Another possibility for the Urban Woods series.
Another possibility for the Urban Woods series.
This one is a composite of a San Francisco street scene with a ’Lost Yosemite’ picture. I have not posted the Yosemite image yet but will in the future. In the lower-left hand corner, there is a pigeon walking down the sidewalk. I did not realize it was there until I starting make this montage. I left the pigeon because it made me smile.
The "Urban Woods" portfolio has been a recent series of images started this summer. Originally, I thought that I was just missing the forest after living the San Francisco bay area so long. Instead, I think this represents my struggle to find a balance between my creative side and my very highly developed engineer side. I am still trying to sort these two battling sides of my personality out.
I also have a personal goal of completing 30 images in this series by the beginning of December. As it stands right now, I have 28 images in the album. However, I will probably do more pruning and additions over the next few months.
Another from my visit to the Berkeley Botanical Gardens.
Another from the Berkeley Botanical Gardens.
This is the start of the Chinese Medicinal gardens a small part of the Berkeley Botanical Gardens.
Another from the Tilden Park carousel. I hope the little boy’s face is visible with the low-resolution of the web.
This is a good set with the little girl on the carousel.
Whenever I start composite, I look for two compatible images. How to determine if two images are compatible is really trial and error. In this case, I started with the image of the smoking area. I knew it was promising because there was a lot of whitespace. The marsh scene was a recent image and just jumped out as a twin image. Sometimes, I try 12+ different combination of images before finding a suitable partner, and sometimes I veer off with two different suprisingly compatible potential ’twin’ images in a totally different direction. For this image, these were the only two images that I tried.
The next step is to place one image above the other image. I usually change the Opacity of the upper layer to ~60%. That way, I can more easily see the interactions. Then, I start cycling through the upper layer’s blending mode. For my base layer, I used the marsh scene and the upper layer was the smoking area. After cycling through the blending modes for the upper layer, I saw a few possibilities but no winner. However, I decided to invert the upper smoking area image. Voila, I differenced the images and had a very interesting starting point. For the right-hand image below, the upper layer opacity is 58% and blending mode is Difference.
At this point, I liked the Tapestry effect in the background wall, but I was unsure about the void of the palm leaves and its pot. I decided to add back the original smoking area image but masked for the void area. To create the mask, I copied the original smoking area to the clipboard for use in the mask. Then, I copied the original smoking area layer and moved it to the top of the layer stack. I added a layer mask to the top layer and pasted in the copy of the smoking area image from the clipboard into the mask. To copy into the mask, make sure that the layer mask thumbnail is selected in the Layers view before pasting. For a layer mask, black conceals and white reveals. The mask needs to be inverted.
Next, I needed to see the mask so I held down the Alt key and clicked on the layer mask thumbnail. This makes the image mask visible in the image area. Then, I did a levels adjustment to greatly darken the shadows of the mask and brighten the highlights. To go back to viewing the image, I clicked on the image thumbnail in the upper layer. I left clicked the upper layer (of the original smoking area) at 100% Opacity and blending mode of Normal. After a little fine-tuning of the mask, I had the following image. For the right-hand image below, I added back some contrast.
At this point, I thought the image looked pretty close. I used two Nik filters to pop colors using the contrast color range filter add some green using the Nik Cross Process filter. For the next step (right image below), I added the Nik Bi-Color Violet/Pink filter to warm the image and add blue to the top of the image.
This is image is very close to done. I decided that the shadow details in the palm fronds are too blocked up. So, I applied a Shadow and Highlight adjustment to open some details in the palm fronds. For the final right-hand image below, I applied a small Levels adjustment to brighten the overall image. The image is done.
Another from the Tilden Park carousel. This is a menagerie carousel so there are many different animals including horses -- of course.
Today, Aphra and I went to the Tilden Park carousel. I heard about it this week while listening to NPR. They had a show about various preservation projects proposed for the San Francisco Bay Area. The Tilden Park Carousel is one of those projects. To see all the projects, you can visit Partners in Preservation.
Yes, another for the "Urban Woods" series. This is a slightly different viewpoint of the Metreon Terrace. I am starting a portfolio class next week so expect some changes of directions soon.
Another from the archives. This is from the 2nd floor landing of SF MOMA.
Today was a miserable day. I had a migraine all day. Finally, I just gave in, took my prescription, and went to bed to sleep it off.
On the hardware front, my backup hard drive for photo backups became unformatted according to Windows. I have tried multiple utilities to see if they can restore the data but no go so far. If Chip cannot recover the data, I lose all my raw images since the beginning of this year.
Ok, enough whining. Tomorrow will be a better day. It is Friday after all.
For some very intriguing beach shots, check out this image.
The news announced that today is high fire danger because of the dried grasses that are abundant this time of year combined with high winds. I have heard that our hills used to be green year round with the native bunch grasses. However, the early Spanish settlers introduced European grasses for their cattle. These non-native grasses replaced about 99% of the native bunch grasses and now are hills are brown (or golden depending on your viewpoint) in the fall. We are at the end of our dry season. Our rains start in about a month or so.
This one just fell together tonite when I sat down and said "Hmmm...what to post?". I looked at a Coyote Creek shot that was not posted and plopped it on top of this grab shot of a hotel Smoking Area near my work.
Well, this is another iffy. This is a scene from Coyote Creek overlaid with a grab shot from our recent museum visit.
Tonite, I went for a short hike along the Coyote Creek trail. It has been way too long since I have been hiking. This picture is a little deceiving because the brown grasses are much more common right now with splashes of green still hanging in there.
Tonite, I have the first draft of my About Me page posted. I still have the hard part of getting a photo of myself made. I still want to add a footer to the site.
Another quick grab shot taken when Chip and I were returning to the train after visiting the Edward Weston exhibit at SF MOMA.
One Montgomery Street is the bank across the street from my work in downtown San Francisco. The overlaid scene is from Golden Gate Park this spring.
This is the view from my office window. This is the Hobart Building reflected in the building across the street.
This is another grab shot from Labor Day weekend. I do not know why no one was enjoying the terrace. I did try every Photoshop trick that I could think of to straighten this out. The best that I could do was correct the verticals and a few horizontals.
This is a montage of a Fort Mason shot from Photo SF and the north woods of Canada.
The smaller, older building is the Hobart building where I work. It is located in downtown San Francisco. After the devastating 1906 earthquake, the Hobart building was one of the first building rebuilt. Our lobby has a gold gilt ceiling with hanging chandelier. The paneling is marble with a large inset marble clock. We do not have air conditioning but do have 10 foot ceilings and windows that open.
I commute to work on the BART train which arrives underground directly underneath our building. We ride an escalator up to street level and this is the view. Yesterday, I noticed a couple looking slightly bewildered standing at the start of the escalator. I got on the escalator and they were right behind me. As we rode up, I always look up at the view. Behind me, I heard the wife say "Holy Toledo! .... Wow!" and the husband say "Crap!". I assumed they were awed by the sight and sound of Market street coming into view. Or...something totally unrelated.
This is the entrance to the Crocker Galleria. This is close to my office and I come here for lunch all the time.
This morning, I had a mother moment. She looked at this image. Asked where it came from, etc. Then she says "Wow, you are getting weird on this Modern kick." Actually, I agree because I have no idea where this current kick will end. Then, Mother says "Very interesting... Yes, very interesting, but I do not like it. Did you hear me, I do not like it." Thanks, Mom. I kind of agree by the way. This is an iffy one that I posted because I am running out of material again.
This one is more in line with my grungy flowers series but does fit my Urban Woods series except for color.
Ok, I was a little bored today and was referred to this video. I think these guys must have to much free time.
Another grab shot on the way to the museum. The Yerba Buena Arts Center is between SF MOMA and the Metreon. This is the street side of the same building.
I have been very remiss. Please let me recommend reading of Chronic Pain Lifestyle by Colin and his co-author, Anne. I met Colin last spring via the magic of the ’blogosphere’ . Colin had found my photo blog and requested using my images to illustrate his postings. Well, meeting Colin and reading his inspirational postings has given me the better end of the bargain. I look forward each new posting by Colin and Anne. Given their courage in living a full life despite chronic pain has given me a better perspective on my own health problems. Colin may not realize but he has also provided me with valuable image editing input just by seeing which images he chooses. I believe that Colin has more insight into my work than I do. I also think that Colin’s success has pushed a lot more traffic to my own site. Thank you, Colin!
As for Colin’s co-author, Anne, I feel an unspoken connection to her. Anne attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the same as me, and started just a year before. Anne and I were both born and raised in Wisconsin. So reading her stories, makes me feel nostalgia for Wisconsin and my own childhood. I have had many similar experiences. Please go visit Chronic Pain Lifestyle and see if reading it gives you new perspective on your own problems.
On another note, I have been procrastinating in putting up an About page including a picture of myself. I will get it done. Also, I want to revamp my layout to include the blogs that I regularly read.
Looking straight up from the lobby of San Francisco MOMA.
Check out this image.
This is a montage of images from Hakone Gardens and a shot from San Francisco of benches along a concrete wall. I am iffy about this one but decided to post anyway.
Just a quick grab shot before lunch at the Metreon.
This is an HDR image taken while Chip and I were walking to SF MOMA. If you look to the end of the alleyway, you can see the monument (a spire) in Union Square. Union Square is a very high-end shopping area and popular tourist destination here in San Francisco.
This show is color work from Monte Hartman’s students. I have seen many of the participant’s work and it is beautiful and varied. You can click the image for a sneak preview of my images in the exhibit. Now, I just need to frame all of these. Chip look out because framing makes me cranky.
The show opens on Friday, September 29th at Photo Central at 6 pm - 8:30 pm. Anyone in the San Francisco bay area, please drop and say hello.
This is a mural across the street from SF MOMA.
Hope that everyone (in the US) s enjoying their long Labor Day weekend. This one reminds me little of the Rothko painting that Chip and I saw at SF MOMA today. I like the thought of Long Life floating in the image. It was a reflection in the Metreon that I mirrored so that the text is readable.
Today, Chip and I visited SF MOMA to see the Edward Weston and Tina Modotti in Mexico exhibit. To my surprise, I liked Tina’s work better and so did Chip. I found Edward Weston’s work a little too stark although I am a fan of his later work. This exhibit shows early work before Weston became well-known.
Went digging deep into the archives for this one. It is the back of a lovely bakery in Petaluma but I know longer remember its name. We went on a visit to Petaluma for my Color Composition class. Our teacher, Monte Hartman, also took this shot. The owner came out and asked for a copy of his shot and offered some baked goods.
I have another roll of B&W film in for processing. However, it is going to be at least a week before I get it back from the lab. The first place that I visited said 3 weeks so a week is better.
This is another from the ’Lost Yosemite’ series. This was taken the first day. As you can tell, we arrived too late for the beautiful light and instead had midday sun.