Saturday, September 22, 2018

Cleats and coils . . .


I'm always impressed with boat owners who take the time to coil their mooring lines. It shows care, pride, and also makes a darned good photograph!

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, September 16, 2018

WHAT-IFFING: Unnatural Colors


In July, I was thinking about complementary colors and began playing around with a picture I have of a green palm frond I photographed in Florida.

Off the top of my head, I don't recall how I turned it into this -- I would have to bring up that file and look at all the layers and see what the sequence was, and since I'm having computer problems at the moment, that's not in the cards.

Even though these are ridiculous colors for a palm frond, I really liked the vibrancy, the combo of purple and yellow, and the overall simplicity of the picture.

It looked good as a full-frame horizontal image, and when I squarified it, it looked good that way, too.

So here they are. Two formats and an example of what just playing around can do for you.

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, September 12, 2018

Latest work: "I Would Go Back There Tomorrow"




Created from my photos of vintage Japanese book covers and pages, India ink calligraphy, and a ledger book cover (daifuku) I gathered in Kyoto, Japan.

The original image was so big that I decided to create three other smaller, square images from it. Since I uploaded this to sell at Fine Art America, it gives me four different options for my buyers. (Trying to be smart about marketing!)

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, September 10, 2018

Recent work: "Canyon Walls"


This picture began as a vertical image and I started with stripes, working from right to left. It was when I placed the far left stripe that I saw a landscape of sorts.

From there it was a no-brainer. Rotate the picture 90 degrees counter-clockwise so that what was originally the far left stripe now becomes my base.

I like the overall warm colors and how the complementary bluish elements at the bottom are just the opposite -- cool colors.

Gotta say, the process often feels simply magical, how everything goes together.

I also cropped the picture down to a square format, to give my buyers on Fine Art America a choice of sorts.

There's an autumnal feel to it, isn't there? Well, the weather around here feels pretty autumnal right now. Happy fall everybody!

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, September 5, 2018

Squarification




I post a lot of my work on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/visualeigh/ and like to keep everything consistent in a square format. So whenever possible, I look at my photos and, if they’ll look just as good in a square format, I’ll crop and save that version as well, for a possible Instagram post.

Here are a couple examples of full-format pictures and their squarified versions.

DRAGONFLIES
I’ll be posting the square version of the dragonfly picture on Instagram, and here’s what the full-frame version looks like. I can’t really say that one is “better” than the other. It all depends on the final use of the photo, really. (Will it be a notecard, will it be for a framed print, for a magazine article illustration?)

That being said, however, I do like the full-frame version. Why? Because dragonflies fly! They need room to fly from and to. So I think the extra space helps with that concept of movement.

I uploaded both versions to Fine Art America, just to give people options. Here they are: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/two-dragonflies-square-carol-leigh.html

OLD FORD
Again, the square version of this picture will go on Instagram, but here’s how it also looks full-frame. The square version is appealing to me more today because it draws my attention right onto the subject. The full-frame version offers more “looking room,” but that slice of emptiness to the left isn’t all that interesting (to me). This one will not be going up on Fine Art America. Why? Looking at it at 100%, I’m not satisfied with the amount of sharpness.

So there you have it. Two photos, two versions each. One more way of looking at your photos — full-frame, or squarified. You be the judge.

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, August 26, 2018

Recent work: "Books Deconstructed"

Books that have been discarded by libraries or are too old and tattered to sell, become my fodder for making collages, both physical and via the computer. Old books, once valued and loved, now considered trash, come alive again in a new form. Salvaged and reconstructed.

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/books-deconstructed-425-carol-leigh.html

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, August 25, 2018

What I'm working on: UPDATING


Before and after... New tools, new skills, new eyes. Yesterday morning I revisited an old photomontage I made in 2008. I decided it needed to be lightened, brightened, and have more depth.

Quite the difference (in my eyes).

Should I do this with ALL my old works? Ha! I'm not quite that insane. Yet.

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, August 22, 2018

What I'm working on: PHOTOMOTIVATION










I’ve got a private group going over in Facebook called Photomotivation, where I give the group an assignment every month, they post their pictures, and we comment and offer suggestions, joke around, and in general have a casual good time.

The folks in the group are primarily my former students and their friends, and during the 22 months I’ve been conducting the group, we’ve gotten to know one another in a delightful way.

This month the topic is “More is More.” Where maybe one oil can can look good, but a grouping might be even better. Or where one postage stamp with a giant bug on it can be impressive, but three postage stamps with giant bugs on them might be even more impressive.

By the way, if YOU would like to be a part of this group, the web address is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/photomotivation/ The group is a private one, so just click where it says to become a member and you’ll quickly be added to the mix. It’s free. It’s fun. It’s informative.

Here are some examples I’ve posted this month.

Postage stamps from Burundi are pretty dramatic. One bug alone is impressive. Three bugs and you've got an infestation!

One oil can looks pretty cool, but the family portrait I find a bit more interesting.

The single pen nib is competently photographed, but the treatment I subsequently gave it makes a dramatic, slightly mysterious image, doesn't it?

One buoy on top of a pile of others implies more while focusing attention on the one. The second version of the shot isn't necessarily better, but it tells more of a story, especially with the crab pots in the background.

And then while we always see just one viewing scope, a two-fer is unusual and catches our eye.

Finally, one of these colorful toothbrushes might be a fun photo, but a grouping like this has a bit of absurdity and humor to it.

Anyway, that's the concept this month. Want to be a part of Photomotivation? Follow the link above.

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, August 20, 2018

Recent work: "Encircled in Sunlight"

Something a bit different for me -- using watercolor to make a figure of sorts there in the lower right. The rest is created using my usual things, such as part of a hand-painted enso circle, a scrap of paper that had fallen to the floor in a thrift store, scratched metal, etc. I particularly like the colors!

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, August 16, 2018

WHAT-IFFING . . . "Heading to Seattle"

In my ongoing experimentations, I ended up creating this postcard, which I like so much I uploaded it this morning to Fine Art America.

A lone tanker stood out nicely against the backdrop of Port Townsend, Washington a month or so ago. I converted it to black and white, added texture and color from a hand-painted paper, and then found an old address label from a vintage envelope to slap onto the front.

(I looked up the person, in hopes of maybe learning something about her, but had no luck. Sometimes I do, however, and it's fun to follow the threads back in time.)

The name of the addressee sounded Scandinavian, so I found an old stamp from Denmark in my collection that had birds on it, put it on top of an old stamp from Japan, also with birds on it. And then I added a cancellation stamp from Copenhagen, Denmark. A few other bits here and there and I considered it done.

I now have a gallery of almost 100 mail-oriented pictures at Fine Art America, and if you'd like to take a look, here's the link:

https://carol-leigh.pixels.com/collections/mail+art

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, August 14, 2018

WHAT-IFFING . . . "Guido the Gull"


As I was deleting photos from my drives that should have been deleted years ago, I stopped at this one, taken in Astoria along the Columbia River, as I was waiting for a cargo ship to come into range.

(And what is it about gulls that we feel compelled to photograph them all the time? Just because they're there?)

Anyway, here you can see the original, untweaked photo, straight out of the camera. It's awful. Bad lighting, no catchlight in the eye, just a gull standing in dead grass.

As I was about to "move to trash," I stopped. And wondered, "what if?" What if I used some filters in Photoshop? What if I used some Topaz effects? What if I just played around with this bad picture?

So many times I have a plan of sorts, or a routine, or just a way of processing my pictures. And I often wonder "what if" I did something else. But no, I'm on a particular quest and that can wait for some other time.

That time is now. I'm going to make an effort to research what some of these other features are in Photoshop. Features I see every day but never take the time to explore.

So here we have Guido the Gull, a bored bird sitting there, hoping I'll toss him something edible. Bad photo. But then I went into Photoshop and played with a few filters, then into Topaz and played with a few more, and then back to Photoshop and did some other things.

And here's the result. Is it wonderful? No. Is it different? Yes. Do I remember how I made this? Sorta, if I go back to the original file and take a look at my layers. Was it fun? Heck yes! And will I keep this version? Yes (sigh). Perhaps for a few years, when I'll look back and wonder what the heck was I thinking?

I shall try to make what-iffing a part of my regular routine. (Yeah, like there's a regular routine.) And if not now, then when?

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, August 13, 2018

What I'm working on . . . KIMONO WRAPPER



I have an 1828 wrapper for a kimono that is gloriously soft and weathered and yet sturdy.

I have photographed various bits and pieces of the wrapper and then have combined those bits and pieces to create a variety of photomontages, montages that are slightly different, yet honor the spirit of the object.

The wrapper is made of old, used boro paper, multiple layers pasted together so that it's thick and very soft. I'm reveling in what this kimono wrapping paper is offering, and I hope you enjoy seeing my interpretations of 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.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The art of fishing




Lately there's been a bit of housecleaning at Fine Art America. I'm slowly removing some pictures that I don't feel are my best, as well as adding more to the mix.

These four were added recently. My "art of fishing" images sell well at FAA, so why not include a few more choices in the mix?

The top two came from the Oregon coast, and the lower two (actually the same photo, but one is a square, the other full-frame) came from Seattle.

Can't get enough of this stuff! Color and grunge. What's not to love?

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, August 3, 2018

What I'm working on: BUNKER ART


There’s one project I’ve been working on for years, and it revolves around photographing military bunkers and forts throughout the Pacific northwest. The subject matter is usually considered strange, the pictures are mostly abstract, and the colors are mottled and subdued. But my heart races when I go out to shoot, which tells me I’m doing the right thing.

Why is this project a good idea? Because it gives me a purpose. At the end of all this, maybe there will be a book, a gallery exhibit, a photo essay. Or not. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I have a focus, one that makes me explore the wonders of black and white photography rather than the instant gratification of color.

And it makes me happy.

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, August 2, 2018

What I'm working on: MADRONE TREE BARK



This is my summer project since it's rather weather dependent. Madrone trees are often tough to get to, and rain makes the job even tougher. So summer's my main window of opportunity.

But not TOO summery, because harsh sunlight can create dappled shadows, which aren't necessarily good for this project.

(But it's also tick season, and as I waded through weeds the other day, I got my first one. Ick! Luckily I saw it on my leg, a black spot smaller than the head of a pin. He'd taken a bite, was easy to remove, leaving a tiny red bump. He's now stuck to a Band-Aid, inside a little box, inside a plastic baggie. Why? Just in case this red bump gets bigger and I need the guy checked for some nefarious disease. Did I mention ick?)

So high overcast light is ideal: a little bit of shading, a little bit of shadowing, a little more light over here, and I've got depth, darkness, texture, and a glow.

The weather report decides what I work on that day. If the weather doesn't cooperate, no worries. I've got four other projects in progress. And I'll talk about the next one in the next post.

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, July 26, 2018

Frank Lloyd Wright with a Japanese Vibe


One photograph, two different versions. My first (and so far only) visit to Kyoto was overwhelming. Everything new yet familiar, but mostly new. My photography style was definitely familiar, as I moved past the big scenes and instead concentrated on the more intimate views.

Walking past a building, I was struck by the strong, linear look of the facade. Horizontal bits were supported and connected with sturdy vertical elements. Those straight lines were softened somewhat by the wave-like designs on the overhangs.

So when I was processing this picture, I was struck by how it had a Frank Lloyd Wright “prairie style” feel — all those long horizontal lines.

Then I wondered how the picture would look if I “squarified” it, reduced it down to its bare bones by cropping out what might be the non-essential elements.

Well, hello. When I look at the square version, and soften my gaze, the image brings to mind torii gates, which seems appropriate given that the building is Japanese after all.

Which one do I like more? It’s a toss-up. In a way, the horizontal picture brings to mind tatami mat floors, looking down on them from above. And the right-left movement is languid and serene, which can be considered a Japanese vibe.

The square picture is much more straightforward, no room to dally here, but definitely has a Japanese torii gate feel to it, structured yet elegant.

So there you go. Japanese/prairie fusion.

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, July 12, 2018

It's a Ford . . . an old one


A couple more images from the old cars we saw on our exploration to Port Angeles. Unless tended to daily, old cars just don't stand a chance against the environment here in the Pacific Northwest. And for a photographer like me, that's very good news . . .

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, July 10, 2018

Artistic slumps




For me, the only way to work myself out of an artistic block is just to keep working, not worrying if what I'm making is awful, doesn't work, and/or is total garbage.

The key is to keep on creating, experimenting, asking myself "what if?" Easy for me to say. Harder to do without getting bummed out, thinking I'm a terrible artist.

Here's a series of four pictures I made this morning, going from the original to three other versions.

What's my point? We all go through this. We all get down on ourselves, seeing what everybody ELSE is producing, seemingly effortlessly, so what's wrong with ME?

And even though you see me posting decent pictures all the time, and you think it's easy for me, and OMG, look at the VARIETY of what I create, it's kind of a facade. I have a lot of images to draw from. And I DO create almost daily. But trust me when I say I'm in a huge slump right now.

My computer is full, my DROBO is full, my external drives are rapidly filling up, and I cannot add more drives because I've run out of USB ports. THE COMPUTER IS SLOWING DOWN AND I'M TIRED OF JUST SITTING HERE STARING AT A MONITOR!

See what I mean? You may be facing all these same challenges PLUS you may have a job to go to, kids/grandkids to take care of, or health issues. So you may be even more depressed than I.

My only suggestion is to just keep working. Do not quit. Eventually you'll emerge out the other side, creating interesting, wonderful, and unique art.

That slump is going to come around again though. But next time maybe you (and I) will be better equipped to deal with 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.