Tuesday, December 31

Christmas Kids 5

It's Samantha again. When you're not yet two the running, squealing, eating, drinking, whirling, rolling, unwrapping, giggling, and hugging wears on a little girl. Then you've got to plug something in to let everything kind of recharge. And do that down the carpet where you can still peer at everyone surrounding while your mind sorts through it all to find a pattern that will make sense next time… Next Christmas.

Once again the stabilizers in my mighty Canon EFS 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens and the magical sensor in its 7D let in enough brightness from surrounding candles. I first reworked the dynamic range in her eyes and mouth in PS4 while painting away background distractions, then I called in AlienSkin's Exposure 5 to let me evoke the palette of slightly over-processed Polaroid film to multiply the romantically flickering moment.  


Monday, December 30

Christmas Kids 4… Sigh

Is this going on too long? I tell ya, there's a compulsive thing about kiddie pix, almost obsessive… once you start holiday kids - well it's like shooting up smack. You know wudd''m-sayin'-here? 

This is Samantha again… She's about 22 months old here. Still sitting on the same couch no which I kicked off this sister-series. All the toys on christmas day, Sammie's playing with her blanket. Go figger, eh? 


Sunday, December 29

Four At Christmas

Nope not her birthday, that's in September… but that still makes her four at Christmas… In case you didn't know, well, she tells you… A LOT :-)

And so the kiddie pix keep on comin' like hits on Top Forty AM. Damn it's hard not to take these kiddie images this time of year. It's like eating chips… Hard to stop after one, y'know?
Incidentally this was grabbed through my big… EFS 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USMl lens on the Canon 7D. The stabilizers help a lot with hand held grab shots. But it still took about a 3000 ISO and the grain looks like a snow blizzard. Thus the high contrast conversion. Worked it in PS4 to both darken and diffuse the background living room as Katelyn ran all about. She's sooooo quick. I like the way she's running out of the frame.. Kind of a comment on the transience of youth, Christmases past and like that, huh? You catch snippets: on your sensor, in your memory… both the pixel and brain kind. 


Saturday, December 28

Merry Christmas Kid 2

And so the cute kid pictures keep on coming. LOOK it's Christmas, OKAY??? Y'gotta problem widdat? Alright, so anywayzzz, here's the other grand niece. She's just about four now. Heard Santa Clause on the roof sometime in the night, well… morning. Maybe sleigh bells, y'know what I'm saying'  here? Stop smiling. These are important exercises… Candids and all that. Natural light. Handheld. Important craft… OKAY? OKAY?

So.. if you're wondering what this is all about, look at my last post. Sigh… And, well, Merry Sparkle Season :-} There'll be more, till I get it all outta' my system. Sigh….


Friday, December 27

Misty Sammi Christmas Moment

Yea, okay… kids at Christmas. Clché time. Sigh… But there are a few things guaranteed to tractor beam a photographer's.. ANY photographer's lens toward them. Think about it… think trains, hot wardrobe malfunctions, blooming flowers, sunsets, puppies/kittens, and yeah, kids. They're all like dirty little secrets for us hip, cool, and avant avant… artist-types. Still, just as sentimental hooks in romantic Barry White songs tug at us… so to do weeuns at Christmas time, right? So okay, here are my grand nieces everyone. Gotta get it outta my system, K?


Sunday, December 15


Thousands of hoards,  no…
Hundreds of thousands…
Crossed, ducked
To all fours

Here: its last
Image before
They came to
Rip it away
Without a

This’s the finest image remaining with no more to be made since its destruction. Before that for decades it sat craving to do again what it did the day before it stopped doing what it did… So well.  

 I captured it through a Canon 40D’s 17-85mm (f4-5.6), then tortured out an appropriate dynamic range in PS4 using Topaz Adjustment to butcher squealing pixels here and there. The fog and sky textures are my own dark imagining. Hell, the whole thing’s now my murky fantasy since the thing’s been battered into rubble. 

*** *** ***  

Don't you love the way they write comic books? The imagery "12 CLICKS FROM ARMAGEDDON!" "THE DEATH SPORE FROM HELL" "BOOM!"…. Great stuff… Ambiguity? Whudda hell's "ambiguity?" Breathless… You go panting, gasping. It's all made deliberately and flamboyantly unreal as possible. Heavy metal on crack. A hand holds a ball of light set to detonate.

In '04 a number of authors wrote in a book called Give Our Regards To The Atomsmahers that "Nightmares, after all, teach us far more than wish-fulfillment dreams." I'm a sucker for writing that's all in caps… Made up of declarative sentences and riddled with exclamations. The thing about black and white thinking is that it's so easy. You never get muscle fatigue since it doesn't work any…. mental muscles. It's a world bounded by one force… Vertigo. Wheeeeee!

Not to worry about whetting the imagination's appetite, they provided everything you needed to know in those bold sentences crammed with sounds… BAFF! BONK! WHAP! WHUMP! KA-BLAM! EEEEEE!

Every now and then that kid in me wants to scream something in all caps that's dark and menacing and just stands on its own bottom… something like… THE DEATH PLANK OF DOOM!

Tuesday, December 3

Protection's Just Another Cage

How many years
Is a generation?
How many are
Packed in a century?

How crowded is
It in  a compression
Of minds that
Escape only in dreams?

What happens when
The rains never stop?

St. Augustine, Fla. has two monuments… One to a sheriff who locked away slaves to protect others from them. One to marchers who burst free. Have you noticed that protection is another cage?

Images captured through my Canon EFS 17-85mm (f4-5.6) onto its Canon 7D sensor. Processed in PS4 with assist from various AlienSkin and Topaz tools. Custom filters and brushes. No stock images… ever. 

Sunday, December 1

Naughty AND Nice

So here's my question… Adjectives modify, right? Well in that sign up there over the windows, "Elegant" is the adjective but… but… which of the other words does it modify? Huh? Huh? And for that matter, is the gift a "What" or a "Who"?

Only three words yet… Life is so confusing…

The shop's in St. Augustine, Fla. and I caught it with my Canon 7D through my normal Canon EFS 17-85mm (f4-5.6) zoom. Post was done in PS4 with an assist from Alien Skin's Exposure 5 where Ektachrome looked right to capture that old-time-shoppe thing after I'd customized it a tad.

 Look closely at the left window where they've posted a sign that reads, "20% off all swimwear". Hmmmm…. given the, er, elegant window stuff, wuddaya thinks left of their swimwear after they lop off another 20%? I shoulda gone in to find out, huh?

Saturday, November 30

Time Ravages All Roses

Time leaches
The extremes
Of life
From our

Surely you've noticed the space around a gowned monkey distorts? My Canon 7D did through its Canon EFS 17-85mm (f4-5.6) when I stood him in front of stacked - and filled - Dublin coffins. Then in PS4, I worked the feelings through AlienSkin's SnapArt4 so that the scene dangled like the string on a surreal party popper - that no one dared pop. 

Wednesday, November 27

The Nature Of Things

The nature of things
Even when they're
"Good for you"
Is that if you push
Them hard enough
Nothing happens.

Caught with my Canon 20D through a Cannon EFS 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens then massaged in PS4 employing AlienSkin: Adjust 5 to evoke my own custom modification of  Fuji Velvia 50. I know, this slow slide film was usually avoided by portrait photographers, but I loved it for its spooky brown/yellow shifts that created a dreamy antique patina in naturally lit night shots. Of course this wasn't one of those, well not before its PS4 massaging. 

Sunday, November 24

Before He Was Baaad!

See his tie? Hat? Pants?
Imagine Brando.
Hell's Angels. Coffin Cheaters
...Los Diablos.

Once some boy
Played with this guy
And never imagined
A Tattoo.

Over Acting?

Look at this image…. 

Here's the obsession of a control freak… um… Me!

Recently I grabbed this snapshot through my Canon 7D's  EFS 17-85mm (f4-5.6) at a tag sale in Adamstown. His tie and hat snagged my eye. I'm guessing this lead toy's from what? The 1920s? 30s? Colors in the group were still so vivid. Then look at how manic I got. See how I augmented the image to hijack your attention with all the subtlety of a performance by Mylie Cyrus to make you stare at one thing. No… no… not a tongue :-)

See all those vector lines? See how they highlight streaks that both end and grow brighter around the circle of the rider's head? Vector A in particular uses the price tag's string to start the effect. See how the depth of field's been dickered with as in Circle B to leave just the rider tack sharp? See how the outer edges are all vignetted so that the brightest dynamics all pop along the power point described by the red -  Rule Of Thirds grid -  I've overlaid? 

YIPES! This is craft gone carcinogenic. Couldn't stop myself. Even the palette's been created to become most vivid around that northwestern power point on the red grid. Hot reds and greens explode both along that western vertical grid line and at the power point, meantime the setting fades into a warmer stew of yellows. 

I felt driven to tell the story that this guy told me, about a time before bike riders were baaaaaad!

Saturday, November 23


Now isn't that pretty? Just, well, perfect? Look… look how the glow streams from the northwest, streaking through the leaves. Look how it startles and ignites the crisp blades down there on the southeastern corner. And see… see the lines in the farmhouse sharp enough to shave a starlet's legs? The hues range from coal black through platinum. 

And look how there's absolutely NO MEANING, NO FEELING! There's neither passion nor thought. 

When I saw this place I felt its age. Felt an almost spooky aura that built up over maybe a couple of centuries? Felt the way those silos in the west balanced the prosperous size of what may have once been something close to a middle-class mansion. Here was a fruit of the farm. 

But… but… the image shows none of that. Instead it's an absolutely perfectly assembled piece of craft. And you know my feeling about that? "Art without wonder," I've written, "is merely craft." Damn… I have the skills to do this and no more… With this thing at least, here's what skill without talent looks like. It's pretty. It's perfect. It glows, it ignites crisp blades… but not ideas or feeling. 


It's been so long since I've  even considered doing B&W that stripping away color is like… like Joan Rivers' humor stripping away sex. It seems wrong to surgically remove zillions of hues. From roughly 1957 through 2003, my work was overwhelmingly done in wet, monochrome darkrooms. Digital liberated me from those rooms and the prison of two color imaging. Yesterday I bought Topaz B&W Effects 2. It's a delight to use. You can see its power up there, right on that picture I grabbed with my Canon G11 on a recent bike ride. The thing is, that stripping out the color seems to strip away something else: Wonder.

Friday, November 22

Because I Could.. um… Can

Out on my bike. Grabbed the background road to nowhere. Idledf my 1936 Cord 210 in front. Thought about a pulp comic book. You know… Meaty hardboiled Dick in a battered fedora on top, a Smith and Wesson .38 underarm, and in between… shoulders done by the same firm that designed Stonehenge. 

I'm imagining he's off hunting a corpse on the other side of that striped barrier. Wuddaya think? Can you hear the purr of that motor?

Hey, if this is a turkey… well… Happy Thanksgiving… 

Oh… this is a test of a new tool I bought last night..The Topaz B&W Effects 2. Uh-huh…. a device to make monochromes sing. But oddly, it allowed me to layer in this effect over my image idea. I like it. You'll see more.  And another "Oh"… The image is from my Canon G11. You know the Canon G series? They're probably up to G-14 or G-15 by now. Still this pocket classic of mine is sooooo powerful, produces full-range RAW images, and it has an optical viewfinder so there's no need to depend on one of those external dorky LCD screens that get wiped out whenever the sun's behind you. And since you almost always want the sun behind you… It's probably the only compact camera line that's useful in daylight. If you can find a good used G11 online… leap on it. They are magical. 

Sunday, November 3

Repetition: Falling In Pieces

There's a problem with this internet thing. Technical really. We have the power now to imagine and then make burley panoramic images. But we don't have the power to display them on these tiny monitors.  I've imagined here a massive fall pastoral… over six feet on the horizontal edge… A massive piece of nature plucked from the card of  a tiny Canon G10. But… how to display it? 

In details. Uh-huh… detailed repetition allows the pano to condense accessibly so that it's no longer a tiny-thin long… long… strip. Instead we can appreciate it while examining its parts.  Of course I guess I could buy a six foot by three foot monitor.  Um, well if I could buy a monitor like that, I guess I could also easily purchase a Bugatti Veyron. And if I could afford one those.. Hell, where'd I find time to fiddle around with a camera? I mean, I'd be private jetting between yacht ports… sigh. 

Meantime, I biked around the rolling hills around Lancaster last weekend, grabbed this six frame pano, stitched it together in PS4 and sprinkled AlienSkin SnapArt4 magic all over it. Then I grabbed details to turn a horizontal into a monitor-filling rectangle. 

And you know what? The result feels as if the technical's overwhelmed the romantic power of the season and the moment. I'm thinking that form's conquering function.. and craft's overwhelming wonder. And art without wonder's merely craft. Grumble… 

Tuesday, October 29

Biking Around Last Weekend

There are no seascapes in Lancaster County
No snowy mountain peaks
Our skyscraper's about 12 stories high
Our only city's got 65,000 people

10 biking minutes from
That brick & shutter city's epicenter
The countryside 
Looks like...

You know what?
I don't miss the
Snowy mountain peaks
Dense packed cities 
Where courtesy means
Ignoring anyone nearby...

And all of this is only a few auto hours from NYC, Philly, Baltimore, and DC. In fact workers commute to each of those places by Amtrak. Yep... not too shabby, huh?

Caught these two just off of Columbia Avenue with my Canon G10. Stitched the panos together in PS4 then, after carefully adjusting their dynamics, I layered-in multiple iterations of AlienSkin's new SnapArt 4 Watercolor adjusting the brushstrokes, paint brushes, and stroke lengths as needed. That panorama up there is designed to print at about six feet on its horizontal edge!

Fall's the beautiful moment that
Lacks a happy ending. 

Monday, October 21


My friends at TMElive.COM announced a challenge to invite submissions that visually expressed the meaning of community. I was blank... no bullets in the gun. I may even have missed the deadline. I went through all sorts of complexities... y'know... churches, throngs, playgrounds... And then... then... it occurred to me that maybe I do simple better? Maybe one man... elegantly alone... silently beside a screaming sign before the symbol that represents what so  many of his dearest friends deeply believe...  Maybe this is the achingly poignant expression of what community means...

Over there
Before the flag
I saw him

Standing loud
Without uttering
A sound.

He allowed
Those around him

To speak what
He cherished

Canon 40D, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens, PP in PS4

Friday, September 27

Testing AlienSkin's SnapArt 4

Got my hands on a beta version of AlienSkin's upcoming SnapArt4 release. It's totally impressive. Went out on my bike last weekend in the vilest light possible. Searing summer high noon glare. Had my Cannon G10 along. Stopped by a traffic light in Columbia, PA a beaten up 30s gangster car caught my eye. It was parked in front of a seedy Tattoo parlor. Here's the reference shot pulled from the flash card....

Now this entire scene could have been cut from the early Depression years intact. There's virtually nothing in it... except for some parked cars there on the right, and that air conditioner in the upper window that would not have found its way into a Daschell Hammit hard-boiled detective mystery, right?  But that lighting .... AAARGH! And the busyness of the scene... no focal point. Well, here's a job for AlienSkin's SnapArt filter that allows the photographer powerful control over any number of media options. I tried a number and frankly, liked a bunch. Still, I wanted the viewer to feel the 30s AND the heat of the day at a time before air conditioning offset summer's worst bite.

Moreover, I wanted the feeling of a street sketch. You know, when an artist grabs at his hip-pocket notebook and scribbles out a scene with fast strokes revealing no more than the essential feeling of the moment. Of course I cropped it tight to cement attention upon the twin objects of imagination... the car and those signs... Here's the result...

Given my objectives, the filter let me nail it. Oh, of course I later added in the sepia tone and worked particularly hard on the signage to erase all ambiguity about their promises. I finished the work with a frame and a vignette to create a nostalgic light-box of depth. Whuddaya think? 

Monday, September 23

The Mindful Eye Challenge

The Mindful Eye is a forum which can be found here. It's a comfortable group of photographers of varying experience that was formed years ago by the gifted Craig Tanner and friends to develop technical and aesthetic talent nascent among its members. It's since developed into a community of supportive people who will criticize and comment. Recently they asked me to lead a community member challenge. Flattered I agreed and challenged them to create images which communicated the passing of time. The only restriction was that they could not use any device in their images which specifically measured time, such as clocks, sundials, hourglasses... like that. I posted a reference picture of mine as an example of what I meant....

A number of the members took my challenge which ended last Saturday. I promised to provide comments on their submissions by tomorrow night (9/23/13) on TME. Here, for your review and comment are their submissions. Enjoy...

Thursday, September 12

Bike Freedom

Once upon a time
Maybe last week
I was well... well-er
Maybe it was yesterday.

And my bike was
I could go... and go
And there were no tanks
Or batteries
To make limits.

And I was eight
And the wind whipped
Through my mind
And my hair.

And there was
Everywhere that
I could go.

Wind whipping
Free as my bike
And the mind-wind
And maybe..
Maybe it was yesterday?

That I had hair
And mind
For the wind to whip
And freedom...
Bike freedom...

Was I eight again

Thursday, September 5

Time Passes

Had this challenge, "Communicate the concept of time passing without showing any timing machines (clocks, hourglasses, metronomes... like that)." So, I did this. Wuddaya think? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Saturday, August 31

I'm way behind... Soo... let's go huh?

I've been away, then working, then the dog ate my  homework :-) Soooo.... Howzabout I upload almost a dozen and hope someone likes something? Lemme know K and I'll tell ya the story around the image you might like.

A) Let me first return to Ireland:

1. Here's my major favorite... a street scene from downtown Dublin..

2. Wanna get stoned? Visit Blarney Castle..

B. I'll come back to Ireland in the next upload but I've also been shocked by a guy who wondered what he'd feel like after retiring from a senior management position...

D. Then there were the girls already set for their own job interviews at BoyFriends R. Us... 

E. I went back to the archives to look again at Hank's Love Shack in the now razed Lancaster Stock Yards which has become a job creating high tech industrial park. Love the sunset here...

F. Okay, while revisiting the abandoned Stock Yards some six years ago I wandered along what was, once-upon-a-time the main street of America's second largest stock yards at the turn of the 20th century.. The jungle returned..

G. Up in New England two weeks ago I visited my buddy Joe and his grandson Matt. Great moment, eh?

H, Sunrise on Cape Cod... The bayside after the storm... From a 3 panel pano..

I. My friend Andreas and I roamed the streets of Florence a few years ago on an early morning photo shoot. We got separated and I found an early morning market... Tried entering this image in a show a year or so ago. It got rejected... They didn't know how to categorize it. Wasn't art huh?

I. Since the Stockyard file was open, I decided to revisit an image that I originally worked in 2006. It's fun to see how much I've changed.. maybe learned. Regardless, it's also fun to assess the emotional change that the image now evokes in me...

J. Which brings me to a Sunday bike ride in the very early morning this month through the streets a couple blocks from my home here in Lancaster... This is where Grant Alley crosses Shippen Street. We're looking into the sun searing down Grant.

Okay, I'm kind of caught up. Unfortunately I've not yet reduced a small smattering of images that I've formatted for printing with dimensions way too large to post. I'll get them formatted soon. Comments anyone? Suggestions? 

Sunday, August 4

OMG! A Ghastly Pink Horror!

“They used to be everywhere… And now they’re not anywhere. And I don’t know where any…” Her wet eyes jerked about fixing on this and that…

“Wait,” I reached at her arm but she pulled away. “Wait… What? Who? Used to…”
“The birds! The Birds! The flamingos… FLAMINGOS! ” Her voice screeched as her hair whipped about, knuckles pressed against her cheeks. “I finally… Last night… I went out looking because once they were all over the place. Like a giant flock had landed on lawns, Y’know? And by driveways… On the porches… And you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing them…” Her words spat, spat, spat.
“You went looking last night for Flamingos? You mean those pink things on the lawns?”
“YESSSSS! Oh yes. Where are they? They were everywhere, remember? You remember don’t you? Say you remember. SAY IT! And suddenly they weren’t anywhere. So last night I went out where I last saw one… Out by the stream. Out in the woods… I saw their crazy faces. There’s a war on. They must be stopped from…!!! And I know now! I KNOW, I TELL YOU!
Her body froze with that look that you see when people watch a roller coaster buck a rider from off of its highest point… “The Flamingoes… I KNOW WHERE THEY”VE GONE!


Found this warrior  through my Canon 7D  at _South Of The Border_. Found the pink  thingee on a lawn near Reading, PA. The brook runs through a Lancaster County farm. Mashed them together in PS4 using AlienSkin's Exposure 5 to affect the moody sense of weirdness through a film emulation that almost brooded upon the dynamic range. 

Sunday, July 21

Cliffs, Crags, Prows

Looming ships of
Ancient giants
Slice deep and 
Through foamed

The Cliff of Mohr guard the southwest coast of Ireland. Imperfectly though: Their walls breached by Celts, Vikings, Normans, and Brits - but never by Romans. 

Confronted by mid-day sun – The photographer's nightmare – I chose a hand held five piece panorama with my Canon 7D through its ES-S17-85mm at f/14 - 1/400 dialing an ISO of 1000. Then significant stitching and post processing with PS4 involving custom textures and various adjustments layering with AlienSkin and Topaz Suite tools. In order to deal with the searingly burnt-out mid-day skies, the clouds are hand painted in PS4 as are the mists. 

Saturday, July 6


Reconsolidation: Some profession, maybe the psychologist's, created that word which means, "the moment you remember is the moment you forget." Here's a promontory poking from Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway into the gush of the North Sea. Immovable object slams into irresistible force. Or maybe the other way around? 

The camera stops time in sharp focus... but reality does neither of those things. Impressionism explains memory from a stream of glances. It's been written that, "an artist's vision is centered in wonder rather than in an eye." Art pokes into recollections to pluck out what we cannot see. Never saw. What we remembered or felt. Feeling's what impressions are about. 

Art without wonder is merely craft.

The Giant's Causeway's southern end sits here on the Northern Coast of Ireland pointing toward it's other side eleven miles to Scotland. It is one of Britain's most visited natural site. See that sky, only minutes before it drove a May hailstorm hard at us.

Canon 7D, EF-S17-85mm, ISO 150,  Triple image pano knit in PS4 for dynamic range adjustments. 

Friday, July 5


Dunno where in Ireland I captured this. We watched thousands of these homes drive past our windows. They filled my memory with their colors, boxed shapes, and tidy; lines, walks and alleys. 

They weren't like American memories... not exactly. They weren't like European memories... not exactly. But they weren't foreign. Weren't exotic. They fit onto my story arc comfortably: Abstract pieces of box-color with plenty of fireplaced-space inside.. Each with doorways that open, uninterrupted by porches or stoops, directly onto the world's-rush. The world that bussed us past their un-barred windows to leave a sense of color-brushed security.

Canon 7D, EF-S17-85mm, ISO 1000,   AlienSkin: Snap Art 3: various layers of mixed media, Exposure 5, Kodachrome 20 ASA. Custom textures/brushes.Hand drawn sky and features to reveal pieced impressions.

Sunday, June 30

Killarney Sweet Shop

I live in America's Amish country. The old order has largely stopped its technological clock somewhere in the middle of the 19th century. The towns of Ireland, I've found, have stopped their urban  street clocks somewhere in the late 1930s or pre-war 40s. So much seems as familiar as nostalgia. Here on Killarney's Market street's a powerful example... Look at the candies in the crystal jars. Can you read the flavors? These are the penny-sticks lurking almost beyond memory of most of us today. Killarney, like most of Ireland's small cities, is a well-crafted memory.

Canon 7D, EF-S17-85mm, ISO 300,  Double image pano in PS4 for dynamic range adjustments. Custom brushes/textures. AlienSkin: SnapAr3 Custom Textured oil for shadow texture/vignetting, tExposure 5,Agafachrome to capture rich European 50s color depth.

Sunday, June 2

Dunluce Castle's In Ruin!

Okay, yeah... it's a hair pretentious, huh? But fun though. I found this frame among the collection at the National Gallery in Washington. They let us photograph all of the masterpieces since, well, we own them... Right? Anyway, the image is another one I grabbed last month in Ireland.... Here's the scoop... This is

Dunluce Castle is a now-ruined 13th century medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antriim, and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.

In 2011, major archaeological excavations found significant remains of the "lost town of Dunluce", which was razed to the ground in the Irish uprising of 1641. It may have contained the most revolutionary housing in Europe when it was built in the early 17th century, including indoor toilets which had only started to be introduced around Europe at the time, and a complex street network based on a grid system. 95% of the town is still to be discovered.kay, yeah... it's a hair pretentious, huh? But fun though. I found this frame among the collection at the National Gallery in Washington. They let us photograph all of the masterpieces since, well, we own them... Right? Anyway, the image is another one I grabbed last month in Ireland.... Here's the scoop... This is

Dunluce Castle is a now-ruined 13th century medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antriim, and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.

In 2011, major archaeological excavations found significant remains of the "lost town of Dunluce", which was razed to the ground in the Irish uprising of 1641. It may have contained the most revolutionary housing in Europe when it was built in the early 17th century, including indoor toilets which had only started to be introduced around Europe at the time, and a complex street network based on a grid system. 95% of the town is still to be discovered.

And now for the GeekStuff: Canon 7D, w/Canon EF-S17-85 IS USM, F/16@1/800, ISO 1000. 6 image pano, merged in PS4: AlienSkin, SnapArt... mixed media: Oil, Watercolor.

Wednesday, May 15

The Great Hunger: 1845-52

Once upon a time, England ruled a conquered Ireland. It's native Irish people labored as tenants – forbidden by British law to vote or own land – paid in the potato crop they raised on a quarter acre of marginal land allotted to each tenant family. The rest of the rich earth produced corn, grain, vegetables, and livestock as rent for the British – frequently absentee – landlords. Between 1845 and 1852 a virus annihilated only potatoes, while the majority of remaining land produced rich yields for export. There was abundant food, but none made available to the Irish tenants who farmed it. They starved by the millions suffering not in a great famine but a Great Hunger. Other millions emigrated, many to America, Canada, and Australia. The country has never regained that mid 19th century population.

In Dublin stand these specters of The Great Hunger's victims.

Canon 7D, Canon EFS 17-85mm (f4-5.6), PP in PS4 Paint and custom textures created with AlienSkin: SnapArt4, Impasto. Custom brushes.

Monday, May 13

Invited Up To See His Etchings

At Waterford he sits
Digging into sparkles
Peering from the outside in
To a crystal ball
Filled with

We went wandering last week in Ireland (4/28-5/5/13), PP in PS4 to enhance the dynamic range of this etcher's magical aura. AlienSkin Bokeh 3 masked in to create depth.