Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I found the "T" on a lid to something along the docks in Charleston, Oregon. To that I added a photograph I took of the handle on an old boat door that was on the ground in Newport, Oregon. Then I added photos of scratches, this and that, and it all comes together here in its grungy glory. I can see you shaking your head. I know. I'm weird. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, August 30, 2010

Opposites attract

Repeating soft swoops caught my eye in this first photo, and I like how the rusted and weathered cables stand out against the monochromatic texture in the background. The next photo is completely the opposite, with lively citrus-colored floats and blue/sea-green netting. The dark black asphalt gives the light colors and the lacy-patterned nets a sense of grounded-ness. And then in the third photo, a yellow textured rope holds together the bright green and bright blue bundles of nets.

This is what I love about living on the Oregon coast -- access to colors and textures and weathered things all glowing in soft light. But then, too, I love the look of a harbor full of fishing boats, offshore sea stacks in the fog, the barking of sea lions, and the delightful surprise of seeing a bald eagle or an osprey soaring overhead.

In a couple of weeks the 34-foot motorhomes towing their Suburbans will be gone, coastal beaches will empty, and life will become quiet once more. For two nights in a row, around 10 p.m., I've heard large flocks of Canada geese heading south. Is this going to be an early winter? Or is their GPS unit out of order? "Recalculating . . ." ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Well, the goal was to get Chris a pair of shoes ...

As usual, a quick trip up the coast to run some errands turned into an all-afternoon adventure as we passed an antique car show south of Lincoln City, right on the bay. Alas, we got there as they were handing out awards, so only had about 20 minutes to shoot until everybody peeled out. Not complaining however -- I'll take 20 minutes at a car show any time!

David and Letty from Grass Valley were in town and so later we photographed fishing nets and buoys and more . . . Haven't processed those photos yet, so more to follow. And no, Chris never got those shoes! ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Hearty" Saguaro

Again, going back through older images (this one from 2008) with new eyes and ideas. ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You never know ...

This was a throw-away photo. I took it because I liked how the rope suspended the gourd and wanted to do the same thing at home. So I took the photo for Chris to look at because he's good at ropes and knots and things. I knew the background would be blown out but that was okay because it was just a model for Chris. Well, this morning, looking at some of my older photos with new eyes and new skills, I figured hmmmm ... what if I add some texture and turn it into more of a sepia-toned shot? How would THAT look?

Ah, the power of "what if!" ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Barn in the Palouse

The two things I like about this photo, taken a couple of years ago in the Palouse, are:

1) How the upward-rising peak of the barn echoes the upward-rising cloud formation in the background; and

2) How the three light patches in the image create a triangle. There's the lightness on the roof of the barn, the lightness of the cloud rising upward, and the lightness on the ground just to the lower right corner of the barn. Those three light areas lead my eye around the frame and create a sense of movement. ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Two fledgling sparrows (finches?) hunker down on the rail of our front deck, patiently waiting for mom to arrive with food. I'm shooting through the kitchen window using a 70-200mm lens. I combined the original image with a photograph of scratched metal and then applied a sepia treatment. It's pretty in a grungy, old-fashioned sort of way. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Palm Tree

Weird, but I like it. ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, August 19, 2010


It's been a productive morning. Two photomontages made already today, and it's only 5:30! I love this one. The elements are from photographs I took in Mexico, Tucson, Los Angeles, and Oregon. They consist of a ripped poster, an arrow from an airplane, wood on a fishing boat, torn paper in an old Japanese book, an L.A. sidewalk, and reflections in water. Is this not cool, or what? And now I think I'll go back to bed... ©Carol Leigh

SF Municipal Railway

Everything here was photographed at a bus salvage yard, where there was lots of scratched and weathered metal, plus numbers, peeling paint, rivets, insignias, etc. Whoo hoo! ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

All together now ...

©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Good News/Bad News

I have some severe limitations as a photographer. I don't photograph people -- too scary, makes me too nervous, and I once dropped my camera I was so shaky! And I don't seem to be able to recognize and capture the "big picture." Rarely do I take landscape images, overviews, street scenes, etc. I don't notice them, they don't excite me, and my results are simply average. That's the bad news.

The good news is that I have an eye for detail. I notice and take pleasure in finding small things, ordinary things, trivial things, and turning them into little jewels for display. I can take a wallpaper brush and make something of it. I can take a package of colorful toothbrushes and make bold and colorful images. I can even photograph the plastic top to a blender and make it look good. So it's no surprise that on a trip to Boston, on a street lined with skyscrapers, I noticed this tiny frog that was incorporated into the architecture at the base of a tall building. It's a cute and simple shot, has good lines, good patterns of light and shadow, and is kind of different. But do I have photos of the building? Of the street? Overviews of the scene? Of course not . . . Heavy sigh . . . ©Carol Leigh

Monday, August 16, 2010

Garbage Art

Remember when I photographed trash on the beach? http://carolleigh.blogspot.com/search/label/trash

There's an artist named Angela Haseltine Pozzi down on the southern Oregon coast who has taken this to a whole new level, creating enormous sculptures of trash she's picked up on the beach. Chris and I went up to Newport Saturday to see her exhibit, which will be here through October and then moves over to the aquarium.

It's exhilarating and it's heartbreaking. She's sorted the trash into various colors and has created the giant fish you see here as well as enormous starfish, a jellyfish that hangs from the ceiling which enables you to become entwined in its tentacles, and a whale skeleton that you can walk through.

Rubber flip-flops are a huge part of ocean trash,and she shows how not only are flip-flops washing up onto the shores, but the rubber matting that the flip-flops have been punched from is also part of the mix -- manufacturers apparently just discarding everything into the sea.

Here you see a giant fish she's created as well as a couple of close-ups that show you the details, and then there's the whale skeleton.

For more information about what she does, here's a story from OregonLive.com: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/07/from_the_garbage_that_washes_u.html

©Carol Leigh

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Twilight Mesa No. 1

This one took hours and hours to create, lots of trial and error, lots of just sitting and staring, and I'm still not sure if it's finished. The "bones" of it are part of an adobe wall at Tumacacori Mission in Tucson and a window, wall, and shadow at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Jan N., your shirt appears (once again) in the lower right corner, providing me with just a hint of shading and texture. I'm getting a lot of use out of that photo! I must say, I love this piece. Just love it. The colors, the quiet feeling of it, the compositional balance -- everything works and makes me feel really good. Am thinking of turning this into a very large canvas gallery wrap image for my home. And it takes a LOT for me to consider doing that! ©Carol Leigh

Friday, August 13, 2010

If only it were this easy . . .

©Carol Leigh

Three Blue Things

When we first moved to the Oregon coast from California and I got my first digital SLR (a Canon D60), we explored a lot. One of my favorite places was a little boatyard south of here. Yesterday Chris and I revisited it and man, I could spend a WEEK there! I photographed texture, primarily, for use in my photomontages, but there were a few "regular" shots in the mix as well. Here's a selection of blue things. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Urban Squarification

Quite often I find that a rectangular image I've created looks good or even better as a square, and it's become my regular practice to examine each image I take to see if "squarifying" it is a viable alternative. Here you can see my original image, which incorporates light and shadow and color on skyscrapers, and how squarifying it creates two different/additional images. You may wish to keep this squarification concept in mind as you peruse your own images ... you may be pleasantly surprised! ©Carol Leigh

Monday, August 9, 2010

On overcast days I look for color and for detail. The diffused light makes colors glow and gleam. And it softens shadows, revealing details in nooks and crannies. So it was off to the fishing nets, where there's always something different, something colorful, and where texture is rampant.

Walking among all these piles of nets, looking, looking, looking, is (for me) not unlike the excited, anticipatory feeling of being seven again on Christmas morning. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Trip to the garden center

A very pretty day this morning, so we headed down to the Oregon Coast Garden Center — always a treat. White cosmos flowers caught my eye at first. And then Paco, the old orange garden center cat, reluctantly and with a long-suffering sigh got up and walked over to me for some scritches. Out in the parking lot there was the most dramatic cloud formation and so yeah, had to photograph that, too. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, August 6, 2010

Desert Storm (no, not THAT Desert Storm)

A scene reminiscent of Death Valley's Racetrack, created with photos of clouds, peeling paint, and more. ©Carol Leigh
Note: I'm teaching an online class, beginning September 1, 2010, showing and teaching you how I create my photomontages, images such as this one. It's a two-month class, and the registration fee is $180. To sign up, visit my online store here: http://www.shop.carolleigh.net/ Questions? Feel free to e-mail me or call me at (510) 563-3834.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

L Fresco

Rivets, glass bricks, a dumpster, and a metal tag with the letter "L" inscribed on it form this montage. I like the texture and the subdued look. ©Carol Leigh