December marks the 12 month anniversary of moving into this house. Those 12 months seem to have gone by very very fast. I have mentioned before that although i am renting, i know the owners of the house quite well. Which means i am in a position to consider it my own home, decorate with relative freedom and invest time improving it without the risk of being booted out next month. I also feel like, improving where i can, is a nice way of repaying some of their generosity. So anyway, my point is the owners and i have been working together to spiffy up the place because it was pretty much an empty shell surrounded by grass and trees when i first moved in.
I found some before shots on my computer last night and thought it would be fun to compare them to what i have since done to the garden/yard. These are all exterior shots, i don’t have many of the inside before it was all painted but let me tell you it was not pretty LOL (think salmon pink, brown and yellow. yep, vomit.) .
So here is the view from the corner of the driveway of the front of the house as it originally was. As you can see there was a huge clump of trees covered in ivy and bamboo blocking the view of the house. These three trees were also leaning on a rather dangerous angle, threatening to topple onto the neighbors at any moment. So we had them and two others on the other side of the yard chopped down a few months after i moved in.
(apologies for the dodgy iphone photos as well, my “real” camera was charging)
(yes that is my bubby attempting to walk down the stairs. I was calling out to him to stop and wait…thankfully he is still at the age where he listens… he usually automatically turns around to crawl down backwards so i have no idea what he was thinking here. Once again, he seems to think he is a “big kid”)
Ok so there is the front of the house now minus the trees, there is still a heap of wood scattered around the front yard and general mess to clear up but at least you can now actually see the house, and all the yucky spider hiding ivy is gone. As you can see i’ve also added in a few garden beds and a grass pathway. We had the house connected up to the mains sewerage line a few months back which meant most of my original lovely grass was carved up all along the front of the house, we then had a fence put up which caused more grass carnage. So it was just mud and twigs for a long time. The grass in the path is still quite patchy in places, i need to sew some seeds i think. It’s on the to-do list lol.
All the plants in the front are shrubs that will eventually grow to about 1-1.5 meters each to fill out the garden. Which is why they are planted far apart and look quite pitiful at the moment (the grass is also in need of a mow). I’m going for a “messy cottage garden meats sculptured lawn” look. I personally dug out all those garden beds myself and carried all the tanbark from the other side of the yard with only a bucket and spade. Repetitive and tiring work. But here is my pretty winding pathway that hooks around into the back yard. It’s still not finished because i ran out of tanbark, it needs to be topped up with a bit more bark in places (you can see some grass poking through in spots still). And i still need to dig out the grass growing along the fence and put down some plastic to stop it growing back. I want to plant a hedge of some kind along that fence. From the veranda you can still see into the back yard nextdoor despite the 6 foot fence. Some “Neighbors-be-gone” plants are in need me thinks.
Before from veranda:
As you can also see in the second shot, there is a whole heap of yard over the other side of the drive way as well which is just as big (if not bigger) than the space in front of the house. You could quite easily probably fit a whole two other houses into my front yard. I am slowly working that side into a mix of garden and grass (it was also just all grass). My aim is to eliminate as many large patches of grass as possible to reduce the amount of mowing i have to do. The whole back yard (which is not that big because the house is set back into the block) is just grass for the kids to play in, and i’m happy to keep that so (it will also eventually hold some chickens). But the front area i want to have landscaped so that it can be pretty much left to it’s own devices to grow wild…wild but controld and pretty at the same time.
So there you go, next time you see me post on here or facebook about being “out in the garden” you’ll know roughly what I’m doing. In the not too distant future we also plan to paint the exterior of the house. It is currently mission poo brown (like every other timber clad house in the neighborhood) with a mint green veranda, but I’m wanting to paint it a nice refreshing neutral gray color with white accents. But for now that still sits on the to do list until the weather warms up (and someone pays me a chunk of money).
I thought it would be fun to do a quick tutorial for you all on how to create a fake double exposure look with your digital photos. This probably isn’t the best way to do it, but it’s how i would do it and it is really easy. In fact so easy that you may not even need to follow the steps exactly to work it out. But for those out there who are not so photo shop savvy then don’t be scared to give this a go and make your photos a little more creative/artistic.
Now traditionally double exposures were accidents. When you are shooting with old style film cameras where you need to wind on each shot it can be easy to forget to wind over when you have taken a photo. Which means the next time you push the shutter you expose onto the same section of film twice. Sometimes the photos can follow each other in sequence, other times if you take a photo and put your camera down for a few days and then take another shot at a different location you could get two completely unrelated images superimposed on top of each other.
Digital photography has eliminated this from happening naturally, it’s one of those special little quirks only reserved for film, but that doesn’t mean you can replicate it in photoshop. And it can be really fun to play around with.
Ok, so here we go.
First you want to select your two images. As i mentioned they don’t have to be in sequence, but if you are going to choose two that were taken close together try and choose one that might be a bit of an “outtake” or out of focus. You don’t have to but i think it would make the double exposure look less intentional and more random.In the example i’m creating, the first image is actually out of focus (hard to tell unless you look closer).
Photos that work really well have a lot of negative space around and aren’t too busy. If one of the photos is too busy it can make it hard to determine what you’re looking at.
Ok the next step is a fairly important one. You may be tempted to just cut and paste directly onto the original photos. I’d recommend that you actually open up a whole new canvas, that way you can’t accidentally save over the top of your original photos. You can make this document any size you like, but for this example i made it 8x12inches at 200 dpi
The next step is to cut and paste the two images onto the new document. You can do this however you have previously learned, whether it’s the click and drag method or just selecting the whole image then using ctrl+c to copy and ctrl+v to paste. You should now have one document with a copy of one image on top of the other on separate layers. If the images are too large for your canvas you can re-size them bu selecting the transform button.
You can play around with the opacity of Layer 2 until you are happy with how it looks. You may want the second image to be really obvious or more obscure. You can also erase parts of layer 2 away if they are distracting or interfere with the subject too much. But remember that they are not meant to look perfect, it is meant to be a random accident. So don’t fuss around with it too much.
The step above is optional, however double exposed film images tend to be quite contrasty and bright because there is double the amount of exposure in the photo. Also adding in a bit of contrast and brightness can help define each photo a bit more. You might want to make one appear brighter or darker than the other.
Your photo is now double exposed, so you can flatten the image and save it.
If you’d like to go on and take one more step by adding in an artificial “light leak” then read the next set of steps. You don’t have to do this but, once again, it’s fun to play around and adds to the whole random act of nature feel to the photo.
The quick-mask will appear red. Don’t panic, it doesn’t stay red. This is just showing you where you are defining the mask. Basically anywhere you “paint” this read mark the light leak will appear later on. So don’t go too crazy. And try to keep it looking random. You can use other brush shapes as well if you like. If you happen to have some grunge texture type brushes these can work well.
You can play around with these sliders, but generally a redish-yellow light leak looks more realistic. If your photo is black and white then a blue/green light leak would be better. If you find that you have added in too much of a light leak you can erase the layer back a bit.
Yay! you’re done. Here is my finished “double exposure” photo.
and here’s a few more using the same method.
I hope that was helpful, now…go forth and multiply ( lol sorry that was a terrible joke)
i finally had two rolls of film developed that i had used in my Holga a few months back. Here’s a few of the best ones. No editing on them, i just scanned the prints and cropped them into square format. I have another film sitting in my camera still, it has a few shots left on it though. Hopefully it won’t take me 6 months to get it developed lol.
Look at Noah’s hair! this was obviously before i had the mop cut off and before he was walking.
Look who will be hiding out in my wardrobe until a certian little girl turns seven in December. Her name is “Sunshine Holiday” and she arrived via international mail this morning (at 7:30am…sorry to the delivery guy who copped a good view of me in my jamies, but that’s what you’ll get if you knock on my door before 8 on a Wednesday morning). I had to resist the urge to pull her out of the box myself, she is just toooooo sweet!!
I have made a few little dresses for her already, my aim by Charlee’s birthday is to have a whole heap of little outfits made ready to use. I figure if i make one little outfit a week between now and the 13th of Dec, she will have a pretty decent wardrobe LOL.
But shhhhhhhhhhh……. don’t tell Charlee