Friday, December 30, 2016

Prince Edward Island Crab

I had a drawing from our trip to P.E.I. last summer, and it needed "finishing", so I got our my pencils and went to work on it. I obviously had a particular idea in mind as I created the image, but when I take out ink to detail and pencils to color, the work often transposes in some sort of way. In this case, I found a figure and embellished it, kept the palette limited with some highlights, and attempted to give a sense of movement to the "crab".

Monday, December 26, 2016

"Red" Auerbach

This portrait of a sculpture of a well-known Celtics coach was taken in Boston at Haymarket Square and I felt that some of the same problems with shooting portraits existed with this image. I did go into the background of this shot with Acorn and blur it considerably so as to divert attention from background.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Rearranging the Manger

It was sort of funny that when the kids got to the house for Christmas vacation, that Jackson went to the manger scene that we always put up in the house for the holidays and changed all the characters around. He was sort of funny about putting the animals around the baby Jesus to protect him and having the people stepped back a bit. I guess he just didn't trust the "Wise Men" completely.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Emma on The Train

We had a wonderful last two days on our Art/Music Boston trip, and the students were amazing. Giving them the opportunity to make choices, plan ahead, and develop their own solutions to various dynamics and logistics allowed them to step up and accomplish things while enjoying themselves.

This is a shot of one of the students on the AmTrax ride down to Boston!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holiday Colors

A late fall picture converted to holiday colors in Acorn. With a bit if a saturation "bump". Just playin' around, and this took about 30 seconds. I think the power of the digital age is that as an artist, you can make almost anything into almost anything else. I still find color fascinating.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Awww, Nuts!

I took about 10 minutes during lunch today to express my joy for a favorite food... peanuts! I thought it would be a good challenge to shoot a food that is as simple and narrow in form as the lowly peanut, and to try and do something unusual or "artistic" with it, so I started with "macro" shots, found one I liked and moved on from there.

My criteria was to get a point of view that is different, to light images in an interesting manner, and to use filters or adjustments to alter/enhance the imagery somewhat. All of these shots have been "tweaked" slightly. My favorite, based on the above criteria, is the last one!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fresh Film

My Black & White photo class has started to work with 35mm film, and I am so excited about the possibilities for them and their work. This has been an excellent class and I am so delighted that they are energetic and enthused about this work. They have gotten better and better as the semester has progressed, and I fully expect to see some great work from them!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

State Theater with Nora Jones

Jen and I attended the Nora Jones concert in Portland last night and found it fascinating visually and musically. She has a very subtle and moving voice as well as a tremendous talent for writing music that does not conform to any particular genre. The lighting was intricate and not particularly distracting, although I did find myself at times immersed in the moving effects of light rather than the visual performances of the musicians.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I'm creating food photography with my digital class right now, and I am asking them to pursue several choices for the type of food photo they present. While attractive food photos work well to increase your visual pleasure with food, they may not offer everything they could.

For me, this image tells a story of food already savored, mixed into a combination of textures and flavors that are meant to enhance one another. It isn't a particularly difficult task to metaphor that statement into a visual interpretation, where the mixture and variety of color, variety of directions of movement of the shapes both small and larger,  the linear etched areas in the background, and even the large shape of the fork, tied to the rest of the image through the debris on its surface all adding to that metaphor for taste.

Finally, the division of the image diagonally, with the almost entirely devoured upper left side and the not quite completely consumed lower right side, offer a slight leap in time to two different points in the consumption of a meal.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I haven't posted any drawings for a while, so here's one. As most of my journal work, it came to me slowly in a time released mood of temporal flux. As I lie in bed, preparing to sleep or read or draw or sing or something other that I can't foresee, I often find the sketchbook to be the most cathartic object I own. I have twenty or so of them, full of drawings... and I will always treasure them.

Friday, December 2, 2016

White Stripes

This morning, as most mornings, there were a number of gorgeous sights to behold as I drive to school. Of course, this time of year puts the sunrises and sunsets in my grasp, so a lot of the spectacular images I see are of that type.

As I pulled over to take a couple of pictures, I noticed that the clouds actually were rising as the sun was, so it took quite a while for the sun to get up over these rising clouds. This certainly qualified as a unique situation, so I had to take numerous shots. From my vantage point, this is the one I like most because of it color saturation and the light line visible from the sun horizontally in both directions.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Research as an educator is an important element for me on an almost every day basis, and recently while I was digging for some new perspectives I discovered an artist who was innovating some new ideas around pinhole cameras. With some further investigation I found a way to produce a new type of pinhole camera, so I made one. The image I've posted here is the fourth I made with the new camera. I like the "pattern" effect.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


I've been interested in a variety of printmaking forms and such since attending the MAEA Fall Conference at Haystack in September, and did Halloween cards for my grandsons using slices of foam rubber as ink-holding surfaces. I was surprised at the results and how the foam deformed, distributed ink to the paper, and generally functioned in the press.

While probably not a technique I will pursue a great deal further (or maybe I will), I did capture an image of one of the pieces leaning back against a piece of styrofoam while sitting on the edge of a plywood board. It seemed to me an abstraction of a face.

The formality of the composition and the effect of the shadows to create a three dimensional space is interesting to me, as are the combinations of symmetrical balance, unity, and the textures in the three elements. This image has a strange "presence", or being, that I enjoy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Jackson's "Jack-O-Lantern"


Jackson's Jack-O-Lantern

What fun doing the carving!
What fun watching the boys eyes light up!
Putting in the Candle and lighting it up!
Free candy (the boys don't realize yet).
Trick or Treat!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Grandsons' Weekend

Another weekend to spend with those two "characters", and they are able to spend every minute busily digging into something. Pillows become Jackson's "medium" and his constructions include everything from restaurants to houses. We have so much fun together! I just think these double exposure photos work well to describe the movement and motion of playing with these guys and with the many ideas they have to keep active.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall Workers

Here are a couple of my advisees from last Wednesday with the fall foliage in the background, and I thought they recovered from the "Nick" photobomb pretty well! I always enjoy time with my advisees, and these guys just seemed so happy to be outside and able to enjoy the fall day. It was a beautiful day!

Fall and the Colors Came Quick

Fall color arrived suddenly this year 
as we had a very dry summer 
that many felt would diminish the fall colors.

This did not happen as the colors
were as bright as they ever have been,
but went quickly to shades of brown.

I like this tree in yellow leaves
spreading out in a last gesture towards
the background branches already bare.

Fall, leaves, color, the beauty
of Mother Nature and the miracle
of all of our life cycles.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Early Morning Across Mud Creek

Having the days shorten is a change for me that allows me to actually see some sunrises. During the summer I have to get up early (4) to capture that kind of light. This morning I did it on the way to school!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Double Exposure Portraits

Just a quick couple of things as an expression of the sort of image that can be a result of purposeful work toward trying to capture an unusual or interesting sort of portrait.

These were shot today with the "Hipstamatic" phone app on my iPhone 6s, and the lighting was perfect for this sort of thing as the room lights were low and allowed the two images to "blend" well over one another for each picture. The double exposure button on the app does an excellent job and is pretty consistent and reliable once you get used to the amount of light you need from two exposures on the same image.

It's all About Me!

Still Life

Friday, October 7, 2016

Freshmen Spirit

So here's a group portrait shot of the freshmen class cheering group that took the front row in the recent homecoming rally. While at one point they were rather misspelled, they came through for this picture and showed all the letters they needed for the word "FRESHMEN".

I did have to do some cropping and adjustment for this image, but I thought it told the true story of the joy and spirit that these girls were showing toward their class at MDI HS!

The Park Bench

The bench used for the double exposure here was not actually in a park, but rather a part of the smaller courtyard here at school. The texture of weathered wood is always fascinating to me, and the sunlight striking both the wood and the moss at the end of the bench gave me a vision that anticipated the effect that resulted here. I used the "Hipstamatic" app, which is a constant favorite, and which also has a double exposure button. I am always astonished by the result and I have learned over the years I have used it that it requires a fairly accurate understanding of overlapping light and how one image can "affect" another. Even images shot in reverse order have a very different look from one another.

For this one I like the texture, obviously, and the geometric structure of the plank lines in the composition. I didn't do anything with the color, but the washed out look is very fitting for this image as the planks were sun faded and soft gray in the relatively bright sunlight. The layered look of the piece also gives it a depth that I find interesting as the top layer reveals portions of what rests below it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The "Daedalus"

Too Close to the Sun
Going out with students to enjoy the sunny atmosphere led me to the small courtyard off the Maine Office here at school today, and after a quick "double exposure" (bench texture)with my "Hipstamatic" app on my phone I became interested in the steel figure sculpture by Clark Fitzgerald in that area. I was almost immediately drawn into the various textures on the aging steel surfaces. While some of these textures are simply natural occurrence from the welding process, many are the result of weathering of the paint on the piece and have no context other than visual interest when viewed closely. I will post three that I enjoy.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Peanuts have become a primary food source for me over the past few years, as they have the protein, fat and carbs that I need to consider in my diet. They are also an interesting photo source, but limited as they are so small. To counteract the small I use a magnifier and shoot close to the subject, giving each nut it's own identity, and perhaps even it's own personality.

The abstract and random patterns that evolve create a pleasant contrast in each shot, with the shapes of the nuts becoming varied and the negative dark space between them pulling everything together in a unified manner.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


This is the last kernel (popped of course) from a group of a dozen or more that was given to me by a student in my DigPhoto class the other day. One of the points I was trying to make with the handful of popcorn was that to truly enjoy something one should take some time with it, no matter what it is. Perhaps you might be able to think of a few things to which this philosophy might apply, but in this case it was the art of making a photograph that I was attempting to make an analogy towards.

This is, I think appropriately, a "macro" shot, where the idea of photographing small things requires the photographer to "get in close". In this case close was a matter of less than an inch, and the only thing I really felt I wanted to do to the image in "post" was to crop it to a more square format than the original. The color has not been altered, or have any of the levels of light or contrast. The extremely narrow depth of field is apparent, and certainly a typical characteristic of a shot with a magnifying lens. I really like the way that depth of field draws the eye toward the middle of the kernel where the color seems to be brightest and where the surface textures are most apparent. Rule of thirds (balance), shape, form and texture all play a role in this image.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Overlapping Brothers

In trying to express the bonds between siblings I sometimes feel that a single picture doesn't do justice to the mood.

This shot was made with the Hipstamatic app and the double exposure button, which does take some getting used to in aligning and exposing images.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Early Morning Light

Early morning while driving past the golf course in Trenton. The foggy day was an expectation as I had seen a couple of "patchy" spots of fog driving through the Mud Creek Road, but it was the sun that froze me in place and caused me to pull over and iPhone this shot.

The sun backlighting the large tree and at the same time balancing a focal point with the smaller tree was of particular interest to me. There was a definite feeling or mood of calmness in this shot, which i think fog tends to do anyway, but the distinction here was the fog masking depth as it usually does, but in this case with the sun "burning" through. The colors were posterized even in the "live" presence.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Male Mosquito at Sunset

I saw this "creature on the window out back and had to get a photo. How marvelously engineered these long-legged creatures seem to be! The element of line took over for me here with the legs all coming together at one point in the image, dividing segments as the sun settled into the horizon. Unedited, this was an easy piece for my phone to capture.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Yellow Foggy Morning

 The sun this morning was amazing, although the fog had a great deal to do with that. I first noticed how "glowing" the sun was through my rearview mirror, with the color being almost a "golden glow" in the way that it lit everything up. I shot one-handed quickly from the window, taking three or four different versions of the image here at the top. This ended up as my favorite because of it's clarity and the position of the telephone poles. I cropped the image tightly around the rearview mirror, and I liked the drops of water that stand out so sharply.

The second shot of the trees was actually a "no-look" as I just held the phone against the window and clicked off a number of shots, with the one to the right being the one I selected. I did increase the contrast and "tune-up" this one a bit as it was pretty "blasted out" by the bright sun, but I enjoy the effects that the sunlight has on the branches of the tree and the way it shines through and illuminates some branches more than others.

Monday, April 25, 2016

At Dessert

Jen and I had our first meal at Olive Garden and when it came to the dessert, it only took a minute to make a choice. Here is before and after!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Windy Waves

Here we are sitting in the living room, nice and warm, but constantly aware of the wind buffeting the house. While the windows aren't rattling or such, it is quite a view out to the south to see the waves, glistening in the late afternoon sun, moving quickly across the bay.

I took a shot or two out the window, but quickly discovered I was too far away, so I fastened a 200mm lens to my camera and went down to the shore to get better shots. I set the f-stop as open as I could and found when I got back to the studio to look at the shots that the narrow depth of field was pretty interesting. Here are a few of the shots I got. I'm not sure they show the wildness of the wind (too close to the action I think), but they were made with "flow"!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring Snow Day

Working with the idea and value of HDR, I thought I would try to make an image today that most closely represented the reality of the day and also make an image that was manipulated to create a mood or feeling for the day. Two very different concepts that do not neccessarily have to be at odds with one another.

I will briefly describe processes as I post the images here:

The image of the snow covered tree is the subject for all of the photos I am using here. The one to the right was made as a single shot, high (1600) ISO , 1/125 second, and f-8. I then went into adjustments, tweaked the color in the darks and mid-range to a bit of blue, and "bumped" the contrast about 10 points. A "cooler" image because of the blue, and I kept the slight glare from the window I was shooting through as I think it adds interest and effect.

The series of shots below were made with the same camera, the same framing (tripod lock-down), and no adjustments at all, only using two images (aperture priority, one f-8 and one f-11) with the resulting shutter speeds. I then blended the two into a single (below images, with the two foundation shots smaller size) "HDR" image. I know this is a technique that is sort of ubiquitous at this point, but I find the concept as well as the possibilities for exploration fascinating.

HDR Blend

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Robins of Spring

This morning was amazing as we had more than a dozen robins scattered around the lawn and the field pecking away at the grass and whatever else they might find to "nibble" on. It was just as spring arrived, a sunny day, and beautiful. The unfortunate aspect of this shot, as well as the group of others that I took, was that I had a setting based on aperture priority and the exposure in the sunlight was all out of whack. I was pressed for time with other responsibilities, so I just doctored these in PS rather than going out to retake them. Above is a passable photo with the robin tilting his head and looking up toward me as I take the shot.