You are NEVER too old to learn!

Way back in the day, when home computers started to be the ‘thing’ i was lucky enough to be gifted a ‘home computer.’ People these days just dont realise that once upon a time we didn’t actually have ‘computers’ as such, not like now when nearly every home has at least one and people work mostly on line on computers at the moment because of Covid 19. We were lucky, my brother-in-law gave us the old computer from work which was a Compaq, it used ‘floppy disks’ and the RAM was 64K and the memory an impressive 512KB. No one knew how to use them so when things went wrong they stayed wrong until you found out how to fix it and you couldn’t just ask Google! The next computer which we bought was a Medion with a Pentium 3 processor and Internet! Dial up 56kbs netgear modem and emails through AOL, oh the luxury 😉 That’s when i got the bug and started to learn, taking course after course and buying software through Serif, mastering that and after several computer upgrades, Adobe Photoshop.

I taught myself how to use Photoshop when i bought my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot and then a Minolta bridge camera and as i have worked through PC’s, Laptops, cameras and versions of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, i have picked up more and more knowledge, mostly thanks to good old Google. But i knew something was lacking and as i am always eager to learn new things i jumped straight in when i had an email from Dave Cross inviting me to his virtual Lightroom Summit. Five days of Lr goodness and most importantly for me, learning about gradient filters and editing goodness! It has made me look at my images in a different way and has given me more tools to use when editing them, the hard part is not going too mad with the editing, i have a style that i want to keep, i just want to refine it.

  • at the end of the the wirral peninsula sits the fort perch lighthouse, standing in the evening light guarding the mouth of the river mersey as the irish sea rages around it.

I’m not sure if your one too but i’m a use it or loose it kind of person so end up writing things in books so i can go back to them, writing it down helps it stick, so now i find myself sitting at my computer all day, bang goes the housework, out go the dog walks, someone else can do the cooking i’m on the computer! I am creating a workflow in Lr that i didn’t have before and i really like it, it makes it so easy to find the images you like in among all of the thousands in my catalog, so i’m creating again but i’m also kind of appalled at how few photographs i have taken over the last 18 months! :0

This year i have taken to taking my camera with me when i walk my dog Storm but i walk the same places, see the same views that I’ve seen and photographed over the last 12 years and i have itchy feet. I want to go places and photograph new landscapes but SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE and i want peace and quiet not hordes of people escaping after lockdown 3.0. Can you feel my frustration? So i’m staying at home, ignoring the housework, the cobwebs and the young adults that always want feeding at a different time to me and i am putting my head down to learn. Lightroom is first then its Photoshop with maybe a little bit more about techniques using my camera and most deffinatley more about filter systems and ND filters. 2021 is most deffinatley my year of learning.

Fractals

Did you know that the word ‘Fractal’ was first used in 1975? By definition a Fractal is; ‘any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size’. “Fractal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fractal. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

If you look close enough you can see fractals occur everywhere, in a head of broccoli to the milky way, from the Mersey estuary to snow flakes and thanks to the wonders of Adobe Photoshop i can produce my own fractals in no time at all.

Snowflake Fractal

I stumbled upon a beautiful pattern on instagram and after a little research found hundreds more so beautiful and full of colour that it made me want to experiment myself.

Fractal or Twirl https://www.instagram.com/p/CBiIb7iDIYe/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Instructions.

  • Select a suitable image preferably with a dark edge
  • In Adobe Photoshop open the image and duplicate the layer, turn the original layer off
  • Turn new layer to a Smart layer
  • Choose Filters; Pixilate; Mezzotint. I use Medium lines but experiment with the various settings
  • Choose Filter; Blur; Radial Blur; Zoom; 100. Do this three times
  • Choose Filter; Distort; Twirl; 120
  • Copy smart layer by dragging it to create new layer
  • Double click Twirl on copy and move slider to -120
  • Change the blend mode, upper left of panel, to either darken, lighten or pin light
  • Shift Control Alt E to merge smart objects to layer 1
  • Choose Edit; Transform; Flip horizontal or vertical for mirror image, change the Blend mode to create the image
  • Import into Adobe Lightroom to edit

Now when i have spare time i am going back through my old photographs to find an image that will make the perfect Fractal and i am totally loving what is coming from those images.