Well – I’ve come to the end of year four of Photo a Day and am about to start on year five. In honour of owl of the week – which I have been running for two of the four years – here, for your viewing pleasure, is a week of owls.
Wall art in a shop in Islington
Owl print top
Owl birthday card for my sister.
Owl poster – designed by me
I have decided to retire owl of the week in favour of Lepidoptera of the week – as I have more chance of ‘in the wild’ photos than the one owl I managed in two years!
Twooo years of Owl of the Week
This blog has turned out to be mostly photos, but I tinker with a bit of artwork too, usually created from my photos.
At lunchtime a kite flew over my house. It was too far away to get a clear shot, but I did get a good shape of the bird with wings outstretched.
Red kite silhouette
So I decided to turn it into an pattern. I upped the contrast in ACR so that I could get a clean outline. Then I took it into Illustrator and used the Image Trace feature set to silhouette. I duplicated it once and ran it though the pattern maker. Once I had a swatch I was happy with I filled a rectangle with the pattern and saved as a png. I took it back into photoshop to tidy up the pattern edges.
Kite pattern made from photo in Illustrator
Yesterday we went to see the hares again. This time I didn’t see any really close up, but there were loads of them in the field. We could see fourteen at one point. Soon the grass will be too long to see them when they are in the field, but they do like to sit on the tracks.
Hare in the grass
Hares at Play
The birds are gone to bed the cows are still
And sheep lie panting on each old molehill
And underneath the willow’s grey-green bough
Like toil a-resting lies the fallow plough
The timid hares throw daylight fears away
On the lane road to dust and dance and play
Then dabble in the grain by nought deterred
To lick the dew-fall from the barley’s beard
Then out they sturt again and round the hill
Like happy thoughts – dance – squat – and loiter still
Till milking maidens in the early morn
Gingle their yokes and sturt them in the corn
Through well-known beaten paths each nimbling hare
Sturts quick as fear – and seeks its hidden lair
Last weekend I made an experimental pack of postcards at moo.com. I’ve ordered business cards and mini cards from them quite a few times and always been generally happy with them, but I’d never tried postcards. I put the order in on Sunday night and they arrived this morning (Friday) in a jiffy bag and packed in this card pack.
Postcard pack from Moo
And here’s the pack spread out. It’s a mix of photos taken with my canon and fujifilm cameras and artwork done in Illustrator and Photoshop. Apparently they use some sort of photo enhancement on photos you upload direct to the site (you can upload via Flickr and possibly Facebook) and the reproduction certainly seems better than on photos I’ve uploaded via Flickr and I think the gloss finish helps.
I’ve been learning to use Adobe Illustrator over the past few weeks – and as I don’t use it at work, I’m having to come up with ideas to practise with. This came out of reading Horrible Histories Frightful First World War. ‘Signalese’ was one of the earliest spelling alphabets and was used by signallers on the Western Front. I used Stencil std bold, exported to jpg, opened in Photoshop and added a linen pattern fill layer set to hard light blending. I’ll be going back to tweak the letter spacing a bit.