Monday, February 24, 2014

Week Eight - "February Challenge"

"February Compilation"

I needed something to wrap up each month of my daily blog so my daughter, Lisa, suggested doing a compilation of the month's images. Not having a clue as to what she meant, she patiently walked me through the steps and here it is. 

To refresh your memory I shot an antique each of the twenty-seven days in alphabetical order. 

Guest Photographer - Michael Perchard

"The Newsboy"

As you may have figured out, Michael is a painter. 

"Most of my work is motivated by my experiences growing up in East Boston. I was a newspaper boy in Maverick Square in East Boston. When a friend in Pennsylvania mentioned he loved it, I needed to paint a replica as I had already sold the original. I shipped it out to him in PA.  Sad ending; my friend recently passed away. He did however receive the painting and he said it made him cry. I will be speaking at a memorial for him in a couple of weeks in East Boston.

I am usually motivated drawn into a painting by some emotional attachment to the subject matter.  One of my goals is to have that emotion show in my work."

More often than not, I paint with acrylics. Mostly on canvas!  With the acrylic paint I often use flexible modeling paste to create texture. I sometimes use sand for the same reason. I often add a gloss medium and varnish medium. Thin acrylics with ordinary water. Love to paint layers upon layers of paint with plenty of glazes. My process can vary but mostly I start with an idea and I make sure I keep it very vague. I do that for many reasons - the biggest reason being by not having many specific goals or planned outcomes I am always open to surprises that often happen! I am also"free" to change my mind. Many of my works have started off with  one idea and have ended totally different! This process helps me greatly to create something unique. It also makes my work fun, exciting, adventurous, and even joyful!  

You can follow Michael on his blog:

Thanks, Michael!

Don't forget to send me some of your favorites from 2013.

Next Week's Guest is Ann Bertulli

Weekly Photo Suggestion:

In terms of composition, photography and painting aren't much different!

  A Pearl of Wisdom. . .

  Law of Inanimate Mobility

All inanimate objects can move just enough to get in your way!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week Seven - "Dick and Jane Reader"

As Phil noted, Deana's framing of the Space Needle was well done!

"Fun with Dick and Jane"

This was one of the challenges from the month of February where I shot alphabetically and it was an antique. This book holds fond memories of my first "unofficial" teacher, my Aunt Molly! Since I was too young to attend first grade at St. Peter's, my aunt would take me to her place of work - Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grammar School in Roxbury (more commonly known as Mission Grammar). Since Molly was a first grade teacher we used this series. Note the bottom line as this was the CATHEDRAL Basic Reader. These books were specifically published for the parochial schools. Inside each story there would be a Catholic artifact (crucifix, a holy water font, a statue of Mary, etc.).

What was so special about this book is what was stamped on the inside cover:
"Property of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grammar School, Roxbury"

I probably read out of this book back in Aunt Molly's classroom!

Guest Photographer - Doris Steeg

"Chambers Bay Park"

This photo was taken in late December at Chambers Bay Park overlooking Puget Sound at sunset.   I was driving by and noticed the splendid colors.  The structure is part of the remains of a gravel pit operation.  Pierce County took it over and developed the space into a park and golf course. 

No post-production processing.

I met Doris when I took a photo workshop through Elderhostel back in 2004. The setting was Tomahawk, WI. For twelve days, our leader, Doug led us through the backwoods of Wisconsin. Doris and I have been emailing each other ever since. The last day of my trip to the Pacific Coast Highway was to drop off the car in Seattle. Cheryl and I managed to meet with Doris and Joani for dinner!

Thanks, Doris!

Don't forget to send me some of your favorites from 2013.

Next Week's Guest is Michael Perchard

Weekly Photo Suggestion:

Constructively critique the works of others.

  A Pearl of Wisdom. . .

  Rule of Accuracy

When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know the answer.

        Corollary - Provided, of course, that you know there is a problem!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week Six - "Last Stop Winterized"

To answer one question, I believe Phil was not that far from the site of the Marathon Tragedy.

"Snow Day - No School!"

With the all of the windows missing on the abandoned school bus, I peered inside to get this view!

I was able to get my tripod up next to the back door of the vehicle. My camera lens was actually inside go the bus when I took this shot. There was so much going on inside - the driver's seat was still upright; the handle to open and close the front door was intact; and, the graffiti.  I, too, wondered about Sarah and Aja. Did they know they were being immortalized on the ceiling of the bus? Were they an item around town? Has either of them been back to the bus since their names were added to it? 

Although the image had great appeal in color, I knew that monochromatic was the way I wanted it to be seen. So, it was run through my usual workflow with a final stop at NIK's Silver Efex Pro 2.

Guest Photographer - Deana McMorrow

"Framing the Seattle Space Needle"

This is the famous Space Needle in Seattle.

There was a glass exhibit at the museum near the Needle. I was impressed with the red and yellow glass flowers. As I looked up, I noticed they circled the Space Needle.

Since I travel light, I shot this with my iPhone.

This is straight out of the camera – no processing.

By the way, dinner at the top of the needle was fabulous!

Thanks, Deana!

Don't forget to send me some of your favorites from 2013.

I only have ONE more guest photographer to feature - where are yours????

Weekly Photo Suggestion:

Make photos, not excuses!

  A Pearl of Wisdom. . .

Variation Law 

If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week Five - Last Stop Winterized

I was wondering along with some of you - just how far WAS Peyton from that bear???

My last two images were of this school bus and one of my goals was to capture it during the different seasons. After a considerable snowfall I made the trek back to the abandoned bus which would have been my third shoot of the new year. The snow gave the vehicle an entirely different look and feel. 

I had to be a little creative in this one as the snow completely surrounded the bus AND I wanted a reflection. So, I went back into my "Last Stop" archives and retrieved one with a reflection. I was able to clone that one into this snowy image. It did take a few tries but the end result was worth the effort!

Guest Photographer - Phil Holt

"Boston Marathon 2013"

I ran for 30 years and completed two marathons. My goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. To do that, a runner has to run a prior marathon (26.2 miles) in a qualifying time for his age group. I came very close but developed some knee issues that stopped me from be able to run serious distances. A marathon by definition is too far and a person has to push themselves to beyond to complete. If you've run those 26.2 miles, you find your self identifying with the individuals out there.
This image was taken at about the 16 mile point in Wellesley. I was able to position myself on the sidewalk and take unobstructed pictures of the runners. These runners are average runners that would finish with a time of around 4 hours +. I didn't find out until I got back home that the Marathon bombings had occurred and then I realized that the group of runners I was taking pictures of, were the same runners finishing in Copley Square when the bombs went off. This runner appears to be still running well and is in a "zone".  I also like the reflection captured in her sunglasses and the other runners around her.
I used the radial filter in Lightroom that helps to draw one's attention to the main subject.

Thanks, Phil!

Don't forget to send me some of your favorites from 2013.

Weekly Photo Suggestion:

You can't "photoshop" bad images into good ones.

  A Pearl of Wisdom. . .

Law of Logical Argument 

Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.