It’s warming up and the snow is melting. Probably it will be gone by tomorrow. Surely by Tuesday. Then, a few warm days after which, who knows? February and March are the crazy months, weather-wise. Anything can happen and usually does.
I must admit, this is the most amazing bloom I’ve ever gotten from any of my cacti. Not only are there a lot of flowers — new flowers replacing earlier flowers — but the flowering is lasting a long time.
This morning, while I was fixing my coffee and toast, I realized there was sunshine in the dining room. For the first time in weeks, the cacti were brightly lit. I was torn. Eat my warm toast –or take pictures of flowers.
Of course I took the pictures because you can make toast any time, but sunlight on flowers is a brief moment. Later, my toast was cold but the pictures came out great. All that bright sunlight let me get some use out of my macro lens.
Macros are such weird lenses. They either do amazing, fantastic work … or they make you crazy with frustration. This was one of the good days. I used a different kinds of processing to catch both the colors and the complexity of the blooms.
I’m pleased with these effects. For the first time, I created the effects I wanted. Not from scratch — I’m not that talented. I found basic designs I liked, but weren’t quite “it.” The originals were in black & white. I wanted color in a graphic sketch style using more detail, color, more texture to created a painted graphics image. Sort of.
I worked from two designs — an HDR-Micro format in which I loved the design but hated the colors –and another using a black & white graphics sketch that needed more contrast, color, and texture.
Then I saved my effects and released them to Topaz. I have been creating these or similar effects for a while, but I never saved them. Each time I wanted to use them, I had to reproduce them.
It finally occurred to me that I was wasting a lot of time creating the same things repeatedly when I could save them and add them to the studio. I had not realized I could release them so everyone can use them. That was a nice touch.
All of these oddballs are effects I originated based on models from Topaz.
What am I trying to do? Glad you asked. I’ve been trying to create a “magazine cover” graphic design. I want it to look like old copies of Look (think Norman Rockwell) or maybe The New Yorker. I’m not there yet, but that’s the goal.
While other people try to erase wires, I’m fascinated by them. The connectors between towns, between data. Voice and pictures and sound and ideas all race along those wires. When the wires arrived, it defines when this country become one country. It was the wires that did it and they still do it.
Funnels? I’ve got funnels. I’ve got three funnels in my closet. They are kitchen-style funnels. Pretty small. Medium. Larger. That’s pretty much what there is to say about funnels, unless perhaps you are a manufacturer of funnels. Then maybe it’s a much bigger deal.
I use them in the kitchen to transfer spices from bags to bottles. Yes, world, I buy spices in bulk, at least the ones I use the most.
These are my artistic impressions of funnels. All three funnels. Showing also spices which I will, at some point in the future, pour through one or another funnel into a jar with a label on it.
Otherwise, I don’t have anything to say about funnels. On the positive side of this conversation, if you think pictures are worth at least 1000 words, this is a 3,000 word article. About funnels.
It has been really cold around these parts, though beginning tomorrow, it’s supposed to warm up. So although today is minus something or other, by next Friday it will be a lovely, springlike 50 and the entire world will be a mass of sucking mud.
I haven’t been doing much shooting and Garry’s pictures simply don’t fit into the oddball category. I think he deserves some kind of “frozen fingers” award for actually taking pictures in one of our more brutal patches of winter.
So my oddballs are less odd than local. I’ve been inside. In this weather, people with heart valve replacements and asthma are cordially invited to stay home. Which is where I’ve been. Home.