Coming to Life


A rather awkward little animation but it was fun to make. The subject is a seed head from my garden photographed at slightly different angles to allow for movement and then layered and animated in Photoshop.

Unfortunately it cannot be turned off but below is a still image of the same subject for visual relief. GIFs can get annoying very quickly! It’s not something I would usually post (although I’ve made a few other unskilled animations over the years), but for some reason I keep picturing this little dragon breathing…


What’s growing in your garden?

ยฉ Karen McRae, 2014

89 thoughts on “Coming to Life

  1. This is a lovely dragon :-).

    My garden is still colorless except for the bright green garlic shoots, stretching upwards to say hello from bulbs sown last October.

    You’ve inspired me to photograph them.

    Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you, Sharon. Strange things pop up in the garden!
      Still a lot of snow here so we are not seeing anything green as of yet, no little shoots that I’ve noticed.

  2. Karen, Pretty sure I don’t have tiny winged dragons – at least not so far ๐Ÿ™‚ Our daffodils and hyacinths are in bloom with the columbine and bleeding hearts leafing out, soon to send up flower buds. Still coolish here with occasional warm days – hope spring is peeking around the corner from you. K

    1. I can send you some winged dragon seeds if you like, Kathleen.
      : )
      It sounds like spring has really found you, warming your earth and seeds enough for them to peek out. It’s a slow spring here but everyday it gets a little closer.

    1. I hope you get some warmer weather soon. It’s the same here, very cool and still lots of snow on the ground. These are old seed heads in the pictures, nothing growing yet!
      Thank you!

  3. Big applause from Siri and Selma, our bookfayries – they’re most impressed with your lovely dragonwork! Wonderful job, Karen.
    Love, Dina

  4. A perfect little dragon indeed.. ( and Karen I have at last discovered that I can do double exposures with my camera ! all I needed is time to experiment now.. YAY ! )

  5. Pretty neat trick, Karen! I have about 2 inches of scilla siberica growing…and more snowflakes coming down. Or are they hail? Sleet? The temp is just above freezing.

    1. How appropriate that your first bloomer is a Scilla! We had some of that at our previous house, I should plant some here…
      We had a bit of snow yesterday too, winter won’t let go!
      Thank you, Scilla, I had fun playing around with this.

  6. Love it.
    You must be one of the masters at shooting the small details in Nature and make them look absolutely fascinating.

    This ‘dragon’ has to be one of your best.

  7. Our garden is growing trees with orange leaves. The leaves are fed up and dropping to the ground. Oh well … it’s autumn. Or fall, which I think is a term the leaves invented. ๐Ÿ™‚ Pretty dragon Karen ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ah, yes, I guess the leaves must feel all used up after that hot summer you had. It’s strange to think you are heading into winter already. Would you like some snow, I have extra?
      Thanks, Gigi! : )

  8. Fascinating. I like that you gave breath to your dragon. And as for our garden, it’s still covered in a couple of meters of snow. Looking forward to experiencing spring through your lens ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. That’s amazing…viewed the animated verson…when I looked at the still photo, I was sure I could see it flying…:-D

  10. Hi Karen, thank you for following my blog and greetings from Northern Germany in early spring ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Thx again ๐Ÿ™‚ All and every meadow is colored with yellow dandelion blossoms now …

  11. The video is fun – you need never apologize – I think it’s captivating, and I agree with a comment above – it’s admirable that you’re always experimenting. It’s my luck to be able to see the results.

    1. Hi Lynn, thanks very much, I’m thrilled you find it captivating!
      I think I could refine it a little more but I sort of like the little breaths and the thrust of the wings.

  12. Great work! Really interesting take on a common photographic subject but with unconventional and beautiful results… So good to see someone consistently thinking outside the box ๐Ÿ™‚

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