Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some Joy Even in Mudville

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

That phrase "no joy in mudville" keeps running through my mind. While other bloggers post beautiful images of spring blossoms, I look at our barren place and think what is this about? While we have some beautiful days periodically, there are new mud puddles replacing the previous mud puddles which replaced the...you get the picture. The temps are still dropping into the 30's most nights. Plant ye your flowers if ye dare. We haven't dared.

Meanwhile, I have drowned the choruses of "woe is me" by returning to a flirtation with adding textures to photos. If anyone is to blame for encouraging me, it would be Mark Graf. After a couple of his recent posts rekindled my curiousity, I decided to give texturing another try. This time around I wised up (this is definitely thanks to Mark) and stopped trying to work with my own textures. Some things need to be left to the experts. There are textures out there created by people a whole lot smarter than me, and I regret wasting so much time before I got the message. (The bulk of the textures used here are from Shadowland.* More about that later.)
*Edit: Shadowhouse Creations is the correct name of the source. My face is red. Don't know what I was thinking about.

You may have guessed by the whine above that my blooms were photographed indoors. I am also experimenting with walking indoors. We have an old treadmill that has been stuck in the garage waiting for that famous garage sale we need to hold. I hadn't used the thing in years because each time I did my back acted up. I am ready to give it another go. So far, mixed reviews and hoping for gradual improvement.

Clearly, walking in our garage doesn't hold a candle to striking out on the lower valley trail headed for Cub Lake; but, it beats no walking at all. The trails are still fit only for the sure of foot, which doesn't describe me. So, the garage it is, for now. Yes, while a half hour flies by out on the trail, ten minutes in the garage crawls along at a glacial pace. Still, with sufficient rewards at the end medicine goes down a little more easily, right? Eventually, those trails will be dry again and I want to be ready.


  1. I just checked out Shadowhouse Creations and there are some great textures available. Much better than I usually can make. This image is superb.
    I think the hours on the treadmill will go faster now that you have the iPad to wile away the time. Although it's still no substitute for walking outdoors, you might as well make the most of it. A little distraction goes a long way.

  2. Ken - Thank you for the comment on the image. I am having a wonderful time exploring this, and I have wondered if they will connect with others.

    Yeah, Jerry's(Shadowhouse)textures make my efforts look quite sad. Of course, there are several other sources out there. I remember Mark said he uses some from Flypaper. The extent of possibilities is a bit dizzying, but tantalizing. I am constantly in that mindset of trying "just one more".

    My iPad won't ship until around June 6 or 7. If I can continue to use the treadmill, your idea is a terrific one. Distraction certainly would help.

  3. Anita, wonderful use of textures in this image. I've admired Mark's recent endeavors in that area and I'm sure he'd be happy to see he's inspired this fine image. I will be checking out these texture sources you've mentioned.

    Be careful about wishing for warmer weather too soon -- you might get more than you wish for. We've got high's in the upper 90's here all week with low's barely getting below 70. Too early for this kind of heat to suit me. I just hope it's not indicative of hotter temperatures to come.

  4. Earl - Thanks for the comments on the image. It seems obvious to me that the less able I am to be out, the more drawn I am to expressing myself with techniques such as textures. I am delighted that you like my effort and hope you enjoy browsing Shadowhouse Creations.

    You have put your finger on exactly what I fear: that we will go straight from winter to the deadly heat of summer. Oh well, at least mornings and evenings will be pleasant. Mid-day, I mostly have the luxury (?) of staying inside.

  5. I can relate to the difference between treadmill workouts and walking along a trail. while on this mornings walk around the lake at my new apartments, I counted 12 white egrets feeding and chasing each other along the banks. So part of my walk/exercise was the pleasure of watching them. We just don't see that in the "garage."

    Out cooler weather turned very warm yesterday, which is a shock to my system. Even though I find the colder weather hard on me I also struggle with the heat.

    I like this image and you have done a fine job. Way to go Mark!

  6. Monte - I am a tad jealous I must admit. No white egrets on my trek out to the road and back, much less my garage "outings".

    We are are still having cool weather, but it has been beautiful. I am enjoying it immensely. Since I struggle with heat, I can empathize. Does the heat cause something like heat stroke for you?

    Thanks for the comment on the image. My enthusiasm for working with textures had faded, then Mark's posts got me interested again. This time around I am quite enjoying the exploration. All it took was using textures created by amazingly talented people instead of my homemade versions.

  7. Well, that certainly is a stunning image. Beautiful! It's a good thing that you are still photographing even while indoors. :)

  8. Paul - I am delighted that you like this one. This working with textures turns out to suit me just fine. Now I just have restrain myself a bit.

  9. Lovely, just plain lovely. The glow you achieved in post is brilliant, love it!
    Then I have to feel sorry for you, it must be painful seeing the entire Spring disappear in the mud.

  10. Ove - I am so pleased that you like this. Thank you. I enjoy working on these so much that I can't get enough of it. It is tempting to take credit for that glow, but I got lucky with backlight that really worked for me.

    It appears that we might finally be into summer and puddles are beginning to dry. The Husband even planted some flowers last week. Whoopee! At last.


You can leave your comments here. Because all comments are held pending review, yours will not immediately appear on the site. I eagerly read all of them and sincerely appreciate your taking the time to record your impressions and views. Thanks for visiting.