Marcia’s Meanderings – Kicking & Screaming

Hello Dear Ones!

Mike and I just celebrated our 93rd Monthaversary (we were married in October of 2002) and we treated ourselves to a nice dinner out. Over the meal we found ourselves reliving the amazement of our wedding and honeymoon (a collection of stories in and of themselves!) and laughed about the challenges that had befallen us over this same period of time.

As events of our lives arose, and with each new adventure, we couldn’t imagine how we were going to get through this situation or that challenge, this drama or that letting go of something deemed essential in the moment. In other words, there were many times when we moved from one home or city to another with at least one of us kicking and screaming and being dragged by the hair from point A to point B.

We can laugh about it now! And we did exactly that tonight. We are both so grateful that our sense of humour stayed heartily intact over the years! We have grown spiritually as well – both individually and as a couple. As a result, this latest crisis of spirit that I have recently undergone, though devastating on its own, has been less traumatic than it might have been years back. What I can say is that rather than kicking and screaming like a toddler taking a temper tantrum the way I might have, I found myself going into a place of relative quiet. There was a sense of angst without the demonstrative component to accompany it. It was a peaceful crumbling into self – rather scary, actually. Continue Reading →

He Says, She Says… Resistance: Grace under Fire

Hello Dear Ones!

If you follow our posts regularly, our entries this week: Mike’s -  Being Green – Literally & Marcia’s -  Marcia’s Meanderings – A Crisis of Spirit, you will already know that both of us have had our share of interesting challenges in the past seven days.

Then the following quote came through an e-mail from Eckhart Tolle:

One could say that going through loss is the great awakener. It is a potential opening if you don’t run away from it. What is usually condemned as ‘bad’ by the mind and the mind-made self is actually grace coming into your life.

We thought to use this as the foundation for this week’s He Says, She Says… post – “Resistance: Grace under Fire“.

Normally our Sunday posts present a ‘He Says’ and a ‘She Says’ view; sometimes contradictory, sometimes complementary, always unique.  However, Mike is dealing with a rather large headache at the moment, so this week’s post is going to be a ‘She Says’ only.


Follow these links to read what She Says: Marcia’s View

Playing With Clarity in Lightroom

Hi Folks:

This is just a quick idea I came up with last month as I was playing around inside Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The Clarity Slider is part of the Basic panel in the Develop module, and normally it’s used to increase mid-tone contrast in an image. In Lightroom 2.0 Adobe provided the option to use ‘negative’ clarity as well, which can be used to give all or part of the image a dream-like effect. I used negative clarity in my image titled ‘Do Bicycles Dream?’

It’s a tool, and like any tool, it can be used or abused. Anyway, this is my first spring here in in the city of flowers, and being a true Canadian I was both surprised and delighted to see crocuses and snowdrops peeking their heads out of the ground at the beginning of February. Up north February is synonymous with ‘mid-winter’. Not too far from where we’re living right now, one of our neighbours had their entire lawn erupt in crocuses and other flowers:

Crocus Panorama

Now, to extend the dyamic range of my hdr images I tend to use Timothy Armes’ LR/Enfuse plugin to combine the images I’ve made at different exposures. Thinking about how it works though, got me thinking about combining other sorts of images. I took a close-up image of my neighbour’s crocuses and processed as I would normally in Lightroom’s Develop module, then created a Virtual Copy of that image and turned the Clarity slider all the way down to -100. I then used the LR/Enfuse plugin to combine both images together. The result is below.

Blended Crocuses

At first glance it appears as though the image has simply had negative clarity applied to it, but there’s detail in it as well, especially if you zoom in on it. It would be possible to create something similar in Photoshop using layers and Gaussian Blur, but not exactly. Anyway, it’s just something to play with.

Have a great day,

P.S. You can find more of our posts on photography and Lightroom tutorials here, and you can find links to over 200 other sites that have Lightroom tips, tutorials and videos here.