Sunday, November 22, 2015

Around the house

A few years ago I gave a presentation at the Sandhills Photo Club in North Carolina. They treated me like royalty and we had a great time. Lots of laughter, lots of good photographers, lots of photo exploring. I found a magnolia seed pod and some other things on that trip that wouldn't fit in my suitcase, so I mailed them home.

As I was unpacking boxes in the studio this morning, I came across the box. Oh, boy! Cool stuff! I set the magnolia pod on the studio table, glanced down, and loved how it looked. So simple. Just sitting on the table. I got out the iPhone, selected the Camera Awesome app, opted for the Lone Star effect, and here's the result.

In the first photo you can see "Ramses," my oh-so-Georgia-O'Keeffe ram skull, who doesn't have a home quite yet (he looked especially handsome on the fireplace in Palm Springs), books, boxes, and a tripod/camera in the back.

But look at how cool the pod looks there on the table. I did take some overviews, but I particularly liked this close-up.

And people wonder why it's taking me so long to unpack? Well, sometimes you just have to stop and have a bit of fun while you work.

Technical stuff: Although I used the iPhone and some apps to make these photographs, the Lone Star effect can create a lot of contrast, washing out lighter-colored areas. I brought both photos into Photoshop and created a duplicate mask, used the "Multiply" blending mode to darken the entire photo, inverted the mask, and then used a brush to let some of the darker "Multiply" areas come through, specifically on the ram skull and horns. I should have cleaned things up on the table before taking the photos, but these were snapshots, nothing more.

 ©Carol Leigh
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!


  1. Was Ramses found in the wilds or at a yard sale? Either way he deserves a prominent place in your studio. Having Georgia O'Keeffe as inspiration for art is a pretty nice. What would if have been like to be in Taos sipping a martini with the likes of Ansel, Weston and O'Keeffe. Pretty good company don't you think?

  2. I should create a more interesting story, but I found Ramses in a thrift shop in Cathedral City, California in the late '90s. He's quite cool, methinks. And yes, hanging out in Taos with heavyweight creatives would have been quite the heady experience.


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