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Thursday 30 April 2015

Day 120 of 365 Day Challenge

Not my best but it was a travel day today so not much opportunity to take pictures.

Apps: Photoshop Touch, Snapseed, iColorama, Superimpose, Repix, Stackables

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Day 118 of 365 Day Challenge

It's another day mostly at home and to my surprise I am fully into manipulating selfies although to be honest it's more a case of having a face to manipulate and if I had some models at my disposal I would use them instead. It's the process of transformation that I am enjoying.

What to do this time. I start in Snapseed, cropping the picture in close and tuning it a bit. Then into Facetune to smooth some bits and enhance others. Now I am ready to have fun. I take it into Aerograph and get some interesting results. From here into iColorama to blend some of the results from Aerograph. Still a bit boring so I blended it with a circuit board texture. I feel like I still need some details so I take it into SketchClub and add some doodles to a layer which I blend in with the picture. The whole picture seems a bit bright so I take it into Stackables and discover that actually a monotone version looks the best. A final tune in Snapseed and here it is:

Monday 27 April 2015

Day 117 of 365 Day Challenge

So today is my first trip into China, a visit to the Dafen Art Village in Shenzhen which is just over the border from Hong Kong. You can take the Hong Kong MTR (underground) to Lo Wu, you cross over the border and pick up the Shenzhen MTR. One change from the Blue line to the Green line at Laojie, then up to Dafen on this line. You go to the A exit and take the right stairs down and just a short walk down the road is the village. Rows and rows of shops with oil paintings. Most formula, some original, some very good, some very bad. You can take your own photo along with you and have it painted! Down the little alleys inbetween the shops, dozens of painters sit churning out paintings.

As well as the shops selling paintings there are some amazing art supply shops with everything an oil painter could want. Massive rolls of canvasses, easels, paints, you name it. The most fascinating are the shops full of brushes and not just small ones, massive ones as big as long wigs!

Choosing a photo to use today was really difficult but in the end I have chosen one of a Shenzhen painter, painting an old fasioned painting. My next choice but my husband's favourite was a picture of one of the alleys with all the canvases lined up ready to sell! I had to also include a picture of the brushes and shop.

Check out the massive brushes below on the right

Day 116 of 365 Day Challenge

The photo I took today can only be called eerie.

I went with my hubby to see the Wong Tai Sin Temple. It's a massive complex with temples and shrines and it's totally buzzing with people on a Sunday. I took a picture of one of the statues and when I looked at the picture later it had a ghost image. I realised later I must have shaken the camera and got a random setting of Salvador 84 and DC which causes a ghosting but the next pictures are back to my usual setting so that is really spooky.

Saturday 25 April 2015

Day 115 of 365 Day Challenge

I am absolutely loving the new Snapseed app release.

When I first opened it I was a bit dismayed because I had got used to the original setup and it felt different and not so easy to use but it has been surprising how quickly I adapted to it. In terms of cleaning up photos, I don't believe anything beats it now. On the way to get groceries today, I saw loads of bees hovering around some lilies. Just the perfect photo opportunity. When I got home it was straight into Snapseed and voila, I have my photo for the day. No other app needed.

Friday 24 April 2015

Day 114 of 365 Day Challenge

Have you ever walked out of a cafe and forgotten to pay? Well, it happened to me today and it is always something you dread.

I went to this wonderful little French cafe called, Cafe Lavande, which is towards the top of the Mid-Levels escalator at 4A Prince's Terrace. The cakes look absolutely delicious but I settled for a lovely cup of blossoming Chinese flower tea. The flower is in a ball and it slowly opens, releasing it's fragance and becomes this pretty submerged flower.

Anyhow, I had ordered the tea at the counter and because I had paid up front all day I had it in my head later on that I had paid. I sat for ages taking pictures of my cup of tea and finally left thinking that I had paid. I looked around to say goodbye to the young gentleman who had served me but he was not at the counter and the other young man was engrossed in the corner with something so I just walked out. I went a couple of steps down to a fab takeaway shop where I occasionally buy half a rotisserie chicken for supper. As I got outside the young gentleman from the cafe was standing outside waiting for me and I smiled and said hello and then he asked me if I had paid! I blinked a couple of times in shock, I think, and then it slowly dawned on me that in fact I had not. I apologised profusely and he was very understanding.

So I just want to thank him for the dignified and gracious way in which he approached me as such an event is mortifying! I do so hope I have the courage to visit the cafe again because it really is a lovely little haven to have a drink and I often pass it on my way home. It is well worth a visit!

So today is a picture of the beautiful little flower that emerges from your ball of tea. Only the border is in iColorama otherwise the entire picture was edited in Snapseed, an app which is even better now with the new features. The photo was taken with VividHDR.

This second picture was taken with Camera+and also edited in Snapseed

This final picture was taken in Hipstamatic with no editing

Thursday 23 April 2015

Day 113 of 365 Day Challenge

Another day working indoors so it's back to experimenting with selfies.

Despite the limitations in Painterly, I love the ability to collage different photographs. It's possible to do a similar thing in both SketchClub and iColorama but I love the main brush in this and maybe it's just finding the right brush in the other two apps. Anyhow I did this manipulation by going backwards and forwards between Facetune, SketchClub, Painterly and iColorama. I also blended a mix from Diana. However it was chiefly done in Painterly.

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Day 112 of 365 Day Challenge

I went on a fabulous boat trip from Sai Kung today with my 'Golden Girls'. A lovely day leisurely talking, laughing, eating and swimming. You could not wish for more.

This next picture shows the boat coming back to the harbour.  Manipulated in Snapseed and PaintCan, it pretty much sums up the day - relaxing, good company.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Day 111 of 365 Day Challenge

I went with a friend to the Asian Society today chiefly to see the historical buildings which make up part of the site. These buildings are the Old Victoria Barracks which is a former explosives magazine. Within the complex there are four old military buildings built in the mid-nineteenth century for the production and storage of ammunition and explosives.

So today's photo is an old lantern perched in one of the buildings manipulated in iColorama, Superimpose and Stackables.

Monday 20 April 2015

Day 110 of 365 Day Challenge

Oh dear, haven't taken a photo today so another inspiration moment is necessary.

I'm not a fan of selfies but with all the tools at my disposal, it's not likely to look like me in the end and it doesn't!

Apps: iPad camera, Facetune, iColorama for the main face. The patterned infill was a previous manipulation abstracted in Circular.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Day 109 of 365 Day Challenge

I have been spending time messing around with the app, Painterly. It has a huge amount of potential especially as an app for collage. The results I have been getting almost feel like real canvases that I have collaged.

However it has a couple of major flaws. Firstly the only canvas is the iPad retina screen size and resolution. Very irritating if your photos are square. Also, If you are seriously thinking of printing out your work at some point, it's a real negative and I am now having to think seriously of weeding out any apps which don't have a good enough resolution.  Secondly, If you move your photo in the compose mode there doesn't seem to be a way of sizing it back to the original size/position which is annoying. The undo button doesn't work with this. The only way is to reload the photo. Thirdly, if you use a photo as your background it needs to be in portrait and the right size. If all these problems with the canvas were sorted I think it would become a serious contender in my 'paintbox'. Otherwise it might have to be ditched unfortunately. The app takes a little time to get use to and I definitely needed the help to work out how to use it.

Okay, with the gripes over with, one of the things I like which make it a little different from anything else are the rendering options. For example, you can paint in different blend modes and together with this chose a render mode such as drypoint which gives you outlines. I have achieved some interesting and surprising results this way. It's worth playing around with the combinations to see what you get. I like the background canvases the app provides and the fact that you can chose your own.

So here is today's picture which is a mashup of quite a few photos and manipulations. It started off completely differently and has been painted over a couple of times.

Friday 17 April 2015

Day 107 of 365 Day Challenge

It was a gorgeous day today and I decided to walk home through Hong Kong Park when I saw the length of the taxi queue even though I dreaded the 386 steps home at the end.

They have planted some lovely lilies since I was there last so this is today's picture.

Apps: Hipstamatic, Snapseed, SketchClub and iColorama.

Thursday 16 April 2015

Day 106 of 365 Day Challenge

I was in a fix today because I only took ONE photo for the whole day. I was preoccupied with other things so I wasn't actively looking for shoots. The actual photo was taken in another of my favourite hangouts, Cafeine which has the best coffee ever and the food is excellent too.

So it was into the apps to see what I could do....

In the end it was a combination of three photos. The first was today's photo and a photo of the cafe's business card plus a photo I took about a week ago of a cup of coffee.  I blended them in various ways with masks using SketchClub and iColorama. Here are the original pictures:

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Day 105 of 365 Day Challenge

I met a friend today to plan a trip into Shenzhen, China, next week and at the same time decided to go to Sham Shui Po to see if I could find some sewing bits and pieces for a hat I'm making and also to see if they had any hats I liked anyway. I've got a small head and find it very frustrating getting a hat.

Anyhow, Sham Shui Po is fascinating. There are three main roads of shops or street stalls that just sell buttons or beads or lace or fabric or leather bag making supplies not to mention electronic stuff. The first time you go it's really quite overwhelming and it's easy to get lost and go backwards and forwards along the same road because all the shops seem to look the same. Everytime I go into a shop and come out again I don't seem to remember from which way I entered and end up going back down the road I have just come up. I usually have a good sense of direction but here it just goes straight out of the window. However, this is my fourth visit and I think I am at last getting a feel for where everything is. It's important that if you find a shop you like you take a card and write down what you saw there otherwise you may never find it again or remember why you took the card!

Up to now it is amazing with all the supplies that I often come back empty handed but now I have started to get more methodical. Language is sometimes a problem so you have to be prepared to go into a shop and search it from top to bottom. I come back from a visit here absolutely knackered.

It's better for sewing accessories than fabric itself unless you want to buy a lot. There are tons of shops with swatches but you have to order the fabric and you need to purchase quite a lot of metres so it doesn't serve my purpose. There are some street stalls with fabrics but none as nice as the fabrics I can get home in Surrey and London.

So today's picture is a picture of some of the rolls of sewing tape you can buy and then a picture of a typical ribbon and lace shop. Taken with Hipstamatic (Helga Viking + Kodot Grizzed) on the iPhone 6

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Day 104 of 365 Day Challenge

I had to go into Central Hong Kong today to do some shopping and decided to pop into my favourite little French restaurant, Les Fils à Maman, for a light lunch. It's down a small allleyway off Hollywood road near the PMQ and for me it's a lovely little rest stop. It's in a square and today there were some Chinese men playing a game with stick cards. Further on is some cheeky graffitti on the wall and this is today's picture.

Taken with Hipstamatic (Helga Viking + Kodot XGrizzled) with a slight tune up in Snapseed.

Monday 13 April 2015

Day 103 of 365 Day Challenge

I didn't go out today so had to get creative again. I got the interesting shadow quite by accident which gave me the idea.

Apps: Hipstamatic, Camera+, Superimpose, Snapseed, iColorama

Sunday 12 April 2015

Day 102 of 365 Day Challenge

We went out for a walk today along Bowen Road which is famous in Hong Kong for its joggers and dog walkers because part of it is a leafy, flat custom made joggers/walking track. I have my iphone with me but there are not a lot of flowers here so it's a case of either getting a picture of a good view or a good one of people and their dogs. However I actually did find a pile of fallen dead flowers which I thought would make an interesting photo. When I got it home I realised that it looked pretty dire and my other pictures weren't up to much so I decided I would have to use it. So here is the final result followed by the original picture.

So to clean it up I loaded it into SketchClub and outlined the flowers in white on another layer using the sketch pen. On another layer beneath this I coloured in the blackened parts of the flowers with either green or red.

I saved this and then took it into Brushstrokes to find a painterly effect that would make the whole picture more consistently like a painting.  I also tried Glazed an example of which is below.

Saturday 11 April 2015

Day 101 of 365 Day Challenge

It's been cold the last couple of days in Hong Kong and going out on a rainy day today it was not going to be easy to get a picture on the hoof.

In Wan Chai, one of my favourite buildings is The Pawn, one of the few old colonial buildings left. As the name implies it once was a Chinese pawn shop and is now an upmarket shop and restaurant. The restaurant is pretty pricey but we had a great brunch there one Sunday. So that is today's picture. I have included the process.

The picture itself was rather ordinary so I had to think of a way of spicing it up.

I sometimes like to use Portray to give a sketched look but it reduces the pixels and changes the size to the iPad size so I don't use it often. As my photo size was square I needed to first change it to the iPad size otherwise the new sketch becomes impossible to blend back with the original.

I open SketchClub and choose the retina canvas size 1536x2048. I then go to the layers and load the image and then export the result.

This I take into Portray. I go to the filters and choose Acrylic Paints and Distressed Card. I then rub over the people and some parts of the building that I want emphasised.

Back in SketchClub I load this image above the original and change the blend mode to Screen. I want to bring back some of the umbrellas and people so I choose the eraser tool, reduce the opacity to about 17% and the size to 54. I zoom in close and lightly erase the areas I want to bring back.

Then it's into Snapseed to change the size to a square again and to tune it bit with some ambience and warmth.

Friday 10 April 2015

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Day 98 of 365 Day Challenge

For people who don't know, Hong Kong has hundreds of fabulous walks and hiking is very popular.

So today I went on a hike with 7 other ladies in the Sai Kung East Country Park. This to me is one the prettiest walks I have done in Hong Kong displaying beautiful coastlines of spectacular rock formations which makes up what is called Hong Kong's Geopark.

Today's picture is one of the natural rock faces which makes this area so special. Weathering has caused this volcanic rock to form hexagonal columns.

Here are two more pictures showing the beautiful coastline and beaches:

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Day 97 of 365 Day Challenge

Our last day in Borneo. A sign of a good holiday is that you want to stay for longer. Sigh.

I took a photo of this locust on a lounger and loved the way he blended with the colours of the canvas. Taken with Camera+ and cropped and tuned in Snapseed. Textured in Stackables.

Monday 6 April 2015

Day 96 of 365 Day Challenge

Our resort has it's own nature reserve and we went on the nocturnal walk last night and saw a green viper, a mouse deer and a civet cat. Today we went to see them feeding the two orangutan youngsters who are being rehabilitated to go back into the wild. My picture for today was going to be the orangutan but it is our last evening and the sunset was so stunning I just had to use that instead.

Camera+, Snapseed, retouch.

However I have included a picture of the orangutan. I used my telephoto lens and again I struggled to get sharp pictures. They do not compare with what I can get with my Panasonic LUMIX but with a little tweaking the best ones were okay.

Taken with Camera+, cropped and enhanced in Snapseed and a texture formula applied in Stackables.

Sunday 5 April 2015

Day 95 of 365 Day Challenge


Mr and Mrs Easter Bunny were out today, so well it had to be didn't it.

I took the image with Camera+ and cropped and tuned it in Snapseed. Then I created a pastel background in iColorama although this disappeared at the end. I cut out the two bunnies in Photoshop Touch and then took it into SketchClub to emphasis the painted faces and to add the new background. Then it was into Repix to posterise the background and parts of the bunnies. To give it a fun look I took it into Aerograph and found an effect I like. Lastly, back into SketchClub to clean up the faces by erasing them with a low opacity to bring the previous faces back in.

Saturday 4 April 2015

Day 94 of 365 Day Challenge

I am amazed at the size of some of the insects here. Massive hornets or what I think are hornets. Then there are these massive bees, which with a quick internet search, I find out is a Carpenter Bee and this is today's picture. Taken with Hipstamatic, cropped and tuned with Snapseed with a slight alteration in Superimpose.

Friday 3 April 2015

Day 93 of 365 Day Challenge

We had a superb day today and a gorgeous sunset here in Borneo. The sea temperature is just sublime which is just as well because it's hot and humid. The powdery white sand is too hot to walk on so it's rather comical watching everybody wade through it in their flip flops.

So today's picture was taken with Hipstamatic (Helga Viking + Kodot XGrizzled). The problem with taking the horizon with an iPhone is that it is difficult to take it without it being skew especially if you are taking a quick shot and there are no guidelines in Hipstamatic. So yes, the horizon is slightly skew but I'm leaving it. I did punch up the colour and silhouette in Snapseed.

Another picture taken looking towards the hotel. Cropped in Snapseed.

Thursday 2 April 2015

Day 92 of 365 Day Challenge

It's a travel day today which means not much time to get today's photo. We have arrived in the evening at our resort in Borneo so I am rushing around trying to get a couple of shots before we have supper and retire. Hopefully I will have some interesting ones tomorrow.

Taken with the Hipstamatic App on iPhone 6 with a slight touch up in Retouch.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Day 91 of 365 Day Challenge

I went hiking today with 9 of my friends around the Aberdeen Reservoir in Hong Kong. It was a lovely day and a very enjoyable stroll catching up with everybody and enjoying the countryside and watching the black kites circling around.

There is lots of dense bush and not many flowers but towards the end of the walk I managed to get a couple of shots of little flowers, so today's picture is yet another flower and below that are some shots of the reservoir and the view. The flower was taken with the Hipstamatic app and the others with a new HDR camera app that I am testing. I set the highlights quite low for the latter shots because it was a very hazy with a sharp light so they have come out perhaps a little dark but I was very pleased with the results considering the harsh light and it is easier to lighten them later than make them darker.