summer 🔥 heat 

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Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. -Sam Keen

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~ summer🔥heat ~

~ b u r n 🔥 b a b y 🔥 b u r n ~

Vision: Lumix GX7, Leica Macro Lens
Tools: Mextures (formula BJRKZVU)
(Both Images)

S t e a m y . . .

S t e a m y 💧🔥🌫

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •Now stir the fire, and close the shudders fast, Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round, And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn; Throws up a steamy column, and the cups, That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each, So let us welcome peaceful evening in. -William Cowper

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Tools: Mextures (formula KNABVCX)

Vision: Unsplash, Ameen Fahmy

 

Mextures Artist Feature | @orbabgirl

Happy Monday, y’all! I hope you’ve all had a pleasant start to your week this week – I have, as I’ve been given the opportunity for a quick interview with the amazing @orbabgirl for today’s Mextures artist feature article. Kristi (@orbabgirl on Instagram) shares with me a love of the details of nature, and with all of us a love for all things Mextures. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her a little better and, if you’re not familiar with her amazing photography and art, I hope you’ll find yourself as enthralled with her work as all of her followers and fans are. Enjoy the article, and have a beautiful week, friends!

 

Getting to know @orbabgirl

Hi there, @orbabgirl! It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to chat with you. Let’s start with getting to know the girl behind the username. Who are you and what do you do?

Hi! My name is Kristi, aka @orbabgirl, and I am from BC, Canada. I am married and the mother to a bunch of cats and one awesome little 6 year old boy. I live on a small island of about 3500 people and I work in the local pharmacy. I love to garden and spend as much time as I can outside taking photos. I love nature, art, and photography and with Instagram I am able to combine all 3.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in pharmacies lately – I wish I was getting paid for it! ((laughs)) How did you get involved with Instagram/Mextures?

I started Instagram 4 years ago as a way to keep in touch with a friend who had moved overseas. My first posts were of the usual things: cats, coffee, inanimate objects around my house (lol). But, it wasn’t long before I discovered new friends there and was introduced to the JJ forums and all of that. Fast forward 2 years and I see an edit a friend did for an @mexturescollective editing challenge. I had never heard of Mextures before but I had to try it out. I hadn’t really done much editing before then but I was really interested in giving it a go. Especially to have the chance to edit such beautiful photos! So I downloaded Mextures and I was hooked! Such an amazing little app.

Yes it is! How and why do you do Instagram and photography? How has it changed for you over the years?

I just love photography and have always loved taking pictures. Over the years I’ve had lots of different cameras but getting my iPhone 4S for Christmas in 2011 was a huge game changer for me. Not only was it super convenient, I could take it with me everywhere, but the camera was also really amazing, too. I’ve upgraded since then to an iPhone 6 and new Olloclip setup. As for why I do Instagram, I do it as a way to express myself and share my photos but also as a way to connect with others. I just love the sense of community and all of the friends that I’ve made over the years there. There are truly some amazing people out there. I just hope one day I have the chance to meet them in person.

Me, too – I’ll be staying in New Orleans for an extended time in a couple of weeks and I hope that while I am there I’m able to meet up with some of the great friends and amazing artists I’ve gotten to know through Instagram. It’s interesting to step back and really look at the role Instagram and art plays in my life. What role does Instagram and art play in your life?

Instagram plays a huge role in my life. It is an amazing little community that not only connects me to so many incredible people, but also helps to inspire and motivate me to create more and push myself further. Every single day I am inspired, encouraged and motivated. It is amazing! I have always loved taking photos but now I feel like I have a purpose and a drive to get out and find new places and new angles. Of course those macro treasures are my favorite finds.

Same! The macro aspect comes naturally to me because I’m so aware of details in general. I suppose my obsession with macro photography helps me to channel that constant, overwhelming sensory input and focus it somewhere that allows me to express what I’m seeing/realizing. In doing that I’ve been able to help myself to not feel so overwhelmed by my sensitivities (both physically and spiritually) and those two things have changed my daily practice with each them dramatically – if that makes any sense. How has your practice changed over time?

I have definitely matured as an artist, especially over the last 2 years. I’ve found myself stepping out of the box more – trying new styles with my edits, collaborating with crazy talented people, and really trying to create some sense of emotion with my work. That’s where Mextures fits into my world perfectly. Before, I would rarely edit my work. I was proud of the fact that my photos were unedited. I would maybe add a little lux but I tended to stick to more no edit/no filter images. But since discovering Mextures I’ve found this ability to take my work a step further, to create more than just a photo but an actual piece of art. It’s magical and I love being able to do that. I still do post quite a few unedited photos but my go to editing app is always Mextures. I just love it.

One of my favorite things about Mextures is that it allows the opportunity to create any mood/theme out of almost any shot. What themes do you pursue?

I’m not are I ever really base anything on themes but more so on my emotions or the emotional feel or potential of an image. But, I tend to post based on the aesthetic look of my entire IG gallery. I try not to post back to back photos of the same things or have it so that similar photos are on top of each other in the rows. Not sure if that really makes sense…

Yes, it does! I have my own little system lately where I tend to post in threes and using the same style/theme to the image (as far as the edit). Sometimes it’s different angles/interpretations of the same subject, sometimes completely different subjects. But lately, color themes in my edits are a big thing. Hahaha. It’s interesting because I’ve gotten a lot of feedback where people have noticed the change in my posting style. What memorable feedback and responses have you had to your work?

I’ve had some great responses over the years, many on IG and quite a few in real life, as well. I love knowing that someone else has a connection with my work. To me, that is what art should do. It should speak to someone, almost call to them. That is what I want from my work – to create a connection.

So very true… Do you have any professional goals with your work? What’s your dream project?

I just want to keep growing and perfecting my craft. I would like to get more comfortable photographing people as well as nature. I don’t have any specific project in mind, but I would love the opportunity to collaborate more with some of my favorite artists and friends on Instagram, either my editing their work or vice versa. I recently had the opportunity to do this with the incredibly talented @ja_s0n and I just loved what he created with my photos.

You mentioned a bit earlier on the great inspiration that comes to you from Instagram and the people there. Do you have a favorite or most inspirational place? 

My favorite place to take photos is just around my own yard.  I have a tag #kristisgarden for all the photos I have taken over the years around my house and it’s a huge percentage. It’s just so easy to step outside my own door and find the treasures I’m after, whether it is a droplet covered spider web, a beautiful dandelion puff, some foggy trees, or some flowers.

I dream of finding that droplet covered spider web someday. I go out hoping it’s there regularly in the warmer seasons and I haven’t found it yet. I find that my favorite subjects live in my own back yard, as a general rule. Maybe it’s the comfort zone I’m in at home…who knows. Hahaha… What is your favorite or most inspiration subject?

My favorite subject would definitely be a tie between dandelions and spider webs covered in droplets. I am madly obsessed with both of them. All you have to do is look at my photos and you will see it for yourself.

I think your work with droplet covered spiderwebs was the first time I’d ever seen that subject really showcased. It fascinated me and inspired me so much, and I’ve been after that shot ever since. Someday I will find it. Any advice on that? Hahaha! Speaking of advice, what is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

One thing that happens a lot on IG and in life is that people get caught up posting for other people and what they think other people want to see. Obviously this will probably get you more likes, but at the end of the day you have to post what makes you feel happy – what you want. It should’ matter what other people think. If they like it half as much as you do, bonus!

Well said. I often get frustrated with the ever-shouted “rule” that you should limit your IG gallery to certain styles and subjects because that’s what makes viewers/followers happy. I disagree with that “rule” completely, but you see it all over the web in articles and such about Instagram. I don’t tend to do well with rules – especially those related to gear and how to use it. Besides your camera(s), what couldn’t you do without regarding your art?

Well besides my camera, I couldn’t do this without my Olloclip lens attachment. It’s like my trusty sidekick and it goes with me everywhere. I have a 4 in 1 lens but I only ever use the macro lenses, particularly the 10x zoom. I would be lost without it.

I have been so close to buying the Olloclip so many times. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and I’ve tried other lens kits for iPhone but they don’t really do exactly what I want them to. I should really look into Olloclip again! 

This has been a lot of fun, Kristi. One last question – my favorite “fun” ending question: if you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

I wish I had a magical finger snapping power, so I could snap my fingers and make whatever I needed or wanted to happen, happen. I don’t know how many times I’ve uttered the phrase, “wish  could just snap my fingers…” Hahaha!

That would be a perfect superpower because you could use it to make other superpowers happen! Hahaha! Thank you so much for taking the time to be a  part of this series, Kristi. We love your work and wish you all the best going forward!!

Be sure to check out Kristi’s work by heading to @orbabgirl on Instagram. While you’re there don’t forget to show her some love and support!

 

Sampling of Kristi’s Mextures Formulas

Lace – JLWNTRZ

MC MYA – XDTLEEG

Forest Rays – SBKJTBW

Childhood – QEQFYWC

Daisy – EYEACWR

Path – JILYEFK

Broken Fence – SFFWBZE

Foggy Days – FMVMLDM

 

Art from the Instagram Gallery of @orbabgirl

Mextures Artist Feature | @terri_calico

This installment of our Mextures artist feature series is a day late, and I do apologize. Here we are now and I know you’re going to love this one! Today we are getting to know Terri (@terri_calico on Instagram). Terri’s art is art after my own heart, as her primary focus is macro/nature work and she is fabulous at it! Her beautiful shots are complimented by her editing skills with Mextures and other amazing texture/art apps. Terri’s gallery, like many of our galleries, spans the board of photography styles and subjects – while her macro/nature work is my favorite, her urban/city shots are as amazing and her portraiture is inspiring and full of emotion. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Terri today, and please don’t forget to show her your love and support on Instagram if you love her art and personality as much as I do. Enjoy!


Getting to know @terri_calico

Hi, Terri! I’m so excited to get to know you a bit more! To start off, who are you?

Hi! My name is Terri, aka @terri_calico on Instagram, and I’m from Sydney, Australia. I’m 40, married, and have a 4 year old son called Ethan – you might know him as my main little model on IG.

Yes, I know Ethan! Cute little guy – hi Ethan! What do you do, Terri?

First and foremost I’m a full time mum, and my four year old keeps me on my toes. I’m also a freelance photographer, happy to accept any photography related job from family portraits to commercial work and also events. Hubby and I have a business, Calico Visual Creations. I also driver uber part-time, which I admit I absolutely love. All the stories I hear – it’s awesome.

Wow! I bet that can get very interesting very quickly! Why do you do what you do?

Photography is my passion. I see beauty in everything. I love capturing nature – especially up close. I find it fascinating! Nature is my happy place. I’m a photo addict, obsessed, completely mad! (laughs out loud) I just can’t help myself – it’s part of who I am. If I don’t capture it, I can’t stop thinking about it.

Oh, how well I, and likely many others, understand that! Sometimes I’ve joked that having a photographer living inside me is like being haunted by an annoying relative that you love very much – it’ll drive you crazy at times but you just can’t stop! That’s part of the reason I got involved with Instagram – I was shooting everything I saw with whatever camera I had in my hand and I had all these photos that I desperately wanted to share but I didn’t know what to do with them. How did you get involved with Instagram?

I downloaded the app pretty soon after it’s release. My main purpose for it at the time was to just use their filters. Slowly I started exploring and came across some talented people – which I’m proud to say, some of them have become great friends.

That’s my favorite thing about Instagram – the community and the people. These guys and gals have helped me to keep my head up and keep my sanity, especially this last year. Love them so much! How did you get involved with Mextures? Was that linked to Instagram or did you come across it elsewhere?

I was fascinated with some of the art I was seeing on IG – the way they edited their images was mind blowing to me. I was so inspired and wanted my images to look like that. The moment I downloaded Mextures, I have never stopped using it. It is my favorite app.

I am pretty sure that’s how your art effects all of our brains! What is it that keeps you interested in IG and Mextures/Photography?

I adore seeing all the amazing photos and edits. I love seeing other people’s perspectives and other parts of the world, and mostly I love the interaction with all my amazing and talented friends.

What’s your background in photography? When/how did you start out and get to where you are now?

I’ve always had an interest in photography, from a very young age. I did photography in year 11 and throughout my late teens and 20s I was always the one with the camera at friend’s birthday parties and outings. After my son was born, that’s when I took it a little more seriously. I did a beginners course and started up my photography business. That was five years ago.

It doesn’t seem like it, does it – after kids, it seems like everything is on fast forward! That’s how I often feel, anyway! (laughs) How has your practice with art/photography changed over time?

As they say, practice makes perfect. I have learnt so much through Instagram. So many people I follow have inspired me with their amazing work. I’m not even sure how it’s changed, I just know that my love for it is so strong and I love learning new things regarding photography.

That’s one of the most inspiring things about your gallery, I think. You’re not afraid to try new styles and things and you are always learning. I find myself often stuck in ruts in my photography – comfortable with a particular subject or style and afraid to venture away from it because I know that particular thing is probably going to turn out good. Your art and your example help keep me (and others, I’m sure) from being so afraid to try new things. What do you enjoy most about your art/photography?

Taking photos and editing is my stress reliever and happy place. I love the calm and inner peace that it brings me.

Absolutely – I love that! What themes do you pursue?

I absolutely love macro nature, I think that’s my favorite.

What inspires you the most, in general?

I think beauty and kindness inspires me. Is that weird? I see beauty in most things.

Not weird at all – I think, for me, kindness is the most inspiring thing in the world…especially lately. Do you have a “dream project?”

To one day exhibit my art in a gallery!

(Smile) What couldn’t you do without, regarding your art?

Mextures, of course!

And finally, my favorite question: if you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Hahaha! I would have to say flying – so I could capture the world from a bird’s eye view. Wow!

That is perfect. I could never do it, as I’m afraid of heights and flying (no shame here!), but I do love the idea of being able to fly anywhere and see things from that amazing perspective. 

Thank you so much, Terri, for being a part of this series with me and all of us!! This has been so much fun and it’s wonderful to get to know you better. We appreciate you so much, and wish you all the best and most wonderful things in your photography/art adventures and in life! Thanks for sharing it with us!

 

Sampling of Terri’s Mextures Formulas

More Magical Drops – JLLGQAF

Sea Seagull – VIJIGXV

Love Drops – GDCZQYN

Leaf Magic – JILZUQX

Kristi P2 – MJMFFGM

 

Art from the Instagram Gallery of @terri_calico

 

My IG Top Five: Macro

Welcome to another installment of Instagram top picks from my gallery. Those of you who have followed my photography for a while know that my strong suit and the genre I love is macro photography. I love getting in close, I love seeing things in a different way, and I love the little details (of both nature and life). I pay attention to EVERYTHING, and I find so much inspiration in the details. This post is a list of my top five favorite macro shots currently in my Instagram gallery (not including droplets, which will be a post in itself). I hope you enjoy it!

05. Little Green Curls

There is infinite beauty in nature, and many lessons in its detail.

**Lumix GF3, Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f2.8, manual focus on full, handheld.

04. Bokeh

My favorite bokeh shot I’ve ever done, because the bokeh in this wasn’t done on purpose. It’s just sort of what happened, and this shot introduced me to working with bokeh on purpose.

The plant in this shot was laying on a glass patio table and it made unexpected prettiness with macro filters.

**Pentax K110d, 18-55mm kit lens, +4 macro filter attached, manual focus and handheld.

03. Colors 

“Life begins with a beautiful mind.”

**Pentax K110d, 18-55mm kit lens, +2/+4/+10 macro filters attached (stacked), manual focus and handheld.

02. Skeleton 

I have developed an affinity for death and decay over the last couple of years – I find it strangely beautiful and comforting. Very fitting I suppose, since the summer of this year. I love the detail of the skeleton of this leaf. It tells as beautiful a story to me as the green leaf would have on the tree, or as the fiery leaf would have in it’s fall splendor.

**Sony Alpha 37, 35mm prime f1.8, +1/+2/+4/+10 macro filters attached (stacked), manual focus and handheld.

01. Zen Honeysuckle

My top favorite macro shot is my favorite for a lot of reasons. I love the simplicity, the minimalistic feel, the color, the framing, honeysuckle is special to me (so special that’s what I have tattooed on my left foot/leg, in memory of my Mama Kay), but mostly I love this shot because I did this after mowing my dad’s grass one day this past summer not long before he fell ill, and he was with me when I shot it, watching me work my camera magic and asking me questions about it.

Daddy loved my photography and always encouraged and supported me doing it by being actively involved in it, asking things and being fascinated by it and always telling me encouraging things… He was just an awesome dad.

**Lumix GF3, Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f2.8, manual focus on full, handheld.

Fall Flowers 

I love fall flowers…I love how they feel like summer’s last hoorah, or perhaps Mother Nature’s final gift before the long, cold winter…

When the season of death is upon us, both literally and figuratively, in nature and in life, I think we are often give this gift but tend to take it for granted.

I suppose that’s why I shoot so many details, and so many natural things…I wish to bring them back to the consciousness of those who live a sadder life because they’re forgotten them…or just become too complacent to see the gifts and the beaut that is always right before them.

Enjoy these flowers, and have a blessed and beautiful day.

*all images processed using Mextures

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