That spoonful

  
Whenever I go to my favorite local brewhouse for brunch, and eat on the patio, the only thing to take a picture of is the umbrella overhead, and I’m sick of that, so this time I did a shot of the umbrella reflected in my coffee spoon. Add a couple of sweating glasses of sparkling water (I’m a teetotaler) and brighten it up a bit with Photo Toaster, and done.

Full metal chicken

    

Two more treatments of yesterday’s chicken (rooster?) sculpture. There was a man’s face interestingly framed by the chicken’s back and wings. Also another edit to boost up the colors. The cropped version was with PhotoToaster, and the other was with Jazz. When I use Jazz, it can be fun to take one the random “improv” treatments it does of a photo, and sometimes I use its full set of features to create my own effects.

Via duck

  
Another of those crude but effective folk art sculptures made out of random pieces of metal welded together and left out in the elements to weather. I love the acquired texture these sculptures take on, vastly preferring it to smooth, slick pieces. This piece is what I guess you’d call “whimsical”, a chicken wearing a pince-nez, but what the heck. In a constant search for photographic subjects, sometimes we shouldn’t be too choosy. I used it as an opportunity to practice drawing out a picture where there really wasn’t anything too interesting. It might still not be interesting. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. I keep trying and pushing through.

Fish story II

  
A fish swimming in a sea of umbrellas. That’s how my metal fish looked as I was leaving the Gugelhopf. I had already taken my picture of it, but it screamed to be shown in its natural habitat. See last Friday’s pic for a detail of this fun sculpture.

Fish story

  
So I was at the Gugelhopf coffee house in Durham. They have very good coffee and food, with a big terrace where you can sit outside for hours. I don’t know what it is about this place, but they’ve just created a fantastic atmosphere that is relaxed and fun and oddly creative. For me, anyway. I open my laptop and write, or talk through ideas, and today I took some pictures of the antique metal sculptures. Some are quite clever, with their weathered look, and this fish is oddly realistic for a piece of folk art. #JustForFun

Two of a kind

  
This the same “pair of pears” I posted the other day, this time with a Glaze edit to add this textured overlay. Fruit is great for still life work, should you be so inclined. I like to just FIND still lifes, not create them. I had put the pears on the window sill to soften up a little, without realizing it was a photo op. Really, you’d think I’d know by now, everything is a photo op. Literally. You can take a picture anywhere, of anything. If it’s boring, maybe you’re not trying. Of course, not every picture is going to evoke greatness, but that is really, truly no excuse for not working on editing. Because sometimes a simple crop is enough to turn a bad snapshot into a composition. Maybe not a masterpiece. But if you practice in this way, when you do get that money shot, you will have the editing skills and a developed eye.

Busy afternoon

  
Not really. The “busy afternoon”. It was one of those days I would have paid someone $1000 to run through the room with a machete, just to snap me out of intense boredom. Sometimes I fall into a stupor, and I realize that boredom is one of the most insidious traps you can fall into. It is important to snap out of it, or pull yourself out of it bodily, which is how it feels to me, as though I have been epoxied to my chair, to my thoughts, to my ennui. I have enough self-awareness to know that when I get like this, it is most important not to play mind-deadening games on my phone, it’s one of the worst possible “cures” for boredom since it seals the top over my mental rut. So even as I picked up the phone (Danger! Danger!) I tapped on the camera and decided to try using “Glaze”, just because i hadn’t edited with that app for a while. About 45 minutes later, I realized that I was fully engaged with my editing, with working up other photos in my library, and definitely not bored. Problem solved.

Through the looking glass

  
I freakin’ love this picture. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, which was to take a face and make it fade until all you could really make out is the fact of the features. I’ve done this before, as fans of my work will remember. This time I found a new way to do it, with this transparent wash and a little crackle texture. Usually, I go with high contrast and blurring, and I still like that, but we must evolve. Nobody wants to see the same picture over and over again, for years. We all know artists (and writers), some of them very successful, who seem to just create the same work again. And again. Some of them make a lot of money with winning formulas, too. I don’t make very much money with my photography, whether the formula works or not, but I’m in it for the creative capital and how it makes me feel. That’s my motivation for wanting to keep the shark moving forward, lest it die and rot.