Category Archives: Photography

The Making of the “Moonshadow Lenormand”: Part IV

Thank you for following my Lenormand Project so far. I had fun creating the cards, and also sharing the process with you all too. :)

Here then are the first 18 cards from the Moonshadow Lenormand:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

This will help with the meanings:

image

The “Moonshadow Lenormand” is available now on my eBay and Etsy shops:

http://m.ebay.com.au/itm/261630354440

https://www.etsy.com/listing/207677660/the-moonshadow-lenormand-card-deck-by

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

The Making of the “Moonshadow Lenormand”: Part III

In Part I of this mini-series, I talked about how I created my Palimpsest templates. In Part II, I explained about the archetypal images used in the Lenormand cartomancy system and how I sourced my images. Now that I had both my Palimpsest templates and my photos/images ready, I was ready to start working on my Lenormand cards.

These are the Apps I used:
image

PicsArt – my main go-to App, has loads of clipart
Photo Editor – for filters and resizing
Litho – has a wealth of texture filters and lovely antiquarian clipart
Pixlr Express – lots of filters, including nifty inky borders
Photo Studio Pro – great clipart
Smoothie – great filters and effects
Snapseed – good for textures and grunge
Repix – I like this for the special effects
iMagic Pro Image – has useful clipart and filters
Photo Editor – has lots of full colour clipart, however resolution is low
AThumbCut – great for cutting out images to make your own clipart
Touch Retouch – indispensible for cleaning up unwanted areas of images

Here then is the secret of how I created my images:

THERE IS NO SECRET FORMULA

You just have to experiment with effects and filters, bounce from one App to another, try this and that, until you arrive at a result you’re happy with. It really is that simple. Mobile photography art isn’t something that can be taught. Anyone can show you Apps, but it’s up to you to learn how each one works, and decide which ones you want to keep in your stable of Go To Apps. Everyone has their own style, and therefore their own favourite filters and effects. These just happen to be my personal palette.

Enjoy! Here are just a few of my favourite images from my Project:

image

image

image

image

image

image

In the next 2 posts, I will show you the full deck, with explanations. So, watch out for Part IV and Part V, coming up next!

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

The Making of the “Moonshadow Lenormand”: Part II

And so, following on from Part I of “The Making Of the Moonshadow Lenormand” yesterday, here is Part II.

For those unfamiliar with Lenormand cartomancy, it’s basically a set of 36 cards, with or without playing card inserts. Some readers use the playing card inserts for further depth in their readings, for example to add nuance or to signify people other than the querent. Others regard the pips as a leftover and unneccesary effect from when the first Lenormand decks were created using actual piquet playing cards. Some modern decks do not even have the playing card pips.

The 36 cards, regardless of which artist or publisher, always contain the same archetypes. There are modern, whimsical artist decks with Halloween or Christmas themes, where the imagery is dark and spooky, or bright and festive, and where substitutions might occur…for example in a Halloween themed Lenormand deck, the 1st card, which is the Rider, might instead be The Headless Horseman. And for a Christmas themed Lenormand deck, the Rider may well be Father Christmas on his reindeer sleigh.

Here are the 36 cards in any traditional Lenormand deck, and their corresponding Archetypes:

1 Rider
2 Clover
3 Ship
4 House
5 Tree
6 Clouds
7 Snake
8 Coffin
9 Bouquet
10 Scythe
11 Whip
12 Birds
13 Child
14 Fox
15 Bear
16 Stars
17 Stork
18 Dog
19 Tower
20 Garden
21 Mountain
22 Crossroads
23 Mice
24 Heart
25 Ring
26 Book
27 Letter
28 Man
29 Woman
30 Lily
31 Sun
32 Moon
33 Key
34 Fish
35 Anchor
36 Cross

Here’s an image showing Titania Hardie’s Fortune Cards (Lenormand style) and the 36 cards arranged in a Grand Tableau.

image

When I first embarked on this Project or Journey, I knew I would encounter a few snags along the way. One of them was finding the archetypal images to go with the cards. Some of the more mundane images, e.g house, tree, clouds, birds etc were easy enough to source via my Samsung Galaxy S4’s camera i.e by taking actual photos. Others were not so easy…you just don’t come across foxes, bears or storks in your everyday meanderings. Or scythes and whips either. And I’d have to travel far to get a snapshot of a real maritime tallship or a mountain.

That’s where Google, Wikimedia and the beautiful term “Public Domain” come into play. I set up folders on my S4 camera roll to house archetypal images that I found online that were in the public domain. This means that I can then utilise these images in my work, without fear of stealing someone else’s copyright to them, as the original copyright owners have already voluntarily relinquished their rights to the image, i.e gifted it to the world, or the copyright has expired, 70 years after the death of the original artist/photographer/copyright holder. For example, I found that the copyright to Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit illustrations expired in January this year, 2014. Similarly, John Tenniel’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland and others of the same era, expired years ago.

Anyhow, I managed to cobble together my 36 archetypal images, and so began the real work – using my S4 and Apps to create the imagery for each card.

Of which more in Part III. ;)

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

The Making of the “Moonshadow Lenormand”: Part I

Okay, folks have been asking me how I created my first Lenormand cartomancy deck.

This Project had me using a technique I had never even considered before. And it’s such an old technique, by today’s standards. By this I mean the use of a Scanner.

I’d been intrigued by seeing pictures of the Palimpsest Lenormand, by Bertrand Saint Guillain.

Palimpsest : masc. noun, A palimpsest (/ˈpælɪmpsɛst/) is a manuscript page from a scroll or book from which the text has been scraped off and which can be used again. The word “palimpsest” comes through Latin palimpsēstus from Ancient Greek παλίμψηστος (palímpsestos, “scratched or scraped again”) originally compounded from πάλιν (palin, “again”) and ψάω (psao, “I scrape”) literally meaning “scraped clean and used again”.
Source: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palimpsest)

Here’s a photo of some of Bertrand’s cards:

image
Here’s an explanation of how and why Bertrand created the Palimpsest Lenormand, taken from his site:

From realisation to the final picture
The drawing is made by hand on standard cards whose original picture has been partially or entirely covered (hence the name). The result is then photographed and slightly adjusted with an image manipulation program to harmonize the whole deck.

Instead of having an insert in the middle of the card, the standard card association is given by the corner indices.

I was strongly intrigued by the whole idea of using the Palimpsest method for my deck. I decided I would use it as a springboard for my own deck. Not copying Bertrand’s deck, but distilling the idea of Palimpsest and giving it my own creative twist.

I already had 2 decks of cheap playing cards, so I sacrificed one. And set to desecrating obliterating altering (hehehe) the central images of the cards with white gesso. I had no Tippex like Bertrand, but I had lots of Gesso to hand. Needs must.

I was coming from a mobile photographer’s point of view, so instead of following Bertrand’s technique of photographing the finished product, like he did, I knew I wanted a digital version I could then work on. So I simply gessoed the 36 cards I needed (reducing the playing cards deck from 52 to 36 by removing the cards numbered 2-5 from each suit) and then I scanned each card, one by one, on my trusty old workhorse, the Canon Pixma MX870 printer-scanner-copier-fax.

I then transferred the scans to my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, which is essentially my studio. To do this, I first had to save the scans to a USB stick, then transfer them to my Mac, then from the Mac I used an App called Photo Transfer (funnily enough) to move them to the S4. Convoluted, but worth it.

Et voila! A Palimpsest deck of playing cards that can be used time and time again, as the template or background to my first Lenormand deck. Or any subsequent Lenormand deck, for that matter. I wasn’t too concerned about whether I’d completely covered the central images on each card or not, or whether I’d gessoed over parts of the side indices, as I like a bit of randomness. Besides, most of the central part of each card would be covered by digital imagery that I would superimpose on them.

image
The gessoed cards
image
Close-up of some of the gessoed cards.

Please bookmark this and check out Part II, coming up next, where I will explain how I then used my Palimpsest templates to create my Moonshadow Lenormand cards.

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

RETROSPECTIVE : DALIENUTOPIA

Another of my favourite mobile photography themes is Surrealism. Back in April 2011, when I first discovered the Baigup Wetlands just across the river Swan from where we were living in Ascot then, I devoted an entire series of iPhone photographs to the weird and wonderful Australian gumtrees in that swamp, as well as in the reserve on our own side of the river.  I even self-published my first Blurb book, titled “DALIENUTOPIA“, a play on the words “Dali”, “Alien” and “Utopia”. If you like it, please buy a copy!

Here is the link to my DALIENUTOPIA, and here are some of the images from that Series. All photos taken and edited using an iPhone 4. (I’m so happy to have found my images on my external hard-drive. It’s very difficult to find anything there, as I wasn’t terribly organised then and things would be filed willy nilly without a care for chronological order, or titles. Consider this a Retrospective of my mobile photography career!)

Before you ask, Yes, I DID spend a lot of my time ankle or even knee deep in mud for the sake of my Art :-).

Dalienutopia 1

Dalienutopia 2

Dalienutopia 3

Dalienutopia 5

Dalienutopia 6

Dalienutopia 8

Dalienutopia 13

Dalienutopia 19

Dalienutopia 22

Dalienutopia 26

Dalienutopia 27

Dalienutopia 28

Dalienutopia 29

Dalienutopia 31

Dalienutopia 32

Dalienutopia 33

Dalienutopia 35

Dalienutopia 42

Dalienutopia 49

Dalienutopia 52

Dalienutopia 57

Dalienutopia 59

Dalienutopia 65

Dalienutopia 78

Dalienutopia 91

Dalienutopia 92

Dalienutopia 100

Dalienutopia 108

 

 

 

No Teddy Bears Picnic

If you go down to the woods today…

Just some awesome photos that I’ve collated here from a couple of my Pinterest boards. I’ve been pinning them under “Amazing Places” or “Awesome Photos”, sometimes both! I’ve always loved images of trees in a forest, shrouded by mysterious mist and fog, with shafts of sunlight breaking through. Could be the Red Riding Hood in me 😄.

If you’re wanting to know who the photographers are, please look at my Pinterest boards, and when you click on the images therein, you will be taken to the website. Magic carpet wha hey!! 😁 If you’re not on Pinterest yet, why ever not?

Don’t you just want to go there already? Just to stand and stare, and wonder at the glorious magic of Mother Nature?

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Workflow : CLARITY

I was just fooling around with some new filters the developers of Pixlr Express had put on the App. I had no set plans or ideas to create another Oracle Card image, but this one literally created itself. Divine inspiration? 😇

For the background, I chose a colourfield image I had created previously using the Android-only app “Impressionist Fingerpaint”.

image

I simply ran this through the App Pixlr Express, and liked the effect that created this crystalline entity.

image

Then, still in Pixlr Express, I added some lights to add depth to the image.

image

image

Finally, I loaded the image to PicsArt, tweaked the brightness, contrast and saturation, then added the text CLARITY.

image

CLARITY : By stilling the voices in your head that constantly clamour for your attention, and by deliberately calming your mind, you will be able to see clearly all your options and opportunities. Clarity will come to you like a crystalline vision bathed in a bright light. Let your intuition lead you.

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Stop and smell the flowers.

Time was, I used to rush around like a headless chicken, day in, day out. I had places to go, things to do, people to see, targets to meet. Rush, rush, rush.

Nowadays, it’s a completely different story. If I’m hungry, I eat. If I’m tired, I sleep. And in between those events I fill my day with whatever I happen to be doing. Which could be jumping on my bicycle and going for a long ride. Or staying at home writing this blog. Or at the table trying out new crafts. Uploading more artwork online for my Licensors. Creating more art. Updating my Society 6 shop (oops, I admit I really must get back to doing that!). Practising my tarot and oracle card readings. Playing the piano. Hugging my hens. Playing with my dogs. Shopping.

My point is, at some stage you just got to remember to stop and smell the flowers. Okay, the saying is about roses. But you know what I mean. Make the time to slow down from the mad everyday mayhem, take a deep breath, close your eyes. And just be. Enjoy being in the present. There’s no hurry. There’s nothing more than just yourself being mindful, being in the Now.

Today was one of my long bike rides…to get to Bunnings to buy replacement mouse traps and rat poison. Ummm…not very Zenlike in my thinking, you’re thinking. True. But when you lift up the roof of the Japanese Quails’ shaded area and find not 1 but 8 quivering mice staring back at you with their little paws held to their shocked faces, (all except for the one who’s holding onto a stolen quail’s egg), and when Mr Rat in the ceiling above your bedroom keeps you up at night with his rolling bowling games and tequila slamming parties, then something has to be done.

Anyway, moving swiftly on. Along my adventures today I took time to enjoy some flowers. One was a surprise Dutch Iris growing in a pot where “Stick” my Frangipani was. I thought last year’s bloom had died, but obviously the plant had other ideas. It even had fresh morning dew still on its petals when I took my photos of it. Such a tart! 😄

image

image

image

image

image

image

While in Bunnings (my local mega hardware/garden centre), I saw some pretty cherry and almond blossoms.

image

image

image

image

image

image

And then on my way home, I noticed this purple flowering bush outside a house, so I stopped to take some photos. If anyone knows what plant this is, please do let me know! It’s gorgeous. I also managed to photograph a few bees doing their thing. I love bees.

image

image

image

image

image

image

(All images here are straight out of my Samsung Galaxy S4’s native camera, and unedited. Great mobile phone, the S4!)

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

MY ORACLE CARDS PROJECT: THE JOURNEY SO FAR

A short while ago I hatched a grand plan to create my own deck of Oracle Cards. I blogged about it here.

Now I’ve created about 20 such virtual cards, so I’ll share them with you. You can see how some work better than others, I’m constantly learning as I go along. Creating the imagery is only part of the whole process. I still haven’t gotten round to writing the explanation or meaning of the imagery. That will come. Also, I have to research the practical logistics of getting my cards into print.

So, here are some of my “Practice” Oracle Cards. They may or may not be the end product…I might add a black border all around each image, or more key words at the bottom.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Echinopsis

Echinopsis is the scientific name for a large genus of cacti. I have one small plant in a pot by my swimming pool, which I hardly ever paid attention to until a few months ago, when suddenly I noticed that it had sprouted some rather pretty little flowers. Sadly, the flowers didn’t last very long. But my curiosity was piqued enough for me to search on Google for more information about my little cactus and its relations.

Cactus flowers are really beautiful, is my conclusion. Here are some of my favourites, from Google Images.

Echinopsis_madame_pele_blooms_810

Echinopsis_cv._Galaxy_13804_l

969-echinopsis-quotsputnikquot.preview

Brigittes_Beauty

959-echinopsis-kermesina-x-purpureopilosus.preview

Princess_Anne

Echinopsis_Aiko

Echinopsis_mammillosa_fl_810

echspach

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

I also found someone online who is obsessed by Echinopsis, to the extent that he calls himself “Echinopsisfreak”.  His name is Greg Krehel and you can read all about his obsession with Echinopsis on his blog here. Be sure to click on his time-lapse videos there showing his Echinopsis plants blooming.  They are truly spectacular!

I feel a new addiction beginning…

Greg Krehel is also the man behind the site dedicated to Echinopsis, http://www.echinopsis.com. Below is an excerpt from that site:

What’s an Echinopsis? A type of cactus originally from South America that features amazing flowers … amazing in at least four ways:

– The flowers of most Echinopsis varieties are incredibly colorful … often featuring two or more hues working in harmony.

– The flowers are often giant … 5″-6″ in diameter … and frequently dwarf the cactus that grows them.

– They frequently appear in flushes of multiple flowers opening at the same time.

– Most types of cacti produce just one flush of flowers each year. But Echinopsis can produce flush after flush of flower for as long as the daytime temperatures remain above 70F/21C.

Echinopsis is pronounced Ech … in … op … sis. But where does the name come from? Once you understand the its Latin roots, you’ll discover the name makes great sense.

“Echin” comes from the Latin word “Ekihnos,” which meant both sea urchin and hedgehog.  (Yes, it does seem like Latin speakers way back when might have come up with distinct words for these two pretty different creatures, but apparently they did not).

The “opsis” at the end of Echinopsis is another Latin word, one which means “resembling” or “appearance.”

So Echinopsis means hedgehog resembling or sea urchin appearance. A very accurate description for this genus of cacti that are often ball shaped growing to about 6” in diameter and, yep, covered with hedgehog-like and sea urchin-esq thorns.

 

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow