For this week’s Monochrome Madness I’ve chosen the image from my last month’s trip to Prague. I thought about how it was nicely framed, there was no need to crop the image. So, I played with it and explored framing some more. For me it works because of the vintage treatment of the original, I enjoyed turning this into an “old photograph” version.


I still haven’t gone through my other images from that trip, I can’t believe how time flies. I thought I’ll have more free time to sort and reorganize many things in my life, but I am having trouble with that. My head is full of plans and projects, but they are still just sitting there. One good thing is that I am managing to post an image a day to my Instagram account. It is challenging to find interesting things on my morning walks with Berta and not to repeat myself.

December in Monochrome Madness will be just that, completely maddening. There will be a different theme every week.

1st week of December the 2nd – Bells
2nd week, December the 9th – Santa or Elves
3rd week, December the 16th – Angels
4th week, December the 23rd – Christmas where you are

I’ll need to go out and find something interesting to photograph, my biggest challenge is finding some bells. I know there are many variations on that subject, but I would love to photograph big, church bells. Well, I have my work cut out for me, for sure.

As always, be sure to check Leanne’s blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY. for other amazing entries.


Time for another entry in Friday Fictioneers challenge, courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you want to give it a try, check the info on her blog. 100 words more or less, inspired by a photo, here we go….


 Copyright –   Connie Gayer

Ever since her ship skidded past the event horizon, barely missing the black hole accretion disc, Geneviève Bouchard wondered how much time passed back home.

Accompanied by radio silence, she sailed over the space and time, her trepidation contained in the titanium cage of her mind. Eventually, resignation took over, with only the fraction of her instinct for survival slowly burning, pushing her onward.

The data logs on InternationalSpaceStation finally offered answers, stories of human arrogance and stupidity. Years of nuclear winter left its mark, but the wild sapling she found near the landing site told a story of a new beginning.

After 329 years, Geneviève came home.

I went for a walk and kept thinking how no one will understand this story, apart from Science Fiction fans.
Basically, in theory when you approach the black hole, for you time slows down. Meaning, while it might be days or months for Geneviève, in Earth time centuries flew by.



September #One Four Challenge – Week 2

First of all, I would like to apologize to my fellow bloggers for not visiting your blogs over the last 10 days. I injured my back, so I am resting as much as possible. Further more, my Berta had a surgery today, removing a benign tumor from her leg and she demands all my attention. I hope this week I’ll manage to visit you all.

As the result of the circumstances described above, my week 2 edit is a half attempt at something. I have an idea, but managed to do just a bit of it using PicMonkey and PixlrExpress. I replaced the sky with one of my own sky images, but I am still to learn layers. That’s why the image is half done, but I do hope I’ll improve it in weeks 3 and 4. SeptemberOneFour2It seems my original idea of improving an earlier edit evolved again. Now my goal is to work on the same idea for the rest of the month, hopefully achieving something good at the end. That means there wont be any new versions, but the continuation of this one. Funny how things turn out.

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As always, be so kind and check other OFC participants by checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader and Robyn’s blog Captivate Me.


September #One Four Challenge – Week 1

When it comes to One Four Challenge, it’s all about the right image. You want to choose one that will give you most inspiration. Or challenge. I spent my August searching for the image and here I was, none the wiser. Then I got an idea.

Bassin d'Apollon, Versailles

This was my very first image for Stacey’s ABF Forum, from last July. I was new to all this editing stuff, it was quite a challenge to choose an image to work on. Back then, I thought I did a good job. Especially since this is a scan of the paper photo. I decided to play with this image in September OPF, to see if I learned new things and whether I can do it better.

For week 1 I am sharing my edit from the last year, so you can compare my skills before and now. (There will probably be no difference 😛 )

Bassin d'Apollon, Versailles

Occupying the site of Rondeau/Bassin des Cygnes of Louis XIII, the Apollo Fountain was constructed between 1668 and 1671. Charles Le Brun designed the centerpiece depicting the Greek god Apollo rising from the sea in a four-horse chariot to light the sky. A pond was dug on the site of the fountain in 1639 called “The Pond of the Swans”. When King Louis XIV of France had it enlarged in 1671, the pond’s east-west orientation and the common association of the King with Apollo prompted Charles Le Brun to suggest dedicating the site to Apollo. The fountain forms a focal point in the garden and serves as a transitional element between the gardens of the Petit Parc and the Grand Canal.

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As always, be so kind and check other OFC participants by checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader and Robyn’s blog Captivate Me.</h4


June #One Four Challenge – Week 2

I had no particular idea where to go for this week’s One Four Challenge. I just played with the image, trying different things, pushing it as far as I could without going too far.

I love how this image gives me a “movie” vibe, from the original to both week 1 and 2.
What was my post-processing? Darn if I can remember…I started the same way, cropping and straightening…But I decided to change the colors, I was very curious to see if it would work. There were few dead-ends, but I finally settled on this greenish-gray version. I softened the clouds and got the idea of the fog. I know there is a way to add fog to the image, but I wanted to bring it from the original. So, I softened the clouds some more and lightened the image. My final touch was a touch of focal zoom, to give more movement to the clouds.

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I have no idea if I succeed, but I like the final result. If last time I was expecting Thor, this week there could be Hulk lurking on that tower.

Please, be so kind and check Robyn’s blog Captivate Me and the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader.


La tour Eiffel

Today, The Eiffel tower celebrates its 126th birthday. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889. as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world

The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889 and on the 31st Eiffel celebrated this by leading a group of government officials, accompanied by representatives of the press, to the top of the tower. Since the lifts were not yet in operation, the ascent was made by foot, and took over an hour.

snowsfissuresandfracturesMMC2-4Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years; it was to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it should be easy to demolish) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit. Several years later, during World War I, the Eiffel Tower intercepted enemy radio communications, relayed zeppelin alerts and was used to dispatch emergency troop reinforcements.

It escaped destruction a second time during World War II: Hitler initially ordered the demolition of the city’s most cherished symbol, but the command was never carried out. Also during the German occupation of Paris, French resistance fighters famously cut the Eiffel Tower’s elevator cables so that the Nazis had to climb the stairs.

Now one of the most recognizable structures on the planet, the Eiffel Tower underwent a major facelift in 1986 and is repainted every seven years. It welcomes more visitors than any other paid monument in the world—an estimated 7 million people per year.

I visited Paris in September 2000. This photo was taken in broad daylight, with an old  Minolta camera and this is actually a scan. It was a cloudy day and the sky was overexposed, with no hope of improvement. So, I made it a night scene. A fun fact – a special lighting display on the tower is under copyright, meaning that all night images of Eiffel Tower are not to be published without permission in France and some other countries. Yes, I cheated. 😛

I was late for this week’s edition of Monochrome Madness Challenge, but you should check other great entries on Leanne’s blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY.


Accidental Compositions

I wonder how often does it happen to others…to snap a photo without much thought, just to realize later that you accidentally managed to capture an interesting composition.

This is one of those, there was no thought process before, I just pointed my camera and clicked without much thought.


While I was looking for an image for this week’s MMC, two things caught my eye – the composition and the clear sky. I was curious to see how it would look in b&w. I know this is not a spectacular image, but I like how the tower is cut off, to me it makes the whole image grounded. It doesn’t look planned, more like a  snippet of a place I was just passing through. I think the travelers might understand what I am trying to say.

Please, be sure to visit Leanne’s blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY, where you’ll find many beautiful monochrome images.


March #One Four Challenge – Finale

So, I   $%#@&   and I whined for the whole month about this image. And in the end pulled out from my hat probably my favorite image of these five months of One Four Challenge. It just goes to show you should never give up.


I don’t know why, but I am in love with this one. It has everything I like…panoramic crop, nice central focus, soft background that gives a little bit of magic, an old-fashioned, nostalgic feel, almost an art-deco style.

My editing choices were not complicated and that probably adds to my infatuation with this version. I took my time and played around, trying to find an angle. Once I figured out this panoramic crop, everything else came easily. After that over-the-top version of last week, I wanted to do something subtle, so another monochrome was in order. I think this image really shines in b&w, probably because of the water. A little bit of exposure adjusting and placing the focal soften in the right spot, that was it. It was all done in PicMonkey.

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Finally, here we are, at the end of the One Four Challenge March edition. Be so kind and vote for your favorite version and please, do leave a comment. I’ll be sure to make my rounds to all of you. I may be late, but I always make it. 😉

One Four Challenge is taking a break in April, some of us will probably post something related, past images, favorite galleries, recaps…We will be back in full force in May. Be sure to check Week 4 from other participants by visiting Robyn’s blog Captivate Me or checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader.

I just realised how I gave myself so many compliments about this last image, modesty is really not my strong suit. Hope you don’t hold it against me, but I was so happy that I finally created the version I like. 😛


March #One Four Challenge – Week 3

I am not the one to get all flustered about things going wrong. So, for this week I decided to have some fun. Hence this cheesy, loud, over-the-top postcard version. I spent 7 minutes and 23 seconds on editing this version and it was time well spent.

MarchOneFour3There is really no need to explain what my post-processing choices were, so I am not going to bother you with that. I just hope I get some inspiration for the next week.

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Be sure to check Week 3 from other participants by visiting Robyn’s blog Captivate Me or checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader.


March #One Four Challenge – Week 2

Last Monday I said I was thisclose to skip March and this Monday I think I should have done just that. I had no inspiration for this week, stuck in a dead alley. I was on the fence about this image and now I am sure I picked the wrong one.

Ben gave me an idea last week, to try perspective correction straightening the building. I tried that in Gimp, didn’t like it. Another thing he suggested was turning it black and white and using a faux red filter to turn the sky black. I tried that, too. Except, I had no idea what a “faux red filter” was and where to find it.  😛  So, I used color correction with Bluegrad filter and ended up with this.

MarchOneFourWeek2I wanted to accentuate the water droplets, so I sharpened the image. That in turn made sky look awful. So, I partially softened the image, to mask the noise, thus bringing the attention back to the water.

I don’t know. It is a love-hate relationship. I kept going away and coming back for days, not knowing in which direction to go. Just couldn’t make myself sit in front of the monitor, especially since the sun finally decided to grace us with its presence. I know it’s me, I am the problem, not the image.

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I am already depressed about the next week, because I always try to offer something original and this image just drives me crazy. Well, no point in driving myself crazy in advance, there’ll be enough time to do it on Monday. In the mean time, you can check Week 2 from other participants by visiting Robyn’s blog Captivate Me or checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader.