The Long Road

Blog, Photography

Sometimes the best way back is to take a path you’ve already traveled…
The Pickup

Why is it that the things we love to do most always seem to be affected most?   For many reasons, let’s just call it life…  a change in schedule,  the amount of brain drain learning a new job, or just the obvious fact that it’s been a long cold winter…  I hit quite a rut.   This is when I know it’s time to simplify.

I started with my images, returning to something I know, a process I love… working with textures.  Oh how I’ve missed rummaging through that library… looking for the perfect texture, mixing textures to bring just the right mood, feel, atmosphere to the image.  And with so many programs, techniques, and tutorials out there, it is so easy to get bogged down in the process. . .  {sigh} so many starts and stops over the past few months.  I needed to dial it all back a notch.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve applied a handful of newly learned techniques in today’s image, but this time I knew which ones would get me there quickly and more importantly… when to stop.

Somethings can’t be changed… the number of hours in a day, the day job, the weather.  But I can change how I spend my time.  Like these weekend mornings, here, enjoying a cup of coffee, or two, and sharing what I love to do, only this time… keeping it short & sweet… so I have more time to work on the next image I want to share with you.

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Did someone say…

Blog, Photography

Christmas!

Noooooo! Can it really only be only 45 , 44, 43 days away?  You know who will be here before we know it!

By this time last year, I would have stashed away a present or two.  And in less than two weeks the family converges here and me with no menu.  Okay so turkey, I know but that’s about as far as I got.  So much to do and all I can think about are the composites I’m working on, getting out somewhere (anywhere) to take photos, and putting some more time in at the shop (ETSY) for all those earlybird holiday shoppers out there.

Much of this wanting to photograph & create stems from the inspiration that fills up the Facebook groups and Instagram feeds I follow.  But with that, also comes a feeling of falling behind…  {sigh} and now like nothing is getting accomplished  on any front (home, work, or photographically).  This is not a good way to head into such a hectic season.  So I’m nipping this in the butt right now.   It’s time for a real plan…    So here it is: Sunday mornings for blogging (√), at least three evenings set aside for creating,  and at least one, hopefully, two outings a week with camera in hand.   And somewhere in there, we’ll squeeze in some Christmas shopping, holiday baking, and (ugh) the housework…

Here’s wishing your holiday countdown goes smoothly.

Work, work, work…

Blog, Photography

Good Sunday Morning!
As often happens when I work on a photo, a song gets stuck in my head.  This time, Work From Home by Fifth Harmony.   Just in case you’re not familiar with the song, a line of lyrics goes like this “You don’t gotta go to work, work, work, work, work, work, work.  But you gotta put in work, work, work, work, work, work, work”  No surprise where the title of this post came from.  Anyway, moving on…

The challenge:

How to make the original photo taken at a public and popular folk festival in 2017 look and feel like the 1700’s (or was it 1800’s) or at least like it was taken out of a history book.

You can check out this work horse in action HERE .   As you can see from the video, there are spectators, cars, etc., roaming in and out of the frame.  So I took some advice from the composite experts, I photographed the scene many times, from many different angles; allowing it to change, as I knew it would, because no one was standing still… not even the horse.

Once I had a solid foundation to build on, I got to work.  

So I really like the color version… all those blue overalls which, by the way, led to the title of this image “Overall Blues.”  But I also debated whether converting to B&W would really accentuate that history book look.  So, I did both…

 If I got it all right, you’re not even thinking about what was added (or deleted).  But since you already know I worked on it, lets just say anyone not wearing overalls was removed and, what the heck, a couple more guys in overalls couldn’t hurt.   The unflattering back ends of a couple of horses were swapped for a more picturesque horse.  And finally, to blend everything together and give it that aged feel, a smidgen of a painterly effect and, of course, some textures were applied.

The result

For me… an image from 2017 as if I were standing there in the the 1700’s (or was it the 1800’s 😉 ).  It’s definitely not a sight you come across everyday…

 

Is 8 really enough?

Blog, Photography

Apparently not… but that will make more sense in just a bit.  Another question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately… Is it worth it? Especially after each new bruise I acquire (more on that later, too).

THE INVENTORY

Just a few of the supplies ~ tidied up for a photo. 9 times I out of 10 I cannot find what I need when I need it.

Let me start at the beginning.  It’s been a busy couple weeks of preparation for next Saturday’s Ambler Arts Fest (be sure to note that on your calendar).  After my last arts fest, I realized much more inventory was needed in order to look, well, more professional.

Step 1:  The images, choosing which ones and getting them ready to print.  I love that kid in the toy store feeling… when you see that image come out of the printer and get so excited because it is better than you imagined.  But then the hard part begins.  I like to re-purpose and cut costs wherever I can.  But often the image just does not fit a so-called “Standard format.”  So it’s time to break out the mat cutter.

First ever attempt making a mat with three openings…

Step 2:  Printing & matting & framing all the images, making all those note cards, and other small items to fill the booth.  Not the most fun, and usually mostly frustrating because, of course, I almost always run out of something…  Oh, how I hate when it’s the ink.

THE SET UP

I’m not leaving anything to chance.  A new venue,  just me and my helper daughter, a tent that recently underwent repair, and wanting to be sure I have enough to fill the space, I did a 100% trial run.  This is a labor intensive setup, mostly due to the ridiculously heavy and unwieldy grid walls (and the cause of the previously mentioned bruises).  As you can see, I took lots of pictures and notes as helpful reminders.  And decided 8 new images is definitely not enough.

So with a week to go and three more pieces (at least) in the pipeline… and still asking myself is it worth it, I have finally come to this conclusion: Yes!  Because it is that sense of accomplishment, that butterflies in the stomach feeling I get knowing that something I created is giving someone a sense of joy, or maybe remembrance, or is the perfect accompaniment to their decor.  It’s one thing to create an image, a piece of art… it’s something really special to share it.

It pays to do a recon mission, especially first thing Sunday morning before anyone is up.

Kudos to all those artists that do the festival circuit all season/all year long.  There is really so much that goes into it… the artwork, the supplies, the travel, the set up/take down… and god forbid it rains.   So please support the arts, your local artists, and remember to shop small and shop local.

Hope to see you Saturday!