Classical Gas

CLASSICAL GAS MUSEUM EMBUDO New Mexico IMG_0070 2.JPG

The Classical Gas Museum in Embudo, New Mexico. How many times have I hurried past? Someday, soon I hope, I’m going to stop, go in, take my time, and, maybe, get some good photographs.

My friend, photographer Steve Bundy, tells me it’s full of interesting old stuff.

Being a bit of old stuff myself, I expect I will thoroughly enjoy my visit.

In Your Face

IN-YOUR-FACE-41-P1260208.jpg

Vieille Ville (Old Town), Nice, France

Street dogs, like this handsome fellow, are an important part of my street photography.

I WENT FOR A WALK TODAY

I went for a walk today, and this is some of what I saw:

A piñata,

A boat-tail grackle taking off,

A gull,

Some pretty yellow flowers,

An abandoned house,

Palm fronds in the sand,

A couple of piglets,

And a dog that looked like I felt!

All were shot with my iPhone 6s Plus, and processed in Snapseed.

Oh, and I got a bunch more street shots. But I'll save those for another day.

Hasta mañana.

 

TAOS DECOR (BUFFALO SKULL)


TAOS DECOR (BUFFALO SKULL) / iPhone 6s Plus / Snapseed

WOW, yesterday's post appeared instantly, as it should. I don't know what changed, nor how long it will last. The reason I care is that I'm trying to decide the best time to post. Once I know the best time, of course, I will want to be able, reliably, to hit that mark.

Today's image, by the way, is a photograph, taken from my desk, of a buffalo skull given to me many years ago by my great friend Greg (Ging) Guymon. He found it in while on one of his many trips to Wyoming, painted it with colors from the earth, stuffed its eye sockets with buffalo grass, and brought it to me as a gift. I hope to write more about this dear departed friend in the coming days. He was born a hundred years too late, and died a hundred years too soon. Thanks, Greg.

Gotta run…

Hasta mañana.

 

THE BIG ONE BITES THE DUST – ER, SNOW

THE BIG ONE BITES THE DUST – ER, SNOW / iPhone 6s Plus / Sapseed

All you loyal followers will recognize these dried sunflower stalks outside our kitchen window. Theyve been featured before on this blog, here, and here.

A Mystery.

Today, when I looked out the window, this scene presented itself. Big Guy down! What happened to the larger of my models? Judging from the tracks, I suspect one of the neighborhood magpies? It looks to me like he landed on it, road it to the ground, checked for leftover seeds, then walked away, looking for easier pickings. Is that what you see?

Hasta mañana.

 

LATER THAT NIGHT

LATER THAT NIGHT / IPhone 6+ / Snapseed / PhotoForge 2

So I returned later that night to reshoot yesterday's scene in the moonlight. Just kidding. Truth is, I was wondering if I could make the scene look the way it looked in my mind. Like a moonlit scene. I played around, using two of my favorite apps and their sliders for saturation, contrast, shadows and highlights, and even a few of their filters. (Lightly on the filters.)

I had a lot of fun playing with the image, and I'm enjoying the final result. I hope you are, too.

The rest of my day was a little less fun. I've made a mess. I have three books I've been working on simultaneously.

A wrong version of KACHINAS somehow got onto Amazon. I managed to get it removed. Now I have to get the right version up. The correct version, thank goodness is still available in the Blurb Bookstore.

The hard cover and soft cover versions of CAR PARTS, as mentioned previously, arrived late on Monday. I noticed right away that, while it's beautifully printed, a couple of pages were not as they should have been. Last night I discovered that the cover was right, the entire insides are from an earlier version that I had spent a day changing throughout. I still have to build and figure out how to make epub, Kindle, and pdf versions available to all the different markets.

As some of you are aware, LIFE OF A PHOTOGRAPH can only be read on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. I have promised to make it available to all those who don't have those devices. But that requires a different format and use of different software, as well as transfer to my Mac desktop.

Altogether, with the three books, I am dealing with three different apps, three or four companies, three different file formats, and, due to my own sloppy mismanagement of the whole process, a mind boggling amount of confusion and wasted time. But I'm learning as I go, and have finally realized it's time to slow down, get organized, and sort it all out. Also, I need to prioritize and take one thing at a time.

They say that making mistakes is the only way to learn. If that's true, I should reach geniushood any day, now. Don't hold your breath for that. 😉

Additionally, all the images for my books have to be located, cleaned up, sized, move from machine to cloud to machine, uploaded and inserted, books and covers, both print and eBook, designed, text researched, written, loaded, sized and arranged. Fonts chosen, colors chosen, etc.

It's been rough. But, you know what? I LOVE IT. I've wanted to do something like this for years. I didn't dream how difficult it could be I could make it. I have learned a great deal of respect for those who make more complex books. Even while struggling with these three books, my mind is racing with all the others clammering to get made. Someday I'm going to make a book to help others avoid my mistakes and really enjoy making their own books.

I just made a commitment to make a catalog for my Sorrel Sky Gallery coming up in March in Santa Fe.

So I guess I'd better get back to work.

Hasta mañana.

 

TIME AND INTERESTS

 EROSION / SAN JOSÉ DE GRACIA CHURCH / LAS TRAMPAS, NEW MEXICO
iPhone 6Plus / PhotoForge2 /Snapseed


I HAVE TOO MANY INTERESTS!

PAINTING

Of course! I am an Artist. A painter.

Watercolor, now that’s my first love.

And oils? They have recently, after forty plus years, become a joy in themselves; more than a means to an end. I’ve started to actually enjoy pushing the paint around. At the same time, I want to give more thought to what I’m painting. What direction, if any, I’m trying to take with my work.

Pastels and oil pastels? Love ’em. Haven’t done much in a while. Would like to get back into them.

Drawing and sketching, both preliminary and for their own sake. Sketching on the iPhone has become almost compulsive lately, and recent line and watercolor work has been very rewarding. See video demos here and here.

As a subset of all this, I have too many subject matter interests. That’s fine for the little dailies, but for larger works, I need more focus. But on what?

Too many interests!

PHOTOGRAPHY

I’ve been interested in photography for as long as I’ve been interested in painting. Until digital photography came along, however, I was more an observer than a practitioner. I occasionally took photos meant to be seen as photographs, but, for the most part, I used the camera as a research tool for my paintings. Some of the time it was used to record my work, or for the usual family snapshot.

When digital came along, my life changed. I had never had an affinity for the dark, smelly confines and chemicals of a darkroom. I had been in love with computers for years. At last, I could not only take pictures, I could make photographs!

Capture

As I see it, there are two ways to make a photograph. The first is to take it. To do it all through the viewfinder. To first see the image, then to compose it, time it, capture it in a single time stopping click of the shutter. Done. OK, maybe with a minimum of adjustment, but not manipulation, in either darkroom or computer. It’s all about capturing the subject, the moment, the feeling, the story. This is to seriously take a photograph, as opposed to a snapshot, a relatively careless, random recording of a place or an event.

Make

The second way is to take whatever has been captured, maybe deliberately, maybe carelessly, and make something more of it. To push it. Recompose, redesign, tease, enhance, yes, to manipulate it. Exaggerate, alter, or completely change its original meaning, story, emphasis. To add to it, or to take away from it. To create.

I find both ways fascinating. I am interested in both. And in following both paths. Combining them, too.

Technology

With an iPhone virtually always on my person, I am really hooked! And guess what? It does video! Who has ever seen a movie and not longed to do film? Pictures that move! High quality video with a device that fits in my shirt pocket?! Are you kidding?

Allow me to share a little perspective here. I grew up at a time when Dick Tracy’s wrist radio was a pipe dream. Something from an unattainable, unreal, damn near unimaginable future. And now?…

Terminology

Oh, I have a phone in my pocket. That’s pretty neat. But I’m a visual kinda guy. I have a camera / video camera in my pocket!!! And I can talk on it. Not a telephone that takes pictures. To me, it’s not really an iPhone, it’s an iCamera.

I have an iPad, as well. It’s my darkroom. Oh, sure, I can edit images on my iPhone, I mean iCamera, but most editing gets done on the iPad. Maybe I should say my iDarkroom? OK, this could get ridiculous in a hurry. The iPad is also my pen, my pencil, my typewriter. I’m typing this, right now, on my iPad. This little machine in a piece of glass is that and so much more. Don’t get me started. For now, let’s stick to the fact that it’s a writing device.

WRITING

Another interest. Ever since I leaned to read (before I started school, by the way. Thanks Mom, Aunt Inez, Aunt Bea.) I have wanted to be a writer. Well, now I write. Some. Nothing to brag about, but I enjoy it when I do it. That doesn’t make me a writer, really. That’s not the number one way I would describe myself. Writing is just another one of those interests that demands a lot of my time. Not in the doing so much as in the thinking about doing. Intending to do when time permits. I love to read books by writers on writing.

BOOKS

There are several self-publish books rattling around in my head. A book of Kachina paintings. One of horse paintings. Best of A Farnsworth a day. Best of When a Painter Snaps. Best landscape paintings. People. Still lifes. On and on. Oh, don’t forget e-books and zines.

LEARNING

Now there’s a big one. I hit school running. Ate it up. Skipped second grade after a week or two. Bogged down a bit in third grade, moved to a lumber camp with a small two-room, two-teacher country, first-through-eighth-grade school for my fourth year. A week or two later, I was promoted to fifth grade. Each grade got a fourth of the teacher’s time, which meant I could spend the rest of the day listening, if the lesson was interesting, stare out the window, daydreaming, or my favorite, go to the bookcase at the back of the room and read ever more interesting and challenging books. Learning. Loving it.

For the seventh grade, I moved into town, lived alone in a rooming house full of bus drivers. School began to be about regimentation, ringing Pavlovian bells, memorizing dates with no real, living context, rules that made little sense. Aside from Mrs. Walkup’s English class my sophomore year, I didn’t learn much in school beyond the first couple of years. I barely made it through high school. Had no interest in college. None. But after a while, I noticed how much I was enjoying reading again, learning. It was school that I detested, not learning. I loved learning. Still do. About anything. Everything. Hell, at the rate I’m going, I may actually know something, someday. But it’s the journey, not the destination that matters, right?

TIME

So, with painting, photography, videography, writing, learning and all the branches and varieties thereof, you can see how much I need to manage my time. Time management? Something else to learn? Plus I’ll need time to put it into practice.

Maybe I need to break it all down. Let’s see. What do I want to do most with my time, the most valuable thing I own?

Paint

That’s the most important thing I do. Or, lately, don’t do. Gotta fix that.

Take photos

That’s spontaneous, fits in everywhere.

Take photos deliberately

That’s something I don’t do enough of, except, sometimes, when traveling.

Make photos

Random. Usually done when I’m trying to get something else done, but an image pops up and demands attention. Play time. But with a purpose.

Manage my images

In desperate need of attention. Currently eats up a lot of time with little in the way of results.

Study

Study. Not just jumping down every rabbit hole that presents itself, especially on the internet. Real, dedicated, productive study of subjects of real importance to me.

Rabbit holes

Can’t just ignore them. They’re too important to me. Too interesting. I just need to get control of them, keep them in perspective.

Blogging

I love it. I really miss doing my daily paintings. Would love to fire up my old When A Painter Snaps daily photo blog again. Want to occasionally go on a rant, like today. I would like to do an occasional interview, or introduce a painter or a photographer. Or discuss a style, or a movement. Whew! See what I mean? And yet, somehow, I manage to let days slip past me without a blog post of any kind.

Dialog

I would like to develop more of a dialog in the comments section. Not just an endless string of Thank You’s but some real give and take. What I would really like is to get some dialog going between commenters. Some discussion, some depth. How about it, gang?

Teaching

Oh, yeah, and I want to teach more, maybe workshops, maybe on the blog, definitely with more YouTube video demos.

More

Naturally, all this needs to be worked in around family, friends, travel, transportation (Betsy, my iVan, needs to be replaced with something more dependable), a website in desperate need of attention, business, and on and on it goes. There are movies to be watched, I haven’t been fishing in years, I definitely need to walk more

Oh, boy

I’ve got some fixin’ to do!

Right now, I’m going to go make myself some lunch, then I’m going to muck out the studio while I try and come up with some sort of effective schedule, or breakdown of my days. I need to focus, prioritize and schedule. You know… Time Management.

Wish me luck.

Life is, indeed, Grand!

Which version do you prefer, and why? Let us know in the comments.