Friday, June 29, 2012


Photo Art Friday

For Photo Art Friday this week, Bonnie suggested we create a "painterly" image. I used this photo I took earlier in the week when I visited my favorite little town of Occoquan, VA. I needed a flower fix! They always have pretty flowers blooming here and there on their quaint, shop-filled streets. I chose this image because it had a dark background and I thought it might be more dramatic...I was happy with the effect and how the sun-soaked buds pop. I used Bonnie's "Painterly Texture" on this image, at Soft Light/32%. I also used an old book cover texture to give it even more of a canvas appearance. I LOVE to go in search of old, public domain book covers on places like Wikimedia Commons...they make wonderful textures in PSE!

I'm also linking this to Leanne's Flower Art Friday, which I'm happy to be able to participate in this week. Happy Friday, everyone!

Photo Art Fridayphotosbyleanne

Original Image and Book Cover:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

This or That Thursday

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

~William Henry Davies

I can't believe I've barely begun the processing of my vacation photos...we've been home for a month now! I'm slowly going through them each week and today I thought I'd share the latest ones I've edited. Isn't that a cool car? We walked by it and I couldn't resist taking a picture. I'm ready to go back to the beach! lol. Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Reaching: Why Do I Blog?

reaching tendril

I’m participating in Kim Klassen's and Xanthe’s online class “Behind the Scenes: A Creative Guide to Blogging Your Passion.” I’m very excited to be a part of it, and look forward to learning lots about my blogging and how I can improve on it. I enjoy blogging so much and know so little – this will be a great learning experience. Our first assignment was to answer the question, “Why Do I Blog”? It was interesting to ponder over this - clarifying it felt good.

I blog for two main reasons: One, because I’m creative and have been unable to find fellow kindred spirits in my real life…I’m surrounded by lovely, but practical, people who have no interest in (or time for) artistic things. For many years I kept this artistic, poetic side of myself hidden because I had no one to share it with and felt odd for being this “creatively yearning” person. The yearning was unwavering and such a part of me on a daily basis. Second, I’m an introvert – quiet and shy in real life. It’s harder for me to share my truth face to face; it makes me feel too vulnerable. I’m much better at revealing myself with writing rather than speaking…writing, whether it’s poetry or a blog post, gives me time to compose my thoughts.

Ultimately, blogging for me is about connecting and sharing with people who relate to me and the creative things I love to do. The little communities within my blog world GET me, accept me, encourage me, support me…it’s a lovely thing. And in return, I love to do the same for others by interacting with and encouraging some really wonderful people. Blogging empowers me to express myself, and expression is vital to who I am. To not express starves my soul's longing...I've done that, and it's not a good feeling (poem below). Blogging allows me to share my heart with less anxiety and more bravado. The buffer of the computer screen – having it as my armor - gives me courage. Reaching through the computer screen – connecting with others - gives me validation. As I move forward with this blog, I want to try and gather my love of poetry, images, and art into a more cohesive unit. My camera and PSE are the common threads that have tied these all together for me – I believe I discovered photography for this reason, and I’m incredibly grateful!


Chapters of my life
Held tightly to my chest
Bound firmly by the most
Delicate of memories
Crescent-moon shadows
Underneath my nails
My hands keep reaching
For bookmarked feathers
Gripping empty pages
Where words surely
Should escape
The sun is setting
On the vibrant spaces
Between my fingers
Tales trapped in my heart
Rattling in their cages
And I hum
In twilight's silence
My soft, unspoken songs.

© Sherri Brannon

Monday, June 25, 2012

iPhone Monday

I'm going to try and make Mondays my day to post about my iphone as long as life isn't too busy. Today I thought I'd share a few before and after shots with Snapseed, which is my favorite app to "fix" my iphone photos. I always go to this app first to brighten, saturate, sharpen, etc. Here are a few that I tweaked in Snapseed:

Before & After:
iphone ruby beforeiphone ruby after

iphone marbles beforeiphone marbles after

iphone two vases beforeiphone two vases after

Quite a difference, right? I'm so glad I learned about this app. Here are a few others I wanted to share:

This one is a continuation of the one above of my dog. After processing it in Snapseed, I put it into Picfx first and chose the "smog" filter (I believe it's under the Classics set). Normally, I reduce the opacity, but in this instance I kept it at 100% because I really liked the look. I saved it to my library and then reopened it in Phonto, where I added the text. (Please excuse the background - Ruby was laying by the last of my daughter's unpacked college dorm stuff in the basement!) *oops*
iphone Ruby precious

This was a photo I snapped very quickly (and I actually took this one while on vacation - I'm just now getting around to playing with it) while trying to capture all those birds in the sky. I love how I got the beach house in the corner. I used Snapseed and Picfx for this photo...I don't remember which filter I used, but it was minimal.
iphone beach house corner

Another vacation photo - Snapseed and Picfx. I love Picfx because it has the option of adding more and more filters until you're happy. To do this, you choose "Add another" as your option when saving, and it will save your photo with the current filter and be ready for you to continue adding on. You can repeat this over and over until you're happy. And because you can reduce the opacity of each filter (by tapping the screen and using the bar on the right to lower it), you can very gradually add subtle changes.
iphone sand dunes houses

I hope this info might be helpful to someone who's curious about camera apps...the key is just to dive in and experiment - it's a whole lot of fun! Have a lovely Monday~~

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Another week of challenging prompts - these required some thinking! Thank goodness there aren't strict rules here and we can stretch things a bit. :)

1. Gear. I was struggling with this one...and then I came across this butterfly wing in my yard. Poor butterfly...this was a very important part of her flying gear. It made me sad to see it, but it was too beautiful not to photograph.
butterfly wing

2. Warped. The only warped thing I could think of are the watercolor papers I paint on. They always warp on's an ongoing problem.
warped paper

3. Marble. I liked that when I uploaded this photo and saw it full-sized, I could see the reflection of me with my camera inside each marble!

4. Concentric Circles. Again, completely stumped...until I remembered this spider in her web. If you scrunch your eyes up just right, you can kind of make out the web and see it's concentric Someone who knows all the ins and outs of PSE could probably make the web stand out more, but this was the best I could do. Tips, anyone? Is there a trick to making fine lines like this web pop a little more? I'd love to know!
spider web

5. Glazed. This beautiful glazed, ceramic pot of flowers was at the Botanical Gardens...I pulled this one from my archives because I remembered how pretty it was.
glazed pot with flowers

Friday, June 22, 2012


vintage effect

Bonnie's suggested prompt for this week's Photo Art Friday was to create a vintage look with a photo. I chose this image I took of a field in Warrenton, VA and worked with it until it looked "old". I used various textures, including Bonnie's "Age It" texture. It looks so lonely and desolate, as a lot of old photos do - but I like the effect! Please click on the button below to visit Bonnie's blog and see more wonderful photo art. I'm also including a poem I wrote about loneliness - it seemed to fit so well with my image. I was trying to convey that hollow feeling of "aloneness" we all feel sometimes, even when we're surrounded by love - it's a burden of our human consciousness that we must bear.


Loneliness endures
Pressed like dead flowers
Between the pages
Of our lives
Swelling in our bellies
Hungry in the pockets
Of our jackets
Alongside hidden hands
With trembling fingers
And our polite lips
Reveal nothing

Loneliness is a ghost
A beastly spirit
Flying over our town
Settling at our bedsides
Begging for a fight, and
We're not the fighting kind
Haunting our hearts
Floating in our yards
Flooding our eyes and
Darkening our skies
As night comes on

Loneliness caws
From the crook of our lungs
Like a melancholy blackbird
Shivering on a fir
Anguish in her breast
Braced against the wind
While thick, pale clouds
Suffocate the moon
And the angels
In the rain
Are out of earshot

Loneliness overtakes
The hush of our minds
With the musty burden
Of a gray-green moss
Coating our souls' panes
With a stark, aching frost
While a clock ticks
In an empty field
And our hearts beat
Calmly, steadily,
Dying for a touch.

© Sherri Brannon

Photo Art Friday

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stormy Weather

storm at sea

Storm at sea

storm at sea

I thought I'd share a few photos of a storm that passed through while we were in Hilton Head a few weeks was one of those storms that just stayed out on the water and then went away. Those are the best kind...they look pretty from a distance but you don't get wet! These images were taken at Harbour Town near the lighthouse. I'm still slowly going through all of my vacation photos - there are so many.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June Blooms


Hosta bud

On the fence hydrangea

What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade. ~Gertrude Jekyll

The only color I have left in my shady yard right now is from my hydrangea bush, astilbe plant, and hostas, so I thought I'd share a few images. They're so pretty! I used Kim's "peony" texture on the first photo, which is my submission for this week's Texture Tuesday.


Monday, June 18, 2012

iPhone Monday

spider plant

back yard at sunset

screened porch at sunset

I'm trying to make a regular habit of taking photos with my iphone and practicing with my camera apps. I thought I'd post a few more I've taken this past week...these were all taken during sunset in my back yard. I mainly used Snapseed to "fine tune" the photos, and then Picfx to add filters. Picfx has a wonderful filter under their Light set that's called "Burnt Film". I've discovered that it adds ambiance to photos when you want to enhance the sunset look. I find myself using it quite a bit for that purpose (with the opacity reduced for a more subtle effect).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

The prompts for this week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday were challenging! No "one word" prompts this week...we're talking full-blown sentences! lol.

1. Meet Me at the Corner. We went to the Baltimore Aquarium at the Inner Harbor yesterday. There were corners everywhere for us to meet at, and there were also GAZILLIONS of people. I think everyone had the same idea to go there because of the gorgeous weather!
Baltimore Inner Harbor

2. What's Wrong With This Pic? My husband and I were walking through the forest reserve park while at Hilton Head, and a beautiful heron suddenly walked out onto the path right in front of us. We were so surprised! He didn't seem to mind us being nearby, and stood there unperturbed while we took pictures.
blue heron

3. Mother Nature Meets Technology. Hurricane Beryl affected Hilton Head Island the week we were there; thankfully, we only got winds and rain for about 24 hours. The clouds started rolling in on Monday afternoon and we made sure to head to the beach to get a peek. I snapped away with my camera (that's the technology part).
Hurricane Beryl Clouds

4. One Step at A Time. These two seagulls were scrounging for food, one step at a time.
Two seagulls

5. Standing Tall. While walking down a path on the island, I rounded a bend and saw these beautiful, towering pine trees.
Tall trees

Please visit Ashley's blog to see more great Scavenger Hunt Sunday photos (button below)!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Mother's Love


girly girl

Today is my daughter's 21st, how the time has flown. From birth, she has been a precious soul and such a light in our lives. Watching her grow into the young woman she is today makes me so proud!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Fly on the Wall


Well, maybe this fly wasn't on the wall...but he was on the sidewalk! For Photo Art Friday this week, we were to use an image with a lot of negative space. I took this photo of a really pretty fly (!) a couple weeks ago. I was standing outside with my camera and spotted him on our front walk. He had an interesting body with some bright yellow and black/white stripes. I added a couple of textures and also finished the image up in Radlab. I really enjoyed working with the negative space - it's almost like a blank canvas for all the textures. Thanks for the great prompt, Bonnie! To see more lovely photo art, click on the button below.

Photo Art Friday