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It's been a while since I posted a journal, so I figured I'd take this
opportunity to share some beautiful photos created by people I watch.

Divine by Sniickersnee Nara by mary-by
On a rainy Sunday by dekorAdum
Ross creek by shadowfoxcreative The road ahead by invisigoth88
Painting The Forest by MarcoHeisler
la isla minima by tsiapas i just want to color. by jeanbeanxoxo
Glittered Mystery by GrotesqueDarling13
Stretch by bulldogstoy What me? by aka-photography-uk
Awakening by dn1w3r
I was tagged by pulbern to take part in this lovely project.
Here's q
uote from Mrs-Durden to explain what it's all about:

Welcome to a Community Volunteer project in which we will be
highlighting our favourite Daily Deviations featured within the
recent weeks! We would like to encourage the community to join
in on this project by simply going through the Daily Deviations page
and collecting some of their favourite pieces of art within a journal titled
"My Daily Deviation Highlights"! We hope this project will help spread
awareness and love for Daily Deviations and our fellow deviant artists!

Here are my selections

Selfie/Cityscape by Ulprus
Reflect your Colors by Oer-Wout
Dracula Story by mariano7724
Raging Rainbow by Nikki-vdp
Park panorama #2 by seba-j

I'm not going to tag anyone specific but if you'd like to do your
own Daily Deviation Highlights journal, feel free to post a link in
the comments and make sure you use
 the hashtag #DDHighlights

I can mentor you in Photography > People & Portraits and/or Photography > Horror & Macabre

Specifically, I can help you with technical things like composition, lighting and processing/editing and photography theory, and can also advise on getting the most of the kit you already own (even if it's just a mobile phone) as well as photography-on-a-budget stuff. I'm also happy to help with practical strategies and tools for sharing and promoting your work online. If you're a horror photographer, my brain is here to be picked about using props and materials, like gore effects, make-up and fake blood, in your work. I'm a qualified, experienced professional photographer and I've been on DeviantArt since 2005, so I can also offer advice on working with models and portrait subjects, as well as tips and tricks for getting the most out of DA.

I can mentor you through emails, DA notes and comments/critiques posted on your work if you like. I'm also happy to follow you on whatever other social media you use for your art if you're looking for assistance with that side of things.

Some of my work

Exodus 7:19 by RockstarVanity Awakening by RockstarVanity
Spirit by RockstarVanity
Never Let Me Go by RockstarVanity AnaBelle by RockstarVanity

If you would like to start mentoring with me, please send a Note Note to seniormentors and include the following information:

What art medium would you like to be mentored in?
What is your goal for mentoring? What would you like to get better at? (Please try to be specific!)
Do you wish to work with any Senior Mentor in particular?

Please allow up to 7 days for one of our group admins to respond to your application. Pairings are done based on availability of the Senior Mentor. If the mentor you wish to work with does not have slots available, or feels they would not be a good fit, we will try to match you with another of our skilled seniors. Thank you for your interest in seniormentors!

Hope to hear from you soon,
Welcome to the sixth in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are beautiful photographs taken outside.

Edlingham Castle by newcastlemale

Bridge spin by RoyalImageryJax

Radiant by jussta

Mighty Grossglockner by S-Patriot

Danubia by dekorAdum
Welcome to the fifth in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are recent creations by a variety of artists.

Pods by Kamal-Q

Warm Winter by 3wyl

The Adventures of Business Cat - Legal by tomfonder

Father of Lies by woohooligan

E x p i r e d Dreams by GrotesqueDarling13

In a recent journal, I asked commenters to leave a link to something
awesome they'd seen on DA recently as well as one of their own recent
submissions. The pictures above are (from top) by Kamal-Q suggested by
3wyl, by 3wyl, by tomfonder suggested by woohooligan, by
woohooligan, and one by GrotesqueDarling13 because it caught my
eye when I looked at my message centre today.

DeviantArtist Questionnaire

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 7, 2015, 6:24 AM

I'm celebrating DA's 15th birthday by taking part in the DeviantArtist Questionnaire.
You can read other people's responses at the
#DeviantArtistQuestionnaire tag.

I'm also going to include 15 of my favourite ever deviations (in no particular order
and non-Mature Content to keep it accessible to everyone). So, here goes!

canibal by Val-z

How long have you been on DeviantArt?
Almost ten and a half years, since March 2005. Sometimes it feels like
forever but a lot of the time I can't get my head around it being that
long ago that I first arrived here. I've been on DA through so many big and
important events and experiences in my life, both good and bad, and
this place has been a constant. It will always have a place in my heart.

Workstress by Groovesan

What does your username mean?
Originally, it didn't mean anything. I needed some random text for a
project I was working on and I liked how the words looked together so I started
using them as an online handle. I wish there was a better story than that!

with many rivers ahead by galifardeu

Describe yourself in three words.
Lost and found

The Sun and I by nicolas505 Doctor Tobe by joicarey

Are you left or right handed?
Right handed, although I can paint door frames and skirting boards
equally precisely with my left hand. Only door frames and skirting boards
through, which is weird.

alice by wredna

What was your first deviation?
I have no idea! I have very few left in my gallery from 'back then' although the
ones that are still there from 2005 are still among my favourites of my own photos.

Acceptable Substitute 1 by RockstarVanity Acceptable Substitute 2 by RockstarVanity

What is your favourite type of art to create?
Photography! I love portraiture and horror, but I'm starting to explore
landscape and nature photography more too, and recently began to experiment with macro.
All the photography!

Wings of Sirus by someday-evermore

If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?
Digital painting. I would LOVE to be able to do that well. Actually, any kind of
painting. I kind of suck at it.

Lucky. by Anoya

What was your first favourite?
This one. It's so cute!
shoEs by imperfect-illusions

What type of art do you tend to favourite the most?
Probably photography. It's what I tend to look at the most, but I browse
and favourite all kinds of art.

Golden Christmas by demony 

Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist?
I don't have a favourite. I've met people on DA who have become
real friends, people who I've stayed connected with over the years
and care about deeply. I love my DA community.

We Have No White Flags by dashboard-day

If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?
See above! There are SO many people I'd love to meet from DA.
When I win the lottery, I'm going travelling ;)

Mon tendre interieur by buffet-froid 

How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?
Again, it's not just one person. I have a folder in my Notes
where I've collected messages people sent me when I was a Community Volunteer,
about how their experiences of having a Daily Deviation or some other
kind of feature has affected their experience of being an artist.
hose messages impacted my life in a really special and unique way. They still do.

io ricordo con rabbia by zerozerouno

What are your preferred tools to create art?
My camera! It's a Sony Alpha A550, which I adore because
Sony had the good sense to make a range of lovely dSLRs which were
small and light. I love affordable photography gadgets and toys, so am
currently worshipping at the altar of a Polaroid macro attachment and a Holga
lens that fits on my dSLR body.

 What cat dreams are made of by Majnouna

What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?
It's not really about places for me. It's about states of mind, subjects,
props and people. There's a certain feeling, an "I've got an amazing
idea for a photo and I'm going to do it RIGHT NOW" feeling, when I want
to high-five my muse.

Ghost by spec-

What is your favourite DeviantArt memory?
Logging in one day and seeing that I had become a Senior Member,
some time in 2007. It was completely unexpected and properly awesome!

Love Violently, Kill Tenderly by JulianGraves

[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]

Cheap and Cheerful Macro

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 11:00 AM by RockstarVanity:iconrockstarvanity:

Macro Week

My Experience With a Macro Attachment

If you'd like to try macro photography but don't have lots of money to spend on a macro lens, or want to experiment a bit before forking out for new equipment, there are some easy and inexpensive options you can play with. The one I'm going to talk about in detail is my new favourite toy - a Polaroid macro lens attachment.

Sometimes you just know. From the first moment, you feel it in your heart, an almost magnetic draw. You feel weak with desire and you know that you’re going to surrender. You whisper, “Together, we will experience so many beautiful moments. With you, I will see the world in a new way. I want you. I need you. I must have you. Plus, you’re totally affordable and compatible with my existing lenses”.

Polaroid Macro Attachment by RockstarVanity

The one I linked to is the exact one I bought, sold as Sony-compatible because it comes with an adapter ring which makes it fit a bunch of Sony lenses. You can get the same piece of kit for just about any brand of camera and size of lens – all the compatibility is down to the adapter ring that comes with it.

Although this is a wide angle WITH macro, I’m going to focus on the macro attachment today because this is Macro Week. All you do to get up (very) close and personal is unscrew the macro attachment from the wide angle lens, add the adapter ring, then attach it to whatever lens you want to use. 

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this to be amazing. After all, it’s seriously inexpensive. I thought it’d be kind of alright and really just bought it because I like having new toys to play with. I set up some small shiny things on a windowsill to take advantage of the lovely early evening light (ok, I was too lazy to set up any lighting) and started to shoot.

First of all, here’s a very much not artistic reference photo to show you the still life arrangement I was working with. I took this photo with an 18-55mm lens on my Sony Alpha A550.

The Shining Face of Death Reference WEB by RockstarVanity

This picture is straight-out-of-camera, so basically converted from RAW to jpeg with absolutely no adjustments made to the RAW file to change its appearance.

The Shining Face of Death Unprocessed WEB by RockstarVanity

This picture is the processed version, with colour and saturation adjustments made during RAW processing to make everything look a bit warmer and brighter, mostly because that’s the opposite of how skull-like things are usually depicted.

The Shining Face of Death by RockstarVanity

I’m not joking when I say I absolutely ADORE this little piece of glass. I shot with a fairly wide aperature (f5.6) and the resulting bokeh was stunning. I cannot even express how inspired I’m feeling right now about experimenting with different materials, textures and colours.

I know that if I spent a couple of hundred pounds on a macro lens I might get better results or different results or something else that would justify spending literally ten times more than I paid for this little gem, but I can honestly say I’m beyond satisfied with what £24.99 has bought me. I was really just looking for something affordable and simple to produce artistic close-up photos with. I’m pretty sure I found it.

More About Macro Filters

My Polaroid attachment is kind of a chunkier version of a macro filter. Macro filters are awesome - they're inexpensive and easy to use, like little magnifying glasses for your camera. Here are a couple of tutorials from DA to tell you more about them...

An Intro to Macro Filters by Jules1983 How to take macro photos without a macro lens by Kara-a

Reverse Lens Macro

Want to shoot macro photos without ANY additional equipment? Your wish is my command! All you have to do is take your regular lens off your camera body and turn it round. You can use a tripod to hold the camera and a steady hand to hold the lens, or you can get a special ring to attach a lens to your camera body in reverse.

Here are a few DA tutorials to explain reverse lens macro...

Reverse Macro Tutorial by FramedByNature Reverse Lens Tutorial by larafairie-stock Reverse Lens Tutorial by Moosplauze

Here's a photo I took with a Canon 350D and a reversed 18-55mm lens. It's not great (I did everything hand-held - not advised!) but it gives you a rough idea of the level of magnification you can get just by turning your lens around.

Summer Flowers 02 by RockstarVanity

And finally...

This is in no way an exhaustive explanation of ways to do macro without a macro lens. It's an introduction to give you some ideas and show you some of the tools and methods there are out there. Make sure to check out all the other Macro Week posts at projecteducate for inspiration and information!

Tell me your secrets

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 2, 2015, 4:54 PM

...or what you got up to at the weekend

Hello, my lovelies! I forgot to do a Five on Friday last week because sometimes I don't realise what day it is until it isn't that day any more. It's not just me who does that, right? I had a fabulous weekend of birthday celebrations (a friend's birthday, not mine) on Saturday and some hardcore lazing action on Sunday. It was exactly what I needed. What did you do? Anything exciting, relaxing, monumentally life altering..?

Also, if you comment, you're invited to leave a thumbnail for one of your own recent pieces of work and a thumbnail of one of someone else's recent pieces of work and I'll do a feature.


[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]
Welcome to the fourth in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are recent creations by MachinesBleedToo

15.07.12.untitled by MachinesBleedToo

birb concept by MachinesBleedToo

A prison cell by MachinesBleedToo

COMM: duality by MachinesBleedToo

Creature of habit by MachinesBleedToo
Welcome to the third in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are recent submissions to Human-Photography

[Project IDK] Feathers by mangawildcat

Canvas by ForlornTreasures

Carnivore by luna-tides

Chasing the deers by Smashedintoyou

FADE TO BLACK 10 by Michela-Riva
Welcome to the second in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are recent submissions to Playing-Dress-Up

Purple Night by gestiefeltekatze

No hero in her sky by M3LL0N-3M

Misaki meii by BakaaChuu

dust by M0THart

Dragons Light by TEMPERATE-SAGE
Welcome to the first in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are recent submissions to SkyAndNatureClub.

The split stone by ibasimaikataimeto
Lakeland Evening 2 by Capturing-the-Light
Warme Sommerbrise. by OliviaMichalski
Breathing color by Mogrianne
Coreus marginatus by tom00-85

Because Vikings

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 23, 2015, 3:06 PM

I've been doing some binge watching of Vikings today, so couldn't resist featuring
some stunning Vikings fan art from DA. Look at these beautiful pictures!

Vikings : Lagherta the shield maiden by GakggGak
Icy fire by Ssarawolf
Vikings Tribute by ronmonroe
Ragnar Lothbrok - Vikings by Greg-Opalinski
Athelstan by Vaan37
Vikings by lilhydra

[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]
I was tagged by pulbern to browse Traditional Art > Collage and feature some lovely art! Voyage to the Unknown was started by Mrs-Durden and you can find out more about it here.

"The idea is to browse through a category or sub-category that you don't necessarily visit frequently, or that you browse the least, and collect some of the art you find stands out! The point of this is to challenge ourselves and discover new art in the process!"

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you'd like to get involved by browsing a gallery you don't usually visit and making a journal feature with some of the awesome things you find, feel free to leave a link in the comments here so I can check out your discoveries.

Traditional Art > Collage

The travellers by frenchapple10

Did You Cry by zoshabryll

Righteous anger,2015,collage,290x290mm by Maria-the-artist

fresh by bluespectralmonkey

savva by cuckoo-koo-koo

Ps. How cute is this journal skin? I'm using it in honour of the bright evenings around the Summer Solstice, where darkness never entirely reaches our nights in Scotland.

[ Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook | Instagram | ]

  • Listening to: Walk Off The Earth
  • Reading: Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
  • Watching: Orange is the New Black
  • Playing: Two Dots
  • Eating: Sesame snaps
  • Drinking: Damiana tea

Do people comment less now?

Journal Entry: Tue May 26, 2015, 5:34 AM

Having been away from dA (yes, I will probably always write it with the small 'd' and capital 'A' cause it's stuck in my mind as the way it is written) for a while and sort of drifting in and out for a couple of years before that, there have been lots of changes I've noticed and probably lots more that have passed me by. I feel a bit like I'm finding my way around again. It's kind of an adventure, discovering new things or old things in new places.

Something I'm wondering about is, do people comment less now than they used to a few years ago? I'm not complaining or griping or being all "change is bad mmm'kay?" and as nice as it is when people comment on my work, I'm not bothered if they don't. I post stuff here just to share it and I'm not looking for feedback or critique or anything, so when it comes to comments, I can take them or leave them. I just noticed that my older stuff would get loads of comments and my newer stuff maybe gets a few, but not always. This might be completely down to me not being super active on the site or maybe it's a combination of that and a general trend away from commenting.

What do you think? Deviants who have been here for a few years, have you noticed a difference in how many times people comment on your work? Do you think it's directly related to how active you are on the site or is it just the direction things have moved in, or is it a bit of both?

All of you, even if you've only been here for a few months or a few weeks - why do you share your work on dA? Is it just for the sake of sharing it or are you hoping for feedback and/or critique? Do favourites matter more to you than comments, or vice versa, or are you not particularly bothered about either, or equally as happy with either?

Go on, satisfy my curiosity!

Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity

Favourite dA photography groups?

Journal Entry: Fri May 22, 2015, 11:06 AM

I'd like to find some awesome photography groups to join on dA and there are SO many to browse through while looking for active and interesting ones. Plus, I like checking things out based on other people's recommendations, which is why I'm posting a journal about it.

I have no interest in "You may only submit one thing a year and our admins will decide whether it's good enough, based on their personal taste" and I also have no interest in "Everyone submit 20 things a day until all our message centres explode". I'm not bothered about contests, challenges etc. I don't object to that kind of thing - it's just not what I'm looking for. I'm not specifically seeking lots of comments and I have no particular interest in critiques either.

Basically, I'd like active groups where I can share my photos and discover other people's without it being either an uber-elitist validation factory or a total free-for-all. I'm fine with subject-specific and also with general photography. Please don't send me invitations. If you have a favourite group, or you run a group, that you think I might like, leave a link in a comment and I'll check it out.

So...any suggestions?

Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity

Instagram, Wikia, Nostalgia

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 12, 2015, 11:47 AM

After a lot of dithering about whether or not to set up an Instagram account for my art photography (as well as the one I already have for my happy snaps and random crap), I went for it. If you wish to stalk me there, I am (not surprsingly) RockstarVanity. I also wrote a reviewish kinda thing on my blog about Instagram, with lots of love and a couple of gripes, which you can read here.

Also, here's a cool thing you might not know about. DeviantartWikia is lots of stuff about DeviantArt (I will never get used to not writing it like deviantART...sigh, nostalgia etc) that I know almost nothing about cause I only found out about it today but wanted to share it cause it looks kind of awesome. I was asked for some details about my periods of joyous servitude as a Community Volunteer (and a Gallery Moderator, as we were back then...sigh, nostalgia etc) for the History of Community Volunteers page and realised I didn't actually know the dates when I started and finished CVing. I had a hunt through my journals to find said dates and guess what? Sigh, nostalgia etc.

I so rarely have time to spend on dA these days. I so rarely have time to spend on photography at all these days. I miss it so much. I have missed it so much. I pick up my camera and I feel like I've found a part of me that I'd lost somewhere along the way. When I stopped doing photography-as-business cause of health stuff (still putting the bits of my metaphorical heart back together after that) I really needed some time away from all of it, from everything, to figure shit out, find some meaning in other places and throw myself into other things to get over the hardcore sads caused by having to close the doors on the business I'd built. 

Since then, I've found my way back to photography-as-art and fallen in love again. Because I'm not really able to do photoshoots with human models and heavy lights and being upright for hours, I've been noticing the world around me more, pointing my camera at things instead of people, and it's been kind of amazing. As much as I miss photo-work, taking the pressure away has completely changed how I approach taking and sharing photos. It's been more about play and experimentation, the way it was in the beginning. I feel like I'm finding my feet again, but wearing different shoes. I like these shoes. They're good shoes. They're comfortable. When I'm wearing them, I can dance again.

Since starting my forensic psych degree in February, I've realised I need to cut back on the volunteer work I'm doing (health stuff again, because my life is a balancing act) which also makes me a little bit sad but does have a lovely shiny silver lining - hopefully, in a couple of months, I'll have some more time to spend on creating art and enjoying art. You might even see me around these parts a little more often. After all, I've been a DeviantArtist for over 10 year now and this is still my home, even if it has gained a few fresh coats of paint, a massive extension and a few million more residents since I moved in.

Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity

Something Fishy Going On

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 22, 2015, 10:53 AM

After spending some happy chill-out time today pointing my lens at
the scalebabies who share my home, I started looking at other people's
fishy photos on dA. Here are a few particularly lovely ones...

Gold|Fish|7 by Dc-Creative

Gold as they are by van313

Idyllic Pond by CosmicRamble

Black GoldFish by PinkGlitterDragon

Goldfish #2 by MiriamViola

Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity


Journal Entry: Mon Jan 19, 2015, 3:50 PM

Rex by RockstarVanity

You may have met this little guy in my gallery already. He's called Rex Darwin-Rhind
(Rex is his given name, Darwin is his axolotl parents' surname and Rhind is the
surname of the human who grew him) and he lives in a big aquarium tank
in my living room. He's an
axolotl and since axolotls are officially the
cutest creatures in the world (cause I say so, ok?), here are
some more, in various mediums, for you to squee and aww over...

Polymer clay Axolotl by Zil-Foxxxil

Big Axolotl by ThreeLeaves

Happy Old New Year =) by Anarhia-2013

Lars the Axolotl! by ChaoticDrakness

Little cuties by kuromix3

Painting creatures with Bobby Chiu Assignment 7 by spiderman-mx

Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity

Hello again!

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 21, 2014, 2:37 PM
So earlier today I thought it might be nice to log in to dA and check out some of the new features I've become aware of through other people's posts on Facebook and Twitter. OH MY GOD, I have missed this place so much and after not very long browsing around, I decided that I couldn't stay away. I quite like the feed stuff on the front page and the wee status update module. I know it's all social-media-y, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Maybe I just take dA less seriously than I used to and can look at new features now and think "Oh, new features" rather than "OMG WHY MUST EVERYTHING CHANGE?!".

I've missed sharing my art here, especially over the last year when I've been on a mission to experiment with different tools and processes in my photography. I wrote a blog post about that if you want to waste some time reading my introspective ramblings. I've missed looking at other people's art...friends' art, strangers' art, random art. I think the reason for my "blergh, I need to be away from dA for a while" feelings earlier this year was a weird kind of burn out. I've been a Community Volunteer twice, I've run a bunch of groups and adminned others and I'd reached a point where I felt like I was doing dA properly if I wasn't writing lots of in-depth comments and critiques. Yep, I actually felt guilty for not doing that stuff, which is utterly ridiculous. dA hasn't been about JUST the art for me for a long time and I really think it needs to be for me to be happy here.

I'm toying with the idea of starting a small group for artistic photography created with mobile devices, if there's enough interest to make it worthwhile. I've submitted some photos from the last few months. I've reactivated all my watchy stuff, left some groups I don't submit to any more and streamlined my watch list to only include people who have been active over the last year or so. I will make an effort to reply to comments cause I'm not an asshole. I doubt that I'm ever going to be super involved in a bazillion different things on dA again the way I used to be, but I'm ok with that. I'm here for the art, wherever that takes me.


[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]