Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Flowers

I have just found Cee’s Photography blog, where amongst other challenges, she hosts a Black & White one. The current theme is “Flowers”, so I dutifully went out into our courtyard where there is a strelitzia in flower. I did take several shots in colour, but decided to set the camera onto Monochrome and took a couple of photos.

This is the SOOC shot…


I cannot remember all the edits I did, but for the following picture I added a soft white overlay, which lightened the image and brought out the contrasts a bit more…


Do go over to Cee’s blog and have a look at some of the other entries.

Cee's B&W Badge


Colour on a Grey Day…

It is grey and rainy today, but that doesn’t matter. It is lovely and cool and I bought a cheerful bunch of flowers this morning 🙂

I am supposed to be working on a couple of baby projects that need to be completed by 24 April, but I have been sidetracked by my blog! Baby projects in progress? Two quilts and two teeny jerseys for the two grandchildren that are expected in May – so exciting! I leave for the UK on 25 April. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to show the projects on my blog, because my daughter (one of the expectant mums) does not want to see them before she receives them. I hope she will like hers and I hope, even more, that my daughter-in-law likes hers too! I have said that they can put the jerseys on the babies once ,when I am around, and then turf them after that if they don’t like the results – haha!

Anyway, I digress from the bunch of flowers. I thought it about time to submit an entry for MOM, so I took some photos and then played around with my edits. As usual, I do the edits and then forget to note the process. Generally, I do a couple of basic adjustments in Lightroom and then open them up in Photoshop and play a bit more there. I did remember to write down the edits I did with one of the photos…see explanation below the photo.

Bunch Flowers 02

My black and white version…

Bunch Flowers 04

Bunch Flowers Ocean Ripple

Editing Steps –

Desaturated the image

Added an Orange Colour Fill and changed the blend to Overlay 100%

Distort Layer – Ocean Ripple.

It does look as if one is gazing down into shallow watery depths. “Shallow depths”?? I wonder how that would be described in the English grammar??


A bit of colour and a bit of b&w…

As I sit at my computer in my study, this is my view outside the sliding door…


I love the sound of water and the running fountain is very peaceful. Today is overcast, but it is a lovely change from the heat and humidity that we have had over the past couple of months.

My B&W version…

Courtyard Lk3 Vanilla SL 70%

I wandered out into the garden and saw this orange flower (I think it is a honeysuckle)…

Orange flower 01-3

and my B&W version…

Orange flower 01-2Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Lens: 50mm f1.4

I am making a last minute entry for this week’s MOM challenge.


A Close Up…

Well, well Blog….you have been sorely neglected over the past month, but I see you have survived!

What, you ask, has been keeping me away from you? What could be more important than you? Ummm…the answer to that is…ummm…life!

Anyway, dear Blog, you are not the only one that has been neglected. My photography, Mandarin Orange Monday, my art and many other things have been neglected too, so don’t feel bad.

Here are a couple of macro shots of a strelitzia that was blooming in our garden a couple of weeks ago. It was not in the most convenient place to photograph. I had to walk down a little bank and trample over my husband’s plants (shhh…don’t tell him!) to get some shots. I nearly fell over in the process, and…horror upon horrors, my tripod got all muddy!! However, I think the result was worth it 🙂

Strelitzia 01shpn

Strelitzia Vanilla

Tennis & PJs…

Life with Christ is endless love;

without Him it is a loveless end.

Billy Graham

Today has been a deliciously lazy day. It started off with coffee…yum…wake up and smell the coffee. A little while later I cooked eggs and bacon for our breakfast, followed by another cup of coffee.  Tom went off to play golf. I did not go,as my elbow has been a bit sore and I decided to give it a rest.

So, still in my PJs and coffee in hand, I sat down to watch the men’s final in the Australian Open. What a dilemma! Who to support? Should it be Murray to win his first Grand Slam or Federer to win his 16th? Only three sets, but what a nail-biting tie breaker in the third set! At one stage, whilst this match was going on, I could not bear the tension, so I went off to shower and get into some “day” clothes 🙂 I came back just as they were starting the tie breaker.  As Federer said, Murray is too good not to win a Grand Slam in the near future.

Later in the day I spoke to some of my babies (they will always be my babies!) on Skype. I love the video part of Skype. It certainly makes it feel as if they are sitting in the room with me. When I was talking to my daughter, the subject got on to food and then I started feeling HUNGRY.

Here are a couple of photos from my weekend:-

We had friends around for dinner on Friday evening and set up the table outside.

You might think orange is my favourite colour…not so, but the flowers are the easiest to get here and the colour certainly makes for a cheerful table

A fun view of glasses and napkins

The barge on the creek as the sun went down and the night lights came on

3rd in a row…

Love seeks to make happy

rather than to be happy.

Ralph Connor

The weekend was a busy one at LYC. There were races both on Saturday and  Sunday. Normally I would not go and do the Bridge on a Sunday, but I felt I should do so this time…I can’t be lazy all the time!

There was an added attraction at the club yesterday; they had a Craft Fair and there were several vendors with their goods for sale, including paintings, fabrics, jewellry and much more. However, I strongly resisted all temptation to buy anything…I am trying to de-clutter, not add to my list of things to be packed up!

The highlight of my day was a phone call from my eldest son; he called whilst I was trying to finalise the results of the race, so he got a bit of a distracted mum 🙂

They say things come in threes. I give you a 3rd post in a row with flowers. These pretty, delicate frangipanis came from my garden.  The tree is rather shy about displaying its blooms. It seems to place its flowers on the side facing away from the house and, as a result, I tend to forget about them.

Pick some frangipani and they are the easiest to arrange, just pop them in a vase and nature has already put them into a beautiful arrangement for you, all on one stalk.

A Red Rose…

O, my luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June.

Robert Burns.

Shall I reveal my ignorance? I thought that poem was written by Shakespeare! Anyway, the kind search engine on the ‘net enlightened me on that matter!

Today is our 33rd wedding anniversary. Yikes, where does the time go? I will let you in on a little secret…I forgot that today was the day, until my daughter, bless her, sent me a “Happy Anniversary” text. This morning I was a lazy, tired girl and had not heard my husband get up and go to work, so he had not reminded me of the fact! On receiving my daughter’s wishes I sent, text-haste, a message to my poor, neglected man giving him the wishes of the day. He smugly told me that he had remembered yesterday. Later on, my steward came running up the stairs, ran into one of the bedrooms, saying something about the driver and came out with a bunch of roses. Apparently the driver had delivered them earlier, but Jean (pronounced the French way) had forgotten to bring them to me! I phoned my husband of 33 years to explain the reason for my not having thanked him earlier.

Jean cannot really be blamed for forgetting about the flowers, as there has been a flurry of people around today. One of the garden gates had to be mended, an air-conditioner had to be checked and the generator needed fixing too.

Naturally, the roses had to be photographed and posted on my blog…