Extra special.

Flowers. Summer flowers. Two flowers in one.

I found this delicate little white flower. I made a clean version of it. I decided to play nature and added a pink flower to it. That’s how this picture came to be.

It was just that simple.

Since the flower was above her height, the dog who sees stuff didn’t help.

And, speaking of dogs, if you are on Twitter, please follow Keith Olbermann. The one time political commentator and always sports analyst has been doing something new. He tweets to save dogs who are in kill shelters. He says that dogs teach you all you need to know about essential truths. Those of us who follow him, usually save about 12 dogs a week through donations and retweets. You can help too.

That’s it.

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My spring.

Spring.

I think it’s easy to take a picture of flowers or whatever says spring. It’s much harder to express what you feel. This image says spring to me. It’s poppy. It has energy. It is very colorful.

I got lucky. Sorta.

I made the magenta portion of the image about a week ago. I made the yellow flowers a day or so ago. Both pictures stand on their own. I started tinkering. I do that at night when I’m not thinking about the business side of my world. It’s pure creation.

The magenta flower was complete right after I photographed it. I finished working on the yellow flower, saved it and thought… hmm.

Often when you try layering, there are a few false starts. Not this time. The two pictures looked great together. It was a matter of adjusting the intensity of both pictures and fine tuning.

That’s it.

In case you are wondering, there isn’t a lot of hardware involved. the work was done on my smart phone. I could have created this post from there, but I like working on a big monitor for that. I usually can find and correct my mistakes easier on a large screen. Or not.

Even though you might not be interested in layering, there are a lot of little photographic tips throughout this post. They may help you. Or not.


People out to have some fun.

“Successful hills are here to stay, Everything must be this way, Gentle streets where people play

Welcome to the Soft Parade,  All our lives we sweat and save, Building for a shallow grave,

Must be something else we say, Somehow to defend this place, Everything must be this way

Everything must be this way, yeah, The Soft Parade has now begun, Listen to the engines hum

People out to have some fun, A cobra on my left, Leopard on my right, yeah.”

—  Soft Parade lyrics © Doors Music.

I made the picture. Then, I found the lyrics. The song starts with this, “When I was back there in seminary school.” That’s how I replied to a friend of mine who was discussing the road and sky picture that I posted the other day.

That got me started.

I listened to the song. I used to love The Doors. I worked on the picture. I found the lyrics. Here we are. The start of the work week for some people. You can find a line in the lyrics about just that. I guess I still love The Doors. Their music is still relevant after 50 years. It also sounds very contemporary. And, seeing the “© Doors” tells me that the surviving members of the band managed to recover all the rights to their songs. Good. Never lose the rights to your art, whatever it may be.

The picture. The last of the images that I made on that wonderful cloudy day. WordPress’ compression software stepped on it a bit. The chrome and backlighted cars glistened. It added balance to the picture. I can hardly wait to see what Facebook will do to it. Aaaargh.

I don’t know what it is about me. I really like power and telephone lines in my work. I was taught (back there in seminary school) to do whatever it took to avoid them. A few years back I realized that they are just part of the scene. If I’m being honest with my work they should remain. On the other hand… this may be a little over kill.

One more thing. It’s another drive by picture. Notice, the red stoplight. It’s looking right at me. This is also one of those corners where you can’t turn right on red. See? I’m obeyed the rules. I don’t think the rules say anything about taking pictures, but that’s got to be better than texting. Right?


Happy days.

Two approaches.

One before. One after.

The news these days hasn’t been so good. In fact, yesterday’s news was downright bleak. Like anyone who is loosely called an artist, that affects me. As it does, us all. After yesterday’s picture, I thought I would publish something lighter. Something brighter. Something happy.

The top picture is of a magnolia. A southern thing.

Yeah. Right.

Yesterday’s news turned worse and worse and worse.

So.

I made another version of the top picture. In addition to cropping it, I made it very dark by stacking images. The bottom picture is the result. I like it less than the bright magnolia, but it represents how I’m feeling these days.

One friend, from Albuquerque, saw yesterday’s picture of the jet as what it is. Foreboding. Another friend, from Dallas said, after seeing all the news yesterday, that “this too shall pass.” Normally, I’d agree. But, appointing a supreme court justice is a generational thing. It will pass in about 40 years. Assuming I’m even alive, I will be around 105 years old. Likely, “I too will pass first.”

I’m starting to think the saying, “keep a full tank of gas and live close to the border,” is becoming real. What country wants American refugees?

Darker. Like life these days.


Mysterious way.

Land of the weird. Mysterious. Moody. Almost evil.

A place that you would not go.

Often, I’m inspired by book covers, or Netflix thumbnails for direct to video scary movies. I think that’s what I was working to in post production, all of which was done on my smart phone, using Snapseed and Stackables. My working method is simple. I do the first development in Snapseed. where I set the basic color, sharpness and mood. I switch to Stackables to do the heavy artistic work. I make a couple of versions. I select one and finish it in Snapseed.

What is the image about? I don’t know. But, they say that all art is autobiographical.  I certainly didn’t grow up in an evil-looking forest. I suppose that it reflects my mood. We are at a really pivotal point in my country. The more I learn, the more scary it becomes. I’m pretty sure that most systems are broken. As they say, “the center cannot hold.”

Here’s an example. There was an armed sheriff at Parkland. A good guy with a gun. He did nothing. When the police rolled in, they found him taking shelter behind a column. Yes. I know. It’s a horrible choice to engage the shooter. The sheriff might have been wounded or killed. That’s part of his job. The really big downside. He was suspended without pay. He resigned by retiring after 33 years on the job. I certainly hope he gets no retirement pay. I’m sure a deal was cut. Something like, “Resign right now and you’ll keep your retirement benefits.” His department is still investigating him.

By the way, I missed another way of ending gun violence. Yesterday, I suggested repealing the Second Amendment. That’s one way. It’s a long painful process.

A better, quicker way is to kill the NRA financially. They are the ones who are dancing with the Second Amendment and actively promoting more guns everywhere. Guns, guns, guns.

Already, the big car rental companies like Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise have ended any business relationships with the NRA. Banks and credit card companies are starting to refuse to do business or fund the NRA.

That’s why Wayne LaPierre, the president of the NRA, is screaming so loud. Their so-called Second Amendment rights are being attacked by kids armed with the First Amendment. He and is ilk are terrified. Their game might be over.

One more thing. Arming teachers is stupid. Since that idea is supported by the president who loves the NRA, that’s all I need write.

I’m sorry to have turned this into a political column. Aside from art being autobiographical, it is also influenced by current events, disruption and emotional distress. I’m not in distress. I typically get very cold-blooded and clear-headed when I have to deal with negative situations. I am very influenced by killing kids. Children who did nothing wrong. They went to school.