Play With Your Food, I Say!

I am wrapping up this month’s exploration of patterns with a play session. When young, we are admonished to not play with our food. Aside from the occasional volcano of mashed potatoes and gravy lava I mostly adhered to this rule. But now that I am grown, I have thrown that reprimand out and taken to playing with my food. My idea of “playing with food” these days is styling and taking pictures. My latest subject – citrus, was chosen for the patterns created when cut in a cross-section.

three citrus cutA grapefruit,

grapefruit cut

a mineola tangelo,

mineola cutand a mandarin tangerine

mandarin cutare my citrus of choice.

I gathered leaves and cilantro from the yard and had a great time cutting and arranging. The smell – refreshing, and a fun way to kick-off a Saturday for this backyard sister. Citrus still on my mind I had a vision of delving deeper into the pattern created in the segments. So, I rigged up a photo box using an opaque plastic storage bin turned on its side and a clip-on desk light allowing me to place the light facing up inside the box. After slicing the citrus thinner I set them on the box over the light.

tangerine sliceThe back light allows the segments making up the segments to be visible. What joy! I was made even happier by the adjustment in Photoshop of filling the background with white thus removing any distractions and allowing the fruit slice to stand alone.

grapefruit sliceThese patterns are intriguing to me as well as inspirational. I may create a backdrop based on them.

orange sliceIt reminds me of a stained glass window.

These subjects make a great snack too!


~ Susan

Evening Enjoyment

Recently, with an evening free of commitments presenting opportunities galore, I chose to sit a spell in the backyard and light the chiminea. Sometimes, I like to put my Girl Scout acquired fire-building skills to practice and sit outside and enjoy the fresh evening air watching the sky turn from a dusky blue to black as the stars begin to appear. I can usually count on my youngest daughter to join in and occasionally we will partake in another time- honored Girl Scout tradition, the s’more. But this night, I was alone, at first, and brought my camera out. There were a few clouds in the sky and the sun was setting turning the clouds a beautiful shade of pink.

I decided to try something for boosting the colors in the images in Photoshop. I made a copy of the background layer and then used the overlay effect at about 50% opacity. It definitely boosts the colors.  I will show before and after the overlay so you can see for yourself.


It was mesmerizing watching the swift-moving and ever-changing clouds.



Then some birds crossed the lens.


evening cloudsAfter

As darkness set in, my attentions turned towards the fire. The flames captivated as I watched them dance around in the chiminea.


chiminea flamesAfter

I can sit for quite a while enthralled by the flames’ movement while enjoying the warmth.


Chiminea flames

Hopefully the differences are obvious to you. I like the overlay copy effect for enhancing colors on many images. I think it adds a richness to the color without distorting it which, in my opinion, boosting the saturation can do.

My daughter joined me, by this time, and we both sat entranced while sharing an occasional tidbit of conversation as the fire slowly died down.  Sometimes, a good campfire can’t be beat.

Here’s to time well spent!