Dry. Parched. Windy. Smoky. Burning.
Those are the words that come to mind when I think of the west these days. October is always fire season, but in recent years ever more so. My home state of California has been on fire this last month, causing tens of thousands to evacuate and thousands of others to be without power. We have a massive drought going on here in Arizona as well- no monsoon season the last two years. Add in a pandemic, an election, and political upheavals- the world of 2020 is not the world we thought we were promised.
I’ve learned in recent years that the process of taking and editing photos soothes my worried soul. Below is a little piece of photo art I created this week. As always, a camera (or in this case an iPhone) and Photoshop ease my worries.
Pray for rain.
Maybe cows dislike social isolation as much as we do. Maybe they dream of their friends. Maybe.
Hence The Daydreaming Cow . . .
Some Photoshop fun with a Gerbera Daisy . . .
Since I’ve lived here, I’ve had fun taking photos of Bill, the statue atop the Elks Theatre in town. A few weeks ago, we were walking on a street behind and uphill from the theatre when I spotted Bill. It was sunset, and the angle of my shot had Bill silhouetted atop Granite Mountain in the background- as if Bill was in the wild. I darkened the already dark foreground to eliminate the lines of the building- and then went wild with textures. Not my usual colors and style- but it does have part of a circle. Pandemic Photoshop Play. . .
Another trip to my photo archives- a fun edit of a barrel cactus.
I had fun playing with an iPhone photo of a swan this week. It is actually a photo of a photo on my monitor – if that makes sense. I was texting a friend about the swan, so I snapped a photo of it from my screen. Then I played with it this week on my iPhone and ended up liking the result.
Two more interpretations of Zabriskie Point
Here’s my photo for class this week. Somehow, it ended up as a pretend vintage postcard.
Too much time on my hands, I guess. . .
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.