Tied Up in Knots

Tied Up in Knots

I don’t do well with photo prompts.

Perhaps it is my very literal mind. Or the fact that a prompt seems like a test – a test for which there is only one correct answer and nothing less than 100% is acceptable – making me feel restricted and itchy. I generally avoid participating in such online themes.

So this week’s Texture Tuesday theme of “POP” had me in a slight panic. Per usual, my mind went to the obvious literal interpretations – pop a balloon, pop-goes-the-weasel, pop-gun, pop music, Pop-Art, Pop-Tart, a pop of color. I searched my archives for something – ANYTHING – that would illustrate one of these concepts and also lend itself to texture application.

I had nothing.

So instead of “pop”, I give you a visual metaphor of my mind on prompts – yes, that’s me, tied up in knots. And forgoing my usual rule-upholding nature, I am submitting it anyway.

A rebel, with a brain full of knots.

Texture Tuesday Processing

  • In Adobe Camera Raw, apply the Coffeeshop Blog Scorched Honey preset. Open the image in Photoshop
  • Add the Autumn Burst texture, blend mode set to Overlay. Desaturate
  • Add a Color Lookup adjustment using the Late Sunset coloring option
  • Add a Levels adjustment to increase overall contrast

Below is the original Raw image and the Photoshop Layers Palette:











Linking with Texture Tuesday, hosted by Kim Klassen


Posted on May 7, 2013, in Photoshop and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Great minds must think alike. I – too – have that knee jerk reaction to prompts…and that fear of not getting it quite right …or as expected..or I’m-not-quite-sure-what. Love that you took this prompt and turned it around making it meaningful to you. That – to me – is art!!!

    • Marcie – it’s funny, isn’t it, how we fear what feels like another test to pass? I understand that prompts are supposed to be creativity boosters – but they don’t work that way for me. And at this time in my life, I am done with things that don’t work, for whatever reason. Aren’t I the rebel? 🙂

  2. Good for you, Brenda! You found a creative way to respond to the prompt. I think many of us need to remember it’s okay to break out of the confining box of rules when it comes to our art. Beautiful tones and textures in your image.

    • Gina – yes, here I am – living the wild life of a rebel! 🙂 I’m not sure what I feared – perhaps the Prompt gods would hit me with a lightening bolt for failing to live up to the rules. So far, I live to tell the tale.

  3. Laughing at your fun “interpretaion” of this week’s prompt. Great shot!

    • Elizabeth – well, there is nothing like generating laughter – I’m glad my “brain in knots” brought a smile to your face.

  4. Haha! I love it! Great interpretation and love the textures and golden tones. I thought “Oh, a lovely giant, textured parcel” when I first saw it. 🙂

    • Becs – that’s it! A giant parcel of textured fun, wrapped up in bow, delivered to you courtesy of me – just in time to bring a smile to your face.

  5. The same reason you dislike the prompts is why I like them. I find it fun to see what I can come up with that is outside the box, or inside the box. Depends on my mood how literal I want to be.

    • I completely understand the attraction of prompts and how they serve as creativity boosters for many. And in a way, my reaction to this prompt did lead me in a different (opposite), amusing and fun direction – so perhaps it worked after all?

  6. I am with you on prompts, they can panic me. Always end up posting up a flower of some kind, my comfort zone.

    • Well, it is good to know that I am not the only one with prompt-aversion-syndrome 🙂 Welcome to the club!

  7. Well, I happen to think the curvy lines of your knotty brain “pop” against all that hard, flat, rectangular brick. So there. 🙂

    • Lee – Brilliant! So I did succeed in meeting the prompt requirements – a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. 🙂

  8. Excellent photo, especially when combined with the title. Love the way the light takes my eye right to the tangle of thoughts–I mean wires. Excellent composition and processing.

    • Anita – even now, after all this time and experience with shooting shadows, I sometimes still hesitate, thinking to myself “who would be interested in a shot of knotty wires and their shadows?” It is amazing how many ways we can find to sabotage ourselves. Therefore, it is so good to receive positive reactions to my tangled photograph.

  9. I know what you mean about prompts, sometimes I don’t feel I do well either. I do think you have done well here. Processing is wonderful.

    • Barbara – it’s funny how much pressure we put on ourselves to “perform” – as if there really is only one right answer. Even though I understand intellectually that a prompt is supposed to be a creativity booster, I still find myself getting all “tangled up” in answering correctly .

  10. I love your creative interpretation!

    • Thanks, Pat! It just goes to show that prompts can work to boost one’s creativity even if you are completely ignoring it 🙂

  11. If that knot were to break, I’m pretty sure that the noise it would make would be at VERY. LOUD. POP!

    Maybe your brain was thinking about the prompt. :-).

    • Anne – of course – that is absolutely what I was thinking all along! Which means that I DID meet the prompt requirements. Am I good or what? 🙂

  12. Your rebellion didn’t work for me. I still see a wonderful POP from the shadow of the knot against the bright brick wall. Or maybe that it what you intended all along. Very nicely done.


  13. Good morning,

    I agree with you too…a prompt feels like a test. If a certain texture is required and that’s the only criteria…then I’m good to go, but if the prompt would be say “blue,” oh boy!

    I must ask if you discovered the rope hanging there against the brick wall or did you create the scene? Amazing either way. Your eye for seeing shadows always amazes me. The image is outstanding of course!

    Take care!

    • Suzette – in school, I was an “A” student and I had a real knack for test-taking – but in that environment, there actually was only one right answer. As long as I studied and knew that answer, I was good. Prompts kick-off that “test-taking” mind-set but then I freak out because there no longer is only one right answer and I haven’t studied and what if I get it wrong? That would certainly be the end of the world. 🙂

      This knotted group of wires was hanging on the side of a building and I just happened to be there when the sun was hitting it just so. I hesitated before clicking the shutter – second-guessing my own interest in a tangled bit of wire. But it sure proved useful as my “non-answer” to the prompt.

  14. I like to see where people go with prompts. I’m always amazed by how people think and how they can creatively fulfill the prompt. The further outside the box, the better! Love this image! The texture and lines are wonderful!

    • Cathy – well, I certainly jumped WAY outside the box on this one 🙂 And as I think more about it, my prompt rebellion turned out to be a good thing – it generated a creative response, even if it failed to actually fulfill the strict prompt requirements. So in a roundabout way, it worked.

  15. This made me smile…a little rebellion is a good thing. But this does prompt the question: what will be next??

    • Wanda – oh, my! I haven’t thought of that! What will the second act entail along this rebellion path?

  16. Une superbe composition, j’aime cette texture de la pierre et ce jeu d’ombres des câbles, superbe !

    • Olivier – thank you so much for your kind comment. Finding this knot of cables, as the sun hit them just so, was a gift.

  17. Magic . . . pure magic.

    • Lisa – I can’t help but wonder what story you would have written with this tangle of knots for inspiration! 🙂

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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