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My 1st birthday - it's Purple of course (96)
Miss_Piggy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Hilliard's spurflower - Plectranthus hilliardiae

Today, a year ago, I joined Trek Nature. Never in my wildest dreams, had I expected this hobby to become such a passion and part of my life. Trek Nature has been an exciting adventure and an incredible learning experience, but I would not have been able to achieve any of this if it was not for Loot's incredible knowledge in the technical aspects of photography, his encouragement and the love he has for nature that rubbed off on me.

I want to thank each and everyone, whom joined in to make this an educational, unforgettable and pleasant journey thus far. I have made wonderful friends, and it is a pity we stay miles apart as I would love to have the opportunity to meet you all in person and share some of your photographic spots with you.

I want to thank all of you who selected me as a favourite or dedicated a special image to me. Both these actions will always be considered as one of the special moments on this unbelievable site. There are many members whom I miss and would love to see around again. What happened to Skyf, Lizzie, jcoowanitwong, Pablominto, earthtraveler, marieproue, jmp and many more? I miss your presence on the site.

It would not be fair to mention certain names but flash backs of interactions with many of you come to mind, and if I could I would have mentioned them one by one, but due to space and time, Iíll limit them to only a few: Gert Ellstrom (ellis49) that constantly urges me please keep Loot out of the dog box. Narayanan Ganesan.(gannu) that showed compassion and concern when I was ill. Bayram Gocmen (boreocypriensis) who is always helpful in translating those comments from Turkish members, which I obviously couldn't understand. Markus Peissard (heaven) whom I know read my notes with attentiveness. Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99) that sings me considerably more praises that I really deserve. Tony Ho (gracious) that always send hugs from his country and Grzegorz Wieczorek (red45) that remembered my love for the colour purple and dedicated a purple dragonfly to me, which was very special. I think Iíll rather stop it here as the trip down memory lane will not come to an end if I continue in this vein.

Returning to the colour purple, I think many of you have come to know that I love this fabulous colour. No matter if the tint is violet, lilac, lavender, periwinkle, grape, plum or mauve. Any shade of purple makes me ecstatic. I think my second name very easily could have been purple. I know there are people out there that is chocoholics and I think I am a purpleoholic (did I invent a new word?). I am just so passionate about it, even my kitchen is decked in various shades of purple. Luckily I have not lost my marbles as yet and dyed my hair purple, but come to think of it, a purple camera would be very flashy. If you really want to spoil me, place an image with something purple in it. I would love it to bits.

Let me be serious for a bit. Long before my first birthday celebration came closer, I knew I would love to place an image with my favourite colour as part of it. I also have a great attraction to an image of a flower that includes an unopened bud or semi opened flower. In my personal opinion it just adds that little extra oomph to the photograph. A combination of the two would have been wonderful, and my eyes were working overtime in search of this specific image I had in mind. I knew when I laid my eyes on it; it would be the right one. It was difficult as the flowers I photographed just did not have that special character, until I found these glorious flowers in a variety of shades of purple, and to place the cherry on top Ė it also had some unopened buds. What a pleasurable sight and exactly what I was looking for. Mission accomplished.

Just a last word or two. It is said that the colour purple is associated with royalty and is often well liked by very creative or eccentric types. It is also said that the colour purple uplifts, represents courage, calms the mind and nerves, and encourages creativity.

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

Altered Image #1

Miss_Piggy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Photoshop 4
Edited by:Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)

I reduced colur saturation by 12% and compensated for the resulting reduction in brightness by 10%