Texture Filters Play. Subject Bees.

Every winter my amazing Camellia tree bursts forth with masses of beautiful pale pink flowers.

The bees come in masses and I delight in watching them encase themselves amongst the stamens.

They remind me of little go-go dancers as they push their way through the stamen bars of the cage, into the centre. Busily carrying out the dance of nature before departing in search of the next flower.


This week I am spending hours in search of the most amazing bee photo.Often at the risk of getting stung.

They don’t like the click of the camera when I take a photo and will often come flying out and buzz around me to see what the danger is.

So far I haven’t ever been stung by an angry bee, upset about being disturbed from it’s very important tasks of cross pollination and nectar collection.

What I have discovered is that I need a new camera, capable of taking great macro shots. The autofocus camera we have is fantastic at panoramas but loses it with closeups.

The photo below would have been a great shot if the photo quality was better.

I love the idea of new life with the green shoot and the bee amongst the stamens.

My quest yesterday, was to see if there was a way with picmonkey’s filters to save this photo from the bin.


After using auto-correct to enhance the image, I was not confident that the photo could be improved.

I remembered that picmonkey has a textures overlay filter and decided to test them out.

The first one was a weave filter, which gives the photo a look of being printed on linen in the first shot.

A larger weave filter  in the second and third photos looks as if the photo is a tapestry embroidery.




For the two photos below, the texture filter I used was the metal texture.

The resulting pictures are very interesting and the texture overlay helps to distract from the poor quality of the original image.


I really love the resulting images and I can even imagine one or two as cushions in my future sewing room.



Spotlight – Filter Play

Today’s creative experience was to start with a solid colour background and use a mixture of different filters on picmonkey.

This was pure play as I had no idea where I was going with this.

I like things to be symetrical and tidy, so I flipped the original image twice to create segments.

I really like the radiating effect of the central spotlight and the pixelated rings leading the eye to the outer border.

There is no recipe for this creation as I wasn’t writing down what filters I was using.

 No doubt I will never be able to reproduce it. It is a true original Linny J Creation.

spotlight 2

Spring is coming.

Despite being a cold, overcast Melbourne winter day, I found the garden is bursting forth with signs of the coming spring.

A closeup of this cluster of primula flower buds, inspired me to play around with the filters

of  my picmonkey photo editing program.

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I used a combination of a solid aqua background, 2 shape cutouts one of which had a transparent background and highlighted it all with a radiance filter.

The rainbow effect of the colours reminded me of the bursting forth of spring and the happiness that it brings to my life.



Architectural Photography

One of my passions is photographing the architectural features and decorations on old buildings.

I love visiting new towns and cities and taking photographs of the buildings.

When one looks closely there is a world of delight for the photographer.

I am always looking upwards at the facade of any beautiful old building I am passing.

Looking skywards can be a very dangerous thing to do but is so rewarding.

In the Paris section of Glasgow, in Scotland, I was looking skywards and tripped on the uneven pavement.

Luckily I was unharmed and but was highly embarrassed.

The other danger is the urge to keep stepping backwards towards the road to get

a better shot of the building.

This could be nasty with a tumble in the gutter or worse in front of an oncoming vehicle.

Sometimes I have to curtail my enthusiasm for fine detail and focus on safety instead.

Melbourne, Australia is very lucky to have many ornate buildings as a result of the wealth from the Gold Rush.

One of my favourite things to do is to wander & admire the beautiful craftsmanship that went into making superb buildings.

There are so many fine details to see and photograph.


St Michael’s Collins Street Melbourne

Architect Joseph Reed.
Built in polychrome brick, 1866.

There is a great description of Architectural design on the Church’s webpage here

I took this photograph in winter last year and only today revisited it.
Looking at it with a fresh eye, I saw what a great photo it was.

It was a beautiful winter’s day with a bright blue sky.

A rare thing in Melbourne in winter.

I was trying to capture the height of the steeple of the church, from a spot on the footpath in front of the church. I was unable to fit the doors and steps of the church in the frame from where I was standing. Hubby’s patience wouldn’t have extended to me crossing the road to get a better perspective.

My critique

The geometric patterns in the brickwork are very attractive and photogenic.

I love the 3 layered effect of the bare branches in the foreground, the old church in the middle and the contrast of the modern building in the background. The tree has seen many changes in it’s life, as the seasons come and go. Watching old buildings being replaced with newer ones. The photo captures how the two styles of architecture sit side by side. It is how architecture is in a modern city in 2015.

If you look closely you will see the reflection of the tree’s branches in a small window of the church. The lights are on in this room , inviting the viewer to come inside from the cold. I didn’t notice this at the time of shooting this photograph but as a Christian myself, I find comfort in the warming welcome that this window gives.

I played around with the black and white filters on my photo editing program. I settled on using the Holga filter, which really accentuated the dark feel of the image. The loss of the yellow from the light in the window, gave the picture a darker feeling. The bare branches became the main focus of the photo. The mood evoked is drab, dreary and dark.

I really love the contrast between the two photos. Each photo tells a different story.

Using Black and white filters can add the drama to photographs.



Raindrops on Kale.

Take one Kale plant. Pretty in colour but not really anything amazing.

That is until I saw raindrops from a morning  rain shower, glistening in the sun.

They were like crystals and I was fascinated by the drops falling off the edges of the leaves.

I just had to run inside and grab my phone to capture this beautiful image.


The beautiful colours of the leaves came alive

with an automatic enhancing action on picmonkey.com. 

No one can combine colours as well as Mother nature.

I love the final result.

PicMonkey Image

Rescuing a botched photograph.

The challenge was to improve the quality of this i-phone photo, below.

I took it this morning whilst out walking.

It was very sunny and the image has come out very poorly.

There is a bee in the stamens, which was supposed to be my subject.

I found it hard to be crouched down under a tree laden with flowers hosting busy bees.

Trying to get the right angle on my subject using an i-phone, put my hand dangerously close to my subject.

I don’t recommend anyone trying this.

It was amazing that I was not stung by the bees.

Next time I will use an automatic zoom on my camera.

Looking at the image now, I can see that the gumnuts, flowers and leaves are the main subjects.

I really like the effect of the blue sky in the background. 

Before sending it to the trash bucket, I thought that I would do some playing around with the filters on my photo editing program picmonkey.com.

I  really like my final result. 

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The gumnuts glowing are now the main focus of the image. I love the feathery effect of the light shining through the stamens and the dark image of the bee.

I chose to use a heavy black filter around the edges of the image, to contrast with the strong light of the gumnuts.

So with just a bit of fiddling with different filters, I was able to save

this image and create a something worthwhile.

So don’t assume that a photo needs to be trashed.

Play with your programs filters and a whole new picture might emerge.



Hellebore Stamens. Filter play.

Sexy stamens.

Perfect to attract bees to the flower.

It also attracted my photographic eye and became

the subject of my creative filter play for this blog.

hellebore collage



In the photo above, focal focus, black and white & large pixels filters  were used.

Below I experimented with a few other filters and am

impressed by the results.





Stamens make a great photo subject to play around with.

So much fun.