Sunday, June 29, 2008


blue fishing boat with bright orange float, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
A couple of new/old pictures to share tonight. These are actually from a couple of months ago, but I'm just now getting to doing anything with them.

modern photograph black boat masts and blue sky
They're from a Cape Cod harbor, on one of the first warm-enough-to-be-outside days of the year. In the summer, this harbor is full of tourists, but pretty empty at that time of year. A few walkers, and a few folks working on their boats.

The boats were an odd mix, some sleek and shiny pleasure boats, a few old and rusty fishers, and some charter fishing boats in between.

nautical photograph, ropes and boats Hyannis Harbor Cape Cod MassachusettsThe colors, shapes and textures were great though. I'm really happy with how some of these came out .... except, it turns out my camera was set to low resolution, so no big enlargements. Drat! Just ACEO's

minimalist photograph blue white boat with yellow rope

Friday, June 27, 2008

New, and new!

I just added a new photograph in my Etsy Shop

black and white photograph leaf water ripplesRipple Effect

I spent ages sitting by the edge of a pond with my camera out (come to think of it, not a place to sit), trying to time it just right to get the leaf just floating on the surface of the water as it rippled out. It's a bit melancholy, but so serene.


And in other news, I'm diversifying. I've just opened up a shop with Cafe Press to try out cards etc. of my images. I'm still setting it up, but you can find Ripple Effect there too!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Colors .... and Black and White

Beautiful new treasury....

... including my tulips

orange tulip flower
MadrinPhotography curated this summer bouquet. Mandrin is a fellow etsy photographer (and jewelry maker) Her photography focuses on nature themes. These two black and whites are my favorites:


Clematis II

I work mostly in color, but its amazing how sometimes taking out the color, adds so much to a photograph.

In the first one, the silvery tones highlight the beautiful curves of the leaves and the lines of the stems and veins.

In the second, there's something I can't quite put my finger on about the composition and the contrast of the white flower against the dark leaf, that brings to mind the old botanical illustrations.

For a long time, I didn't understand why you would want to take all the beautiful colors of the world and reduce them to grays. But, done right, black and white is both beautiful, and photographically important. Composing a photograph, is mostly about deciding what to include and what to leave out, focusing on one set of visual information by leaving everything else out. Black and white focuses attention on line, shape, texture, composition that we would have missed if the eye was distracted by a bright color.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Sorry folks, life has been getting in the way of blogging lately.

For the moment, a quick update.

Thanks to everyone for their title suggestions. Based on your comments, and feed back on flickr I've decided to title the photo simply "Baffled", the most common first reaction being a fair bit of confusion.

Look for the image in my etsy shop later today!

abstract photograph metal scaffolding pieces

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Your suggestions please....

I took this photo a few days ago, and I'm so glad I was able to pull out all of the colors in the metal. (plus I think the shapes are fascinating)

abstract photo metal scaffolding pieces

The objects are couplings for scaffolding. They're planning some sort of construction on the building I work in, and so scaffolding is going up. This pile of interesting, metal shapes was lying on the grass, waiting to be assembled. Fortunately, I had my camera with me.

But, title-inspiration just isn't striking me. Short, simple, descriptive, evocative of the feel of the image... I got nothing.

So, dear readers, your suggestions. What would you title it?
And, since I believe in thanking people for their help: If I end up using your title, I'll send you a print of the image. (5x7 via etsy reserved listing)

And, just as a bonus, two other photographs of the scaffolding supplies.

abstract color photo metal scaffolding pieces

diagonal pile wood boards

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I work at a state university, and like many public universities, beautiful architecture was not a priority as it was built. Particularly, it seems, in the 60's and 70's, when bunker-esque concrete blocks were popular.

There's lots of great things about the university, but I'm not a particular fan of the architecture/campus (spoiled as I am by a private college that cared deeply about good architecture) But, I firmly believe that even atrocious architecture can have a good picture hiding somewhere, if I just hunt hard enough. So, leaving work on a beautiful early summer sunny afternoon, I brought out my camera.

The universities PR photographers tend to either focus on the more graceful, older buildings or to strategically include trees or plants to soften the angles. I didn't want to take those shots, though, I wanted to see if by embracing the angles, I could get a photograph.

black and white photograph concrete building

Some judicious cropping, the wonderful instant-elegance of black and white, a bit of contrast and, yes indeed, something interesting out of those institutional buildings. Now, these aren't my favorite photographs ever, but I'm feeling pretty happy with them, all things considered.

The trick to taking photographs like this is to be able to sort of squint your eyes and see not a building, but a collection of lines, shapes and angles. This is not unlike what painters do, reducing a scene to it elements of shape and color to be able to reassemble it on their canvas.

With the first one, it was seeing that the odd squares and windows on this building form an orderly geometric composition. If you look at it long enough, all that order is feels sort of calm.

The second, plays upon the sheer bulkiness of some of these buildings. And makes a virtue of a fault. Particularly in this high contrast arrangement of deep black shadows and strong verticals, it gets a sort of art deco/film noir/comic book feel. (I think the comic book part of that is the deep shadows mess with your sense of perspective and how the building fits together. ) In any case, this is an ironic result of post-processing, especially the black and white conversion. I originally took this shot because the concrete faces of the building were catching the golden light. That intent didn't work out, but this version was a bit of a pleasant surprise.