Archive for the ‘Whimsy’ Category

Day 75 – County Fair

Thursday, September 11th, 2014


Here’s one from back in July that I overlooked from the carnival at the county fair. Just a little detail, saturation and warmth on this one.  Plus a center highlight and a border.

Day 61- Clock

Thursday, August 28th, 2014


I drove by this clock many times before I caught on to the fact the all the numbers were 1.  Not sure why or what the significance is. The clock graces a former gas station turned Physical Therapy office and appears to keep the correct time if you can get past the ones.  I edited out part of the Physical Therapy sign as well as removing some ugly lights from the building.  Then ran it through the usual routine in Color Efex Pro. Then added a border to soften the edges.

Day 57 – Pinwheel

Sunday, August 24th, 2014


My Brother has these colorful pinwheels in his garden to scare away the birds. The trick is to capture them in a way that you can detect motion but the colors aren’t all blurred together.  I might not have noticed them if the wind hadn’t been messing with my flower photography. Serendipity. Post processing was about as usual, flat detail, a little warmth and saturation, slight darken /lighten center and an image border to blur the edges.

Day 7 – Parade Entry

Saturday, July 5th, 2014


This was my favorite entry from the 4th of July parade in Ashland, Oregon.  I’m all for patriotism on Independence Day but I also think we Americans need to focus more on being good neighbors and less on being the world’s police force.  I also am fully in tune with this fellow’s message on the front of the bike.


Saturday, April 5th, 2014





Here is another good exercise in post processing.  My photography workshop went to Jackalope, a very fine retail establishment here in Santa Fe, where I came across this very self possessed store cat on duty.   He struck such a regal, cattly pose I just had to take his picture.  When I got it home though I wasn’t too happy with the orange can sitting on red concrete.  Simple solution.  I selected the cat using the quick selection tool in Photoshop, inverted the selection, added a hue/saturation layer and adjusted the color until I found one I liked.  I then took the image into Topaz simplify and scrolled through until I found a painterly treatment I liked.

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.

Car Museum Composite

Saturday, October 26th, 2013


A blown out tire put a crimp in my plan to photograph along Route 66 in Texas this week.  In fact, when I rolled back  into New Mexico on my shiney new tires I had about 10 pictures from Cadillac Ranch and another half dozen or so from a grain elevator that caught my eye in Adrian, Texas which claims to be the midpoint of Route 66.  So when I spotted a sign attempting to lure me into a travel center with a free car museum I thought “What the heck, I need to buy gas anyway.”  Not only did they have clean restrooms, the car museum was over the top fantastic.  Most of the cars were from the 1950s and were lovingly restored.  But they did not stop at cars, there were bicycles, pedal cars, juke boxes, toys and tons of coca-cola collectables.  So I brought home some good pictures after all and was inspired to create this composite celebrating the glories of the car museum. I processed each of the four photos individually in Photoshop and Nik Color Efex Pro.  Then I brought them all together as layers in Photoshop.  I used the eraser tool to get rid of smooth edges and varied the opacity of the layers until I got a look I liked.  I then took it back into NIK for another detail extractor and added a light vignette to smooth out the corners.

Blue Swallow Motel

Saturday, July 13th, 2013


This one fits into my Route 66 project, my In Search of New Mexico Project and my nostalgia theme.  The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM is an iconic and lovingly restored motor court dating to the early 1940’s.  I myself was too slow in getting my reservation request in for one of their 12 rooms and had to stay at the second best historic Motel in Tucumcari, just across the street at Motel Safari.

I wrung quite a bit of detail out of this image in Nik Color Efex Pro, added some saturation and a light vignette.  No matter how much I tried to straighten this it seems to list a little to the right but if you notice the window and door frames are pretty straight so maybe it is an optical illusion.  Love the iconic ’50s lawn furniture.  They even have two cars from the ’50s on the property.  Vintage cars on the property seems to be a traditional (or popular come on?) in Tucumcari.

Wine Bottles

Saturday, June 8th, 2013


These wine bottles were found sitting on the window sill of an old adobe building used as a winery at El Rancho de los Golondorinos, now a living history museum.  I wanted to highlight the glow of the sun through the bottles. That required opening up a stop or two in the dark room but then the window was blown out.  I added a few filters in Nik Color Efex Pro and one of them brought some textue back into the window.  The Nik filters also helped to lighten up the labels and make a more interesting image.