An abstract view of the cinder cone at Sunset Crater.
On our visit to Flagstaff last week, we spent some time at the Arboretum. It was very enjoyable (even with the busload of second graders catching tadpoles at the pond), and we especially liked the view of the San Francisco Peaks from across the meadow. A frame is set up for picture taking, and of course we couldn’t resist taking photos of each other with the peaks behind.
When I got home, I had some photoshop fun with this photo:
My weekly photo group starts next week, and at the end of the year we were given the topic “Excitable” as a topic for the first day of the semester. There was some debate over what that meant- exciting? Something that made the viewer excited? Someone or something that was excitable in the image? Who knew?
When we were at the Petrified Forest in June, I kept remarking that the landscape looked like that of another planet, and I immediately got the idea of creating some sort of fantasy composite using some photos I had taken in a novelty shop in Jerome. I got partway finished and abandoned the project, hoping for that special shot that I would take over the summer. That special shot never materialized.
So here we are on Planet X-citable, which will likely be my first image of the year- unless that special shot materializes over the weekend. . .
Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right.
Today our final project is due in my photo group. The topic is whimsical, which has caused a lot of consternation and debate among some of the members. Our teacher included dreamy in his definition of whimsical, but I chose to bring a not particularly dreamy photo which has appeared on this blog previously in a not so whimsical form.
Here is the original photo, taken at sunrise from our driveway.
This was originally going to be called Autumn Wind, because it is a multiple exposure taken a few weeks ago of our willow (with leaves that had turned to gold) being buffeted around by a strong wind. However, during the editing process I played it with the colors and much prefer the blue tones- hence, Blue Wind.
There is something special about old cars that appeals to most photographers. When I edited this photo, I decided to add just a tiny bit of sparkle to the decaying paint, so I took it into Topaz Glow 2. I’ve been having some issues with the software, but all seemed to be going well until I brought it back into Photoshop. The photo which I had carefully and SUBTLY edited was totally pixellated (is that the term?)- just repeating lines and shapes like an old TV test pattern- nothing resembling a photograph. I ended up blending the strange image into the original and came up with this design! I know I need to download and reinstall my software- but I like the accidental art created here.
We haven’t had snow yet this winter- or rain either. Just putting this little winter wish out there for a day or two of snow this winter . . .
Dipping into the archives for a little change of pace, I found this image I barely remember doing from last year’s San Francisco trip.
I have always loved how palm trees line Benicia’s First Street and especially love how they look at night lit up with twinkly white lights. After photographing sunset there a couple weeks ago, I took a moment to take some photos looking up at the palm fronds.
The below image started as an in-camera multiple exposure- and then I went a little crazy . . .
A little Alaska photo art for you today!
Today I posted an iPhone image on Instagram and commented that I had fallen down the iPhone app rabbit hole and was wondering if I was ever going to return to regular photography. A very talented instagram friend replied, ” There is no “regular photography”, there is just photography and creativity, and there is nothing wrong with going down there and looking for wonderland.” Don’t you love that?
Today I had my photo club friends over to play with paint. We had a blast rolling out colors on the gelli plates and using stencils and all sorts of tools to create textures and backgrounds to photograph and use in our images. It was fun to do art with NO RULES, since rules are traditionally such a big part of photography- although artist/photographers everywhere are breaking them now (yay!).
The above photo (I know- it’s pretty psychedelic. . .) was quickly created after my friends left this afternoon and was edited totally on the iPhone. The texture used was actually the photo below, after it had been through a few apps (Roll World, Brush Stroke, Snapseed- maybe more)- then was combined with the flower in Image Blender and tweaked a little more in Mextures. I still love Photoshop for the control I can get- but with the iPhone or iPad I can be creative while watching TV or when I wake up in the night and can’t back to sleep!
This photo (angel hair lying across paint on a gelli plate) became the texture used in the flower photo:
After a pretty intense “school year” (a big job in AAUW, my photo class and club, preparing for my photo show, and the genealogy drama), I have been pretty exhausted and burned out creatively. So I decided to sign up for a little online class this summer that would be a radical departure from what I’ve been doing. It’s called “It’s Elementary,” and the teacher is Tricia Dewey, a very talented digital and mixed media artist.
The subject of the class is creating your own backgrounds and textures to use in photography and digital art- sounds right up my alley, right? You use paint, a gelli plate, a brayer, and stencils and mark making tools to make prints on paper which you combine in Photoshop or in your iPad- endless possibilities. But unfortunately, I brought my stressed out, left brain attitude to the class and found it pretty overwhelming at first. I watched the videos several times, bought the materials- and that was it.
I finally forced myself to start by announcing at my photo club Tuesday that I was hosting a group next week at my house to create textures and backgrounds- and I now have 4 very talented and skilled photographers coming to learn how to do these techniques. I knew I love to teach and coach others- so now I am committed (or should be committed?).
I have had a very busy week, but did manage to play a little in the paint, which brought me back to my happy first grade teacher self. Oh, how I wish I had all the stamping and printing materials I used to have in my classroom! It is fun!
I am finding it a challenge to incorporate the new textures and backgrounds into my images, because I normally tend to use textures in a more subtle way- but the idea is to step out of my comfort zone. I’m hoping that my creative friends who come over next week will inspire me to do things in new ways. I will report back!
Some of the textures I’ve created:
The middle one was created on the iPad- no paint involved. The other two started with paint- and then were modified on the iPad.