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I have been experimenting with putting textured overlays on some of my photos. These are my very first attempts: wild fennel sky01-Jills moon fabric texture overlay copy

This one of a fennel plant silhouetted against the sky uses one of Jill’s photos of a piece of her fabric weaving. I love this photo and have a feeling it’s going to be used lots more times! Two versions of the same gardenia photo

gardenia-cambodian stone texture overlay copy

This one has been overlaid with a photo of a Cambodian stone frieze

201103120207_gardenia-wooden door texture overlay copy T

his one has been overlaid with a wooden door texture

201103120197-yellow hibiscus-sanskrit texture overlay copy

yellow hibiscus with a sanskrit text overlay

201103020087_white-frangipani-nylon fishing line overlay copy

white frangipani with a white nylon fishing line overlay

201103020090_white-frangipani-ceramic jar overlay copy

and last but not least the ceramic jar was very colourful but I was interested to see what effect the overlay would have At this stage I haven’t tried to do anything more complicated than overlay a single texture over the top of a photograph. Experiments with changing opacity, etc. may come later but it has taken me ages to do this successfully. I found a very good tutorial at the studioCalico. I would point out that rather than “open” both photos I used the “file>place” function for the photo of the texture. I used PSE8 for this.

I recently had some fun playing with a website where you can upload your own photos and create some cool digital effects. I experimented by uploading a photo of myself, one of a lotus flower and one of a cat. Here are some of the results:

This last one is my favourite.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with cabinet photographs – they are portrait photographs, mostly taken around the turn of the century, by professional photographers both in Europe and the U.S. The reverse side of the photo is often more beautiful than the actual portrait. In recent times they have become collectors items and occasionally you come across whole albums of them in flea markets (for a hefty price of course) and even the individual photos are now expensive. I have a few which I have scanned (far too precious to use the original).

The following collage is made up of two scans, one of the reverse side and one of another photo. The blue colours of the reverse side appealed so much to my love of blue that I used image editing software to change the colour of the portrait to a similar blue. I have used rubber stamps over the background and on the portrait and collaged a leaf skeleton over the top.

I have been experimenting trying to achieve the lovely blue tones you see in cyanotypes. I don’t have access to very sophisticated photo editing software so my efforts are a bit limited but they will give you an idea of what can be achieved.

Convert your chosen photo to a negative and then experiment with the hue saturation and lightness settings.

This is the basic photo with well-defined edges and good contrast colourwise

Here is the same picture negativised

Unfortunately I couldn’t achieve exactly the effect I wanted but it was quite close.  However, I did chance upon this one, which I really like.

It’s all a question of experimenting.

More information and some stunning artwork by Lou McCulloch can be seen here.

If you don’t have a camera, worry not. The same sort of effect can be achieved by using rubber stamps and dark blue ink.

The effect is achieved by spreading blue ink or paint on your chosen support (I used Bristol cards, which have a slightly satiny finish which takes the ink and the stamped image very well). Allow the colour to dry. Tamp your rubber stamp gently on some dampened kitchen paper to which you have added a few drops of bleach. Stamp your stamp on to the colour and watch as the colour leaches away leaving the image in white.

“Vellum” effect is that lovely watered-down effect which is achieved by first converting your chosen photo to a negative and then experimenting with the hue saturation and lightness controls. I have used Adobe Photo Deluxe (pre-cursor to Photoshop) but most photo editing software has these facilities.

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March 2017
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What is the Soul Food Cafe

The Soul Food Cafe is an international group of writers and artists whose global mission is to promote writing and art-making as a daily practice through the use of interactive web-based technologies such as blogging and e-mail groups. Lemuria is the fantasy construct where the participants of the Soul Food Cafe post their work, and The Digital Atelier is just one niche within Lemuria. If you are an intrigued visitor now wanting to join the Soul Food Experience, visit the Soul Food Cafe for instructions. Or you may write the SFC owner and manager heatherblakey @ dailywriting.net .

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