Wednesday, November 26, 2014

5 Photo Textures and Ideas How To Use Yours

I am a big fan of close-up photos and often take close ups of textures. I'll take them with whatever I'm carrying be it my DSLR or phone camera. 

So how do we describe texture. The Free American Dictionary's second definition offers "The distinctive physical composition or structure of something, especially with respect to the size, shape, and arrangement of its parts."

Wikipedia offers it as "Surface finish, also known as surface texture or surface topography, is the nature of a surface as defined by the 3 characteristics of laysurface roughness, and waviness. It comprises the small local deviations of a surface from the perfectly flat ideal (a true plane)."

Here are some recent textures that I shot in a variety of locations. The first one was debri with a mixture of concrete and red brick I saw near a shoreline.  I really like this for the contrast not only in the texture but in the color. 

I use Canva to make many quote posts for social media and that is how I used this textured background.  

I took this photograph with my DSLR during an Alaska vacation. I have a lot of lichen photos from my surroundings in northern Arizona and loved the contrast in texture and color on this one.

I love to try something different in photo post processing. If you haven't yet, play around with layering on photographs. I used the above texture as a reduced transparency layer over this flower photograph to give it a unique texture.

Unfortunately, I don't remember where I took this photograph but since it's pine bark, I'm guessing it is from the surroundings of a hike in northern Arizona. 

I used the pine bark with an additional color layer to get the texture on this photograph of a bouquet where I focused on the purple statice. I did a lot of changing transparency levels and testing color layers to achieve this result. 

This photograph was taken of stone along a walkway at Yellowstone National park. I took quite a few in different sections giving me a variety of designs.

Sometimes I think a texture might go well with a particular quote. In this case, I felt the quote about cold was so appropriate for a cold feeling gray stone. So I added the quote to his particular photograph of the many I actually shot in Yellowstone. 

I remind you to observe your surroundings with enthusiasm and awe like a child. I was reading a plaque in Fort Lauderdale when I looked closer at the solid rectangular concrete support and noticed it was mixed with sea shells. This made for some great shots. This is just one of many I photographed.

Just like the previous use of the texture as a quote background, I went into Canva and added a simple text quote, reduced the transparency of the photograph and saved it for use on my TsuFacebook business page, Twitter and Google+

Once you start thinking about it, you'll begin to find textures you may not have noticed all around you. Go out and have fun, shoot, check them out later and play with them in your choice of photo editing software.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this post. I love getting feedback. Oh and share this post with those you think will enjoy it. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

5 Life Lessons Observed From Our Dogs Behavior

Posing On A Walk

1. Find Excitement In Some Part Of All You Do

They get excited hopping into the Jeep for a ride, at the sound of the ATV's starting up in the garage, at the site of a pond, an old toy found out in the grass, other dogs, and so much more.

LESSON: You may not be excited about a particular task but surely you can find something related to it to get you excited and get through it. 

2. Take Time To Enjoy The World Around You

Dogs are much like children who look at things in amazement even if they have seen it or been there before. I can take them on the same trail for several consecutive walks and they are just as happy as the first day we walked that trail. 

LESSON: It has taught me to do the same with many daily tasks. I look for something new that I hadn't seen before. I look at new ways to do a daily routine task to make it more of a challenge or more fun. I find ways to learn something new, test new scents and change up what is routine yet still get it done.

3. Enjoy The Company You Keep

Happy Trails On The RV Couch

I realized a long time ago that dogs are just happy to be around their human companions (unfortunately even with humans who don't treat their companions well). They are happy to see you when you wake up, happy to see you enter the house even if you were only gone for 10 minutes or 10 hours. We took our two dogs on a long road trip and vacation. We weren't quite sure how they would handle the long drives. They were just happy to be with us and slept every time the vehicle went in motion.

LESSON: When you are with people you are happy to be with~MAKE THE MOST OF IT. Put away those techie devices and share conversation. Don't make yourself miserable by spending a lot of time with people who try to bring you down. It may be impossible to completely avoid those type people but I'm sure you can find a way to limit the time.

4. Be Attentive To Others 

We've Got Our Eyes On You Mom

I have to say 98 percent of the time the dogs listen and watch me intently.  I laugh while singing or talking as they tilt their heads, wag their tails or walk over for a scratch to let me know they are there for me. If I move out of sight into another room and don't immediately return, they check in to see if they need to find space to lie down in that room and keep an eye on me. They have a favorite spot on an old rug in my office. I have to step over them if I walk out.

LESSON: I too have to learn to LISTEN better but just being attentive to people who are normally around you can help give a better sense of how they are really doing. Ask questions, let them talk and LISTEN.

5. Go With The Flow

I am well aware that dogs can sense many things about humans. Even before I make a move to gather our morning walk items, Gavin, the Border Collie starts watching my every move. I'm just thinking about what I need to get and he's already sensing the move. If I grab keys at that point, he's pretty sure "it's on" and the exuberance dance begins. Since they often travel with me wherever I go, the keys generally mean we're going somewhere. But they can sense the times when I'm leaving them at home and they make the best of the situation. I'll see them climb up on the chairs or take a spot on the floor and get comfortable. They accept the situation and rest up for the excitement of my return.

LESSON: Plans change, people are busy, and nothing is certain so if schedules change make the best of the situation and work it out with the exuberance of happy dogs.
Ready Whenever You Are Human

I know this sounds all rosy, I can imagine eyes rolling, and minds saying you don't know my life. You're right, I don't but you too can reevalute and make decisions on what best works for you.

Now go out there and find ways to enjoy life like a dog. Oh and please leave a comment to share your thoughts on the post or your dog stories.