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?