Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Pelican…

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Pelicans in December

One can’t help admiring

their rickety grace

and old-world feathers

like seasoned boardwalk planks.

They pass in silent pairs,

as if a long time ago

they had wearied of calling out.

The wind tips them, their

ungainly, light-brown weight,

into a prehistoric wobble,

wings”-end fingers stretching

from fingerless gloves

necks slightly tucked and stiff,

peering forward and down,

like old couples arm in arm

on icy sidewalks, careful,

careful, mildly surprised

by how difficult it has become

to stay dignified and keep moving

even after the yelping gulls have gone;

even after the scattered sand,

and the quietly lodged complaints.

J. Allyn Rossser

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Apps used: Snapseed and Layers


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41…

anniversery

There we were…hopping into the ’68 Datsun station wagon that had stood the test of miles, freshly married, dirt poor, (but no debt after law school…you could do that then), enthusiastic about what life held for us. In it together for forty-one years. Tonight we are off to a tapas dinner in San Francisco trying to recreate that lovely trip to Barcelona a few months ago. Onward and upward! (This morning we were awakened by a 4.0 earthquake! Just shows you how earth-shattering August 17 really is!!)

Here is how I made this image…

I walked through my garden to take these pictures…

flower3 flower1 flower4 rose1

Then I started to combine them all using the ImageBlender App…

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Put the last one through Waterlogue App to get this…

Took an iPhone photo of an old wedding photo….

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Gave it some touch ups (after all these years, the colors on all the wedding photos are really altering) and a frame in Snapseed App…

wedding

It was added on top of the flowers and angled by using ImageBlender…

anniversery

A frame was added to the entire image in Snapseed and then text was laid on top with Over App. Fin


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Transforming my frustration…

I have mentioned before how much I love the app Snapseed for processing my iPhone photos. For many, many years it has been my go-to, all-purpose, crop, clean-it-up and tweak app. So imagine my surprise when I opened it last week to find that there was an entirely new version. I am so set in my ways, I was immediately frustrated. That frustration grew and grew as I tried to do the things that I have always done, but couldn’t find the work flow as it had always been. hmmm, I said, why would you do that to me oh, favorite app…

Many YouTube videos later and a walk in the garden yesterday, I have made my peace…I at least know where things are now.

Fernald's Iris

Fernald’s Iris

lewisia - Version 2

Lewisia

Pink Monkeyflower

Pink Monkeyflower

Spicebush

Spicebush

New dwarf Butterflybush

New dwarf Butterflybush

Swallowtail looking for new dwarf Butterflybush!

Swallowtail looking for new dwarf Butterflybush!

California poppy

California poppy

California poppy

California poppy

So I say, people, take out your green grass lawns, install drip irrigation, put in native California plants…you will not regret it as you face the draught…spot through the garden a few non-natives, like a Cecile Brunner in a planter…you will have no end to willing photographic subjects…and you might get to liking Snapseed again as well as saving money on water fees!

Cecile Brunner

Cecile Brunner

And with great anticipation of getting to try a new feature of the Snapseed app (it now includes a function called Transform, which allows you to tweak perspective both vertical and horizontal…so all those tall buildings in a big city…no leaning towers except in Pisa! In a few short weeks we will be off to soak in the architecture of one of the most interesting cities…for now, from an old photo, here is what it can do…

crocker

original…notice right hand edge of building

crocker2 copy

now it is straight!

I really like Snapseed again!


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Last week…

Can’t really believe that on this day last week I was visiting the site where “The Last Supper” is displayed. They do not allow pictures, but I felt the urge to commemorate the visit anyway. This is Santa Maria delle Grazie where it is housed. I did not realize before that the painting was inches away from being destroyed by a bomb in World War II. It is pretty breathtaking and well worth taking the extra day to stay in Milan so that we could see it.

SantaMariadelleGrazie

Apps used: Pxlr Express, Stackables, Snapseed…


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Favorites…

It is almost time for another trip and I find that I never really wound up the previous one. Last October we went to Umbria and Venice. I was telling the tale here and then the holidays happened, life got busy, there were family complications and I never got back to the thread of the story of our trip. Last week I went back to look at the pictures and decided to pick out a few of my favorites that I had not ever processed in order to apply a few apps to them. I came across a group that symbolized our week in Venice. They are my favorites of the experience of Venice because I took them from our second floor apartment window where we looked across at the Frari Church and down onto the small canal below the window. Every day around 4:00 two gondolas would appear and the gondoliers would discuss their price with customers. On the last afternoon we were there we succumbed and took our own ride. I loved Venice…

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Photos taken with the native camera of my iPhone and then processed with these apps: Snapseed, Waterlogue, Image Blender, Vintage Photo, and Stackables…


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Eye…

eye

Let me say that being on the very far side of the threshold of senior citizenry, the concept of a “selfie” is way outside of my comfort zone. I do not want to know how I have aged. I don’t really like to be in pictures, let alone up close ones that I take myself…

In a weak moment I signed up for an online class with Susan Tuttle called The Art of iPhoneography Self-portraits. I have taken classes from her before and loved learning Photoshop Elements from her in this way. She is such a good teacher I thought that whatever happened I would still learn things and I really should get over my reticence…right? I am what I am…we all decay…hmmmm.

Well I have been experimenting with lots of new apps. I particularly like DistressedFX, FocalLab, and Mextures. I have been layering with Blender App. I thought I should commemorate my eye, above. It is the one that had cataract surgery six weeks ago and my vision is vastly improved and bright and clear. That, too, had its own consequence. I was not prepared for looking in the mirror and actually seeing how the reality of the aging process has affected me. Now I can see those wrinkles. And the grey in the hair. I guess my middle name is actually deNile because it was a shock. I am thinking of marketing a blurry film to go over mirrors…just enough to help the willing consumer be convinced that some of those wrinkles are not there. If it doesn’t take off as a product, then I will just keep passing my selfies through lots of blurry apps to reverse the aging process.

Forgot to mention another app that has multiple uses: TouchreTouch…takes out lots of unwanted history on a face if you end up zooming out wider than an eye!

Oh, ok, here is another one. Really that is it. Entangled in my own vanity I guess…

entangled


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Walking shoes…

During my last years of teaching, I developed a loyalty to comfortable shoes and bought my first pair of Merrell. A lovely dark grey shoe with blue trim. They did a good job of mitigating foot pain and developed a used patina that included drops of paint from many projects. By the time I retired and started traveling, I had purchased a second pair (with chartreuse trim) that was developing its own patina to go with  comfortableness. I took them on our trip to Florance and Tuscany and they did not fail me on the cobblestones of Italy. The glitch was that I had not learned, yet, that it is not wise to purchase books in museum stores and when it came time to pack the suitcases to come home I made the dreadful decision to leave them behind so that everything else could fit. Broke my heart to give up that chartreuse, but I knew that I had the blue trimmed pair at home.

As we left for Provence, I put the blue trimmed shoes into the suitcase as the backup shoes for foot fatigue. They did their duty well. As we packed at the end of the trip, however, it became clear that although there were no books to pack there were lavender soaps and lotions as well as nougats from the candy factory down the road at St. Didier. The shoes were not going to make it back to the United States. So there was a short ceremony as they were put into the garbage can near Le Beaucet. Almost like burying a Jackson Pollock painting. RIP great friends, I appreciate your support all these years. View from the trash cans toward Le Beaucet:

LeBeaucet

Purchased new ones once I got home:

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Same brand, new color…wait for it…”elephant, with pink trim”. If you know me you will know why the name swayed my choice…if you don’t, scroll to the bottom and put the word elephant in my “search” engine!

My shoes are my passport to adventure!

shoes2

New app: Etchings.