Archive for the ‘Still life’ Category

Day 77 – Fruit

Saturday, September 13th, 2014


I was walking through the kitchen yesterday when I noticed my Mom had organized some pears and apples in a bowl making a colorful display.  Of course I had to run for my camera.  I did the usual post processing but it seemed a little harsh so I took it into Topaz Simplify to soften up the edges.  Then back to CEP for a border.

Day 32 – Onions

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014


Here is another one from the grower’s market.  I am really starting to see a nice body of work here, both from the grower’s market and the 100 days project.  I’m getting a lot more good images at the market than I can post so look for a virtual gallery show in September or October.  Post processing here was about as usual.  Looking at it now I think it needs alittle more light on the main onion but I was struggling with losing too much detail when I added brightness there so it was a trade off situation.

Day 13 – Garlic

Friday, July 11th, 2014


Still grooving on the Farmer’s Market.  I think these garlic bulbs are so pretty.  Color, texture, shapes, it’s all here.  I used the usual post processing formula, detail, brilliance/warmth, darken lighten center in Nik CEP.  Then back in photoshop I added a smart sharpen filter to bring out the lines in those skins just a little bit more.

Day 6 – Blueberry Pie

Friday, July 4th, 2014


Blueberry Pie for 4th of July. Even at 81 years of age my Mom can’t stop baking.  And the blueberries came from her garden.  I just thought it made a great subject.  I processed it in Nik Color Efex Pro.  Added a detail filter, a brilliance warmth emphasizing cool colors, and a slight touch of darken/lighten center.

In case you haven’t noticed I am shooting one day and posting the next so the real 4th of July picture won’t be until tomorrow.

Japanese Kokeshi Dolls

Saturday, December 21st, 2013






One of my retirement resolutions was that I would visit all the museums in Santa Fe.  Nearly two years on I thought it was about time I got started.  Plus, I needed somewhere more interesting than my neighborhood to test drive the new Canon EOS M. So when I learned the International Folk Art Museum allowed photographs but not flash or tripods I thought “Great, I can see how the little camera does at high ISO’s.” Well, it was dark in that museum and I ended up having to crank the ISO up to 6400 to get any kind of reasonable shutter speeds, even wide open.  Yes, the pictures are a little noisy at full size but for this image I think a small intimate print is the way to go anyway.

I liked the image of the Kokeshi dolls out of the camera but it was a little hazy from shooting through a glass display box and the background was a little boring too.  So, I took the dolls into Nik and added a detail extractor, a bleach by-pass filter, which to my surprise really took care of the hazyness, and a brilliance warmth filter to bring out the colors.

It happened that they had a display of Japanese kites going and I had photographed them and really liked the bright colors but could not see how I could use them as a stand alone photograph.  Then I wondered if I could take a piece of the colorful kite and use it as a background for the dolls.  So I cropped out a piece of the kite and resized it to the size of the doll image.  Then I brought it in as a layer and masked out the dolls.  It took a bit of work, especially around the edges but I like the result and now I feel like I have created my own art and not just photographed that of someone else.




Sunday, November 3rd, 2013


Taking a page from Mike Moats’ book this week I went out and bought a package of buttons for the express purpose of photographing them.  Finding the right combination of colors and arrangement is not as easy as it might seem.  I also found I am not too happy with the look of the back side of the buttons I bought so more care in turning them all front side up may be required.  In post processing I spent a lot of time filling in highlights from the reflective surfaces.  I also cropped this one a little to simplify the composition.  Then I took it into Color Efex Pro for a detail extraction and on to Topaz Simplify for a painterly look. Finally for presentation I took it back into CEP to add a border.

Still Life with Seashell

Friday, January 18th, 2013


No, I did not run away to a tropical beach through heaven knows it was tempting during what I sincerely hope was the coldest week of the year here in Santa Fe.  Instead I visited Hobby Lobby for the first time in my life.  After all, I have a hobby and said commercial enterprise does not really support photographers.  Or so I thought.  I’d seen several references to Hobby Lobby in blogs by a macro photographer I follow (Mike Moats if you really want to know) so I thought, what the heck.

I had seashells on the brain when I went in but oh my, the possibilities were endless.  I also came home with some peacock feathers and it is a good thing I didn’t take a cart because by the time I had picked up the feathers, a large basket of shells from the Philippines, and a small bottle of sand my hands were full.  Though my inner environmentalist did cringe a bit my inner artist was doing cartwheels.

So, I brought my treasures home and spread some sand out on a dinner plate and started arranging shells and shooting away.  I wasn’t too happy with anything I got straight out of the camera but I started playing around with Nik my inner artist started jumping around again.  For this image I first took it into Viveza and added structure.  I didn’t like what that did to the sand so I took the structure image and a shallow depth of field version into photoshop and blended to blur out the sand in the background.

Next, I took it into Color Efex Pro and added a bi-color filter to emphasize the golden tones of the top shells and the purple of the scallop shell.  Then I added a vintage film filter and  came up with this happy result.  I had another version using the bleach bypass filter that I also like a lot but this one captured top honors.

One of the goals of art is to evoke emotion or distant memories.  I think this image succeeds.  I see it hanging on a motel room wall near the coast or in someone’s beach house.