Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kitchen Art: Shadows



Over in my Photomotivation Facebook group, everybody's working on photographing shadows. So when I saw the sun shining through the kitchen window, I quickly grabbed something, anything, to put into that light. Sunlight can be fleeting around here . . .

I knew my subject had to have a strong, graphic shape. Well, the watering can that sits in the window certainly has a strong shape. I put it on one of the stove burners so its shadow would fall on the wall. I focused on the spout, which is nice and sharp. And see the little bit of blue metal? Bonus! The shadow is FAIRLY sharp, sharp enough to be acceptable.

The sun was still working with me, so quick, what else could I find?

I grabbed a fork out of a drawer and set it on the counter. Wham! Bold shadows, looking really elongated, were terrific. I couldn't include the fork AND the shadows in total, so I composed for just a bit of the fork and a lot of the shadows. The shadows were more interesting (to me) than the fork, so why not give them top billing?

But if I moved farther back (all these were taken with an iPhone), I COULD include both fork and shadows, so here's what they look like. I like the strong darks and lights, but the previous fork photo appeals to me more.

When you have good light, put SOMEthing in it to shoot. You may never have that light again.

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Little details


Small details found in the town of Edison, Washington. I liked the unusual shape of the "NO TRESPASSING" sign, and the fact that the scene was in shade really enhanced the original pale blue color.

The heart on weathered wood, however, was in bright sunlight, creating a feeling of depth and dimension.

I love finding little things such as these. And, as usual: small pleasures.

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Agave teeth . . .

Over in my Facebook "Photomotivation" group, our assignment this month is "Shadowplay." Here's one of the photos I posted of a closeup of an agave frond.

A number of people found it (understandably) confusing, with one person seeing birds flying, not the sharp spines of an agave plant.

Not unlike an artichoke, agave plants consist of tightly wrapped fronds which, as they grow, gradually pull away from the plant and eventually splay out and away from the "core." The right third of the frame is the agave frond as it has just begun lifting away from plant's core immediately below it. The bright sunlight coming from my right creates a dark shadow on the rest of the plant. I purposely made this a high-key image to add to the scene's simplicity and to create a strong abstract.

What pleases me is its simplicity, the fact that the picture is divided into three strong elements, and the impact of negative space. 

Confusing? Confused? Yeah, me, too . . .

P.S. If you'd like to see what's going on over in the Photomotivation group and maybe join us, here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2141715679386032/  Since the group is a private one, you may not be able to see much. Join the group and all will be revealed. 

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Small pleasures

I’d been photographing fishing nets, and as I walked back to the car, I noticed something different in the dark grey gravel alongside the parking lot. A light grey rounded form really stood out. What the . . .?

I picked it up. Heavy. Really heavy. Nicely rounded, a smooth, worn surface. How cool is THIS? Adrenaline rush. I looked some more. It was like an Easter egg hunt! I brought these five “mystery rocks” home with me. (I mean, wouldn’t YOU have?)

But what were they? Each had a hole on the bottom, and one had a hole and a rusty bolt. So, obviously they had been attached to something. But what? I’m thinking the metal must have something to do with fishing, that it probably wasn’t lead. What about zinc? I’ve seen hunks of shiny zinc attached to crab pots in Oregon. They’re there to prevent electrolysis, to prevent the metal in the crab pots from corroding. But they’re not round like these.

I determined that my “zinc balls” were worn, weathered, eroded, discarded zinc “anodes.” They begin their life as a thick (thicker than a hockey puck) chunk of zinc and gradually wear way down until they’re discarded and a new one is attached.

Mystery solved, but oh, don’t they look great gathered together like this, sitting on top of some very dark and very old Japanese papers?

Small pleasures.


All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Latest work: "Surfer Crossing"

I found this grungy old sign tacked to a stick in a Pacific Northwest boat yard. I got the feeling this guy would rather be out on the ocean than repairing boats on dry land!

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Watching where I'm walking



Have you noticed the small markers, usually placed alongside curbs, next to drains in the gutter? They warn us to not pollute nearby bodies of water -- lakes, harbors, oceans, etc. And they are surprisingly personalized, designed for just those particular locations.

This "NO DUMPING - DRAINS TO SOUND" marker tells us we're close to Puget Sound, and, in smaller print, that we're at the Port of Anacortes.

The message on the sewer cover, however, is simply rude! And what does ASS stand for? "Anacortes Sewer System," of course. This cover is apparently one of just a few remaining -- Anacortes won't be using this abbreviation in the future. A port employee passing by told us that it's probably the most-photographed subject at the Port of Anacortes!

And finally, the more colorful "ONLY RAIN DOWN THE DRAIN" marker shows you that yes, you're still in Anacortes, and that "Puget Sound Starts Here."

In a time when we're replacing words with cute little icons/pictures, it's refreshing to actually READ these informational exhortations. Even if Anacortes can sometimes be an ASS about it . . .

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Latest work: R/V Atlantis

The Research Vessel "Atlantis" docked in Astoria, Oregon. This U.S. Navy ship is operated by famed Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and travels worldwide. I feel lucky to have seen it during its brief visit in Northwest Oregon.

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Playing with color and texture . . .


I'm constantly shaking things up a bit, experimenting with techniques and concepts, and right now it's primarily about adding more color, more depth, and more texture to my images.

I make a LOT of gelatin prints, eventually cutting them up to make envelopes, cards, collages, etc. In this case, I added two cherry tree leaves I'd pressed flat in Oregon. They fell out of a book last month and inspired me to work with them. The result is certainly colorful, kind of busy, but kind of fun.

And then yesterday I opened a photo I'd taken in Portland's industrial district, a photo of three bolts and their shadows. It was a cool shot to begin with, with a bright yellow strip at the very top, but I wanted more.

I added a hand-painted number 4 (see it there on the right?), a photo of some dumpster grunge (that's where the blue is coming from), and more of my hand-painted papers to create smudges, lines, and texture elsewhere.

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Appropriate for Easter . . .

We visited friends last week who raise Beveren rabbits. Oh, my! There were nine or ten of them, some babies, and they are constantly in motion. I got down low to photograph this beauty head-on.

Such a wonderful afternoon/evening, on many levels.

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Happiness for just $3.00 . . .

While roaming around exploring last week, we stopped at a junk store because, well, you just never know what you'll find.

These four things are what I found:

An empty glass Tiger Balm jar that I don't know what I will do with, but it has Chinese calligraphy on it and it's weathered and worn. It's cute.

Old "Par Avion" postage stickers. Woo hoo! I will use these in collages and photomontages.

An old, faded, sepia-toned photograph of a Japanese building. This, too, will eventually find its way into a collage or photomontage.

And then a ragged, tattered old book that had been sitting out in the weather until it was aged to perfection! Lots of collage possibilities in all its stained and torn pages.

The key words here are "possibilities" and "optimism." I see these things, feel the adrenaline rush, and just know they'll be useful in the near future.

And three bucks is cheap for a bit of hope and happiness, right? Right?

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Latest work: "One Particular Harbor"

This is what I've been working on the past few days and which finally came together this morning. Comprised of reflections of masts at the harbor in Port Townsend, Washington, bits of metal, pilings at low tide in Oregon, a piece of hand-painted paper, a funnel, and more. Often when I think I'm totally at a loss, I just keep working and SOMEthing eventually happens. For which I'm grateful.

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Around the island . . .


At Lone Lake on Whidbey Island, I looked out the car's sunroof to see this cute little heart-shaped cloud floating around. Naturally, I had to photograph it.

And then at the Edit shop in Langley (hello, Holly!) there were these oversized Scrabble tiles out front in the grasses. And yes, naturally, I had to photograph them as well.

It was a good day!

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.