Wednesday, December 28

The Right To Bare Arms?

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Men2Mountains: 2011... This is the Potter County, Pennsylvania hunting camp. Here's an All-American and an Eagle Scout. The guy in the blue vest's swimming record still holds at William and Mary College... the guy mugging it up in the orange hat's just earned his Eagle Scout. BTW, that's my buddy Chris Herr in that blue vest... Looking healthy and happy just a handful of time back at his Lucky 7 hunting lodge on a chilly morning. S morning FAR to cold to bare anything but fingers. Yep... in that cold it's just not right to bare arms.

Incidentally, the dazzling color's enhanced by AlienSkin's impressive new Exposure4. I used the pre-set for Color Films and applied Fuji Pro 160C... a classic recipe that always popped the multi-chromatic range up. Then I selectively cranked back the red saturation in the skin tones in PS4. The overall effect is POW-erful, don't you think? The tonal range SINGS!

At 10 mm the Canon EF-S 10-22mm imposes a chromatic fringe that needs to be death with in post processing. You can't see it here in the jpg, but when you pop the suckers up... there's a neon effect that's not-pleasantly startling. Still, while it takes a bit of time, it's easily dealt with in PhotoShop.

GEEK Stuff.... Canon 7D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm (f3.5-4.5) at 10m, PS4: custom brushes and filters, AlienSkin: Exposure4, Color Films: Fuji 160C, Topaz 4: Custom.

Thursday, December 22

Chris Left This Morning...

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My friend Chris’s body stopped
this morning…
But a spirit in motion
stays in motion.

RIP, Chris Herr 1939-2011

In the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey (June, 2011)
Canon 7D: Extreme crop (20%), PS4, Alien Skin: BlowUp3, SnapArt3, Oil. Custom textures & Brushes.

Monday, December 12


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Kübler-Ross model: Second stage of grief….
Canon 7D, PS4: Custom textures * brushes, Topaz: Adjust 5, SnapArt3: Stylize.

Sunday, December 4

Hope Hardens

Angels pardon
Until they’re staid
Then hope hardens
Then dreams fade.

Have you noticed that regardless of its profundity, an idea clearly – unambiguously – rendered is likely to be dismissed as a banal cliché? Critics cherish ambiguity…

Images… Backyard fantasy light, Lancaster, Pa. 2011

Canon 7D, PS4: Custom textures, AlienSkin Bokeh2 to simulate Canon 50mm f/1.2 @f/1.2, AlienSkin: Exposure 4, Agfachrome 1000 RS, Custom watercolor soft bristle brushes & point-pop texture sharpening,

Friday, December 2

AlienSkin Demo

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The folks at AlienSkin have asked me to test a number of the pieces of their wonderfully integrated family of filters. The most recent I received is Exposure4 which allows me to mimic the grain/dynamic range of dozens of classic B&W and polychrome films. I've also recently received their powerful upgraded version 3 of SnapArt. Previously I showed you how their BlowUp allows a virtual artist to grow the size of an image with minimal degradation.

So, I grabbed an image I took at at the historic Landis Valley Farm Museum with a 3Mpxl LC cellphone. Then I worked it through the faded Polaroid pre-sets in Exposure3, augmented it farther into a pastel in SnapArt3, then finally blew the small image up 150% in BlowUp3. About ten minutes of work from open in PS4 through posting here.

Here's the virgin image.... So? Whuddaya think?

Tuesday, November 29

Antalya to Konya

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Somewhere in the hills
Of Turkey lies
The debris
Of wandering

Turkey well on the road to Konya from Antalya. Canon 7D, PS4: custom textures, AlienSkin: SnapArt3: Crayon, custom brushes. My classic Ford truck.

Of course that's my cool desktop TOY1931 classic Ford Model Aclassic, right?


Here's my first experiment with the all new Topaz Adjustment5: Dusk. Whuddayaa think?

Sunday, November 20

It's Beginning To Look A Lot...

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Soon the bells will start
But the wonder-filled sight that will spring
Is the glow that will quietly ring
Deep within your heart.

Sometimes they cloy… but we can’t help it because… Darn… we clutch at hooks to which we can hang an order, a map, an understanding…. a life. Here’s my moose-ical hook.

I found this little orphaned-guy on the shelf at a Goodwill shop years ago. He was tattered... stained here and there... but his grin was so optimistic. Look at him, and like a switch, you smile, right? Someone had breathed that into this ball of wrapped stuffing. I wonder where he is today. Wherever, his aura's here... and there with you, right? Okay, it's corny but still... still... Magical, don't you think?

Canon 7D, PS4: AlienSkin: Bokeh 2, SnapArt3: Watercolor, Custom textures & brushes.

Monday, November 14

Basilica Cistern

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Lost for centuries beneath the streets of Constantinople the Sunken Palace was rediscovered by the Ottoman Turks to water their magnificent Topkapi Palace. Built from parts from his collapsing Western Roman Empire by Justinian in the sixth century, the structure absorbed the work of over 7,000 slaves.
Fed by a twelve mile distant aqueduct and still a working engineering masterpiece, the spooky lighting flickers over crystal waters broken by the tails of cavorting fish. The space is huge and detailed with the work of the ancient buildings whose columns and arches were mined for this stunning yet mysteriously hushed Istanbul masterpiece.
Istanbul, about 500 feet Southwest and fifty two steps below Turkey’s breathtaking Hagia Sophia.
Canon 7D, PS4, Topaz, AlienSkin: Exposure: Agfachrome, custom textures and

Thursday, November 10

Catty Story

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(H) air conditined?

Izmir street story... Does it tell itself?

Canon 7D: PS 4, custom brushes and spot textures, Topaz

Sunday, November 6

Fairy World 2

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The ancient fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, Turkey. Squint as the sun sets and you can almost see them flitting among their homes.

Canon 7D: PS4: 3 frame pano, Topaz, custom brushes and sky texture

Saturday, October 29

Halloween Hand

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Can the
Costumes of
Become the
Magnets of
The night

Canon 7D, New York City, All sorts of PS/Topaz/AlienSkin/Textures... Wheeeee!

Monday, October 24

Birthday Tale

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Nothing special I guess, but I needed a birthday card for a child that could later be framed for her room. Of course if you gave it to your friend, child, grandchild... You'd make up the story to tell which will be remembered every time the card is revisited. I imagine it in a frame on a bedside table that will support a trip to dreamland, over and over... :-)

Sunday, October 23

Technicolor Sunrise

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The mosquitos were big as birds as the sun rose over Chatham beach here on Cape Cod... Well, that's how they felt. The buggers seemed to hit like bean bags as they drilled into me. I'd been out of my car maybe four minutes as I grabbed at this pano then dashed back ahead of the snarling swarm. I still can't decide if they resented my arrival or welcomed it like a hungry lion herd felt when they stumbled upon a lonely wildebeest. I think I've left less blood behind when I've donated the stuff at the hospital.

Anywayzzzz.... you can see from the virgin images which I tugged into this pano below that the photos could have used more time for color balancing, even straightening, huh? What's more the Coast Guard station there in Chatham (the Atlantic Ocean's on the other side of that dune the building sits upon) was way small thanks to the perspective of my wide angle lens. So, how to create a powerful image that didn't look enhanced?

Well, first off I stripped away the blue and warmed everything up by color balancing the image with the curves tool, then added a warming color filter layer that I first blocked then brushed into the appropriate areas. Then I teased the building larger and moved it a tad leftward to honor the rule of thirds. It took a bit of time to hide the seams from both that move, that enlargement and of course the lines where PS merged the three pano panes. If I'd had more time, I'd have balanced the three original exposures more carefully when I took them but those bugs were spattering off my body and worse... attacking my eyes. EEEEEEP!

Then there was the straightening problem. So I used the ruler tool and aligned the roof line to vertical, bringing the entire frame into balance. After that came the relative dynamic ranges needed to balance the lower half of the image with the sky. All done with adjustment layers of course. Additional adjustment layers allowed me to brush back in the highlights in the grasses so they both sparkled and pulled the eye toward the building.

What I was after was a classic sunrise image where the enhancements, while considerable, were invisible. Did it happen? Does the final image at the top create the illusion of authenticity? Hope so... One of the reasons I enjoy enahced phtographic art is that the tools let me reveal what my feelings want to find in an image. And sometimes create ImageFiction. Which of course is the um, clever name of this blogsite, right? :-)

Cannon 7D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm (f3.5-4.5) Handheld three panel pano. PS4.

Monday, October 10

Dream Keeper

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There’s a place that you keep
All your world that it seems
Glows dark as you sleep
Filled full with your dreams.

Fall: East Denis, Cape Cod, New England
Canon 20D • PS4: custom textures/brushes, AlienSkin: SnapArt, Watercolor

Saturday, September 24

Almost Autumn

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In moments
It seems
They’ll burst.

Leaves afire
To sear
Your eyes.

And your heart
But not
Till then.

In moments?

Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Canon 7D, PS4: pano, Topaz, Custom feelings

Monday, September 19

To The Soul

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In a moment
When lights

Eyes window

Izmir, Turkey
Canon 7D, PS4: Custom filters, Topaz, AlienSkin: Bokeh2, BlowUp3 (Beta), Custom textures.

Now for the fun. Here's the virgin image from my FlashCard. Okay...

Now... NOTE: While I do not work for them, I was invited to beta test by AlienSkin. Their not-yet-released BlowUp3 allowed me to carve an approximate 20% section from this image and enlarge it without degradation to 36" on the horizontal edge. It’s a stunning technology, Huh?

Monday, September 5

Bosporus Bustle

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Gilt party boats
Crazy sway
In waves and wind.

A two arm gap
Over an
Ancient alley.

Istanbul, behind the Blue Mosque
Mixed Media, Canon 7D, PS4: custom brushes and textures, Topaz, Alien Skin: SnapArt: pastels.

Friday, September 2

In Konya There's An Emerald

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The sky was lit by the splendor of the moon
So powerful I fell to the ground
Your love has made me sure
I am ready to forsake this worldly life
and surrender to the magnificence of your Being.

– Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi

In Konya there’s a museum
Its emerald glow
Remembers its poet.
Its poet remembers
The moon…

Open the love window.
The moon won’t use the door,
only the window.

– Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Here’s The Rumi Museum
Looking over Konya, Turkey

Canon 7D: PS4: Custom filters & brushes, Topaz, AlienSkin: SnapArt – Impasto: Custom texture.

Saturday, August 27

Dawn At Whalebone Mansion

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Wealth from whales
They thought – was

Hope unsullied by
Knowledge of
Or pain.

Momentary hope without
Maturity or experience
Is nestled upon

The Penniman House
A captain’s mansion
Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

We vacationed in New England last month, just before flying to Turkey on what was more a business trip. Of course dawn on Cape Cod always sings to me an hour or so before it rises. And it pulls me out to ride or walk the back roads, this morning in Chatham which is on the Atlantic side of the Cape. From the chanticleer above the Penniman House you can see the sweep of Chatham harbor behind me as I took this image.

Canon 7D:3 part pano, PS4: Custom brushes and textures, Topaz, AlienSkin: Snap Art 3, impasto

Monday, August 22

Antalya, Turkey

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The old town’s
Ancient port
Bobs atop the

Antalya, Turkey
Canon 7D, PS4: 8 image pano stitch, Topaz

Saturday, August 20

His Eyes

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Hot day
Fresh air

Izmir, Turkey
Canon EOS 7D,Canon EF-S17-185mm, f/5.4, 1/160, ISO 400, PS4

Friday, August 19

Her Eyes

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"If only
He’d put away
The damned camera

Antalya, Turkey – Duden Waterfalls
Canon 7D, PS4: custom brushes/textures, Topaz

Now of course if he had a Canon, he’d be taking pictures of her, right?

Thursday, August 18

Hagia Sophia

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Constantine built it
Fifth century.
Muslim repurposed it.
Now it’s a museum.
Making history is
Making a future…
We are part of
The future’s past.

The Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Canon 7D, PS4: custom brushes, filters, Topaz.

Very dim light… mysteriously pierced.

Sunday, August 14

Turkey Notes - Istanbul Morning

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The morning call
Echoes from
Mosque to mosque.
A soprano melody
Along the city bustle
Melody line.

I took notes – with my Canon. Jotting onto FlashCards: my feelings. And of course in Istanbul, you feel the morning pull you awake. Is the city always sunny? dunno... but we never saw rainy clouds in July anywhere in the country. Of course it was mid summer and it was hot. Surprisingly there were palm trees in Istanbul. Since it sits at about the same latitude as Lancaster, we were told that the weather was comparable. But a palm tree would freeze its coconuts off here in the Red Rose city. Maybe it's because Istanbul pokes into both the Black Sea and the Med that it's warmer in winter? Anyone know?

Notice the buses in this scene. Istanbul has a spectacular public transit grid of mixed buses trolleys and light rail together with a bustling taxi and limo industry. The things are crowded at all hours. SRO... But with maybe 19 million people living in the city, a tad of crowding is expected, huh?

Last point... I tried to make this, at least in part, about the neighborhood mosque where the Imam chants/sings the morning call to prayer. And that is an interesting point. It was explained that while Turkey is a secular nation without a state church, the government does erect mosques and hires the imams who I suppose are sensitive to the um... sensitivities... of the interests of the place from which their checks come? Dunno, but it's an interesting arrangement.Actually the prayer call coming from the loud speakers on most minarets is a peaceful background sound, much like the peeling of church bells.

Istanbul, Turkey – Monday morning
Canon 7D, PS4: pano stitch, custom brushes, filters, Topaz, Alien Skin: SnapArt: Impasto, Custom textures.

Friday, July 29

Back From Turkey

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The morning.
Constantine might
Recognize his city
As his church turns

Just back… from ten days straddling two continents..

The Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey
From the roof of the Ramada hotel
Canon 7D: PS4, Topaz, AlienSkin: SnapArt, Oil Paint, custom filters, textures, and brushes.

Okay... after writing all of that Andreas Manessinger broke it to me that this is NOT the Hagia Sophia but in fact it's the Yeni Camii or New Mosque. The Hagia Sophia - Constantine's fifth Century cathedral is yet to come.

Which brings me to...

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Carved or released?
The houses of Mardin
Pop from their stone
Cool beneath
The broiling

There is in Istanbul the world’s largest minature park – or park of minatures…
Miniaturk, Istanbul, Turkey
Canon 7D, PS4: Custom brushes, textures, Topaz2, AlienSkin: SnapArt, colored pencil, Bokeh 2, Planar.

Thursday, July 7


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Okay around here
Once a year
We go to hear
And peer
At things that go
Whump in the night…

Lancaster, Pa
Canon G10, PS4, Topaz, AlienSkin: SnapArt, oil paint, Custom brushes and textures.

Sunday, July 3

A REAL Photograph?

Click On The Image

It’s called by some
The Simple Life
What the Amish have.

On a Summer day
Riding Lancaster’s
Backroad farmland hills

I wonder if simple
Captures what it means
To live here like this?

Hmmm… Some have wondered if I still take “pictures”? I’m guessing they mean, photographs? In fact friends wonder if I can still take pictures? Okay… here are the basics, right? It looks like a picture, a photo… um… don’t you think? Of course, nothing is reeeeely as it looks, is it? :-)

Near Blue Ball, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Canon G10, PS4 (pano w/image merge 4 wide-angle pans), custom brushes

NOTE Okay... maybe I did move the barn, um, into the image, uh, along with its cow and pasture. But... but.. it's still a picture, right? And well, perhaps there were only a few of those orange flowers snapping open, but.. but.. well, there should have been more, huh? And yeah, the skyline could have been messed up with a few inconvenient buildings off in the distance. Well who has an appetitie for inconvenience anyway? Not me... nope. But... but... except for those tiny details and a tad of romanticizing the dynamic range and color palette... HEY... basically it's a photograph, huh?

Monday, June 20

In Intercourse

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Beside the road this weekend. Stopped my bike. Grabbed my Canon G10. Brought it home. No more story.

Saturday, June 11

HULP! Need help for Turkey!!!

*Whee.... I've been invited to a Turkey writers/journalist conference for nine days in July (17-25/2011). Fly in on 7/17 then visit Istanbul (7/18-19), Antalya (7/20), Izmir (7/21-22), Cappadocia (7/23), Istanbul (7/24), Home (7/25).

*Scheduled sites:*
_Istanbul:_ Miniaturk, Topkapi Palace, Sulfaris Synagogue, Hagia Sophia, The Underground Cistern. Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Sahara Restaurant, Suleymariye Mosque, Grand Covered Bazaar, a Bosphorus boat tour.

_Antalya:_ Ancient city of Kaleici, Aspendos, Perge,

_Izmir:_ Yamaniar Educational Institute, Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, St. Jon Bascilica,

_Cappadocia:_ Open Air Museum of Goreme, Goreme National Park, The Underground cities. Dinner at a friend's home.

So? How's this look? Who know these cities? Is this a great photographic opportunity? Are there things my lens should *NOT MISS*???? Hulp. Suggestions?

Wednesday, June 1

Abruptly Dieter Understood

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When the ancient safe was cracked there was only the letter. Vaguely it hinted of treasure. Hidden? Buried? Lost?

Lost.. except the letter spoke of “the hand’s lifeline.”

What? Every hand has a line, right? RIGHT?

For year’s he searched the old city of Lancaster. Almost giving up until the shot barely missed him.

Why? Was there something? Where was someplace still as old as that letter? Only site still exposed… St. James… It’s cemetery older than the Revolution… Older than the country.

Where? Was there a life line somewhere on one of the buried… buried…. hands?



He stopped, stared… and abruptly Dieter understood…

Canon 7D, PS4, Topaz, AlienSkin: SnapArt, Oilpaint, Various custom brushes and filters.

Tuesday, May 24

After Her Paint Faded

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Memories are dreams
When they’re the only
Way to repaint a
Hope seared of color
By the flame of choice.

Canon 7D, PS4, Topaz, AlienSkin: SnapArt, Impasto, Custom filters & brushes

Somewhere in the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania.

Saturday, May 21

Para & Noid & Noid

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Was the room random?
Was the night darker?
Was the world hidden?
Were the watchers un-

Is alone ever
Where a man can be?
Or is the night just
A place where watchers
Spy in?

The thing about para-
Noia is that you
Must have secrets which
Are worth the big costs
Which make them way im-

There are more para-
Noids than there exist
Secrets that are worth
The costs of their sur-


Canon 7D, PS4, Topaz, AlienSkin: SnapArt, Oil Painting, Custom: filters & Brushes.

Thursday, May 19

Mada Caress

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Panic sweats
Come at night
Like fingers
Squirming at
The story arc
Of your grim
Dank fearings.


Canon 7D: PS4, Topaz, AlienSkin: Snap Art, colored pencils, Custom filters & brushes

Tuesday, May 10

Searing Mid Day Dixie

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Nightmare Daylight

Searing light bleaches
Colors and inks
Black shadows
Except when
It doesn’t.

Tybee Island, Ga.
Canon 7D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm: PS4, AlienSkin, Bokeh2: Custom textures & brushes. Thanks to Distressed Jewel.

Saturday, May 7

Spring Breeze

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Sunlight is gold,
Not golden.

It’s the chore
Of Spring
Breeze cleaning
Whatever the
Nocturnals left
That’s flyable.

Amish Farm, Lancaster County, Pa
Cannon G10: PS4: Topaz, AlienSkin, SnapArt, Watercolor: Custom brushes & textures.

Thursday, May 5

Steel City

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It rides upon
Three river ways
And like a
Boat at night
It rocks!

Pittsburg, PA
Canon 7D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm @12mm, PS4: Topaz, AlienSkin, SnapArt, Oil Paint, Custom brushes and textures

Tuesday, May 3


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Suppose that sky
Met the water
Exactly where
A barn
Met them
Once upon a time.

West Dennis, MA – at high tide, low cloud and old barn.

Canon 7D: Canon EF-S 10-22mm, PS4: Topaz, Alien Skin: SnapArt2, Custom filters & brushes.

Monday, May 2

When We Were Rich (er)

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Coudersport, Pennsylvania is a very small town. And right in it’s dead center there’s this house. Built when Coudersport’s was nostalgic for the future. Now, like the house, the nostalgia seems to... peer in the other direction.

Canon 7D, 10mm, PS4: Alien Skin, PopArt: Topaz, Custom textures & brushes

Sunday, May 1


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Y'know? Sometimes craft is all that happens. Look at this image. The guy's a manager for a traveling carnival. Normally artists seem to look among carney workers for grim metaphors about the meaning of life. They try to reveal the workers as lost souls, teetering on the edge of societal doom. In fact I've discovered them to be ordinary folk who sort of like it that they are entertaining people for a living. They particularly seem to enjoy the way kids glow as they squeal in the rides and clamor for the food.

BUT ... that's not how we're supposed to do it, right? We're supposed to find Diana Arbus monsters... freaks... Nope, couldn't do it... All I found were people like my cousins and neighbors who worked - hard - for a living at jobs that they were happy about. Darn... So much for profound insight into the dark corners of our cultural brain stems huh?

Thought I'd share this overworked failure of an image. Darn! Grit and despair are so fashionably artsy and all I could find were jovial people. So without a grim dankness to it, well I guess this is pretty much un-save-able, no matter how much craft I slather onto it, huh? I'll take this down in a week or so.

Monday, April 25

The Line's End

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She still stands there waiting
A whistle or smoke,
She still stands there waiting
Her lines thronged with folk.

But her tracks now are rusting
With weeds grown to choke
Off the chance to leave searching
For dreams that aren’t broke.
New Columbia, PA
Canon 40D/Canon EF-S 10-22mm (f3.5-4.5): PS4/Topaz, AlienSkin:SnapArt2, Watercolor, Custom brushes/textures (Thanks, Distressed Jewel)

Friday, April 22

Emporia Tanked

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Sunrise burns
Pepsi quenches.
It is not
A tankless

Emporia, Canon 40D: 40D: PS4: AlienSkin, Bokeh2: Topaz: Custom textures & brushes

Sunday, April 17

New Hope

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For some New Hope
Is a place where
There is an

On the part of
Some that they will
Not ever need
To conform to

What others think
That they have to
Do with their lives
Filled with new hope.

Canon 40D: PS4, AlienSkin:SnapArt: Topaz, Lucis Filters, custom brushes.

New Hope canal, New Hope, Pennsuylvania

Saturday, April 16

Not for sale...

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What not to do at a wedding.

Don't know about you, but friends sort of expect that I'll take pictures at weddings I'm invited to. And at the same time, they've hired a hard working pro. Now, I haven't done a wedding professionally in over 35 years. Maybe longer. And I won't. They don't stimulate my creative juices. Um... what I mean is that they are a commercial challenge. It's expected that the pro will do some very hard work in making certain that a number of formula pictures are taken.. quickly... with minimum interference at maximum quality. That pro expects to sell those pix and probably more at alá cart pricing. I'm not there to eat into that professional's earning's by taking the easy creative shots around the fringe. I will take a few images, and after waiting long enough that I'm comfortable the pro's made his/her sale... I gift my friends... BUT... It's take it or leave it, y'know? If they don't like what I like, um, tough.

You may recall that we went to my wife's niece's wedding last year. It's anniversary time and I'm thinking the pro's made his sale by now... soooooooo :-)

Saturday, April 9

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A vendor
Hawked his

She screamed
At crowds

She was then
For sale.
Carved art

Directly in front of the doors of the New York city’s Whitney museum, a street vendor’s table sat filled with carvings. Strangely, the seller was nowhere around, yet none from the jostling crowd seemed to want to steal his stuff.

Canon 7D: PS4: Custom brushes/filters, Topaz, AlienSkin: SnapArt, pastels.

Tuesday, April 5

Martini - Shaken

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I stood above
Chris’s Lotus.
And I
How heat…
Canon 7D: PS4, Tabletop, Topaz, AlienSkin: SnapArt, Colored Pencils, Custom: Textures & Brushes