Tag Archives: montage

The Faerie Garden

  ©Tracy J Thomas, 2016. All rights reserved.

Spring is when I spend a lot of time in the garden kneeling down at eye level with all the flowers that seem to pop up and bloom overnight. I try to take some time daily to search for all the small details that are missed when caught up in our busy world. When you stop and look closely, it’s as if an entire parallel universe exists between the petals and stamen, the soil and grass. Sometimes while lost in a patch of Poppies I imagine a tiny world of faeries that flit about on lacy wings as they tend to the garden. If you look closely, you too might find them.

I shot these photos on my iPhone and edited them on my iPad with the PicFX and Procreate apps.


©Tracy J Thomas, 2016. All rights reserved.


Pick up a copy of Zen in the Garden or send it to someone you lve as a gift: http://amzn.com/B00TN2GQHM 

Ode to Spring


“Ode to Spring” – ©Tracy J Thomas, 2016. All rights reserved.

March is a time for renewal, when the first buds of early Spring begin to push their way towards the surface. The days become a bit longer, less dark and bleak. Flocks of birds begin to fly overhead and make their way north after a long winter layover. Their excited squacks and cackles instill a sense of hope in my soul, but also a feeling of sadness that I never took the time to visit them while they were at rest here in our valley. My soul was tucked away in front of the warm fire, wrapped in reflection, which is where winter often sends me.

I stand in my backyard as a family of Sandhill Cranes ride a thermal right above me. Their giant wings glide in circles as their gutteral call rolls from their beaks in an ecstatic chorus. They circle and glide, resting for the long trip ahead, a momentary pause in their journey as if saying goodbye. A tear escapes my eye as I look up and wish them a safe flight.

The sun sneaks out between big white clouds and leftover raindrops that have settled on the new blooms begin to shimmer. My focus shifts from the vast expanse of the sky above back to the tiny things below me. The longer I stare, the more amazed I become. This micro world of color and light comes alive as if the entire universe exists in this few inches of earth within my vision. Life and death begin and end there. Spring approaches to remind us it is our job to live, to let go of the darkness, emerge from our coccoons and acknowledge the beauty in all that we have been given.


Pick up a copy of “Zen in the Garden” here. 

Constructing Reality Through Photomontage

  “Connected” – ©Tracy J Thomas, 2016. All rights reserved.

My imagination has always been very vivid. As a child I used to create stories in my mind, spending a lot of time daydreaming and constructing a new reality that was far better than the one I lived. As an adult, that imaginative mind and story construction is most often expressed through my art. Photomontage work is one of my favorite ways to decompress and become lost in a world of my own making.
These two new pieces are my creations from the past two days. I shot the background in each image in Northern Idaho this past year and the Native American subjects are from a photo shoot I did at the Kootenai Pow Wow. All images in each piece were shot with my iPhone and combined and edited on my iPad. 
“The Blessing” – ©Tracy J Thomas, 2016. All rights reserved.

More Fun With Photomontage

My creative imagination has taken over once again and I have been having a lot of fun with photomontage.  There are times when I burn out on montage work because it takes a lot of time and is pretty tedious to create on an iPhone.  So, I take a little break and gravitate back towards straight photography.  But since I got my iPad Mini, my eyes are far less strained and I am able to do the more tedious editing on the larger iPad screen with the remainder of editing on my iPhone.

Here are some of my recent photomontage pieces.  Yes, I have a very unique and often quirky imagination. 🙂

"Remnants of a Happy Life" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Remnants of a Happy Life” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"The Rabbit and the Wolf" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“The Rabbit and the Wolf” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Aliens on Holiday" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Aliens on Holiday” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

"Phone Home?" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Phone Home?” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.



Happy 4th and New Work

Happy 4th of July to my U.S. friends!  Still on the healing path and now waiting for word on the West Nile Virus antibodies test.  In the meantime, I have been focused on creating art by shooting with my iPhone and doing some of the editing on my iPad.  The iPad screen definitely provides relief for my strained eyes.

Below are two examples of the new direction that my photomontage are headed.  My photomontage pieces take a lot longer to create than my more straightforward app’ed images, but I have definitely had a lot of time on my hands lately :-).

"Owl Medicine" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Owl Medicine” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.  Apps: procamera, icolorama, pixlromatic, procreate, blender, superimpose.

"Mama Gaia" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Mama Gaia” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2013. All rights reserved. Apps: procamera, icolorama, superimpose, pic grunger, pixlromatic, blender


“Rubber Band Man” – Honorable Mention in Mobile Photography Awards

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

I am beyond thrilled and honored that my iPhone piece “Rubber Band Man” has been chosen for an Honorable Mention in the Visual FX category for the Mobile Photography Awards! These awards feature the best of the best in the world of mobile photography. All those chosen in all categories will be on display at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art in New York City from February 22-28.

You can check out all the amazing works here: http://mobilephotographyblog.com/visual-fx/

“Asphyxia” Makes the Best of 2012 on iPhoneOgenic

"Asphyxia" - ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

“Asphyxia” – ©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved.

My steampunk inspired iPhone piece “Asphyxia” made it into the “Best of 2012” on iPhoneOgenic. It is one of 60 iPhone photographs chosen out of 45,000. Quite an honor to have my work placed in the presence of some of the top iPhoneographers in the world.

You can view all the photos here.

An Ocean Full of Muses

In the psychological realm of dream interpretation, water is the harbinger of “emotion.” In the world of creativity, emotion is the motivator for the creation of meaningful art.

A “muse” is a person or object that provides creative inspiration to another. Whenever I wander along the shoreline, emotion makes its way to surface and I am transported into that deep creative mental space of artistic possibility.

I become embraced by an ocean full of muses.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Blue Tide” – Apps used: vintage cam, perfecly clr, wood camera, scratchcam, snapseed

As I walk in the soft sand, I find myself hypnotized by the waves lapping at the shoreline and am somehow transported to another, simpler time in life.

I breathe more deeply.

I walk a bit more slowly.

I feel embraced by this endless body of water.

I feel powerful and so peaceful at the same time.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Pathway to the Sea” – Apps used: vintage cam, perfectly clr, wood cam, scratchcam, lens light, modern grunge

From the North coast of California’s rocky formations formed over time by harsh winds and churning waves, to the white sands and azure blue waters of the Caribbean or Hawaii, I have been moved and touched by the oceans power quite often and with depth.

The ocean has been the place I have journeyed to when life became too stressful. It became my “safe place” in the midst of staring down my ugly childhood during therapy. It became my “happy place” when my son was young and I could sit for hours and watch him build castles in the sand and dodge the tide as it rolled onto shore. It has become my “creative space” in later life whenever I need to find my muse.

The following images are iPhoneography pieces I created after a recent trip to Northern California’s beautiful coast. The rocky shorelines found there are hypnotic and mysterious and have a way of conjuring mental images that at times exist outside the “norm.”

As I wandered those beautiful beaches, I found myself wondering about the people who have wandered there before me. I could of course peruse the historical photographic archives of the area in order to quell my curiosity, but why do that when I have such a vivid imagination?

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “Rubber Band Man” – Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, perfectly clr, snapseed, wood camera, picture show, scratchcam

“Rubber Band Man” was featured on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone on May 19th. The pixels site can be viewed here. If you view this blog post after May 20th, you can do a search for “Tracy Thomas” and you will find the list of my images that have been featured on Pixels over the last several months.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “On Pointe” – Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, filter mania, picture show, scratchcam, modern grunge

“On Pointe” was chosen for Pixels: The Art of the iPhone on May 19th and was chosen as the “Pic of the Day” for Pixels this morning. You can view it here. (Again, just do a search for “Tracy Thomas” if you are reading this after May 20th).

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. “An Elephant’s Kiss” – Apps used: 645 pro, juxtaposer, wood camera, scratchcam, photoforge2

“An Elephant’s Kiss” made it into The App Whisperer’s Top 10 Showcase this morning and can be seen here. This piece was also chosen as a feature on Pixels: The Art of the iPhone this morning, here (click on Previous Entries at bottom of the page if it is no longer on the first page).

A Bad Case of the Quirkies

I have been busy lately with all the important, responsible tasks one must attend to in order to run a viable business. For several days my brain has felt like mush and I began to develop a severe case of the antsy’s. My iPhone sat patiently next to my laptop while my hind end became numb from the hours at my keyboard.

Yesterday I reached the point where something just had to give so I went on a nice long run. While on that run I spied a beautiful grove of live oaks in the middle of a freshly plowed field. After my run I returned to the grove and took a couple of shots with my iPhone.

“Ahhhhhhhh…” deep sigh of relief. But once I was home and scrolled through the few snapshots I took, it all seemed so empty… I knew it was way past time to shake out all the cobwebs and start “puttin’ on my quirky” once again.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Where Puppies Fly" - Apps used: vintage cam, artwings, lenslight, juxtaposer, modern grunge, jazz

I have no explanation for how or why the neurons in my brain decide to fire in the way they do, but when these odd synapses occur, I am compelled to honor them.

This past weekend I happened to capture a quiet photo of one of our dogs sitting in the yard. So, the photo of the grove of oaks was graced with the presence of my dog who suddenly sprouted a pair of butterfly wings and multiplied into a whole herd who to took flight beneath a full moon. And “Where Puppies Fly” was born.

All this thanks to several great little iPhone apps: Juxtaposer (for the montage); Lenslight (for the full moon); Art Wings (for, well, the wings); Modern Grunge (for that hip, scratchy, grungy look); and Jazz (for some popping highlights).

Then there was this morning…

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Little Monsters in the Candy Store" - Apps used: 6x6, juxtaposer, blurfx, jazz

It started when I decided to shun all responsibility, grab my iPhone and do a walkabout through Old Sacramento this a.m. in search of some fun iPhoneography fodder.

There were hordes of elementary students touring the train museum and I just happened to walk by a candy store at the same time a whole classroom of 4th graders converged on the barrels of sugary sweetness.

For reasons beyond me, their teachers decided it was a good idea for this group of hyperactive, screaming and screeching urchins to buy a supply of cavity-inducing, attention deficit disorder petrol on their way back to the classroom. Hmmmm…

All judgment aside, I knew I just had to whip out my iPhone and snap this madness in progress. I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with it, but my gut told me to shoot away.

After leaving the candy store I made my way to “Evangeline’s,” a famous costume shop in the middle of Old Sac. I can wander through this store for hours taking shots of all the creepy goodness that is on display. When I made my way upstairs, to my delight I discovered a whole wall of rubber monster masks.

So I shot… and I had a quirky neural synapse… and I smiled.

When I got home I immediately set about merging the monster masks with the scene at the candy store. This was achieved with Juxtaposer, then I added a little blur effect with BlurFX and a bit of grunge with Jazz.

This piece became “Little Monsters in the Candy Store.” It’s not that I think children are inherently bad you see, but I believe we can all agree this white, granular American staple can at times turn our kids into unrecognizable little demons post sugar binge.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Danger! Diver Dan" - Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, modern grunge

Who remembers the television show “Diver Dan?” Yes, I am dating myself by admitting this, but I used to watch this show all the time as a wee little pup. For those of you too young or perhaps too age afflicted to remember, Diver Dan used to swim around in the ocean with an old-fashioned diving suit and helmet talking to the passing fish. There was a beautiful Mermaid named Miss Minerva and well, just see for yourself:

And you wonder why I have such a bad case of the quirkies. Yes, my childhood was filled with talking fish, flying monkeys and lions seeking courage. I have an excuse…

Anyways, as luck would have it, Evangeline’s just happened to have a mechanical diver fighting off a giant squid hanging in one of their entryways. Diver Dan swam immediately back into my memory so I whipped out my iPhone and brought him home.

What’s a diver without water? I took a shot of our backyard fountain and proceeded to merge the two shots in Juxtaposer then added a bit of grunge in Modern Grunge and a new episode called “Danger! Diver Dan” emerged.

I have a feeling my creative energy will dwell in this quirky state for the next few days. I still have a whole lot of photos left to edit and a lot of memories squeezing their way to the surface.

The Creature Series

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Little Fishies" - Apps used: juxtaposer, snapseed

Maybe it’s Spring Fever… Whatever it is, I am finding myself feeling very quirky and creative over the past few days. Too busy to get out and take photos in the “real” world, I find myself grabbing my iPhone first thing in the morning and searching my house high and low for some interesting little tidbit to shoot before my work day commences.

On Monday I stumbled across my bright orange wooden fish that sits on my nightstand. I decided this lonely fish needed to multiply and swim in a nice blue pool of water so I shot the fountain outside and created a montage by using the app Juxtaposer with final edits in Snapseed. It was very fun positioning the fish and I ended up with a 3-D like effect.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Turtle Love" - Apps used: vintage cam, autopainter II, lenslight, pictureshow

Tuesday was turtle day. I have always loved turtles, especially sea turtles, so I am blessed with multiple turtle gifts at every birthday and gift-giving holiday. I decided I needed to shoot one of these turtles to show my love. I used the Autopainter II app to get the pen and ink effect, then created a mirrored effect in Pictureshow with a few additional tweaks and edits in Lenslight. This resulted in what appears to be two turtles with a heart in the center. Of course I needed to title it “Turtle Love.”

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "It's Raining Frogs" - Apps used: vintage cam, juxtaposer, lenslight, modern grunge, iquikdof

Tree frogs are another love of mine. Today’s find were two ceramic tree frogs that grace the bookshelf in my office. We have had clouds and rain over the past week and for some odd reason I had a vision of umbrellas, clouds, the moon and tree frogs raining from the sky. I suppose it is a little bit Daliesque and perhaps he is the subconscious influence to my temporary insanity, however I enjoyed creating this piece more than most.

It started out with separate photographs of the cloudy sky, the two tree frogs and an umbrella. I carefully cut out the frogs and umbrella in Juxtaposer, arranged them on the cloudy sky background and multiplied and flipped and resized each element until I was happy with the visual. I then added a full moon in Lenslight and grunged it up a little bit in Modern Grunge. When I looked at the final result, I decided it needed one more thing, so I changed the DOF with a little blur in iQuikDof and voila! It’s Raining Frogs!

My iPhone Fantasy World

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Deep Space" - Apps used: vintage cam, snapseed, dynamic light, superimpose, modern grunge

As a child my fantasies took me far away to places that were much more pleasant than my sordid reality. I would daydream about beautiful meadows filled with rainbows and fairies, where children were safe to frolic and play. I would journey to the stars and explore other planets, meet the man in the moon and slide around the rings of Saturn. There were always castles and caves made of crystal, unicorns with rainbow-colored horns and little people who would hide under teacups and come out to play after sunset.

As an adult I moved far away from that magical mind and became somewhat of a “realist.” Thus my love of reading and writing non-fiction and my journey into the world of true-to-life documentary work. But lately, the imaginary mind of that child buried deep inside has been begging to come out and play. She hit the jackpot when I began to embrace the abilities of my iPhone.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "St. Paddy's Hats" - Apps used: dynamic light, autopainter II, lenslight, percolator, blender

I remember believing in leprechauns. Maybe it was the Lucky Charms cereal commercials that pulled me in or the whimsical stories my Irish grandmother used to tell me from a wee age. Whatever the cause, I remember crawling on my belly in the grass every St. Patrick’s Day in search of the elusive four-leaf clover and running through the fields on a chase for the end of the rainbow and that shiny pot of gold.

I was certain the leprechauns bunked down in little houses under rainbows not too far from where I lived and that one day I would finally stumble across the little buggers.

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Leprechaun Land" - Apps used: autopainter II, lenslight, percolator, blender, superimpose, snapped, modern grunge, pixlromatic

No luck in catching them yet, however I have not given up hope… Now on to more important things like Mary Poppins and Neverland.