Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sea and Birds, Soul and Silence

Hilton Head Island, SC

I like the sea: we understand one another. It is always yearning, sighing for something it cannot have; and so am I. ~Greta Garbo

I'm linking up with Poetry Pantry today, and posting a poem I've written this past week after returning from our wonderful vacation in Hilton Head Island, SC. I always write a poem about the ocean when we's such a spiritual place for me, to walk beside the water. I always know that a new poem will be coming when we go to the beach. The photo is one I took while we were there. Thanks so much for stopping by.


My lungs are full with
Sea and birds
Soul and silence
Sparkles and glints
Clouds and wild air

My ear against a shell, my
Soul spiraling into cool waters
To swim with heavenly stars
Etched into centers
Of sand dollars

Water-moon of a seashore
Starshine of an ocean twilight
Sunlight and ripe mango
Magnolia petals perfuming
The dusk

A poem comes, so simply made
From my breath, from
The essence of salty air
Inked and scrawled with
The drips and smears of sunset.

© Sherri Brannon

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Heart of the Great Ocean


Hear those mournful melodies;
Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,

And the heart of the great ocean

Sends a thrilling pulse through me
. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hello blog friends, I'm back from vacation...what a fantastic time we had. I took almost 900 photos with my "real" camera, and another 500 with my iPhone. I've only processed one photo so far - I think I'll be busy editing for awhile. Of course, you know how it is - out of all those photos, I'll like maybe one out of every ten. I will definitely be sharing some of my favorites here on my blog for the rest of the summer!

As always, being near the ocean reduced my stress significantly...there's something about that salty air and the sound of the waves. It soothes the spirit. Hilton Head Island, SC is truly one of our most favorite places in the world. I can't wait to go back! We've been going there on vacation for 11 years now. The clouds were spectacular this time around.

I'm linking up with Texture Tuesday today - I used Kim's "Touch of Two" texture at Soft Light/30% for this image. I also tweaked it in RadLab.

Thanks so much for stopping by - my summer schedule will still be busy for a few more weeks. The second half of August will finally slow down a bit and by then I hope to be blogging more regularly again. Have a great Tuesday!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Gone To The Beach

Hilton Head Island

Tomorrow we head south for the beach - I can't wait to put my toes in the sand and walk beside the ocean. Hilton Head Island, here we come! See you when I get back - have a lovely week, blog world. :)

This is my photo of Hilton Head that still remains my favorite photo taken ever...I could stare at it all day. Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Matte for the Win









I have discovered a new app on my iPhone recently that has quickly become my favorite. It's called Vscocam and many of its filters create that beautiful matte appearance that I find so pleasing to the eye. I can't get enough of it! Here is an iPhone example, and the beautiful subjects happen to be my daughter and her boyfriend. :)

I began wondering how to achieve this matte appearance with my photos in PSE, and a little Google research gave me a quick way to replicate the look. The effect isn't quite as extreme as that of Vscocam, but it's close enough that I'll take it! It's super easy, too. All you have to do is create a new Levels layer in PSE, and then move the black output levels pointer to the RIGHT until you're happy with the matte appearance. It's also important that your image already contain some good contrast before you take this step. I've included a screen shot of my PSE levels panel at the bottom of this post so you can see what I'm talking about - in my example, I have moved the black pointer to the right from 0 to 54.

I'm so happy to have learned this new trick and I'm sharing some more of my recent photos using this matte effect, including an image of a fallen butterfly. I felt sad taking photos of this dying insect, but its wings were so gorgeous that I had to capture their beauty...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dreamy Summer Days

dreamy summer days

dreamy summer days

dreamy summer days

dreamy summer days

dreamy summer days

dreamy summer days

dreamy summer days

Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world. ~Pema Chödrön

What a lovely quote...the older I get, the more I treasure the simple things. They bring me such comfort and happiness. Stepping outside with my camera and trying to capture the things I see every day is a very good way to remind myself of this. These are some shots of plants and flowers in my yard...I walk past them often and many times am too busy to even notice. But with my camera in hand, I'm forced to stop and take it all in.

Taking these photos reminds me that beautiful things are all around things that continue growing, thriving, and reaching for the sky even as I stress over my daily to do list. When I'm in this photo-taking frame of mind, my blood pressure drops and I automatically breathe easier. People always say that exercise is a great stress-reliever, and I agree...but so is photography! It forces you inward, takes your mind off your worries, and allows you to focus on something outside yourself.

I'm linking up today with Kim Klassen's Texture the second photo above, looking up at the trees in my back yard, I used her "Touch of One" texture at Multiply/100%. I also put all of these images into Radlab to achieve the wonderful, dreamy appearance. I love this captures the essence of summer memories, I think - those memories of summer we all reach for once winter comes and warm, green days are long behind us.


Friday, July 5, 2013

A Glance at The Glory

hydrangea love

For what is it to be a poet? It is to see at a glance the glory of the world, to see beauty in all its forms and manifestations, to feel ugliness like a pain, to resent the wrongs of others as bitterly as one’s own, to know mankind as others know single men, to know Nature as botanists know a flower, to be thought a fool, to hear at moments the clear voice of God. ~Dunsany

Ah, yes. Perfectly expressed. How are you blog world? I just wanted to say hello to all my fellow blog friends. This summer is incredibly busy and it has taken away most of my blog time. I look forward to the end of August when things will slow down again! In the meantime, I thought I'd post an iphone photo I took a couple days ago of a gorgeous hydrangea bush in Occoquan, Virginia. I'm also including a beautiful quote about poetry. My iphoneography is keeping me busy in between all my commitments, and my poetic muse is always close by, nudging me even when I'm too busy to pay attention. I hope everyone is having a great summer - thank you for stopping by!

The apps I used for this iphone image are: Snapseed, Vscocam, and Mystic (for the circle frame and text). Three of my absolute favorites - I highly recommend them!