Sunday, April 29, 2012

Most recent work: Across the Board

I'll often begin with a concept, a design, a color palette and then start adding images, deleting some, moving things around, until the piece is finally "done." Here I used various torn and weathered papers, a rabbit from a vintage Players cigarette card, an Egyptian falcon, reflections, the bottom part of a red heart, and more. ©Carol Leigh, sad that the flowers in the previous post were eaten by deer the next day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A soft spring

This is one of the few flowers the deer don't eat, thus giving me a chance to do some photography. I used a 100mm macro lens, a 50mm lens, and some extension tubes to move in close. I also purposely overexposed by 1.3 to 2 stops to make things look lighter and brighter. A very wide aperture (f/1.7 to f/2.8) created shallow depth of field, making everything look soft.  ©Carol Leigh, who wishes all it took was a little overexposure to make her look lighter and brighter!

P.S. An accompanying haiku:

soft in spring's new light
the flowers arrive (again)
reaching toward the sun

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Three squares

Chris and I headed down the coast yesterday because (a) it wasn't raining, (b) it was actually sunny, (c) we could, (d) I needed to check out my camera which recently has been repaired, and (e) I knew some cool texture locations I wanted to revisit and shoot.

It was a wonderful day.

We had lunch outside in the sun at a favorite restaurant, the Schooner Inn Cafe in Reedsport. Their fresh Dungeness crab salad was full of big pieces of crab meat, fresh spinach, cherry tomatoes, and more.

Then on down the coast to see what we could see. Found this #7 at a gas station, the checkerboard-like side of a building in Reedsport, and then a close-up of texture on the side of a boat in Charleston.

I turned each of these images into squares because even though they were fairly spare and simple to begin with, the squarification process simplified them even more and emphasized the feeling of line and design and movement. And because I could.

Good day. Good photography. Good company. And sun.

©Carol Leigh, wishing you all good days such as this

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Movie Theatre Day!

Take the day off. Go see a movie. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Landscapes in the metal

I photograph a lot of scratched metal, from fishing boat hulls to dumpsters to enormous containers that fit inside the holds of boats. And when I do, I tend to find bits and pieces that are like little landscapes, primarily based upon a strong "horizon line." Most of these photos were actually shot as verticals, knowing that later I'd rotate them to form a more traditional landscape.

Here you see how a welded seam turns into a sort of "crashing wave with rocks and mountains," how the marks on a fishing boat hull turn into a sky full of birds, how rivulets of rust become layers of hills moving into the distance, how scratches and gouges on a fishing boat could look like a sailboat race, and then how two of the photos look when blended together.

When we are wandering about with our cameras, it behooves us to ask, "what does this look like?" when choosing what to photograph. There are landscapes beyond the obvious, just waiting to be seen.

©Carol Leigh, just waiting to be seen . . .

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Back to school . . .

I'm working on a commercial series of photomontages designed for teachers/students, each one revolving around a particular subject. Here's one for Biology and another for Science. Upcoming montages will focus on Astronomy, Arithmetic, History, Reading, etc. They're extraordinarily time-consuming to make, but fun, and I'm selling them via Fine Art America.

©Carol Leigh

Friday, April 20, 2012

What I've been working on ...

The past couple of days I've created something new, something less new, and something old. The first photo, an old one taken April 12, 2005, shows what a wonderful year it was for wildflowers in San Luis Obispo County. The sweep of yellow, the dotting of purple lupines, and the big old oak tree are what caught my eye.

The second photo depicts a couple of trees I shot on a hillside outside of Sonoma.

And finally, a photomontage I created this morning depicting various Japanese papers, a vintage stamp, torn paper from an old Japanese book, and more. I uploaded this one and the wildflower photo to Fine Art America, gradually building up my repertoire there.

Wishing you an equally creative weekend! ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's National Haiku Poetry Day

Wondering what to post this morning. I riffle through all the official celebrations for April 17th. Aha! It's National Haiku Poetry Day. So first I have to look at the structure of a haiku. Three lines. Five syllables in the first, seven in the second, five in the third.

Now, what to write? I sit at my desk. Listening to the quiet.  All I can hear is the clock in this room ticking. But I can also hear, on the other side of the wall, the clock ticking in my studio. Two clocks. But they're not ticking in unison.

Now, what about a photo? This one seems appropriate. Weird, but appropriate. 

I haven't written a haiku since I was in college. So here's my first try after X number of years . . .

hearing two clocks tick
in asynchronous rhythm
follow the slower

©Carol Leigh, who would love to read whatever haiku YOU create today . . .

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Gathering energy

This vine clings to a stucco wall in San Diego over the winter. Leaves gone. Waiting. Gathering energy for the upcoming spring leafing-out. I think we all go through these dormant spells where we drop our leaves, gather our energies, and then in spring we burst out afresh, ready to take on new challenges, new directions, new possibilities. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, April 13, 2012

Photomontage: "From Books"

As is typical, I've photographed some of my physical collages, some stamps (thank you, Kathleen A.), torn papers, pages from old books, boat reflections, ink stains, and more to put this photomontage together. It's a fun, never-ending, always changing process. ©Carol Leigh, whose work is available at Fine Art America.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


My online macro class ends today, and our last lesson was "money." It's amazing what you can find to photograph on currency when you really start looking and move in close. Here are six photos I took of a bill from Myanmar. Why can't U.S. currency look as good as this? ©Carol Leigh

Friday, April 6, 2012

Photomontages du jour

These are two photomontages I created this week and uploaded to my website at Fine Art America. The top picture features a 1922 Japanese postage stamp as a focal point and the bottom one, a seed pod I gathered last year at a rest stop in Tennessee. Have a terrific weekend, everybody.

©Carol Leigh, who could do this sort of thing every day

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's that time of year . . .

At least I know our government is using my money wisely (cough).

©Carol Leigh

Monday, April 2, 2012

A good day

When it rains, we wonder why the heck are we still living here. But when it's a day like today, with the overcast gradually giving way to sunshine and cool breezes, life's pretty good. We had a bunch of errands to run, but first we took a walk along Newport's Historic Bayfront, chatting with store owners, checking out the sea lions, gazing across at all the big white ships lined up at the NOAA docks, etc.

We had lunch at Canyon Way and talked with a guy at the next table from Idaho, here on vacation, away from his regular job which is putting out forest fires using helicopters. Interesting guy, good sense of humor, but not optimistic about the upcoming fire season.

We also took care of business, picked up some supplies, and then leisurely headed back home, where we enjoyed more sun, more time outside.

Contrast is everything. If we didn't have so much rain (36 inches so far this year, but who's counting?) would we appreciate the sun breaks so much? (I'd like to think so.)

But what cemented our "we're happy to be living here" frame of mind today was watching the osprey fly directly overhead, a fish flapping in its talons, seeing the seals sprawled out on the rocks just offshore at eponymously named Seal Rock, and noticing a brown pelican, optimistically still in his breeding plumage, sitting on a dock.

The photography wasn't so great, but it didn't matter. Here you see the top of Gino's Restaurant with a big mural directly behind it. And then a little sign in the whale watch window welcoming NOAA to their new home port here in Newport. Sunshine, good conversation, an osprey, a few seals ... life is good.

©Carol "it's supposed to rain tomorrow" Leigh