Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Brand new MINI-DEVELOPING YOUR CREATIVE EDGE online class coming up

I've got a new online photo class for you, four lessons spanning six weeks, begins September 27, 2013 and ends November 15, 2013.

As usual, the lessons/assignments are relatively easy, can be done using natural light, and can even be done using a cellphone camera if you wish!

It's about time I came up with some new lessons, so here they are and it all begins toward the end of September. Registration fee: $85. You in?

Here's a link to my online store: http://shop.carolleigh.net

Looking forward to working with you again!

Carol Leigh

Monday, July 29, 2013

Through a Train Window

A row of trees blurs beautifully, seen through a moving window. I like the soft, sort of "Arts and Craft Movement" look. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Latest work: "East Meets West"

On March 11, 2011, the Tohoku earthquake resulted in 16,000 deaths in Japan and a tsunami wave that destroyed property, some of it making its way east across the Pacific and washing ashore in Oregon. The first of this tsunami debris was an enormous cement dock that landed on Agate Beach in Newport on June 5, 2012. I photographed some of the dock's cement texture and combined it with other photos I'd taken of peeling paint on a fishing boat, paint splatters on docks, and more to create this piece. I particularly like the feeling of time passing in the "sky" and the quiet movement of the dock as it floated along the current from Japan to the Oregon coast. ©Carol Leigh

Ten things I will never do...

Oh, sure, I've read all the books about becoming anything you want to be, how to be better, stronger, more efficient, more productive, smarter, faster, etc. But there comes a time in one's life when you know yourself fairly well, know how your brain works, what body style you are, your various predilections, preferences, and proclivities. And you are extremely aware of your mortality, how many good years you probably have left, etc. And you know for a fact that you truly despise liver, no matter how well they disguise it on your plate.

It's with those thoughts in mind that I present a list of things I will probably NEVER do with the little time I have remaining in this life.

1. Register for clown college. (The first week of August is International Clown Week. Yikes! I will be hiding somewhere.)
2. Eat liver.
3. Teach aerobics.
4. Become fluent in Pig Latin.
5. Teach math.
6. Play pro basketball.
7. Run a daycare center.
8. Become a lawyer.
9. Become a pole vaulter.
10. Participate in any mosquito repellent studies.

What about you? Can you make a list of ten? I'd love to read it!

©Carol Leigh

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More things on white . . .

A fan of black coral on white, and then two photos of lavender stalks on white. We're having fun with this assignment! ©Carol Leigh

On white . . .

Over in my alumni group, we're working on photographing anything against a white background. These are some images I made using (first) a wheat stalk and (second) a couple of pine cones. I like the clean, spare, Zen-like feel to this effect, don't you?

One way to do this would be to place the subject directly upon a piece of white paper, but in this case I stuck the wheat stalk and the pine cone branch into a jar and set the jar in front of a white backdrop. Light came from both left and right, and I reflected a bit of gold onto the wheat to give it some oomph.

Shooting straight down onto something poses other problems, such as how to light the subject so that you don't have harsh shadows and so that you don't block any light you may have coming down from above. Stay tuned!

©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It's a good day . . .

 . . . to be on the Oregon coast! This is what the docks looked like yesterday morning. My little playground! ©Carol Leigh

What I saw / What I made

Wandering around the docks, I spotted this netted container with a pile of beautiful blue rope and some rusty stuff. It was the color that caught my eye and I liked how the complementary orange/rust elements looked against all that blue.

I isolated the hook and used that as my focal point. At first I shot it nestled in among the ropes, but then reasoned that if the hook "hangs things," maybe I should give it some "hanging room" at the bottom. Which version is better? I'm not sure. What do you think? ©Carol Leigh

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nautical explorations

Judy, Chris and I did a lot of exploring in Newport yesterday . . . walked, walked, walked, just looking to see what we could find. Here you see the fishing vessel Thunder heading into port, a lot of fishing nets, floats, crab detail on a gate, and a sprig of ivy valiantly making its way through a crack in a fence. A good day with good people.©Carol Leigh

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Car show!

Our friend Judy T. is in town and, since she's as enthusiastic about photography as I, we headed out yesterday to do some shooting. First stop: a classic car show in Newport. Lots of cars, lots of color, lots of fun. Here you see a red 1938 Chevy Sedan and a beautiful blue 1937 Ford Sedan Slantback. We made two stops after that, but I've no time right now to prep anything else . . . more to follow! ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Latest project: TautoTelegrams

A "tautogram" is text wherein all the words begin with the same letter. I've always found this intriguing, and lately have imagined them as telegrams. With the help of Photoshop, I'm creating a series of what I call "TautoTelegrams," and will be sharing them with you here.

Why? Because I can. And because it entertains me. Can YOU come up with some? I'd love to hear them!

©Carol (carousing creatively) Leigh

Friday, July 19, 2013

Quick comment . . .

I know the word verification/spam-catcher feature that shows up when you try to comment is a pain in the butt. It's tough to make out the individual letters in the word, and the numbers are often faint. So last night I decided to deactivate it. Less than eight hours later there were 11 spam messages that had been posted to my blog. I've therefore turned the word verification feature back on. Hope you understand. —Carol Leigh

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What I saw / What I made . . .

As many of you know, I'm much better finding small details than I am at seeing the bigger picture, but here I show you the bigger picture and then show you what I zoomed in on.

Big bundles of colorful fishing nets are stacked all over in this, one of my favorite spots for photography. For some reason I never take overviews, but I walk around, carefully looking for clean, simple compositions. In the first photo, the overview, I've circled in red what caught my eye. What I made of the scene is there in the second photo. (Click to enlarge.)

What I liked about what I saw were the repeating patterns of the ropes and how they dipped and curved, all that horizontality held together by that one light blue rope in the left third of the frame. I liked, too, the one big thick rope up top and the bit of netting in the lower left. Those two elements, combined with the vertical rope, break the horizontal pattern and add a bit of interest.

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Wishing you lots of bold compositions, lines, and designs today and every day. ©Carol Leigh

Latest work: "Down the Highway"

Numerous photographs have been combined here, including texture from the side of an old bus, pages from an antique Japanese book, and my own scribbles. (Click to enlarge.) ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Latest work: "Inadvertent Calligraphy"

This piece began with a photo I took of paint splotches on the docks. I then began adding additional photos of torn papers, the inside cover of an old Japanese book, and more. If I hadn't noticed the unintentional artistry of the paint splatters, this picture couldn't have been made. But you know what I really like? That little bit of red in the upper left corner! (Click to enlarge.) ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Boatage . . .

That's pronounced bo-TAHJ, in case you were wondering . . .

Boat detail is one of my favorite subjects to shoot and, while in Alaska, I sought out boats once again. The two boat hulls were shot in Alaska, the two others (peeling paint and blue reflection of boat-and-rope) are from here on the Oregon coast. I love the abstractness of these photos as well as their square format, which seems to call attention to simple line and design. (Click to enlarge.) ©Carol Leigh

Monday, July 15, 2013

If you can't hear me . . .

. . . please raise your hand!

I've had this on my fireplace mantel for awhile and figured I should finally photograph it (it's been waving frantically for my attention for months). It's a vintage glove mold for making rubber gloves, very off-white, very weathered, so I thought I would exaggerate the weathering in the photograph. What I especially like is that little bit of light that separates the thumb from the forefinger. A small detail, but to me very important. (Click to enlarge.) ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Latest Work: "Reaching Out"

Red and turquoise is one of my favorite color combinations, and that's what I set out to create here. (Click to enlarge.) ©Carol Leigh

Friday, July 12, 2013


Instructions for living a life.

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

-- Mary Oliver

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Shipboard details

One of the first photos I took upon boarding was a detail shot of an elevator door. Beautiful carvings on the entire thing, but this flower really caught my eye.

Up early one morning right after the deck had been hosed off and I noticed these benches, specifically the reflections of the "portholes" in the water. A quiet, lovely time of day and I had the place almost entirely to myself. Ahhhhhh . . .

©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Latest work: "Ram 3589996"

I can't really describe this. It's a collage I made entirely of photographs, photos of scrapes on a boat, of the back of a cabinet card, of foreign currency, postage stamps, and more. What does it mean? Does it signify anything? I don't know. All I know is that I kept adding elements, moving them around, deleting some, until I felt it was finished. I get a peculiar pleasure looking at this picture, a kind of benign confusion, a little giggle. Have I told you lately how much I love making these? ©Carol Leigh

Monday, July 8, 2013

Watching water go by . . .

One of the more relaxing things to do at sea is to simply stand at the rail and watch the water go by . . . ommmmmmm . . . ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Latest work: "Page 63"

Envelopes, postcards, and a photo from the late 1870s. (Click to enlarge.) ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Latest work: "Sky Script"

Photos of boat hulls (surprise!), handpainted papers, calligraphic scribbles, cellophane tape, painted circles, and more come together in this heavily textured and aged montage. Available at Fine Art America. ©Carol Leigh

Compare and contrast . . .

This is what Victoria, British Columbia looked like right after sunset. Fantastic color — love the silvery blue/delicate pink combo. Now look at the black and white version — it's completely blah, completely lifeless. I processed this shot exactly the same way I've been processing my previous black and white photos. You'd think it would look better than this.

What I liked about the scene that evening were the simple land formations and the glorious color. Obviously color was the way to go for the final image, and obviously not every color photograph can successfully be converted into a decent black and white. At least not by this photographer! ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Alaska views

Continuing on with my black and white series of photos from Alaska... the coastal views were amazing traveling now from Juneau to Sitka, Glacier Bay, and Ketchikan. A snow-covered mountain peak stands alone at one point; a strange cloud formation hovers over a peak that's reflected in Glacier Bay; clouds roll over a secluded inlet; rays of light angle down above low-lying hills; a gull takes off from a small iceberg in Glacier Bay; and our ship, the Westerdam, awaits offshore as we are tendered in from Sitka, my favorite town on the trip. ©Carol Leigh