Monday, June 29

First Viewer

<- Click here

There are two people involved in the making of every fine art photographic image... The person who takes the picture, and the person who creates the image. Once, maybe, they could have been the same person. Maybe when all final photographs were little more than contact prints, then the person who did the pre-production, and squeezed the shutter was almost the one who made the image. But even then there were a range of chemical decisions to make during the bathing of film and paper.

Ever heard the expression... you can't put your hand into the same river twice? That's my point here. In this new world of post processing, you are in a different emotional space when you view the image that you... as a photographer... took some time before. Hence two different minds come at the challenge... every fine art image is a collaboration between you then, and you now. Oh, and maybe the third you - who is the first viewer of the final image?

I wonder though... I just wrote that every final image is a collaboration... but, I'm sure you know that sometimes it is also a conflict... I am right there as well?

Saturday, June 27


<- Click here

"It's ending," he thought.

"They're breaking it apart right now," he thought.

"And it will never come together again," he thought.

"Not like that," he knew.

Sunday, June 21

The City Rocks - Hot

<- Click here

Heat’s come back to the East Coast. The city’s are searing but they keep coming atcha’. Throb and temperature wind together like hair in a braid. Summer cities aren’t a support system for life… it’s the other way around.

Cities get like chewy stuff inside of a Tootsie Pop… A gooey pay-off when the coating cracks under the scurrying thrump-bump atop the super seared shell.

Watch it shimmy in the back-beat of a zillion earbuds plugged through the sweat
Pre processing in Manhattan on 42nd street through my 40d's EF-S 10-22mm (f3.5-4.5). And post? Howzabout some Bokeh, swirlled around in Topaz after a lot of careful mixing in CS-4.
I stood there years ago… High August… Air thick like a stagnant puddle… A nearby boom box LOUD…
Billy Idol … Hot In The City
Throbbing… EVERY – THING!!!!
Like that up there…

What happened to Billy Idol?

Saturday, June 20


<-Click here

"They said I was talking in them too much! They wanted documents, subjects, techniques, not expressive photographs." - André Kertéz on why the legendary photographer stopped working for Life Magazine in the 1950s.

The expressionists are less concerned with reflecting the real world than in revealing our emotional reactions to it. Hmmmm... I wrote "our" there. That's interesting.

This is my second visit to this surreal feeling. It keeps flashing back.


Pre Processing in Manhattan (the Figure) and in Lancaster County (The Armstrong farm). Canon40D, through my Canon EFS 17-85mm (f4-5.6) – Post Processing: PhotoShop and enhanced in small parts here and there with thingees like Lucis, and AlienSkin filters. Which, I hope, makes the thing talk a lot?

Wednesday, June 17

Frank Byrne

<- Click here

Frank Byrne's my neighbor. Frank and his wife travel the world.

See Frank travel?

Are we related? Hmmmm.... probably.

Technical stuff? Well I took Frank's picture with my G10 in Musser Park last week. Took the image of St. Peter's at the Vatican last time I was in Italy (love writing that). I used my old Canon D20 with the Canon EFS 17-85mm (f4-5.6). And I abstracted all of those feelings using Bokeh and Snap Art. You know this'd probably be stunning blown up large over a fireplace inside of one of those great gilded and filagreed frames, huh?

Wednesday, June 10

After The Times Square

<-Click here
I'm re-studying expressionism. It demands complex, well planned images with parts that are worked by the artist to the point of distortion in order to communicate the feelings of the moment.

Here's Broadway, an explosion at night. Blasting color over every part of you... Throbbing with shocking energy. Noisy, fast, a cacophony of sheen. Too much to compute.. Too big to focus. Too massive to step back far enough. Neck hurting high and needling its way into the black curtain up there.... Puncturing it.

Broadway's a vertical thing at Times Square after the Times stupidly left the party.

Tuesday, June 9

Doll Face Puddle

<- Click here
Found her at Valley Forge. Really. She seems right for that encampment, eh?

I've begun to notice that I don't seem to have a dark side. I look at my images and yeah, they hit the three bases... they appeal to visual, emotional, and intellectual puddles of the mind. I'm happy with the way they communicate what I want them to... It's just that dark side stuff is considered so... so... DEEEEEP, right? Everything else splashes about in shallower puddles.

Ah well... she's charming... and I'm guessing that there's still a tiny place in a lot of us for sweet, huh?

On the other hand.... maybe I'll go upstairs and think some dark thoughts... I'll letcha know :-)

Thursday, June 4

Al Lewis

><- Click here
Before he retired Al and I were partners in a still super-secret project. He's a legendary criminal attorney and was, once-upon-a-time a District Attorney and then Chaired the Pennsylvania Crime Commission responsible for the labor/mob convictions of the middle of the last century. He was the minority counsel chairman for the joint Congressional Committee investigating the Kennedy assassination. He's also a good friend. Which, of all of that stuff, is the most important to me.


Again i took the picture in natural light with my Canon G10. 1600 ISO makes some noise. BUT... once again, after asymmetrically cropping for the square I'd composed for... I knew that I was going to process the image first with Bokeh to control the enormous depth of field of the G10. Then I reworked the lighting to create the right setting for the Edward Hopper palette. And lastly I pulled in an impasto tool from Snap Art intensely reworking the dynamic range in Photoshop.

It is all about mood.

Wednesday, June 3


<-Click here

I've become fascinated by the possibilities in the SnapArt filter that AlienSkin makes. So I stopped the car by the roadside last weekend just over the Maryland border to the south of Lancaster County. I was hunting for a pastoral that i could make speak eloquently as an oil painting. I stitched a pano together in PhotoShop, then found a dramatic sky from some I found over Cape Cod. I wanted a sky that would set off the palette perfectly and reinforce the wonderful orange highlights in the scene.

This is a robust tool, eh? Especially when you have the gamut of PhotoShop devices to selectively draw out the feelings. As I studied the site, I focused upon the tranquil balance of water, hillside, and the way that the vegetation has, over a lot of years, embraced the bridge and fit it into the natural flow of this place.

That's what I wanted to communicate in a final image... I think I've got it. Wuddaya think?

Monday, June 1

Re- Scootered

<- Click here

Maybe you'll recall this by clicking here. Last September I posted that earlier conclusion on the version above. But as you know, I'm growing obsessed by the possibilities in AlienSkin's Snap art. But.. but... but... I do mean possibilities. See, while its interesting to see what happens when I try the presets that they give me.... I'm a lot more interested in what the image says than what the engineers at AlienSkin say.

It's a problem that photographer's have. Some of us believe that photographic purity means determinedly filling the frame that Leica engineers dreamt up... that purity in image making means that truthfulness to a final image means never going a pixel beyond what lenses and cameras offer up to the sensor.

And as you know.. that's an attitude that drives me NUTTY!

So I wondered how this new technology could let me dig out even more from an image that I reeeeeely liked. And since ScooterGuy is among my favorite graphic accomplishments... well... I fired up the SnapArt, and the Bokeh and I dug!

Now whether this is better than the original is one interesting question. But a discovery was how much more robust these tools are in working out alternatives. But.. but... the most interesting thing is how much fun the process is. Wheeeee!