Category: iPhonography

iPhonography

THE LIFE OF A PHOTOGRAPH, CONTINUED

We did the fishmonger last time; now let's do some things with just the fish. We start by cropping the original image, removing the part that we no longer need.

This gives us a starting point, but let's try and make it more interesting. We could start by cropping down to the most interesting fish, eliminating even more of the unnecessary bits, and pumping up the color…

Hmmmm, not bad. What if we darken the image and add more contrast?

I kind of like the sinister look that it has now. Definitely more interesting than what we started with. We could stop here, but why not go back a step, and pump the color even more…

Now, let's play around with some distortion… Give it a little of the old fish eye look. Pun intended.

I think we've got something here. Let's go further with it and see what we get.

Yikes! Not sure I like this one. But wait. Notice that big, deep, black hole that has opened up in the center. What a great spot for an editor to place a title. And there's another negative space in the lower right that could hold some additional copy. A handy app for trying this idea on for size is Skitch…

That was fun! But I think I'll try and take it even further. I'm liking those guys on the right, so I think I'll crop down to them and rotate, like this…

Powerful, and might look good with text flowing in the dark space. But the fish on the left troubles me, the way it leads the eye out the bottom of the picture. Of course, that could be a good thing if it worked within the context of a page layout, for instance, taking the reader right into the beginning of the story. The red one in the bottom left also bothers me, as does the hard to see third fish on the right. I play around with several versions, changing values, contrast, sharpness, color saturation, etc, until I come up with this one that I like…

Much better! Some carefully applied vignette helped with the lower left, and I brought up the light on fish number three, while selectively applying more vignette to keep the values down on the rest of the image.

Want to take it further, yet? OK! Let's rotate this sucker and see how it feels…

Interesting. But, now that upside down fish is too distracting. And the big one on top is way too heavy. Time for another cropping…

And Bingo! How's this for a magazine layout, or a blog banner. Now all we need is a bunch of fish tales 😉

We've come a long way from the original photo. There were several points along the way that we could have veered off from in even more directions. Another time I'll share some things to be done with a failed original to make it into something useable. On yet another, I'll show how I get from photo research to a finished painting. So stay tuned!

Hasta Luego

 

THE LIFE OF A PHOTOGRAPH

Here's a photo I took with my iPhone 6 Plus, recently, in the San Juan Market in Mexico City. I'm happy with it. However, I couldn't help wondering how ot might work as a black and white:

Hmmm, I like this one, too. But I decided to return to the full color version. Then I thought, what if it had “bokeh” (selective focus), forcing the foreground to appear more important by playing down the background:

I decided to push the bokeh more aggressively…

But felt that maybe that was too extreme. I decided to go back and tinker with the colors:

Oh, yeah, I like that; but how about more of the same?

Garish? Maybe. I do like it, though. I tried adding some bokeh to this version:

OK, that's my favorite. Not realistic, true. Overdone. Obvious, even. An abstraction, really. But then, so is the black and white version. It's not natural, either. Truth is, though, this bright, powerful version feels more like being there, to me. More like the emotional impact of being there. Both have their audience. Frankly, I'm in the audience for both.

I'm still happy with the original, too, really. It's already miles ahead of anything I was ever able to do before digital photography came along.

Now, I don't much like using the ready made filters in the apps I work with, even though some, not all, of them are quite beautiful and effective. I prefer to play around with various adjustments, sometimes delicately, sometimes pushing them beyond reason. I don't keep track of my methods, because I don't want my work to become formulaic. I approach each image based on its content, and manipulate it accordingly.

Apps used, PhotoForge2, Leonardo, Snapseed.

Next, we'll take a part of this image and get really wild with it. Stay tuned…

Hasta Mañana

 

 

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY and iPHONE SKETCHES

I'm running late tonight, but wanted to share with you this shot taken on the way from my hotel to the Mercado San Juan, recently.

iPhone 6+ / PhotoForge2 / Snapseed

Street photography is, as many of you know by now, one of my favorite pastimes. Especially in Mexico City. And, of course, another, newer, favorite is sketching in my iPhone. Here are a few more recent sketches done while watching tv.

Let me know in the comments if you like seeing them as a group, like this, or if you prefer them larger and in single file.

Please be patient with me. Paintings are coming up soon. I've been working on a project that I'm not at liberty to discuss just now, but I will fill you in on it when I can.

Hasta Mañana

 

A TIME FOR CHANGE

iPhone 6+ / Snapseed / PhotoForge2

The time has come for some changes.

As you have probably noticed, I am no longer doing the daily paintings. I stopped for a short while to catch my breath and to think about all the other things I wanted to do. Things like larger paintings, more photography, more drawing and sketching, video and writing, tutorials and demonstrations, etc.

That short while has become a rather long while. Posts have become irregular in theIr timing. Other matters have crept in and taken over my time since letting go of the discipline of daily painting and posting.

I am working toward a goal of combining all these other interests with a return to that sense of discipline.

First of all, I am going to begin by posting something every day. Even if it’s just a sketch or a thought.

Somedays, as has been the pattern lately, I will do a longer post, a post about my travels, or a larger project I’m working on, or… who knows what?

I’m also thinking of breaking this blog into six or seven individual blogs, one for painting, one for watercolors, another for drawings. Others might be for sketches, photographs, or travel.

This would make it possible to sign up for just the ones that appeal to you. Posts would not come as often, unless you chose to sign up for all of them, but I would still be comitted to creatIng a daily post, spread over multiple blogs.

I hope that makes sense to you. I’m trying to get my head around the concept as I type.

What do you think? What would you like more of?

I welcome your comments, ideas, and suggestions.

 

 

THERE I WAS IN MEXICO CITY…

There I was in Mexico City, having a great time on my way back to the Palacio De Bellas Artes for the Cartier-Bresson exhibition.

When I got there, I was surprised to be allowed to photograph inside the show. I spent hours there, pouring over some three hundred of the works of this master of street photography who was also a leader in photo journalism. And a film maker. Altogether a thrilling, satisfying and educational showing.

An added pleasure was seeing a large and diverse crowd so deeply involved.

Afterward, I had strolled through Chinatown

and the Plaza San Juan, with its brightly colored playground filled with laughing, squealing children, it’s splashing, overflowing fountain,

Past the locksmith, a real Peter O’Toole look-alike,

And on to El Mercado de San Juan de Pugibet.

(To be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

POESÍAS

Let me tell you about a strange and serendipitous encounter a couple of days ago. I had wandered over to the Palacio de Bellas Artes to see a show of photographs by the world famous street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, master of the “decisive moment”.

Once inside, I was somewhat disappointed to find only a slide show of his his work, showing his travels during his lifetime, and some digital pedestals with information all in Spanish. Oh, well, there was an interesting photographer taking pictures of the crowd, so I started photographing him at work.

The crowd began moving through an open door. A sriking woman in black passed by me and I grabbed a shot, but too late, her head was turned away. So I followed her inside, thinking maybe there was to be a lecture or other presentation related to the Cartier-Bresson exhibition.

I followed her to her seat in the front row, passed her by and sat down with one seat between us, firing away the whole time.

CONSTANZA CASANOVA POET

She caught me. I smiled. She smiled. We introduced ourselves. She told me she is a poet from Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico, and that she was there to give a poetry reading. She asked me to photograph her while on stage. I agreed, and she handed me her camera.

I stayed and listened to five rounds of five women poets and three finalists, three hours' worth, of women poets from all over Mexico. I believe others were from Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and possibly other countries, reading their poems. In Spanish! I only caught a hand full of words, but my iPhone and my Lumix camera were firing the whole time.

When I finally staggered out of the auditorium, at 5:30, I saw , off to my left, what turned out to be the entrance to the main part of the Cartier-Bresson exhibition. In I went. I was stunned to see, first of all, very credible paintings from his youth, then an album containing his very first photographs as a teenager. Then a few familiar and a few unfamiliar images.

I was especially taken by a short film, showing him walking along a crowded street, while taking thirty four photographs in just 39 seconds.

Just as I was becoming really engrossed in the unfolding of this extraordinary life, a guard informed me that the museum was closing. It was on my way out, as I wound my way through room, after room, after room, that I realized I had to return. I asked the guard at the exit how many pieces were on display. Three hundred. I will definitely return. Most likely tomorrow.

CONSTANZA de MARIA CASANOVA, POESÍA

Oh, and after leaving the Bellas Artes, I met two of the women from the poetry event, outside, and will be sending them photos of themselves, as well as Constanza and the photographer who sort of got me into the whole thing.

BLANCA BÁTIZ

I seem to have lost the names of this poet and the photographer. I will update this information as soon as possible. Lo siento.

Next: MERCADO SAN JUAN, Mexico City's Historic Gourmet Market

Hasta luego