Sunday, October 15, 2017

Signs of fall on Whidbey


Surrounded mainly by pines and alders, we don't have much color here. But I do like how the pine needles can look like confetti, and how the alders can turn a pretty green and yellow.

There's also a mystery tree in our yard that looks wonderful this autumn, especially against a background of darker pines.

We have a number of friends and parents of friends in Santa Rosa who have had to evacuate their homes. One house has burned down, others are currently in a state of limbo. My heart goes out to all of them. And the firefighters -- oh, my. No words for the work they're doing.

Wishing us all a bit of respite, peace, and calm. It's been crazy long enough.

©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.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Latest work: "Number 20 Cracked"

This is an image I uploaded to Fine Art America this morning -- a composite of peeling paint, a dumpster, and the number 20 from another dumpster.

The color version didn't have the impact I was looking for, so I converted it to black and white, made a number of adjustments, and then let just a hint of some grungy blue color come through here and there on the numbers.

Is it great? Nah. But I do like it. Always a sucker for grungy stuff, numbers, letters, rusty metal, and peeling paint. So, really, what's NOT to like?

©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.

Monday, October 9, 2017

From color to black and white (parts 6 and 7 of 7)




There's a challenge going around in my corner of Facebook at the moment where someone challenges someone else to create one black and white image a day and to post it on Facebook. The "rules" are "no people and no explanation." Well, here's the explanation.

I took this picture of an agave stalk in 2006 and turned it into this weird color. Today, I'm not sure why! But I wondered how it would look if I converted this blue horror into black and white.

I like the black and white version much better, but going back to the blue version, I noticed how the background was out of focus, but there was a shadow back there that echoed the same angle as the (and I don't know the scientific word for it) thing sticking out on the right.

The lights and darks in the background are interesting, add depth and interest and mystery, yet aren't overly obtrusive.

And then there was the great blue heron landing on a piling in South Carolina. The picture could have been sharper, but I loved the outstretched wing, the beak, the lower legs. They all angle sharply from right to left.

Intuitively I allowed more room in the left two thirds of the photo, room for the concept of horizontal movement to establish itself.

But what about the subtle lack of sharpness? I gave the image a soft, painterly look (lemons/lemonade) and also toned it a warm pinkish color. But would that translate to black and white?

I think it does. It's light, soft, and it keeps me looking. Is it better? I really don't know.

This black and white challenge was indeed challenging. The benefit of participating in it was it encouraged me to look at my (and everyone else's) pictures with new eyes and to experiment. Always a good thing.

©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.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

From color to black and white (part 5 of 7)


There's a challenge going around in my corner of Facebook at the moment where someone challenges someone else to create one black and white image a day and to post it on Facebook. The "rules" are "no people and no explanation." Well, here's the explanation.

I fell in love with this cellphone app and used it a lot before it died, and the creator never updated it. Alas.

The beauty of the app was how it created a watercolor-ish appearance to the subject matter, a sort of painterly look that was soft and textural.

I would walk around the house with the cellphone, just searching for something to shoot.

My Oregon neighbor Juanita gave me this fishing net float, made of soft green glass. It sits in a powder room window, next to a sea-glass aqua bottle, a bottle that has feathers in it.

In hindsight, maybe I should have removed the bottle to the right of the float, but I do like the mystery of it.

The scene looks good in black and white as well as the sepia. Can't decide between the two which one I prefer, but I'm leaning toward the sepia version.

©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.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

From color to black and white (part 4 of 7)


There's a challenge going around in my corner of Facebook at the moment where someone challenges someone else to create one black and white image a day and to post it on Facebook. The "rules" are "no people and no explanation." Well, here's the explanation.

I  found this bit of architectural detail in Balboa Park, San Diego. When processing the image, I toned it, and was quite pleased with the result. Seeing the black and white version, I'm finding the B&W more appealing. But why?

It's stronger. It has more depth. There's more contrast between light and dark. And it shows more details, brings out the artistry of the builder/designer/artist more than the softer, more ethereal look of the original.

©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.

Friday, October 6, 2017

From color to black and white (part 3 of 7)


There's a challenge going around in my corner of Facebook at the moment where someone challenges someone else to create one black and white image a day and to post it on Facebook. The "rules" are "no people and no explanation."

This is one of my favorite photographs. We were in a Chinese restaurant, waiting for our food to arrive, so naturally I took out the cellphone to find something to shoot.

At the time, I was enamored of a particular app (alas, it's no longer available, no longer works) and was delighted to see the textured sepia image it created. I was equally delighted to see how well the image works in black and white.

©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.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

From color to black and white (part 2 of 7)


There's a challenge going around in my corner of Facebook at the moment where someone challenges someone else to create one black and white image a day and to post it on Facebook. The "rules" are "no people and no explanation."

For my second photograph, I selected this picture, also taken in South Carolina. Whereas a number of people really liked my first picture, not many liked this one. And I can understand why.

As a black and white it looks even weirder than it does in color. I like both versions, however, and it doesn't bother me that it was less popular than the first. Also, by looking at it in black and white, I think it might just work in a photomontage of some sort. We shall see.

What is it? I was standing on a grassy bank, looking across a bit of water, to a pier. It was the almost Roman numeral-ish look of the pilings that caught my eye, not the actual pier itself.

©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.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

From color to black and white (part 1 of 7)


There's a challenge going around in my corner of Facebook at the moment where someone challenges someone else to create one black and white image a day and to post it on Facebook. The "rules" are "no people and no explanation."

Sounded good to me: a new way to look at my images, no "people" photography (yay), and no need to write anything.

The second part of the challenge was to nominate someone ELSE to do the same thing. And so it would go.

Here's the first picture I attempted, a color image I'd taken in South Carolina a few years ago. I had toned it and applied a painterly look to it. Would this work in black and white? And why?

I was pleasantly surprised how nicely this image turned out once I removed the color. The lights and darks in the trees stand out more. The mysterious things in the distance show up more as well. And the dark tree trunks stand out better.

Which version do I prefer? Hmmm... I'm going to say the black and white version. And I never would have created it had I not been "challenged" on Facebook.

©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.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Latest work: "So Long, Pete Turner"


When I was a little photographer, Pete Turner’s work was so exciting. And the picture below, of the trash can, was what drew me in. So colorful. So clean. So simple. His images were what I wanted to emulate. He passed away last week. But his work, his colors, live on in my head.

I was creating this top picture when I learned of Turner's death. So I saturated the heck out of it! So long, Pete Turner.

(Pete Turner photograph courtesy of Pete Turner Studio.)

©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.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Radio-controlled . . .



We took a little day trip up to the Fisherman's Terminal, south north of Seattle. Little did we know there was a "Fisherman's Fall Festival" going on, with no available parking, mobs of people, and lots of colorful tents dotting the entire area.

Classic nightmare scenario for me. (Bright sunlight, too many people, etc.) But we lucked into a parking spot, and saw that NOBODY was walking around on the docks! Everybody was over at the booths, the music, the "build your own boat" facility, and watching ocean survival demonstrations.

My photos of the boats, texture, abstract images all turned out less than wonderful. But the radio-controlled boats? Very cool! They were zipping around, the fireboat occasionally spraying out water from a hose on top.

A good day, no matter the shooting situation. I mean, two ferry rides, a drawbridge, boats, rust, cute little boats, grilled rockfish for lunch? What's not to love?

©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.


Friday, September 22, 2017

The last day of summer




Wednesday was the last day of summer. "Let's go walk around Langley!"

Our first stop was the Whidbey Art Gallery, which always has unique art and at affordable prices. I asked the man manning the desk which art was his. He's John Kloecke, a potter and does a lot of raku firing. I made sure we saw his work, and one piece in particular stood out -- a very elegant pot, a rich blue color, and a unique glaze that he said had glass in it, which melts to a lovely sheen. We bought it -- to be photographed soon.

This pink hydrangea flower is one of the last bloomers of the season, and looked good against a still-green leafy background.

And then down to the marina to see what we could see. Lots of crows, gulls, and pigeons, as well as dramatic clouds off in the distance.

I rescued a large starfish a gull had pulled off a piling and then left on the sidewalk. I grabbed an arm, gave a tug, and gently put him back in the water, watching him slowly, slowly sink down to the bottom.

Had an enjoyable conversation with the dockmaster, who showed us a photo he'd taken that morning of a bright orange (and huge) jellyfish. "That's Sandy Point. See that house with the sun on it? That's my parents' house. They've been there 45 years. Sometimes I call them and say, 'I can see what you're doing!' And they never fail to laugh."

A fine little exploration and an excellent way to celebrate the beginning of fall.

Wishing you all small celebrations such as this.

©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.



Monday, September 18, 2017

Nautical bits . . .


Late afternoon light raking across a rusted ship, creating a beautiful shadow of the chain. Although I like the full-frame, vertical version of the image, I'm more drawn to the "squarified" version. But why?

There's more mystery in the top shot, but more information, more emphasis on the chain in the lower shot.

Either way, gotta love the warm glow of the light!

©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.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Latest work


As I'm constantly throwing out photos that are taking up too much room in my computer and external drives, I'm also adding more to the mix!

Today I created the first image, a photomontage of the tall ship "Adventuress." She was way offshore, the island in the distance just a smudge. I photographed this ship last weekend during the Port Townsend, Washington's 41st Wooden Boat Show. We had a good time -- walked aboard the ferry, walked over to the show, walked, walked, walked, sat and listened to a man playing guitar, walked some more, walked back to the ferry, and then drove home. Walked more than four miles, and it felt great.

This morning Chris noticed a junco nest on the ground outside the garage door. Must have blown off in the night. The nest was empty. Luckily, I happen to have four empty junco eggs, in case of emergency. Figured just one would be plenty for this small nest.

©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.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Morning coffee

The usual routine ... Avoid the news, check out my Photomotivation group on Facebook, then go to Feedly to see which of the blogs I follow have been updated, read blogs (mostly artist blogs), feel inspired, add notes to my little notebook, check the weather, check the headlines if there's time.

And that's it! Then it's either out to the studio to add to my table runner, or back to the desktop computer where I'm ruthlessly trashing all photos I don't think I can use and/or aren't quite sharp enough to upload to Fine Art America.

Reducing the pixel load, 29MB at a time.

©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.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Never as planned



I'm making a runner for our dining room table. It'll be made of papers, and is sort of a giant, thick-ish collage.

The plan for this morning was to make some indigo-colored papers that I will tear up and glue here and there.

"Making the paper" means using a Gelli plate and acrylic paints. You roll some paint(s) onto  the Gelli plate, make a design of some sort in the paint, lay a piece of paper over the design, press down, and then remove the paper.

It is fun and addicting.

By accident, I made some papers that were not indigo blue. Instead they were cream-colored, black, and some with just a trace of gold. And I thought they looked so cool I just kept on going. I know I'll use them eventually, so what the heck?

Here you see a table in the studio where I just toss things like this as they dry. Tomorrow I'll clean it all up.

You can see more papers in the middle shot, and then a close-up of one at the end.

I'm physically creating useful papers. Mentally, I'm creating a truckload of possibilities. [Rubbing hands together, cackly laughter.]

©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.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What I like about living here . . .

It was 10:30 yesterday morning. We've had breakfast, read the news (oh, boy), and what should we do today?

"Well, there's a wooden boat festival coming up this weekend in Port Townsend, maybe we could go over and see what they're doing in preparation for that."

When's the next ferry? 11:00. "I can be ready to go in five minutes." "Me, too."

Mad dash around the house and we're out the door. I forget my DSLR, but that's okay, at least I have the iPhone.

The ferry is just arriving, we get in line, wait for everybody to disembark. We don't know if we're going to make this boat. And then yes! We and the car ahead of us are next.

And that's when they load what looks like a 50-foot motorhome. A motorhome with a footprint that's about seven cars long. We've missed the boat.

Luckily we've lived here long enough to know to bring our Kindles for moments such as this. We have plenty to read. But we don't. We watch people, eavesdrop, talk, and before we know it the next boat (the Kennewick) has arrived and we're on our way.

Mid-channel, the ferry slows down because there's a pod of orcas off the port bow. How cool is that?

In Port Townsend we share a salad and tempura shrimp at Doc's, meander the marina, checking out the wooden boats, then to the boat chandlery, down a dock to the 1913 tall ship Adventuress. Beautiful.

Wandered around downtown, visited an art gallery, chatted with a couple who live in University Place (they called it "U.P."), then talked with an artist who makes beautiful wooden coat/hat racks. Time to head home. The ferry is just departing as we get in line. No worries. We sit and talk, relax, make the next boat and we're home.

This is just one tiny thing I love about living here. Jump up, miss the boat, make the boat, watch whales, look at boats, talk to people, look at art, walk, walk, walk, miss the boat, make the boat, home again.

Do we know how incredibly lucky we are? Yes. There are thousands of people trying to put their lives back together in Houston. There are thousands in Florida worrying about what the approaching hurricane is going to do to them. There are wildfires burning millions of acres of trees, historic buildings, impacting the loveliest areas of our country. And ash is falling seemingly everywhere, over everything.

This post is about sheer frivolity and sounds shallow in comparison. Luckily, I realize that. And give thanks to whoever is in charge that we had that wonderful day yesterday.

©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.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Latest work: "All Things Connected"

Another in my series of images featuring parts of an antique kimono package (a thick packet of paper designed to contain a kimono). I have taken a number of pictures of the package (not nearly enough yet) and then break them apart, reconnect them, and, in this case, I added an Enso circle I painted using India ink.

I like the combination and contrast of the round, organic form standing out on top of very linear, straight, horizontal stripes.

©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.

Monday, September 4, 2017

This book project is DONE!











My book is finally finished. It's 34 pages (17 sheets), made of a variety of papers, photos, postage stamps, etc. I included pages from antique Japanese books, plus my own hand-painted, hand-dyed papers, and a lot of inks and stains.

Was it fun to do? Oh, yeah. Was it frustrating? Immensely. Does it look as I intended? The photos do not. I had a certain look I was going for with the pictures, but due to computer meltdowns, printer meltdowns, printer replacement, and renewed experimenting, nothing seemed to work. So there aren't many photos in this book and I had to slightly change the concept.

What I LOVE about this book is how it feels. It's soft, old, has a weathered feeling. There's a tab attached to one page that I can lift and peek to see what's underneath (the closeup image with the blue stitching is the tab). The more this book is handled, touched, bent, looked at, etc., the better it's going to be. It's MEANT to be held.

I used Japanese stab binding to create a daifuku-cho (Japanese ledger book) look. And there are indeed some Japanese ledger pages used here and there.

This was an incredible learning curve (for me), involving collage, paint, ink, printing, stitching, binding, PATIENCE, and more.

What's next? A runner for my dining room table made along this same collage-like concept.

And then? A series of artist books . . . we shall see.

©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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Latest work: "Industrial Art"


As a lot of you know, I've always loved photographing industrial things and lately I've been taking this weird predilection a bit further, rummaging through older photos and giving them a new look, plus prowling around back alleys, marinas, train yards and boat yards looking for new material.

I found these two subjects in Oakland, Oregon six years ago and finally did something with them this morning.

Gotta love corrugated metal!

©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.