Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vintage With Meaning ~ Telephoto Tuesday!

"Memories of Papa's Garden"

Today for Telephoto Tuesday, I felt like going back in time. I have always had a very strong connection to gardens and flowers, and it's in part because I'll never fathom how the Creator began to design such varied beauty down to the tiniest detail for us to enjoy, and also because I've been told I spent my earliest years out in my Papa's garden watching him coddle and prompt various wonderful plants into bloom long before I could even pronounce their names. Indeed, there are quite a few pics of me as a toddler sitting amongst the garden ornaments of little ducks or with the cat, Papa's flowers in profusion behind.

So the other day, when out photographing my garden, the light seemed flat no matter what I did in camera. A very flat grey sky was all I had to work with. But after some thought on what I'd want to accomplish in editing, I decided one approach would be to do a little digital darkroom playing and try to add some age or retro effects to give it some life. So I photographed with that goal in mind, using the telephoto lens to get shallow DOF, selective focus, and solid groupings of flowers that would lend themselves to a 70's treatment.

I've been especially wanting to find the right use for the Monday Morning Violet filter from Nik Color Effx. Whenever I see the results it takes me back to those old photos of me in my sunbonnet with my grandparents in the garden... so in Corel I brightened the original shot for today's post in an adjustment layer before putting it into the Nik filter, adjusted to retain highlights and shadow, then used the clarify option to add some definition. I also duplicated the layer, and subtly added an old paper texture, using the eraser tool to erase the texture from the flowers so they aren't overwhelmed and stand out.

The framing is a Corel picture frame filter added last. It makes it feel like a photo you can pick up and hold... unlike today where it seems no one actually prints their photos anymore.

I look at this and automatically am transported back to having "real" tea parties that always ended in a game of hide and seek with Papa, or a game of chase - Papa chasing the cat out of his flowers for the fourth time in an afternoon. He passed away while I was still very little, but if I think hard enough I can see his large hands and his huge work boots... and every garden somehow makes me think of him.

Thanks for the ramble back in time folks, and have a good one! Find a memory you have always loved, and then find a way to honor it in a photo by you!


  1. Love the look of the flowers Christine. Nice lighting.

  2. Thank you Lori :) Quite a bit of adjustments were played with to get the right look and tone... it was fun!