Admiration – Weekly Photo Challenge

If I could go back in time, I’d embrace that sad little girl I once was and who still lives inside me.  I’d tell her how beautiful, how precious and how brave she is and how much I admire her…… Livonne

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Admiration.  It may seem conceited to say I admire my inner child but I do.  I have always been able to step out of a bad situation and become a third party onlooker.  She taught me that.  She went through a desperately unhappy childhood, feeling unwanted, unloved and betrayed.

Yet, she survived.  And because she had such strength and tenacity, I am here to tell our story.  I really do admire that sad little girl.  I think she’s much braver than I could ever be.

 

The Inner Child

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Deep Dreaming

Whether awake or asleep, we are the dreamers of dreams.  We dream things that are buried  deep in our souls and may never know from whence they came…. Livonne

I’ve been very quiet lately.  I won’t bore you with the details but have had a lot going on personally so haven’t had much brainpower left to dream and create.  So what do you do when you can’t dream but still want to create?  You turn to the internet.

I’ve been playing around a bit with a few deep dreaming websites and to be honest, most don’t really impress me.  However, when I put my beautiful angel in and set it to dreaming, I loved what appeared.  Still angelic, she appears to be wrapped in weird and wonderful creatures, some that we haven’t seen here on earth but may very well exist in heaven.

For those who don’t know what deep dreaming is, you’re not alone.  The best explanation I can give goes something like this.  It is computer software that basically examines a photo, looking for something it recognises and then amplifies even the slightest shape or even bit of noise in the photo to form the particular thing it thinks it recognises.    There are many different platforms that generate photos and images using powerful algorithms.

It’s way out of my league and my poor brain would explode if I tried to fully understand how it works so I won’t try and I would encourage you to Google it and see what you make of the explanations online.  You may also enjoy doing a bit of deep dreaming with one of the many generators you can find as you search.  I did quite a few, playing around with lots of different ones but this was my favourite of all I experimented with.

I often get asked when someone sees something I’ve done, what “App” I use.  If (and it is actually rare) I do use an app or a generator or something that creates a photo effect for me, I never just keep the photo as is.  I always put my own spin on it again as most of these apps are designed to give a very low res effect, suitable for social media but generally not for printing.  I only ever use it as a base.  I don’t want a photo I produce easily replicated by anyone.  Not only that, I enjoy making it my own style.

Most of the time, I only use Lightroom and Photoshop to create my conceptual photography pieces.   They aren’t a “one step” process.  One photo can have up to 50 layers and take a week at a time, working the slightest little bits until I’m happy with what I see.

It’s almost 1am here in Australia as I post this, so I should do some real life deep dreaming of my own and get some sleep.  I’d love to see what you create with your photos. Feel free to share them in the comments.   Remember to dream big and deep.. for there are stars that lie hidden in your soul and the world needs their light.

dream_2f67868256

 

 

Beauty amongst Chaos

Find beauty amongst the chaos.  True beauty will bring light to the darkest moments and outshine the gloomiest gloom…..Livonne

I did a photoshoot on the weekend.  I have always adored old Hollywood glamour.  The stunning smooth skinned celluloid Goddesses staring down in glorious black and white from my wall.  They seemed a million miles away from my own reality yet they were a huge part of my world as I absorbed every movie I could.

We all knew they were real people and had bad hair days but we didn’t see them.  We saw only the gloss.  So many of them went on to use their celebrity to make a difference.  Audrey Hepburn was one of those who used her name to make a difference and worked with UNICEF for years.  She was beautiful inside and out.  She managed to still look glamorous even amongst the rubble of war torn cities.

Was it her looks or was it her inner beauty that shone so brightly?  Of course she was physically beautiful but her inner beauty  could be seen in those gorgeous eyes.  Her wrinkles in later years were barely visible as they were outshone by her beautiful soul.

Everyone is beautiful and I truly believe that we should all have at least one stunning photograph done so future generations can see us in our best light.  However the most important legacy we can leave is the memory of a good heart and a beautiful soul that made a difference in the world.  The photo merely puts a face to the memory.  In saying that, make sure your photo shows you the way you want to be seen and captures that inner gorgeous.

haunted room

 

Future – Weekly Photo Challenge

Children are happy until we point out everything that can go wrong.  They step on the cracks without fear. They learn from adults to fear, to hate and to expect the worst……Livonne

Whitney Houston sang, “I believe children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.” This  week’s photo challenge theme is Future, so what signifies our future more perfectly than children.  They aren’t born with fear or hatred.  It is taught to them by word and deed.  They believe that life is wonderful until we point out that it’s not.  They believe that everyone is beautiful until we convince them that ugly is a thing and we should all look a certain way.

We have to ask of ourselves, what sort of future are we leaving for our children? Will the rivers be dried up?  Will hatred and war ruin all the natural beauty this earth possesses?  Will everything becomes a disposable commodity, even people?  I hope not.

To see innocence and trust in a child’s face gives me hope that the next generations will make a kinder impact on this world than the last few have done.  The future really is in their hands.

The photo is a composite of 3 different places in China.  The Fangsheng bridge is in Zhouzhuang. near Shanghai.  The river has been replaced with the paved area surrounding the Olympic Bird’s Nest in Beijing and the beautiful little girl was happily wandering around Tienanmen Square in Beijing, unaware of the crowds of tourists or the armed guards.  She only saw beauty and it was mirrored in her eyes.

We need to be more childlike and look only for the beauty.  Take a risk and step on the cracks.  Maybe nothing bad will happen after all.

Step on the Cracks

 

 

Immersed in Nature

As promised, I’ve done a few more photos of the lovely Kirsty from yesterday’s shoot at the Talisman Gallery, Hartley.   I’ll just add a quick gallery to show you what I’ve done so far.  It is from a series called, Immerse Yourself in Nature.