Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Portland, Oregon!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fish Eye

Made this macro shot with Olloclip on my iPhone. All processing done on iPad with PhotoToaster, Snapseed, and PotoMarkr.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Our alpha cat, Arnie a few years ago.  He hasn't come home since he went out before yesterday's storm.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Amazing Maizie

My daughter, Joanna, as Maizie LaBird in her church's musical production, Seussical.  Last night was SRO to an enthusiastic audience.  Joanna's standout performance of the flighty and egotistical Amazing Maizie was the rave of all the little girls watching the show!  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Circles In The Sky

This image has long been a favorite of mine.  I found it again in my current cleaning up work on Lightroom.  Ingredients:  An overcast day, a photo explore in downtown Portland and a camera with a flip-out LCD view screen.  Yum!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fun With Plungers!

While doing a bit of Lightroom keywording and housecleaning, I found these fun photos from spring of 2008.  My grandkids were still willing to goof off for my camera back then.  Today, I see I could have done more post processing to compensate for low light or else thought ahead and done something to brighten up the area before shooting.  Ah....sigh.  Always something more to do.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Our favorite alpha cat, Arnie, poses for the Howliday.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Little Houses

All summer I've been meaning to make photos of the schoolyard birdhouses.  They're a collection of lively colors on a stick in the wildlife habitat the school has created in back of the temporary classrooms.  I love the whimsical nature of the painting, the arrangement, the fact that some of the birdhouse sticks jaunt off to an angle while others are straight and perpendicular.  Here are some of the better photos I made on our first overcast day.  Our neighborhood school, Llewellyn Elementary, rocks!

Friday, October 19, 2012

One Two

Every couple of weeks I go down to The Pearl for bodywork.  On the way to the studio I walk past wonderful art galleries.  Lately I've seen heroic sized abstract paintings with slashes and drips of BOLD color hanging in their windows.

Feeling itchy to groove off inspiration from those art works, I photographed a few graffitied windows and slashes of purple paint drips.  I blurred Christmas lights in the hardware store window.  I piled them together on a piece of watercolor Id made, fidgeted them this way and that.  Fiddled with filters or shadows--adding, taking away, moving throwing out.  Hid a number in there--because it needed something and because Carol would.  :)

Not sure I like it; not sure I don't.  Put it down as MY art and call it a day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Marine M With Rust

This has been sitting on my screen in Photoshop for about a week, an assignment for me to figure out something to do with it.  The longer I looked at it, I decided cropping it close on the left hand side to offset the weight of the rusty part was all I needed to do.  It's been so long since I did initial work on it  I can't remember if I Topazed it at all.  Perhaps I did to bump the colors.  A look at my original image could tell me but I'm too bummed out by our sudden rain dump today and the end of 60 days or more of balmy weather that I don't want to go on an M-hunt right now.  Perhaps there will be more to come on this one, then!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fancy Feet

While at the Astoria Column, sitting in the shade of an 80 degree day, I actually asked the woman next to me if I could make a photo of her feet.  I love the colors!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All Of Us

Made this a couple of months ago when literally ALL of the kids, grandkids, and spouses were around.  There were a couple of dogs, too, but we decided to keep this strictly for humans.

If you're interested, here's who:
Back row: #1 son, Andy; future SIL, Drew; #1 grandson, Zack; SIL, Erik
Middle row: #2 son, David; DIL, Nina; #2 daughter, Sarah; #3 daughter, Carolina; #1 daughter, Joanna
Front row:  #2 grandson, Sean; DIL, Yukie; #3 grandson, Ewan; Hubby Extraodinaire, Hugh; moi; granddaughter #1, Abbi

More photos on our family site here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

In The Waves

Abstract "image" I made shooting boat hulls at the dry dock in Astoria.  Carol, do you have one just like this?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Piano Harp and Strings

Hugh and I drove about two hours south of Portland today to Falls City, Oregon.  A speck of a burb where 30,000 people lived and worked in the mid-1800s but where only a whisper of commerce still remains. Our mission was for Hugh to try out a musical instrument for sale at an antique shop there.  I poked around with my camera.

The two owners of the shop had a fun assortment of piano works stashed in the back, including a wall of soundboards (harps) shelved up on the wall near an open door.  I loved the curving detail of the strings, felt and pegs on this old Wurlitzer harp.

These guys go collecting old, junk pianos listed on Craigs List for free.  Then, they gut the works to make computer desks out of the cases which are often made from exotic woods, especially the centenarian pianos.  The harps they encase in a box, add legs and plexiglass.  What you have then is a giant coffee table, train table, or dining nook table.  As to what they do with the keys (the action), which are pure ivory, I've no idea.  But what a recycling process!

End Of The Road Antiques, Falls City, Oregon.  I was going to post a link to their store.  Alas--there are still some businesses in the world who haven't developed a web presence.  Imagine!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tied Up

Another good one from the waterfront in Astoria.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Morning Glow

It's beginning to look a lot like Fall around here.  Hazy skies from forest fires plus the marine layer are making for some spectacular sunsets--and sunrises.  Here's the way things looked from Seaview, WA, one morning when I was rushing to meet up with the Astoria photo group.  I loved how the sun looked caught in the wires as well as the utility pole silhouettes on the left.  Mmmmmm.....where's my coffee?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Faux Photo Quilt

Tired of the "best photo" selection process from my Astoria trip, and enchanted by this wall detail, I veered off my photo selecting path into photo imagery.

 The more I looked at the wall detail, trying to explain to myself and to potential viewers why I saw this as art, I realized it reminded me of a section of a quilt.  Or the beginnings of a quilt pattern.  

Though I'm a seamstress, I've never felt one bit inclined to cut big pieces of fabric into little pieces of fabric just to give myself the task of sewing them all into one big piece again.  But what if I could make a faux quilt?  What if I made it from bits of photos I shot on the Astoria photo trip?

Using this wall art as a base, I added two (heavily Topazed) details from the Maritime Memorial under the Astoria Bridge.  Can you find them?  They're knots and a ship's wheel.  

It's easy to spot the salmon leaping out of the fish can labels from the city garbage cans.

Lastly, look for wave detail from a cafe sign on Marine Drive.  

Presenting my Faux Photo Astoria Quilt:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Liquid Abstracts

 Well, I have a new toy!  A Topaz Simplify Plugin for Photoshop Elements 9.  (Thanks, Jan Hagan!)

I've been playing with it in boat and seawall reflection photos I made on the second day of the Astoria photo trip.  I think I'm sick of the effect now.  But it's been fun!

Each one of these is upside down, I know.  That's because they're reflections in water.  I tried turning them "right side" up but that didn't work for me.  I'm willing to concede, though, that my brain, who composed these in the first place, is stuck on, "THIS is the right way up!"

My husband thinks the middle one looks like a flag.  I guess I can see it that way.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Astoria Photo Trip--Day One

A week ago I took a photo trip to Astoria, Oregon, led by my teacher, Carol Leigh.  This is a sampling of some of the good photos from Day One.  Above is the Columbia Pier Hotel with reflection and pilings.

An architectural abstract at Maritime Memorial Park under the Astoria Bridge.

Astoria Bridge in cloudy, blue morning light.

Pilings in the Columbia River with ripples.  A slight wind combined with fast shutter speed makes them look frozen in ice.

Ducks in a row made into a watercolor using Topaz Simplify.

Her majesty, the John Jacob Astor Hotel in downtown Astoria.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Beach Dreams

My friend with the beach house on Long Beach Peninsula requested house portraits for a charity auction in the fall.  Since I love sneaking celestial bodies into photos whenever I can, I got up early to snap shots from the front of the place showing the setting moon just above the roof line.  They just had their shake siding cleaned and added the pretty blue iron gate out front.  

This view is likely more suitable for the listing for the charity auction.

I like this view, though, because it shows the front porch and garden.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Clearing Mist

Was browsing and reading articles recently about art and seeing and found this image.  It reminded me of photomontages Carol Leigh has taught me to do in her online classes.  I wondered if I could capitalize on the inspiration I felt seeing this art to make my own.  Should be a piece of cake to translate, thinks moi.
Ha!  Read on....

I picked a photo of a scruffy piece of rusty metal as background, a Lost and Taken free texture, a photo I took at Fort Stevens or Fort Columbia last year of tall trees, a cloud photo from the tons of cloud photos I make all the time, and photo of a bald eagle. 
 Took a bit of experimenting to settle on these photos and to find the best combination of blending modes. As you can see, it's a completely different feel from the inspiration piece but still qualifies as art, I think!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blue and Yellow Window

Every time I visit my friend's beach house I wonder how to make this window a photo composition.  Here's a first attempt.

It's clear the green background is a distraction to the glass pieces in the window.  Now that I'm writing this, I can see shorter depth of field would be in order for the next time I shoot it.

I tried out one of the film settings in Topaz to give kind of an Old World look to the composition (in spite of the the modern lobster popup toy and the plastic keyring).  Not sure it's THE thing for this composition but it's an experiment.

Perhaps another thing to try when reshooting is a slight pop of flash.  I never use flash, though, so I'm not sure it would work here.  Perhaps I'll stash a medium sized white reflector in my photo travel bag now for my next trip.

Then, I'll pray to the Washington Coast Weather Gods for sunlight through the side window of this room on my next visit!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dog Happy At The Beach

Ok, I know this photo is on grass but it's one of my favorite photos from this weekend at the beach in Seaview.  Hugh and I and Maggie all dug the beach house with it's completely fenced yard.  The first morning there, Maggie and I played stick and ball games in the grass--get this--in the SUN!  Great fun!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Made this photo on the day I took the walk with my photo teacher in SE Portland.  At the time, I expected it to be a last minute, throw-away shot since I'd made two other, more "formal" shots straight on.  The straight on shots, though, did nothing for me.  They just lay there doing nothing.  This angled photo, wonky as it is, feels dynamic.  I love the purple bands on each side and the repeating reddish little triangles in the upper and lower corners.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Crow on Rail

A photomontage I've been working on for the past couple of days.  Not sure yet if it's a long-term keeper.  There were certain elements I felt I could not control, which seems odd since I put everything in there myself.  Things start out innocently enough, building layer on layer, then changing the blending modes.  After awhile, a certain look begins to develop that I like but when I want to tweak certain things but leave others, I can't find them to change!  Other times, the tweaking sometimes leads to destruction.  Or frustration.

So here's the "settled for" version for now.  In any case--more to come!

P.S.  I can't believe I actually had a crow photo in my Lightroom card catalog to use for this.  Oh, the influence of Carol Leigh!  Before her classes I NEVER shot wildlife, especially not birds.  Now I'm actually LOOKING for crows to shoot so I can put them in my art.  Go figure.

Do click on the photo to see what you think. Please send comments with feedback or suggestions, if you have any. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Woman On Tracks, Warehouse District

Made this the day I went walking with Carol Leigh.  Popped it a bit in Topaz Adjust.  There's a lot to see here but I think the placement of the woman and her forward motion toward the right that gives the eye something to look toward, then away from, then back again before wandering around in all the colorful buildings.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vespa 400

Made a collage on my phone today using Photogene.  We saw this microcar while walking to the park concert last night. Very cute car, huh? Reminds me of the Smart Car.

Rudimentary effort on the collage. Definitely need to practice more with the iPhone apps. Tiny screen work is nerve wracking, though.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Meditation Space

Been thinking a lot about photomontage and what I might put into one with the kinds of photos I like to take.  My teacher, Carol Leigh, has started a new blog that I highly recommend browsing regularly if you're a frustrated artist like me.  Even if you're not!

I made this photomontage from the very corner of a photo of Mexican pots I saw while roaming the streets of San Diego with my friend Judy.  I never noticed the great bench silhouette in the background until the pots photomontage basically was crap.  Added a few other bits to ground the photo.  The wall medallion was already on the wall.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  Moss!  A photo of sidewalk moss I made (we grow it for fun here in Oregon), then copied, then inverted colorwise, then blended made the cool colors and textures.  Oooh!  Aaah!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Urban Waterfall, A Non-Dramatic Photomontage

Found a quiet and calming spot over in The Pearl after walking around near The Armory (Gerding Theater area).  City Garden created this urban waterfall just off the street.  I added some color and texture with two pics--one of a concrete wall, one of red, textured paint on an old piece of construction paper.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Using Topaz Adjust

Found this while keywording old photos in Lightroom and liked its simplicity and style.  I made this at the Palm Springs Air Museum in 2006 on a very hot day which made shooting the indoor antique car exhibits much more attractive than shooting the planes.

I opened the shot in Topaz Adjust and Topaz Clean, tried all kinds of setting,s and got nothing but frustration.  Before giving up entirely I began clicking "I feel lucky!" repeatedly until the above combination came up.

I like that it looks richer and sharper and sleeker with a tad bit of blue sky window highlights and my colored blouse reflection showing in the handle.  I would rather the gold part be a tad lighter and not so gold but I didn't know how to lighten it without bringing out the reflection of my legs in the lower third of the shot.  You can see that reflection in the original photo below.  You decide which version you like best!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New Eagle Scout

Congrats to my oldest grandson, Zack, on his Eagle Scout Court of Honor this evening.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ready For My Closeup

My dog's happy face!

Friday, July 6, 2012

City View, Summer

The view of Portland downtown from above Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

I've been making variations of this photo for years but still find the view fascinating.

This is the first time, however, I've taken my "real" camera and more glass to make the shot and it sure makes a difference.  Can't hurt, of course, to have dramatic clouds, Pacific Green trees in the foreground, and a sunny summer day.