with my photos for the scrapping world. The final sheet came out like this (sans the watermark of course ;) :
You can find it for purchase here:

Have fun being creative with these art tags! Until the next adventure....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

'Tis the Season

First day of Spring and we've already got Texas sized mosquitoes out there! And the wildflowers are coming up. With all the rain we have been deluged with, it is sure to be a great year for wildflowers. I'll be sure to make time to take a flower photo trek this year.

Indian Paintbrushes are already coming up.

The Indian Paintbrush flowers are coming up already. Seems earlier than usual. I remember going for a drive to look at the Texas Bluebonnets and I believe it was Mother's Day, but I could be off by a month I suppose. Here is a Bluebonnet growing in the neighbor's yard down the street.

Such a dramatic sky! This Wisteria flower I snapped a pic of as I was headed to the grocery store. Yes I had my camera with me. Even though the sky was gray and ready to rain I was compelled to click away.

And these are the final Photographs that I created with these photos. I used some textured layers, edge burns and tiled edges.

You can find these and more Floral Artwork for sale in my online store at:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away...

Not really rain, actually we needed the rain here in Texas. My weeds will flourish! Hopefully my flowers and herb garden will too. We got some herbs in the garden this weekend. I will take some photos soon. But the clouds and the rain had me taking pics of the sky.

I just love how the clouds were glowing orange in the vibrant blue sky! Doesn't make much for a photo though. I have an abundance of these clouds in the sky photos and I have been trying to figure out what to do with them.

Here is another heavenly photo of clouds in the sky. Most of the photos I of sunsets and clouds are taken in the street in front of my house. Because there are many trees in the way I sometimes walk a little ways down the road to get my "shot". 

I have figured out what to do with the orange glowing cloud photos. I worked in some texture and added some moons (I have an abundance of moon shots too) and came up with these Heavenly Celestial Skyscapes.

Skyscape I

This photo is from the first one up top after flipping and mirror imaging and texturizing and adding my crescent moon. Very dramatic.

Skyscape II
Love that Full Moon! These clouds are from the second photo from up above after manipulation and adding that beautiful moon.

Skyscape III

This is a very dramatic indigo sky with a crescent moon. I lost track of which original it came from. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all those sunset snaps!

These Heavenly Celestial Skyscapes can be found on my ETSY store in the Skyscapes and Moons section and they are Titled,  Signed and dated on back 

Stop by, have a look and order it if you gotta have it!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I thought it might be clover of me to start off my journal with something related to photography and clovers. 

I took a series of clover photos for a 52 Week photo challenge and I was lucky (!!) enough to find a few four leaf clovers and some mutant 5 leafs! I guess that would make me extra lucky? We'll see. I made the photos take on several finishes: Green Chrome, a hand colored pencil finish, a negative and sepia tone in addition to the traditional "Irish Green" color effect.
I had so many colors and finishes I decided to make some Digital Art Sheets with the images.
My Digital Art Sheets are like scrapbook papers that you print yourself! You can use them in art projects, Scrabble jewelry tiles, Scrapbooking, Greeting cards, gift tags etc. Use your imagination!

This is how the Digital Art Sheet turned out and it is available for sale in my ETSY Store: Catino Creations 
I have them available in several sizes.

Have fun creating. I had an afternoon of fun snapping away at the clovers in the grass, on my knees and on my belly when I decided to just take a couple of handpicked hand fulls back to the kitchen and lay them out onto some matboard for their portraits. The clean background lended itself to a graphic image much better than a landscaped background. I never did use the images for the 52 Week Project challenge. Someday I will post more on that Project.