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Sometimes you just get lucky and find a potential subject to photograph without even thinking about it. But you have to have your camera with you to get that photograph, although nowadays, that’s not too hard, as most people who have a cell phone have a camera with them.  According to Mylio

….it’s estimated that about 7.5 billion people will be living on our planet in 2017. Let’s say 5 billion have a mobile phone and approximately 80% of those phones have a built-in camera. That comes to about 4 billion people who can take photographs with their phones. It’s further estimated that on average they each take 10 photographs per day – 3650 per year. That’s a whopping 14,600,000,000,000 photographs annually…or to put it another way, just over 14 trillion photographs.

So when Ralph Gibson said in 1972;

Traditionally, photography has dealt with recording the world as it is found. Before photography appeared the fine artists of the time, the painters and sculptors, concerned themselves with rendering reality with as much likeness as their skill enabled. Photography, however, made artistic reality much more available, more quickly and on a much broader scale.

Ralph had no idea of the impact that cell phones would have to the world of photography. Certainly, photographs can be made available much more quickly, one click of a button and you can share a photograph with the world. And with so many people using the camera in their cell phones, there’s no doubt it’s on a much broader scale. But how many of those 14 trillion photographs are artistic…….

To this weeks challenge

Several years back I had the good fortune to be in Universal Studios, Florida. It was coming up to Halloween and the props guys were setting up some special scenes in the streets.

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I’ve got a feeling they both had something to do with Terminator, they were still setting up, so it’s hard to be sure.

Street Scene


Anyway, that’s it for this week. here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Die and Dazzle – Fill and Feel
On the road through my lens – And the penny drops…
Steps A Round – Kimberly Balles Photography
Deep in Thought- The Road Taken – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Louise-in-Btween- Embracing the Day Sunrise Road
Jackobo’s Photoblog The Road to the Top
Simply Photos Mule Train Route
Anvica’s gallery The Road Taken
The Yorkshire Dales  – Elaine’s Journey of Spiritual Awakening
Weekly Photo Challenge- The Road Taken – NJClicks


Weekly Photo Challenge: Art Imitates Life

I have searched through my back catalogue of photographs and managed to find absolutely nothing that I could use. Maybe I just don’t have any imagination. Then I had another thought. Why don’t I just twist everything around and create some art imitating life.

Carnival Queen

Everything you see in this weeks post originally started life as a photograph shot at the Weston-super-Mare Carnival several years back. But then I decided to have a little play in Photoshop with some of my favourite plugins


“They . . . asked me:
“‘How do you make your pictures?’ I was puzzled . . .
“I said, ‘I don’t know, it’s not important.’ – Henri Cartier-Bresson


It’s been a while since I did anything like this. I’d forgotten how much fun it can be to just do something different and it makes a change from trying to master those pesky Luminosity Masks.

Doctor Evil

Photoshop is useful in many ways but must NEVER be used for the altering of photographs. My assistants and my agency do whatever Photoshop work for me that may be required as it is too complicated for my brain. – Elliott Erwitt

The Clown
I’ve always liked the one above, notice I don’t call it a photograph because it no longer is. I don’t know what you would call it now. Any suggestions?

The Red Hood

…painting is something you do. You make a painting. You don’t make a photograph. You see a photograph. Photography is seeing only, you see it, you release the shutter, you use your aperture, your machine and once you’ve seen it, that’s it. It’s done. – Jurgen Schadeberg

The Mask
That wraps it up for this week, I hope you enjoyed the artwork? Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge….

Life imitates art – the walking pencil
The Imitation Game – Story of My Life
LargeSelf Weekly Photo Challenge – Life Imitates Art
Glass Manifestations Dog Imitates Art
Art imitates life – A Journey Called Life …
Life Imitating Art – Mostly Monochrome
Mama Cormier Life Imitates Art
Life Imitates Art …. – Rose Bay Letters
Jennifer Nichole Wells Life Imitates Art
Maria Morera Johnson WPC- Life Imitates Art

Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

Another week and another challenge. I suppose it’s inevitable that at some time the  challenge theme is going to repeat.  On the 1st of November 2013 Cheri asked us to write about something Eerie. It’s not too hard to jump from Eerie to Creepy which is this weeks challenge theme.

A long time ago I used to experiment with composite images and digital blending. Some of the creations I would come up with were quite creepy; like this one of a stone gargoyle from the side of a church blended with a set of human eyes. I was also into framing all of my work at the time.

Looking At You

Later I developed a more dark and sombre mood  as you can see from this next one.

The Red Monk

The good thing about this type of work; I was teaching myself to use Photoshop, blending  layers, lighting, brushes etc. All of which were to come in handy later. This next one was a composite of so many of those techniques I mentioned above. The background is a photograph of trees in the fog, layered with a blue cast and some dark textures. Next the girl was cut-out from her original background and blended into the photograph using a slightly transparent layer. Brushes were used for the lightning and the flying birds.

Girl in Blue

Talking of brushes. The next two works were created solely using Photoshop brushes. Oops! I tell a lie. The moon was mine. but everything else came from various Photoshop brushes


Definitely all brushes this time. Can you see an underlying theme to all of these works?


Finally, I give you… “Come Play With Me”. Once again, it’s a composite made of several layers of photographs combined with Photoshop brushes.

grunge industrial background

Here’s what other bloggers are writing about this subject;

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

This weeks challenge photograph or should I say Digital Art is a composite made from several photographs, textures and text layers. Winter is a coming in and during the winter months I usually end up creating several pieces of art work sometimes from my own photographs and textures or from freely available stock. As usual when I do this I will cite at the end of the article where I sourced the stock from.

The challenge this week was to create cover art and I decided to go with a book cover, probably science-fiction, but it could probably fit into other genres as well.

The old stone building with staircase and entrance

You can see the separate elements here, the monk, the clock, the arch and stairs. Add some textures and a bit of text, then blend it all together in Photoshop to produce the final result. My thanks to Marcus J Ranum for the use of the Red Monk which I have used before in other artwork. The Archway and Stairs was a piece of stock that I got free a long time ago from Fotolia. The Clock Face is from a series of textures provided by So-ghislaine on DeviantArt. Other textures used came from the excellent addition to Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 called Adobe Texture Pro. Other than those I’ve already mentioned everything else in this piece of work is the product of my imagination and Photoshop.

Digital Art

Vintage paper with plenty of copyspace for text

Way back in the dim and distant past I used to create a lot of images like this using backgrounds I had created and photographed. I would then add the subject such as the lighthouse and blend the two together.

In this one I have used a stock image from Fotolia and then blended in one of my photographs of Talacre Lighthouse.

I had forgotten how much fun it was, playing around in Photoshop to get the effect I wanted, blending layers and brushing in/out parts of the various photographs.

In fact I enjoyed it so much you might just see some more like this. But what do you think? Should I feature more digital art?

Fun with Photoshop Brushes

If you are a digital artist or photographer can you can make use of the Photoshop brushes for all sorts of effects such as this.

My thanks to Sunira for the use of the Galaxy Brushes which form the background to this and to Free-Brushes


But what is a brush? Brushes in Photoshop and other graphics programs are used to determine the shape of the line you paint with when you use the paint brush tool. They also determine the shape of the eraser when you erase around an image or through it. Using brushes you create artistic images, and, if you have a good selection of brushes, you may not even want to use photos.  You can create some wonderful images using just the brushes, colours, blends and filters. A quick search for “Photoshop brushes” in Google will show there are literally thousands upon thousands of brushes available, some are free, others you would have to buy.

Some more examples of what can be achieved using brushes

My thanks to Sunira for the use of the Galaxy Brushes which form the background to this and to wyckedbrush for the Eerie Pack. You can find them both on


So what are the limitations, personally I don’t think there are any, other than your own imagination. So go on, have a go, you might bring that creative devil out…

IHC – MyFinePix

IHC stands for “In House Competition” which is a weekly ” just for fun” competition available on the MyFinePix website. Although the site is aimed at Fuji Camera users, there are a good few other cameras represented. There are two IHC’s running at any time. One for manipulated images and one for straight out of the camera with no real post processing, well, maybe a bit of cropping and straightening. In addition there is also a daily challenge, you know the type, “walk down the road 100 metres from your house and photograph the most interesting thing you see” type of challenge.

The manipulated challenge for this week is to create a picture with lots of other images. There are plenty of Photoshop tutorials which will show you how to do this but just as equally you can download, freely available software from the internet, which will do the task, faster, easier and usually with better results than using Photoshop. I suppose that’s cheating but I’m all for the easy life……….especially where Photoshop is concerned.

In no time I found a little piece of software called AndreaMosaic. It’s easy to use and I was quickly producing Mosaics like this with it

Now I’ve never been one for the simple life, even although that’s what I say in the paragraph above. So I couldn’t leave my mosaic like this, especially as I was going to be putting it into the IHC. Time to fire up Photoshop……

Now that’s much better