Day 4 – Faded Rose

FadedRosew

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

 – Mary Oliver
from her collection, A Thousand Mornings

This may not be the most beautiful image I shot today. But I knew I was going to the rose garden this morning and could not get this poem out of my head. Who would ask the petals on the ground to stay? I tried shooting petals on the ground but I could not quite capture the feeling. But I thought this faded rose losing its petals did. I tried processing it as a black and white but I liked the little bits of pink and the aged yellow look so ended up adding a couple of textures instead to emphasize the mood.

Still Life with Singer

Singer

On a trip to Redwoods National Park I stopped in at the history museum in Crescent City where I found lots of fun stuff to photograph. I was especially taken with this still life already set up and waiting for me. I had to edit out a couple of signs then gave it a painterly treatment and added a couple of textures to help with the old timey look.

Bicyclette

Front_Porch

I’ve been working on digital art this week. The weather has not been too cooperative for getting out to photograph. I’m getting better at blending and adding water color edges. The photo is from Santa Fe. I just felt like giving it a French name.

So, the technique here, in Photoshop, is to mask out the entire image then stamp it back in with water color brushes using white on the mask. I also applied a blending mode which is how the wall behind the bicycle got blended into the background. Looking at it now I think maybe I should have expanded the image a little toward the upper left.

Green Chevy Havana

GreenChevy

It’s true about the old cars in Havana.  What they don’t tell you is that most of them are held together with chewing gum and baling wire. They also don’t tell you about the creative colors they have been painted. I stood for half an hour on the street trying to get a good picture by panning the cars as they went by so the background would be blurred but the car would be in focus. I finally succeeded with this Chevy from the 1950s. Just added some vibrance and saturation in post and did a little cropping.

Glendalough – County Wicklow,Ireland

GlendaloughBack when I lived in Missoula, Montana I took some classes at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. They had a sort of mantra “No, white skies!” In Ireland with it’s almost always cloudy skies this proved to be a challenge. In this image I had almost the holy grail of ancient site photography: A round tower, a celtic cross and the ruins of an old church all in one photo and the tower was framed in a window. Doesn’t get much better than that compositionally. But the sky in the upper corner was a very flat white. So, I turned to Topaz Texture Effects to help me out. I actually found several looks I liked but most were more monotone and I was grooving on the orange color of the lichens so I chose this one which gave me some color in the sky and a kind of crusty look which suited the old ruins well. And, of course, a nice purplely blue sky with texture

Porch Chair

ChairIt was all about the post processing in this one as the shaded porch did not make for good light the the blue chair against the blue house didn’t work as well as I thought. I was considering a black and white treatment but after adding detail and saturation and adjusting the exposure using levels, I took it into Topaz texture effects where I found several looks that worked well. I ended up choosing the burning dust preset as it best fit my vision of how the chair should look.

Old Truck

TruckA friend got permission for us to photograph in the boneyard of a logging company in the Applegate Valley. I’ve had a lot of fun processing each image for just the right look. I don’t really have a favorite, I chose this one because it is the last one I did. I took it into Nik Color Efex Pro to add detail and saturation. Then I turned around and took it into Topaz Texture Effects for an old timey look. I finally settled on the scratched bronze preset which gave me just the mood I was looking for.