Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mastering Textures with Wazari Wazir


There are very few photographers out there that in my opinion can be labeled as masters.  Today I am presenting you one of those few.  Meet Wazari Wazir.

I found Wazari through my endless searches around Flickr.  It was about a year ago when I decided that it was time for me to learn Photoshop and get a hold of the endless resources this powerful tool offers.  If you are considering going professional, you MUST learn to manipulate your pictures correctly.  It will make a huge difference in the quality of your work.

Wazari has since been part of my daily Facebook feed and point of reference whenever attempting something new.  He is a photojournalist in Malaysia, and he breaths photography on a daily basis.  It is was he does, and he does it with a passion for educating fellow photographers to achieve their best quality work.  He has produced several e-books regarding texture and color manipulation that are essential for anyone attempting to develop their own photographic style.

"You can do texture in so many ways, you can do it with just one single layer of texture or you can use more than just one, two, three or as much as you like. For me doing a Photoshop Texture editing is an art in itself. You need to “feel” it to make it happen." - Wazari Wazir

I am very excited to have Wazari as part of Soulful Colors' network.  You can discover his work by following any of the following sites:

Flickr:

Blog:

Facebook:

You can also access the Textures E-Book by clicking on the images or by going to this site:


Monday, May 30, 2011

A Beautiful Morning

Beautiful morning

I went for a sunrise walk last Saturday morning and took this picture with my Iphone.  How incredible that I was there at the very exact moment the sun was right behind this lifeguard post.  The next day, I had my sweetheart take me over again since I wanted to take a good picture with my camera.  This is my second version of the same spot.


I had never been to this side of the beach before, and it was really nice to discover it like this, with such great view.

I will be finalizing the photo and putting it on my shop for sale, but I am still undecided if I should make it available in square format or leave it as it is.  Any comments on this will be very much appreciated :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dans Serpentine: Beautiful Vintage Visuals


I stumbled upon this magnificent short, vintage French film and just fell in love with it.

After much research I finally understood the origin.  It is dated back to 1899 and it was shot by the Lumiere Brothers, the pioneers and creators of cinematography as we pretty much know it today.  Back in the time there was no color yet available for film, and it is said that the colors were added by hand, frame by frame.  It must have been an amazing experience to watch such visuals for the very first time, when it was first released.

The film was inspired by the work or Loie Fuller, an American dancer who made it big in France with her unusual artistry.  Fuller became at the time the image of the Art Nouveau movement.  The Lumiere Brothers heard about her art, and used it as a means to portray the wonders of cinematography.  The dancer in the film is not Fuller, though.

You can read more about all of this in Wikipedia here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Soulful Blogger Badge

I have been pretty busy these couple of days.  Mostly, I've been planning on a series of shots that I want to take, and I'm almost ready to start taking pictures.

But what I really want to share with you today is this badge that I made.


I have been thinking about a way of connecting with you all.  I am really grateful for the new friends I have found in this platform, and I wanted to give you something that could serve as a reminder of what blogging is all about.

I wrote everything that this badge stands for on a newly created page.  You can view it here.

And speaking about pages, I also made a writing about me, and what is all about this Rustika girl.

To use the badge, just copy the code and paste it in your blog using the HTML widget.  It will be displayed in your blog and it will link back to the Soulful Blogger page.  Please, add your name and the link to your blog to the database.  That way, other bloggers can find you and you can make new friends too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Telling a Story

So much Love
So Much Love

I have always been attracted to storytelling photography.  To me they are the equivalent of a successful writer handing out a well done manuscript.  Take a series of this well done pictures, and you have yourself a visual novel.

This is my first successful attempt.  A subtle, yet provoking approach to a simple composition.

You can find this photography in my Etsy shop right here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Researching Hands

A Hands Compilation
Doing a little research on hand photography.  Here is a really interesting selection from Flickr.  The first hand is mine, by the way :-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

When was the last time you made something pretty?

Fragile love
Yesterday, my sweetie and I had a blast together.  In the morning, we ran on the beach and took a swim in the cool water.  In the afternoon, we made bubbles and played a little bit of badminton as the sun was setting down.  We looked like two 8 year olds enjoying a long summer day totally unaware of the impossibilities that we put on ourselves.

I took this shot with my iphone.  It totally reflects our day, the vibrations we made and shared with the universe.  In synch, airy, and light.  Confident that we would rise up and knowing that if we didn't, we would fall together.  We should have more days like this one.  Because, honestly, it's been a while since I haven't felt so good, so free, so young.  Life gets harder as we grow older, and it's up to us to make it easier, for our soul's sake.

And as I write this I wonder, when was the last time I made something pretty? Just because.  When was the last time I just happened to be, simply enjoying my existence, the fact that I am on Earth, right here, right now?  It's been a while, but somehow this picture broke the spell.

I encourage anyone reading this blog today to reach for the pretty in your life.  Stare at it today and marvel at its existence.  Enjoy it, just because is there, for you, and be thankful.  It can be anything, but it must amuse you, it must move you.  But, if you look around and don't find any such thing, make one.  Invent something, anything pretty just for your, and be happy about it.

This shot will always remind us of that afternoon where we just happened to be together.  And is the prettiest thing I've made in a very long time.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ignite the light and let it shine....



Just because I love the song and the video is so awesome.... have a great Sunday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Visual Treat

Get ready my friends, for here I will share with you some of my favorite visual artists from the Etsy community.  I will get directly to the artwork, since I have quite a selection today...

The Queen, by thisyearsgirl


Light My Way, by ellemoss


Musing the Goddess, by spalenka


Fairytale of New York, by irenesuchocki


Sleepy Lamb, by deutschemexicana



A most curious afternoon, by AlisonTyne



Orange Velvet, by jkldesign


2 Subject Charcoal Portrait, by JaneWittenberg

I selected these artists because somehow they have created art that have inspired me on way or the other. They each have a unique quality that make me want to be better in the art that I have chosen to pursue.

Remember that you can always check these artists shops by clicking the link below the pictures.



Thursday, May 19, 2011

The new word: Iphoneography

Doing Laundry by Rustika Photography
Doing Laundry, a photo by Rustika Photography on Flickr.
We all love Marilyn Monroe
North Miami Beach
It's what everybody's talking about, and for good reason.  Many mobile phones nowadays come with powerful mini cameras that are doing wonders.  For me, it's a good chance to practice composition. A square of pure visual experimentation.  If you have an Iphone, you can start with Instagram App.  There's a huge fan base and you can share and follow other fellow iphoneographers in their quest for the most unique photography.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And speaking of Leonardo....

The case for creativity

Source: etsy.com via Vintage on Pinterest


I have been on a long search for creativity.  A purposeful quest for inventiveness and originality.  To establish my own voice through my photography, to define the visual imagery that I present as mine.

It is said that curiosity has its own reason for existing, no doubt about that.  It is a natural impulse given to us at birth, and it is one of the most primal and basic instincts for survival.  Asking the right questions will lead us to the right answers.

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers"- Voltaire

Or maybe not, but it is a good starting point.  To inquire what truly moves my soul, to understand my fragility... these are the kind of questions I am asking to myself.

Whenever I dig into these kind of subjects, I do it because I genuinely need to understand something.  This is the first time in my adult life where I've paused to examine my own criteria for innovation, and I must say that it is very challenging.  I am self critical to the point where I get frustrated with my work.  I have to push myself forward to cross over the frustration and turn it into motivation for self improvement and for continuance.

As I've searched around for writings on the subject, one name keeps popping up in my readings.

Leonardo Da Vinci.

I have a copy of the book "How to think like Leonardo" that I never finished reading.  I think I will get to work and start the book again, since I think it is exactly what I need.  A good reference to use as a starting point for my own creative exploration.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The end of a week....



Hello my lovelies! It's Sunday, and it's the end of an interesting week for me.  I have a lot of stuff in my mind regarding inspiration, creativity, and artistic style, and I will be sharing my thoughts on these subjects throughout the next week that comes.  It seems as if I have a revolution in my head and need to sort some things out.

It's cloudy and gloomy in this part of the world.  My sweetheart is cooking his part of a homemade meal (my part is ready and smells delicious :-P ) and, while waiting for him to finish, I spotted this cute, short animation video in youtube.

Hope your Sunday is turning out good for you too.....

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Vintage Heart

We all know how Etsy holds a wide variety of vintage treasures for one to explore.  I am always looking around for forgotten items of my youth, and here I share with you my latest findings...




Black Penny Loafers for school, by VeriteVintage

My sister loved Simon & Garfunkel, and she would play this disc all the time, by OurVintagePalooza

We had an exact set of Pyrex cups like this one for my parent's morning coffee, by kowgirlkitsch

My parents learned French when they were in college and a copy of "Le Petit Prince" was always present in our library,  by theCandyShoppe

I was a ponytail kind of girl and these holders were always around, by Redesignkc


Remember that you can access these shops by clicking on the links below the items.

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reflections on Blue Bayou

 I took this picture not so long ago.  We were in Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West.  It was one of those spur of the moment getaways, where we only took our flip flops, the camera, and a map.  It was a bright, cool day, and we had a really good time.

For obvious creative reasons, I chose to photograph the reflection of the day on the pool.  The image was so crisp and clear, that one can easily distinguish the palm trees and the bright sky.  The water was kind of fuzzy with debris and dirt, but this only added an extra layer of interest to the image.

I have been dealing with some issues for the last couple of days, and last night, as I was flipping through my photography collection, I took a hard look at this picture.  It made me wonder how often we choose to see the reflection, the idea of a true and good thing instead of the real source.  How many times do I get distracted by the debris, instead of acknowledging the wholeness of my present time. 

We are beautiful, imperfect beings, and we live beautiful, imperfect lives. We just have to look up and see the sunny and bright tropical sky, instead of choosing to look down at the distorted image on the water.  The sky is given to us, and we must accept it with a grateful heart.

You can access the listing of this picture right here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Lavender State of Mind

1. The Dreamer, 2. day 270 - Killing me softly., 3. turquoise hexagon sun, 4. Cartel 011

Random inspiration I find in Flickr.  Today I'm seeing purple and lavender everywhere....

Monday, May 9, 2011

I want one of these...


It's a Rolleiflex 2.8F.  Yes, it's old; a totally vintage equipment.  Actual film, not digital.  But one of the best cameras ever built.

My dad had one, and I loved playing with it.  The viewfinder looks like this...

... you look from above the camera, and it renders a true vintage image on paper.

It's funny how we run towards technology, only to shy away from it.  I am not abandoning digital photography at all.  I am only acknowledging a need to reconnect with an older way of doing.  Rediscovering old knowledge and putting it to use.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Bohemian Love Affair

I grew up in a Caribbean island.  My father was an art enthusiast and since we were little, he encouraged us in music and arts in general.  I studied the flute for many years, only to leave it behind as soon as I entered my high school years.   I was too cool back then to continue with it.  Photography has been the only thing that got stuck with me.  My little brother, on the other hand, became a beautiful guitarist.  He knows to play it so smoothly, that you can only sit down and enjoy his tunes.  He knows how to draw you in with his music.

It was pretty common back then for the family to gather together and listen to his music while sipping a glass of wine.  I learned to enjoy wine there, within my parent's living room, singing love songs and asking my brother to play one more time.  We were taught to enjoy the simplest of things, the random thoughts, like true bohemians.  I've always been drawn to eclectic styles, to original expression.  For this reason, I created this week's feature.

Boho skirts for the free spirited soul, by idea2lifestyle

In honor to my brother's guitar, Strum a fine art photograph by loveatfirstclick

Handknit Fringe Ribbon Scarf, by CricketsCreations

I have fallen in love with with this Kimono style robe! by plumprettysugar

Little handmade tiles are arranged to make eclectic jewelry, by ShrunkenCatHead

Remember to click on the link below the pictures to access these shops in Etsy.





Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Florence + The Machine: The music in my head today


I woke up this morning with this tune in my head.  I think it has to do with the fact that I was listening to random music from my Ipod on my way back home, and this song was the last one I listened to.  I really like Florence and the Machine... so here it goes.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Soft Waters: Shutter Speed Manipulation

My sweetheart and I go to watch the sunrise quite often.  I took this picture the last time we went, and I just finished working with it.  It was an experiment.  I slowed down the shutter speed to the slowest setting I thought of, even though the camera's light meter was totally against it.  To no surprise, the picture was totally blown up.  It was all white.  I left it like that and continued working on my sunrise photography session.  You can visit my store to see the really good ones I took that morning.

The shutter's speed is one of the many settings you can manipulate to achieve a specific look.  In this case, I was looking for a soft brush effect in the water.  Since the shutter speed was at low speed, it allows the effect of time to be captured in the picture.  Think of it as the blinking of the eye.  The slower you open and close the eyelid, the more information you can capture from a scene.  The same thing happens with the camera.

I really like the look of this picture.  The cold tones and the soft water makes for a very soothing image.
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