November 4, 2008

Eiffel Up

Original Photo by SD
A friend of mine was in Paris a few months ago.  She brought back some images of the Eiffel Tower in different lights and from different angles.  


I like the point of view captured here in particular.  I almost feel dizzy from tilting my head back as I imagine taking in this view with my own eyes.  It is an image that shows off the lines of construction, the symmetry and towering achievement of this Paris landmark. 

I dug for color in this image and downplayed any distracting details that might get in the way of appreciating the delicate lacelike grid of support that makes up this structure. I think the finished pixograph highlights the giddy personal perspective and old fashioned wonder of sightseeing in Paris. 

November 2, 2008

Standard Time

On Nov. 1 we once again turned our clocks back one hour from daylight savings time to standard time. That always takes some getting used to. This week I am hungry at the wrong time, sleepy at the wrong time and am sad to see the darkness gathering before 5pm. With clocks on almost every electronic appliance these days the change requires a good bit of effort too.

At times like this I appreciate the simplicity of an analog timepiece. One simple understandable motion changes the time recorded there and provides a sense of the space in between. 

This image was taken of a man's watch with the macro mode of my camera.  One side of the dial was captured in keen focus while the rest of the watch face was fuzzy.   I wanted to enhance the simplicity of the image and highlight the tight focus.  For that effect I enhanced the contrast, found the edges and boosted the saturation.  The result is like a simple drawing of those wee hours when the time is changed as is the rhythm of our lives.

Note: Do you wonder why we change our clocks backward and forward during the course of a year?  Do you crave a simpler system? Check out StandardTime.com.

September 30, 2008

Framed Church

This Image was captured in Murten during a recent trip to Switzerland.  Murten is a small town with a rich history and a generous climate. It is situated on the shore of a beautiful lake in the midst of rolling hills, between vineyards and vegetable gardens. This town on the cusp of German and French speaking Switzerland harmoniously blends its medieval history, evidenced by the ramparts which still encircle the historic city, with its open tourist trade that brings visitors from around the world to experience the rich abundance of this region. 

As I walked the ramparts and looked down over the roofs of the town to the right and out on the rolling landscape to the left, I saw this church.  The steeple was framed by a cross shaped arrow loop, a defensive device in this fortified town wall.  Around it ivy was reaching through the opening, grasping the rocks, exerting the force of life and time and softening the frame of the church tower and the countryside beyond.  I was impressed by the scene and tried to capture the atmosphere of fresh growth on historic walls, faith framed by an arrow loop, tourists strolling along the ramparts, today and yesterday embraced and enmeshed in a mutually supportive alliance.

To bring out the quality  of the narrative I saw in the image I filtered it twice, once to simplify it and add an impressionistic quality and a second time to enrich the outline and highlight the contrast.  I also brightened the ivy to enhance the sense of new and tender life. The result is a souvenir of my journey and a summary of my impressions of this vibrant and fascinating town. 

September 10, 2008

Magic Circle

This summer I captured a number of images outside, late in the evening, in near darkness.  Predictably these images turned out to be grainy.  They meant something to me as I remembered the context in which they were taken but they were not much to look at on their own.

This is the type of image I have really enjoyed working with over the past few months. As I work with these pictures I am always surprised, and often quite delighted, by what I find there.  

This image captured a simple circle of chairs on a patio surrounding a fountain and illuminated by candlelight. In its original form it was dark and grainy and boring.  As I worked with it I found the edges and filtered the product then enhanced the colors that remained.  I thought the image I arrived at shared my appreciation of the warm candlelight and the dreamlike quality of late night conversation. 

August 21, 2008

Bathed in Blue

Original photograph by GF
This image was captured at the top of Mt. St. Helens last summer. From the top of the mountain, as you look out over Spirit Lake, you can see Mt. Rainier clearly, one of the few other landmarks joining you in this lofty realm.

This view overlooks the landscape that was devastated when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980.  Now, bathed in blue, punctuated by the white of snow and glacier, occasionally steeped in steam from volcanic activity, this landscape of destruction is slowly emerging as a landscape of renewal.

Even as Mt. St. Helens once again slumbers, the view of this area continues to change. This image, enhanced by highlighting the simple colors and lines of the landscape, reflects a sense of hope and regeneration. 

August 3, 2008

Downtown

This is a view of downtown Camas, Washington that highlights the pretty tree lined streets, entertainment at the Liberty Theater, and downtown merchants against the backdrop of a blue sky streaked by the smoke stacks of the local paper mill that was instrumental in founding this town along the Columbia River.

I captured this image on a sunny afternoon. To highlight the nostalgia and the small town hominess I softened the colors and added some contrast to the sky giving definition to the several elements that compose this image and the town itself. The lighter weight of line and color lends a hopeful forward looking tone to the scene that reflects my own filtered vision of the town.

July 20, 2008

Borrowed Vision

This image was captured at Sofukuji Temple in Nagasaki, Japan. It offers a view of a sign, written in faded and blurred Japanese characters on a brilliant red background. I spied this sign beyond a closed gate with a symmetrical cutout opening in the door. From my angle the sign completely filled the view through the opening.

I'm not sure why I found this image so captivating but it is one of my favorites. I like the grain of the wood in the gate and the rugged split to the left of the opening. I also like the opposing lines in the wood of the sign beyond. The contrast between the painted wood that offers a worn message and the rough wood that is cut in an elegant pattern somehow speaks eloquently to the relationship of ideals and realities of life I see as I travel in Japan. The view is at an unexpected angle but offers tension and balance in color and texture as well as a challenge to rightly perceive which elements of the photo are in the forefront and guiding our perceptions.

July 7, 2008

Lily Pond

Original photo by GF
This image captures a lovely scene, a waterscape reminiscent of Monet. In a reflective green pool, on a bed of amber and jade leaves, the pointy pink petals of a lovely water lily bloom abundantly. Isn't it gorgeous?

This image was captured by my husband in India. It is tranquil and bright. I cropped the original image to balance the elements more to my liking. Then I sharpened the color by saturating the image until the pink of the lily's petals and the paler lavender in the pool's reflection became unmistakably a focal point and balance. Then I simplified the details with an art filter, softening the image in the warm light.

June 24, 2008

Liberty Street Front - Black and White

Sometimes outlines can tell a story that color and shading get in the way of.

This version of the image featured in "Since 1927" highlights the details of the Liberty Theater and the gathering space in front, the umbrella over the outdoor table and the movie marquee, while letting the surrounding shades of this small town street fade into the background.

Which image do you prefer?

June 17, 2008

Since 1927

There is a lovely old movie theater in downtown Camas. It is situated on Fourth Street. It was built and first opened in 1927. In 1996 it was completely restored. The Liberty Theater adds character and a focal point to the small pedestrian friendly downtown area of Camas.

Looking up Fourth Street toward Natalia's and the Camas Public Library the sidewalk opens up in front of the Liberty. It is a gathering point, a place to meet friends, a landmark location.

This image captures the framework of that meeting place. The branches of the tree overarch the umbrella table and the Liberty's marquee. The old fashioned buildings, the soft sidewalk-front facades, and the blue sky beyond, punctuate the relaxed nostalgic atmosphere of this charming downtown scene.

June 11, 2008

A Path of Sand

Original Photo by JE
I follow a path of sand
shifting beneath my feet
soft and hot and incomplete.
I can’t see where it leads
beyond thornbushes and scrub
where wild seeds grow
and vagrant shadows play.
This is the only way
that still winds clear,
the only road between
despair and fear,
the only way of hope.
I push forward, moving on -
I can’t stand still,
releasing what I yearn for,
what I might possess,
yet exactly what that is,
I must confess,
I do not understand.
And so I walk on
Opening my hands.

June 6, 2008

A Touch of Color

This piece of cake, from a recipe called Chocolate Decadence, was a gorgeous model. I took quite a few photos of it and every one looked delicious.

What differed was the curve and symmetry of the whipped cream mounded on top and the angle of view on that tiny touch of color in the rosemary flower on top.

The rosemary flower adds a lively focal point to this image. When I intensified its color and took the detail out of the texture of the cake, the cake slipped into the background and the flower burst into the forefront. Through the adjustment of the shadows and highlights, the whipped cream offers structure and dimension that gives the image a nice line and features that soft touch of color in the tiny flower.

June 2, 2008

From Here to There

Original photo by GF
This photo was taken on a road in India.

I love the striking contrast between the jewel like color of the woman's garments as she humbly rides on the back of this motorcycle and that of her dusty surroundings.

India, it seems, is filled with such jewels and stark visual contrasts.

May 30, 2008

Swan Bridge

This is a scene from the plaza near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The bridge is called the Meganebashi because it resembles eyeglasses as it reflects in the water. The day I visited I captured this image with a swan swimming in one of the lenses.

This image captures a tranquil scene in the middle of Japan's bustling capital city. The stones offer a solid permanence and their texture beautifully offsets the lush green of the Japanese landscape and the dreamlike reflections in the jade green water.

May 28, 2008

Little Gnome

This little gnome stood beside the path of the Philosopher's Walk in Kyoto, Japan. On my way to the Silver Pavilion I met him by a step in a small garden. My camera was out of batteries so I borrowed my son's to capture his image.

The day was hot and the image I captured looked pale and dry. It lacked the whimsical spark I had seen in the gnome's habitat that afternoon.

To better match the image to the memory, I enhanced the color and simplified the lines in the original picture. I sharpened the outlines and cropped the edges close to the gnome himself and the flowers he seemed to be tending nearby.

I like the result, printed on art paper in a small size, edges torn, and mounted on a much larger mat. It is like looking through a peephole into this Japanese gnome's unique world.

May 20, 2008

Perspective

I like the simple lines of this image. The balance of the arching heights, the slight distortion that simplifies the image and the cross rising high above it all to frame and center our perception of the rest.

This view of Zion was taken on a bright sunny day just as a building project began. Rather than focusing on the changes it focuses on the sky, the cross and what remains the same.

May 14, 2008

Leaf Shadow

This splendid autumn leaf came to rest on my back deck last fall.

The lines on the leaf and the brilliant color seemed to punctuate the rough texture of the deck in expectation of the bare winter months ahead.

This image once again reminds me of the stories the most simple composition can tell. To hear these stories we need only step outside our own back door..... and listen.

May 11, 2008

Bird on a Twig

Original photo by G Feather
This bird posed on the end of a branch overlooking an atmospheric green river in India. The lines of white in the shading of the rivers current offered the background an interesting texture. I used filtering tools to flatten the background image and enhance its randomly patterned design.

This background seems to highlight the simple line of the solitary perch the bird has chosen to linger on, and fades all other considerations from view. The focus rests on the rich and startling beauty of nature's treasures.

May 1, 2008

Cinnamon

Acrylic on Canvas by Kerrin Feather
This beautiful painting was done by my daughter in her high school art class. It is hung with my pixograph of a rose, "Forgiven," in this month's exhibit at the Second Story Gallery in Camas, WA. Both pieces are quite expressive of the individual who created them and their unique perspective. I am very excited and proud to have my work displayed in tandem with my daughter's gorgeous painting.

Forgiven

That rose bathed in lamplight 
must be mine.
Where once it was so deeply fine
and tightly gathered,
now, it drops past center
loose and free
of what once was fiercely hoped 
that it might be.
Now it simply is.
Light and dark relax together,
settle, gathered on each petal,
comfortably cupped,
cradled, silvered and hushed,
no longer hidden,
yet bathed in gold soft light
undone,
Forgiven.

April 30, 2008

Ashes and Flame

This image was captured in a temple near Himeji Japan.

The color and aura of the flame contrasts powerfully with the strength and depth of the vessel. I tried to adjust the properties of the image to highlight this tension.

As I balanced these elements the worn tatami mats surrounding the vessel paled to the color and texture of ash. The resulting pixograph depicts a narrative reflecting the transformational force of our being.

Or maybe it's just about art.

April 29, 2008

Witch Hazel

Just as I was down in the dumps about the endless gray of winter God called the Witch Hazel in my yard to work it's magic and push open its late winter blooms.

The Witch Hazel is such an interesting plant. It's beautiful pods and bright spidery blossoms look so eager and cheerful, so full of hope as winter draws to a close.

I loved the brightness of this image. I softened the details a bit and let the background fade. It speaks to me of bright new ideas and fresh beginnings.

April 27, 2008

Water Droplet

This painting by my daughter can be seen in the exhibit "Five" at the Second Story Gallery beginning May 2.

I love the playful use of color and the way she has captured the reflective quality and the depth of the water.

This painting, along with her larger painting "Cinnamon," will be on display at the gallery through May 30. Kerrin's paintings, along with the work of other artists who have exhibited their art at the Second Story Gallery over the past few years, will compose the exhibit "Five" celebrating the fifth anniversary of the fabulous renovation of the Camas Public Library.

March 21, 2008

Upper Falls

Original Photograph by Gary Perman
This image of a waterfall is full of color and motion. It is a spotlight on the abundance of beauty and natural resources that can be found throughout the Pacific Northwest.

I filtered the image to simplify the details and amplify the colors. I also wanted to highlight the texture of the silhouette of leaves and branches veiling the falls.

February 20, 2008

River Boat

Original photo by Gary Feather
This is a classic scene from the riverfront in Paducah, Ky. Riverboats stop here to let their passengers explore the history and culture of the area in Paducah's wonderful museums and galleries.

Steamboats have been a part of American culture since the 1800's. They now remain active offering historic river cruises.

This image,of a nostalgic steamboat and a spot of deep southern shade reminds me of some of the most wonderful elements of summer.

February 11, 2008

Along the River

Original photo by Gary Feather
This image captures a view of the Ohio River over the floodwall in Paducah, Ky.

This view offers a perspective on several avenues of transportation that have served visitors to the area over the years. The wide avenue of the river is paralleled by train tracks where several old train cars sit and a roadway with automobiles parked alongside.

I enjoyed the symmetry as well as the testament to the passage of time that is captured in this image. The simple lines and bright tones add interest and draw the divergent elements into a unified whole.

February 9, 2008

Art Station

Original photograph by Gary Feather
This historic 1917 Texaco Station houses a Visitor's Information Center at the heart of Paducah's Lowertown Arts District. Here you can find out about Paducah's Artist Relocation Program. You can also get a map locating area galleries, cafes and shops.

This image highlights the bright colors and inviting nostalgic feel of the building in the late summer sunshine.

February 7, 2008

Purple Cow

Here is another bovine image I was able to find. This cow was also one we encountered when we traveled to Switzerland. This one seemed to have a more casual personality and I decided to express that through a new wardrobe. I added a bit of color to change its style and I think the resulting image makes for a fun portrait.

February 6, 2008

Brown Cow

Inspired by the thought of The Stranded Cow I looked through my archives for images of cows I have worked with. In my search I came across a few we met in Switzerland several years ago.

This image captures a particularly handsome looking cow from a dairy near the house where we were staying. It looked so healthy and well cared for with a smooth brown coat and bright eyes.

I liked the richness of the brown tones in this dignified portrait of a photogenic animal acquaitance of mine.

February 5, 2008

The Stranded Cow

Original photograph by Gary Feather
The Stranded Cow, in Paducah, Ky, is the home of the subject of my pixograph "Spider on Exhibit". Here Charlotte is free to spin and use the space between a window in the cafe and its screen to display her exhibit in Paducah's Lowertown Arts District.

This image has the wonderful feel of late summer sunshine and southern hospitality. It suggests an open invitation to make yourself at home on the wide front porch and enjoy a leisurely visit with friends or family.

And while you are there you can enjoy some quirky southern charm by learning the story of the cow that was stranded there, on the second story balcony, during the 1937 flood. Or you can just say "Hi!" to Charlotte for me.

February 4, 2008

Cafe Scene*

Origninal photograph by Gary Feather
This image was a revelation to me!

Taken in low light, the original image held little interest when viewed simply as a photograph. The scene was grainy, the faces fuzzy, the background indistinct. Yet there is no other way to capture a scene like this one with a pocket camera. Flash is intrusive and would wash out the details and depth of the scene.

Interestingly, with just a bit of digital darkroom processing, this scene took on the look of a painting and, suddenly, the qualities that might be seen as flaws in a photograph actually enhanced the pixographic image.

The blurred background is wonderfully atmospheric. The light that was captured in the image shimmers on the surfaces and dances like candlelight giving the scene a wonderful glow. And since intrusive photographic techniques were not used, the scene remains natural and unforced. In this way a dinner companion was able to capture the casual mood of conversation and conviviality at his own table.

January 28, 2008

A New Beginning*

This is where a show begins. Pictures lined up along the wall. A ladder. Some wires. A few people with a good eye.

In no time at all groupings come together, taking shape on the wall. Individual items are shifted and realigned for balance until a flow is established and the presentation feels right.

This image captures the bright expectation, hope and anxiety of hanging my first art exhibit at the Second Story Gallery, at the beginning of a brand new year.

I want to thank all of you who helped to make it happen. Without your help and your encouragement, your experience and your vision I could never have done this. Thank you to the Second Story Gallery Board of Governors and to all of you who came to see the exhibit. It has been a joy to meet you and work with you. Thank you for your interest in my work and for all of the wonderful feedback. This exhibit has been a great way to begin 2008!

January 23, 2008

Tea and Oranges

Original photo by Gary Feather
This image was captured on a sidestreet in Nagasaki, Japan, close to Sofuku-ji Temple. On a grey concrete wall, beside a driveway, someone had set out boxes and baskets of orange peels to dry in the sun. The bright color of the orange peel was such a contrast to the dreary colors around it that we couldn't help but notice, and noticing we saw how beautiful it was.

Up close the color and texture of the image is astounding. I tried to bring out the contrast and the feeling of sunshine that this surprising little still life inspired in my mind and heart that day.

January 22, 2008

Slide Landing*

Original photo by Gary Feather
This image of children playing on a playground was captured in Switzerland on a beautiful spring morning. The sun shone brightly and highlighted the fresh newness of the grass and the wonderful colors of the playground equipment and the children's clothing.

The enhancements made accentuate the bright colors and gives the image a wonderful childlike quality.

This image is a companion piece to "The Playground."

January 21, 2008

Train Platform - Japan*

This image of a train platform in Japan suggests the hectic pace of activity there. Kiosks are open, selling food, drinks and magazines. Commuters are hurrying to their trains. Some people are waiting while others are in conversation. Trains are pulling in and out of the station.

The platform stretches out as a stage for this activity. Here, the train itself, captures the reflection of the platform and its narrative as it stops to pick up passengers and hurry them to their various destinations.

January 20, 2008

Light Into Dark*

Original photo by Jeff Englund
This image was captured somewhere near Mt. St. Helens. A footbridge frames the edge of a wetland. In the foreground the water shines with a lovely quality of light, reflecting the bridge and the grasses in the surrounding scene. In the distance, the walkway takes us into the darker brush beyond.

So many paths in life are like this one,taking us from the brightly lit places that are known to us into the vague unknown, beyond what we can see from where we presently stand. And yet the mystery and the promise of even more breathtaking vistas of God's creation beckons the adventurer in us ever farther down the path and to the other side.

January 19, 2008

Narrow Path*

Original photo by Jeff Englund
This trail near the Rowena Crest Viewpoint along the Historic Columbia River Highway is easy to hike. It is rather even, with little change in elevation. It offers some gorgeous views and in the spring I understand there are wildflowers to be seen.

In the autumn it may seem a bit bland, winding through the dry grass, but if you look more carefully you might see cattails, interesting fall foliage, a tiny green frog, and some beautiful views of the Columbia River Gorge.

Still, one of the best features is the trail itself. In a certain even serenity it leads you through what seems like a large plain field though it is high on the Rowena Plateau. Like approaching the Grand Canyon, the landscape is deceptively simple until you reach the rim of the Columbia River Gorge and realize how closely you have been traveling to the overwhelming wonder and beauty of this place.

This image captures the simplicity of the trail, the clear color of the sky and a few hints of the wonder and beauty of the view that this narrow path quietly leads you to.

January 18, 2008

Tubing Trail*

Original photograph by Gary Feather
This is the time of year when the tubing at Winter Lodge on Mt. Hood is good!

This image, captured in 2006, conveys the serenity of nature. The tall snow laden trees dwarf the hikers and offer an exquisite backdrop to the snowy mountain trail.

It also captures the soft palette of a mountain landscape muted by snow and punctuated by the colorful hikers climbing the trail to have another turn at riding the tubes and enjoying the singular pleasures of a winter in the Pacific Northwest.

January 15, 2008

Temple Blossoms*

Cherry blossoms lend their ephemeral beauty to almost every scene during April in Japan.

This image was captured at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto. The delicate cherry blossoms frame the traditional red outiline of a shrine in the Higashiyama hills as they arch against a beautiful blue sky.

The fragile nature of the blossoms and the bright playful color of the spring sky complement and enhance each other in this simple image.

January 10, 2008

Seeds*

The bright summer flowers of crocosmia are a treasure in any garden. Yet while this plant is treasured for its flowers, the flowers eventually yield their bright color to the formation of beautifully textured seeds as summer turns to fall.

These seeds, framed against a fall lawn strewn with purple, orange and gold, caught my eye as I looked just past my back deck one autumn day. The sword shaped foliage seemed to punctuate the autumn landscape and add interest and contrast to the oddly beautiful seedhead. I grabbed my camera and tried to capture the moment.

In this image I enhanced the beautiful colors and the wonderful textures of this autumn landscape that happened to be just beyond my own backdoor.

January 8, 2008

Jetty View*

This image was captured on the south jetty at Fort Stevens State Park on the Oregon coast.

From my rocky perch I sat with my camera and watched the water pound the rocks under a dreary sky. The gray light brought out the colors and shading of the rocks along the jetty. It also highlighted the white foam on the waves.

In this image I tried to bring out the subtle qualities of the light in the Pacific Northwest. As I study the picture now I think it might better be titled "100 Shades of Gray".

January 7, 2008

Reflections

The shipwreck at Peter Iredale beach is an easily identifiable feature of the Oregon, Coast. Its remains rest on the sand in Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria, Oregon. This image was taken in March of 2007.

Despite the dreary sky the form of this well known shipwreck is brightly mirrored in the relentless waves that lap the surrounding sand and slowly claim the wreckage for its own.

January 6, 2008

Bright Alignment*

This image was captured outside the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria, Oregon. Only after I had taken the photo did I notice the alignment of the hotel's 1939 Buick and the arch in the portico as well as the Astoria-Megler Bridge and the angle of the hotel's overhang. I was also struck by the color gleaming in the gray afternoon and the faint reflections on the damp pavement. The repeating lines and shadows, the way man wrestles with nature and nature echoes back our efforts can be seen again and again in the details here.

January 5, 2008

Himeji Sky

This image was captured from the bailey of Himeji Castle in the Spring of 2007. It offers a splendid view, looking up at the Main Tower, or donjon, of the "white egret castle" and to the bright blue sky beyond. It also captures graceful shadows dancing in the breeze on the castle walls below.

January 4, 2008

Summit

Original photograph by Gary Feather
This image of Mt. Adams was captured from the top of Mt. St. Helens in July of 2007. It shows the upper edge of the volcanic ridge and the volcanic pumice that covers the mountain top. It also shows the silhouette of several hikers at the edge of the ridge reveling in the view.

January 3, 2008

Spiral

This image of a spiral staircase was taken at Melk Abbey in Austria. The staircase can be found just beyond the elaborate and impressive library. It is beautiful whether looking up or down.

This image captures the steps descending the staircase and revolves around an echo of the resolution and light to be found at the end of the spiral.

January 2, 2008

Determination

Original photo by Jeff Englund
This image, looking up through the knotted branches of a disfigured tree, was taken along the Cape Horn Loop Trail in the Columbia River Gorge.

The foliage that adorns its base is ragged and sparse. Dry lifeless twigs are interspersed with more verdant leaves, clinging to life. Moss hangs thickly tugging at the branches and fungus saps its massive trunk.

Still the tree persists. It stands upright and suggests the form of arms reaching for the sky, determined to grasp the light and persevere.