Friday, September 30, 2011

Patmos Island, Greece

Patmos Island, Greece

I had been wanting to go to Patmos since I moved to Turkey.  A while back, I talked to Joy about going with me.  We made our plans (which she is exceptionally good at!) set the date and went.  It really is no easy task.  Taking a plane to Izmir and a transfer to Kusidasi, we stayed the night to begin our trip into Greece the next morning.  Boarding our first ferry was interesting because it seemed small to both of us.  Our first leg was about an hour long and when we arrived at Samos we were very hungry.  After eating at the Samos Hotel we heading for the bus to transfer us to other side of the island. We waited about 3 hours to get on a larger boat that made several stops along the way.  We were very excited to be taking the ferries but when we got on this boat, this was the upper deck seating.  

 After making a couple of stops for passengers, supply delivery and large vehicle transport we pulled into the cove that was the port at Patmos.  I took this picture (1 of 3 before the sunset) as we pulled in.
We went to our hotel were we had a wonderful dinner.  The owners of the hotel met us upon arrival and we could feel they were genuinely glad we were there.  The next morning we had a large breakfast, in the morning sun, looking out over the mourned boats in the small cove on the south side of the island.  ( I am sorry to say that I didn't get a picture of our hotel, huh?)  
We left after breakfast to head to the monastery built in honor of St. John the Revelator (1100AD).  He was exiled to this island at around 100AD from Ephesus.  
These are the courtyard bells from the balcony.
The monks are there and moving around the monastery.  We were in the presence of one giving some kind of sermon (In Greek).  The small chapel was ornate with gold leaf and frescoes that really were impressive.  The above picture is of one the many entrances to rooms off the courtyard.   We were in their home.  
When we began our descent down the hill we stopped for coffee at a place that was really right on the edge of the hill (mountain?) The view, as you can see, is amazing!  I only wish I could have captured the scope of it.  The water was so blue and in the deeper areas (while on the ferry) it looked navy.  Unlike anything I have seen in any other water I have been on.  After our snack, we walked down to find the entrance to the "Grotto of St. John" -- well, we missed it!  We did find a nice lady at the health clinic who was very nice to us after she told us it was closed for the day.  She called us a taxi and we went back to the hotel to lay by the pool and read.  (One of my most favorite things to do!) 
After it began to cool down a bit -- we grabbed our cameras and went for a walk along the beach.  I really can't remember being in place that was so peaceful and quiet.  When you would hear an occasional vehicle it would be a surprise.  Our walk was along a road to the beach which as small pebbles.  As we walked, the size of the pebbles became rocks.  Small boats were tied up at this jetty and no one in sight.  We walked around to the other side and as were standing there suddenly we were hearing bells.  Looking across the water to another little island was a herd of goats.  They were being herded by the dog around the the end of the island.  It really was cool!  As we walked around to the other side, we found a great place for dinner.  
We did go to the "Grotto of St John" the next next morning before we left.  I was amazed at how it had been filled up with "stuff" -- the Greek Orthodox Church has ceremonies here.  You could see the basic  cave and how rustic it was to have lived there.  A small Chapel has been built onto the side.  The view from here was beautiful.  There really wasn't anything I didn't like about this island or our trip. 

Thanks for stopping by -- Love, Sheryl

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day

Today I went on a photo walk with the ladies in photography group of the IWI (International Women of Istanbul)  Touring Arnavutkoy was so many things including historical, comical and a work-out.  When you drive along the seaside road, you really don't realize the steepness of the hill that is involved in creating this beautiful area.  From early in the 1400's, this area was established by a largely Greek population.  Wooden houses that are present today were mostly abandoned during the 1950's as result of a cultural impasse and many Greeks returned to Greece.  This left many properties unattended and unkept.  A big fire in the area did destroy many of the wooden structures -- the ones that remain are highly prized and very regulated in the restoration process.  
 A great door!
 This house has a lot of character.
 A close-up of some of the wood and a Turtle Dove.
 The old mixed with the restored -- restoration in this area is really booming.
This is a wall that is left from the Jewish settlement in the Arnavutkoy area -- not much left of the synagogue.  

We also went to the Tuesday Market there --

The peaches were so perfect they looked fake!

This is a different view of the cove that my apartment overlooks -- I loved seeing it from this vantage point!  It really was a great day!  Meeting new people and taking pictures.  I do believe that I burned 95 -- such fun!

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Splash of Color in Your Black and White

 Splash of Color in a Black & White Photo

I am no Photoshop expert but I have been working in it for a long time!  I started with Elements years ago.  This technique will work in all levels of Photoshop.  I first learned how to do this when I did a project for an art club in a rural Oklahoma.  They were needing to raise funds for repairs to the building that had been donated to them.  Along with the donation of the building came a random amount of orange folding chairs.  The chairs were sold to participants for $5.00 each.  It really was amazing how the community supported this project.  Artist from all over purchased and decorated these chairs for auction.  
I was given one of these chairs by a member of this group -- So I began photographing it everywhere -- like the "flat-Stanley" thing that was very popular at the time.  This one is actually taken at my house by our pond.  I thought the reflection made it interesting.  The "Orange Event" was a great success and raised the funds needed for the roof repair.  
This was one of a collection of 13 pictures that were sold that evening.  The plain chair was also auctioned and was purchased by a man who bought 3 photos to display in his office.  We sold every photo we had there that night and even took orders.  

Here is how:

1    Open your image.

2    Click on the background layer to duplicate layer.

3    Turn the background layer off (as a teacher I had used to say:  "Punch the eye out!")

4    Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > GRADIENT MAP, choose the black to negative option.

5    Your background layer copy should be black and white now.   I like to go to IMAGE >        ADJUSTMENTS > LEVELS, move the sliders to adjust the contrast (use the handles on the levels gram) of your black and white image.  (Take a minute to slide them around and see what they will do -- if you get lost, hit CANCEL and reopen the dialog box.)

6    Now that you have your black and white image the way you want it -- turn back on your background layer.  (Using the "eye")

7    Now, this is the important part -- highlight the background layer copy (black and white image) in the layers palette.  (It should be blue/active)

8    Select the eraser tool from the tools palette and begin erasing only what you want to have color.  Remember that you can change the size of your brush to fit the area you are working.  I usually choose a small brush to go around the edges (My dress) and then select a larger brush to fill-in the rest.  For the orange chair, the legs I selected a brush that fit almost exactly the width of the leg while outlining and filling in the larger areas.  

9     Be sure and SAVE your image.

This is the photo I posting for Project 64 September 9, 2011.

I hope you will try this simple but effective technique -- keep adding to your Photoshop experience -- you won't ever regret it!

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl