For years I have been steadfastly avoiding the use of Photoshop for processing my photos. No particular reason other than stubbornness and preferring to only use one program (Lightroom) for the work. Recently, Adobe began sending out free special effects actions for Photoshop. It sort of got me intrigued enough to download them and I finally got around to trying them out. This is a photo that I took a few years ago but never really liked the “straight” version. I’m not sure how much I really like this version using the “Watercolor Artist” action, but it is starting to grow on me. Like any recipe I’m going to need to work with the options a bit to get a “look” that suits me. But in the mean time it’s something interesting to look into, and it may even motivate me to spend more time catching up my Photoshop “chops.” I only have a 10~ year learning curve to catch up on! 🙂
While visiting the cyprus swamp on the Natchez Trace Parkway, I did a few impressionistic photos of the trees using camera movement to blur the trunks. These are two of my favorites from that session. I love how the motion simplifies the composition by making it all about the lines of the trees and removing the distracting details.
I have a thing for Cyprus trees. The shapes are interesting, and I love how they live against all odds of nature. We found these in a swamp along the Natchez Trace Parkway today. I know there’s a rule about taking landscape photos in harsh sunlight, but I keep forgetting…. 🙂
My reply to a recent comment from Monte reminded me that I needed to find a way to link to some of my old PDF books so I could share them. My website doesn’t allow me to upload the files directly, but it does allow me to link to a 3rd party location. I’ve added a link to a Dropbox folder from my website, and am also posting it here.
This could be another case of alien abduction! Is it possible that flying saucers require that you go through metal detectors and remove your belt? 🙂
My guess is that this belonged to a painter, since it is covered with what looks like paint drops. Spotted on a walk in Hilton Head back in November.
POPTP – Pictures of People Taking Pictures. Sort of like shooting fish in a barrel these days, as everyone takes pictures of everything and everywhere. But everywhere I go I look for opportunities to catch interesting people photographing an interesting scene. And also taking the time to actually appreciate the scene!
“I find it odd to confine life events and creative evolution to the arbitrary boundaries of a calendar year, but, as I have noted before, I welcome the excuse to pause and examine the progress, trends, and implications of my experiences in the past months.” Guy Tal
Odd or not, the tendency to compartmentalize our lives into blocks of 365 days is as good a way to reflect as any. A calendar year works as well as a birthday or anniversary year for that purpose. And I fear that if it wasn’t for the annual reminder, many of our species would not bother to look back at all, occupied as we are with running around, faces glued to electronic devices of all kinds in our real or imagined “busy-ness.”
As I looked back through my photographs from 2018 I began to realize that it was truly a year of departure for me, both literally and photographically.
- Kathy & I “departed” from the workplace after 40 or so years of work.
- We “departed” the shores of the U.S. for another continent for the second straight year
- My photography “departed” from the norm, as more and more of my photographs had people in them
- My photography “departed” from the norm, as more and more of my photographs were finished in black & white
- Even more of my photos taken “in” a place are not “of” or “about” that place
- We spent a month (actually 28 days) at the beach, the longest either of us had ever been away from home
I’m not sure what to make of the fact that more and more of my photos have people in them. I’ve historically considered myself to be primarily a landscape photographer, and have often responded to requests to photograph weddings and portraits with something along the lines of “notice that most of my photos do not have people in them. Thanks, but no.” I do think that as I get older I find that experiences and relationships have taken a higher priority than trophy icon shots or sunrises and sunsets. Oh, I still get my share of those, but for the most part the photos that call my name are the ones that bring back memories of a place, or more likely the memory of my feelings that I had when I was in the place. Venice is a good example. As much as I loved Tuscany, the few hours that I spent – mostly alone – wandering around Venice in the early morning is one of my most cherished memories.
I chose this collection of photos not because they are my “best” or “Greatest Hits” from 2018, but rather because they represent how I feel about the things I did and places I went, and how I felt while I was there. It’s not that these are photos I never would have taken previously, but more that they are photos that better capture my memory of a place, not just documenting what I saw.
Kathy & I wish everyone a Happy New Year. We’ve got lots planned for 2019 and are looking forward to getting started!
Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for continuing to follow along with our adventures. We are still working on plans for 2019 but it promises to be another year of fun and discovery, with a few photos along the way!
Tom & Kathy
New gallery on my website with some photos from our visits to the Caribbean. Wish we were there now! 🙂
I also added a gallery to our visit to Key West, also in 2015.