Yesterday was a very good day, selling 12 images to two different buyers.
The first 10 will be residing in a beautiful, modern condominium building in Portland, Oregon's Pearl District. They're all around 40" or so on the long side, printed on metal.
The last two are small, nicely framed, and are going off to Minnesota.
I have another post almost ready that will appear on top of this one, but at the moment, we're off to Bellingham to check out the fishing boats, have lunch, and stop at a Trader Joe's. Not a bad day at all.
A word for the upcoming year? Many are giving it thought.
My friend, Laura Lein-Svencner, has decided on NATURAL, a word that, for lots of reasons, resonates with her, has meaning for her, and will be something that’s always in the back of her mind.
So I wondered, should I have a word? A meaningful concept always floating around in my brain, consciously, or sub-?
This past year has been a challenge. I’ve always been apolitical, far removed from the fray. But this year? It’s been hard to ignore, hasn’t it? Never has politics been so repugnant, repellent, repulsive than what we saw in 2016, no matter which side you were on.
Name-calling, misogyny, bigotry, pettiness — all shoved in our faces, every minute of every day.
Where was decency, empathy, kindness, and objectivity?
It all came to a head this past week when a crony of the president-elect said the most despicable and hateful things about the outgoing president and his wife.
It made me cry in despair. And it made the word I’d chosen for 2016 come into sharp focus:
The word RISE is nothing but positive. An “upward movement.” To ascend. To go up. To do a better job.
Hot air balloons rise upward. “A rising tide floats all boats.” Rise from the ashes. Rise above expectations. Rise to the challenge. Rise to the occasion. Boost. Prosper.
Get up, stand up. The sun also rises. Sunrise. SurpRISE!
So that’s my word for 2017. RISE. Rise above the bigotry, meanness, hate, pettiness, aggression, the ordinary, the stupidity, the average. “We rise by lifting others.”
It’s a short, monosyllabic word — RISE. How hard could it be to put into practice? We shall see. In 2017, we shall see.
We had snow on Whidbey this past weekend and were trapped at home. Even though it wasn't much (relatively speaking), it was the terrain that did us in.
Our driveway is kind of steep, and with a bit of snow on it, should the car begin to slip, slowly descending the driveway could easily turn into Mr. Toad's Wild Ride down into the street.
Once on the street, one encounters the "dip." And the dip is a significant one. I've heard about one of our neighbors who puts on chains at the top of the dip and then removes them once she gets to the other side!
So we cancelled the party we had scheduled for Saturday and just hunkered down and enjoyed the show.
The top photo is our back yard as seen from the living room windows. So pretty.
And the second photo was taken from the front porch. Equally pretty.
We put out lots of birdseed, which attracted juncos, varied thrushes, towhees, kinglets, and a hawk. Who was attracted to the birds. We could tell when the hawk was near -- not one little bird to be seen.
Snow. A novel experience for us. And absolutely lovely, don't you think?
The top photo is an image I took in 2008, using a Canon EOS 20D camera. And I processed the image as I usually did back then.
Looking at it today, eight years later, I find it rather dull. But what I like about it is the strong vertical slightly curved line and how it meets the highly curved line bottom right.
I also like the way the vents create a series of horizontal repeating lines. Horizontal lines that move your eye from top to bottom, echoing the strong vertical line on the right.
It's a combination of soft curves and straight lines. I like the texture and I like the color.
I found it in a directory I'd labeled "monochromes."
I opened the file yesterday morning and wondered what I might do to it now, eight years later.
Using Adobe Camera Raw, I lightened and brightened the image. I also increased the contrast, and, using the clarity slider, enhanced the sharpness.
Not content with that, I looked in a directory I have of metal texture photos. I selected a picture I'd taken of scratched metal, desaturated it to remove the greenish cast it had, and then added that picture to the mix.
Is the bottom photo better than the top? Eight years later, have I learned anything? I'm not sure.
The bottom image is lighter, brighter, more vibrant, has more contrast, more life.
But notice this: You see a stronger sense of line and design and composition in the top photo. Why? Because it doesn't have the color "distractions" that you see in the bottom shot.
So I'm going to go with the second photograph. Overall it's more appealing (to me). But I do like how the design pops out in the first.
What's my point? I don't really have one, other than to say it's fun to revisit old photographs with new eyes and new skills. That this learning process never ends, and how lucky we are that it doesn't?!
The other day I was rummaging through my photographs and ended up creating this.
Frankly, I don't know what I'll ever do with this picture (other than use it as a teaching tool), but it was fun to make, and here's what I used:
There are two versions of the picture -- the original vertical format and then the squarified version. Why? Because each version gives you a different feel.
In the top image, there's both vertical and horizontal movement. There's a horizontal line up top, which echoes the horizontal line of the "4665" at the bottom.
Then there's the hand, which sort of links, in a vertical fashion, those two horizontal elements.
The square version does not emphasize movement. Your eye goes plonk, right to the hand/number combo. It looks around a little bit, but always sees the numbers and the hand. Not nearly as much movement as the first picture, but rather immediate impact.
There are basically just three pictures I used to make this. And I found them all in a boatyard.
First, there's the background, which is a photo I took of the side of a boat that was being refurbished, so you're seeing scraped and sanded paint, dirt, grunge, grime, and a number of dusty, faded colors.
I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING THIS SORT OF THING!
Then there's the hand. I think it's really a painted glove that someone slapped on a wall.
And then there are the numbers, which caught my eye because they're pulling away from whatever they're stuck on, which gives them a certain depth and texture. Didn't need all the numbers; four worked fine.
And that's about it. I've shown you the sorts of things I take photos of, and then how I've combined them into one semi-weird photo that darned if I know what I'll do with.
But there's a problem, and you may know the answer.
I have a lot of images in my iPhone 6+ that I want to download into my Mac Mini. I usually do this via a WiFi connection and software called, I believe, Photo Transfer.
This requires a fair amount of data being transferred out of my phone and then into my computer. I'm sensitive to data these days (ad nauseum), and to send and then receive more than a gigabyte of data impacts my limited data plan.
Is there a way to physically download/upload my cellphone photos without using WiFi? Maybe even from the cellphone to a flash drive, and then from the flash drive into the desktop computer? That way I could use the WiFi at the library or a local restaurant, then bring the flash drive home to do the rest.
Any suggestions would be most welcome!
NOTE: I figured it out (thanks to Chris). Adobe Bridge has an import feature. All I do is plug my camera's USB into the Mac Mini. Open Bridge. Import photos from my phone. Easy. It was Chris who suggested using the USB cable. I found the rest (after struggling with iPhoto for way too long -- do NOT like that application and just wanted to get my photos OUT of there). I don't use iPhoto at all, considering it a snare and a delusion. End of min-rant. All is well photo-wise. And it's 31 degrees at the moment. Winter has arrived.
For this photomontage I combined photographs of Japanese lettering, a
painted piece of paper where I’d scraped the paint away, and part of a
"cigar store Indian" statue. The warm colors appeal to me, as do the
scratches, scrapes, and bits of red.
Everybody's gonna be saying it: "December already? This year's gone by so fast!"
So I won't say it.
The Winter Solstice is coming up. I was reading about it, what people do to celebrate it. And a lot of it has to do with contemplation, quiet, and simplicity.
The irony was that so many of the websites I visited to research Winter Solstice were packed with ads, encouraging me to simplify by purchasing books about simplification. Ads that blinked, changed colors, jiggled up and down, desperately wanting my attention so I would buy their products.
"Please, Carol, buy more so you can simplify your life!"
But what if I have no more room in my bookcases for yet another book? Well, then, there are links to Ikea, where I apparently have a huge selection of bookcases to choose from. Yes, maybe another bookcase will simplify my life!
But what if I have no space in my house for one more bookcase? Well, there are hundreds of DIY books all about home additions. Obviously I'll need some power tools. . .
Gotta love this Winter Solstice holiday. I'm going to relax, contemplate, and simplify. But first, I have some major shopping to do . . .
I took a look at all the photos I've posted in the month of November over the past eight years and selected one from each November for each year. (What a confusing sentence. Darned if I'm going to edit it, though.)
In 2009 snow covered a still-blooming fuchsia bush as well as a cute little birdhouse in our back yard in Waldport, Oregon.
Another year I was out on the beach in Oregon, looking for patterns in the sand. That's one of the big things I miss here on Whidbey Island -- big empty beaches. Miles to walk, and if there were four people out there, it was crowded! There are lots of beaches here, too, but many are private, others are smaller. No huge expanses of sand during minus tides. Not a complaint! Just something I miss.
Below that is a photo taken at the Seal Rock overlook in Oregon. A long exposure helped emphasize water movement and the spray from the waves.
And the fishing boats in Newport, Oregon? I miss them, too, although I've found a few extremely cool places here in Washington to photograph. Just takes a bit more driving to get to them. The fishing vessel "Finn" looks pretty good there on a foggy morning.
Below "Finn" is a photomontage I made out of paper and copper and rusty metal that I call "Northern Lights."
The weird photomontage below that is called "And the Rains Came." I would have to go back to see all the elements I used to create it. But I do remember that the vertical "raindrops" came from a photograph I took of a carved and painted wooden support pole in Santa Fe. Gotta say, the results surprised me. In a good way.
The sepia-toned image is the Coupeville Wharf, taken in 2015 when we moved here to Whidbey Island.
And this year's November shot is called "Experiment #9504." An ongoing series that is simply fun at the moment.
So there you have it. November's been a pretty good month photographically over the years.
Yup, my iPhone camera no longer focuses. Taking it in next week to have it looked at/replaced. In the meantime, feeling grateful today for friends, love, and the fact that I have a couple DSLRs to turn to!
Thankful, too, that I saw this graffiti on a train years ago that I could pull up and use in this space.