Thursday, January 14, 2016

Digital Photo Art – Flowers
For this series of digital photo art, the theme is flowers.  I made these as part of an art swap.  These are a bit different from the pieces I’ve been making, in that they include the use of some artist papers that I purchased instead of the background papers I’ve made and other vintage papers.  Take a look at these previews of spring…..
Birds & Bloom
These blooms were taken when the flowers were in full bloom in a garden plot in Washington State.  The wind was blowing and I love the feel of the breeze that you can pick up from the tossing look of the flowers.
Blowing’ in the Wind
Again, an image of gently tossed blooms converted to a bit of a painting effect to emphasize the gentleness of the flowers.  The artist papers complement the softness of the flowers, too.
How Your Garden Grows
The word “garden” sparked the theme for this piece.  The papers seem to show garden flowers and the daisies are the vibrant example. 
Wildflowers on the Bluff
This image was shot while I looked over a bluff in Alaska.  These delicate blooms were growing out of the side of the bluff wall, with all sorts of forest and water type insects and bugs buzzing about.  For that reason, I used some dragonfly collage paper as the background.

Digital Photo Art – Trees & Leaves
A few months ago, I mentioned that I was playing around with a new technique I called digital photo art that combined my photos with digital collage.  I shared a few pieces with you then, but with travels and all, I neglected to keep up with the sharing.  This set of pieces all have trees and/or leaves in them, making up a nice grouping.
Fallen Leaf
One rainy morning, as I walked from our home to my studio (a major hike of about 30 feet!), I noticed a leaf that had fallen off a nearby bush.  I was first drawn to the rain drops that beaded up so perfectly on the leaf, and secondly, to the color of the leaf, not brilliantly colored, but not completely brown yet.  I decided it would make the perfect image for a photo art piece, including birds migrating for the winter and trees stripped bare of their leaves.
Along the Road
The central subject of this piece is my favorite deserted cabin.  This image was shot before it began its final collapse.  I added some moody background paper and some vintage handwriting.  Whenever I see deserted cabins or other buildings, I can’t help but think of the history thru which they existed, and the handwriting is meant to capture that.
Ah, in this image, my cabin has begun its decline.  I also included some distressed looking background, a vintage birth certificate and sheet music.  The title comes, obviously, from the sheet music, but I selected that specific music because I thought it sort of reflected the different preludes we have in our lives.  The birth certificate represents the most obvious prelude – to life.  And, the cabin is in a sort of prelude to final destruction.  I added some paint daubs, coffee rings, bare trees and other digital paint brushes to complement the overall feeling of the piece.  Its complexity makes this one of my favorites.
Silent Song
When we were camping this past summer, we happened to get caught in a very low fog one morning.  The tree in the center of the piece looked so lonely and forlorn against the fog that surrounded it and us.  I added to that an image of some stormy clouds I took a while ago, and then complemented them with a vintage postcard, some specialty brushes, and some butterflies to sort of lighten the mood.  The butterflies also serve to remind us that the darkest days will end, and there is a brighter day ahead.
Time Passes
The background for this piece are two different images of tree leaves in the fall.  The photo in the image was one I took this past summer, of a deserted ranch house on a mesa in northern New Mexico.  Once upon a time, there was quite a settlement on the mesa, but over time, the ranchers left, so that only memories remain.  It just sort of reminded me of how time passes, and one way or the other, we, and life, just end up going with the flow.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Winter in Stanley
Our last stop on this wintry morning, was at some deserted buildings in the small town of Stanley, New Mexico.  Unfortunately, the snow was deep enough and drifting enough that we really couldn’t stop and I certainly couldn’t get out and wander among the buildings.  So, Jeff just pulled into the center of the road on a sort of median space, and I quickly got out of the Jeep and shot these images before too many other vehicles came along that road.
Adobe Winter
I’ve shot this abandoned adobe before with snow clinging to its walls, but not with the snow swirling around it like it was this morning.  I really wished I could have walked closer to it, but oh, well!
Winter Storm
This cabin looks like it’s still in the midst of the storm!  It really does give you the feeling of what it felt like when the storm was really blowing a few days earlier!
Rough Winter
Here’s a new deserted cabin.  Well, it’s not really new – it’s just that I generally don’t photograph it because it’s kind of close to an inhabited building (that frankly doesn’t look all that much better!), and I don’t think that person likes anyone to photograph this building.  But, with all the snow blowing around, I don’t think he/she could see me!  And, I do like the angle of this shot.  Again, it creates a feeling of winter solitude and perhaps loneliness.
Days Gone By
This windmill is actually just a bit down the road from the other buildings.  I had to stop and photograph it on our return trip, tho, because I loved the feeling I got from this scene - of what winters may have been like many years ago.

Falling Down
My favorite falling down deserted cabin was along the road we drove down that morning, so, of course, I had to stop to capture a few images of it.  It’s got such character, it’s a great shoot even tho it’s mostly down.
Can’t you just feel the chill when you look at this image?  It’s a natural black and white image, with the white snow offset by the black road leading off to who knows where?  It also feels lonely which I think accentuates the coldness of the feel of it.
This image really speaks to the desolation of the cabin.  It’s truly just left to the elements, and the elements are winning.  The lines of the fence and the road remind me of how times just keeps going on, no matter what obstacles or challenges we happen to be facing.
Brrrrr!  That’s what I think of when I look at this image!  You can see the ice covering the fence, and then the frost that’s hanging on the tree branches.  The final lovely touch of cold are the icicles that are hanging off the edge of the roof of the cabin.  They are just so imperfectly perfect!

Winter Fields
One of the things that struck me on our photo op explorations was how wonderfully different the fields that we drove by looked…..
All Alone
I don’t know that I ever noticed this building before.  I don’t think it’s a deserted cabin or anything, but it sure does look like it’s all alone in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t it?
Along the Fence line
I love the look of the dead blooms encrusted in frosty whiteness.  The barbed wire fence held up by what seem to be old wooden posts add the perfect counter point to  the sort of lacy, delicate feel of the blooms.
Winter Shrubs
Here’s another view of some frosty shrubs along a fence line.  This image has more texture to it.  If you look very closely, way off in the background, you can see just a hint of the mountain range there.
Winter Perch
This raven was just sitting there, looking a bit like a sentinel, looking out over the snow covered fields.  He sat there for quite a while, so I was lucky enough to be able to capture him – and then, when I was finished shooting him, he gracefully took off.
Winter Field
This image really seems to reflect what it felt like to be outside on this wintry morning.  When the wind would come up, the snow would whirl around and make me feel like I was in a fog bank.  It also made the scene look very cold and lonely.

Magnificent Trees in Winter Glory
There’s nothing quite so magical as trees that have their bare winter branches covered in a lovely white frost.  It makes everything look like a fairy waved her magic wand and made the entire world beautiful, and not the dull colors of winter. I don’t really have much to say about each individual image – or rather, I’d be repeating myself if I did comment on them, because I think each of them is so breath-takingly beautiful and makes me glad we do get just a touch of winter (most years) and willing to tolerate the Midwest-type winter we’re getting this January, at least in terms of snow!
Winter Magic
A Gray Day
Snow Storm Tree
Willow in Winter
Weeping Winter

Winter Drive
A couple of weeks ago, we had one of the worst winter storms in New Mexico weather history.   All the weather folks talked about a storm in the 1990’s as being really awful, and this one sort of blew that one out of the water, so that’s why I’m getting the idea that this was the worst.  Here in our little town, we had 26” of snow in roughly a 24 hour period from Dec. 26 – 27.  On the 28th, it wasn’t snowing, so I thought it would be a nice day to go and seek out some photo ops!  All of these beautiful winter trees were found along the road just outside where we live.
Winter Day
Two Trees in Winter
Winter Drive
Winter Road

Saturday, January 2, 2016

December Sunrise
One morning in December, sky conditions were perfect for one of those incredible sunrises we get from time to time.  The weather folks went into great deal about the scientific reasons for this, but I just think of it as the magic of New Mexico!
Sunrise Clouds
What strikes me about this image is the way the clouds look as if the color is about ready to drip off them, as if they are oversaturated with color.
Purple and Pink Morning
A few minutes later the color of the sky changed to be this incredible purple and pink palette in the sky.  If I did paint this, people wouldn’t believe it was a realistic painting!
Winter Morning
I just wanted to prove that these colors were based in reality and weren’t some abstract of my imagination!  I was standing at one edge of our back patio so I could capture a bush barren for winter and our mountain, South Mountain, in the background, for that taste of reality!
Big Sky Morning
I can’t imagine skies any bigger than we get here, but Montana does lay claim to Big Sky Country.  Should we challenge them to a contest?  LOL!
Morning Abstract
I thought I’d end this post with again a sample of the wonderfully abstract of the sky on this wonderful December morning.

Soaring Hawk
Sometimes nature is just right outside our window……or, in this case, just off our back patio!  I was so lucky to capture this true creature of nature, among the civilized, but still holding true to his wild self.
At first, I wasn’t certain if this was a falcon or a hawk, but Jeff later determined it was a hawk – a large soaring hawk.  Here, he’s sitting on our neighbor’s fence, just sort of surveying the landscape around him.
Taking Off
Suddenly, he decided he was off to explore.  I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be standing in the right spot with my camera already focused on him, so all I had to do was snap!  His wings look far too big for his body – and check out those talons!
I love this view of his wingspan.  He looks so graceful as he charts his course of flight.
And he’s off!  He’s heading off to where the hunting is better, perhaps.  In any event, his graceful soaring was certainly a sight to behold.
Trees in Late November
The trees were really striking on this day.  I loved playing with the images to recreate the feeling I had while out there with them.
Cholla and Tree
There was something about this scene that reminded me of days gone by.  I finished this image off in somewhat of a vintage tone.  It also seemed to accentuate the loneliness of the scene.
Two Trees in Winter
Here’s another lonely view.  I didn’t apply a vintage finish to this one, but did highlight the color of the ground that wasn’t covered by a light snow.  I tend to shoot these trees quite a bit, so you may recognize them from previous blog posts.
This is an image of one of the trees (above).  I loved the starkness of the dark branches and the white frost on its branches, snow on the ground and white-grey of the sky in the background.

Deserted Cabin in Winter
In late November, we had a great winter day.  I went off to my favorite photo subject, a deserted cabin which actually semi-collapsed earlier this year (actually, earlier in the fall).  Still, this place has so much character, even half collapsed, it’s cool!
A tribute to what it once was, and is no longer.  To accentuate (or complement?) the fact that it’s fallen down, I processed this image to create a vintage feel to it.
Faded Light
Here’s another perspective on this little cabin.  This time I left the image sort of stark, with the background the foggy and the sky sort of faded into nothing.

The Shack
This is a different deserted tiny building.  I think it was actually some sort of storage shack.  Perhaps at one point, there was a cabin near it, but not any longer.  I decided to shoot this thru the barbed wire fence and dead blooms.  Dead blooms never looked so good, right?

January Morning
On the second day of January, I awoke to a sort of hushed sunrise.  It was very gentle, almost easing me into the day, as if it knew the news the day would bring.
Whisper of a Mountain
I looked out to the northwest for “my” mountain, South Mountain.  It was almost hidden by the fog.  And, the corral where Jazz and Patches sometimes are, was empty.  Still, there was a warm tint to the upper sky, promising sunshine.
Winter Morn
I looked further to the east and saw more of the sun’s warmth shining on the cold morning.  It snowed a week ago, and because the temperatures haven’t risen much, it’s still here.  Rather unusual, as is the feel of this morning.  Still, the scene is peaceful.
Frosty Branches
I’m looking thru the branches of a tall bush just off our back patio.  It’s as if there’s something for me to see, yet hidden from view.  I do love the look of the frost on the branches is nice.
January Morning
And, now the sun is warmer, starting to burn thru the fog so my mountain is now visible.  The rest of the day is soon to be clear, too, and the news I get later makes me appreciate this moment of this day all the more.
RIP Teri