Archive for the ‘Abstract’ Category

Day 51 – Grunge Abstract with Mirror

Monday, August 18th, 2014


Here’s another one from the rusty grunge of my brother’s car collection.  I loved the shadow of the mirror so made that the focus but also wanted to include the lines and colors.  On this one I edited out some trees in the sky that didn’t really add anything to the composition.  Then I was going for a graphic look so went with maximum detail and saturation. Finally I added a grungy border.

Day 43 – Barn Door

Sunday, August 10th, 2014


I went for drive in the country yesterday.  This barn door was just one of the abstracts I got from this well weathered building.  Lots of old barns and packing sheds to be found in the orchard country of the Rogue Valley.  This one had the standard processing.

Day 36 – Grunge Abstract

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014


My brother has quite a collection of old trucks sitting on our parents’ back lot.  This one they call the Crummy.  It’s paint is getting pretty crummy, that’s for sure.  I shot this close up near the fender for an interesting abstract.  I gave it  a maximum detail extraction in CEP then used a cool color boost in brilliance warmth and a little bit of darken/lighten center followed by a grungy border to go with the total look.

Saw Blade Abstract

Saturday, April 19th, 2014


I headed up to Embudo this week to revisit the Classical Gas Museum.  My primary mission was to collect some grungy textures from the many old gas pumps with all manner of peeling paint and rust.  On my previous visit I had taken a picture of these rusty saw blades and never could do anything with it.  So, of course, I had to try, try again.  In this case I love the shadows emphasizing the teeth of the blades and the varying hues of rust.  In post I took it into Nik Color Efex Pro for some detail enhancement and a little added saturation to bring out those colors.  I might have preferred not to have the wood piece in there but sometimes you just have to take things as you find them and it does add another level of texture to the image.

Eye Candy

Saturday, March 29th, 2014


One of the painters in my artist’s group refers to my images as eye candy.  I’m sure she means that in the most positive sense and that is how I take it. This image is one that clearly falls into that category.  I was taking a workshop on Creative Macro Photography with Photographer Charles Needle at the Santa Fe Photography Workshops this week.  The majority of my images from the week were extreme closeups of flowers and it was tough to decide on what to post.  But this one was unique and interesting so it got the nod.  We had a field trip to a retail establishment in Santa Fe called Jackalope which offers all kinds of unique and wonderful items, often imported from distant lands, for sale.  I photographed this tin box which had its own inherent artistry but the silver color was not that interesting.  Charles had had us photographing iridescent glass so I thought it might be interesting to combine one of those colorful but formless images with the tin box.  I layered the two images in Photoshop and cycled through all the blending modes until I hit on one I liked and voila, eye candy!

Milk Abstract

Saturday, February 8th, 2014


It was another week of snarfy winter weather here in New Mexico so my plan to go to the Bosque del Apache was thwarted. My backup plan to go shoot inside the greenhouse at the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens was also twarted by snow or a threat of snow each day.  And it was too cold to go the Whole Foods to buy a bouquet of flowers to shoot.  So, I decided it was time to try the milk and food color experiment and see what I could come up with.

The way it works is you take a dish of milk and add a few drops of food coloring.  Then you drip in some dishwashing liquid.  As the soap begins to break down the fat solids in the milk the food color spreads out to form interesting abstract patterns.  I used up several bowls of milk and got some good results but this one was my favorite.

Sunflower Abstract

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

tractor_sunflowerWe are working on compositing techniques in Photoshop class this week and I was playing around with pairing this sunflower with an old rusty tractor.  I thought it was way cool that the tractor engine came up to replace the center of the flower.  Makes a nice commentary on nature and technology.  So, how did we get here?  Cropped and resized both images to be the same size and saved the resulting files.  Then in Photoshop go to file/automate/merge to HDR Pro.  You will have an opportunity to adjust some sliders but Photoshop does a pretty good job on its own.  I then added a levels layer after the fact to balance the tones.  Finally, I put on a radial gradient filter to focus attention on the flower and cropped again.  I added a layer behind with the color selected by the eyedropper from the rusty tractor.

Best of 2012

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013


I traditionally like to start each year’s photo blog with my favorite image from the previous year ( I don’t know do two years in a row make for a tradition?)  Anyway, this year it is mostly about getting this new site up and running and since I don’t have any new photos for 2013 yet it only makes sense to start with the Best of 2012.  For the top ten go to