Monday, 31 March 2008

Paint your surrounding!

Recently I've been playing a lot with various layer operation. Do you know in GIMP you can add, substract, multiply, divide, overlay, a layer? You might think that all this operation only produce weird looking picture, but hold your thought there. One of the most powerful GIMP layer operation is overlay. I have no clue what it actually does (perhaps you can find out for me), but it capable to enhance the color selectively when the curve tool or adjusting saturation unable to help. Here is some example :
Adjusting histogram curve will make everything looks dark (including skin), and increasing saturation won't make the contrast looks better.


The trick :
Overlay it with black and gold to make the contrast stands out.

Another example : here is a pale looking picture. Look how GIMP can artificially adding color to the scene!

This picture is overlayed with green and black layer. Black to increase the contrast and green to change the overall look. If you think this is "too green" you can always change the opacity of the layer, put something like 40 percent transparency, and it should do the trick!

And here is a sample of a different operation called "grain merge". Here, the original picture is merged with brown layer to make the picture retain old/worn looks.

Last one is demonstrating adding color to leaves and grass. This image is overlayed with blue and brown layer.

Layer operation can be quite powerful. So don't under estimate even if you only have a small digital pocket camera!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

The money thing...

I bet this year will be a though year for many of foreigner in UK. Perhaps not only us, immigrant will feel the pressure of tax increase and pension decrease, but most of brits in general is literary going to sent Mr G. Brown down the drain if he continue on demanding money for his cabinet's budget. First, it's start of with fuel price jetting up about 23 penny per litre eversince I stepped my feet in UK 2 years ago. Now it's already about 1.08 GBP per litre in Northants. Still, Mr Darling, planned to force another 2 pence per litre tax by Oct 2009, he called it "green tax", which means to penalise everyone that is not "green enough". Strange enough... when the fuel price increase, the public transport prices are increasing as well, which means if you concern about spending money for transportation purposes, there is no way you can escape other than moving house next to your office, school, local grocery, church, or perhaps ride on horse or bicycle!! (We are back to Victorian age where it took 3 days to travel between Oxford to Cambridge).
It's just so happen that the mortgage interest is increasing as well while property price is "predicted" going to fall in the next 2years (which strange enough not happening yet). To get a good mortgage interest, somehow you have to fork out about 2% of the lending amount as the booking fee. So, for 100K, you'll have to pay 4000 GBP as the booking fee! So, we truly need God's wisdom in deciding this, or else our house will need to be sold (I even hadn't finished decorating the livingroom yet!)
My house, an old victorian building from 1820.

My half done living room...

And to make things worst, the government CHANGE the immigration rule(AGAIN!!) They said it would make it easier for the more qualified person to get in UK and stay longer term. However, the visa application fee for HSMP/Tier 1 had already increase from 365 GBP per application to 750 GBP!!!
Apart from that government imposing new taxes called "landing fee" to most of airport in UK. That would simply means increase in airfare price.
But I am really glad that my life is not just about paying mortgages, or getting UK's visa, or just to earn money to be able to pay the taxes. My life is more than that... since Jesus came into my heart. Perhaps there is a tons of thing that worries me. But God is indeed faithful, and I've seen it so many times. For it is said

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

(Hebrew 13:5)

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Flower Power

Today we are visiting the park in Northampton (Victoria Park) to catch the early spring bloom. And yes, we bring our new lens with us. This time round, all the picture you'll seen have a real lens blur!! Not editted using GIMP as I did most of the time.
Presenting, field of hope at Victoria Park! Enjoy!!!

And here you'll see loads of Daffodil, or Narcissus.
There are two derivations of the name. One is that of the youth of Greek mythology called Narcissus, who, in at least one of many variations of the tale, became so obsessed with his own reflection as he kneeled and gazed into a pool of water that he fell into the water and drowned. The legend continues that the Narcissus plant first sprang from where he died. The other derivation is that the plant is named after its narcotic properties (narkoa, to numb in Greek).

There are several plurals in common use: "Narcissuses", and "Narcissus". This last is common in American English, and is the form preferred by the American Daffodil Society, but it is very rare in British usage. The American Webster's Third New International Dictionary gives plurals in the order "Narcissus", "Narcissuses", and "Narcissi", but the British Compact Oxford English Dictionary lists just "Narcissi" and "Narcissuses".

The name Daffodil is derived from an earlier "Affodell", a variant of Asphodel. The reason for the introduction of the initial "d" is not known, although a probable source is an etymological merging from the Dutch article "de," as in "De affodil." From at least the sixteenth century "Daffadown Dilly" or "daffadown dilly" has appeared as a playful synonym of the name.

The name jonquil is sometimes used in North America, particularly in the southeastern, but strictly speaking that name belongs only to the rush-leaved Narcissus jonquilla and cultivars derived from it. In the southern United States, narcissus are sometimes referred to as buttercups.

Flowers of the tazetta-group species Narcissus papyraceus are commonly called paperwhites.

Josiah doing some music conducting using flower's stalk.

Apologise for such a lousy picture, as you can probably tell, yusdi took a lot more better picture than me!

Oh well, there is no such things as red daffodils, this is fabricated using GIMP.

Stay tune for more flower power picture!!!

Friday, 28 March 2008

Once upon a time

Click the image to enlarge.

Who doesn't want to get the best shoot ever when it comes to pre wedding photo? People willing to fork quite a bit when comes to wedding do's. But things slightly different with V2 studio, cheng du, China. From what I've heard they offer a good service plus good value for money. I do think V2 studio own the best pre wedding picture I've ever seen in my life. I think they have great ability to capture the beauty of the scenery plus excellent idea of retouching them, making the picture looks fairytale like.

It seems like V2 studio trademark has been taking picture with emphasis on surrounding scenery(normally trees, mountain, snow and flowers).

Interesting idea of making the sky black so that the contrast of the trees stand out.

Combination of softglow, infrared filter, makes it looks romantic yet simple. I like the idea of wearing red gown and black umbrella, is absolutely stylish!!

Great fish eye effect!!!

I love this oriental picture with lush of yellow rustic touch. It's just so artistic!

I've noticed that the photographer/editor like to makes the background looks dark/black to keep the color of the flowers stand out even more.

Given a second chance, I think I would visit cheng du just for this!