Author Archives: Willow

About Willow

I'm a disabled woman who plays and mods video games to pass the time.

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge — Blue and Yellow

So, I normally don’t do Cee’s fun Photo Challenge, but I saw the prompt (blue and yellow) and this screenshot came to mind:

Okay, it’s a bit muted, but play around with the curves and levels and the yellow on the roofs of the houses will really pop against the ice blue of the mountains…

Either way, it’s blue and yellow… It’s not exactly a photo, but I honestly just don’t have the energy to go out and take pictures. But as I said to someone not to long ago, I can walk forever in Skyrim. Enjoy.

Inspired by Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

Another picture… :)

When one cannot do much, one has to do something to pass the time. Right now, that thing for me is Photoshop. And when I am learning something new, I want to trot it out and say, “See this thing I did? Look at it!” Because I’m as human as the next person. So here’s my latest attempt at messing with lighting and shadows in Photoshop. This screenshot was taken at around the same time and in the same place as the last one (you’ll recognize the shelter she’s standing in). I added rain, made things darker and really didn’t have to fuss too much with the lighting because once I made the outside darker, it really lit up the inside of the shelter a lot. Shadows… Shadows are another thing altogether. But I think I’m getting the hang of them… They still don’t look totally realistic, but better than the last try at it I think. 🙂

Anyway — Look at this thing I did, dear reader! hehehehe

Original picture:

and Photoshopped:

As you can see, I also added rain, because it was pouring buckets outside, but for some reason, it didn’t show it in front of my character… you can kind of see it behind the character and somewhat in front of her in the original, but honestly, it was way worse than it appears in the original picture. I probably made it a bit too dark, but after a few hours of fussing, I’m totally done with it. I actually like the results. I think it turned out kinda neat. Anyway, hope you enjoyed.

Contemplation

That’s what I’m calling this screenshot that I’ve been working on for the past few hours. 🙂 Yes, dear reader, I’m shoving another Photoshop thingie in your face. hehehehe. It passes the time, and I don’t really have anyone else to show it to, so it falls to you, dear reader to look at them and say, “Yes, Willow, it’s very nice.” or not look at them and wait until I find something else to wile the time away. 😛

Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before I’m trying to figure out lighting and shadows in Photoshop. I took this screenshot the other day and thought it would be a good one to mess around with because of the different lights and it just, I dunno looks interesting.

So I made the focal point the torch in her hand and tried to tone down the light from the outside (it’s raining after all). That’s one of the few things that drives me batty about Skyrim, it could be pouring down rain but you will still see the sun streaming from the sky — godrays and all. Nice, crisp shadows everywhere! Even though there’s thunder and lightning right above you and clouds filling the sky. Maybe it’s an engine limitation, but it’s still annoying. Not annoying enough to quit playing but it does make me twitch. ^_^ Anyway, I’ve been fussing with this picture for a while now and this is what I came up with. I don’t think I have her shadow falling in quite the right way — it should be more behind her than it is… but I just couldn’t make it behave the way I wanted it to. I’m sick, y’all. I did the best I could. ^_^

Anyway, I thought I’d share. It’s fun learning and I’ll get better at this shadow thing. Right now I only know one way to make shadows, but I’m sure there’s others. There’s always more than one way. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed.

Sharing my world from the sickbed

Seems I’ve caught another cold or whatever it was I had back in October. Feels the same. Lucky I didn’t have it when the power was out. Of course, being without heat for a couple of days could be *why* I’m sitting in misery, but who knows? Anyway, I only warn y’all of this because you might get some muddled answers and grammar, spelling mistakes. My mind is not firing on all cylinders. You know? Back to the questions.

1 — You’re walking in a forest and you find a black suitcase. Inside it is one millions dollars and a piece of paper, stained in blood and bearing the single word “Don’t!” Would you take the suitcase home or leave it? My first thought would be: What a strange thing to write on a piece of paper. After that I would pick up a stick, flick that bloody piece of paper aside for the cops to sort out and casually walk away with the suitcase. Nah, I’m kidding. I’d totally take it to the cops, note and all. I’m way too paranoid to keep something like that on my person. Then I’d get the hell out of Dodge as fast as possible because someone might have seen me take it to the cops and I don’t want anything to do with that mess. As for the note, it reminds me of this:

2 — Imagine you lapsed and cheated on your partner. You feel horrible and you know you’ll never do it again, because the feeling is so awful. Would you confess? So I’ve never understood the idea of monogamy or the idea of sex as “cheating” . My first husband and I had a fairly open marriage with a few set rules about cheating that really had nothing to do with sex (which he broke because he’s an asshole). I’ve never equated sex with love because honestly one can have sex without being in love with a person so why, all of a sudden does one need to suddenly say, “Yeah, okay, I’m never going to have sex with anyone else but you forever and ever.” That’s (to me) like saying, “Yeah, I’m never going to eat dinner with anyone else but you forever and ever.” It’s simply not feasible to me. Everyone I’ve ever been with knows this about me because I keep no secrets from those I’m intimate with. Having said all of that, if I chose to enter a monogamous relationship, and I slip up and “cheat”, I would totally tell my partner because as I just mentioned, I keep no secrets from my intimate partners. I made a decision a long time ago that I wouldn’t give anyone “blackmail” material over me. Told y’all I was paranoid.

3 — Would you live your life differently if nobody ever judged you for anything you did? I dunno. I might. People don’t judge me half as much as my brain tells me they do. So even if no one ever judged me, my brain might still tell me that they still are judging me. It’s just the way they are.

4– I numbered the questions wrong… stupid brain. and since someone’s bound to comment, I’m just gonna edit and add a number four here. 😛

5 — Would a fly without wings be called a walk? No? What would you call it? I’d still call it a fly. A mutated fly, but a fly nonetheless. Like you wouldn’t call a legless human anything else but a human. You know? I know this is a joke question, but still.

6 — What’s something that brought joy and lightness of being to you this past week? Even though I’ve been sick this past week, and even sicker these past few days, I’m gonna tell y’all something, dear readers. I’m pretty glad I am where I am these days. I love my husband dearly, and I’m glad we found each other. I’m quite attached to the furbabies, and I’m glad to have clothes on my back and a roof over my head. Being sick most of the time does suck rocks, but at least I’m warm and fed. It could be much, much worse. I’m glad I am here and I’m the woman I am — sick and all.

Via Melanie’s Share Your World

A little sumthin’

So, right now, moving is difficult because it requires breathing, and breathing isn’t something that’s working for me right now. So long as I keep still, I’m okay — a little wheezy, but okay. If I get up and move around, well, things get a little more complicated. So, here I sit. let me tell you something, dear reader, sitting is boring. But I do things to pass the time. Things like play video games (as some of y’all might know already). And my go-to video game is usually Skyrim because Skyrim is god-damned beautiful. And because it’s so gosh-darned beautiful, I take a lot of “pictures” when I’m wandering around the virtual world of Skyrim.

Of course, screenshots — the pictures I take in game — just don’t look all that great when I look at them after I quit the game. It’s like when you take a picture of the moon with a point and shoot camera. It just doesn’t look quite the same as it did through the viewfinder, right? It’s a good thing we have this little thing called Photoshop. I know there are free programs out there, but I have an indulgent husband who lets me play with Photoshop because he knows I have nothing but time on my hands. And when it comes down to it, I could have a lot more expensive hobbies. You know?

So anyway, I said all of that so I could just show off some more of my Photoshop shenanigans. I dunno, it just struck me as interesting that these two screenshots came from the same day and the same game. This first one is a snowy camp where me and my companion wiped out a bunch of bandits who attacked us. I just thought it looked kind of peaceful — even though it’s a bandit camp and you’d never know that just behind my character is a pile of corpses. ^_^ Before and after:

Before Photoshop

I didn’t have to add any snow or anything, it was already there. I mostly took the blue filter off and fussed with the lighting a bit. It’s meant to be early morning so it’s not supposed to look as dark as it does. I was trying to go for a hint of darkness…

After Photoshop

This next one was taken on the same day in a dungeon not too far from this camp — believe it or not, Skyrim really isn’t that big, one can walk across it in about two or three in game days (if you don’t stop for sleep). Though time is a little fussy when you’re talking game times. I think someone worked it out to be about the size of Alaska, but I forget where and when I read that. Still, as a kingdom with nine “holds” that’s not that big when it comes down to it. But I digress, my point is nothing is really “that far” from anything else in Skyrim — relatively speaking. ^_^

Back to business… the second screenshot before and after:

So, I actually made this darker because it’s supposed to be dark in dungeons (I had my torch out and that made it artificially bright). I removed the dead ghost — the bright blue glowing thing in the left corridor — and fussed with the lighting. One of the things I’ve been working on in Photoshop is trying to manipulate lighting. It’s kind of interesting to see what can be done just by messing with the lights.

Looking at this though. I think I might fuss with it again later and see if I can fix the shadows. Because when you fuss with the lighting, it does change the shadows. And that kinda makes things look… off somehow. Like, the main lighting is coming from the big fire atop the face statue… there should be more shadows on the face now. and maybe on the rock piles. I dunno. I’ll look at it again tomorrow. Anyway, just thought I’d share. Hope you enjoyed.

Cee’s B&W Photo Thingie

I haven’t done one of these in a while for… reasons. But I dusted off Photoshop and thought I’d give it a go this week. I also dusted off this photo for this week’s theme which is Anything Related to Music. Long time readers might remember this screenshot as one of my early attempts at Photoshop. The original picture had a dude in it standing over the lady playing the lute and I thought it would be fun to see if I could remove him from the picture. You can view the original screenshot if you’re interested here. I made a lot of mistakes with that picture, but I was still way new to Photoshop and I think I did a good job all things considering. I’m still learning, to tell y’all the truth, but I’ve learned a bit more since then.

Anyway, on to today’s theme. I pulled up the altered picture and fussed around with it a bit. I was playing as a bard in Skyrim, which is why my player character has a lute in the first place. But Skyrim is a dangerous place, so of course she has arrows and a bow. 🙂 Anyway, the altered picture in color:

So I fussed a bit and messed with the lighting and got a good monochrome picture out of it here:

Then I thought… something looks off. It’s way too bright (I wanted her to be in the spotlight because there’s actually a fire in front of her.) And it hit me, she’s not casting a shadow, and neither is the pole behind her. So I searched for how to make shadows online and this is my first attempt at creating shadows in Photoshop.

Hope you enjoyed. See you next time.

Via Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge

Sharing my world (late this week)

Did you have to help out with chores when you were growing up?  If so, what were you assigned to do? hahahaha!  Bwhahahahaha!  HAHAHAHAHA!  *ahem*  Sorry My mom came home from work one day when we were about ten or eleven and said: “I work my ass off all day and I’ll be damned if I’m going to come home and clean up after you kids.” And that was that. Us kids were forever in charge of keeping the house clean. We weren’t assigned any particular chores, it was just up to us to maintain the house. Not that we did a great job of it, being kids and all, but it was still our “responsibility”. When someone called CPS on my mom because of the state of our house (it was pretty awful) my mom actually blamed us for not keeping it clean enough. Dear reader, we were eleven (maybe ten I forget), our brothers were younger than us. Think about that. But my mom didn’t care… it was still our fault that people called her a bad mother because we didn’t keep the house clean. Anyway, my sister and I, being the oldest (at ten, maybe eleven) tried to do the cooking and kitchen stuff. We started with opening cans of Chef Boy-R-Dee and went from there. By twelve, I was a pretty good cook. If my mom did that in today’s world, she’da got her kids taken away from her. But in the seventies, latchkey kids were a common hing. So there you go.

Have you ever researched your family tree? What do you know about your family’s roots? Right after I got married the first time and started having kids, I delved into my family roots for a bit. The internet wasn’t a thing back then so I had to rely mostly on family history and stories. I didn’t learn a whole lot but I did learn a bit. I got as far as my 3-great grandparents on my mom’s side and great great grandparents on my dad’s side. And branched out to their kids and so on until I hit dead ends. Then my enthusiasm just hit a plateau and I was, “I know enough.” and I’ve long since lost interest. My mom’s side of the family is mostly English and German with some Irish thrown in for good measure, and my dad’s side of the family is mostly Irish and Scot. Go back a few generations and we have Northern Europe in there too (Swedish and Norwegian). One branch of our family came over as indentured servants and another was minor nobility. So we’re kind of all over the place. I did realize though that I’m one of the few people I know that *doesn’t* have any claim to Native American blood. Not a drop. Seems a few years back, nearly everyone was at least partially Native American, but nope, no one in my family — at least in my direct bloodline — dilly dallied with any of the tribes. We’re also distantly related (several times removed) to General Patton. Not close enough to be invited to reunions, but some of my relatives share the name. I remember once I was at a convention of some sort and the Daughters of the American Revolution were there, recruiting members I think, I inquired about them and they asked me about my ancestry and I said, “Hmm let’s see… pale skin, blonde hair, green eyes… I’m thinking Northern Europe.” I didn’t know if I had an ancestor from the American Revolution so I did not qualify for their little club. Color me sad, dear reader, color me sad.

What’s your cure for hiccups? I get a glass of water (at least 8 ounces), and while pinching my nose closed with one hand, drink that glass of water in one go. You’ve gotta keep the nose closed and drink the water down. It works every time.

Totally safe, drink the whole bottle

What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?  Either figuratively or literally? “It’s all natural so it’s good for you.”  Yeah, do you know what else is all natural? Bears. Bears are 100% natural, and they’ll kill you dead just as soon as look at you. Okay, they’re not *that* bad, but you really don’t want to mess with bears, do you? There’s not exactly *good* for you. You know? However, if you want to compare apples to apples, let’s talk about belladonna — also known as deadly nightshade. Belladonna is all natural. Now, belladonna can be used as a medicine — it has antispasmodic properties, and women used to use it in their eyes to make their eyes look more “beautiful” (hence the name). But, dear reader, belladonna will kill a person dead too. Because it is a poison. It used to be a very common one. All natural does not equal “good for you.” It never has, and it never will.

Finally:

Share a gratitude or positive moment or experience from 2019 so far.  Just read my last post.  That’s all about the most positive thing that’s happened so far this year. Yeah, we were without power, but we have it now, and it could have been so much worse. I’m totally glad it wasn’t.

As an aside, I have no idea what’s going on with the spacing on this post. I’ve tried three different ways from Sunday to make it behave, but it won’t. Sorry, dear reader, but it’s just going to be wonky.

From: Melanie’s Share Your World. Sorry I’m late. I had internet issues.