Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dali's Very Vivid Dream.....for John.

For whatever reason, I decided to expand a little on old Dali's Dream and make it more bold and outrageous, so this is the final result. A couple of nights ago, I entered this in the Windsor Camera Club's Digital Altered Reality category, just for the pure heck of it. It rather "bombed" as I found out afterward that at least one of the 3 judges didn't know who Dali was, and could not make any sense of this image at all....which does not surprise me. Sometimes I like to depart from the usual things that everyone photographs, and try in my own feeble way to give some sort of photographic rendition of an idea, or concept. Most times I do not set out with that in mind, but it sort of evolves in that way. It is fun to try to depict something such as "insomnia"; "nuclear winter's night" or in this case, my somewhat twisted idea of just what old Dali may have dreamed one night. It is a concept that is not easily accepted or understood by others apparently. I came up with this second rendition the day after St. Patrick's Day, so I guess I should have entitled it "Guinness Afterglow" or some other such nonsense....It somewhat appeals to my quirky sense of humor, and after all, I really am doing this purely for my own enjoyment, and hope that maybe by sharing it with you on my little blog, it may help someone out there to "lighten up a little" in this world gone mad........

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Junk Store Vase....

This will be the final image from my last little table top session. There are things that we come across sometimes that give us a lot of pleasure for a very small price. For a mere fifty cents, this little vase seemed just right for a picture that I had in my mind, and here it is. One man's junk is another man's treasure, and so it goes......Just a touch of soft focus was added using Corel PaintShop
Pro 7 software. Hope you enjoy it.....

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dali's Dream.....

This image is originally from the same table top shoot as the image below. However, tonight, I let my mind do a bit of haphazard wandering, and played with a few filters in Photoshop. This was the final outcome, and after deciding not to ditch it as total foolishness, I changed my mind, and will expose it on here for all to see. It for me is pure whimsy, and there are times when I get a little tired of doing "serious" photography.
Hope it gives some of you a little chuckle.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

For Rebekah.....

During a recent visit from our Granddaughter, who is quite an accomplished artist, I decided that since she is showing considerable interest in photography, a little table top shooting might be of some interest to her. This image is one of about 15 that we shot together. I used my Bowens beauty dish for the main light, and a soft box for the fill, with about 3 f-stops ratio between them. The little vase I picked from a junk store, and the "fine linen" is the material used in gardens to spread on the ground to keep the weeds from growing up through. I gave it a brownish tone by splashing coffee leftovers on it and hosing it off afterward. It makes a nice warm toned background for this type of work, without spending a fortune. The violin used to belong to my late Father-in-law....God love him! Hope you enjoy a little....

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January Thaw 2017 - For Mike de Moree

This image is what it looked like outside my front window as I sipped my morning beverage a couple of days ago. The thermometer said it was +14C and it was hard to believe that it was the 21st of January. My fellow blogger and friend, Mike de Moree,  Silverpixel,  just posted his image of January thaw in North Bay, Ont. and I have to be honest Mike, I miss the snowy scenes I used to get to photograph up there. Here in Windsor, Ont., the climate is vastly different, and as you can see, the green background in this image is my front lawn. I still haven't gotten used to the winters here, but I also have to admit that it is much easier for us to get out and shop, etc., as there are no snow banks to climb over to get into a store or other place down town. We did have one snowfall, and I got out the snowblower just to make sure it still worked. I fear that we will pay dearly for this mild spell as things usually start to bud out early, and then we will get a very cold snap in the weather that will kill a lot of plants and trees. Our neighbour Terri was telling us that some of her bulbs she has in her back yard has come up about 2 inches. Anyway,  it is what it is, and there is not much to be done about it except accept and adjust as best we can. Cheers.....

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Beautiful To The End.....

A little while ago, I took this image of what was left of a rose that was still clinging to the trellis attached to our back deck. It was about to be blown away in the wind, but to me it was old, weathered, and beautiful, much like a few people I have encountered along the way. At first I was going to print the image straight up as I saw it. But then, something told me to put a little more into it. So as a result, I came up with this image of it gradually disintegrating into a million fragments....just like we all do. To me it is beautiful to the end, and I knew a lot of folks, both young and old who were just that.....Cheers everyone.....

Another Time and Place.....

Well the New Year has arrived, and it is time to try to return to normal again, or whatever could be loosely construed as normal. Is anything "normal" anymore? Would we be able to tell? It seems that the world has gone bonkers in the last few months, and thankfully, I have my photography and musical interests to be preoccupied with. To watch the news channels is unbearable for me now. As such, it was not too difficult to find myself digging up some old negatives to work on a bit. People photography has long been an obsession of mine, and for the most part, I tend to stay away from the looking at the camera and smiling....or glaring at it, which seems to be in vogue these days, type of shots. This image sort of portrays a certain moodiness or angst, which I personally find more interesting. Some might say that it is too "posed" or "contrived" and not "candid" enough. It seems that the candid photos have evolved or dare I say, degenerated, depending on your personal opinions of it all, into the currently popular "selfies". It seems that the days when a photographer took great care in doing an elegant portrait of someone, anyone, have gone by the wayside, in favor of the sassy and glib that makes not much of a statement of any kind. The guys or gals who do "street" photography certainly make statements of many kinds...but most of them are also able to run really fast. So I tend to meet folks on a casual basis, and eventually, weeks or months later, get around to having them let me do a few shots of them. Occasionally, I get to make a few nice portraits of folks who have never had one before.....it keeps me sane folks. Want to feel good this New Year? Do something nice for someone....

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Everyone.....

Another Christmas has arrived, and to be here on planet earth to enjoy this festive season with family and friends is a blessing. Hopefully all of our friends and family in the Northern communities of Huntsville, North Bay, New Liskeard area, and Thunder Bay, who might still read my little blog from time to time, will have much Peace, Joy, and Good Health at this time and into the coming New Year. There have been many times that I have really missed them all, and also Winter....yes, I said Winter! We have a little snow here in Windsor, Ont., but it is supposed to be +13C here on Monday, and that should pretty much cancel out any of the white stuff. Unless we get a massive snow storm sometime in the next week, it will be a green New Year for sure next weekend. It is what it is, and we have a lot to be grateful for here in this country, what ever the weather may happen to be. There are so many many folks who do not have what we take for granted, and we should not forget them....they are everywhere, and from all walks of life. I got to know quite a few of them when working as an Ambulance attendant. Some were ex Teachers, Doctors, Accountants and even Clergy. It is too easy to brush these folks aside as just too lazy and bums. Most of them are sick folks that have fallen through the cracks in a system that has failed them badly. So, when you see one, especially at this time of the year, help a little in any way that feels right for you. They will certainly appreciate it....it's cold out there in more ways than one. Peace & Joy to You & Yours.....

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Following the Star

Well it is Christmas season again....time passes too quickly it seems. It must have something to do with getting older, or at least that is what I'm told. Anyway, for this post, I thought I would use my little lighted Polar Bears on a sled that we have in our front window. Of course, it required me playing with it a bit in Corel and Photoshop to eliminate the blinds that are behind. The blue star that they follow was found at CTC and changes to colours of red, green, purple, blue, and several other variations of those. The snow effect was added with some free software that was sent in my e-mail by On1, so I decided to give it a try. The little bears appear to be having a lot of fun, so I am hoping that everyone out there who still bothers to read this little blog, has a really fun, joyous and happy season that is upon us. It is too easy to get stressed out and let the incessant commercialism of the season wear us to a point where our nerves are torn....Peace!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Full Moon Insomnia.....

Ever have a night when your head just will not lie down, or some other part of your body is twitching and agitated? Well this image is for you. There was a full moon hanging above planet earth last night, and after the hockey games, I knew sleep would not come easy, so I decided to let my mind do a bit of rambling. The thought came into my head of, how would you photograph or illustrate "insomnia". After browsing through some images, I decided to give it a go. The full moon is one I had photographed a while ago. The graphic image in the background is part of the Detroit skyline, and the Sousaphone player was a shot taken a while back when a Windsor Classical Music group assembled in a nearby park for a free concert. The image took a few hours of work on the computer using Photoshop and Corel softwares, and it gives me the feeling of 4 am., and alone, to deal with the mind or body.....or both.

P.S. This image is especially for my friend Frank, who often sends me e-mails into the wee hours of the morning...LOL!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Budding Techno Genius.....?

At a recent family wedding in North Bay, I got a chance to do a bit of grab shooting. It was a lot of fun. My favorite shot of the evening was this little guy. While his little peers were out on the dance floor chasing balloons and batting them around, he made himself busy "adjusting" the LED lighting down behind the head table. Those big as saucers eyes say it all eh? Somehow, it would not surprise me if one day he is in charge of the stage lighting for some future Rock Band on a world tour......have a great life kiddo!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Meet Karen.....

Having posted 2 other variations of Karen below, I thought I would post one more as seen in the camera viewfinder with very little in the way of photo editing..... 
Karen picks up her fiddle, her eyes twinkle.....enough said!

Karen in Sepia.....

It would be hard to tell from the "painting" below, what Karen looks like. So I decided to add this Sepia version also. Old tunes like "Red Wing" and "Way Down Yonder" gets a twinkle in her eye...She is just one of about 3 or 4 ladies who play the violin with our group. A couple are classically trained, and the others are self taught. They sound great leading the keyboard and guitars, banjos, penny whistles, concertina and accordions, through some very lively Celtic music. It's loads of fun!

Karen

This image is a bit of a departure from the norm for me today. A couple of days ago, I went out into Essex County to this lovely lady's home, to do a portrait of her. I had wanted to do this for a long while, as she sits across from me at our monthly Irish Music sessions at the Sportsman's Club on Dougall Ave. here in Windsor. She enjoys playing all of the old time tunes, and we all enjoy her music. After the usual photo editing of the RAW file, I decided to give Corel's Painter Essentials 5 a whirl. It is fairly new software to me yet, so this rendition is far from perfect I'm sure. At any rate, personally, I find it somewhat appropriate for what I had in mind. Hope you enjoy my rendition of "Karen" today.....

Friday, August 12, 2016

Dalton's Lily.....

This evening I went on a photo excursion to the front yard of the folks we were visiting, and took a few shots of the lillies there. The light was fading, so I employed an extra flash to provide a little more zip to the lighting. Wireless flash is wonderful, and I have no idea why I did not start using it years before I did. In actuality, you are using portrait lighting techniques and lighting on other objects or flowers. Hope some folks will enjoy it.....

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Northern Sentinel.....

This old red pine was a muse of mine for several years, and I photographed it mostly in Black & White and in the Winter time. When it came up in conversation with my son recently, I went on a hunt to see if I could find a colour image of it. Luckily, I was able to dig up and old Kodachrome slide tucked away in my many binders. So I decided to scan it and do a little work on it digitally..... Cibachrome prints are a thing of the past, and was a rather tedious process. Anyway, one early Summer's day, I went to photograph this old tree again, and found it rendered to ashes, with numerous beer bottles and cans scattered amonst them. Since it was just a few days after high school graduation, it was too easy to conclude that end of the school year celebrations had taken place, and this old pine met its demise. It would be easy to heap scorn and derision on these unseen individuals, but we were all young at one time, and very few of us escaped commiting totally senseless acts.....some of us learned from past mistakes, and others need more "lessons" from the school of life....

Friday, August 5, 2016

Slip Sliding Away.....

Since it doesn't look like I will be going on holidays much this summer, I decided to go on a bit of a virtual one by digging up some of last years photos of "back home".  This simple scene is of Trouty Cove, Trinity Bay, NFLD, and the old buildings looked like that they will be a thing of the past pretty soon, as they appeared to be ready to fall down. Like everywhere else, things are changing back there, and I was glad to be back to catch a few shots of things, as they used to be. It brought to mind the words of a Stan Rogers song, that described the changes of the old places... "Upper Canadian concrete and glass, right down to the water line....I heard an old song down on fisherman's wharf....can I sing it just one time"..... The words to the Newfoundland folk song, "Where Fishermen Used to Be" would also be very fitting for this scene....

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Rose of Sharon "Drawing".....

The little "breakfast nook" on my back deck is totally surrounded with Roses of Sharon right now, and while I was doing a couple of burgers on the BBQ this evening, I took a couple of shots of this blossom. It was shot using RAW and processed in Capture One Pro 9.2 software that I have been using lately. I still am trying to wrap my feeble brain around this new software, and as a result, haven't posted much on here for a while. I purchased Capture One Pro 9.2 so that I could tether my SONY camera to the computer, and send images directly to this software as I shoot. This would be handy for loading images into a laptop while on location etc.. The images are very high quality, and it is easy to make the necessary adjustments to RAW files.  Anyway, this image is one that I finally liked presented as a coloured pencil drawing. This final treatment was done in Photoshop CS3, and I thought it might look nice on a little greeting card or some such....hope some of you like it a bit.....

Sunday, June 26, 2016

RAW Roses Still Life....

For the most part, most of my photography up till now has been shot as jpegs, and I decided to give the RAW format a go for a change. This image was shot in a ramshackle studio set up, and I will be the first to admit that I am lacking quite a bit of skill when it comes to still life set ups. However, we must all start somewhere, and make as many mistakes as we can, because that is how we learn what NOT to do. Just ask Thomas Edison about that....but I digress. Anyway, for this image, I used a Bowens 750WS monolight as the key light, with a red gel filter over the 15 inch beauty dish. The fill light was a Bowens 200WS light with a soft box, and I used a really really old Bowens 400WS light with a snoot on it for a bit of back lighting. Most of this gear is left over from my Wedding and Portrait photography days, somewhere in the misty distant past....but I digress yet again eh! This image is not really simple or clean enough for my liking, but it was a first attempt at studio still life for quite a while, so I am cutting myself a little slack on it. The thing that I like about it is the lighting is soft enough that the highlight areas of the yellow material surrounding the vase, is not too blown out, and the red gel on the beauty dish paints some nice pinkish colours on the material which mimics the colours in the roses a bit. The roses came from our garden, and were so heavy, they were dragging on the ground, so my much better half saw fit to snip them for our dinner table. They smelled just lovely, and I hope you enjoy it also.....

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Nikko Deutzia "Transformed".....

Sometimes I tend to get a bit carried away with experimenting with the effects of various image editing softwares. I guess it is almost the equivalent of watching an image appear on a sheet of paper in the darkroom for the first time. You have this idea in your head as to how you might like an image to look like in its final output. So it is, that I got fixated on this image tonight, and this is my last and final "experiment". Not everyone will like or appreciate it, and then some folks might. It is all open to individual taste of course. Hope some of you will  get a little enjoyment from this rendition also.....