This image was made as I toasted crumpets for breakfast on Saturday morning. We like real butter on crumpets, not margarine. Margarine is easier to spread but it doesn’t taste as good IMO. Butter from the fridge is too hard for spreading so I cut a slice off a 500gm pack. (I remember buying butter in 4oz "sticks" in the US.) The butter went into the microwave for some gentle softening, but I left it several seconds too long and a round puddle developed where the butter melted. The slice was cut from the end of the pack and the lines and texture are the imprints left by the foil backed wrap. The only editing was the square crop and a slight adjustment to the saturation. Seeing an interesting image in a mundane packet of butter may seem odd, but I suspect my friend in the US and I have been seeing these things for years. We now reach for a camera and record it! Is it truely our eyes we are training, or is it growing the habit of having a camera handy? Slowing down to make time to see things doesn’t seem to be a normal MO for either of us but I love how this project has made me more appreciative of the small, everyday details.
This morning I had my usual two coffees. I noticed my husband's freshly washed blue jeans folded on the table and thought the blue might make a good background to the coffee cup. It worked but I thought the blue looked a bit bland. That was solved by a portion of an image from last night's visit to Festa, smoke from one of the installations, lit with a blue light. I altered the opacity of the layer and masked it back from the cup. Again, a favourite blue/gold combination working well, with receding and advancing colours. The cloud like pattern looks like sky, but it is simply smoke overlaying blue jeans! It could also be some sort of geothermal pool with steam coming from the water - maybe???
As I watched a Youtube video this morning, and as it was quite long, I became distracted at one point by the sun coming in the east window of the living room. It was picking out a glass coaster on the marble top of the coffee table and reflecting the new leaves on the cherry tree outside the window. I paused the video and reached for the camera to try to capture the refections in the heart shape etched into the glass coaster, but it was impossible to get the camera to see what my eye was seeing. I gave up and finished watching the video, but the coaster played on my mind while I watched. I rearranged three coasters to catch the light and used a torch to add some extra light into the side of the stack. My intention was to convert it to B&W, but as I liked the colour version much more, when edited the image I decided not to convert it. I have added some saturation in NIK and applied a square crop, then added a levels layer to increase the colours. I like the translucency of the glass making the colours change as the glass layers altered the opacity of the stack.
B&W was stymied this morning! A change is as good as a holiday, so they say.
I decided to follow through with a project I’ve had in mind for some time, to photograph crumpled bed sheets each morning, for a month, for a portfolio. The idea came to me first in a hotel room a few years ago, then when we were in Waikanae on the way to the Jaguar rally last Easter (“Rested”, Week 9 of Project 52). And then a photography friend who lives in the North Island did a similar thing, but she printed hers on tiny glass slides. Glass slides in a portfolio would be too risky, and I didn’t want to copy her idea of putting them onto glass, although I loved the contrast of a warm, comfortable, soft bed, with the fragility of her glass slides. I’ve put mine together as a grid, and am happy with the printed result, five across and six down. This image is a composite of the last three days, after messing about with layer blending and opacity.
I made this image a few days ago. It was just a sudden thing. I had thought I’d make an image of my husband’s 29 babies - his tomato plants, grown from seed saved from last year. This year he planted 29 seeds and 29 came up. Last year he thought he planted 30, and 89 came up. We thought there would be an abundance of tomatoes, but they didn’t do that well. He planted the seeds in seed raising mix and then potted them on into little peat pots which are supposed to break down in the soil. The idea is to plant the seedling, pot and all, and the pot breaks down. The pots didn’t break down so the roots were sadly compromised. We gave quite a few away, and said nothing when people told us their tomatoes hadn’t done very well! The thought was there. This year we’ll do it differently. The seedings will not be planted in the pots, so the roots should develop properly. What a long story, and nothing to do with this week’s image, because the tiny plants didn’t photograph well enough. Sorry, back to the point.....
When I came back inside the sun was on exactly the right place in the late afternoon to catch the spiral binding on a notebook I had left open on the back of the couch in the living room. We photographers all know how quickly the sun moves so it was a mad dash for the camera and macro again (I’m making a habit of this) before the sun moved away and the book wouldn’t have been at the right height anymore. I made a few exposures, but this one seemed to me to have the most interesting composition. After a few exposures I realised the white balance was set to something weird and the white pages had rendered an unattractive smoky yellow, hence the decision to lose the colour.
Each week I'll publish a new image as part of a joint Project 52, with my friend in the USA. We both make an image every week, and send them to each other. We are now in the 2nd year of this project. We find it challenging, stimulating and fun. Life should be fun.