20120914-220213.jpg Sometimes you walk out of your house and reality forms itself into photographic subjects wherever you look.  Such a thing happened to be a few nights ago. Not only was there a space right outside the restaurant I was targeting, but lo and behold, a drumming group had set up to play all evening right outside.

I loved their music so much I even shot a little video, something I haven’t spent any time or talent on. My husband is a talented videographer, so I cover the still end of the genre. I’ve settled on just this one pic to share.  Took 100 pics, too hard to choose what to work on, picked one and went with it.

Black and white effect only, plus cropping.  His hands were blurred from motion, not an effect.

– the Daily Grunge

Bar hostess

20120914-220122.jpg One of my all-time favorites.  I was primed to get a picture of the window, which is an embellished lead-and-stained-glass affair.  With iPhone trained on the window, I had only to wait for someone to move into the frame.  Soon the hostess (for this is in a restaurant) stepped up, but just then a server flew past her holding a pitcher of water.  Ah!  Another favorite subject, water! Instant happiness! Serendipity and all that.

The picture above was barely edited, just a crop, slight under-tinting, and a border.  The light in the bar was already dim, so there was no need to add any artificial “atmosphere”.

Perfect happenstance, the best kind of planning.

– the Daily Grunge

Spotted ceiling

20120914-220005.jpg One night I was at my favorite watering hole in Carrboro, The Spotted Dog.  It was a rainly night and I was in no hurry to leave, plus being very full on superlative vegetarian fare, it was doubly difficult to move.

So of course I filled up the time by turning my lens upward, choosing Hipstamatic as my app of choice.  The ceiling at the Dog is stamped tin, and there are interesting shutter things hanging down, either for visual interest or to damp it down acoustically. It makes for a fantastic exploration of geometric shapes.

– the Daily Grunge

Abstract even for me

20120914-170200.jpg Although it’s hard to believe, this is a Decim8-ed version of yesterday’s faked-up airplane shot.  I got into one of those ruts where it was impossible to stop Decim8ing picture after picture, and each one looked spectacular, but I eventually settled on just one to share.

If you only want to try one iPhone photo app, consider Decim8, because it is so random and beyond your control that it’s 100% ok not to “know what you’re doing”.  It does all the messy work for you, all you do is push a button. And sometimes you come up with something you love, completely by accident.

– the Daily Grunge


20120914-170040.jpg Ok, this one is the product of sheer boredom.  I started with a snapshot of a coyote pawprint in sand, and superimposed a metal model airplane I photographed at Restoration Hardware, thinking I might need such an image.

After Superimposing and masking, I applied Astral Glow somewhat sparingly. If you squint a little, it almost looks like a plane in flight over forbidding desert territory.

– the Daily Grunge


20120914-165850.jpgThe inside of an earth-mover.  I was out for a walk with friends and happened upon a bulldozer or whatever they call these things.  I’ve taken countless pictures of heavy machinery because I love the structured, technical look of hydraulics, but straight pics of bulldozers is pretty boring after the first one or two. So I stuck the iPhone inside the guts of the thing, and dressed it up with Jazz.  Effects:  Tone, Bloom, Plastic and Glass, and a border.  Nice ethereal feeling for such a big clunky dirty thing, eh?

– the Daily Grunge

On the move

20120914-170544.jpg A young Asian man turned just in time for me to take his picture.  I dressed him up a little using Jazz (light leakage and bloom mostly).

The horizontal light leakage creates a feeling of movement, when in fact he was sitting still except for turning around. This effect can produce this kind of look, and also a retro-print feeling.  I overdid it here, intentionally, just to see how far I could go with it.  Usually a subtler application makes a better picture.  But this is the Daily Grunge, not the daily nice-and-clean, and I do love to make a statement with my pictures. Also, as I point out from time to time, if you don’t experiment, you don’t grow as an artist.  You must be unafraid to make mistakes, make ugly pictures from time to time, and unafraid to show your work. Embracing this philosophy is the very essence of being an artist.

–  the Daily Grunge


Amazing at any magnification

20120911-092401.jpg A Ferrari headlamp.  This thing is absolutely incredible just to look at, and photographs even more jaw-droppingly.  The technical details are amazing, and this car is almost over-styled.  The more you edit a pic of a Ferrari, the better it looks, but after my usual coupling of HDPro and Contrast, repeated in layers about 4 times, I settled on this.  A little Astral Glow and voila.

All PaintFX or course, you can probably chant the above filter names along with me.

– the Daily Grunge

Magic Mushroom

20120908-103325.jpgA BIG mushroom.  I’m almost through my mushroom phase, it’s been days since I squatted down in the damp early morning earth to squeeze out a few pics of fungus. Maybe after this one, the intense need to capture these subjects will lift.

Truthfully, I can’t remember how I edited this.  It looks like the “bloom” effect in Jazz, but I don’t think I was heavily into Jazz yet when I did this. Also, the detail on the mushroom cap could only have been done with PaintFX and HDPro effect.

Well, whatever!  Enjoy.

– the Daily Grunge

Blurry Merle

20120908-103237.jpg Merle did not want me to share a picture of him which revealed his dirty little secret: he was helping me with the grocery shopping.  Here he is seen bagging the produce.

There is nothing more boring than standing around waiting for your order to be rung up, so I always use the bits and pieces of time to snap a few pictures.  (Of course I do this everywhere else I go too.)  It took but a few minutes to grunge the thing up until it resembled a chopped salad.

– the Daily Grunge