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.
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.
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.
Several weeks ago i planned a visit to Dunham Massey to coincide with the autumn colours and the deer rut. The first day we had earmarked we couldn’t go, the day we did go we got to about a mile from our junction turn off and traffic came to a sudden stop due to a serious road traffic accident. It was a nice day and not to late on in the morning so we were not worried too much. Turns out there had been a guy knocked off his motor cycle so it was pretty bad. (but i didn’t let that stop me and i managed to get a few shots of the stalled traffic for potential stock photos.)
When we finally arrived at the park we arranged to go on a guided walk around the park in the hope of seeing the deer and learning some of the history of the place. Our guide John was fabulous, really knowledgeable and nice too. We walked with him for about an hour and didn’t see any deer at all! When we started to walk back through the park we did finally come across some young bucks and Doe’s hiding in the long grass. I managed to get a few photos without disturbing them, which can’t be said for this pair who got up right into the face of this buck. I had my camera ready just in case they were chased.
Driving back from Birkenhead on Tuesday evening i turned to my husband, my partner in crime and coo’d over another beautiful sunset. With a weary sigh i wished i had the energy to get my camera and go down to West Kirby and take photos of the beautiful sunset that was in front of us.
I haven’t taken any sunset photographs in over 12 months, we live in a delightful coastal town and the sunsets are glorious so you can get a bit sunset’ed out and i had made the decision not to take anymore pictures for at least a year.
We have had some lovely weather over Easter and i had watched some glorious colours in the evening sky’s and this evening i finally gave in and made my mind up to drag my camera down to the beach.
We got home, i grabbed my bag and we dashed off to West Kirby beach, a mere 3 minutes away and as i had an idea for my photographs we set off at a trot or as much of a trot that you can manage with a leg that doesn’t work properly, to where i wanted to be. Have you noticed how quickly the sun sets when you have a sore leg, are walking on sand and have to walk far enough to get your shot? I didn’t think i was going to be in time but i was! I collapsed onto the sand, luckily in the correct direction to make the shot and as happens sometimes my first shot was the best.
I wanted something different from the usual ball of colour and scarlet sky so i concentrated on the spartina grass and kept the colour well in the background, i think it works really well and out of the five photos i thought the best i just love the very first i took. What do you think?
Chris knew i wanted to take some photos of Bluebells in a wooded situation and while my back was turned researched where we were to go for this weeks wanderings. He chose Bluebell Cottage circular walk and RHS registered Bluebell cottage garden and nursery situated in the Weaver Valley, Cheshire. Its a bit of a trek up a narrow one lane track and you park on a grassy field but it is well worth it. You pay £3.50 to go into the gardens and nursery, where there is a help yourself tea room that serves lovely ice-cream and home made cake and a, well port-a-loo is not quite the right description, more shed done out nice, toilet. We walked around the gardens and ooh’d and ahhh’d over the lovely plants, took some photos and then just had to stop for coffee and cake. (the fruit cake was delicious)
Fortified, we set off to discover the Bluebell woods, over the field and through the new planting in the woods and there they were, carpets of beautiful jewel like flowers, all native to the British Isles. I didnt know where to look next, there were lovely pictures just waiting to be taken and take them i did! I used my new 50mm prime lens for some shots as i wanted a very shallow depth of field. I didnt know how well it would work as i have never used a prime lens before, i think it worked ok, i am pleased with what i have, i also used my 55-200mm lens as we found an amazing viaduct when we went on the Bluebell Cottage circular walk.
Sunday and Chris and I are off driving around Wirral on a lovely sunny day, we wanted to find the flavors of Autumn, the colour, the crispness, the floaty leaves, the beautiful reflections. Cough cough, can someone tell the trees in Wirral its time!
We went to Rabymere, its owned by the Angling Society people so you cant walk around it and anyway the trees were still green, we went to Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve, green trees, we went to Portsunlight in Bromborough, better but not great, we went to Caldy (mega rich big houses, i could tell you its where my Dad grew up but the wrong impression would be gained. He did grow up there but was the gardeners son 😉 ) We went to Arrowe Park which was also ok. BUT not what i wanted. Am i too early for autumnal colour? Will it happen or is it going to be a ‘damp squib’, come on trees put on your Autumnal shades, Canada and America will not outdo us! anyway i can’t afford to go there just now. I think i will leave it a little longer and try again, you never know it may be we are just having a late Autumn.
If that is so, one thing, why are the trees alongside the roads changing colour? Pollution?