The world in water.

Water.

I was looking through my archives. Again. Because I’m trying very hard not to repeat myself. And, because I realized that some artistic experiments have been going on for eight or nine years. In a couple of cities. Two states. And, on about four continents.

However.

I’m fascinated by nature. By the yearly spring rebirth of seemingly dead stuff. Especially this year when we the temperature nose-dived for three or four days. When the highs were in the low twenties. Our semi-tropical ecosystem is not used to that. Plants died. Fruit trees took a beating throughout the region.

As I look at the brown sticks that were all that was left over after the freeze and see brand new ferns showing their leaves, I’ve come to understand the cycles of nature a little better. I’ve long known that nature always seeks stasis. I didn’t realize that she could bring some things back from the dead.

Of course, the more we beat her up. The more we pollute our home — the planet — the harder it is for nature to recover. I was just reading about this winter near and around the North Pole. Normally, the water there is frozen solid. Long sheets of ice. Not this winter. There is plenty of clear water to sail through.

Think about it.

There was enough flowing water to make this picture. But, photographing it using my normal approach would be confusing. You wouldn’t know if I made the picture in 2016, 2017 or a few hours ago.

I made it a few hours ago.

I decided to use a lot of editing tools to make it look like a painting. An abstract painting. If that wasn’t enough, I turned it on its side because it looked better to my eye. That long red line on the right was trapped in the horizontal version of this.

If there is anything to be learned from this, we in the digital age have amazing freedom. We can leave things alone and make pictures that completely approximate reality. Or, we can take them someplace else.

It’s up to us.

One more thing. Don’t steal. I’ve banged this drum for forever. Just because you see a picture on the internet doesn’t mean it’s free to use. It’s somebody else’s work. Ask permission. Even though the artist really should be paid, at least give them a credit. Acknowledge their hard work as you would like your own work acknowledged.


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.

 


A Sunday stumble.

I had big plans today.

Hahahahahaha! You know the old joke about that.

I was going to photograph a second line. I haven’t done that in a while. But, my back and legs hurt a little too much for that. So I took some pain meds which didn’t really work. I thought that I post this a little early. My Apple computers decided that all sorts of things should go wrong including not being able to “see” my mouse or trackpad. Rebooting a Mac takes a lot of time. It also means that any of the apps with which I work also must reboot.

Two hours passed by.

Here I am.

The cool thing about this picture is that I made it two and a half hours ago. You could have seen it 30 minutes after I made it. But, nooooo…

Since I am somewhat disabled today, I guess I’ll go watch my local American football team, The New Orleans Saints, lose their third consecutive game as their die-hard fans scream about firing everybody. That might help. The team has no talent. And, I’ll look to see how the players react to the man I refuse to call president last racist speech and tweets. Personally, I liked world-famous basketball player Lebron James’s twitter reply in which he called him a “bum.”

The picture. iPhone and be there. A little light post production.


What the dog saw. Again.

One more. From the collection, “What the Dog Saw.”

Morning light. Twice. We go out at around 7 am and again, at about 9 am. This picture was made during the later walk. Too early and the light is too low and dim.  Too late and the quality of light loses its glow.

And the dog? She stood patiently while I took the picture. Oh, and there is one more walk around dusk.


Swamp trees and beautiful skies.
Swamp trees and beautiful skies.

“And a new day will dawn
For those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter”

You know these words. Or, at least many of you of a certain age. Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” A guy I know posted something on his blog about the song. That got me thinking. You never want me thinking. That’s when trouble starts. So, I just borrowed a few of the words.

I’m doing a little experimenting. First, and most noticeable, the pictures are bigger. This is not really an easy thing to do. In fact, I couldn’t write the CSS code on my own. I needed help from WordPress. They were happy to do it. The staffer, called Dan, also admitted that learn to code using CSS is not easy, but learnable. What he really did was enlarge the content column. Second, I’ve update the share buttons. Please use them. Please, please, please. Finally, I’m testing how people view my work. More on that to come. It’s really just a theory.

So.

The pictures. Just a few pictures made during a little walk. The weather is truly amazing. According to The Weather Channel, a good portion of the country will have an early and warmer-than-normal spring.  For the next couple of months.

For the more technically inclined, the original RAW files are very large. 72 megs. This always makes life easier down the road. Of course, by the time they end up here they are tiny. Even though most current sensors can handle higher ISOs, including the camera I used, I used one of the lowest settings that I could. ISO 100. Nothing like it for good technical quality.


Summer. Again.
Summer. Again.

I know. I know. With those glowing orange leaves make this look like a fall picture. Trust me. It’s not. It’s a summer picture. The subject is just back lighted in summer’s morning light.


I was on my way to someplace else when I decided that I needed a little coffee. One Double Macchiato later… I made two very unexpected pictures.