Tuesday, April 18, 2017

From the Archives

Every now and then I go back through the archives of my master photo files to see if I can resurrect an older image.  Usually I'll try the image using new Photoshop skills I've learned or to use a new plug-in filter.  This is such an image:


Wine Barrels


Here I used NIK Software HDR effect with individual channel adjustments and contrast adjustments.  I find it often rewarding to look over older images with new knowledge of what can be done in the digital darkroom.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Digital Art II

I've written before about my beliefs when it comes to digitally "painting" photographs, and this is one of my favorites:


Impression, Tulips


This is one of the first pieces I made.  I created this using Corel Painter and it took quite a bit of time, mostly due to the fact that I didn't really know what I was doing.  But it was a lot of fun experimenting and see what all I could do with it.  It is indeed hand "painted" by creating an overlay of the photograph and painting using a Wacom tablet and pen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas 2016

I don't really do Christmas pictures other than phone shots for friends of our tree, etc.  But here's a winter shot:


Winter Light


This was shot several years ago outside our vacation home in Graeagle, CA.  It was one of those spring vacation weeks where I played golf in shorts on Wednesday, it snowed on Thursday, wet ground on Friday and back on the golf course in shorts on Saturday.  Mountain weather, don't ya know.  One of the things my wife, Michele, and I miss about living in Florida.  But we plan to visit the mountains of North Carolina come this spring.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

San Francisco

I lived in San Francisco for 40 years, almost to the day.  I moved there to finish college and stayed.  I loved being a San Franciscan. I also shot the heck out of it on video and film for a company I was a partner in called Cityscape.  This was a hotel TV network which broadcasted a tour of San Francisco and surrounding areas to major hotels in the city. And strangely enough, when I got back into still photography, I did not shoot a lot of stills of the city I loved.  But here are a couple I like:

Greetings from San Francisco
Fishermen's Wharf


Now that I've been gone for 2 years, I kinda regret not shooting more.  I had several ideas about images I wanted; fog in an alley, the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, sunrise, and after the tights went on; Coit Tower, North Beach (in the fog, of course).  But I kept thinking it had been over done and I had done enough moving pictures to satisfy my desires.  I guess maybe not.  So hey, who knows.  I ain't dead yet!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sometimes You Get Lucky

One morning, while still living in San Francisco, I got up early and went over to Treasure Island in the S.F. Bay to shoot sunrise on the San Francisco Ferry Building.  Waiting for the light, I got into a conversation with another photographer further down the road.  Facing to the left of my intended target, I started feeling the warmth of the sun on my left cheek.  I turned around away from the Ferry Building and saw this:

Masts at Dawn

These are the masts of boats in the Treasure Island Harbor with the Oakland Hills in the background. And had I not been looking in a direction where I felt the sun, I might have missed this.


After shooting this, I did turn back to my intended target and got a shot I like very much as well:

San Francisco Ferry Building

Just goes to show you, sometimes you get lucky.  But you have to pay attention, look around and manufacture your own luck.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Everywhere you look

I have always thought that art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. And therefore it can be found all around us: water lilies on a pond, a cafĂ© at night in Arles, France, a girl with a pearl earring.  I often try to create a pleasing, artistic image from the simplest of subjects.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  But I really like the challenge and sometimes the results.


Dockside (Bollard)


This image is from a trip my wife, Michele, and I took to New England about a year ago.  I went out on the docks of Portland, Maine, one foggy morning and just started shooting things with an eye for elements, structure and composition.  I believe that using these three design notions are what make a simple picture into an interesting image.  Here I also did a bit of cloning to simplify the image, as well as Nik software's HDR Efex Pro filter, which I made adjustments by hand and eye, of course.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Digital Art II

This is an argument I have heard many times; some photographers believe that if you use digital software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Corel Painter, etc., that you are manipulating the image and that is cheating.  The in-camera image is the only "true" representation of place or thing photographed, purists would take the image direct from the camera to printer.  If it's not very good, you didn't do a good job at capture. I would ask the person saying this if they thought Ansel Adams was a good photographer. "Yes", they inevitably say, "he's fantastic".  "Well, I reply, "Ansel Adams 'manipulated' every image he created".  "What?", the purest would say.  "Yep", I continue, "he spent days, weeks, months, even years in the darkroom of his time dodging, burning, filtering the enlarger lens and using different grades of paper to produce exactly what he wanted."

Places des Vosges

Every photographer manipulates their image from the beginning: choice of lens, focal length, aperture setting, exposure time, etc.  Not to mention  angle of view, composition, elements in or avoided in the frame.  And I'm not a photojournalist.  I'm not necessarily trying to document, I trying to create art.  So for me, anything goes.  As long as you like the final image, I don't care how you got there.

This is a picture of the Place des Vosges in Paris, France.  I used Photoshop and hand painted in Corel's Painter to get what I hope is a "painterly" effect.