December 30, 2007

Forest Fire

Original photo by Jeff Englund
This image is another from a hike along the Cape Horn Loop Trail in the Columbia River Gorge.

What makes this image so amazing is the light. It captures the morning sunshine breaking through the branches of the trees, pushing aside their veiling limbs and illuminating the sheltered foliage beneath. You can actually see the rays of sunlight painting their soft colors across the woodland branches in the heavy morning air. You can also see the mantle of color emanating from the sun itself.

December 28, 2007

Forest Light

Original photograph by Jeff Englund
This view was captured along the Cape Horn Loop Trail in the Columbia River Gorge.

This image highlights the angle of the hillside and the beautiful morning light asserting itself through the branches of the trees and illuminating the rich foliage beneath.

The lines in this image are interesting and the eager leaves of the ground foliage radiate a brilliant green.

Still the sun itself is the star of this image. The rainbow of light in the sunbeams streaming through the tree trunks radiate joy and kiss the scene with energy and hope.

Nanzenji Arches

This photo was taken beneath the aquaduct at Nanzenji temple in Kyoto. The scene through the echoing arches changed rapidly as tourists passed through examining the construction, taking photos or resting briefly in the shade.

I felt the arches invited a deepening understanding of the experience of travel. Each arch was a gateway to a new point of reference on the same elements, brick and mortar, light and shadow, the effect of age on the beauty of all that exists in this world. Each archway is the same in many ways and yet offers a slightly different perspective.

Each individual visiting the site is also a part of that dynamic pallette, adding their own unique imprint on my travel experience, their own form and color to the image captured.

December 27, 2007

Battery Arch

This image was captured at Battery Harvey Allen, located in Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly know as the Fort Canby State Park) near the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington.

What remains of Battery Harvey Allen is slowly being reclaimed by nature. This stark concrete structure is the host of lichens and moss which add a touch of color to its otherwise bleak appearance. On a wet day the floor gleams and the colorful lichen add a muted interest to the form of the structure itself.

In my image I enhanced the interplay of color and light against the battery's geometric pallette.

December 26, 2007

Feathered Branches

Original photograph by Jeff Englund

This image began as a photo taken on the Cape Horn Loop Trail in the Columbia River Gorge.

The trees and the light in this image suggested such amazing personality. I worked with the photo, one iteration leading me to another, until I finally settled on this unusual treatment to convey the wonder inspired by this image.

This scene is resplendent with seasonal color and suggests the inspiring attributes of a hike through a rich landscape on a beautiful autumn day. The woods are astonishing in their rich detail, the depth of line, of shadow and shade, and the way the light plays with each element from any particular viewpoint.

December 24, 2007

Leaf on Rock

Sometimes all you have to do to capture a really great image is step outside your own back door.

I found this maple leaf in my backyard, on the shoe stone between my deck and my back lawn. It had turned a marvelous shade of crimson and its brilliance seemed to coax the russet tones from the slate in the rock that had been placed as a stepping stone into our garden.

In its final form, this image is one of my favorites. Its simplicity is inspiring as it highlights the astounding beauty of nature that surrounds us every day and is ours to enjoy if we will only open our eyes and really see. We needn't look far at all to have something to marvel at. The beauty of creation is just outside our own back door.

December 23, 2007

Shadow Tracery*

This unique image was captured in a small interior garden in the Naramachi Lattice House in Nara, Japan. The shadows of the beautiful tree in the morning light fell gracefully across the solid wall at the edge of the garden. The effect was one of golden lace spun against a simple screen.

As I worked with the image I stripped away the areas veiled in the shadow of the house and highlighted the play of light and shadow falling through the branches of the carefully trimmed trees. In this way I hoped to draw attention to the intentional beauty captured by the garden designer's foresight and planning. Like any great work of art, the changing display of shadows framed on this garden wall was a joy to behold.

December 22, 2007

Into Grey

This view of the Astoria-Megler Bridge was captured outside the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria, OR.

The Astoria-Megler Bridge is an impressive and formidable structure. it traverses the mouth of the Columbia River and is 4.1 miles wide. On many a gray day in the Pacific Northwest it stretches from the river bank in Astoria, OR to an unseen shore. As I studied this bridge one spring weekend I tried in vain to see the whole bridge but the other side remained veiled in gray mist.

December 21, 2007

Tree Art

This is another image from the garden of The Inn of the White Salmon.

This garden face was found on a tree near one of the doors to the back garden. I liked the face and the way it brought out the beauty and texture of the bark on the tree. I also liked the way it seemed in be in keeping with the antique charm of the Inn.

While working with the photo, as I enhanced the detail and color of the tree's bark, the face seemed to both contrast with and yet blend into the scene even more. The shadow and highlight of the garden sculpture seem to echo the character of the bark in an interesting and sympathetic way.

December 20, 2007

Personal Rose Garden

Last autumn, one lovely sunny weekend, I stayed at The Inn of the White Salmon in the Columbia River Gorge.

Early the next morning, before breakfast, I found these beautiful roses blooming in the garden behind the Inn. While autumn was in the air and the leaves on the trees around the garden were brilliant yellow and russet orange these roses reminisced about the splendor of a summer garden. Still sporting tightly closed buds these fragrant flowers enticed me to spend a few quiet moments alone in a beautiful garden capturing the beauty of both summer and fall before the gray days of late autumn settled firmly over the Pacific Northwest.

December 19, 2007

Herb Bouquet

The image captured here is of a sunny bouquet of herbs from my garden. It includes an abundance of lemon sage, flowering oregano, and sprigs of mint. I loved the shape and soft texture of the leaves in this summery bouquet as well as the gleam of the small glass pitcher the herbs are gathered in.

In working with this image I tried to bring out the bright details and enhance the casual charm of this arrangement. The way the texture of the leaves came to life was especially rewarding. The result is so inviting I can almost smell and taste the fragrant herbs captured in this image.

December 18, 2007

Spider on Exhibit*

Original photograph by Gary Feather
The image of this spider was captured in the Lower Town Arts District in Paducah, Ky. This spider was spinning its own exhibit between the glass and the screen of a window at The Stranded Cow cafe.

I thought the color, form and geometry captured was stunning. The gauzy web is visually spectacular and the spider's body is almost translucent in the light. Beyond the spider's web and the grid of the window screen, the brightly muted pastels of a Kentucky landscape offer a luscious backdrop to this portrait of one of God's truly amazing creatures.

December 15, 2007

Ship Passing

This image was captured in Astoria, OR. I spent hours there last spring gazing out a window at the fog veiled expanse of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. I took many photos of the bridge. As ships passed I took even more photos.

This image is memorable for its gray on gray subtlety. From the bridge fading into the distance to the subdued reflections on the water this image possesses a quiet beauty.

December 12, 2007

Tokyo Tiger*

This photo was taken in Hibiya Park in Tokyo. This cat was sitting under a beautiful tree surrounded by lush foliage. The contrast of his form nestled against the bark of the tree in this garden landscape was striking.

December 11, 2007

The Playground

Original Photo by Gary Feather
This image of young school children is based on a photo taken on a playground in Switzerland. The photo was full of bright colors and childlike wonder. The amazing light and long shadows add to the playfulness of the scene.

December 10, 2007

Einstein's Clock*

Original photograph by Gary Feather
This image is based on a photo taken during a family vacation in Switzerland. We spent the day riding a train from Zurich to Lausanne. On the way we stopped in Bern for several hours.

Bern is a beautiful place to visit. We walked past fountains, the Parliament building, quaint shops and flower stalls before we approached the Zytglogge-turm, Bern's famous clock tower near the apartment where Einstein once lived, and a short walk from the scenic Nydegg Bridge. The setting was magical in the morning light. This image captures the fresh charm of this marvelous city.

December 8, 2007

Commuter

In September I spent a day on my own in Tokyo. I had a wonderful time exploring the city, walking through Ueno Park, visiting the Shitamachi Museum, exploring Ameyayokocho, and soaking up the atmosphere of Senso-ji Temple.

At one point during the day I found myself on a train with many men in business suits carrying briefcases. I looked out the window and took random photos.

One image in the series captured this reflection of a businessman talking on a cell phone as another train goes by outside the window. All we see in this view is a ghostly image of the back of his head as another train flies by in the opposite direction.

December 6, 2007

Lines

Original Photo by Gary Feather
This stunning capture of Mt. Adams was taken from the glacier ridge at the summit of Mt. St. Helens in July 2007.

My eye was attracted to the alignment in the contours of glacier, lava rock, ridges and finally Mt. Adams in the distance. The simplicity and artful symmetry of nature shines through from this perspective.

November 30, 2007

Roots

This image was captured in Fukuoka, Japan. As I walked around the castle ruins in the city one evening I saw the most amazing ancient-looking trees growing among, and sometimes through, the stone ruins.

I found the intricate roots of this particular tree intriguing. Like fingers, the roots seemed to reach out to both grasp and tell their unique story in the history of this place.

November 27, 2007

Train Platform - Austria

Original photograph by Gary Feather
This image was captured in 2005 as my family traveled from Vienna, Austria to Buchs, Switzerland. As we sat in our train car during a brief stop at the station in Innsbruck, my husband captured this view of another train waiting at the platform in the station.

Something about the original photo captured my attention. I loved the contrast between the train cars. I was attracted to the simple distinct colors. I noticed the borrowed view, of another train behind the one featured, that could be seen through the open door. I was also struck by the significance of the doors on the train cars, one open, one closed, and the differences that can make to our perceptions. My treatment of the image seeks to enhance these striking qualities.

November 25, 2007

Train from Nagasaki

Original photograph by Gary Feather
On the way from Nagasaki to Fukuoka we happened to board the most splendid train car I have ever had the pleasure to be a passenger on. It had parquet wood floors and black leather seats. It was clean, comfortable, spacious and uncrowded.

As we waited for the train to leave the station several other passengers boarded and there was time to take a few photos of our environment. I liked this image in particular. It seemed to capture the dreamlike quality of this unique travel experience.

November 22, 2007

Tiptoe

Original photograph by Jeff Englund
This view of the forest is a more intimate look from the interior. I like the way the light is feeding into the sheltered space beneath the trees. It seems like the trees are standing on tiptoe as they eagerly await this dawning. It reminds me of baby birds in a nest when their mother has brought back something to feed them. I tried to capture that happy eagerness in my treatment of the photograph.

November 20, 2007

Cathedral Frog

Original photograph by Gary Feather
This handsome frog was sitting in a small pond in the Bishop's Garden of the Washington National Cathedral. He blends into his watery surroundings so well that it was a challenge to draw him out and give him contrast while leaving him in context.

November 18, 2007

Rock Garden*

This image was captured at Komyozenji, a Zen temple located in Dazaifu,on the island of Kyushu in Japan. This exquisite rock garden is one of several that can be seen on the grounds of this temple. It can be viewed from many angles throughout the temple and adjacent tea house.

This peaceful Zen garden features swirling gravel, islands of soft moss, and mottled boulders beneath a canopy of leaves and arching branches. The rocks in this garden have been carefully placed and tended. They have become not only a part of the landscape but a part of the story that the garden tells.

November 17, 2007

Dragon Fountain

This dragon was found on the grounds of Kiyomizudera, a Buddhist temple located in the Higashiyama district in Kyoto. Such fountains are used for purification. Visitors use the ladles to dip water from the fountain and pour it across both hands.

The definition in the scales and form of this fierce looking dragon are bold and impressive and nicely contrast the pooling water below.

November 15, 2007

Colorful Canopy*

Original photograph by Jeff Englund
Looking up through these branches is like looking up through an enormous dandelion or like looking at fireworks bursting in the summer sky. I love the lacy pattern and the variety of colors in the leaves. I also respond to the deep texture in the bark, and this unusual perspective on the intricate detail in the world around us. It gives me a sense of being sheltered within the wonder and complexity of God's creation.

November 13, 2007

Cherry Blossom Arch*

In Japan, in the springtime, the parks are dotted with blue tarps spread beneath ephemeral blossoms hanging in thick clusters from the cherry trees. Sitting on the tarps beneath the trees, eager squirrels running along the branches, or a brisk wind, will shower you with soft pale pink petals, a harbinger of spring and a reminder of the evanescent quality of life.

The deep arch of this beautiful cherry tree near the old castle walls in Fukuoka, Japan, offers a perfect setting for cherry blossom viewing. It is secluded from the din of city life suggested by the tall buildings that are faintly present just beyond the arch of the cherry blossoms, on the right edge of the picture. This setting offers a brief respite from the daily cares of a modern lifestyle.

November 12, 2007

Layers of Light 1

Original photograph by Jeff Englund.

From high on the Cape Horn Loop Trail hikers can glimpse a beautiful view of the river as it traverses the western end of the Columbia River Gorge. This picture captures the stunning morning light falling on the water and the gentle mist playfully curling away as it retreats back into the surrounding hills.

Layers of Light 2

Original photograph by Jeff Englund.

This image was also captured on the Cape Horn Loop Trail. It features the gentle glow of the retreating morning fog. The layers of motion in response to the sun's warming light add a special beauty to this morning landscape.

November 11, 2007

Nagasaki Street Scene*

Original photograph by Gary Feather
The tram will take a traveler almost anywhere he wants to go in Nagasaki. It carried us back and forth through the sunlit streets as we experienced the featured attractions of the city. I chose to highlight the color of the street scene and the character of the tram in this image of Nagasaki.

November 10, 2007

Converging Lines

Faith. Technology. The interconnection made possible by power, communication and transportation grids. They have come together in exciting and challenging ways in the current age. They have produced much anxiety and yet have the potential to bring us peace and comfort.

I saw these lines in the sky behind the steeple of Zion Lutheran Church. As I worked with the photo I saw God's hand in the symmetry of the lines, the power of the sunlight and the colors of the sky. The cross of Jesus rises above it all and balances the equation, bringing the composition into perspective.

My treatment of the image attempted to bring out the simplicity of vision that allows us to see God's hand at work in the world around us whether our view is of natural scenery or frames the product of technology and man's footprint in our environment. God is present in all of these.

November 8, 2007

Castle Blossoms

This was taken at Himeji Castle in April, 2007. The cherry blossoms were perfectly gorgeous, fat and full and barely falling in the wind. This view captured the essence of the day, the most beautiful sites of Japan framed by ephemeral cherry blossoms.

November 7, 2007

Bamboo Fountain*

This is a small fountain found in a garden at Sofukuji Temple in the city of Nagasaki. It is nestled behind a building along a small pathway. I liked the way it was framed by the lush surroundings.

November 5, 2007

Crane Shadow

While in the city of Fukuoka, Japan I captured a shot of this crane. It was perfectly reflected in the still water and echoed by the shoreline of the lake. The stark lines of the photo appealed to me and I tried to highlight them with this simple treatment.

November 4, 2007

Arched Ascent


At Nanzen-ji, nestled at the foot of the eastern hills of Kyoto, there is an aquaduct. It arches across the temple grounds near the large and impressive Sanmon gate like a dragon. It must be approached and crossed to visit some of the gardens secluded like treasures at the subtemples within.

But it is a gentle dragon. Many people climb among its arches, playing, shooting photos or resting in its shade. Beneath one arch is a small waterfall and a stairway that leads up to the garden of Nanzenin. That is the scene captured in this picture.

November 2, 2007

About the Art

My art begins with digital photography. Real photos of real things. Real light falling across a real face, real objects, or a real landscape.

Often what someone hopes to capture with a camera remains elusive. Often it is obscured by poor conditions or submerged in extraneous detail. Sometimes the composition goes awry. Sometimes the light is wrong. Sometimes the impression that the photographer wants to capture does not translate to the raw image. Still, often, the photo does contain the essential information that can convey the intended impression.

When I see that potential in an image I go into the photo and try to release it. I work with the raw material in the digital image and transform it using digital darkroom software and techniques. Typically, I enhance the image in a number of ways including color adjustments, structural editing, and filtering or contouring.

I call this process pixography.

In an effort to convey the thought and emotion invested in the original image I look for the pieces that are missing as well as the details that obstruct my view. Depending on the original photo and my evaluation I may crop the image, enhance the color, and bring out shadows or highlights. I might also use filters to decrease the complexity of the details, and clarify the message. By simplifying the visual cues the subject of the image is often brought into focus, and amplified, to create a unique impression for the viewer.

I think the process of pixography is something like writing a poem. I draw impressions from what I know about the original photo. I select attributes from the narrative it expresses. I enhance them, finding synonyms to give more singularity and precision to the description. I rearrange their sequence in search of rhyme and a cadence that is pleasing and creatively expressive. I construct a metaphor that informs the context and suggests a perspective. In the end I settle on that combination of attributes, rhythm and structure that best conveys what I saw captured by the original image.

I hope you see it too!

November 1, 2007

About the Artist

Self Portrait in Tokyo
I was born and raised in Western Kentucky. I got married and followed my husband to Texas where I earned a degree in Business Administration. As the years passed I worked as a CPA, had three children and applied my talents and skills in a variety of domestic pursuits and volunteer activities.

I moved to the Pacific Northwest 11 years ago. Since moving to Washington my artistic pursuits have included quilting, scrapbooking and paper arts, as well as pixography. I also enjoy writing, cooking, gardening, genealogy, traveling,and watching movies.

As Charlotte says, in the movie, "Lost in Translation," "I tried taking pictures, but they were so mediocre. I guess every girl goes through a photography phase."

While I have taken pictures all of my life, often they did seem mediocre. It wasn’t until photography branched into the digital art form of pixography that it captured my imagination. Fortunately, it is never too late to apply our experiences and unique perspective through a new medium of expression. 

I believe there is an artist in every one of us. It is a special joy to find a medium which captures my imagination and allows me to express my own unique artistic vision.