More like magenta.

Getting close.

Close enough to see the details. The shape. The various shades of color.

Color.

Call this what you want. Is it pink? Is it magenta? Is it something else? If you are trying to match color, as I used to do on a big commercial printing press, it matters. If you aren’t, enjoy it for what it is. Whatever you think it is.

Now. A quick message from our sponsor.

I was reading a Facebook conversation between a couple of people and an author friend of mine. They were discussing how to market a book. One thinks websites are dead. Another thinks blogs are dead. A third one thinks Facebook is old fashioned. None of them discussed tweeting or Instagramming.

They admitted that they had no idea what was right or wrong. They were guessing.

The correct answer, according to the head of SEO for CAA, is all of them as long as the same people don’t follow you around. They may think that they are helping, but they are not. Each of those social media platforms reach different kinds of audiences. Having a Facebook page is like being in the telephone book. Remember those? You have to be there or for sure nobody will find you.

The other big trick is not to share, post or tweet the same material. That makes sense. If people follow you around, you want them to see different stuff. If somebody stumbles on your work in a couple of places, you don’t want to bore them.

Get it?

The picture. A new summer bloom at home. I saw it. I photographed it. That was pretty much it. Ma Nature made that flower. She doesn’t need help from me.

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Espresso capsule.

New work.

Imagine that. Just when I said. Oh, never mind what I said. I never really know what I’m talking about.

Coffee comes from Amazon. In pods. For a Nespresso machine. However, none of our coffee comes from Nespresso. It is very expensive and I don’t like the parent company’s — Nestle — stand on water and plastic. After a lot of experimenting, finally comes a coffee that tastes better than the “real thing.” And, it’s about half the price. That matters a lot because a lot of espresso is consumed in this house. It’s also packed in aluminum pods. Recyclable and not more plastic.

I was working on the archives. The never-ending project. I dumped a handful of the pods into a small bowl for easy access. I looked down. There it was. A picture. So I pressed the button a couple of times. Off to post production it went. By the time i was done, the pods turned into planets and I made a sci-fi book cover. Or, something like that

 


Locked tight.

I found another one. A lock. That’s two days in a row.

This time it was just sitting on a curb. Locked tight. It looked like it had been left there on purpose. It took me a long time to figure out how to even make the picture. When I did, I didn’t like the result.

So, I cropped. And, tinkered. And, fiddled. I came to this place. What I really like is the very slim detail towards the top of the lock.

That’s it. A lock. A lost lock. Another lost one.

I’ve made a little progress on the new LaskowitzPictures online home. I think that I have to change formats. You know that I normally like big pictures. In order to enhance that, there really needs to be some little pictures. Space in between the notes as musicians who know what they are doing would say.

I think once I do that I’ll be happier with the project. We’ll see.


A pleasant surprise.

I’ve been thinking.

You know how dangerous that can be. These are pretty good thoughts about a man who has served my country for his entire adult life. He served in the military. In the House of Representatives. And, in the Senate.

Now, he is dying of brain cancer. A particularly virulent strain that also killed Ted Kennedy.

Senator John McCain is making peace in his last days by writing a book that he might not be alive to see published. He is making peace by visiting with his old friends and telling them what they mean to him. Because he is sick, they have to come to him. They journey hundreds of miles to do this. Despite the political implications of these visits, most of them come because as former Vice President Joe Biden said, “I just want to see my friend.”

Please make no mistake. I don’t agree with many of the things Senator McCain did or said. He is too quick to “put boots on the ground” rather than to settle something diplomatically. He was often an air cowboy as a pilot. Yet, when the USS Forrestal was on fire he landed his aircraft and rushed to the fire to help save the crew. He comported himself with great dignity after his capture and prison time as POW. He came home to serve his country.

Most importantly, I never for a minute believed that he advocated anything — even those things with which I disagreed — without my country’s best interests in mind.

I respect him.

Now, as his time approaches, he is taking care of unfinished business. He is planning his funeral. He’s asked two former presidents to speak. They are from both sides of the political spectrum. Former President George W. Bush and former President Barrack Obama. They said yes. He does not want the current president to attend. It would be easy to criticize him for that. It’s not revenge. The current president stands for nothing the senator believes in. I’m not sure he stands for anything.

Where did all this bring me to?

I’m somebody of thinks through complicated thoughts and distills them into something simple. Understandable. After all, complicated pictures are hard to view.

We don’t have to agreed with each other. But, we owe it to ourselves and to the people around us to listen and to compromise. We owe it to ourselves to speak out whether it be in words, our art, or just in our actions.

You know, like how hard is it to let another car pass in front of you when they need to be in another lane?

Yeah, like that.

The Rose?

Oh, I saw it yesterday. It was too pretty to pass up. To pretty to pass up in my search for junk. You know what I say. The work is the prayer. Call it a prayer for the senator.


Almost inside

Often, I like to look at art that isn’t a photograph for inspiration. You know, like a painting. Or, drawing, or, even something more three-dimensional like sculpture. Make no mistake. I can’t do any of those arts. But, they give me new and fresh ideas. They influence my work. Often, it shows up immediately. Mostly, it just gets mixed in with everything else. It pops out when I least expect it.

When I photographed this rose I had a pretty good idea of what the end result could be. What it should be. If I worked it well. I’ve made macro pictures of all sorts of flowers in the past. It was different this time. I saw it as a finished piece. A piece drawn with charcoals or pastels. Maybe pencils.

From the moment I started framing the scene, I followed my emerging vision. The cool thing was that I made three pictures. That’s it. I was done when I was done. Quickly. The rest was done in post production. I sort of worked in a straight line. Not so much tinkering and fiddling this time.

No photographer’s luck this time.

This time. This one time. For the rest of May it will be. Luck.


Pink spring.

A Sunday picture.

Bold, beautiful and big. And, magenta.

I’d leave it at that, but there is one thing I’d like to share. This is an iPhone picture. With the latest operating system, Apple made some changes. The phone’s camera has many more tools, including the one I used to make this picture… a macro function. It’s not exactly macro, but it’s close enough.

Apple also changed the image processing algorithm. I made an 18 x 12 print just to test it. No extreme uprezing. No fiddling around. I was able to make the print in one try. And, that was wireless. Press the button on the phone and off the data went to my printer. Amazingly enough, it didn’t take an act of God to install the proper software.

Now, it’s off to the second line.

Have fun this pretty Sunday.


Tulip Art
Tulip Art

A little more spring. A detail of a Tulip.

I ran out between at the raindrops during a week’s worth of rain because I knew these Tulips wouldn’t last long. Already some of them were dying on this day. The day that I made a large series of Tulip pictures. By the end of the predicted period of rainfall? Who knows? I had pretty, silver light. So I took a bunch of pictures. Better than picking a bunch of flowers. I suppose.

Not to worry. This is sort of a teaser. I’ll publish a little portfolio tomorrow.


Watch parts.
Watch parts.

This is a spin on old advertising saying. “Parts is parts and pieces is pieces.” If I recall correctly, somebody was advertising fried chicken. This isn’t fried chicken.

This is the internal working of an old watch.

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of some of my dad’s old stuff on Instagram. Everybody who saw the picture seemed to like it from both an artistic and emotional perspective. So, I put that information away in my brain and let it stew. And stew. A week or so ago, I thought it might be fun to re-photograph some of those watch parts. So. I did.

I actually made a nice little series. I think I’ll explore this a little further. I’ll show the work to you as I finish it. I’m in no hurry. This work is really just for fun.

About yesterday and those more painterly exploration and experiments… I received a couple of well thought out comments across various social media.

The most interesting was from a long time online friend. She said that it didn’t matter about the technology. That we don’t care if an old-fashioned typewriter or the most modern computer was used to create a written piece. And, that it shouldn’t matter how we create visual art. After all, art is art. I’ve said this for a long time, especially when somebody makes a big deal of not using Photoshop to help them in post production. Generally, I say something like “Ansel Adams — the saint of nature photography — created an entire system of exposure, development and printing to make the picture say what he wanted to say.” She reminded me of that.

She also reminded me that just because you have the tools — the software in this case — it doesn’t mean that you have the mental or emotional tools to do it. She’s right again. Thank you.

One more thing. As you know, for the sake of online privacy, I rarely mention names. I won’t again. I do have to say this. When we reach a certain age, we start getting cemented in our ways. Locked in. Set in stone. A photograph is a photograph. A drawing is a drawing. A painting is a painting. Never shall the technologies mix. That hasn’t been true for years. But, still we try to put things in boxes. What a mind my friend has. I think she’s about 15 years older than me. And, look how she thinks. Beyond how an artist thinks. I’m in awe.