Saturday, October 31, 2009

When I went outside today, I thought I heard raindrops--but it was the sound of falling leaves ticking against the ones still on the trees as they fell. Each time the wind blew, leaves showered down. This image is so stark and simple that it was hard to find a filter to work with it. I went with Bas Relief, which separates the leaves and the branches from the sky.

Friday, October 30, 2009

As a confirmed arachnophobe, I will probably have nightmares about this shot. We went back to the Haunted Cemetary tonight to walk through it. They have actors who lunge out of the dark or who follow you through the corn maze behind the house. None of that scared me. But I hadn't seen this spider until I took the picture and all of a sudden, it was illuminated by the flash. I had to re-start my heart after that. B&W makes it even spookier.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

These people really get into Halloween. Their display gets more elaborate every year, and now, on Halloween night , people are invited in for the price of a can of food for the local soup kitchen. In the middle of a sunny October afternoon, it's not all that scarey, so I used Elements to move it into a spooky twilight with a few spirits rising up as the witching hour approaches. It really was a matter of trial and error, so I truly don't remember exactly how I got the result. I started with Blue Tint, and messed around with levels, brightness/contrast/ and hue/saturation. To draw the spirits, I used a sort of scattery brush at a low opacity.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

July 10: We've been camping for nearly 20 years now, and we've never stayed at a place as lovely as Summer Haven near Bemidji, Minnesota. Our campsite was right on Gull Lake, looking out over a stand of wild rice where ducks and loons swam. Blue Tint makes it look like it did under moonlight as we sat by our campfire.

All we hear these days is the patter of rain and the dripping off the leaves and eaves. Rain and wind have knocked the leaves off the trees to lie in thick carpets on the ground. Poster Edges with a bit of Posterize accentuates the details on the leaves as well as the raindrops.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unfortunately, this is one of those pictures that looked better in the field than they do out of the camera. Now, to take it, I was pulled over to the side of a narrow winding road, keeping an eye in the rear view mirror all the while. I was only able to get off three shots from the car window before I saw a school bus coming up behind me and had to get going. I've never used the Sponge filter before, but it worked fairly well to enhance the contrast between the wet black truncks and the fading yellow leaves, as well as adding some texture to the lowering sky.

Monday, October 26, 2009

July 9: We pulled into the campground near Duluth late in the evening in between rainstorms. This windmill was still in the hush before the next storm came in. Cut Out reduces the photo to its basic iconic shapes.

When summer ends, there are all these tasks that mark the end of the outdoor season. For us, one of them is storing the chairs from the Secret Garden. Here they are, stacked up against the fence in preparation to being hauled to the garage. Pencil Sketch and Accented Edges pare away the details and subdue the color to show off the lines in the chairs and the fence.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

July 8: This is the Mackinac Bridge, which connects the upper and lower pennisulas of Michigan. It's an eleganst span. Pencil Sketch delineates the structure of the bridge as well as the tall billowing clouds.

July 7: At evening at our campground in Michigan, this tree was silhouetted against a soft sunset sky. It is a stark image, so it was hard to find a filter that worked with it. Instead, I made a gradient from the purple at the top and the pink at the bottom. I selected the black of the tree and applied the gradient to everything else. It defines the laciness of the tree, creating perhaps a silk screen effect.

The weahter here in New England has been nothing short of depressing for months now. A long raw winter eventually dissolved into a late, cold wet spring that went on until August, when we had about 10 days of sweltering heat and humidity. After that, we were back to chilly rain. The one good thing is that, somehow, all this has added up to spectacular fall colors. Every time I think we've passed peak, I walk outside on the rare sunny day and see something like this outside my back door. This WAS the blue of the sky this morning, and the yellows and oranges were just that bright. Posterize adds just a bit of punch, but the colors were so brilliant and so primary that not too much is changed.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's a raw rainy day. Even the brilliant dogwood leaves look bedraggled. I didn't use a filter on this one--just desaturated the background to let the color of the leaves stand out, but also to give a sense of the sort of late autumn gloom that a cold rain can bring.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The riotous colors of autumn can make even industrial ugliness attractive. Brilliant red sumac stands out against the blue of this railroad car. The graffiti adds yellow to complete the primary spectrum. Using Accented Edges with Poster edges pumps up the effect.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

July 6: I'm still trying to catch up on the phots I took while we were on vacation in July. This is Lake Erie from a roadside park. I used the Infrared option in B&W conversion, then lowered the opacity to plau up the clouds and the sailboat.

I was at the high school for my last parent-teacher ever (how could that have happened so fast?) On my way out, I spied part of the school's marching band practicing on the parking lot. Pencil Sketch and Accented Edges gave it almost a cartoon effect.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

For some reason, the gate into the open space beside the parking lot at my office building was open today. It allowed me to get a shot of this industrial wateland. Solarize gives it an apocalyptic aura.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My younger grandson was over to visit this evening. This is a picture of him with his doting aunt Aunt Sierra, my younger daughter. There was a lot of distraction in the background, so I created a vingette effect, then softened the color with Color Fade.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This utility tower stands behind the concrete office building where I work. Using High Pass, then applying the Difference blend mode creates an ominous, looming, surrealistic effect--something that might have come from an alien place with ill intent.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My brother, Brian, was married today to a lovely lady named Di. It was a multi-cultural event--as events in our family are wont to be. We're Irish, not Scottish; but the royal Stewart tartan matched her Chinese dress, so it worked. They are very, very happy together, and we had a wonderful time celebrating their wedding. Corey Barker's painting technique works well to put the attention on the wedding couple.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

These lovely roses were on the altar at church tonight. A combination of Chalk and Charcoal and Colored Pencil makes the rose stand out and creates a sort of brocade effect.

Friday, October 16, 2009

We were down in the nearby city of Middletown this evening. We had an appointment, so I didn't have much time, but I snapped this picture of the main street just as evening was setting in. I altered it only in a subtle way--when we were there, the street was still suffused with the glow of the setting sun, creating a yellow cast to the light. The camera didn't capture it, so I tried to to add it back using the warming filters.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I truly felt for Tammy when she reported snow. Winter has its place, but October ain't it. By this evening, it had moved east--a wet snow was falling as I drove home from work. I went out to the garden and picked all the hot peppers that were still on the plants. It was a pretty good harvest. We'll have a few fresh; the rest I'll dry. One this grey gloomy evening, their fresh greens and vibrant reds are a lingering remnant of a summer that brushed by us only briefly. Poster Edges and desaturating the basket make the colors sing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's cold enough now that we've got a fire in the woodstove in the evening. As I went up the back porch this evening, the surface of the cut wood stacked in the firering caught my eye. Poster Edges and a partial application of B&W shows all the subtle cracks and textures in the wood's grain.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Even in a season where the colors are glorious, there are always a few trees that simply outshine the others. This tree tree with its spectacular scarlet leaves lights up even the water at Paper Goods Pond. Posterize is the natural filter the make the colors glow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Today, John and I went geocaching on Avon Mountain. There's nothing like being in the woods on an apple-crisp autumn day in New England. The colors of the leaves are so gorgeous that people flock here to "leaf peep." But the light--slanted and tinged with gold--is really what makes the fall a gift that can linger on the retina well into our long, grey, dreary winters. A subtle application of Sepia shifts the emphasis in the photo to the light.