Thursday, May 24, 2018

Latest work: Wall Texture #14

Latest work incorporating found textures here on Whidbey Island. Woo hoo!

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, May 21, 2018

Simple versus fussy


Simple and severe versus light and fluffy. Two different bicycle photos and two different styles.

While walking around Old Town Albuquerque, I liked the starkness of a bicycle against a plain adobe wall. Although there's not much in the picture, there's a lot of movement via diagonal lines.

The base of the picture is a diagonal line leading our eye right to left and back, echoed by the slight diagonal line of the bike.

Then there's the top of the adobe wall that angles downward.

The parallel lines on the roof bit lead our eye one way and then another via diagonal lines.

And then there's the sign/signpost, the one vertical, solid element that holds everything together.

A deceptively simple composition that has a lot going on.

But not as much going on as the busy, colorful, floral-decorated bike in front of an antique shop in Port Gamble, Washington.

Here, too, are lots of diagonal lines, but because of the busy subject matter, we don't notice much movement in this shot. Our eyes become fixated with all the flowers on the bike, and we tend to just quickly glance around the frame and then come right back to the bike.

It's National Bicycle Month. A perfect month to find, ride, and photograph bikes.

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, May 19, 2018

It's National Bike Month! Celebrate in style!

I love this postage stamp, so built my picture revolving around the elegant (yet absurd) gentleman "riding" his bicycle.

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.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Two from early spring . . .


A wander through Washington's Skagit Valley in March with no real destination in mind. My favorite kind of day.

This barn was just the best! I've since returned and have taken more photos so that I can do a series.

And then a pretty tree, beyond which some daffodil fields were in full bloom. The original version was rather boring, so I turned it into something akin to a Polaroid image.

A good day. A couple good photos. And the company was good as well.

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, May 16, 2018

Latest work: "Four Circles" collage

India ink on brown paper forms the base of this collage, to which I added another sheet of rice paper that I stained with brown walnut ink and then scribbled on using more India ink. Down in the lower right corner are papers from antique Japanese books and an oval Japanese signature stamp. The four round circles were cut from an overall design on some special paper I purchased in Kyoto, Japan.

Sent to my friend Linda a few weeks ago.

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, May 12, 2018

Latest work: "Panama Postal Collage"

Hand-painted gelatin print on Fabriano paper, crafted in Italy by the Fabriano mill. The postage stamp (issued in 1965) depicts a Panamanian azulejo, or blue-grey tanager (Thraupis episcopis). The vintage dark green postage stamp from Panama was issued sometime between 1904 and 1924. I found the “Par Avion” sticker in a junk store in Washington State’s Skagit Valley.

Sent to my friend June a few weeks ago.

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.

Friday, May 11, 2018

They got mail . . .


I asked three people in my Photomotivation Facebook group if they'd like to receive something from me, a little piece of art. They (perhaps foolishly) said yes and so here's what I sent them.

Each received a painted or collaged note card, with a message from me about the picture as well as a personal greeting.

Why? It made me feel good. It encouraged me to make something specific, tangible, physical. And I knew they'd enjoy getting a piece of snail mail. Snail mail that wasn't an advertisement.

Also, while in a waiting room a few months ago, I met a woman who lives on Orcas Island. She makes things. She suggested I get away from the computer, to make physical art. I listened.

We've corresponded. I've sent her papers and she's sent me some. She lives off the grid. Her envelopes and their contents smell like wood smoke.

Seemingly chance encounters that lead to something more that lead to something more.

Happy weekend, all!

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, May 9, 2018

From the passenger seat of a parked car

This restaurant had some very cool light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Very cool.

Sitting outside in the car, I looked over at the restaurant's exterior wall and had a different view of the lights, through a large window. It helped that the exterior wall was a complementary deep orange color that framed the blue.

I like the triangular shadowing up top, and how its slight diagonal tilt echoes the dark diagonal line lower left.

How lazy can I get? I'm sitting in a car, looking out the window. Click. Works for me!

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, May 6, 2018

First from Santa Fe . . .

This window, on some sort of innocuous governmental building on a side street in Santa Fe, caught my eye. It looked sort of funky, out of place on an austere, beige building.

It looked old on new. So I reversed the concept.

Now it looks new(ish) on old. Yet it's still rustic enough that it looks okay.

There are hundreds of photos for me to sift through, and it's going to take a long time to become comfortable with all the various little bits and pieces I photographed before I can begin bringing them together in new and different ways.

It's overwhelming at the moment. But this, too, shall pass. May we all have such small problems!

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, May 5, 2018

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!

Photographed near the Balboa Pier, Newport Beach, California.

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.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Live and in person . . .




A visit to Santa Fe, partly to see how my pictures look displayed in the new pavilion of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.

They purchased five pictures, but we could only see four of them; the fifth is temporarily hidden behind a construction panel (but you can see it below).

My pictures are just a small part of all the art that appears throughout the new pavilion, and I'm flattered to be in such fine company -- all the artwork is bold, colorful, and striking.

It was fun seeing the pictures all together and to see them so big! Having Chris, Rich, and CJ there, too, made it even better.

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, April 28, 2018

Random boat bits . . .




Nothing like meandering around fishing boats to find little vignettes, examples of the tools they use, the things they need, and how traditional a lot of the gear is.

By isolating small bits and pieces, I can create pictures that offer hints of what's on board, making the necessary gear just as important as the entire boat.

A simple photograph of a ladder and a lantern turns into a Mondrian-esque scene of clean rectangles and squares.

Lures hang from a rustic piece of wood aboard a commercial fishing boat.

I liked the monochromatic look of the strongly-defined lines and angles that frame the curvy-ness of a hook of some sort. An overcast day helped emphasize the silvery-blue-grey metal, lighting all the visual elements equally.

And finally, the bold red handles on the Crowley tugboat "Protector" tied to the dock. From a design standpoint, I found the horizontal line of half-letters up top, the red handles, and then the thick red pipe at the bottom -- all parallel to one another -- very appealing. It's an unusual composition, and I like 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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Contrast is everything . . .

Creativity is intelligence having fun.
-- Albert Einstein

As I was leaving an architectural salvage store in San Diego, bright sunlight created lovely shadows behind a decorative piece of ironwork. Had to photograph it. Not only was I attracted to the shadows, but the juxtaposition of the organic form of the spiral and the heavily linear criss-crossed metal bits was (to me) striking.

I'm noticing "contrasts" like this more and more. If there's something soft and curving, combining that element with straight, severe lines adds interest.

If there's something "real" and well-defined in the foreground, lighter and somewhat amorphous shadows in the background add to your visual story.

We see something similar when we compose a photo of, say, an old railroad depot in front of a modern skyscraper -- old against new. Or an in-focus flower against an out-of-focus background.
Opposites. Contrast. Light and dark. Squares/circles. Smooth/textured.

How often do we notice differences such as these? How often do we consciously (or un-) include/create them in our own work?

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, 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.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Around the island . . .

It was cold here on Whidbey Island today, especially for this owl in Langley!

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.

It's a good day to . . .

. . . just say HOWDY!
. . . pretend you're a cowboy!

Metal shipping container found in Port Townsend, Washington.

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.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Buena Vista Cemetery


Buena Vista Cemetery (1856) in Port Gamble sits up on a little hill with views off into the distance. Such a lovely, serene, quiet location. It is sad, however, to see how headstones are broken, tops lopped off, and animal heads missing/defaced.

The trees in and around the cemetery are beautiful, however, and so I concentrated on photographing them rather than the headstones. The tree here is a prime example -- an interesting shape, a pretty silhouette.

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, March 22, 2018

The beauty of a sharp lens


A kingfisher sits on a boat rail, feathers all ruffled up. I then zoomed in to 100% and was amazed at the clarity. 70-200mm Canon "L" lens.

(Note: these are purposely low-resolution images, as are all pictures I post to the web, so they may not look super-sharp if you enlarge them.)

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 kindness.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Local color . . .



Fishing boats in Seattle, Washington. Love the colors, love the textures, love the bright, sunny day most of all!

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 kindness.