Action Man And The Wars Of Ireland

Humph – there’s three wars for me to chat about today; The Wars of Ireland; The Wars of the churches control over the people; My war with Richard. Let’s start with that muppet Richard.

Who on earth wakes up at 3.30 am and repeatedly asks “Action Man, Action Man, are you awake?”. What’s a guy supposed to say? Do I stay quiet and hope he gives up and goes back to sleep? Or do I say “STFU!!! I was sleeping until you woke me you Bassa”.

I tried the first but had to resort to the second. In the end I was so cross I jumped on his bed and kicked his little to, right on the corn. Ha, that’s gotta hurt.

I bet it doesn’t hurt as much as fighting for the independence for your country though.

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The Irish have had to fight for independence for their Country throughout the centuries. Why did the British have to dominate every country that they could? The political bollox of Brexit has re-ignited the war, particularly over the border. The backstop could potentially force the North into closer ties with the South, and weaker ties with the rest of the UK. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but Ireland, both Northern and the Republic, has had enough violence, bloodshed and generational trauma. Here’s to the memory of those who lost their lives in the battle for independence.

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The Church is fighting a losing battle as well. There is a generational divide between those who still have faith in the Church and those who feel depleted and disillusioned by generations of control, abuse of power and abuse. Morning worship reflects the divide.

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The difficulty is that the Church professes to represent God, so when people lose their faith in the church, they often lose their faith in God. That’s what happens when a religion is all-powerful, especially when it preaches hell and damnation. What happens internally when you can’t believe in the Church and you believe you’re damned to hell? The loss of direction can make life incredibly challenging.

Enough of the heavy shite. I got to sit with the Virgin Mary. Ain’t I the lucky one.

qrfHoly Trinity Russian Orthodox Parish

It was really peaceful in the church. Not sure that Richard should have been taking photos during morning worship, but that’s nothing compared to what the crazy bugger did next. He only walks around town asking strangers if he could take their photographs for his next assignment. Only one person said yes. It’s a bit different from back home where the majority say yes. I’m not sure if this was a city thing, perhaps people are more cautious in cities? I dunno, I was too embarrassed, so I hid in the rucksack.

We walked down St Patrick’s Street to Father Matthews Statue.

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Bit gutted really. What’s the point of me writing a travel blog if you can barely see me? Does Richard not know who I am? Humph.

It’s quite ironic that Father Theobold Matthew was a founding member of the Total Abstinence Society. After a few short years he was able to demonstrate that Abstinance reduced crime in the city, and there’s me thinking that abstinence is a crime. Shows how twisted my alcoholic thinking is.

Before Richard finished his Christmas shopping, we went for a walk and found some people who were more my size. I’m not sure what country their national dress is from though.

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As for Christmas shopping; the first rule of Christmas shopping is you don’t talk about Christmas shopping. Nuff said. Night night.

Exercise 4.6 – Using Layers In Photoshop

Brief:- Create a series of photographs that include deep shadow in much of the frame. You could achieve this by using a black backdrop or by exposing in high contrast light as in Part One Project 2 (Shadows). Choose about four final images. In Photoshop, place the images on top of one another and change the Blend Mode to Screen (removes the black from the image) of the images above the lowest image. Experiment with Luminosity and Color blending modes. You may also want to reduce the opacity of each image. Move them around with consideration for the sense of depth the image represents and try to create a final composite.

This has been an enjoyable exercise. You’ll be surprised to know that I followed the brief, and then deviated from it somewhat as well.

Lets begin with my favourite. For the first composite I have included three subjects that bring me pleasure, although for different reasons. They create a conflict of emotion for me as well, due to the negative impact that heavy industry and aviation have upon nature.

I broke from the brief for this, because I knew what I wanted to portray and the brief wouldn’t have got me there. The bottom layer was the bird, and I left the blend mode as normal, the second image is the coastal heavy industry at Tees Port, I altered the blend mode to screen, and the third is two aircraft from¬† Armed Forces day in Scarborough, in which I altered the opacity. To remove the backgrounds in the second and third photos I have used the background eraser and changed the brush to Kyle Spatter Brushes – Spatter Bot Tilt. These are free brushes that I had previously downloaded. I progressively lowered the flow and opacity with the brush to try to create a more natural look. The final image is very small because the birds eye was such a small part of the original photo. It’s far from perfect, but it still says something to me.

The Originals

The following two photos were made by following the brief, although I did find that I needed to mess around with the blend modes to get the effect that I found to be most effective.  I will show the originals first, in order from the bottom layer upwards.

The above is my favourite out of five different attempts that I made from the same three photos. The church and the blue background appear as if they could be a stylised satin wallpaper. The bottom right looks a touch messy, but you know what, I like it. It has a surreal and smokey feel and the colour blends in with the blue. The difficulty was removing the obvious line over the vase, from where two layers were not aligned. I can’t remember which brush I used, and It hasn’t come out to bad here, except for the area below the vase.

Layer 1 – Blend mode:- Dissolve, Opacity 100%, Flow 100%. Layer 2 – Blend mode:- Pin light, Opacity 100%, Flow 100%. Layer 3 – Blend mode:- Darken, Opacity 59%, Flow 100%.

This hasn’t worked as well. Although it isn’t obvious that I have blended the edge between two layers, it is clear that something has happened. The brush was meant to disperse and weaken the edge, which it has, but not my best work. If I could have somehow blended that edge more proficiently then the overall quality would have been pleasing.

Layer 1 – Blend mode:- Dissolve, Opacity 100%, Flow 100%. Layer 2 – Blend mode :- Linear dodge (add), Opacity 100%, Flow 100%. Layer 3 – Blend mode:- Darken, Opacity 33%, Flow 100%.

A great exercise and one that I am very pleased to have given a go. It’s interesting to notice how I have developed with layering in Photoshop. More practice required, but I will feel better equipped and more confident with experimenting in the future.

 

Exercise 3.7 – Planning – Judaism – Christianity – Object Of Devotion

Having given some thought to the exercise I have decided that I am going to make use of two approaches.

My altar is highly personal, but at the same time it is calm, peaceful and a refuge, and as such I would like it to be photographed early on a sunny morning so that natural daylight provides an element of grace. Other people will also have significant objects of devotion and I am going to send out a group email, blog post, and a couple of personal emails to ask others if they would collaborate with me and send me a photo of their object within its environment, and taken with the same lighting and composition, as the brief asks.. This is my prefered option because it retains the individual and personal connection that I feel is important.

The second option is to use a photo that I have already taken of a church altar, and then to find a local synagogue and ask if I can make some photos there. Having never been to a synagogue and having no connection with Judaism then I know very little of their faith or objects of devotion.

The importance of Jewish faith and culture to me is that I believe that Jews, for at least the past 2,000 are the second most persecuted group of people in the world (women being the people who have been the most persecuted), and because I find that when I read about the holocaust I am left feeling utterly bereft.

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A few photos taken on my Huawei P10 Smart Phone. I’m currently developing some taken on my main camera (Olympus OMD EM10 mk iii) for my studies.

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