Saturday, August 31, 2013

Latest work: "Do Not Affix Stamp"

I created this postcard entirely from my own photographs of stamps, handmade rubber stamps, envelopes, weathered wood, cancellation marks, bolts, and much, much more . . . What fun! (Click to enlarge.) ©Carol Leigh

Prints available via Fine Art America . . .

It's a good day to . . .

. . . get to a farmers' market before the season's over! ©Carol Leigh

Friday, August 30, 2013

A walk around the block . . .

It's been awhile since I walked around my block with a camera, just seeing what I could see. But this morning it was very pretty out -- no rain, just a heavy mist that made everything gleam. I didn't take a tripod, I didn't take my Canon gear, but instead grabbed the (red!) Panasonic Lumix G2 and a 45mm-200mm lens. Let me show you what I found and why I shot what I did . . .

My favorite photo is the first one. The woods were dark behind the chair, which made it really stand out. I liked the little horizontal lines on the left that contrasted nicely with the vertical elements on the back of the chair. Clean, simple, graphic.

The next two shots are of a weathered mailbox. I liked the aged texture and will probably use these photos in upcoming photomontages. Or not. We shall see.

There was a huge pile of tree trimmings along the street and I liked the silvery grey-green colors of the spruce branches, so moved in as closely as I could. Just up the street from the pile of branches I spotted moss growing on the bark of a tree. Again, the woods behind the tree were dark, enabling me to show the moss more clearly than if the background had been light and bright.

A couple of trucks featured colorful tail lights, so I filled my frame with color and abstract lines. And that's it! I won't show you the photo of the enormous slug I encountered, nor the pine trees with the telephone wires behind them, nor the out-of-focus metal number on a telephone pole, nor the giant black stink bug that moved way too fast for the shutter speed to stop his travels, but you get an idea of what I saw.

I did bring home a cluster of alder catkins and a pretty leaf to photograph with a macro lens for a project I'm working on, which will result in more sharply focused, more professional-looking images, but for now I'm happy with what I did get.

Next time? I'll bring a tripod, a close-focusing lens, clippers, and a bag to bring home extra treasures to shoot in a more controlled environment.

There's nothing better to help you notice little things than to take a walk around your block and see what you can find. I know, I know . . . your block is a boring block and there's nothing to shoot there. But if you meander about, looking with new eyes, a new attitude, I'm sure you'll find something that will surprise you.

©Carol Leigh, who specializes in seeing and who has a new online class coming up to encourage you to do just that -- to SEE.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's a good day to . . .

. . . rethink the corporate ladder . . .

©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Latest work: "Over My Head"

This picture combines my photos of train graffiti, the side of a building, various handpainted papers, signs, ink, and more. I like the weathered and textured look, the warm colors, and the subtle chalk-like arrows that point the way to the faded Coca-Cola sign on the right. (Click to enlarge.) ©Carol Leigh

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cat on the bed ... Then and now

Original 2006 image
Revised in 2013
I've been revisiting some of my older photos and came across this picture I took in Washington in 2006. I prepped the photo in Photoshop to give it a somewhat aged look. This morning, still using Photoshop, but with new skills and new techniques, I re-did my photograph.

To my photographer readers: does this happen to you? Do you find yourself, six years later, armed with different tools, revisiting the old stuff and revampng it? Fun, isn't it?!

You can see a much larger and clearer version of this image at my Fine Art America site here:

©Carol Leigh

Sunday, August 25, 2013

It was a good day . . .

We went to a classic car show yesterday in Lincoln City (always a hit with me) and then a lunch of fish tacos at Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay (again, always a hit with me!), enjoyed the fog blowing around in the morning, and then the bright sun mid-day. 'Twas the best of all worlds: good photography, good food, brilliant weather, and a loving (and loved) companion. Wishing you all the same . . .

©Carol Leigh

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The retirement fund increases . . .

My stock agency leased this image of mine to appear on an editorial website for one week. The total amount? $8.40. My take? $4.20. Yessirree Bob, this retirement thing is looking more and more golden by the minute!


©Carol Leigh

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's a good day to . . .

. . . think positive! Send out healing pixie dust to your friends who might be having health challenges. May your (and their) skies be blue, your (and their) life filled with green lights, and with nowhere to go but up!

Could I be any more sickeningly saccharine? I'm even annoying myself! But you know what I mean . . . Just send out a positive little thought-let to someone today, even if it's just to yourself. And yes, I'll shut up now. . .

©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mini "Developing Your Creative Edge" online photo class beginning 9/27/13

A new mini-Developing Your Creative Edge online photo class begins September 27, 2013 and ends November 15, 2013. 

Four lessons/assignments in six weeks. Fun, easy, and you'll learn to look, to see, and to create lovely photos using seemingly mundane subjects.

As usual, the lessons/assignments are relatively easy, can be done using natural light, and can even be done using a cellphone camera if you wish.

It's about time I came up with some new lessons, so here they are and it all begins toward the end of September. Registration fee: $85. You in?

These photos MIGHT give you some clues about the upcoming lessons/assignments. And no, one of the lessons is NOT about flowers. Nor is one of the lessons about oil cans or coins. And there are no lessons that require you to find and photograph colorful buoys! But one of the lessons IS about photographing ANYTHING against a white background.

Here's a link to more information:

Looking forward to working with you again (or for the first time)!

Carol Leigh

Monday, August 19, 2013

Get rid of the cat?

I created this photomontage this morning. It's made up of various photos taken on the Oregon coast (the bird, the sky -- which is part of a scratched aluminum fish container) and in Santa Fe (the tiles, the windows, various textures). I photographed the cat in Las Trampas, New Mexico, as it scurried past the mission walls.

The last thing I added was the cat, but now I'm wondering if it makes the picture too cutesy. I like the way the cat echoes the color of the bird and thus encourages your eye to move diagonally up and across the frame. The raven's fine, but I'm not sure about the cat.

Here are both versions. To cat or not to cat, that is the question! What do you think? And why? ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, August 17, 2013

It doesn't take much . . .

Chris and I had a good day yesterday, traveling inland to shop, have lunch, photograph some graffiti, and wander around in an antique store (where I found two of the cutest little oil cans to add to my collection). But the highlight was going into a bookstore. Does anyone NOT love the smell of a bookstore? Ahhhhh... And yes, bought a book! And a CD. And a toy which will give me some hours of photographic play . . . just you wait and see.

A good day. It doesn't take much. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, August 16, 2013

Latest work: "Night Moves"

This piece originated with a few photos I took of abstract patterns on the side of a railroad car. After combining them, this is the result. I'm particularly fond of the vibrant red, yellow, blue colors against the darker background. ©Carol Leigh

Latest work: "Trees At Sunrise"

A simple photo taken in the English countryside. What I especially like is the little slash of yellow running along the top of the horizon line. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Latest work: "Primary Movement"

Red things get squeezed between black circles to add yellow things to move onward. And that's all I know. ©Carol Leigh


Woo hoo! Love the exuberance of red on a bright, shiny, beautiful old automobile. There are four more car shows to attend in the next thirty days or so . . . can hardly stand the excitement! ©Carol Leigh

Monday, August 12, 2013

Latest work: "Sea Level"

Oh, boy. . . This one's kind of complex and it took me a long time to put it all together. As usual with my photomontages, I've mixed together a variety of my photographs, including photos of adobe walls, cement, Japanese papers, a library card, a raven, a postage stamp, a Jeep, and more. I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed creating it. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Latest work: "She Flies"

Gestural abstract created with my photos of paint on cement, painted papers, calligraphy, and more. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, August 10, 2013

It's a good day to . . .

. . . go to a farmers' market! ©Carol Leigh

Friday, August 9, 2013

Over the top . . .

This is a photo I took of a car at an antique car show last year. I liked the soft colors and the clean lines. I also liked the detail in the car's headlamp as it's surrounded by all that smoothness.

So then I began playing. I used a technique in Topaz Adjust 5 to create the middle image. Yes, the photo's obviously been tweaked and the colors are nowhere near "normal," but that's what I liked! I loved how the underlying purple tinge in the original shot went cartoon-like. And I liked the metallic bronze color butted up against the purple. But what I really liked was the way this filter made the details inside the headlight look crisp and bright.

So then I wondered, what if I took my original shot and let just the Topaz filter appear on the headlight and nowhere else? And that's what you see in the third photo. I like this version better than my original because here the headlight really pops, becoming the focal point it was intended to be.

It's fun to be able to turn a sedately-colored car carnival-colored, but it's also satisfying to use an outrageous technique found in Topaz Adjust 5 in a more subtle, more "contained" manner. How about your own work? Perhaps some of the possibilities within Topaz Adjust are too ridiculous for you, but maybe just a hint here and there could make all the difference in the world.

Happy weekend, everyone! ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

If seahorses were flowers . . .

The past few weeks our "Lucifer" crocosmia have been in full bloom. The flowers die away from the middle of the stalk out to the tip, so what you're seeing here is the last of the flowers on these stalks. I liked the way they curved and bent, so I placed them just so and shot. To me they look like botanical seahorses!

This is one of the lessons/assignments in my upcoming "Developing Your Creative Edge" online photo class. The lessons are fun, easy (yet challenging), and you don't need flash. The class begins Friday, September 27, 2013, and lasts for six weeks. Each week I post a lesson and you have two+ weeks to get it done and submit it for comments and critiques. Registration fee: $85. Questions? E-mail me at carol at carolleigh dot net.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Boat bits . . .

Once again I neglect the big picture to zoom in on details, details I find important but that most people find inconsequential. It's a talent and a curse! Creating images such as these just make me feel good.

The first is a running light on a little tugboat, the second a few ropes hanging down the side of a fishing boat. I like the complementary red/green colors on the tug as well as the curvy lines of the light contrasted with the hard, straight lines of the rail and striping.

Contrast again comes into play in the second photo, with the two straight-ish lines of the ropes contrasting with the curved metal element. The sunlight on the ropes contrasts with the dark red element of the boat hull and the black shadowy area on the left.

Hey, my vision might be limited, but at least I know why I find the things I do!

©Carol Leigh

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's a good day to . . .

. . . be seduced by a cephalopod! There's something about a nautilus spiral that's so alluring, so intriguing, so seductive. All together now, ommmmmmmmmmmm... ©Carol Leigh

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fun in Camp . . .

I purchased this cabinet card in an antique shop because I liked the stony expressions on the children. (Click to enlarge.) I scanned the photo and added the background and caption. The caption reads:

Mummy, we are having ever so much fun in camp. Here we are being boisterous on the swing. Love, Hillary and Clare

©Carol Leigh

Red, White, and Black

These are three that I recently uploaded to Fine Art America. The images all began as photographs, bits and pieces of ceramic artwork, which I then bent, folded, spindled and mutilated to come up with these. I like the fact that they're so stark, seemingly consisting of just red, white, and black, but if you look closely there are some golden browns peeking out here and there to warm things up. Will they sell? One never knows. But one thing I DO know: I loved making them! (Click to enlarge.)

Wishing you delight in all you create . . .

©Carol Leigh