Chains and meshes are fascinating objects to me because of the interconnectedness that links individual units — a simple linking pattern that repeats many, many times to form the uniqueness that is the subject. Looking for a suitable surface to place one of my jewelry chains on so I could click a couple of photographs, I noticed this mesh and thought, “why not?” 🙂

Needless to say, I love how the picture turned out.

Cane furniture

Cane Stool

Cane Stool

Cane Stool

I’ve always loved cane furniture, and ever since I bought this handmade cane stool, I’d been thinking of the photographic opportunities that its texture and pattern would provide. So on a very leisurely and sunny afternoon, a photo session ensued. I stood up, sat down and prowled around it with my camera, changing the amount of light falling on it, trying to capture views from different angles… Really, the pictures present such different perspectives of the subject that they remind me of the story of the blind men and the elephant. 🙂 (Well, at least one can be sure of the nature of the item here, unlike in the story.)

Tiny Key Charm

Key Charm

Which lock will this tiny (it’s only 1.5cm!) key charm open? Though I bought it a long time ago, I haven’t used it in any jewelry yet. I think I’m waiting for a tiny lock charm to catch my eye at a store somewhere… 😀

I do love the key charm itself, but in this photograph, more than the highlights and shadow of the charm, I somehow like the texture of the paper surface on which the charm lies! So unobtrusive, and yet it adds so much to the composition.

Check out other submissions by talented photographers in Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness series — this week, it’s a ‘K’-themed challenge.

Light and Shadow


A picture for the Monochrome Madness series; to view other excellent submissions, please visit Leanne Cole’s post this week.

This is one of the pictures I clicked on a boring day indoors that I decided to spruce up by experimenting with photographing the lights at home. Bright lights and low exposure do make for some art! I swear I never really liked the texture of that wall much before I processed this photograph. 🙂

Monochrome madness wk 52 (or yr 1)

It’s apparently been a year since Leanne Cole and Laura Macky began their Monochrome Madness series, which Leanne’s been hosting on her blog religiously. (Thanks Leanne!) While I started taking part in it very recently, and have been submitting photographs fairly infrequently, I feel pretty happy about all that I learned from seeing the other entries, and am thrilled to have discovered all those talented photographers whose work I can now observe. Good going, Leanne, Laura, and here’s to one more year of crazy single-color!

So this week is week-52 for the series, and we thought each of us should just re-show our favorite submissions over the past year. Amongst my submissions, my favorite is Odd Pumpkin Out — this was for a color-splash special last Christmas.

Odd pumpkin outI’d never really tried color-splash before this, and I remember how excited I was about this result. 😀 This week, Leanne’s showing this photograph in her post, along with everyone else’s favorites from their submissions.

I usually don’t just re-show photographs that I’ve already posted, so I thought I’ll also throw in a different version of this photograph today — a dark, split-tone monochrome, with some added glow.
Pumpkin patch

But then, since I’m showing past photographs anyway 😉 here’s a small collection of my other favorites from amongst my MM submissions over the year —

Beach Lamp Post Barcelona street

Rediscovering old photographs in new avatars, monochrome or not, is always fun (and sometimes surprising) isn’t it! 🙂

Tabletop – Abstract

There are some casual photographs that are just too much fun to play with. This hole-ridden tabletop, for instance. It was just begging to be photoshopped (or GIMP’ed, in my case), and with a simple superimposed lens effect, this is what it turned into.

Tabletop - abstract

Tabletop – abstract

Makes me think of the Moon. 🙂

Odd pumpkin out

Whaddaya know, this is my 50th post in the (almost) 6 months since this blog has been in existence! Slow, yes, but steady… 😛 I’m gonna use this teeny occasion to thank you visitors and followers for all the support and encouragement you’ve given me in my cozy corner of the blogosphere. I must say that I’m continuously learning from you and every other talented person here, so thank you for that!

This time, I’m posting a lovely photograph that I did quite some post-processing on. Leanne has been hosting her and Laura’s Monochrome Madness series for a while now, and the next post in the series will be a Christmas Special, where submissions are still monochrome, but with a splash of color included. And this is what I submitted, though it’s more Halloweeny than it is Christmassy. 😛

Odd pumpkin out

Odd pumpkin out

It did take some effort to get this photograph to a point where I was happy with the result, and I loved working on GIMP for the processing. Though I did a lot of little (and not-so-little) tweaks to finally be able to give this version the nod, I’ll mention the three things that I thought were more challenging than the others, or provided some opportunity for learning. (Or both. 🙂 )

Usually, for a color-splash picture like this, it’s easier if one chooses a picture where the required color is either distinctive in the photograph or concentrated in an easy-to-select area. Here, all the pumpkins are orange, and the one I wanted to select, while still elliptical, is unevenly so. :/ I isolated the color-pumpkin by additively selecting progressively smaller areas, and did that take time and patience, or what!

Then there was the matter of the blurriness at the bottom-right outline of the color-pumpkin, because the pumpkin in front is not in focus. A straight-out cut-n-paste of the color-pumpkin makes an unnatural clear-cut edge appear in that area, so I had to add bottom-right sections with different blurs and transparencies to recreate the original blurring and make it look natural.

As I experiment more and more with monochrome, I see on so many occasions that it’s a very different ball game, and I love the unique challenges it poses. So it’s no surprise that a combination of monochrome and color is doubly challenging! 😀 The original photograph showcased the color of the pumpkins, and lighting was not a highlight in it. Well, with monochrome, the pumpkins would actually need some light on them to give them some dimension. With the right settings, the light in the photograph itself sufficed, and the monochrome pumpkins looked fine. But compared to them, the color-pumpkin started looking just so bland (and unnatural. Of course. 😉 ) I then had to add some light effects on the color-pumpkin to make it blend into the scene.

There might be a lot more that I can do to make the picture look better, but I’m satisfied for now with the learnings from this effort. What do you think of the result?

Horse carriage ride, anyone?

Ready to ride

Ready to ride

Alright, alright, this is not a real horse carriage, but these plump ponies seem as eager to trot away as any real horse, don’t they? I love the umbrella on the carriage, too!

I clicked this at Disney World, Florida near the replica of the Terracotta Army. (You can see the soldiers from the army reflected along the right side …)

Iced tea

Iced tea is one of the few drinks people all over the world are familiar with. If I’m not in the mood to go through the mind-boggling repertoire of drinks on a restaurant menu, or am unable to make up my mind, I just order a lemon-flavored iced tea. It’s universally available, plus there’s no way they can mess that up. Except if they decide to add too much flavor. Nothing beats a chilled iced tea that has the slightly bitter taste of tea…

Chilled Iced Tea

Chilled Iced Tea

I must admit, though, that I haven’t tried to make more than a couple of varieties of iced tea. That’s something I’m gonna try out during hot summer months next year.

Which is your favorite flavor of iced tea, and how do you like it — sweet, or unsweetened? Or do you drink a totally different variety — the Long Island one? 😉

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

Empty Ferrero Rocher Container

When my sister and I discovered Ferrero Rocher’s ‘Collection‘, we fell in love with it. Three different types of mouth-watering, yummy chocolates — dark chocolate, hazelnut, and coconut; they were just made for gobbling up. It was with the greatest restraint that we managed to not finish off the entire stash in one go. All too soon, this is what was left of it — an empty container. My mind’s eye can still see the candies that used to occupy those spots.

Okay, I’ve convinced myself — I’m buying these again tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll dream of chocolates tonight.