Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two Ravens

I was hoping to find ravens in Santa Fe and I wasn't disappointed. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, May 30, 2011

Light and Shadow

It's been said so many times, and said so much better than I can say, but the quality of the light is what delights in Santa Fe. On an overcast day, colors glow, but on a bright sunny day, the shadows become the strong components in compositions.

In the first photo, a vertical striping appears, with bold shadows alternating with warm-colored adobe walls. In the shade of that same building, a silvery-metallic tree trunk contrasts beautifully with the golden wall behind it.

During a walk around town at sunset, strong shadows create a lovely glow.

Early morning light offers our photo group a brilliant blue sky that echoes the colors of the window and the post. The post stands out most bluefully against the dark shadow.

And finally, a weathered door gleams on the shady side of a little street.

We learned to pay more attention to the light. If the sun's too bright on something, look for other things in the shadows. If the shadows are big and bold, incorporate them in your image, making them an intrinsic part of the compositional design. Over and over and over again . . . ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Back from Santa Fe

It's quite a contrast, leaving an environment that's arid and brown and arriving to lushness and green. Each has its own beauty. Have begun transferring images from the laptop into the desktop to see what I really have to work with.

This one is dark, I realize, but it's supposed to be. When I make it any lighter, it loses its mystery. I may change it later, but for now, this is the way it stands. Much more to follow as I get back into my work routine. (Ha! Like I even have a routine!)

Happy birthday to me. Growing older and perhaps just a little wiser. Mortality looming large. Feverish rush to do as much as I can while I can yet simultaneously learning to slow down and savor the moment, like this quiet starry night in New Mexico. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Playing in the surf

I can hear you now ... "Gasp! She NEVER takes pictures of PEOPLE!" Well, what can I say ... I've been moving pictures around, saving, deleting, and I came across this photo of a little boy running away from a wave that I took last November in Florida. What I particularly like is the feeling of movement, of motion, of PLAY. Perhaps in five years I'll have yet ANOTHER people photo! ©Carol Leigh

Friday, May 20, 2011

Walking Crow

Some of these images come together quickly. This one took days. Combinations of my own hand-painted backgrounds, torn paper, tape, a weathered box and more all appear here in one form or another.

We are off to Santa Fe to conduct a photo workshop. Unlike this walking crow, we're flying, and are eager to explore the area in spring, rather than in fall as we've always done before.

Familiar territory, different season, new artistic skills ... doesn't get much better than this. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Macro/Close-Up class begins June 1

My online class, "Close-Up and Macro Photography for Beginning to Intermediate Photographers," begins June 1. Here you can see photos I took for my dreaded "Ice" assignment, but we won't be doing that one this year — I've found something else that's a bit easier and is still lots of fun. But isn't this ice cool? The bottom one looks kind of like a whale's head...

I've set up a private group for my students, and that's where I post all my lessons, critiques, comments, photos, and where all the students post their work, their comments, questions, etc. I post a lesson each week and then students have two weeks to post their results for comments and critique.

It's casual, fun, not overly technical, and inspires you to try new things, be aware of what you and your camera are doing, and, most of all, to SEE.

The registration fee is $180 for the two-month class. Here's the link to the registration page: http://www.shop.carolleigh.net/product.sc?productId=32&categoryId=3

©Carol Leigh

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Working on yet another series . . .

A number of years ago I made a bunch of mini-collages using maps, postage stamps, rubber stamps, paint, paint chips, etc. Each one-of-a-kind collage featured the same size and shape heart, each one cut out by me.

The other day I photographed each mini-collage, brought the photos into the computer, and then incorporated more items and techniques into the mix.

I think I have about 30 of these mini-collages and now, using the computer, have sometimes six or seven different versions of EACH ONE. I am awash in these things!

My head is spinning. Not only do I have hundreds more ideas for my mini-collages, but I discovered something ELSE while photographing this morning that looks VERY cool as well, taking me in a slightly different direction which I'll share with you later. It involves a lot of drawing on my part.

And now what do I do with all this STUFF? My computer is bursting with images. I need to stop and make some decisions, but my head is filled with ideas that I just have to work on. For me, the joy is in the process, the exploration, and the sharing with you. You'd think my house would be filled with prints on the wall, wouldn't you? But nope. Greeting cards? Nope. My joy comes from the experimentation, the creation, and from seeing the finished product.

In the meantime, aren't these kind of cool? I like the common denominator of the heart that links each one to the next, but each one has a completely different look. I've got versions that are very subtle and almost monochromatic, kind of like the fourth one down. I've got others that are more earth-toned and muted. And then I have some (as you see here) that are quite colorful.

Insanity reigns. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, May 13, 2011


Boy, this one looks so muted after the riot of color in my previous posts. While cleaning up my studio, I came across this pressed four-leaf clover, so I set it on the appropriate page in a dictionary and used a macro lens to photograph the whole thing. A wide-open aperture limited the depth of field nicely. Texture and grunge added later. And how lucky was I to have found this four-leaf clover?! Better than finding a rabbit's foot ... now that would be creepy. Happy Friday the 13th! ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The colors of summer: two more

I am enjoying this process so much! Here are two more and then I'll hold back for awhile as I continue experimenting. But don't you just love the colors? The texture? The painterly look? Just when I think I'm going nowhere with my work, things like this appear. ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The colors of summer

Kind of a new look for me. Am loving the colors. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, May 9, 2011


When I saw this crow the other day I immediately photographed him, loving the way I caught him mid-stride as he walked along a fence. I then combined that photo with other photographs I've taken, such as string, a boat reflection, a painterly background, a hot air balloon, and more, to come up with this. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, May 7, 2011


This little coastal town is economizing by not including spaces in their signage. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, May 6, 2011

May in Oregon

We have been out working, putting together a photographer's guide to the southern Oregon coast, and what a great time to be here! I think May is probably the prettiest month in our neck of the woods. Trees are turning a beautiful shade of fresh green, the rhododendrons are beginning to do their thing, and there aren't too many tourists yet on the roads. The weather's really iffy, but in between huge wind gusts and raindrops, things look pretty good. The scene around this coastal lake gives you some idea. Wishing we could send some of our rain to you folks in Texas . . . ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Yesterday's "S" and today's "T" are a couple of my more favorite letter montages of late. I found the raggedy corrugated "T" in a gutter in Tucumcari, New Mexico and had to bring it home to do something with it. A photo of an old telegram from Western Union as well as a photo of Braille detail on old paper were added to the mix. I. Love. This. Process. ©Carol Leigh

Monday, May 2, 2011

"S" is for "Shrimp"

The alphabet game continues with this very cool "S" I found on a building in Florida. Love the red/yellow color combo. ©Carol Leigh