Monthly Archives: March 2013

license

sign # 4192

sign # 4192

Sometimes (most of the time) it’s difficult to find a pleasant blue sky in this area.  I took this shot on a typically gray, overcast day in Webster (Where Life is Worth Living) but there was a small hint of blue in the sky.  Blue sliders (in Lightroom) to the rescue.

In literature, poetic license is defined as “…the liberty taken by an artist or a writer in deviating from conventional form or fact to achieve a desired effect”.  Photographers have been doing this since the start and I see no reason to stop now.  Oh, I may have nudged the yellow slider, too.

Thank you very much.  You’ve been such a wonderful audience I’d like to give you a bonus photo:

dog # 4322

dog # 4322

view to a thrill

kaleidoscope

kaleidoscope

This is a view from the new kaleidoscope at the RMSC.  I thought it was pretty impressive when it was first installed.  Generally, there are a lot of kids having fun with it but, on this day, I was fortunate to get some shots before folks started coming in to see it.

urban project 2

pic 0031

pic 0031

This building stood where the Bausch and Lomb building stands today in downtown Rochester.  It held retail stores, offices and some residential before it was torn down. I liked the way the side of the building was painted and when I found this slide it brought back memories.  I like photos that are just design elements or just color for color sake.  By the time I took this photo I had a good job and I was making real money (it wasn’t much but it was real).  I could splurge once in a while for some color and I tried to make the most of it.  I loved black and white but color was exciting and inspirational.

urban project

scan 0174

scan 0174

Back in the mid ’80 (that’s 1980’s)  I became aware of some of the effects of urban renewal in the Rochester, NY area and wanted to get some photos of things that had a limited life expectancy.  My wife hated this project because it involved (me) walking around the parts of town with the highest crime rate with a bag of expensive camera equipment on my back.  Actually, this area had one of the highest crime rates in the entire US at the time but since I was from this part of town originally I was stupid enough to  attempt it anyway.   It was not my objective to photograph these things documentary style but rather as a creative outlet.  Some of the slides were printed and still hang in our house but most have sat in an old dresser drawer in the basement for many years.  I’ve recently converted some to digital and thought someone (anyone) might like to see them.  Click on any photo to enter the gallery.

ps: I love you

converted 0112

converted 0112

I have been doing most of my post processing in Lightroom (v4) for quite a while and I very seldom use Photoshop.  Bust there are some limitations in LR4 and PS is perfect for performing many tasks not available in LR.  Above is a photo from a converted (from the Wolverine) black and white negative shot specifically for hand coloring.  I liked hand colored photos and even got pretty good at it but it was a time consuming and sometimes tedious endeavor and the results were variable.   PS makes hand coloring a pleasure compared to the traditional method and it is non-destructive.

To get this look, I toned the photo, spotted out the dust spots and cropped in LR.  These changes are all reversible as an advantage.  In Photoshop, a blank layer is added above the background layer (this photo) and the blend mode is set to Color.  I start with the deep green color selected from the pallet and brush over the area with the brush set at 100% opacity.  This eliminates any streaking.  Then I set the layer opacity to a lower number, in this case 35%.  You can use the eraser tool to remove any  over-brush.  Then another blank layer is added above this, set to Color Blend Mode, and this time I used a deep yellow color with a slightly softer and smaller brush.  The layer opacity was set to 35%.  Then I did the same thing with a deep purple color.  The extra layers don’t add much to the file size so you can save the file with all the layers and fine tune it later on if necessary.    Of course, if your shot is originally in color it’s very easy to get this effect.

…and then you get to eat the asparagus!

leaves

leaves # 1938

leaves # 1938

I have been collecting photos of trees and leaves for a long time and thought I should post one.  It’s difficult to take a simple, common subject, make a lot of photos and still keep it interesting.   But, if I may generalize, photographers love a challenge.  I had a manager who would preface his remarks with “I have a challenge for you!”  before giving me a crappy job  to do, thinking I would be pleased to have a “challenge”.  The tree/leaf project is nothing like that.  It’s something I do out of love.  Like everything I do these days.

At the risk of running low on leaf photos to post, here are a few more.

leaves # 1943

leaves # 1943

leaves # 2207

leaves # 2207

kodachrome 3 9 13

kodachrome 3 9 13

the future of (my) photography

# 4224

# 4224

On this day, in 1970, the number one song in the USA (according to Billboard) was “Bridge over Troubled Waters” by Simon and Garfunkel.  Having not heard this song in quite a while I listened to it again and it still is as fresh and beautiful as it was back then.  A piece of pop art that has endured for over 43 years (and counting).  It’s a nice idea to think that our own work will be appreciated over a long period of time but I don’t think it’s the case for many of us.  I’m not convinced blog posts are a good way of keeping records and neither is passing these files down to our descendants.   Archival prints (stored properly) is probably the best way to maintain  photos but printing and storing would probably fill an entire file cabinet (at least in my case) and cost a small fortune.    I could fill a couple of 4T hard drive, too, but who wants that.  And who will be able to read it 20 years from now? They would be like the old floppy disks from a bygone era.  

I’ve decided to donate all of my work, both physical and virtual, to a Museum.  What museum would want it?  A museum that collected nothing but personal art from families that want it preserved.  A museum that would take care of it and display the best, probably on a site available to all, free of charge.  A museum for the people that appreciate good works from those that never became famous for those works.  A museum for painters, photographers, sculptors, writers, musicians, dancers, actors, magicians and any artist that has a record that needs to be preserved.  A museum that does not exist today but should in the future.

I haven’t filed this under “stupid ideas” yet, but maybe I should.  I like pie even if it’s in the sky.

side note:  the song that replaced “Bridge over Troubled Waters” as No. 1 was “Let it Be” by the Beatles.