em·brace v.
1. to clasp or hold close
2. to accept willingly or eagerly
3. to take up a new idea
4. to include as part of something broader
5. to surround, encircle or enclose

It popped into my mind, fully-formed, flashing like a neon sign – EMBRACE.

I have no real explanation for how my word-guide for 2014 found me. But there it was – and I accept it, willingly and eagerly.

To embrace – life itself, my family and friends, my art. To embrace it all, with courage and joy and gratitude.

And most difficult, to embrace myself – in all my glorious imperfection – with gentleness and forgiveness and, most of all, love.

Embrace has both an outward and inward aspect – the act of embracing and the acceptance of being embraced. When I first worked on this image, what attracted me was the idea of being dwarfed, the smaller façade overshadowed by its neighbors. But now I see this photograph as a metaphor for myself – being surrounded and supported and held close – with plenty of open sky in which to soar.

Here’s to embracing 2014 – in all its dazzling wonder.


Texture Tuesday Processing – Photoshop CC

  • Correct perspective distortion and clone out the roof-top antenna
  • Process the CoffeeShop Blog Honey Retro action, which adds the retro toning
  • Process my midtone contrast action to bring out the details in the architectural flourishes
  • Add the Xanthe texture, blend mode = Multiply
  • Add a Layers adjustment to increase the overall contrast, especially in the highlights

Below is the original image and the Photoshop layers palette:

Layers-Palette Jan-7-Before


Linking with Texture Tuesday, hosted by Kim Klassen


Posted on January 7, 2014, in Photoshop and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. A great choice, just full of possibilities, Brenda!

  2. Great shot and processing.

  3. I like the idea of tall buildings embracing smaller buildings. It is a matter of how we decide to interpret the scene, the reality. We can see the tall buildings as dwarfing the small, or as embracing them, as threatening or as protecting. This is also true of most things in our life. When I’m tired and cranky, I interpret life events as negative and threatening. When I’m rested, I interpret life events as positive and supportive.

    I like this image. The blues are lovely–my favorite color. You are so good at seeing contrasts. The starkness of the tall buildings, and the fanciful decorations of the smaller building.

  4. Brenda, I love your word. Actually working on a post about embracing winter and was going to look up the definition of embrace this morning. Instead, I will link to this beautiful post, which also shows there are many ways to interpret.

  5. Great choice, and I love all your thoughts surrounding embrace!

  6. Cool image! I love your word too – embrace – wonderful choice.

  7. Great word Brenda, I hope that you embrace all that is to come in 2014.

  8. I love that a word found you Brenda and what a beautiful one too. I’m still waiting for one to present itself. I felt a sense of comfort from the image before reading your post and ’embrace’ describes it exactly.

  9. I didn’t know, Brenda, that you did a word of the year. And yet, considering how creative and contemplative you are, I can see how you would “embrace” that concept. I wish you much joy, inspiration, and fulfillment from your word of the year and throughout 2014.

  10. Embrace – perfect word and …love your editing it enhances the building’s details.

  11. Wonderful choice of a word and such a wonderful photo to illustrate it! I love your second interpretation of this picture the best..”being surrounded, supported, and held close!”

  12. Embracing embrace. You go girl. I like the jump from the photo to this word. The sky is the limit. I’m not a word for the year kind of girl. I think it’s the “attention span of gnat” way I seem to operate lately.
    Awesome picture and processing. Always a fan.

  13. Whoa. Beautiful word. Embrace. And, all the meaning behind it. Your words, your image – I feel embraced by them. Brenda, you create such beauty…Happy New Year to you. Happy Embracing 2014!

  1. Pingback: Kim Manley Ort | Contemplative Photography | Winter | Kim Manley Ort

  2. Pingback: Selfie in the Abstract | How to Feather an Empty Nest

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