Saturday, May 31, 2008

While on vacation in Aruba I happened upon this pathos ivy mountain. Granted, it's one of my most very favorite plants because it responds so well to attention, love and care. Add to that the ideal environment and this grows to such scale that its leaves, easily 10" across, - would've been ample wardrobage for Adam & Eve! So - let's see. Lessons learned from this - try to be planted where you will thrive, be grateful for love and attention and show your enthusiasm... got it? Sure - life lesson #1... piece of cake!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I seem to really be on a flower kick, but - so be it. Again, truly magnificent colors (applause) and sleek design. Shot with my Sony Cybershot on a white piece of printer paper under the light on my desk. Who says you've got to have all the latest gizmos to get the goods?? Enjoy

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

mmm. Lovely dogwood, pale and blushing pinks on a wonderfully striated textural background. I dropped out the color of the background so that the blossom would shine. It does, doesn't it?

Monday, May 26, 2008

This beauty is planted in a half whisky barrel right outside the breakfast area, I've been watching it - waiting to pounce. Yesterday it was all wrapped tightly into a pentagonal shaped puff - all points neatly matching up at the seams.
This morning it has ventured forth... but still is not fully unfurled, as the pollen-coated stamens are still in their upright supporting role. I expect in a few hours it will have morphed further. I always marvel at the stunning colors, precision and functionality in nature... as I did today, come marvel with me!
My friend Valerie and I researched it and it's called a Balloon Flower. Apropriate, eh?!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This image makes me think I can paint... I often take shots and as I'd mentioned a few posts ago, then edit with Photoshop's dry brush effect... I was musing how to bring color back in this - and was so tempted to run a page of watercolor paper through the printer, then do a very subtle tint. But, it was just a thought.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Color, isn't it amazing? I shot these at Zilker Gardens in Austin, TX. I can't say that I really contributed too much to this - other than being where I needed to be to find it. If you click on the image - it'll enlarge in a new window - it's just beautiful.

And below, is this stained glass? Monet?

or perhaps a close-up of the water from the larger image below...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A friend of mine has a teenager who was wanting to post an image for his avatar in one of the chat sites online, I was sent a regular portrait image and took it immediately into Photoshop. Because there were harsh background shadows, I selected the core of the subject (asking: who is this person, what in this image is 'telling'?) then worked within minimalist "less is more" parameters, after all - don't you agree that this image gives enough visual information for a teen online - I do.

As much as I like realistic images, I have a great deal of fun editing digital images in Photoshop - the 'dry brush' being my absolute favorite tool. I think a lot of what makes an image eye-catching is the deliberate thought process while it is being composed. Balance, exposure, cropping, texture, color and of course subject.

Almost without editing, my images are usually pretty well composed in my camera's viewfinder, framed in what I consider to be the most pleasing way. But, often when I am faced with the 'whole' in the editing window - I will crop it way down - and find the results more pleasing because often - just a hint of what IS... really, is all we need.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sometimes getting that perfect image is simply dependent upon the luck of timing. Being there at the right moment, prepared to capture it. I was up early to see my son off to the school bus and knew that while it had been cold enough to freeze the evening before, I was not expecting to find what I did that morning! In the quiet of early morning, we were presented with a crystal wonderland... these little ice whiskers had grown on the branches, the basketball hoop, EVERYWHERE - and they were glorious.

Later on, after a little research, I learned that this type of frost is called Hoar Frost and when it occurs, it presents the most magnificent scenarios... I was just lucky enough to happen upon it at the right moment, ready to capture it with my camera.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Meet my good friend, Sam. He is the sweetest, most compassionate 'person' I know. When I heard about him back in 2002, I remember telling the seller that "I'd have to bring him home for a test run, as we had another golden at the time, and I wanted to make sure that they got along." I knew full well that he'd be staying - and I'd named him even before he arrived. I have never loved a pet like I love this guy...

This picture was taken late 2004 as I was working in the basement on a piece of machinery that was unfamiliar to him and, to boot, it was making horrible noises. He positioned himself at a good vantage point where he could make sure I was OK... but still far enough away to escape - if need be. This is one of my very favorite photos of him.
In the chill of the early morning where shadows are long and cold, the first sign that summer, was in fact, coming to a close is evident.

The sunlight and shadows that play upon this solitary leaf reveal its inner structure, while a fringe of ice crystals define the edges.

Without the sunlight "allowing" the glimpse into the inner workings - this would be any other ordinary cold and very solitary leaf...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

If one were able to describe quiet with a picture - this would be it. Taken only with available light... from the moon and a streetlight off in the distance it is surely one of my very favorite shots.

This image owes its life to the 'night vision imaging' capability of the Sony Cybershot DSC-F707. I absolutely love this camera, and while its resolution maxes out at 5 megapixels - it is what I grab as I reach right by my Canon Rebel Xti 10 megapixel.

This amazing camera has a Carl Zeiss lens and can very easily photograph the most minute detail (I do confess - I use it most often for macro photography...) while also mastering a night shot AND serving to entertain the dogs with the IR beam it shoots out to focus in the dark. Love it!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

There is a certain path that I walk in the morning each day. I have two dogs and we take in the early morning air, sounds of the forest and the glory of sunshine filtering down through the trees with gusto.

Although the route is timeworn, the things I see and what I envision are new to me each day. This single droplet for instance: In this forest, many pine needles fall and quite often they land astride another branch... forming an upside-down V.

To my delight one day last winter, after a light rain, I came upon a bare-limbed smallish tree heavily decorated with these fallen pine needles. Each needle holding tightly to one clear droplet of rainwater. Sunlight caught each droplet as if they were holiday decorations of only the finest jewels.
A few years back I did a study to satisfy my curiosity, adjusting the hue in photographs. Not surprising was the finding that no matter what direction I slid the bar, I found that, in nature - the results were always complimentary.

Interestingly enough though was this peacock...
I ask you this:

If you didn't know for a fact what the true colors were - which combination would you think was best suited?


Friday, May 16, 2008

Last Easter we were at the Governor's Mansion in Williamsburg where we saw glorious flowering dogwood and apple trees... and awoke to see a fresh snowfall lingering on the tulip bed outside our room's window.

I was taken with this piece of ornament - (I'll call it a finial, as it tops off something) located in the rear garden of the mansion. I love the way the flowers appear as if they are carved, also am particularly taken with tone on tone. Where it's simply the relief that makes the designs pop. I try to take this inspirational element into my art, both in form & imagined execution.

The gardens also had numerous hedges and bushes that were trimmed to such exactness, that I would imagine it could be an execution in compulsion - making sure that no single element grew more than any other! Giant boxwoods carved meticulously into the shape of cylinders, hedges with sharp angles and down-turning curves, much like the wall beyond the finial. Very pretty...

Yesterday I had said that inspiration/art is out there for everyone - but you had to learn to see it.

This was a small outbuilding also at the Williamsburg settlement - With so many repeated elements... doesn't it make your heart skip a beat? I imagine that the fence in the foreground has little points on it also, but the angle of the shot didn't capture it.

Repetition strengthens a design - repetition emphasizes a statement - repetition gives cohesion... repetition unites a scene.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

After several seasons of Man vs Wild, I thought it was amazing what nature, herself, had done to tether stalk to stick.
My first love has always been art - but I didn't officially have 'work' until I was almost forty and someone wrote me a thank you note - saying that they 'love my work'. That is such a specific word to an artist... it's like a great line you cross over. For now, "I" have been recognized as an artist and I have 'work' - therefore - I must now be official.

Art comes at me from many different aspects all day long. I truly believe that most of us don't see what is before us - because we don't know how to look for it. For years I have fixed in my mind just what I intend to say about a picture before taking it... which means there should be a reason for taking it. A purpose.

This method can also be applied to tasks you take on -art you create, friendships you cultivate and also the sheer way you choose to live your life.