Playing with Swirls

I was interested to play with some photo effects after reading a blog post on one of my favourite sites – The World According to Dina – about swirls and twirls.

I don’t have Photoshop, but I do have a version of Photoshop Elements so I thought I’d give it a go. I selected two photos that aren’t the best compositions.

(1) Tulip – I was interested to see how these colours would transform

I followed the video linked to in Dina’s blog, but I made some changes and stopped when I got this result because I rather like it.

Changing the colour hues makes a very different image

(2) Dusk – this was a fairly poor shot of a sunset and I dislike the trees at the bottom of the photo, but thought the streaks might work well.

And this is the result. I kept it very soft and pastel.

While we can’t go out to create new photos, or at least photos of different scenes, then using photo editing software to be creative is one way of enjoying photography at this time.

Thanks Hanne for the idea.

Paris Focus: Art and French Lessons

When I saw this painting (well actually NOT the painting as that had been loaned elsewhere) but a copy of it in the Musée de l’Orangerie I was immediately taken back to 1968 when I was a young teenager in a Grammar School near Leeds.

There we had an amazing French teacher who earned himself the nickname of ‘Lurch’ as he was a big, tall chap with short cropped blonde hair and for some reason reminded us of Lurch, the butler,  in the Addams Family programme on TV at the time.

He was a wonderful teacher, making our French lessons fun and interesting, with great humour. One of his comments in my end of year report has stayed with me all my life: “Jude is an excellent conversationalist, just a pity it is not in French“. Saying that I loved languages and especially French, so much so I even went to work as an au pair in Geneva several years later. He unfortunately for us, left to teach in Chad at the end of this school year, leaving us to do our French O level with a rather disappointing replacement.

But back to the painting. One of the ways he taught us the language was by studying scenes or paintings and this was one of them. The teeny  dog, or was it a cat? The family in the cart – where were they going? Who were they? Is that a child or a pet monkey? Such a painting could stimulate many a conversation. In French. Of course 🙂

Paris Focus: Claude Monet’s Water Lilies

This third photo essay about Paris is of the wonderful Water Lily paintings by Monet seen in the Musée de l’Orangerie, Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, France

During the 1920s, the state of France built a pair of oval rooms at the Musée de l’Orangerie as a permanent home for eight water lily murals by Monet.

Outside the museum is the Rodin bronze statue of the ‘Kiss’ (Le Baiser) ‘The Kiss’ was originally inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy and depicts two of its characters; Paolo and Francesca. The sculpture is located just outside the entrance to the Orangerie Museum and is adjacent to the Place de la Concorde.

The bronze sculpture of the ‘Lion crushing a Serpent’ is by Antoine-Louis Barye (1796-1875) in the Jardin des Tuileries close to the back of the museum.

“According to Claude Monet’s own suggestion, the eight compositions were set out in the two consecutive oval rooms. These rooms have the advantage of natural light from the roof, and are oriented from west to east, following the course of the sun and one of the main routes through Paris along the Seine. The two ovals evoke the symbol of infinity, whereas the paintings represent the cycle of light throughout the day.”

I don’t quite know what I was expecting to see, but it wasn’t this.

The Water Lilies: The Clouds

The Water Lilies: Morning

“The painter wanted visitors to be able to immerse themselves completely in the painting and to forget about the outside world.”

The Water Lilies: Green Reflections

The Water Lilies: Setting Sun

“The first room brings together four compositions showing the reflections of the sky and the vegetation in the water, from morning to evening, whereas the second room contains a group of paintings with contrasts created by the branches of weeping willow around the water’s edge.”

The Water Lilies: Morning with Willows

The Water Lilies: Clear Morning with Willows

The Water Lilies: Trees Reflections

The Water Lilies: The Two Willows appears in the header image.

A tip: if you want to visit this museum and Musée d’Orsay, buy your joint ticket here to avoid the usual long queues at the other one.

Source: Musée de l’Orangerie

~wander.essence~  Photography

Time x Square

Time for another square month hosted by the lovely Becky. The photos don’t necessarily have to be of a timepiece, but are open to interpretation to reflect time in some way, or sayings such as ‘the passing of time’, ‘a stitch in time’, or time running away from you.

Day 24:  Time to Take Action

Although this is a time of year for excesses, I hope that we can all bear in mind the effect on our planet – buy only gifts that will be wanted and preferably not plastic; buy only enough food that will be eaten and not thrown away into landfill; wrap your presents in paper that can be recycled (that means no glitter) and remember the best things in life are free. A smile, a kind word, a hug.

In partnership with the Natural History Museum, the Cool Globes San Diego exhibit was displayed in and around Balboa Park, the San Diego Port, Seaport Village and the Embarcadero Marina Park from October 2008-March 2009.

Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, is a public art exhibition designed to raise awareness of solutions to climate change.  Cool Globes grew out of a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005, and was incorporated as a non-profit organisation in 2006.  Since that time, Cool Globes premiered in Chicago and went on tour across the country from Washington DC to San Francisco, San Diego, Sundance, Los Angeles, Houston and Cleveland.  In the fall of 2009, Cool Globes opened the first international exhibit in Copenhagen. From there our globes were in Geneva, Marseille, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Jerusalem and Boston.

It is our hope that the millions of people who have experienced the exhibit, leave with a vast array of solutions to climate change, and with one clear message….we can solve this.

To join in with the Squares challenge please visit Becky for instructions. Remember the only proper rule is that the photo must be SQUARE.

December Squares | Day Twenty-four