Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stitching Travel Memories


Sunrise at Angkor Wat

I just recently discovered some apps like Diptic, Collage and Instagram which enhance a photograph in different and amazing ways. With Sunrise at Angkor Wat, I used Diptic to form a collage of various images I took at Angkor Wat last year to show the unfolding of day starting at around 5:30 a.m. until the sun crept into full view. It's beautiful to see the gradation of hues at intervals of just a few minutes. I refer to these images as "early bird catches early worm".

Bayon

In this photo taken at Bayon (also at the Angkor complex of temples), I used a filter from Instagram for a dramatic effect and to hide the haze at the lower edge of the photo. The frame further adds to the drama and sets the photo back in time. I describe this image as "a smiling face peeping through the corridors of time".

Casa de Fruta, Gilroy, California

This collage of eye candy was made using Collage app. It's a fun way of mixing various images into one so you can show as many photographs while placing each one within its own frame, depending on the selected layout . There are at 16 layouts to start you off  and you can choose what color to use for your border. In the photo above, I used a subtle yellow which complements the jelly beans and the children's cups below.

The apps are user friendly. It doesn't take long to learn how to enhance your photos. It's a fun and creative exercise that will keep you engrossed for hours. All these apps are free for IPhone and IPad users and you can share your photos with family and friends on Instagram.
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Images by Charie

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Garden Aspirations


We all dream of having a beautiful garden. Preferably without weeds. Just flowers in bloom and green grass all year round. Which is why I just love to see the seasonal floral display at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Las Vegas. I know I will never be able to plant healthy blooms such as those at Bellagio on hardpan soil. But I have great expectations anyway.


These larger than life lady beetles are made of hundreds of red carnations and are surrounded by a sea of mums and kalanchoe.


And the frog prince reigns contentedly amidst yellow, red, and blue flowers anchored by a pavilion draped with stars and stripes banners. The frog prince is appropriately clad in what else? - kermit chrysanthemums, reindeer moss, green coffee bean and sheer moss.


A little whimsy goes a long way. Bicycles with floral baskets tossed idly against a wooden railing and a ticket booth signal lazy days ahead. Message: don't rush. Just enjoy the long, hot days of summer under the shade.

Cap Martin near Menton, Claude Monet

Monet had a deep interest in gardening and designed his own garden in Giverny which served as the inspiration for many of his paintings including his water lillies and le pont Japonais. How appropos then to interpret his oeuvres with flowers! Cap Martin near Menton is a rich and organic painting (from the original) with hundreds of flowers framed artfully, bien sûr.

This nursery rhyme brings me back to my garden aspirations:
"Mary, Mary quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And marigolds all in a row".

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Images by Charie

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

One Nation under God



One nation under God
Indivisible
With liberty and justice for all.

Happy Independence Day, U.S.A.

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Image from Microsoft clip art.


Scaling new heights


I saw these remarkably high heels at a trendy store in Las Vegas and didn't even wonder who would wear these stilts. Many movie stars wear them to red carpet events and parties and I've seen friends dance in these heels effortlessly.  I once read an article about JLo playing a little football in strappy Louboutin high, high heels. How does she do it?


What I wonder most is how sturdy are these heels? Will it hold my weight? There's one thing I'm sure of. I could wear these high heels for a few minutes, probably sitting down. No need to invite backache.


It's fascinating to see the different styles - one for every occasion or dress. How ingenious to put  spikes down the back of the heels! Perfect to kick someone with should they get out of hand.

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Images by Charie