Thursday, April 30, 2009

Something completely different . . .

I drew this on a piece of tracing paper, watercolored it, and then photographed it. I softened it somewhat in Photoshop and voila! A photograph of a drawing. Is there no end to this madness? ©Carol Leigh

The Art of Seeing - 090430

Although I posted this photo of two U-bolts a couple of months ago, today I found the "before" photo I'd taken of the entire box o' bolts. Is the close-up just a crop of my "before" photo? No. I shot the box first and then zoomed in on what I thought was the best part of the scene in front of me. Rust. Who knew how colorful it could be? ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Art of Seeing - 090428

Walking along the beach yesterday I saw a nicely striated boulder and especially liked the little crack angling down. You can see what I saw in the first photo. In the second photo you can see what I made out of it.

I included a little strip of sand at the bottom to sort of anchor my shot, filling the frame mostly with the diagonal lines of the boulder and the crack. The crack is the focal point and I placed it in the left third of the frame. From there your eye travels right and upward, following the striations in the rock. The crack angles in at one angle, while the layers of rock angle out in another, creating tension. And heaven knows we all could use a bit more tension in our lives! ©Carol Leigh

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crow in the sun

I received in the mail today two DVDs regarding Photoshop techniques for me to review. I'll tell you more as I work my way through them. But, based on just one quick little tutorial on the video, I easily created this poster-like image of a crow on a wire, silhouetted against a sun. Fun stuff and easy! More to follow. ©Carol Leigh

Spring has sprung

A delicate clock spring spirals against bright orange fabric. To add a bit more color, I whiffed blue light from a flashlight across the metal spring during the 1.6-second exposure. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time marches on

Two more with the Lensbaby and then a third using just a regular macro lens. From this point, I'll begin combining lenses, close-up filters, extension tubes, etc. to create an entire series of this set of gears and watch faces. And then? Some of these photos will be incorporated into photomontages. And then? The physical parts will be used in various mixed-media collages, with wires and rust and mesh and more. One life is simply not enough. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Current obsession . . .

A couple of old watch faces are fun to photograph using a Lensbaby. No tripod, no special lighting, just sitting at the dining room table pointing and shooting. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship . . . ©Carol Leigh

Friday, April 24, 2009

Does this angle make me look fat?

The camera DOES add poundage... ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Goldie in the window

I made a quick stop during my walk this morning and photographed my neighbor's cat Goldie as she looked at me through a dirty and rain-speckled window. The cat's orange, but I turned the shot into a soft black and white image which I think is more flattering to her. I was tempted to clone out each and every water spot on the window glass, but figured no, I actually DO have a life, and left them all in. Cute cat. This afternoon she helped us install a new bird feeder that Chris made. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Movement . . .

"It is difficult to steer a parked car, so get moving." — Henrietta Mears

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kitchen art

I've been doing a lot of photography in the kitchen lately -- flowers, food, shadows, etc. -- as well as playing extensively with very shallow depth of field. I like the soft look of this flour canister, created by using an aperture of f/1.8. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, April 20, 2009

Climbing clematis

I found this at the Oregon Coast Garden Center this weekend -- it's the most beautiful plant, with flowers that look almost like dogwood blossoms. I spent some time shooting, playing with very shallow depth of field with my lens set at f/2.8 throughout and purposely overexposing to keep the light and airy feel. This one's a permanent resident at the garden center and they had none for sale. Alas. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Metal Daisy #2 Squared

An African daisy, some scratched metal, and clock faces contribute to this image. ©Carol Leigh

The Art of Seeing - 090418

See the rocks with sand on them in the middle left of the top photo? That's where the close-up comes from. Good stuff -- color, lines, and texture. Plus a walk on the beach is always fine. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, April 17, 2009

Snowy drive-by shot . . .

Well, it sort of looks like snow . . . This began as an intentionally blurred photo, taken from the car as we drove home yesterday afternoon. And then I began playing around with it today in Photoshop and accidentally flattened the layers and saved it, so I have no record of everything I did! I like the look of this shot. Today. I may hate it in a week, wondering what the heck was I thinking, but today it's good. Too bad I don't remember how I did it! Carol Leigh

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Multitasking . . .

I post this photo not because it's especially good, but because it's funny. As we were heading home late this afternoon, we spotted this guy riding a unicycle AND juggling three large balls at the same time. I had my camera in-hand and quickly photographed him through the front windshield of the car.

What's bizarre is that this is the second time in maybe four years that I have seen this same phenomenon near Oregon State University in Corvallis. The first time, it was a unicyclist talking on a cellphone while bouncing a basketball. And now we have this guy today. I love how he has all three balls in the air, even if the entire shot is completely out of focus.

I checked on-line. Turns out that there's a "Corvallis Juggling and Unicycling" club, to which this guy apparently belongs. One would think that just being able to maneuver a unicycle would be challenging enough . . . apparently not. ©Carol Leigh

The Art of Seeing - 090415

There are bluffs above the high tide line that have brilliant colors and amazing mosaic-like patterns in the rocks and on overcast days the colors practically glow. No one ever walks up here! The first photo shows you what I created out of a little patch of rock and the second photo shows you what I initially saw. We photographers, we "visualists," notice things like this, we find things, frame things, and then display them to the rest of the world saying, "See? See!" ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Unidentified bird . . .

Found on the beach this morning. A turnstone of some sort, I guess. :-) ©Carol Leigh

Minute number 59 . . .

No rain, a relatively low tide, no bright sun -- perfect for hitting the beach, where I spent 59 minutes this morning shooting patterns. I was headed back toward the parking lot when I spotted a flock of cormorants heading north toward me. I had an 18-55mm lens on the camera -- not exactly what one wants for bird photography. And then I spotted the rainbow. Adrenaline rush! I quickly set my camera to underexpose by a full stop so that the waves wouldn't blow out and so that the rainbow would stand out. My ISO was 500, but no time to change that because HERE THEY COME! The result? A noisy photograph of birds too far away but a photograph that means a lot to me because it was the taken at the 59th minute, my last shot of my beach walk, and I thank whoever is in charge of this kind of stuff. Celebrating what's right in this world . . . ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More clock parts . . .

Taxes are just now finished. Ick. But there was still time today to make a few photos. I seem currently to be fond of oil cans, paper, and clock parts. Strange combination. Borderline insanity? Probably. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, April 13, 2009

Time for clocks . . .

In my current online macro class we're working on depth of field. It's a great excuse for me to play, so I selected this little gear from an old clock and used a 100mm macro lens with a Nikon 6T close-up diopter on the front. Depth of field is so shallow that just the tips of the foreground gear teeth are in focus, yet you can still see some of the details in the blurred background. Love this stuff . . . ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, April 12, 2009

49 minutes at the beach

I'm intrigued with the kelp I'm finding on the beach, and creating something simple out of the huge spaghetti-like tangles is a challenge. But then, of course, there are always the colorful rocks below the bluffs — sort of a photographic "dessert." ©Carol Leigh

The Art of Seeing - 090412

The top photo is typical of what I see at low tide on the beach. Little rivulets of water come from the bluffs and make their way to the sea. Along the way, patterns emerge in the sand. Looking closer, in the next two photos, I isolate a few patterns, filling my frame with horizontal and diagonal lines or a series of jagged slashes. There's no sense of scale. The second photo could be of sand dunes for all we know. And the third photo an aerial view of some land formation from 35,000 feet. The world is at our feet if we just take the time to look. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Art of Seeing - 090411

One of the more difficult things to teach is how to see. What goes on in a photographer's brain that enables him or her to casually look at something and immediately (or maybe not so immediately) see that yup, there's a photo there? What I'm planning on doing from now on is to try to show you, whenever possible, what I see and then what I've made from that scene.

In this case, the top photo is what I see when I walk along one of my favorite beaches here on the Oregon coast. I've had people come up to me and ask what the heck I'm shooting. To them, it looks quite ordinary. And I can understand why --this is the high tide line, where the water meets the bluffs twice a day, and it's usually strewn with rocks, kelp, broken shells, etc. To me, however, it's a gold mine. The cracks in the rocks and their saturated colors can keep me busy for a long time. So from the rocks that you see in the top photo, here are two photos I made.

The role of a photographer is to show people what they might otherwise miss. And to do so in an artistic way.

This is my first go at this "here's what I saw/here's what I made" concept. Please let me know if you find it worthwhile. Thanks! ©Carol Leigh

Friday, April 10, 2009

Old pens

Yesterday at an antique store I bought a couple of old grungy ink pens and photographed them today. The background originally was a brilliant orange, but I felt that it overwhelmed the pens, so I toned it down somewhat. ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, April 9, 2009

North of Seal Rock

I almost deleted this image. It was one of the first ones I took on my beach walk today and I thought it was too blah. But then I decided to experiment a bit with black and white in Photoshop and maybe I could bring out the clouds a little bit. The more I began working with this picture, the more I liked it. It actually looks more like reality than my original color image. ©Carol Leigh

38 minutes at the beach

The rain stopped briefly and so did I -- at one of my favorite beaches. I photographed bubbles with my reflection in them, richly colored rocks below the bluffs, contrasting textures in piles of bull kelp, and a heart-shaped rock. The tide was rapidly reaching its peak, so I hustled out of there just in time.

I also stopped at an antique store and bought yet another oil can and some very cool, very used, very stained, old pens, so stay tuned for (I hope) some interesting shots of those new items. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Experiment . . .

I'm experimenting with various functions in Photoshop and one that I found this week is a spotlight sort of effect. I applied it to this punched-tin piece of artwork I photographed in Mexico. Since there's no sense of scale, you don't know if this is a Christmas tree ornament or the headboard on a bed. ©Carol Leigh

It's a headboard . . .

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hot ice

Over in my online macro photography class we're working on shooting ice. My ice broke midway through, but there was still enough for me to work on. It's a beautiful world in there. ©Carol Leigh

Clock parts

More clock parts . . . one can never have too many. ©Carol Leigh