Monday, January 23, 2012

Favorite Poetry: Silentium Altum

I love good poetry, and so I thought I'd post some of my favorites here as I come across them.  I think it would be a good way to fill space when I don't know what to write about introduce you to some poetry you may not have heard of before, as well as cementing the poetry I like into my mind.  If you don't like poetry  - well, too bad.  Read it anyway, it's good for you.  And really, most people don't care for poetry because they don't know anything about it.  I'd bet that if one really tried, he/she would end up liking it as much as I do.  It just has to be the right kind.

To my fellow Seton students, I do apologize.  A good deal of my favorite pieces of poetry have been discovered through the 11th-grade American Literature textbook, so Setoners will probably have seen them before, and will groan instinctively at anything reminding them of the dreaded schoolwork. 

via Amanda Flynn's Pinterest.

Silentium Altum
by Blanche Mary Kelly
I know a windswept hill where all day long
Comes never footfall nor the sound of word,
Only by swallow's wing or woodlark's song
Is that immense and brooding stillness stirred.

I sat awhile in that lost, listening place,
And felt the pulse of Time beat slow, beat slow,
Watching, upon the mountain sides of space
The bright feet of God's heralds come and go.

On pinions of that silence was I raised,
With awe pervaded and pierced utterly,
Like theirs that from an Ostian window gazed
Beyond the bastions of eternity.

 NOTES:  Silentium Altum means "High Silence" in Latin.  The "Ostian window" refers to an episode in the life of St. Augustine.  Once he and his mother, St. Monica, were discussing the nature of eternal life, and as they stood at the window of their house in Ostia, they were granted a vision of the joys of heaven. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Wonders of Picnik

I am obsessed with Picnik.  I really am.  All that time I spend "hiding" in my room?  I'm consoling myself for the deficiencies of January scenery by beatifying photos.

functions used: polaroid & cross process

I take a lot of pictures of the sun... (functions used: winterize & cross process)

I really love making things "perfect", and Picnik lets me do that.  I can take my bits of real life and transform them into fairy tales.

It's a princess!  (In real life, my sister.)  Functions used: orton-ish, crown sticker,  and I forget what else.  This was a while ago.

Of course, once it's edited, it's no longer real life.  (That's why you always should save a copy of the original!)  Sometimes I do feel a little guilty about that, especially when I edit a picture of myself and then people who've never seen me in real life tell me how pretty I am.

Now that I have the premium membership (THANK YOU MOMMY), I can really make people look different.  For instance, take this one:

That's me.  But I don't have auburn hair (though I'd love that), my skin is a different shade, and I don't wear blue eyeshadow. 

See?  I changed the haircolor, airbrushed the skin, added blush & eyeshadow, darkened the eyelashes, added a texture, and I don't know what else. Talk about unrealistic. :p

An eye... my camera doesn't like artificial lighting, so the coloring and quality of this is terrible.  I took it to Picnik and...
....totally fixed it.  Made my eyes green, too.  I'm rather proud of this one, I must say.
It just goes to show that you can't trust pictures, I guess.  And if I can do this much, just imagine what big corporations can do to their models.  Once my mom showed me a video of how they change a person's looks for a billboard...ah, here.  I highly suggest that you watch it -  it's very short, and quite worth it.

Anyway.  Picnik.  I wish I was the sort of person who could give methodical, practical information on stuff....but I'm not.  So you get the whatever-comes-into-my-head-first post instead.  I'm sorry.

Christmas lights on slow exposure.  Also, a rather accurate representation of my brain. (Functions: vignette, clarity, slight desaturation.)

I recently read a post about how one ought not to "overedit" one's pictures.  I must confess that, in my Picniking zeal, I hadn't ever thought about the possibility of overediting.    After much internal struggle, I have brought myself to make some rules about how much editing I can do to a given image.

  - When using the functions under "camera", never fade out less than 60%.

 - Lomo-ish looks good on very few photos.

 - Use Matte with light-colored photos, Vignette with dark ones.  Use Vignette sparingly, and fade out both, to some degree.

 - Be VERY CAREFUL if using the touch-up functions.  Too much will look totally fake.  This goes especially for teeth whitening, highlights, and wrinkle remover.  (Tip: Wrinkle Remover is quite useful, in moderation, for harsh smile lines.  Also, if you don't have Premium, very carefully-applied Soften can work like airbrush.)

 -  Not every photo needs text.  (To my dismay.)

Text, cross process, frame, slight posterize, basic edits.

-  Clarity is EXTREMELY helpful in making point-and-shoot pictures more professional-looking.  Again, don't overdo!

 - Some photos really don't need any fancy editing at all.

Minimal exposure and clarity (basic edits), text.

One more thing.  My favorite thing to do is take pictures of things like pretty notebooks, illustrations, etc., edit them, and make collages.  It's not the most original thing ever, but it's fun and it looks pretty.

Three pictures on the side (& background of main pic) from a notebook I found at JoAnn.  Functions used: text, collage, stickers, polaroid, gritty, orton-ish.

Pictures from a "real life" herb poster. Collage, orton-ish, clarity, saturation, velvia (in the "advanced" section.)

Pictures from a science book.  Texture, vibrance, collage, some basic edits.

Pictures from the same science book as the above.  Same functions.

Well, hopefully you got something out of all that. Congratulations on making it to the end of this post.  If you have any questions, comment and ask me!  I'm always happy to answer them.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Song Saturday (On Sunday Evening)

Last night it was much too late to do this.  I do apologize.

First today is Fairytale, by Enya.  I love the music for itself, but mixed with the video... well.  I must confess that every time I see it I start crying.

And because after that you can't possibly switch to a different artist, I beg leave to post another Enya, Exile this time.  It's quite a sad song, but so very lovely and peaceful.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Post for the Sake of Posting

...because nobody likes it when bloggers disappear without letting anyone know.  Also, it's rather rude of me to say thank-you to my followers and then leave them hanging for over a week.  I know everyone has just been devastated by my short silence.  After all, I am the most important thing on the internet.  (Yes, sarcasm is a bad habit of mine... I don't do it to be snarky, it's just my natural mode of expression.  I promise I shan't do it more than I can help.)

So, I just wanted to tell you all that when I disappear for a bit, it's not purely laziness.  Sometimes I just can't think of anything to post that would be remotely interesting to the general public.  Then, if I can't resist the urge to post even though I have nothing to say, posts like this are the result.   Therefore, I'd like to remind my dear readers that I am ALWAYS open to suggestions.  If there's something you'd be interested in seeing a post about, let me know!  If it's within my knowledge I'll see what I can do.  (That means that if you ask me to post a summary of the Summa Theologica, I'm not gonna do it.  Sorry darling.  I haven't even read it.) 

And now, to end on a hopeful note, I must tell you that there are some things that I want to post about at some point soon, but for whatever  reason I can't do it now.  For instance, I want to write about North & South, which I finished reading a couple days ago, but I must reread it at least once before I go spouting my opinions into the depths (a.k.a. cyberspace).  I also want to do some kind of post involving my love of Picnik.

Ooh, I just remembered that today was is Saturday, so I could have posted some music instead of writing four paragraphs of nothing... oh well.  I shall do that tomorrow.

Goodnight, my dears!

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