Exploring a New Technique

It’s true with every profession that you get better the more you practice.  What’s also true for artists is that, you not only get better at your profession, but you also uncover new ways to express your art.  Picasso went through his Blue Period, and Jackson Pollock had his whole drip painting style, which he didn’t develop until a few years after he’d been a known painter.

Even photographers go through phases.  Sometimes we learn a different photographic technique, or some new software comes out, or we see another person’s work that inspires us to try something new ourselves.  Regardless, we too are constantly growing and evolving in our artistic expressions.

For me, lately this has been the use of the sepia filter in Photoshop.  I’ve normally been prone to using either full color or simple black and white with my images.  But I recently took a trip to Boston and many of the images I captured there seemed to beg for something different.

Especially this one of a path sign in a cemetery I visited just outside of Boston.  You can clearly see the age in the object, but it was such a bright day, that the mood wouldn’t have been right had I left it in full color.

Myrtle Ave Marker - ColorBut changing it to black and white didn’t quite pull off the effect of what I was looking for, either.

Myrtle Ave Marker - B&WSo I took a chance on sepia, and BAM!  The image came alive for me.

Myrtle Ave Marker - SalemI still had quite a few images that looked better in the “old” ways, but a number of them didn’t POP until I used a sepia filter in Photoshop.

I used to be leery of going through a “phase” or “period” like Picasso or Pollock.  But now I see that using a different technique once in a while doesn’t mean I’m going to do ALL my images in that way from now on.  It just allows me to use pictures that I wouldn’t have been able to if I wasn’t willing to expand my horizons and try something new.

Travels to the Midwest

Alyx and I are currently on a vacation trip to our homeland of the Midwest. Specifically, Mid-Michigan. We both grew up there in neighboring small towns, and both graduated from Holt High School in Holt, Michigan. We took this vacation to show my daughter Athena where we grew up, and introduce her to the finer things of Michigan, such as: its summer, Faygo Pop (Red Pop, Rock & Rye, Creme Soda, etc.), Vernor’s Ginger Ale, swimming in Lake Michigan and the many inland lakes. Athena was in Michigan only once before, but she was only two years old, so she doesn’t remember it. It was in the winter-time, so it was her first experience with snow. We bundled her up in a snow suit and went sledding as Michiganders do in the winter months. She had a ball, but as I said, she doesn’t remember it. So, now that she’s 14, she’ll remember this trip much more, and the bonus is a very wonderful Michigan summer.

Michigan had a really long, cold, snowy winter this year, which is now resulting in such lush greenery I feel like I’m wearing emerald goggles at the Emerald City in Oz. My first picture is a typical dirt road in Michigan. Let me just say to all of you that live in cities and never see them that, yes, they still exist. This is the quintessential dirt road in my mind.

A Michigan Dirt RoadWhile we were staying with my wife’s family, we took our cameras on our short journeys and didn’t have to travel far to get great pictures of some interesting barns. Here are a couple images for all you barn- and country-loving people out there. These barns can be found in Mason, Michigan.

Broken Barn DoorSpare Barn with Wagon WheelsMany people from Michigan are vary familiar with the phrase “going up to the lake”. ‘Up’ in this instance can mean anywhere north of Lansing. There are countless small to midland sized lakes in the lower peninsula, and more in the upper peninsula. Most Michiganders have relatives, or know friends or friends’ relatives that have summer cabins on on of these lakes, and it is a great summer past time. My wife has family with a cabin at Crooked Lake. Here are a couple pictures from that area “up at the lake”.

Dock on Crooked Lake Michigan Stone HouseBecause of our trip (and my own procrastination), this blog is a little late in the launch. I apologize to everyone for the delay, especially those who wait with baited breath every 2 weeks to see what we are up to. I’m sorry.

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Thanks for stopping by today,