Thursday, May 28, 2020

Vividly [an ambiguous color]

One of the visible limits of digital sensors is their struggle with intense red-violet-fuchsia colors, which never seem quite right in the image.  This is pretty close to how it looked, though I believe that is because it was in part shade.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Holiday colors

If I go too long without painting, I kind of forget how, and have to teach myself again with simple exercises.  It's awkward, really.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Feeling “mallow”

I hadn't really noticed the tiny hairs in the center between the petals before...  The buds are interestingly shaped as pods, and the petals are rolled up beautifully...  I keep thinking that it must be difficult to grow such delicate, separate layers when they are so tightly wound, but plants are great at it!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Triangle testing

I exhausted my supply of letter-sized photo paper, and finally got a new order in.  What better way to test it than with some abstract, software-derived, photo-based compositions?

Conclusions: the paper is good. 44 lbs / 165 g weight holds the ink much better than my prior selections.  I wish I'd increased the resolution of some of these abstracts sooner (I had intended to print them very small when I first started generating them).  I've used a couple as the back of stationery recently, and if I keep that up, I should really consider having my printer do a run of them for me, because this is a lot of photo-quality, archival ink!  Yes, I really do sit around, converting photos into triangles.  Yes, it is rather therapeutic, now that you mention it.  

Friday, May 15, 2020

Halos of detail

I like to show the flowers on these succulents as a sort of carpet, but they are interesting up close as well!

Early summer color

Yes, I left the house today. 

Yes, it felt strange.  I've been indoors engaging in self-quarantine / shelter-in-place to quite successfully minimize the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infections for TEN WEEKS now, going out only for essential supplies, and just twice for exercise.  So, I am well-supplied, but also in terrible physical shape!

Here are some plants within half an hour's walking distance of my house, from various domestic gardens in my area.  

Unfurling of the bottle brush

I've always founds plants in the Callistemon family to look rather "messy," as many shrubs that grow upward and then have hanging branches look to me.  (Yes, I'm in some European-style garden, talking to other plants with similar structure in an encouraging tone: "Weeping willow, pull yourself together!") 

I do like the way the buds unfurl to show all those wild stamens, though.  The complexity of those buds, with so many separate bits growing together, coiled tightly, is impressive. 

So here is a set of three images showing the buds when they first begin to open, as the stamens spread, and when they are completely out.  I like them more up close than I do from afar!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Cupping the sun (succulent-ly)

Cotton swab buds

So soft!

Fancy protea


Golden light

Boathouse and hills

San Francisco has some great public parks!  Which are largely closed, but not REALLY closed.

During the health order, we are supposed to stay within walking distance of home.  For those of us who used to walk 7 miles a day, that is limiting, but not completely oppressive...  though I miss many of my favorite walking spots that are usually a streetcar away.  (My streetcar stopped running during the health order.)

There are signs up all around this lake encouraging us to take precautions: to exercise alone, to not play sports that involve sharing a ball, and to keep at least six feet away from others.  We did a reasonably good job, I think.

Wide open spaces

I left the house and went for a long walk for the first time in... seven weeks?  Yes, I think so.  SEVEN WEEKS.  I had been a 10-11k daily step count person before the pandemic.  But staying at home, that dropped down to 2-3k. 

I've missed the outside world.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Altering reality: adventures with photo software

In the evenings, to take my mind completely off of my job, I have been using the same digital software I use to make holiday cards to play with architectural and geometric images.

I have been having fun.  Perhaps too much fun.  (As if there is any such thing.) I'm learning new things!

Here are links to recent experiments: first up, a very new version of New York City's most dramatic PATH station, with an imaginary (and very still) reflecting pool:

Digitally Altered: Oculus

Digital fun with New York City's most dramatic PATH station.

Fun with some beautiful plaster columns carved by Moroccan artisans in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Digitally Altered: Moroccan Plaster

The Metropolitan Museum in New York has a spectacular Moroccan courtyard (indoors), which has some remarkable plaster work created by craftsmen on site. (Many of their impressive installations were created by living artists who were paid to do the work, which makes me heart sing.) The detailing is completely beautiful.

And lastly, some heavily modified Korean palaces and temples I photographed in Seoul, and modified a few nights ago here at home.

Digitally Altered: Grand Palaces and Temples

To relax after work, I turn wide pavilions into narrow ones. These images were taken in Seoul, in both the Gyeongbokgung complex and (for one particular set of details) on the grounds of the Buddhist temple headquarters. I've exaggerated the colors with filters to break my subdued color habits.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Spring continues

I went outside to buy groceries earlier this week!  While sweating inside my mask, I spotted these irises, which are blooming happily, and not sweating under a mask at all.

Irises arrive late spring/early summer around here.

It was difficult to compose this image, because the irises and some native wildflowers sit in a deep drainage basin that helps prevent localized flooding near the base of my hill, but the basin also (unintentionally) collects plastic bags and discarded face masks.  'Lots of cropping happening here to eliminate those.  (Now is NOT the time to go touching discarded medical masks on the street for the sake of composition.)

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter photo bouquet

These flower are in spring-like, happy, pagan Easter colors, and I enjoyed them in place of candy today (which I have been resisting, so there is none in the house). 

It feels good to see something bright and natural, and to enjoy it with enthusiasm...  Life is complicated for humans right now, due to unwise human behavior, and so little celebrations of being alive are appropriate.  Really, little celebrations of being alive are ALWAYS appropriate, there is just more to contrast that with right now...

Wishing everyone safe and healthy spring holidays!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Closer. No, closer.

I have lots of images like this in my archive, though the better ones are zoomed in beyond recognition, and show abstract colors in film grain...

Calla curves, detail

Yes, it was still raining.  We need the water desperately after the driest February in 150 years.

Wet calla

I went outside as far as my garden today.  And got my shoes wet.