Virtually every day you can see me in our small garden shooting. I merely shoot flowers and every now and than also a bird. My weapon-of-mass-imagination is a Sony A77VQ with a few lenses. This camera suits me well and it does everything I want. I shoot in RAW-format (Sony’s JPEG needs some quality improvements) and after the shooting I perform a pre-selection before I download and process the pictures in Adobe Photoshop CS6. For some of the flowers it means a dissection into elements (stamens, etc.) which I use for elementary images or ‘imaginaries’ as I prefer to name them. I love flowers and nature but don’t ask me names of specific species; just being in a garden catching fragrances and touching and capturing nature’s beauties is a Feast. Here are some of the recent pictures of flowers. We have around 600 to 700 different succulent plants from around the globe in our outdoor collection including cacti.

This morning I started for the first time with Adobe Illustrator. After Photoshop not too difficult to work with (commands, etc.) although it must be said and written that the Adobe tutorials on the web need some serious improvements. One pays a lot for this software isn’t it? Well anyway we started with an own template made in photoshop and distilled from an Old Man’s Beard cactus (see thumbnails below main picture). Added some recently made pictures/photo-manipulations and text. Indeed; I still have to practice a lot but I’ve tasted a bit of the possibilities in the ‘interaction between photoshop and illustrator. And that was this morning’s goal; nothing more!

This nice poem about the Hottentots God inspired me last week to picture one but than if you search it takes long so I took my chance and did the search like a Capetonian (very, very, laid back) and yes it worked (this time….). The insect suddenly landed on my hand and I had to hand-over to Yvonne’s hand for the picturing. After some photoshopping and adding some elements this came out of it. The featured one is with Clarissa. ‘Clarissa wants to have a ride’. Personally I go for the second one below (with bird) and the bottom one also is a nice composition. And for the rest; see for yourself. Fascinating insects; ET was modeled after it.

And yes; still practicing to master the equipment and especially the Adobe software. We’re out for a few days. See you back this Friday!!!

The last few days I’ve been experimenting with reflections and this came out of it. The mainframe of the featured picture is the bathroom sliding-door (shot from our outdoor shower -brag, brag, brag….) added with me and the camera (inversed, refined mirrored and filtered/polarisation).

The one below is similar but than without the addition of the polarised eyes.

For the next one  I used the sky as mainframe and a mirrored (+inversed, refined) B&W self-portrait in front of the bathroom door. As usual all pictured with a Sony A77 VQ (this time with 16-50mm lens) and processed with photoshop Cs6.

Bottom picture consists of the bathroom door as mainframe with inversed/refined/filtered ‘fillings’ of a b&W self-portrait, my left hand, flowers from our garden, bathroom mirror, wooden bathroom floor, my hands holding the camera (twirled in center and the very same as in the top 2 pictures) and polarized drink glasses. Fairly complicated and mind bogging…. but than discoveries of possibilities surface. The only problem I have with Adobe photoshop are the tutorials on their website. These are incomplete and could, with the same effort, far more sufficient.

Next week we go back to the elements again (see first posts). Photography and photo-manipulation are one big challenge and we still have a long path to walk.

Starting a new ‘career’ at the age of 61 is a challenge but I like challenges especially the ones people advise me not even to think of it… And this challenge is one of these.

Photography always has been some kind of a hobby and with modern software tools it’s relatively easy to manipulate and I like to manipulate. A few weeks ago I purchased an iMac with Adobe Photoshop and started to explore a complete new world and will continue to do so. I make photographs with a Sony A77VQ; a deliberate choice of a stubborn person who ignored the advise to either buy a Nikon or a Canon camera. And yes; I like this camera very much and it does exactly what I want it to do.

While experimenting with photoshop and after the first attempts I choose for cartoon like posters meaning that I use one mainframe natural picture that I fill up with all sorts of elements (hence the name ‘elementary posters’) that tells some kind of a story. The featured picture is composed of a mainframe of the original entrance of the Robert Stanford Estate, here in Stanford, South Africa. Added are a silk flower, a plastic Buddha figure with a mobile telephone and a multiplied bee. All elements ‘Made in China’; just wondering if also the future of our nature, like the Western economy, depends on China….

In times to come we hope to develop a business (GreenC Productions) that sells this kind of posters online or maybe even some media are interested to publish them. We’ll see… If in the meantime somebody is interested in purchasing a poster just send an email to green -at- mail -dot- co -dot- za as mentioned at the left bottom of all pictures. All pictures are made in Stanford, South Africa; a wonderful village somewhere in nowhere between Hermanus and Gansbaai in the Western Cape. The file sizes of the original posters are somewhere between 200 and 300MB (depending on the number and sizes of elements) but we can format them in PDF. The file size makes the posters suitable for wall paper…..

At last but not at least the runner up of the featured ‘Made in China’ picture. This one is named ‘Alessi in Stanford’: