Photography · Uncategorized

BTS for the Avenging Angel Image

A few people have requested the BTS information on creating the Avenging Angel photo.  So, I’ve created a quick and dirty shoot to explain the process.

First of all, the inspiration came from Light Painting Photograph Contest Winner May 2020.  The difference is that I broke this up into two images whereas the inspiration is one long exposure.

Tools I used:

  • Two Flashlights, one of which I covered with red transparent vinyl
  • Black Fiber Optics

  • A stencil using free clipart which I made out of cardboard. The stencil area itself is about 7×10.   The piece of cardboard is about 11×16.  I would recommend using a larger piece of cardboard as to have a little more freedom to play around with.

First Image: The wings

Focus on the model and then put in manual focus.
Dan was approximately 12 feet from the camera itself.

Place the stencil in front of the camera.  I used a light stand with clamps.  The stencil completely fills the frame.

I situated myself behind the place where Dan would stand (which was marked by a concrete paver I painted black). With a remote trigger and timer, I used the fiber optics tool with a flashlight with red gel over it and painted to my heart’s content.  It’s a long exposure and a lot of work to get what I wanted.  I will be thinking about coming up with a better and quicker way of doing this. (The black stick in front of my foot was used in a later step, described below)

This is the result of the light painting:

Second Image: Dan in costume

I first tried to use a DIY portrait light and it failed utterly.  So, I decided to use speedlights.  I set up speedlights on either side of him and one on the camera.

He rested the sword on the black stick(mentioned above) to keep it steady.  I put the camera on timer and used a remote trigger.  The speedlights would fire and then I’d go in and light up the sword with black fiber optics and a plain flashlight (nothing covered over it).

This is the result:

Combined Final Image:

I then combined the two images in Photoshop Elements using layers and a layer mask to get the final result.

Blooper shot:

An accidental BTS shot.  I look awful and surprised.  I must have hit the remote trigger twice — turned it off and accidentally turned it back on which fired the speedlights after 10 seconds.  Note: As you can see here, Dan has the sword resting on the black stick.





Uncategorized · Photography

Framers Friday: Flashlight

The extra credit is one of my loves: Light Painting.

Avenging Angel

Here is what I wrote:

This is a composite. A three-day effort. The first was to see if the wings worked using a stencil cut out of cardboard painted black along with fiber optics with a flashlight covered with red transparent gel. The second was with my model (my husband) to fine-tune wings. By the time I called it done, I realized I was suffering from heat exhaustion. I could not reach the tips of the wings no matter how hard I try even with a stool which was dangerous. I gave up and called it done. I was not happy with the lighting of my model using a flashlight and DIY portrait lighting using a collapsible wand. So, the third and final effort was with my model using speedlights and white fiber optics with a flashlight on the sword. {Title suggested by Dan}


Uncategorized · Writing

Compromise {Five Minute Friday}

Please remember that these are my observations, thoughts, feelings, etc. and that of no one else.  This was written from my memories and my heart.  Since I am trying to be honest, open, and etc., and using this medium in order to heal, I’m going to publish this bit with quite a bit of trepidation.  I doubt any family member of mine, especially my brothers, is actively reading this blog; but, one never knows.

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I started writing and words rapidly flowed from my fingers.    It’s all free form and very little editing was done as grammar/spelling is not as important to me at this time.  I did add a couple of footnotes.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medIn our family, It’s all or nothing.  It’s rare for anyone to say “agree to disagree” and still get along with the other.  I honestly believe that this behavior or attitude began with our generation considering I observed many times my father and his siblings constantly bickering and/or arguing and yet, they still laughed with and loved one another continuing to get along.

It was rare to see my brothers unite in one common theme while I was growing up.  But, they often did when it came to me — their only sister and youngest sibling.  When my oldest brother learned about a boy bullying me and upon discovering he knew the bully, he gained the support of my two other brothers and together they went off to confront the bully.  From that day forth, I was left alone by this particular bully.  It’s okay if they (my brothers) torment/beat on me but how dare another touch me!

They often talked over one another vying to be the loudest.  I observed it was difficult for them as adults to truly listen to the other (including me) with an open mind.  One brother left the family altogether.  I didn’t understand why for years and often thought I was part of the problem. I still don’t truly understand why and it still pains me to this day.

You have to understand my personality. I love with all of my being for life. I adore my grand-nephews and -nieces no matter what they do or have done.  It’s the same for my brothers and anyone who I call a friend1. I hurt when I feel like I’ve done wrong but do not understand why.  It angered me that no one would talk to me as to the whys and wherefores to my brother’s leaving.

To be cut off from seeing and knowing his son, my grand-nephew, just because of a decision he made that had nothing to do with me2 irked me.  It took me some time to process that information.

When I briefly reconnected with him to inform Mother was dying, I had hope.  But, after her passing, he went off on me thinking I was involved in my brother’s decisions3. It made me angry at how he assumed I was in the middle of it all.   I actually had no clue what was going on most of the time due to a combined lack of communication on everyone’s part with me and deafness.  I was tired.

I told him what’s what and slammed the figurative door between us (without locking it) in order to save myself from drowning in an emotional pit4. That was the end of that relationship.  It’s up to him to take the first step as I’m tired of trying and reaching out.

Well, I digressed.

I feel the inability to truly listen to one another and compromise is a flaw of our generation.  It hurts when I truly listen to the other only to not have my voice heard and/or my experiences discounted.   It took me ages to realize and just accept this fact exists within our family and love them for who they are.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medI can only imagine that this is a small reason as to why my brother cut himself off from the family.  He just couldn’t endure it any longer. With that said, I know I should not put my own experiences upon him. He needs to raise up his own voice (with me and/or the others).  I’m willing to listen… with a catch.  He has to listen to me too which he has rarely done. After all, I have a voice too.

  1. Once I make a decision that a person is my friend, he/she is a friend for life.
  2. He informed me after my father’s passing that I was just a “causality of his decision.” At that time, I felt sad and irked upon discovering I did nothing to contribute to his decision to cut himself off from the family.
  3. My “youngest” brother was made my folk’s executor by my father of which I was totally fine with as I did not nor could handle that kind of responsibility.  I do believe that my “youngest” brother often communicated with my eldest brother about stuff he was dealing with. I was rarely involved except to make decisions that directly affected me.
  4. This occurred between Mother’s passing and her funeral.


Pets · Photography · Uncategorized

Framers Friday: Make a Background


Here is what I wrote:

Dollar Tree and my weird sense of humor. The “decals” are from flotation devices which I took the time to cut out. I knew I was going to have to work on the shark because it was in two pieces; but hey, anything to help improve my PSE skills. I underestimated the height my girl stands which explains the fish’s tail behind her head. I had no time nor inclination to make a new background. I ended up with four pictures that I liked. Thank you my mini-groups for helping narrow down my choices.

Tip: My girl will sit, stay, stand, wave, spin, and more for what I call “kitty crack”. She’ll do anything for a taste. Cats will “work” for the right treats. I think she’s a beautiful meowdel.


ETA Update: This image was an Instagram feature.

Uncategorized · Writing

Silver (#writephoto)

“Use the image and title provided as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  on Wednesday each week,  and link back to the prompt post with a pingback to be included in the round-up.  There is no word limit and no style requirements, except to keep it fairly family friendly and not passionately political.”

divider-clipart-divider_line_medA silver light in the distance sparked her curiosity. She heads towards it without hesitation.  She arrives at a small lake with a silver reflection from the light of the moon.  She gazes into the rippling waters wondering how it’s moving with nary a breeze.   An apparition slowly arises.  She watches it approach her with utter fascination.  A hand reaches out touching her breaking the reverie.   She sighs with longing upon discovering the place was only a mirage.  She looks for the one who touched her and discovers the man of her dreams.

I wrote this in a hurry and edited it a bit. I didn’t have much time; so, it is what it is.  I realize there’s more to this story as it’s mysterious and leaves the reader wanting to know more.



#writephoto Photo Prompt
Thursday photo prompt: Silver #writephoto

Photography · Uncategorized

Framers Friday: Hands


Here is what I wrote:

I’ve been feeling really down and stuck lately. I decided to play with one of my favorite forms of photography which is light painting. I also decided to learn how to blend two images. With a tutorial on Youtube and my husband’s help with details I don’t quite understand (he had to explain things both verbally and visually), I managed to create this image.

FYI: This is not considered true light painting by purists since it’s a composite. Both images are mine and were taken on the same day. The flame’s image shutter speed was 1.0 seconds.